Archive for the ‘peak performance’ Category

The Conundrum of Johnny Manziel and Time Tebow

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Whether you are a football fan or not, unless you have been living in a cave you have probably heard a lot about Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow.  What Tebow and Manziel have in common is that both are former Heisman Trophy winning college quarterbacks.  What they both also have in common is that they are both very much hated and reviled by so many.

From the outside looking in, they are polar opposites in many ways. Tebow is publicly very religious and Manziel is not. Tebow is outwardly extremely humble and Manziel is viewed as being extremely cocky and even arrogant. Tebow apparently lives a very straight arrow life and Manziel has had his share of documented days of partying. Tebow never reacts to his detractors and Manziel seems to give the proverbial middle finger to his. Tebow quotes scripture and Manziel plays rap. Tebow appears humble while Manziel seems to flaunt his ability with a little in your face style.

Manziel and Tebow outwardly opposite in every way but yet both share in common massive doses of venom by the media, coaches, some players and large amounts of the general public. Tebow the humble, virtuous Christian is hated and Manziel the cocky, partying one man show is hated as well. Actually, I am not sure which one seems to be condemned and hated the most. Seems to be a conundrum doesn’t it.

In my opinion, the answer in this does not lie in the characteristics of either Manziel or Tebow or what they do or don’t do. The answer to this conundrum lies with people who are constantly judging others. Often these people judge them but inwardly are wishing they could be more like them.  They are not really hating on Manziel or Tebow. Instead, they are expressing their hatred of themselves and their own perceived shortcomings expressed outwardly towards Manziel and Tebow. Haters hate because that is what they do.

Don’t be a hater and stop judging others. Look at yourself and judge yourself. Work on yourself and let others be. Success and happiness is always an inside out job.

Four Ways to Improve Your Meet and Greet Immediately

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Too often salespeople are being taught to have a “power greeting”. Salespeople have been traditionally taught to walk directly up to people, stick out their hand, aggressively give a firm handshake, exchange names and welcome them to your dealership. Sounds good, however let’s review potential pitfalls to traditional meet and greet approaches and how you may improve them.

People in out society have 3 general comfort zones: home, work, and vehicle. Most of us spend about 90+% of our time in these comfort zones. A dealership has never been considered a comfortable place to visit. When salespeople greet customers too strongly and then invade their personal space by pushing their hand out towards them, they intensify the uncomfortable feelings that usually occur. The old phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” is true. Therefore, we have to break down any existing barriers and make clients feel as comfortable as soon as possible.

Tip #1 – Recognize Proxemics (The relationship of physical distance among people and the resulting patterns of interaction and behaviors.)

When a salesperson reaches out to shake a customers hand when they first arrive, we are encroaching on their personal zone of space (about arms length). We are also increasing the customer feelings of apprehension and anxiety. Therefore, as a defense mechanism, the customer protects themselves by replying, “I’m just looking and shopping right now. But, I will come get you if I need you”. To counteract this, try greeting the customer a little quicker with your words, eyes, phrases and body language. Stop your physical approach about 3 to 5 feet away (social zone).

Tip #2 – Use the Pre-Framing Approach to your greeting.

If you know that 95+% of customers usually reply, “I’m just looking and shopping”, use their usual response in your greeting. Example – “Hi folks, are you out beginning to look and shop around a little bit?” This meet and greet pre-frames the usual negative response in a positive fashion. It now makes it hard for them to say, “No, we are just looking and shopping”. Also, you have given the customer the impression it is okay to look and shop. This makes the customer feel at ease and less pressured.

