SEPTEMBER 2020 – The most common question Southwestern Advantage sales leaders heard from alumni in the spring of 2020 was, “Are you going to have a summer??” The question made sense as the world worked to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Well, not only has there been a summer, but WHAT a summer it has been! Managing Director of U.S. Sales, Mark Rau, said it has been the best summer in average sales proficiency since 2005 for dealers from American colleges.
The improvement compared to last summer is also striking. At this time last summer, 12 different dealers had sold a total of 26 weeks in the Mort Utley Club, selling 1,000 or more units. As of this week in 2020, there have been 42 weeks in Mort by 23 different dealers. Last year at this point, 12 first-year dealers had reported 2,000 or more units in sales. Right now, 45 are at that point.
The plan laid out in April – that all dealers would attend “Virtual Sales School” and sell remotely using Zoom and other technologies during the first two to three weeks of the summer, then come to Middle Tennessee for an in-person Sales School before embarking to sell in states with relatively low rates of COVID spread – was implemented to perfection by sales leaders and student dealers.
By the time dealers came to the physically distanced Sales School held outside Nashville, they knew their presentations backward and forward (having done several through Zoom). They were acclimated to the success schedules of hours, demos, and attitude. They knew the products better than any previous incoming class, and there was a high level of camaraderie and mutual respect already in place. Dealers were taught appropriate physical distancing behaviors, furnished with masks, and advised to comply with local and CDC safety measures. Sales Leadership deserves credit for designing and implementing this plan brilliantly.
Because of the White House ban on issuing non-immigrant visas, announced in early summer, hundreds of dealers from European universities pivoted quickly into selling Southwestern Advantage products in England as well as products and services in their home countries.
One of Southwestern Advantage’s oldest mottos is, “Find a way.” Hats off to each member of their team for doing it yet again – in style.