Down home country boy shares the #1 factor to make more sales (from 14 years selling cars) and the lesson from being public enemy #1 for a day in Roanoke
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If he were starting from scratch
"You gotta have balance in life but starting a business isn't that time. Starting out you gotta be obsessed. You gotta want it so bad. You gotta be willing to over deliver even when you start feeling comfortable.”
"My biggest mistake happened on my first $45,000 direct-mail sale. People started picketing, filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau, and I was the #1 story on the 6 PM eyewitness news. I had about $15,000-$16,000 saved up then. Overnight one big mistake wiped out my reserve. I was broke."
True business owner
"Most people have a number in their head. They say they'll quit and start their own business. The first person you have to sell is yourself. If you haven't sold yourself yet you're going to be like all the masses. Those people just fantasize about being a business owner."
"How many times have you started going over this big, dark, dirty skeleton in your closet and you finally get fed up and decide to handle it. You come out the other side heading down what you thought was a mountain only to realize, ‘Shoot that was a molehill'."
Internet versus offline
"Multi-touch communication strategy is great. I get about 600 e-mails per day. I only get about 2 pieces of mail per day. It doesn't matter if any of those came with a bag of diamonds. If it doesn't get opened, it's not worth the e-mail, stamp, or time you put into creating the mail piece. It's all about the open rate."
Why Listen to Syd Michael:
In the audio, Syd shares:
- How his destructive friend taught him success’ most important lesson and what that lesson is
- How he responded to his biggest mistake that cost him $45,000, had people picketing, filing BBB complaints, and landed him as the #1 story on the 6 PM eyewitness news
- What 1 number really matters to your promotion’s sales
- Why Syd disagrees with the ancient wisdom "don't beat a dead horse" and what he recommends instead
- The most important thing in sales and how Syd used this to get a direct-mail job at an ad agency despite never having done direct mail advertising before
- Fear is like Loki playing tricks on your mind. How Syd recommends you overcome fear based on his 20 years selling
Syd Michael came from a lower Middle Class family. He played College Football and was a Defensive Tackle for Middle Georgia College.
He spent 14 years in Auto Sales, closed over 10,000 car sales, was in management at 23yrs old and was a General Manager of his first store before 30 years old. He traveled and worked in 100+ dealerships in 37 of the states.
He started his first Direct Mail Company 2004
He was taught high values and morals from his father who was a US Marine & served in the Vietnam War.
He’s a speaker, Amazon best Selling Author, trainer and business coach. He’s a highly Skilled, Trained & Educated Sales Closer & Motivator who wrote a hugely successful course “Automotive Industry Exposed” Course that has over 1,750 members
“I thought of myself as a general manager at 23. I had the business card but not the official title. I actually got a pay cut. Getting the title without the pay to back it up has happened to me a couple times in life. I've often found it leads to bigger opportunities.”
In 2000 he sold more Corvettes than anybody else in the country. It's undocumented but he is on record as selling 158 Corvettes that year. Shockingly, he did this from a dealership in one of the worst parts of town.
The key is he was eight minutes from the Atlanta airport. He started advertising nationally and sold all these Corvettes to out-of-state buyers. He advertised complementary limousine pickup. At that time it was very difficult to get the exact Corvette and color you wanted. He just bought the Corvettes his buyers wanted from other dealers.
He's a character. One time he dressed up and acted like a hotel worker and put a bow on the Corvette to help surprise his buyer's wife.
He started out in the car business with the intention of owning his own dealership one day. In fact he wanted to own over 100 car dealerships one day. He got an opportunity when he was 23 because the current manager was fired after only selling 9 cars in 11 days.
Syd was filling in to pull credit apps but went down there like he had all the authority to make appropriate moves. He started hiring and recruiting better salespeople. This was at a small dealership. During his time there he got to sit in many different "seats". He did many of the jobs and roles at this dealership.
If he'd been in a large dealership he wouldn't have gotten this wide breadth of experience. He brings all this experience to bear in his training courses.
Some Shareables from Syd in this episode…
"If you ask them where the bathroom or the office is they'll never just point and tell you. Even if they're on a ladder stocking stuff, they'll get down and walk you to where you want to go. It's over-the-top customer service. Unfortunately, customer service died a long time ago around where I live."
