Averaging 22 Car Sales Per Salesperson Per Month with Jonathan Dawson

June 24, 2024
Glenn Lundy converses with Jonathan Dawson, renowned Coach and Trainer at Sellchology
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In this dynamic ASOTU CON session, Glenn Lundy converses with Jonathan Dawson, renowned Coach and Trainer at Sellchology, about building the next generation of the automotive industry. Jonathan emphasizes the importance of maintaining relational selling over purely transactional methods, cautioning against innovation for innovation's sake. They explore the delicate balance between leveraging modern tools like Amazon and maintaining traditional, personal interactions with customers.

Jonathan shares his philosophy on change management and leadership, highlighting the need for solid foundations before implementing new strategies. They discuss the significance of adapting communication methods to connect with younger team members and customers while maintaining core values. As they dive into the future of automotive sales, Jonathan advocates for rigorous training and development to ensure every salesperson can thrive, urging leaders to focus on nurturing their teams to drive long-term success.

0:00 Intro

1:29 Jonathan discusses the importance of relational selling

3:45 Balancing innovation with foundational business principles

4:43 Glenn and Jonathan on the allure of new technologies

6:36 The need for solid foundations before implementing new strategies

7:38 Adapting communication methods to connect with younger team members

10:35 Treating customers how they want to be treated, not just based on personal preferences

12:10 Developing people and proper onboarding as keys to success

Thanks to Effectv for making this episode of ASOTU CON Sessions possible! Learn more about Effect here: https://www.effectv.com/

Unknown: 0:00

Music. You're listening to the asotu con sessions by Effectv live from asotu con 2024

Glenn Lundy: 0:09

Hey. This is Glenn Lundy, and I'm here at the asotu con, which has been an amazing event. I'm here on the podcast stage in collaboration with Effectv, and I'm sitting across from the one and only Jonathan Dawson, Coach and Trainer at cellcology. Make some noise for Jonathan Dawson, if you don't mind everybody,

Jonathan Dawson: 0:30

what's up? Man, Hey, man, good to see you. Good to be on the stage. Yeah, dude,

Glenn Lundy: 0:34

it's it was great to see you. Well, it's great to see you now, but it was also great to see you last night at a place called prime where, I don't know, but for those of you that were there, oh, geez, this guy's a winner. And he finishes what He starts, even if it's a 38 ounce prime rib. Was that? What that was? 38 ounce? Yeah, dude, this thing was, it's like, size of a football. And my guy took it down. I took

Jonathan Dawson: 1:02

it down. And I actually only did that because people gave me grief, by the way, when I ordered that, All I said is, give me the prime, or whatever you guys are known for, not knowing they're about to put a 38 ounce, like four inch thick steak on my table and make everyone stop and go, dear Lord. And then, of course, are you gonna finish that? Are you gonna finish that? Are finish that? Are you gonna finish that? Are you gonna finish that? So, by God, I finished it. All right, this is a man who finishes what He starts.

Glenn Lundy: 1:29

You did indeed, Tony. I know Tony. Was like, Dude, I'm never gonna let him live it down. If he doesn't finish it. Never gonna let him let it down. I was like, bro, you are a wild man. Indeed. They have asked you and I to talk about building the next generation of automotive. Building the next generation of automotive. When I say those words, Jonathan, what comes up for you? You

Jonathan Dawson: 1:51

know, initially, the answer is, I don't know, because I think about, like, when we think next generation of automotive, there's part of me that has a tendency towards going, I know we keep talking about innovate, innovate, innovate, but if we keep innovating past the point of some of the fundamentals or basics, is that real growth, or is that good growth? Are we changing for the sake of changing? And sometimes I think we try to do that, and we've all seen it kind of in the industry, you know, with let's just take the elephant in the room, the EV thing of like, innovate, innovate, innovate. It's like you're innovating past what people actually want. Is that actual innovation at that point, right? Right? So I think of, for me again, if you, if you said, John, wave a magic wand and create what you think it should be, it actually is going to go back in some ways, to when the relational selling style of our business was paramount, and getting away from some of the, in my opinion, overly transactional approaches we have to this industry. But I know I'm biased in this area, because it's what I focus on, which is relational selling. And I know from the of course, evidence or fruit of my students who practice it, the value that it brings to their personal lives. So in some ways, you know, what's next? Gosh, there's sometimes I see a pattern and go, I hope that's not next, right? You know? And so I don't know. I don't have enough power to make anything change when it comes to scale like that. But that's that I don't know how helpful that answer is. I just I know my heart, my heart is that I want salespeople, in general, to see every opportunity in front of them as a human being and a person with a family and with a network, and to go back to that old school kind of like belly to ability, handshake, community generating leads through referrals. Those are the things that get me excited. Yeah,