Tip #3 – Wait to exchange names and handshakes if possible

Most of the time, when a salesperson exchanges names and handshakes, neither the salesperson or the customer remembers each others names two seconds later, let alone an hour later. Because of the high level of apprehension and the human tendency to size each other up, neither the salesperson nor customer is focusing on the names as we exchange them. Therefore, we can’t remember what we don’t retain. If you observe handshakes during most meet and greet situations, when the hands fall to the floor, so do the names. By waiting for the apprehension to recede and for a little rapport to occur while profiling and conversing, the chances of both the salesperson and the customer of now remembering each other’s name increases dramatically. Try using the following acronym – CAR – Concentrate, Attend To, Respond. Concentrate as you greet people, Attend to their name when you exchange them and Reply numerous times using their name. Remember, contrary to popular belief, most people don’t feel comfortable shaking your hand in the beginning of the meet and greet.

Tip #4 – Anchor yourself positively before approaching a customer.

Your success as a salesperson depends upon your ability to stay in a positive selling attitude and convey that to each customer. Many of the customers and situations we face are not positive in nature and don’t result in a sale. Therefore, how you reprogram your brain immediately after a negative or lost sale is crucial. Before you approach a customer, try having a predetermined positive mental anchor to see in your minds eye. In your mind, picture a customer who has bought a vehicle recently that was delights. See them waving to you as they drove off in their new vehicle. As funny as that sounds, your actions and results in life are tied to your thoughts.

We must create as many RPE’s – Recent Positive Experiences as possible. Positive mental pictures can help you put a little slide in glide and a little pep in your step as you greet the customer. Positive, strong emotions, enthusiasm and humor are the keys to having your message heard. Positive anchors can assist you in better communication with your customer through better voice tone, voice inflection and body language. Remember, most sales are won or lost in the first five minutes! Continually look to improve your meet and greet to improve your results. Happy Selling!

Mr. Dealer: How to Sell More Vehicles for More Money Right Now

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Any dealership can sell more vehicles for more money right now. It’s a fact, not an opinion. The only thing keeping you from doing so is you. It’s your dealership and it’s your choice. You choose to win and you choose to lose, but make no mistake about it; it’s always up to you.

Step 1: Decide — The root of the word “decide” means “to cut off.” You must cut off any possibility of anything else. You must decide that you can and will sell more for more money. The first step of getting anything is deciding to have and experience it.

Step 2: Stop Making Excuses — Part of deciding what you want is to decide what you don’t want and stop making excuses as to why you must stay in that condition. It’s a “condition,” and conditions are not permanent unless you allow them to be. You create your own prison, and are incarcerated by your excuses of why you cannot sell and make more.

Step 3: Focus On the Right Things — When you decide what you want and stop making excuses, you must then clearly focus, speak, feel and act on only that. Eliminate anything that allows any energy towards what you do not want. Stop whining, stop complaining and stop being a victim. You are not a victim. You just happen to be at the scene of each wreck you are involved in. You can only get a better reality by focusing only on where you want to be.

Step 4: Get Clear With Your Expectations For Yourself and Others — Get extremely clear and concise about what you want for you. No matter what you have been conditioned to think your whole life, it is OK to be very clear about what you want. You must always be clear about what you want from others and what your overall goals are. If you are not crystal clear, you are playing what I have heard referred to as “blind archery.” Next, clearly communicate your expectations to your team every day. If you communicate this message every “once in a while,” you will experience success every “once in a while.”

Step 5: Get Clear About Tolerations — Your team must know what is not expected or tolerable. Set your tolerations, and be firm in your tolerations. You are getting exactly what you have tolerated. This is true of yourself and others. If you wanted to lose weight but you ate sweets all day and never exercised, would you tolerate that as a weight loss program? So, why do you tolerate lazy and bad behavior from your team? Hold yourself and others accountable.

Step 6: Stop Believing You Are Always the Smartest Person In the Room — If you are always the smartest person in the room, you aren’t in the right rooms. Seek out, communicate with, listen to and get advice from brilliant people. To be your best, you must get around people who are better. Put your ego in a box and start embracing that you will always have a “teachable spirit.”

Step 7: Understand That Being a Great Entrepreneur Does Not Make You A Great Business Person — It is common that dealers who have started and created their businesses with great entrepreneurial skills and spirit can be less-than-desirable business leaders. The skill sets are very different. What got you to where you are is rarely what will get you where you want to be. Get brutally honest about your talents and skills.

