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Jeffrey Lupient's Blog

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The U.S. car industry ended 2017 with a dip in sales—about 17.1 million units—but things are looking up this year. The key here is for automakers to make good on their plans of giving more generous incentives for boosting sales. If these push through, we could see a better figure for cars sold by the end of 2018.

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According to industry experts, the recent lower sales are due to more consumers keeping their cars. Increased reliability is making car users hold on to their vehicles for longer. Also, an estimated three million leased vehicles are not returning and adding to the supply.

But two other trends are pushing the industry onward: electric cars and ride-sharing. The challenge for electric vehicles is to entice purchases, as while people are intrigued, they are still not ready to embrace the technology. The main disadvantages for now are shorter duration on the road, the high price, and few charging stations open to the public. But manufacturers are keen on having these environment-friendly cars with zero emissions on the streets.

More and more Americans are choosing the convenience of ride-sharing, utilizing riding apps like Uber and Lyft to get around. Millennials are tentative about tying up their money with car payments. But ride-sharing is not disruptive enough to make a big dent in industry sales; consumers should understand that these rides are but the replacements of cabs.

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Jeffrey Lupient is the president and CEO of the Lupient Automotive Group. He has been involved in his family’s chain of car dealerships since he was young. For more insights on the automobile industry, visit this blog.

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Gone are the days when consumers completely rely on what salespeople have to tell them regarding products and services. This is now the era of educated buyers; they can do research on their own. By the time they meet a salesperson, they would already have a clear grasp of what they are looking for.

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Because of this, salespeople equipped with just a product or service pitch might find it difficult, or even fail, to close a sale with potential buyers.

An effective strategy that has helped salespeople achieve success amidst such an environment is insight selling. It is done by collecting relevant market research or data about the prospective buyer, their specific needs or requirements, and the most appropriate solution for their problems.

Insight selling follows various methods. But the most effective ones aim to educate the buyers with new ideas and perspectives that they could not know about on their own, collaborate with buyers, and persuade them that the products and services offered would achieve results.

To do so, salespeople should have learned the ins and outs of their products and services, found out everything they can about their prospect, and mastered the market they are in, including the competition.

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Jeffrey Lupient is the CEO and president of Lupient Automotive Group in Minnesota. His competencies include automotive dealership, business development, and sales. Get more information about him and his work by visiting this LinkedIn page.

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Some people think sales is just talking through anything and getting people to believe. This is partly true, but there’s more to sales than just clinching a deal.

A solid sales career rests a lot on finding a mentor who will guide one through the disciplines of the trade and the importance of focusing on targets. And a lot hinges on a system or process the mentor introduces. The mentor should be firm, maybe even strict, so targets and deadlines are kept. The mentor monitors performance and adherence to set guidelines. Through all of this, the mentor should impart the wisdom of building relationships through the foundation of good team rapport.

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But what is a good mentor? A good mentor guides people according to their strengths while keeping the targets and the deadlines urgent and realistic. Is a mentor a friend? Yes, they can be, after work.

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Formalized mentoring need not be restricted to the realm of leadership development or entrepreneurship. Those working in sales need mentors, too, who can offer valuable knowledge, advice, and moral support especially to the young and inexperienced. More importantly, mentors can underscore that while sales is about hitting the target, it is also about expanding networks and building relationships.

Jeffrey Lupient excels in business development, car dealership, and sales, competencies recognized by his colleagues in the automotive industry. Jeffrey is currently the President and CEO of the MN-based Lupient Automotive Group. For more discussions on sales and management, subscribe to this blog.

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A sales meeting is not exactly what the team looks forward to. It usually doesn’t make a rep’s heart skip a beat. More often than not, people have thought of it as an unnecessary company requirement that uses up everyone’s precious time. But this is probably because of poor management and lack of any valuable insights that could actually help sales representatives with their daily challenges.

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A car sales meeting needs a particular structure and flow. A manager should make sure that there is clearly a reason for holding one. Even if upper management simply makes it compulsory, the agenda should still be well thought out. Investing time and energy on something worthwhile can contribute to the growth of the entire team, so the leader should prepare something that could actually have an impact on company performance.

One thing that needs to be emphasized is the fact that a sales meeting should primarily address performance issues and how to motivate the team to do better. Focus on keeping them fueled by highlighting possible remedies or approaches to problems rather than badgering the team about low numbers. Data and statistics should be sent through email the day before. The team must know about the numbers, but they shouldn’t take so much of the time during the actual meeting.