Glenn Lundy: 3:45

it's an interesting conundrum, right? Because part of me says, Well, yeah, you know, I really like this Amazon thing, right? I really like the click. I really like the it just shows up in my driveway. There's nothing really. I do not have a relationship with anybody hangers, and even if I wanted to, I couldn't have a relationship, same with Facebook or Instagram. I don't have relationships with any of these people, but I really love these tools. So part of me says, and we maybe you're kind of headed that direction, right? But then I'm like, you. I love a handshake. I love a strong relationship. Yeah, I'm a hugger for certain things and dynamics. I think that's important. And so I guess my question for you, Jonathan would be, how do we like? How much time do we invest in trying to figure out what's next, and how much time do we invest in really making sure what we're doing right now? Yeah, is good. You know what I mean? Well,

Jonathan Dawson: 4:43

I was telling a dealer this the other day because they were actually inquiring about launching with my services. And I said, look, as exciting as it is for me to give you the schematic, the architectural design of what I can build with you, and as much as you're excited to move into that house, I will not frame a house. On wet cement, right? So if your management won't onboard properly, I will not let the sales team on board. They can't log in until your managers accomplish the base, foundational things, because it does us no good thing to move into a house on built on wet cement, only to then look at the leaning house and go, now what? Let's fix this? No, I don't want to fix a leaning house. I want to let the cement dry, and a lot of times, because, again, you know, hey, how about some of the is the nature of, let's just say, the retail mindset. We're attracted to shiny things. We're attracted to what's next. We're attracted to, you know, innovation, buzzwords and things like this. We're not, as a industry wired by retail people, we're not finishers as much as we're starters, right? We love the sale, not the follow up, right? We love the clothes, but not the nurturing and referrals. We love that. And so part of, I think, what happens when you have management who grows up through that temperamental mentality is then there they come to a 20 group or an event like this, and they go, what's new, what's new, what's new. Well, yet you have 57 things back at your dealership that are unfinished, and you want what's new to add one more unfinished thing. Sure that complicates the lies everybody. So I think part of it is just, you know, that's the human nature of the people who run this industry. So it's not surprising that we're always asking that question and wanting to know what's next, but I'm a best practices. I'm, you know, the first principles, foundational, like for success, take care of the one in front of you. Yeah, you know, instead of trying to figure out how to get 50 more leads, yeah, personally.

Glenn Lundy: 6:36

So how do we, as these things evolve? Right? We're keeping a pulse on what we can keep a pulse on, yeah, trying to do things that we can do. When it comes to the people that we have the opportunity to lead. I sometimes can feel a disconnect with members of my team, right? I am realizing that I am fortunate enough to be quite a few decades old at this point, right? Which I never thought I'd get here, but I'm fortunate enough to be here, but, and I'm realizing, like, I might prefer to communicate via email, but they prefer to communicate via Snapchat or something like that, right? Like, that's what they use. So I'm curious, as a leader, and you're going in and you're you're working with some of these younger people. How much of what we know to be true for us do we need to change to connect with them? Or is it we go the other way and help them really evolve to what we're trying to do? Yeah,