Step 8: Start Thinking Long Term — Dealerships are often run by impatient people. Start thinking long term in all your actions. Dealers often fall into the “this month” thinking habit. Short-term thinking will keep you chained to up-and-down results and acting in the mode of emergency and need. You never get what you want by focusing forever on what you need.

Step 9: Stop Blaming Everyone Else For Your Mistakes — If you turn over managers like you change underwear, then you need to realize it’s all about you. Either you are horrible at recruiting and should either educate yourself or let someone else do it, or you must realize that you really don’t like your own shortcomings and you are taking it out on someone else.

Step 10: Accept That Most Likely You Do Not Truly Understand Marketing, and Your Ad Agency Probably Does Not Either — Being a dealer and having years of experience advertising does not make you a marketing expert. Nor does being a media production house and buying media time make your advertising agency marketing experts. If you have not engrossed yourself into massively learning advertising and marketing, you cannot be knowledgeable about what is the lifeblood of your business. Even if you have the best advertising company in the world, you need to start a massive self-education program about marketing.

Step 11: Start Educating Your People Properly and Often — If you have the right team members, they not only want education, they deserve it. Education creates a culture of success, happiness and winning. Get rid of anyone who does not want to get better through education.

Step 12: Process, Process, Process — Create a process for everything. Continually train and reinforce your processes. You will encourage peak performance with strong processes.

Step 13: It Boils Down To Culture, Environment and Leadership in the 4 P’s — You are the leader. You set the culture, create the environment and you are in charge of the 4P’s: People, Process, Product and Positioning. What are doing to get better at each one of these every day?

If you would like specifics on how a dealership increased sales by 20 percent and gross profit by more than $1,300 a vehicle in one month, e-mail me with “Case Study” in the subject line.

Playing To Win

Friday, June 21st, 2013

The San Antonio Spurs played not to win and wound up losing. The Spurs gave the power and control of the game to the Miami Heat and Miami took the power and control of their destiny and won. The Spurs will forever regret the position they took. Business lessons learned: Play to win instead of not to lose. Never give away your power or control of your destiny to the competition.

Automotive Sales – The Road to a Sale is Broken Revisited

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Many years ago, I wrote an article titled “The Road To A Sale Is Broken.” Well, it’s not only still broken, it’s fractured beyond recognition.

Attention dealers: Take the time this week to review and rethink from scratch every step in your routing procedures. Review these steps from beginning to end, and review all team members involved both on the front line and behind the scenes. Review all the technologies you have and determine what is the most effective use and integration of each one.

Do not allow status quo thinking of “We have always done it this way.” Every week in dealerships, I witness customers walking in who are several steps deep into the sales process but are then shoved back into step one. The customers get frustrated and the process becomes disjointed.

For what seems like forever, we have taught a sales process that emphasizes moving a customer through three stages:

Character Emotion Logic

The standard process emphasizes getting rapport and allowing the customer to satisfy their assessment of your character, then giving a presentation that creates strong emotion in the customer and then the customer moves into the final stage of logically deciding how to purchase the vehicle. All of these stages are still necessary; the order, however, has been inverted.

Today, an average customer has spent significant time in education and research. Obviously, by the time the customer contacts a dealership they are heavily into the “logic” stage of buying. Because of the significant time spent in advance of buying, the average customer now walks into one dealer and buys. In the past, a customer was visiting closer to five dealerships before they purchased.

Because a customer is still in a “logic” stage upon entering the dealership, what can you do to take them even deeper into that funnel before and after they arrive at the dealership? You will, in essence, be the anti-salesperson. You will be giving information and sharing logic-based criteria that will allow the customer to automatically judge your character as the person and place to do business. Now, you have allowed the customer to move effortlessly through the process in a way that they want, and not a cookie-cutter system based upon outdated models of selling. Everything should be based upon TLC: Think Like a Customer.

