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Jeffrey Lupient's Blog

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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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An accomplished automobile dealer who made his debut in the industry when he was only 15 years old, Jeffrey W. Lupient currently serves as the Executive Manager of Jim Lupient Infiniti of Golden Valley and the Dealer Principal of Lupient Nissan. Earning the coveted Infiniti Award of Excellence in 2008, 2009, and 2010, Mr. Lupient consistently demonstrates skill and dedication in all his dealings with his family businesses. Brief descriptions of the automobile manufactures Infiniti and Nissan are included below.

Nissan – Established in 1914 under the brand name Datsun, Japanese multinational car manufacturing firm Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. derived its original name from an acronym of the founding partners’ family names: Den, Aoyama, and Takeuchi. After trying out several different name iterations, the company settled upon their current brand name, Nissan. Throughout the automobile manufacturer’s long and successful history, Nissan has held partnerships with other esteemed car companies, including the Ford Motor Company and the Austin Motor Company. At present, Nissan is making headlines for its new hybrid and electric technology. Using this innovative technology, which serves as a departure from Toyota’s competing electric battery designs, Nissan introduced in December 2010 the Nissan Leaf, a five-door all-electric hatchback which has since won several industry awards not only for innovation and efficiency, but also for overall craftsmanship.

Image of Nissan Leaf

By Tennen-Gas (Own work) {CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)}, via Wikimedia Commons

Photograph of Nissan Leaf, taken by Wikipedia user Tennen-Gas.

Infiniti – Cars manufactured under this brand represent the luxury line of vehicles by Nissan Motors. Dating back to 1989 with the launch of the Infiniti Q45, the Infiniti brand has drawn increasing popularity in the U.S. market since its debut, producing a number of popular model series. Though the Q45 model has been discontinued, Infiniti currently manufactures five different series: the Infiniti G mid-size, the M sedan, the EX compact crossover SUV, the FX mid-size SUV, and the QX56 five-door SUV. Additionally, in response to the growing demand for more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles, Infiniti is currently developing a hybrid version of the M sedan. Moreover, diesel iterations of the EX, FX, and M sedans are expected to appear in the European market in the near future.

Image of an Infiniti M56

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Photograph of the all-new 2011 Infiniti M56.

Residents of the greater Golden Valley, Minnesota region interested in owning a Nissan or an Infiniti should visit Lupient Infiniti of Golden Valley or Lupient Nissan of Rochester to view or test drive a vehicle today.

[www.infiniti.com]
[www.nissanusa.com]

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Do you and your family finally have a night together but cannot think of anything to do as a family? Try one of these fun activities.

1. Have a Picnic Unable to agree on lunch or dinner? Round up the family, set out for the grocery store, and buy the ingredients for everyone’s favorite simple meal. When you return home, cook the meals and load them in picnic-safe dishware, find a blanket, and set out for your local park and have a picnic. Make sure to pack a cooler filled with beverages. Rain spoiling your picnic plans? No problem: clear a space in the living room and have your picnic at home.

2. Cook and Bake Together Baking cookies is a time-honored tradition among family members. Gather the ingredients for everyone’s favorite treats and get to baking. Of course, any delectable delight will do. Even better, have everyone contribute an idea for a food item, then take a trip to the grocery store, buy all the ingredients, and cook the entire meal (including dessert) together.

3. Watch Movies These days, most people have DVD players, Netflix, or some other means of watching movies; and of course, everyone has a favorite movie. Ask all your family members to write the title of their favorite film on a scrap of paper, then fold all the paper, put all slips into a container, and have someone draw one. Before you watch the chosen movie, get your popcorn, drinks, and other snacks ready. On a weekend, when you have more free time, set aside an entire day for a movie marathon, or take a trip to your local theater and take in a movie or two.

4. Exercise and Play Sports If everyone needs some time out of the house, sports and other physical activities make for a great way to burn energy and get in a good workout. Invest in family bikes and take a different route through the neighborhood every week, or plan longer excursions for the weekends. You could also sign everyone up for a sport; just make sure everyone gets on the same team.

5. Volunteer Giving back to your community as a family makes for a great bonding activity. Have everyone research local charities and volunteer activities, then sign up for one, two, or more.

by Jeff Lupient

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