Jonathan Dawson: 7:38

sure. So I think the difference is when you use a word like evolve, right? So adapt versus evolve? To evolve is to become a whole new thing. To adapt is to adapt to the environment you're in, to survive and thrive within that environment. Sure, and I think it's probably in some ways smarter to talk about proper adaptation than it is evolution got it first of all, on scale, evolution is very intimidating. Try to figure out what's what does it even mean? It's such a big idea, but does it make sense to adapt the way I communicate? Yeah, of course that does. Does it make sense to adapt the way that I market? Yeah, of course it does. That's adaptation. That's, that's that's smart in the moment and for the future. Focusing on evolution, like I said, leads to making maybe immediate changes in anticipation of, you know, the 100 year model, sure that ultimately don't actually help you survive in the you kill yourself while trying to evolve, right? So I think part of it is just that when it comes to in the retail space and trying to help salespeople connect with their customers, I'm all about meet the customer where they are. In fact, I had a conversation in the lounge just before this where I said something that caused the manager I was talking to to go, what are you serious? Did you just say that to me? Because I said to them that which I said, you're telling me the way you want your salespeople to treat customers based on the way you're wired. And the example was actually referrals. And she was sharing with me that her business right now is not growing at the speed that they wanted to. And I said, Well, tell me about your referral strategy. And she's like, What do you mean? I said, Well, how many referrals do people get when they sell a car? Do they ask for referrals? Do they get referrals? And she's like, Well, I would feel uncomfortable if somebody like asked me to write down names and numbers, so I don't really want my people to do that. Sure. And I was like, pause for a second. What you're saying is I wouldn't want someone to do that to me, so therefore it should not be done. But that would be like a salesperson who maybe says I could never afford a $500 payment, so I would never present a $500 payment to anybody else, because that would be uncomfortable for me. Or if someone you know called me more than twice and followed up, I would think they're pushy. So I don't want my salespeople to ever call past two attempts, because that would be pushy. Well, obviously, in those contexts, that makes no sense, right? A salesman who won't call more than two times goes out of business, right? No doubt. So. So when I said to her, I said, you're operating from your perspective, which is normal, but that's not the best approach. The best approach is not treat people the way I would want to be treated. It's to treat them the way they would want to be treated. So when we're trying to help our people be more effective in the marketplace, if you prefer snap, I'll have to communicate by snap and figure out what that is for you, right? But I'm also not going to say, Well, I love texting, therefore everyone should text, or I think email video is so great, therefore everyone should send a video, email every time. Yeah, it's like, that's not how the world actually works. That's not how humans work. Well, it's

Glenn Lundy: 10:35

not, it's definitely not how the world should work, right? I do know that all the iPhone users out there are always like, I use an iPhone, therefore you have to use an iPhone, because those green bubbles, yeah, well, right. Something green bubbles, blue bubbles, something like that. Yeah, you are spot on. Jonathan, looking forward. What do you see the biggest challenge slash opportunity that we have in this industry right now to close this out, because I believe we've got about one minute

Jonathan Dawson: 11:05

left. Yeah, fair enough. So I would say this is not going to be a surprise to anybody at this event or listening to something like this, or certainly from me, but it is going to come down to developing the people that we have and the recruiting, hiring and processes that we bring in for onboarding to make sure that the people that we do have thrive. I'm on mission 22 that means every salesperson at your dealership should average 22 cars per person per month. If your store does not average 22 cars per person, something is fundamentally broken at your store. I'm convinced of that. I have been conviction. You and I share that conviction, yep. And yet, the average dealer is comfortable with 15 cars, 12 cars as a target, right? It's it doesn't make sense. No, to teach our people to be mediocre, to teach them to be average and to normalize that. It bothers me. So what I'd say is, if you're a dealer that wants to grow and maintain, then grow your people. Stop trying to hire to hit your number. Train to hit your number. Yeah. And ultimately, everyone wins when your people are productive daily.

Glenn Lundy: 12:10

And who all needs training in the store? Jonathan, just the sales. Only

Jonathan Dawson: 12:13

the ones, only the ones that talk to humans. Only

Glenn Lundy: 12:16

the ones who talk to humans. What about the ones that lead the humans that if they're talking to

Jonathan Dawson: 12:20

humans, right? If they talk into humans, right? I mean, the reality is, you're exactly right. Glenn, like, it's like, who should we train? I don't know. It's like the dentist said only, only brush the teeth you want to keep, right? You know? I mean, only train the humans who talk to humans.

Glenn Lundy: 12:35

Yeah, I think more than ever, it's so interesting that we've come so far as an industry, technology has come so far. We've made connections, we've done so many things. And really the biggest thing I'm hearing it over and over and over and over that we need is to develop ourselves as leaders and our people, right? Man, that's really the solution on how we stay ahead. That's

Jonathan Dawson: 12:59

my prayer for this industry. I'm on a mission to save the world one salesperson that time, and so I love an opportunity like this to share that vision. I love it. Thanks. Glenn, Jonathan,

Glenn Lundy: 13:07

thanks for being here with me, brother. I appreciate you. Always a pleasure.

Unknown: 13:12

Thank you for listening to this. Asotu concession by Effectv. If you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcast. We have a daily show called The automotive troublemaker, Monday through Friday here on podcast, also live streamed on YouTube and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto collabs. Auto collabs. And if you just want to go a little deeper into this community, you should sign up for our regular email. We put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to asotu com. We'll see you next time you.

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