Meetings have to be interactive as well. Encouraging them to speak, ask questions, and participate in skills development and other activities will make the meeting more fruitful and inclusive. Presentations have to be more creative and must be a combination of various media. Regularly covering practical skills that could improve their interaction with customers can help them in the long run.

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Jeffrey Lupient is the CEO and President of Lupient Automotive Group in Minneapolis, MN. For more sales and management tips, follow this Facebook page.

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The automotive retail sales industry is an exciting and challenging one. While many professionals within the market encourage everyone and anyone to try their hand in this endeavor, it can be argued that only those with a particular personality will thrive. That being said, even those who may be predisposed to the field should recognize a few basic ideas. Some of these are listed below:

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All people are “just looking”: Regardless of circumstance or intention, every single person will say that they are “just looking”. It is the job of a true car salesman to reason with them investing in a car makes sense now. Remember though that car salesmen are not con artists; they truly are interested in their clients’ well-being. It would also do well to take note that many people can tell when they are just being manipulated, and they do not respond well to such tactics.

Badmouthing competition has the opposite effect: Some car salesmen think that by badmouthing their competition, they are gaining the upper hand. Unfortunately, this usually has the opposite effect they were intending. People do not appreciate it when companies trash-talk their counterparts. A better strategy is highlighting the differences between one’s own brand and the rest. This is a subtle skill that is honed with practice — but one that pays off handsomely in the end.

Use the instructed training method: When it comes to selling cars, there are systems and methods that are proven to work. A mistake many novices make is believing they know better and deviating from the system. In most cases, they end up failing because they did not understand that more experienced professionals designed systems to be at their most efficient. This means eschewing shortcuts or changing already established rules.

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Most importantly, car salesmen should know that it is not always about making the deal. Almost anyone is willing to pay extra if they see value in it. This is a fundamental difference in thinking that separates successful salesmen from the rest. The former genuinely care about their clients and how their money is spent.

Jeffrey Lupient is in the automotive retail sales industry. To learn more about automotive sales, like this Facebook page.

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There is a growing global movement toward renewable energy. The automobile industry had been quick to partake in it with the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles. Adoption, however, is slow. It could be attributed to the usual apprehension in shifting to something new; or possibly because of the quick rise of common myths surrounding these cars.

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Consumers have the impression that hybrid cars are more expensive. That is not the case. As with conventional gas-powered automobiles, a variety of hybrid cars exists—some fall in the high price range while others are in the low to mid.

Running out of battery is also one of the biggest concerns. What many do not understand is that battery-powered car come with technologies that convert kinetic energy back to the motor when the car slows down or stops. Hence, batteries are continuously charged as the car is running. Moreover, hybrid cars have battery indicators, just like how a fuel gauge lets the driver know when it is time to refuel.

The fact that hybrid cars run on batteries instills anxieties about the perceived need for constant recharging. But consumers should know that only plug-in hybrids need regular recharging. Full hybrid cars, on the other hand, get its electric charge from the gas engine and from aforementioned technologies that convert kinetic energy back to the motor battery.

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Jeffrey Lupient is the president and CEO of the Lupient Automotive Group and oversees the marketing strategies and operations of the family business. Subscribe here for more blogs on automobiles.

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In corporate parlance, business development is to be understood as the summation of all efforts to introduce the company to a market, build relationships, and identify needs among the clientele. The end goal is to uncover business opportunities that can be penetrated.

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There is simply a rare breed of people who are so good at this, even boasting a very enviable rate of success, which is not easy to achieve at this level of leadership in mid-management. So what might motivate business development managers?

While money will always have a place at the top of his motivations, this is not everything to a business development manager. Money, along with all other rewards, is a huge factor, but there are intrinsic rewards which they look forward to as well.

To many business development managers, penetrating the market is like slaying a dragon, and they recognize the extent of an accomplishment as such. This, in itself, is a reward which also doubles as a career milestone.

Recent studies have shown that middle managers who shine are also those who are motivated by the opportunity to work towards meaningful goals. Business development managers would want to be top dogs soon. They typically even aim to be shareholders in the company that they work for, or perhaps even break free and become independent business owners themselves.

Business development managers are also enablers and contributors to change. It has been typical of them to genuinely want to become a part of the creation of appropriate management systems.

In other words, business development managers are not at all individualistic. They think more of what else out there they can be a part of, of movements and business trends they can participate in. Once they inhabit this kind of attitude, money simply becomes a natural consequence.

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In 2012, Jeffrey Lupient received the Automotive News 40 Under 40 award. He is a top-notch manager who participates actively in the operations of his business. For more information, view his work on Slideshare.

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