You Can, You Will: Cultivating Confidence - Be Less Typical in Car Sales

You Can, You Will: Cultivating Confidence


Confidence is an attitude that is carefully developed through very specific behaviors.

“I can’t, I’m scared, What if I fall?” When I coached gymnastics, I heard these lines all the time. The girls were ages seven to thirteen, in a novice level, working towards intermediate.  I remember responding, “You can, and you will!” I’d ask them, “How do you think you’ll feel when you make it?” “What part, specifically are you scared of and why?” From there we would discuss a plan and routine to move from “I can’t,” to “I did it!”.

One way we transitioned from questioning to confidence, was to visualize the perfect routine. This visualization came after we had practiced the tumbling or tricks, before we started working on putting the entire routine together. This is how we cultivated confidence. With confidence that we could make it through the routine without falling, we knew we would finish strong. Now I’m not saying there wasn’t falling and missteps during practice or even during competition sometimes, but we were prepared. We had built confidence, and we went for it!

It’s funny how these lessons have stuck with me throughout life. From my coaches instilling the lesson in me, to being given the opportunity to pass them onto the next generation. The mindset of searching and finding a solution, rather than basking in the problem or being paralyzed by fear. The lessons of preparation and practice are what ultimately cultivates confidence.

How are you going to cultivate confidence today?  

  1. Visualize where you want to go or what you want to be
  2. Chart out your plan to get there
  3. Execute your plan


Facing Adversity - Be Less Typical in Car Sales

Facing Adversity

Adversity is a main story line in many places all around us. In the movies the good guy usually stands up to the bad guy, the underdog beats the odds to come out on top.  These types of storylines make us feel good. They makes us feel like we can overcome any obstacle. They give us a sense that the good guy sometimes does win.  They make us think we can conquer whatever life throws at us. Think; the Blind Side (I still cry every time I watch it), Erin Brockovich, Captain Phillips, or Into the Wild.

Every day we are faced with adversity.  Perhaps we’re not faced with being homeless or captured by pirates, but we are faced with situations that force us to make a choice.  They force us to react.  We hear this time and time again when speaking with guests for the Be Less Typical Podcast.  Bill Stout talks about his reaction when he’s in a sales slump.  Aaron Dunn tells how he was faced with a decision to pivot his career, education and life. There are countless stories of adversity.  It’s how we react that gets remembered. Read more

What's Your Vision - Be Less Typical Car Sales

What’s your vision? And I’m not talking about 20/20 or seeing double

What’s your vision?


Has there been a time in your life where you’ve felt a little deja vu (and I’m not talking about the club!) or noticed a recurring theme in the messages you’re hearing or seeing?  This has been happening to me a lot lately.  It seems everywhere I turn, everyone (mentors, business owners, coaches, car sales pros, podcasters, authors) is talking about vision/mission and core values.   Read more

Be Less Typical in Car Sales - Pursuing Professionalism

Pursuing Professionalism

Prior to starting my career in car sales, I served tables at restaurants for many years while pursuing a college education. The hourly rate was $2.13/hr which 95% of the time was a small check around $20 because, as you likely know, you wait tables for tips, not an hourly rate. Optimizing that pay plan meant taking as many tables as possible and/or generating large ticket totals and hoping the person footing the bill knew what a good tip percentage was.

In automotive sales, the pay plan isn’t much different. No one gets hired at our dealership to wait around and collect the hourly base pay that is required by law. The beauty of getting paid on commission is the opportunity to “create your paycheck”, the idea that the more work you put in the more you will yield in return.

What sets car sales apart from taking orders at restaurant is that the percentage you’re paid isn’t dependent on the customer’s experience and their perception of you, but the dealership itself. There are many stories of typical car buying experiences that take advantage of this by neglecting the customer experience and cutting straight to the transaction. But what if I told you your income is directly related to your customer’s experience? Read more

Test Drive or Demo? Every Customer, Every Time, No Exceptions!

Test Drive or Demo? Every Customer, Every Time, No Exceptions!

Are you in sales? Do you “test drive” or demo your product with prospective clients? Every time? If not you may be missing out on happier clients & sales!

Last week on my way into work I was listening to one of my many podcasts downloaded directly to my phone. Sometimes, I listen quietly but others I find myself commenting as if I am on a talk show like ‘ESPN Around the Horn’ or ‘The View’, debating or agreeing with the content coming through my speakers. This morning was definitely a talk show morning!

This particular day I was on stage interacting with the Be Less Typical Podcast. Their episode, Audi Envy – Leasing a New Car from the Customer Perspective.

​Did he ask them any questions to know what is important to them?

​Why is he talking about kids when they don’t have any?

​OMG…he’s not going on the test drive? Why is he not going on the test drive?! Get in the ​car buddy!