What technologies do you utilize in your dealership that would assist you as you use it with the customer? If you use trade-in technology, why not use it in conjunction with the customer? If you utilize CRMs, why not involve the customer in the explanation of how this will affect them? If you use other communication technologies, get customers involved to tailor everything to them.

Next, think of who at your dealership will perform which duties. The next generation of selling will provide more and more specialization, where there are less “superstar, do it all” salespeople. Think of building your staff and process in a way that does not violate human nature. Most people are good at a couple of things, but few are good at all things. Design your process around the idea of your staff doing a few tasks really well, and then holding them accountable to those things.

Your Internet sales staff will function based upon strict criteria. Your floor salespeople may become product specialists designed at giving customers an incredible “wow” factor from the meet and greet through logic and then presentation/demonstration. Your managers could become sales specialists/floor managers/facilitators who assist the product specialists from the beginning to end of the process. Think of how to move the managers up the sales channel, rather than at the end. You should try to eliminate the uncomfortable “Hello T.O.” that often occurs at the end of the sales process when the deal is either lost or near dead.

It’s way past time to bury the traditional sales process based upon what you want and not what the customer wants. It’s way past time to base your sales process upon what a customer thinks and needs before they go into a dealership. Sometimes you just have to let things go before you can allow yourself to move forward.

Don’t forget to follow me on Google

Rewrite Your Story

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A friend of mine has a saying: “The only thing keeping you from your goals is the bullcrap story you keep telling yourself.” As hard as those words are, I find them to be very true. My question for you is, what is the bullcrap story you are telling yourself about you and your business? It’s time to rewrite your story.

Everyone has built-in limitations in their brain. Everyone is conditioned through the teachings and messages we receive from parents, teachers, preachers, family, co-workers, bosses, the news and society in general. Your brain is bombarded daily with messages, and the majority of those messages are wrapped in negativity or limitations.

Not every message you see or hear is negative or bad, or the people delivering them are not always badly intentioned, but nonetheless they can wire your brain in a way that will limit your success, happiness and your overall life.

You must first be aware of this and accept this. It’s a fact, and denying it only will make you a victim with a victim mentality. You are responsible — period and end of story. It is solely up to you. Even if you believe there are many factors that influence your success outside of your control, if you allow that thought, you will allow a million of those thoughts and you will create an internal story built upon excuses, limitations and lack.

Take a moment and think about your internal story. Think about what you tell yourself as a reason as to why you are not where you want to be, or why you cannot even try. Think about every excuse or limitation you have allowed in, or even heaped upon yourself. Be brutally honest and write them down. Think back to your childhood and look for patterns of where you started to make these recurring excuses and how your story started and then evolved.

Next, ask yourself this simple question: “What if this is not true?” Begin to write down all the reasons why this is not true. Write down what the opposite of the story, excuse or limitation would be. Write down your new story as if those limitations and excuses were magically gone. Write your story as you want it to be and not what others believe it to be. Just let your “bullcrap” story go.

There are many reasons why you accept and then allow these stories to stay. You might be afraid of failure, so you have an excuse not to try or give it your all. You might be afraid of success, because you will now have to admit that you are capable and can give the necessary effort. You are afraid to succeed because, deep down, you don’t feel worthy. Deep down you just don’t think you are smart enough, talented enough or special enough. It’s okay to give yourself permission to succeed. It’s okay to allow yourself to succeed.

Stop fighting your success. You are capable of doing, having and being so much more, but you have to stop playing your current story over and over and living your day based upon that bullcrap story. Stop it. You can easily fool others, but deep down you are really not fooling yourself. You are simply allowing the story to be true.

For a free Special Report, e-mail me at info@tewart.com with the word “Story” in the subject line.

