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True story.

I was on a waiting list for over a year to become a customer at Vinsetta Garage on legendary Woodward Avenue north of Detroit. Well-versed Detroit car enthusiasts will recognize the name of Vinsetta Garage. The garage opened in 1919 and was a landmark in Motor City history.

When I finally received a call from owner Mike Vinsetta, he was pretty direct. "A spot has opened up, and you can now get your car serviced in our shop. But, I need to tell you that if you ever get your car serviced or repaired at any other dealership or shop, we will know and fire you. We're not the cheapest but, as you know, we're the best. We'll treat your car like family. Ours."

About six months later, I took my car in for repair. Thirty minutes later, I received a call from Mike saying, "You're fired. Come pick up your car. I don't know who worked on it, but they are terrible. It's not the type of work we do."

I explained to Mike our car had overheated on vacation out of state, and I had to get it repaired. He understood and went ahead and serviced the vehicle. I left knowing there was no doubt about his ability to diagnose a car engine and was someone I could totally trust under the hood of my car.

The word "diagnose" means "to identify the nature of an illness or some other problem by examining the symptoms." Diagnosis is about two things:

1. An accurate description of the problem.

2. An adequate prescription to eliminate the pain, AND the problem.

Great sales diagnosticians are adept at identifying the real sources of sales struggles. They don't get sidetracked by symptoms. Symptoms are just the pain that points to the exact source of the problem.

Selling through a generational crisis is a complex challenge. It's not the time to test theories. Companies need a trusted coach under the sales engine hood who understands that sales are both logical (X's and O's) and psychological (motivation and mindset). 

Sales thought leader, Dave Kurlan, came out with some interesting data this week around some of those psychological components. The survey reveals how sales commitment and motivation of salespeople have changed during the pandemic. It measures the desire, motivation, commitment, and outlook of reps within the Objective Management Group. It captures pre-pandemic, mid-pandemic, and the recent recovery period. 

Several key takeaways:

  • Among employed salespeople, desire, motivation, and commitment all dropped during the pandemic. Surprisingly, outlook scores remained steady. 
  • The data revealed a dramatically different story among the top 10% sales reps. Commitment and outlook scores went up. Top reps saw the pandemic as a time to distance themselves from the pack!
  • They see a massive increase in the number of candidates competing for open sales positions (i.e., now is a great time to hire sales reps even if you aren't currently looking!)

Misdiagnosis of sales challenges is costly and, in some cases, financially catastrophic to good companies. Securing a competent sales and business coach that you can trust under your sales engine's hood is critical. It can accelerate sales and get you back on the right revenue road.

Vinsetta Garage-1-1

After almost a hundred years of being under the hood of cars, the Vinsetta family sold their car repair shop. It is now a restaurant that has kept the outside appearance of the old Vinsetta Garage for nostalgic reasons. I wonder if the new restaurant's kitchen floor is as clean as Mike's shop used to be? 


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Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" leaders of growth-oriented non-profits and cause-driven organizations. His goal is to help you gain and retain new donors.