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Working "WOW!" Backward

Posted by John Fuhrman on July 28, 2011 at 8:40 AM

When salespeople get to work in the morning, what's their goal for the day? As managers plan the week or the month, what outcome are they focusing on? When dealers set their sites on year end, what do they see? Usually, in each case, whatever it is, it's not enough. Sales people want a sale, or a commission. Managers focus on total volume or gross. And dealers see that they ended up above water.


Unfortunately, with visions like that, even if you accomplish what you set out to do, so what? But, like most goals, if you just miss, the results can be devastating. Yet, in dealerships, and in other industries I've trained for, the focus on doing what ever it takes to survive, is considered a good effort. Maybe you need a little magic.


Take our salesperson for example. If they were asked their goal for a day, and responded that they were going to sell a vehicle, most would be complimented for their great attitude. But, if they achieved their goal, what is the real result? Inventory would simply be reduced by a unit, a profit would be made, and that would be it. The achievment is final. The probablility of that customer sending referrals, using service, or ever even coming back, is left totally to chance. But, there is an illusion of success.


As a speaker and trainer, I've had the privilege to travel the world and work with some amazing professionals. One of my colleagues is a world class magician. I mean, he can do things right in front of your face and you can't do anything except be amazed. As a writer who makes a living with words, the only one that came to mind with each trick he performed as, "Wow!" I don't know about you, but I love magic. It just amazes me. A great magician takes you way beyond illusion. They make you believe what you see and after seeing it, you are taken to a new level.


We were at a convention together and he had performed the night before. At breakfast, we were talking about what makes a great magician and how does that translate into a fantastic show. His explanation has become a part of my training for nearly a decade.


A real magician never sees things in order. They always start with the result, the end of the trick, and then work backward until it can be polished and performed. But, the goal is never just to have the trick work. It is never about everything going as planned. The thought of preventing mistakes never even enters their mind. They always go just a step or two beyond the end of the illusion. Their focus is to leave the audience at "WOW!" They get to the "wow" factor and work back from there.


Once the trick is perfected mechanically, it now has to take shape as a performance. It has to appear amazing. The only way to consistently reach that level is to see it hapen and then work back, step by step until you are back at the beginning. And, after witnessing one unbelievable performance after another, I began to understand.


Suppose our salesperson changed his goal for the day just a bit and instead of just selling a car, they focused on how the customer would feel about buying from them. What if they had a goal of getting the customer to "WOW!"? Imagine if they saw the customer eager to write a letter to the dealer explaining their amazing treatment. Now, if they took that feeling and worked backward step by step until they were just getting to work, what would they be doing differently.


Whatever your job is, the question should be, "What do I need to do to have amazing results?" If you seriously ask that question on a daily basis, you will be what you want to achieve - amazing! More importantly, asking that question and taking the steps won't require much more effort than what you currently do. It's just that you'll have a much better time doing it.


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. When your dealership needs amazing results when hiring new people, visit Our trainers are ready to show you our "WOW!" factor. (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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