Don’t forget to follow me on Google

Bridging the Sales Gap in the Internet Process

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

It seems like every week there is a new digital or Internet conference. Information is flowing and being digested at a pace never seen before in history. To go along with all the new information, there seems to be matching software, programs and gadgets that are supposed to streamline, make sense of and monetize all the information and change. Unfortunately, none of those programs or gadgets is the real answer to making money in today’s marketplace.

Every one of those new software programs and gadgets may be fantastic in their own right, but it’s how people use them in an effective process that makes the difference. More money has been wasted in the auto business on whizbang shiny new bullets than could ever be imagined. Magic bullet fixes leave big fat holes. You can pour big buckets of money into those holes and never sell one more car.

Don’t blame the gadgets or the vendors who sold them to you when they do not work. Go back to the basics of business, which are always the 4 P’s: People, Process, Product (inventory) and Positioning (advertising and marketing). Without the right mix of all of those 4 P’s, the best magic bullets will never work. The reason is that there is no such thing as a magic bullet.

When you are getting excited about magic bullets, ask yourself if you have the people and processes to make them work. I remember the professor in the first computer programming class I had taken saying always think manually first. Here was a professor with a doctorate from one of the most advanced universities in the world telling his students that a computer program does not necessarily improve or make better a strong manual system. Huh?

His teaching points were, first of all, to not forget that it is always “garbage in and garbage out.” Secondly, always think through the program manually first and see what you are trying to accomplish. Hands down, those simple points were some of the best learning moments from my college days.

Always think through the manual application of any new program first and how the people applying the program will do so. Answer the “who, what, when, where and why” questions. In other words, do not get so emotional about new gadgets that you lose track of what you are trying to accomplish.

In the car business, there is currently a huge disconnect between the new gadgets and the overall sales process. Always create visual flow charts that show all processes, connections and details from A to Z. New school without old school equals stupid. Don’t waste your money and buy shiny new objects that promise the moon without going over the complete integration of the tool.

The traditional road to the sale is forever changed. It’s way past time for every dealer to revisit and rework that road to the sale so that it is tailored for and fits his or her dealership. Do you have a routing process for everything and everyone in your dealership? Do you have black and white procedures? Black and white procedures are just that; they are black or white, but they are never grey. You do not ever deviate from these policies, procedures and functions. No exceptions and no excuses.

There are a ton of dealerships that have become a hodgepodge of programs and shiny objects, combined with no written or communicated procedures or expectations for those who are to use them, oversee them and why. The results always are always the same: The dealership experiences expense creep while the staff becomes disillusioned and eventually works around all the shiny objects and toys. All the while, the dealer wonders what happened to the new magic bullet and his sure-fire increase in sales and profits.

To receive my free special report “Bridging the Sales Gap”, e-mail me at info@tewart.com with Bridging the Gap in the subject line.
Google

Change More Than The Calendar

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

The last quarter of the year rolls around and you begin to hear some common refrains:

· “We are waiting until the first of the year”

· “Starting in January I am going to…”

· “We have to wait until spring when business picks up”

· “The first of the year I am really going to get into it.”

Here’s the reality for most people who make these statements: The calendar is the only thing that changes.

If you are waiting for the calendar to change your life or your business, you are kidding yourself. My own observation is that these false start dates are nothing more than excuses and actual obstacles to not face reality and take action. No matter your intentions, I think everyone has been guilty of false statements at some time.

Words are cheap. A U.S. General once said, “Every year I pay less attention to what people say and more to what they do.” Action is always where the rubber meets the road. However, actions are preceded by proper thoughts and beliefs. Just because a person says they are going to do something does not mean that their brain buys into the idea.

When you make a statement, you are consciously choosing to do so. The problem begins when your subconscious does not match up to the conscious choice. If your subconscious does not have any evidence to support your statements, the subconscious immediately begins to sabotage your thoughts. This is precisely why traditional goal setting and New Years Eve resolutions fail.

I have heard many times that in setting goals they must be believable to work. You can hear the “believable goals” mantra and interpret this to mean you need to pick a safe goal. Safe goals rarely inspire you to action. Safe goals are easy to say but they don’t fill enough emotional needs. Behind all realized goals are strong emotions that were on fire to be realized.

