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Choosing Persistence (5th In The Choosing Series)

Posted by John Fuhrman on June 14, 2011 at 9:14 AM

"I will persist until I succeed."


That was the first line in the Scroll Marked lll in Og Mandino's classic, "The Greatest Salesman In The World." Having had the privilege of being able to spend time in his NH home, I can honestly say, I have witnessed persistence like no other. Og Mandino spent his writing life with one goal - change lives! Simply stated but difficult to accomplish. is writing and speeches are a large part of what inspired me to write adn travel the world as a speaker. But, this one line from his first book, changed my life.


"I will persist until I succeed."


Imagine if this was the only change in the way you thought. Suppose you were able to commit to this single purpose. How many lives would you impact? First, you must choose to be persistent. Many will talk about it, but the sad fact is, too many just talk. Making the choice is the commitment. Sticking with it, determines the outcome of your work and maybe even your quality of life.


What would persistence mean in our world of car sales? Sticking with the customer for one more "no"? Certainly. Walking the inventory when its 98 degrees to get one more demo drive? Definitely. But, what about what you do when the customer leaves the lot without making a purchase? Before you answer, let me share the reality.


In the last 60 days, I have trained 65 sales people for my client dealers. One assignment we make all of them do is to shop area dealers. This is done knowing there are two possibilities. First, they meet a real professional and see what they should aspire to. Second, they discover who and what NOT to be when they run into the less than perfect sales person.


While they are shopping, we instruct them not to lead the salesperson in any way. Just let them do what they normally do and then we'll see what happens. Here are the results:


Out of 65 shopping trips:


1 salesperson took the student's name and phone number.

3 salespeople invited the student into the showroom.

5 salespeople handed out brochures.

32 never asked for the students' names.

40 never showed a single vehicle.

65 never followed up with a phone call or email.


"I will persist until I succeed."


How can a dealer expect to increase their business without follow-up? The problem is, most dealers think everything is fine. Even the dealers I visited after these shopping trips all insisted that they get it all right when it comes to follow-up. I suggest that dealers become "persistant" in making certain that their customers are followed up. That means choosing to check and be certain that the name and phone number of all guests are recorded.


Salespeople need to "persist" at working to make sure that each customer is treated in such a way that follow-up is not only expected, but welcomed by the customer. Professionals need to choose persistence so that they never leave a single stone unturned with every potential deal. Just suppose you were able to follow up and add just 2 extra deals per month. How would your W-2 look with an extra 24 deals on it. That's like earning an extra month's pay for just doing your job.


"I will persist until I succeed."


The choice is yours.

Special of the month: The first 30 dealers or GM's who email me their dealer name, address and phone number will receive a new copy of my latest book. "YES!" has been endorsed by auto industry professionals and is my 10th book. Email me at and get your copy before they run out.


John Fuhrman is the Senior National Trainer for Carolina Automotive Resource Services, a unit of The Dealer Resource Group. His ten books have reached 1.5 million readers and he has trained sales professionals around the world. Currently, he is training new sales people for dealers through his cutting edge programs. Learn more at and see the previous "Choosing" series and other articles. (c)2011 by John Fuhrman - Permission to reprint this post in its entirety, including contact information, is hereby granted.

Categories: Dealer Operations, Sales Management & F&I, Sales and Sales Training

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