Training Jedi Knights: 7 steps of sales wisdom

1-15 Nate Stickney blogChewbacca was a heck of a nice guy, but let’s face it, he doesn’t belong on the sales floor. Or what about Jabba the Hutt? We’ve all had one of those guys on the team before!

Complacency and negativity can spread like a disease and sometimes it’s best to rebuild from scratch. It’s always difficult to develop a new group of salespeople. When it comes down to building a new team, we can always take a page from the old Jedi training manual.

For those that don’t know, Jedi Knights are epic heroes in the fictional tale of “Star Wars,” which is considered one of the greatest films ever made! A Jedi must successfully complete a decade or more of one-on-one instruction from a Master before earning the rank of Knight. He is taught basic skills by the Master and then chooses a specialty field. Finally, he is released to find his own destiny and train the next generation of Knights.

As salespeople, we can take a few tips from the Jedi. So take a moment — put your lightsaber down — and listen.

(Yoda voice)

  1. Build rapport and relationships quickly. Establish common ground and most importantly, listen to your customers.
  2. Serve as an apprentice. Hang around the best managers and performers and master their craft.
  3. Have a strong mind. Have control over your environment and develop mental toughness. Maintain a positive mental attitude.
  4. Practice and hone your skills. A “Sales Jedi Knight” is always improving his or her practices, skills and habits. Always track your progress and take action in order to accomplish your goals.
  5. A Jedi Salesperson is continually developing his or her skills. Handing out business cards does not make you a salesperson.
  6. Stay humble. A Sales Jedi Knight will become a top performer and not forget where he or she came from. Don’t get drawn into the “Dark Side” of negativity.
  7. Become a Master.  It is your responsibility to mentor someone else in the process of becoming a Jedi Knight on the sales floor.

Share Yoda’s 7 steps of wisdom with your managers today. It’s up to you to make them buy into this culture and start the process now. I’ve said before in previous blogs that it’s a different world today than what it was five years ago; you’ve got to adapt and put your best foot forward.  So grab your lightsaber, become a Jedi and close some deals!

Nate Stickney is an industry veteran and managing partner with the Sky Powersports Group based in Orlando, Florida. He’s well known within the industry as an innovative operator and expert team builder. Nate has a unique vision on how dealerships should be managed, motivated and maintained. He’s spent the last 16 years in American and metric dealerships working hands-on in all departments from sales, F&I, parts, service and marketing.

Follow him on twitter @NateStickney.

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