I began my sales life at the tender age of 18 selling Suzuki motorcycles for my brother Ed in Albany, Ore. I was scared to death of older people, and the truth be told, I really sucked. My nickname from the other salespeople was “Last Place Lemco.”
The three other sales guys could’ve taken the second half of the month off, and I still wouldn’t have caught them. Everything changed for me because of one sale. His name was Jack Poindexter.
Ed had a weekend spiff that was quite enticing. If you sold a Honda 750 for full price plus $100 worth of accessories, you got a $100 bonus. To understand how much money that was, at that time my rent was $47.50 a month, so $100 was a lot of money. More than two month’s rent.
Then I got a customer that made it so easy for me to sell. He was as easy a deal as it gets.
During the sale I kept thinking about the money. “Wow! A hundred bucks, I’ll be a millionaire.”
But it dawned on me after I spent the money. I was broke, but Jack kept returning to the dealership and telling me awesome riding stories. Then it hit me. Selling should not be about what the money would do for me. It’s about what the motorcycle will do for the customer. The winner is the buyer.
I finally figured out that you are not trying to sell something to someone that they don’t want. They want the motorcycle, and that is why they are there. If they wanted it, I wanted them to have it. If they said that owning a new motorcycle would make them happier (because I asked that question), then I did all I could to make them happy. It’s not that hard.
Once I learned I wasn’t trying to hurt someone, and it wasn’t about money and that getting paid was the last thing that happened, my sales increased dramatically. I had figured out and also totally believed 100 percent that the winner is the buyer because it is true. I did all I could to make winners.
In my beginning days I was putting my commission first in my mind. But I learned that first you have to make the customer happy. When I quit thinking about the money and having cash register eyes while talking to a customer, my paycheck went way up.
My new nickname was First Place Lemco. Well, I was the only one who would say it. The other three salesmen were too embarrassed to man up that I had become way better at sales then they were. It was such an awesome feeling smoking the guys who once smoked me.
Steve Lemco is the youngest brother of the late Ed Lemco and has been doing sales training and hiring for motorcycle dealers since 1983. Steve has trained in every state in the U.S., as well as England, France, Australia and New Zealand. Steve incorporates motivational boards and games along with his training and hiring because he believes the best way to get the job done is to make it fun.