First of all, you have to set inspiring goals that create emotions inside you. Otherwise all you are doing is writing out a To-Do list. When was the last time you were “geeked” by your To-Do list? Stop listening to everyone’s “10 steps” and “10 rules” to everything and the “Dummy’s Guide to Goal Setting” and start living by your rules. It’s your life, your goals, your emotions and your rewards if you reach your goals. You make the rules. Go for as large a goal as you desire.

Secondly, start giving your subconscious all the evidence it needs to start believing. You may write your goal 100 times a day. You may write your goal and put on your bathroom mirror and say the goal aloud 10 times every morning. You may find 10 people who have reached your goal and reach out to interview them on what they did. You may close your eyes and visualize yourself at the moment you reach the goal and see it in vivid colors, feel the feeling as strongly as you can feel.

No matter what goal you choose, you have to take some kind action. Take a step, no matter how small, and then set in stone your next action and action date. The next action should be soon. The next hour or the next day would be best. Don’t make the next action step too long after the first, or leave it to chance that you will take your next step.

The dirty little secret to reaching any and every goal is that most goals are made up of small, boring, mundane steps that lead to your success. We live in an instant gratification society – “8-Minute Abs,” “Lose 10 Pounds in One Week,” “Lose Six Inches in One Week,” and so on. Those ads are all brilliant marketing strategies, because they promise instant results. The headline of “Lots of sweaty exercise and eating tons of vegetables will help you lose weight this year” would not get a lot of response. The general public would say they hate hype but the truth is most people love hype. People love HOPE – the easier the better.

Don’t wait for a calendar to change your life or your business. Usually the only thing that changes is the calendar.

Getting To The Next Level: Part 2

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Last month, we took a look at programming your subconscious to be the best supercomputer you’ll ever need to achieve success. This month, let’s take a look at some other ways to survive and thrive in your situation, and find the joy in your career and life.

First, you must quantify to qualify. You have to get a handle on what you are currently doing, and be honest. I have consulted with thousands of businesses over the years. I have found few, who are currently unsuccessful, willing at first to be honest about the reasons for their lack of success. There are almost always tons of excuses and a shocking lack of self-awareness.

Have you ever watched the reality TV shows about unsuccessful restaurants, bars, hotels, etc? You will notice it’s always the same elements in their lack of success. It also does not take a genius to discover it and fix it, but it does take self-awareness and honesty.

Self-awareness and personal responsibility are cornerstones in creating success or moving to another level. Programming your autopilot with successful habits is essential to success. Be ruthless with your time, because you cannot get it back.

Another cornerstone of success and goal attainment is to utilize what I call the “Polarization Effect.” This has taken me decades to truly understand and something I must be mindful of every day to experience ultimate success. Ultimate success is not only measured by the goal attainment, but in also truly enjoying and breathing in all that you have while you go for what you want.

Let me be more specific. Pain can be a tremendous motivator. Pain in your current position can move you towards getting what you want. You may have great pain about your income, financial position, weight, relationships, etc. This pain leads you to a defining moment. To quote the line from the movie Network, “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore.”

Some people may use this pain to motivate them for the rest of their lives. However, true joy and success comes from not only using this motivation to drive you, but also taking a deep breath every day as you drive yourself and realizing the joy you are receiving from the doing.

Attainment of goals without the enjoyment of doing is hollow. In this case, nothing can be good enough and no goal, no matter how big, can fulfill you. Begin to truly enjoy the moments of what you do. Strive to find absolute amazement and wonder in excellence.

Recently, I went to a concert featuring The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Little Feat and Delbert McClinton. I have been listening to their music and watching these performers for decades. I watched in awe at the magnitude of their skill. These performers are better now than ever. Their passion was evident. I have also sat and watched a man shine shoes for 20 minutes and found myself amazed at his skill, communication and passion.

