Designing Your Career with Clear Goals

On this week’s episode of Straight Talk, David Lewis speaks to you about one of the most important actions and habits to develop if you truly are seeking success as a car salesperson; putting clear goals in place.

Video Transcription: 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Straight Talk.  I am your host David Lewis and I want to thank you for joining me for today’s program.  Straight talk is the program where you can find proven and tested answers to many of the questions and challenges that are faced every day by those in retail automotive sales.

Today I will speak with you about one of the most important actions and habits to develop if you truly are seeking success in your career as a car salesperson.  Of course, success is defined differently by each person. But regardless what your definition of success is, I assure you that the more money you make in the process of work, the better every other thing you like about selling cars will be.

There are car salespeople who make a living in this business, and there are people who sell cars with a long-term career in mind.  Often the difference between the two and the outcome they will experience is based on their ability and commitment to develop and design their career with clear goals in place.

We all hear about goal setting and how important it is that we set short, medium and long-term goals in place if we really want to be successful.  But so often we start out well and then, in the hustle and bustle of daily life, they slowly fall by the wayside until they eventually become more like New Year’s resolutions than a set of clear goals that dictate our daily activities.

We go to seminars, motivational clinics and training programs and come home ready to start whipping out our goal sheets and beginning to set-up the basic structure of the plan that will take us from rags to riches.  If that sounds familiar to you, take heart, it is a lot more common than you might think.

Chicken Soup for the Soul co-author Jack Canfield has this to say about how to go about setting goals and achieving success:

“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”

Coming from someone who has over 250 titles and 500 million books sold, Mr. Canfield might be someone worth listening to.

The fact of the matter is, almost all highly successful people claim that their ability to set clear goals, maintain their focus and follow their outline for success on a daily basis is what has brought them the success they have experienced in life and in their careers.

So, what are goals and how do we set them in such a way that keeping them becomes the driving force behind what we do in the car business that ultimately brings us great success?

No matter how realistic our goals are or how achievable they might be for us, without the attitude and actions that will see them come to pass we will ultimately flounder and adapt a comfort zone that is far below our real potential or desire.

Let me say first off that keeping and reaching our goals is often hard work.  And sometimes it is work that challenges us because it requires discipline, consistency and attention to detail that calls for a sacrifice more than we might be prepared to give.   At least that’s how it sounds when we set goals that demand more than we are used to giving.

That however is what goals are all about:

Stretching yourself to believe more, do more and reach further in your efforts for success than you are already reaching.  Unless your goals are bigger than what you already have and do not cause you to stretch further to reach them, they are nothing more than the status quo that you are already experiencing and will not grow you or benefit you in any significant way.

Let’s take a brief break and I’ll be right back to pick up where I left off on ‘Designing You Career with Clear Goals’.

Welcome back to Straight Talk and now let’s continue with our discussion on today’s topic of Goals and how to implement them into your daily life and business.

So, let’s start looking at these goals I’m speaking of and how to go about bringing them to reality in your life and in your work as a car salesperson.

In this business there are Basically 2 ways you can make more money:

The first way is to sell more cars every month and the second way is to make more money on the cars you sell.

In other words, if you give all your cars away for rock-bottom prices you will have to sell more cars every month to make more money.  Either that or you will have to hold more gross in the cars that you do sell if you want to enlarge your paycheck by any significant amount.

Of course, the better way is to actually do both at the same time.  This can quickly raise the level of your income and is in fact doable for anyone who wants to achieve these goals.

The average car salesperson today sells around 10 cars a month.  If you are selling them for sticker price you are probably already making a decent living.  However, the likelihood of you doing that is very small in today’s world of competitive pricing and Internet shopping.

Taking those things into consideration, the first thing you need to do when it comes to setting your goals is to decide what it is you want to achieve over a certain period of time.  Let’s say that last year you sold 120 cars and made $40,000 but this year you want to double that and make $80,000.

That is certainly doable for some, but in most cases, it is too much of a stretch to expect in just one year unless you make really radical changes in yourself and the way you sell cars.  Setting too high of a goal too fast can bring discouragement that eventually shipwrecks your plans and alters your commitment to do what it takes to achieve those goals.

A better plan follows an old proverb that says:

“Steady plodding brings prosperity, but hasty speculation brings poverty.”

Most people who try to reach great success in a very short time either fail completely, or squander their success because they didn’t learn how to maintain it in the process.

It is a well-known fact that most lottery winners go broke within just a couple of years.  They didn’t earn it and so they don’t know what it takes to keep it.

Set a reasonable goal for increasing your income and define clearly how you plan to grow your abilities, skills, attitude and actions in order to achieve your goal.  For a car salesperson, setting quarterly goals is a good start because it gives you enough time to measure your results and make the necessary changes that will bring improvement.

For instance, if you can increase your quarterly goals by selling 1 extra car per month during the first quarter, 2 per month during the second quarter and 3 per month during the third and fourth quarters you will increase your output by 27 cars in the first year.

Based on the average sales commission per car in today’s market that would increase your annual pay by around $8,000 to $9,500 which would equate to about $150 to $180 gross per week.  That is a very reasonable goal and a substantial increase in earnings over the first year.

The key to this will be investing in training and education to increase your own skills, and keeping the daily goals you set that require a commitment to prospecting, regular customer follow-up and building the kind of customer relationships that develop buyer loyalty and brings them back to you whenever they, or someone they know is in the market for another vehicle.

The success you experience through designing and keeping these career goals will motivate you to achieve even more every year and you can adjust your goals higher as you find yourself more capable of achieving them.

Well that is it for today.  I hope you are motivated to move forward and advance your career through the process of setting and keeping solid goals.  As always if you would like a complimentary copy of my books just email me your contact information to and I will have them shipped out to you immediately.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing you next week for another edition of straight talk.