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The 10 Most Important Books Every Automotive Professional Must Read
What are the best books for a car salesperson to read? The following list will be the 10 most important books for anyone wanting to be considered a professional in the auto industry. Sure there are more out there and many that will help, but in this author's opinion, if one has not read these ten, one is costing themselves money.
It has been observed by Grant Cardone that the average American reads only one book a year and that the average CEO reads 60. Interesting statistic when you start comparing W2s. It has also been observed that most salespeople have never read one book on selling. What sense does that make?
For those in the auto industry as a hobby, winging it everyday and not furthering your education may be just fine for you, but for those who are looking to succeed and create a career and future for one's self, you have to read.
Warren Buffett has said, "I just sit in my office and read all day." Buffett estimates that he invests 80 percent of his working day reading and thinking. His net worth hovers around 63 billion. Coincidence? Probably not.
Back to you now, the soon to be automotive professional. Here's 10 books you have to read and apply to consider yourself a real pro in the industry. What you'll notice is that most of these books have nothing to do with actually selling a car. These books all revolve around what Grant Cardone calls, A-Cubed or A3. Attitude, Approach and Action.
Mindset - The New Psychology of Success
This is a book by Carol Dweck. She has a Ph.D in Psychology with decades worth of research on success and achievement. This book is vital to your growth. If you don't have the right mindset, you can't have real success. Success as you'll see is about growth and continual development. If you're of the mind that you either got it or you don't, the car business will be very hard for you and you may give up early. Many people try the car business and blow out in 90 days or less. Many decide, they're not cut out for it or say, "it's not for me." Why? More often than not is is a base result of having a fixed mindset. How you approach opportunity and see your ability to learn and grow will play a major role in your success and confidence. Mindset will help you recognize that success is a learnable skill and you have the ability to learn, grow and develop into something great.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen R Covey has written a real game changer of a book here. Do you want to be an effective salesperson? If so, then there are seven habits that you will need to develop. These are habits that must be developed over time and constantly renewed and reworked. This is a book with the power to change your entire life, not just make you a better car salesperson. This book all work you through how you chose to respond to life's circumstances and then show you effective means of reacting. It's an inside out approach that will leave you significantly proficient at handling your attitude, understanding your customers better and then negotiating better. The final step is about renewal and constant growth. The Seven Habits will build on and develop the growth mindset journey you started with Dr Dweck.
From personal experience, this book has taught me how to do 3 key things significantly better. One, how I respond to life is a choice I make. Two, to always look for a solution where there are only winners. Finally, I will never be truly finished. This is one of those books that you want to take with you into all of life.
Customers For Life
Now we start moving into something more automotive specific. This book by Carl Sewell should be required reading at every dealership in the country. It is a book that perfectly adapts traditional value with the modern consumer. For salespeople, this book will lay a solid foundation about service. It will also introduce you to the most important competitive advantage you have in the marketplace and that's you and the service you provide You, the sales professional and the service you provide is the most important competitive advantage in the marketplace. While there are many cars and trucks out there, there is only one you. Customers For Life will give you the tools you need to start building your business within a business and become a dealership of one.
The clients and customers you gain should be with you for life. There is an old adage in the car business that goes something like this: "You never want to sell one man one car, rather you want to sell him multiple cars over a lifetime and you want to sell his family and friends as well."
Inside Customers For Life, Mr Sewell not only shows you how to do that, but how to live it and how to get it done with value and ethics. This book is about getting it done right.
The Go Giver
At this point, you want to lighten the mood and your heart a little bit. Bob Burg's The Go Giver is educational fiction. This book tells a story you can apply to your own life and your own world. Mr Burg introduces you to Joe and Pinder and then takes you on an adventure where you not only see Joe's progression but have the unique opportunity to life it yourself. Like all the books listed here they are meant to be read and applied. In the case of The Go Giver you will learn the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success. Understand, apply and live these five and you're going to be unstoppable as a sales pro.
I was introduced to Bob Burg by a client of mine. I actually lost a deal I was working on to Bob's company. I wanted to see what this guy was all about. Turns out he has a lot to give and for the automotive sales professional you want to function from a place of total ethics. The last thing you want is to get stereotyped into the typical "car salesman" imagery. It doesn't have to be that way, nor do you have be that guy in order to be successful. Understand the art, science and value of giving and of service is a fundamental trait, skill and mindset that will be necessary to maximum income and success in the auto industry.
Sell Or Be Sold
Number Five on the list is Sell Or Be Sold by Grant Cardone. While this is number 5, I will also tell you that if you could only read one book out of all ten, you would want to read this one. The reason is it's number five is because if you're following the list in order, you'll see that I've primed you for this book to leave you as open and available to get the most possible from what is the most important book on selling you will ever read. Grant got his start in the auto industry and this book is the accumulation of everything Grant knows about how to succeed in sales. He cut his teeth selling cars just like you. Very early on, Grant realized that there has to be a better way to do it. This book is just that. A better way to do it. Written for the modern customer in who needs a professional salesperson now more than ever.
What would it be worth to know how to service a client all the way through to the sale? How much would you pay to know the only sales process that gives a 100% write up opportunity? How much value would there be in knowing the exact formula to build a successful career as an automotive professional and what the schedules of the heavy hitters look like? Grant tells us that, "Success is no different than any other skill. Duplicate the actions and mindsets of successful people and you will create success for yourself.” This is the book. This is the key to a much larger door and world.