This was just some of my dialogue happening in my car, hand motions and all! No wonder the GMC Sierra truck that passed by was looking at me funny. Read more

Zen of the Meet & Greet

The Zen of the Meet & Greet

When Patrick asked me if I would be interested in contributing to the Be Less Typical blog, I was honored! Although I’m not a veteran, my experiences within the dealership, with sales trainers and more experienced professionals has allowed me to grow.  My insight into a business we all know and love, will hopefully bring something new to the familiar.

One thing I love about Be Less Typical is the narrative aspect of the podcast. It is unique and informative all at once. My goal with this blog is to take that narrative quality and put it into something that is enjoyable to read when you want, but easy to digest when you’d like to get to the point. My goal is to cover the essentials of the car sales process from start to finish.

This week:

The Zen of the Meet & Greet


With my first sales meeting and initial interview behind me, I stared into the car lot dressed in my best and waited on my first “up”. With my shirt tucked in and a black tie around my neck, my first day of my automotive career consisted of many questions and a “yellow card” with what is commonly called throughout the industry the “road to the sale” printed on it. I had a plan…but what were the actions? Read more

Taking a Break – And Why It Can Be the Most Important Thing You Can Do

I am terrified that we are taking a break and that season number one of the Be Less Typical in car sales podcast has ended. I’m scared you, our loyal listener, will find a new show and forget about us. I am worried we will lose the momentum we’ve gained. All of those feelings are looming over me, like an eagle hunting for its prey.

I was even worried I would love having the time Be Less Typical takes, back in my life. I was worried I wouldn’t want to come back and work on it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with narrative podcasting; it takes us about 40 hours per week to produce one episode. Yes, that’s right, one episode. We have no help, it’s just Patrick and I, so there’s no back up to fill in when we are sick, out of town or just plain tired. If you want to hear a fantastic podcast episode about what it takes to make a narrative podcast check out Start Up’s latest episode here.

However, my fear that I would want to quit has not happened (all of that other stuff is still looming though, so please prove me wrong!). Our first week off has done quite the opposite and I have been pleasantly surprised.  Therefore I decided to outline my top 4 takeaways that I have learned about the benefits of taking a break!

Before I get into that, if it’s been awhile since you have taken a break or vacation, I urge you to put something on the calendar. Even if it’s a stay-cation where you stay at home and relax.  The benefits of a break have outweighed any worry I had going in. I want that for you too! (Side note – Patrick and I ventured to Miami for our mini-vacation. I had a work trip scheduled so Patrick joined me for the second half of the week through the weekend. If you haven’t been to Miami, I recommend putting it on your bucket list! The water off the coast of South Beach is aqua and beautiful.) Now onto my top take-aways! Read more

5 Mistakes to Avoid That Will Help You Get the Most Out of Your Next Conference

5 Mistakes to Avoid That Will Help You Get the Most Out of Your Next Conference

Conferences can seem overwhelming at first, however there are some things you can do to set yourself up for success and ensure you get the most out of your next conference experience.  These days there are so many opportunities to get out of your normal environment and network with others who are innovating, creating change & evolving an industry. The automotive industry and its conferences are no exception. A few top notch events that come to mind are; NADA, Digital Dealer, Driving Sales and the CBT Automotive Conference and Expo. Conferences have a lot to offer, but there are certain things to bypass and mistakes to avoid in order to ensure you get the most out of your experience. Read more

Are You Telling or Selling? 5 Sales Tips and Pitfalls to Avoid

Are You Telling or Selling? 5 Sales Tips and Pitfalls to Avoid

As I look back at the past 15 years of my life in the car business, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed the journey.  The car business has a lot to offer; career opportunity, professional growth, strong network, etc.  The list could go on and on.  However, I still see people struggling, while this opportunity awaits. Therefore I want to highlight 5 sales tips or common pitfalls to avoid, and more importantly, how to overcome them.

Read more

Car Sales - Made a Mistake - Be Less Typical

An Open Question: What To Do When You Make a Mistake

With so many variables in a car deal, it is getting increasingly more difficult to wow a customer in even the most routine of situations. What do you do when you make a mistake?

I was recently made aware of a transaction where we sold a client a car. We aggressively priced our vehicle, provided a very fair trade-in value and met the customer at an agreeable end price that both parties were happy with.

The sales consultant provided a print out for the client to take to his credit union for financing and prepared for delivery. When the client got to the credit union and they contacted the us for lien placement, we provided the wrong dollar amount and in turn had to call the client to inform him that we had made a small error. Even though the paperwork he was given when he was at the dealership was accurate and we had only made a small verbal error over the phone, the client was very upset. He argued that because of the error we were obliged to honor the mistake and therefore absorb the difference in price at our loss. Read more