If he were starting from scratch
"You gotta have balance in life but starting a business isn't that time. Starting out you gotta be obsessed. You gotta want it so bad. You gotta be willing to over deliver even when you start feeling comfortable.
I started my own direct-mail company in October 2004. By May 2005, I had my first six-figure month, $110,000. I'm thinking, ‘Sky's the limit. I'm gonna do $250,000 next month.' I started looking at a little nicer rocks at the jewelry store. My girlfriend got excited.
But from May 2005 to November 2005 I didn't sell another mailer. I went to zero revenue for almost 6 months. I don't know if they could sense a little desperation in my voice or if their intuition told them to say 'no'. I'm thinking it was getting cold and lonely real fast."
How I became a business owner
"I didn't choose to be a business owner. I got thrown into it. The guy I was working for tried to rip me off on a $6000 commission. I gave him an ultimatum and he took me up on it. I had to walk, out of pride.
If I wouldn't have sold $45,000 worth of direct mail on the car ride home I probably would have still been scared when I got home. But I got a shot of certainty real quick."
"My biggest mistake happened on my first $45,000 direct-mail sale. I was learning. The first mail piece went out in Roanoke Virginia. It was supposed to say, 'Hey Clint Evans, if your number matches the one inside the dealership, you MAY have won $5,000.'
Instead it said, 'Hey Clint Evans, you WON $5,000.'
The word 'may' was left out. I wasn't just sitting at home screening the client’s angry phone calls. This deal I had contracted to be on-site at the dealership running this mailer promotion sale.
I was in the store when people started picketing, filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau, calling in the eyewitness news (it was the number one story on the 6 PM news). I only got into town at 10 AM that morning.
I ran a full-page retraction in both Roanoke and Salem newspaper Sunday edition. I said it was a clear mistake and we hadn't set out to hurt anybody intentionally.
I had to pay all the expenses to redo the campaign for the client. I paid for the new mailers to be sent out, the hotel and bills for the team to run the promotion on site at the dealership.
I had about $15,000-$16,000 saved up at that point when I decided to go out into my own business. Overnight one big mistake wiped out my reserve. I was broke."
Favorite part of the entrepreneur's journey
"When I met Brian Anderson and started making my training digital. I was always a little ahead of the times using the Internet in the car business. During my 14 years in the car business there was a six-month break where I sold UNIX hardware.
I posted parts on the Georgia Tech message boards. Man I was selling them like crazy. The company loved me and said I opened up more accounts than anybody they'd ever met."
"I had this friend who was very influential to me. My mom didn't like him. He influenced me on a lot of bad things. He did influence me in one good area…when we made up our minds to do something, there was nothing that would get in our way.
We drove 40 miles one time with a flat tire to the point where the tire came off the car. Sparks were flying off the rim. People were honking and flagging us down as if we didn't know. We kept driving just because we said we were going to be there."
"We switched from mainly doing one-on-one consults to mainly a group platform. It was a lot lower price point but because it was able to get in front of a lot more people and still help them, it increased our pay 4-fold to 5-fold."
Conventional wisdom that hurts
"Man I see people get stuck on the shiny object syndrome a lot. Just because you bought that software product or training program doesn't mean you have to integrate it into your workday. It's okay to buy something and then find it doesn't fit your current process. Simplify your process.
Look at the way a lot of these big corporations make 1000% to 1400% profits when we're just trying to make 8% or 10%. How are they making 1400% profit? It's because they've simplified the process.
We've got this real-time bidding ad platform that has all the bells and whistles. You can target a 35-year-old woman who likes Yoplait yogurt within 5 miles of the Audi dealership. AdRoll stuck to retargeting and is making their thousand percent profits or whatever. They kept it simple."
Learn more about Syd Michael:
http://Sydsfanpage.com - takes you to Syd's Facebook page where he drops content from his training courses.
He just published a piece of his course on how to interview a prospect so you lead them to the sale. He feels it's maybe the most important piece of training he's ever done. Like his page on Facebook so you can get it.