Editor's Note: Here's an excerpt from a feature story in Rural Lifestyle Dealer's spring issue. Click here to read the complete feature.

Deliberate, incremental changes to how you approach selling and your daily routine can bring you more success. Time management and forward thinking can help.

Time management increases effectiveness.

Establish a daily schedule for customer retention and sales prospecting activities. For example, I block out an hour at 10:30 a.m. for customer retention. That’s when I’m calling customers to ask about a recent purchase or following up with an offer.

At 11:30 a.m. and again at 4 p.m., I switch to sales prospecting. People don’t usually do much right before lunch or before they head home, so it’s a good time to reach them. I might follow up with an upsell opportunity or I’m checking in with customers who haven’t purchased recently.

At 3 p.m., I’m actively working sales that are in progress to ensure my customers have what they need to make a decision. And, at 5 p.m., I’m setting the next day’s schedule.

If you live in the past, you miss out on the future.

We can learn from past experiences, but too often people miss out on new opportunities by staying focused on the past. Don’t be the person who says “We tried that” when someone brings up an idea. Maybe the timing or some other factor caused the idea to fail previously.

Encourage your team to come forward and volunteer ideas — and seek out team members for their suggestions. You may fail when you try new ideas, but you’re also testing out new ideas. The philosophy of failing often and failing forward can re-energize your dealership.


View Ryan Dohrn's presentation in the Dealer Success Academy, "6 Lessons from the Field."