To be an expert and to be truly amazing at anything takes passion and dedication. Every day, look for examples of that passion and dedication in others and in you. Although it takes honesty about what you are doing right, it takes grace to give you and others credit for what you are doing right. Recognize and enjoy the performances.

There is a scene in the movie The Hustler with Paul Newman where Newman’s character, Fast Eddie Felson, is grousing about being a loser in life, but also talking about how he feels when he has a pool cue in his hands and his feeling of something truly amazing. His girlfriend in the movie, Piper Laurie, passionately tells him that most people go through life and never feel that kind of passion or excellence, and that he is anything but a loser.

Just remember, on the days that are not easy and the days you feel down on yourself, you are excellent and that you experience passion like few ever experience.

Go to work on seeing, doing and feeling that excellence as much as you possibly can. When you utilize the pain to motivate and the passion and feelings of excellence to saturate, then you are using my “Polarization Effect” to the fullest. You are using polar opposites in a way to maximize your skills, time, energies and enjoyment. The good news is that it does not take more effort to get to the next level. It is just a different type of effort and awareness.

Billy Mays vs. Michael Jackson

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Michael Jackson and Billy Mays passed away in the same week. The passing of Billy Mays made the news but Michael Jackson dominated it. The underlying message sent from the media is that entertaining is good and somehow noble, but selling and marketing is bad. My question for you is the following: Do you allow this flawed thinking to keep you from being successful in your sales and marketing?

The news coverage of Michael Jackson life was largely reverential and fit for king, while the coverage of Billy May’s life always seemed to mention the loud pitchman with a carnival barker quality. Our society tends to revere athletes and entertainers, but scorns marketers and salespeople. This subliminal message bombards the brains of business people who being to believe it.

Too often, business owners and leaders let their egos and perceptions of image get in the way of successful marketing and sales. Movies, TV and news often shape our thoughts. The problem with allowing your actions to be guided by these mediums is they often create false assumptions.

The first sin of marketing is to be boring. In today’s marketplace it is harder to get noticed than ever before. You must stand out. In different fields and with different styles, both Michael Jackson and Billy Mays stood out. Both Michael Jackson and Billy Mays were shrewd marketers and salespeople. Both were personality driven, and neither Michael Jackson nor Billy Mays were boring.

Many businesses spend tons of money on boring marketing. Often the excuse given is “You have to have your name out there” or “I am building a brand.” Unless you are Pepsi or Anheiser Busch, you don’t have enough money to build a brand. Spending money to keep your name out there is an excuse to not have a plan.

People make fun of personality-driven or wacky themed advertising, but if you measure the results of these businesses, they are usually the best performers in their area. Personality-themed marketing and advertising utilizes the personality to drive home the message and the call to action. Those businesses don’t let false ego and image to get in the way of effective marketing.

You should care less about what you think customers will think and more about what they will actually do. The surest way to create a brand image is by selling tons of products through personality-driven marketing and sales that creates a quasicelebrity out of you, your family, your staff, your pets, your characters and anything else you can use. The personality has a strong supporting role in the marketing and selling without becoming the focal point. In other words, don’t be wacky just to be wacky.

I believe most business owners are somewhat ashamed of marketing and selling. The marketing of these businesses tries to show they are anything but marketers and sellers. The problem is that this tactic doesn’t work. General Motors Saturn brand didn’t approve of using the word “sale” as if it were somehow dirty. Maybe that’s why Saturn didn’t sell much.

Michael Jackson and Billy Mays were both smart marketers. Michael Jackson was loved for it and Billy Mays was laughed at. My own theory is that Billy Mays didn’t care. His bank cashed his checks the same as Michael Jackson’s. Billy Mays rose from boardwalk vendor to being a rich and famous pitchman. Billy Mays laughed all the way to the bank using personality-driven marketing.

To receive a free special report, “The Ten Deadly Sins of Marketing and Sales” e-mail me at info@tewart.com.