The Closer's Survival Guide
What if I told you that selling and closing are two separate arts and sciences? At this point you have what you need to be a great salesperson. The next step is to become a great closer. In this book you will get direct instruction from Grant on what closing is (nay not be what you think) and what it is not. Grant will also help you understand what makes a great closer and also make sure you know what not to do. Grant will then load you up with 126 personally selected closes that you can immediately start using to help move people into "yes."
As an automotive professional, your job is to help your customer through a process that for many consumers, may not be easy and can even be scary at times. It's a big decision they're making. Since your mission is to help and be of service, at this point you must realize that you aren't truly helping them until they have and are using your product.
This book will show you how to transition from selling to closing, how to avoid closes that cost you money, what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. This is the book that will start you on your path to a whole new level of prosperity and excellence.
If You're Not First You're Last
Once you have selling and closing handled, it is time to move into solving the sales person's biggest problem. What do you think that is? It's obscurity. If people don't know you, then they certainly can not buy from you. Grant has said that the great salespeople of the world seek to be first, not because of ego, but because they know that it will lead to more sales.
Becoming the "go-to guy or gal" is vital to the expansion of your business and career. When a buyer is ready to go, they need to think of who first? That's right, you. Not anybody else. This is a book about prospecting, about getting known, about getting out in the marketplace and dominating the space.
If You're Not First You're Last will also become your playbook for increasing sales, profit and creating more opportunity for yourself regardless of what's going on the market. Good economy or bad economy you have the tools to not only survive, but thrive.
Caution: Use of this book effectively will result in co-workers claiming you got lucky and accusing you of being "spooned" by managers.
The 10X Rule
Success is not some far off pipe dream. Success is right here, it's right now. It's a skill set and a choice. Leave success to chance and you might as well quit now. Success starts with a thought. If you've read Sell Or Be Sold by now, you'll have already received a taste of The 10X Rule. If not, Grant will lay it down for you below, but know this. The 10X Rule is a mindset and a way of thinking and it is also the blueprint to create success and abundance in all areas of life. You can not rely solely on The Law Of Attraction you have to take action and at massive levels in order to actually achieve your goals. Why is there such a gap in the world between the really successful and the the general population? What would happen to your career, your business, your life, your marriage, and your spirituality if you had enough data to really understand the absolute danger of average? Do you believe that the same will always be less over time? If you had an extra $4,000 in 1955, you could pay cash for a Corvette, today, that's barely a down payment. So in your life if you're OK with average production, if you settle for just enough to get by, you will slowly be in decline.
Most people quit too soon simply because they don't know what it truly takes to succeed. The 10X Rule will show you step by step how to succeed in anything. It starts with the mind and then finishes with action. Simple? Yes. Easy, not even close. You got work to do. We all do. There's a greater purpose at stake here and it's on you to do your part. This book here will show you what success is and how to get it.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
So now that you know what it takes to reach your true potential, there is this little environment that has recently emerged in the world. It is the very environment you're using to read this. It's called the Internet. It's a world all unto itself and it's a social world. And just like the "real" world it has a social element to it.
As we learned in If You're Not First You're Last, obscurity is a salesperson's biggest problem. Social media is a space you want to be in. However, there's a right way and a wrong way. Gary Vaynerchuk will show you the right way to be effective in the noisy world of social media.
Remember, you want to be the guy, the go-to guy. Cars are a commodity. You can get one anywhere. But there's only one you. You are the value add, you are the reason someone's going to do a deal. Period. It's very rare now a days when it's just about the car and it's never just about the deal.
To really succeed in sales you have to create a brand for yourself. You have to stand out from the crowd and become the value add. Social Media is a tremendous tool for you to do that. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, they are all tools for the automotive professional.
And no, it is NOT the dealership's responsibility to drive traffic and have social media campaigns. It's a good idea, it's good for business, but you want people coming in and asking for you, because of you and the presence you've created in cyberspace.
Now, there's a right way to do this and there's a wrong way. Traffic will be driven either way. Either towards you or away. In boxing, you don't throw only haymakers, a real tactician in the ring has multiple punches that he or she can throw in a series of combinations to land a win. How you post on social and in what medium will have a major impact on how you are seen and known in the community and in cyberspace. When you combine what you learned in the last eight books with this social media component, it's game on.
What would it be worth to get straightened out by Michael Jordan's trainer? I mean like really straightened out? Look, if you want to be a great salesperson, you don't need to read this one, you can skip it and do great. Now, if you want to know what it takes to be in the top 1% of the industry, then read this book. Relentless will show you exactly what it takes to be the best. Not just great, but how to be the guy or gal that the greats look up to. This book is direct, it's in your face, it's straight shooting and no punches pulled. This book is on getting to the zone and staying in it. The is how the best get better.
Why not read this first then? You wouldn't get it 9 books ago. You'll get it now. Don't think too much on this. Read it last. It's the cherry on top. The 13 traits Tim Grover is going to drop on you will skyrocket you to the 1% if you're ready for them. If you're not ready for this then it's just words. I guess you could say that about all of these books and I would venture to tell you that that is exactly why they are in the order that they are in.
So there you have it! Ten Books every automotive professional must read. Professionals from all walks of life study their craft, they look for ways to constantly improve and they are always hungry for knowledge they can use to get and be better. If this sounds like you, you're on the right track and you're going to be very successful in the auto industry. However, if you're looking for a JOB, find something else to do because the industry doesn't need you. The industry needs more professionals and less hobbyists. More leaders and less followers. More lions and less badgers (inside joke! Car people are laughing right now). Who are you now and who will you become? Great salespeople are not born. They are made. And ultimately it is the salesperson's final responsibility to make sure they are making themselves and the best person they can be shows up to work everyday.