News Letter - new york state automotive aftermarket association

Serving the Automotive Aftermarket Since 1949
MARCH 2015
Mark Oswald
Standard Motor Products
Donald Derx
Henry H. Hill, Inc.
Ricky Newvine
Newvine Auto Parts, LLC
Fred Forsythe
Forsythe Motor Parts Inc.
Greg Riddle
William Stanbro
Lakeland Supply Inc.
Carman Capriotto
Michael Lord
Icahn Enterprises L.P. Agrees to Acquire
Assets of UNI-Select USA, Inc.
New York, Feb. 9, 2015 (Globe Newswire) – Icahn Enterprises L.P. (Nasdaq: IEP) today
announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of
the assets of Uni-Select USA, Inc., a leading automotive parts distributor for domestic and
imported vehicles, subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction includes the
Beck/Arnley Worldparts premium OE parts distribution business, but excludes the Canadian
Automotive and US Finishmaster paint divisions.
Uni-Select USA has 39 distribution centers and satellite locations and 240 corporate-owned
jobber stores in the United States and supports a network of more than 2,000 independent
wholesalers. Through its banner and technical support programs as well as its offering of
premium auto parts, Uni-Select has built its reputation on being the partner of choice for
independent entrepreneurs eager to tap into the strength of a large network.
Carl C. Icahn, Chairman of Icahn Enterprises, commented “Icahn Enterprises is constantly
looking for companies to own or control. The assets of the companies we control currently
total over $20 billion, up from approximately $1 billion at the beginning of 2000. This does
not include the value of the securities held by funds in our investment segment, which total
over $15 billion. With the advent of the bull market over the last five years, it has become
increasingly difficult to find companies that we believe to be undervalued and with growth
potential. That is why we were happy when we learned that the United States segment of
Uni-Select was available.”
“We believe that with Icahn Enterprises’ great resources and our knowledge of the industry
we will be able to grow this company, take advantage of consolidation opportunities and
thereby greatly benefit the company’s customers, manufacturer partners and employees, as
well as the shareholders of Icahn Enterprises.”
The auto parts distribution business acquired from Uni-Select USA will be operating
independently from Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, our subsidiary and a leading
global supplier of automotive products and services (including, but not limited to, Anco,
Champion Spark Plugs, Fel Pro, Moog, National Oil Seals & Bearings, Sealed Power, Speed Pro,
and Wagner Brake & Lighting products). All transactions between the two companies will be
on an arms-length basis and approved by the independent directors of each company.
In connection with the transaction, Carl C. Icahn will resign as the Chairman and member
of the board of Federal-Mogul and Daniel A. Ninivaggi, the Co-Chief Executive Officer of
Federal-Mogul, will resign as a director of Icahn Enterprises L.P.
Icahn Enterprises L.P. (Nasdaq: IEP) a master limited partnership, is a diversified holding
company engaged in nine primary business segments: Investment, Automotive, Energy,
Metals, Railcar, Gaming, Food Packaging, Real Estate and Home Fashion.
Social Media and the Workplace
The impact of social media on the workplace is increasing. Social media is the broad term for internet-based tools used
on PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones to help people make contact, keep in touch and interact. This trend can
effect communications among managers, employees and job applicants, how organizations promote and control their
reputation and how colleagues treat one another. It can also distort what boundaries there are between home and work.
Key Points
Develop a policy: Employers should include what is and what is not acceptable for general behavior in the use
at work of the internet, e-mails, smart phones and social media, such as networking websites, blogs, texting and
tweets. However, it may prove impractical to have an overly formal policy that also includes rigidly covering the use of social media in recruitment.
Rules for recruitment: While a rigid policy on using social media in recruitment could soon become obsolete,
because the trend is changing and developing so quickly, it is still advisable for an employer to have at least some rules, or procedures, which managers and employees should follow.
Screening job candidates: In particular when recruiting, employers should be careful if assessing applicants, by
looking at their social networking pages-this can be discriminatory and unfair.
Who can see your profile? Employers should regularly check the privacy settings on their social networking
pages, as they can change. Also, they should consider whether they want or need co-workers to see those profiles.
Talk to your staff: Employers should inform and consult with their employees if planning to monitor social
media activity affecting the workplace.
Update other policies: For example, an organization’s policy on bullying should include references to ‘cyber bullying’.
Be sensitive: Employers should promote a work-life balance-the line between work and home is becoming
increasingly blurred by the use of modern technology.
Smart phones, the internet, blogging, texting and tweeting-we have accepted all of these innovations and many more, as
part of our working lives, helping us to work more flexibly, stay in touch for longer and respond to each other quicker.
But is it all good news? Some estimates report that misuse of the internet and social media by workers, costs Britain’s
economy billions of pounds every year and add that many employers are already grappling with issues like time theft,
defamation, cyber bullying, freedom of speech and the invasion of privacy.
Source: Acas; promoting employment relations and HR excellence
How to Draft a Social Networking Company Policy
Whether they’re shooting off their own tweets or following others, employees using Twitter-the fastest growing social media
site-are creating liability and PR risks with their 140 character rants, raves and company gossip. But behavior is easier to
legislate than common sense, which means, crafting policies that rein in how employees may use technology on the job.
How far do you want to reach? Social networking presents two concerns for employers-how employees are
spending their time at work and how employees are portraying your company online when they are at work. Any
social networking policy must address both types of online use.
Do you want to permit social networking at work, at all? It is not realistic to ban all social networking at work.
For one thing, you will lose the benefit of business-related networking. Further, a blanket ban is also hard to
monitor and enforce.
If you prohibit social networking, how will you monitor it? Turning off Internet access, installing software to
block certain sites or monitoring employees’ use and disciplining offenders are all possibilities, depending on how
aggressive you want to be and how much time you want to spend watching what your employees do online.
If you permit employees to social network at work, do you want to limit it to work-related conduct or permit
limited personal use? How you answer this question depends on how you balance productivity versus marketing return.
Do you want employees to identify with your business when networking online? Employees should be
made aware that if they post as an employee of your company, the company will hold them responsible for any
negative portrayals. Or, you could simply require that employees not affiliate with your business and lose the
networking and marketing potential the Web offers.
How do you define “appropriate business behavior”? Employees need to understand that what they post online
is public and they have no privacy rights in what they put out for the world to see. Anything in cyberspace can be used as grounds to discipline an employee, no matter whether the employee wrote it from work or outside of work.
How will social networking intersect with your broader harassment, technology and confidentiality policies? Employment policies do not work in a vacuum. Employees’ online presence-depending on what they are posting can violate any number of other corporate policies. Drafting a social networking policy is an excellent opportunity
to revisit, update and fine-tune other company policies.
Social Media and Trade Secrets (Customer Lists)
Most employers are well aware of the various implications that the social media explosion has on the workplace. The various
issues created by Facebook, LinkedIn and other similar platforms have employers focusing on protection of their trade
secrets and other confidential information. But the intersection between social media and trade-secret protection represents
a new frontier, with substantial implications.
• It’s Just a Customer List by Another Name: The most notable area in which social media can affect a company’s
protection of its confidential information comes with the most common form of a trade secret: a customer list. Employers
often encourage their sales personnel to use LinkedIn or other social media platforms to establish and strengthen
relationships with actual and potential customers. Social media can be a great way to stay on a customer’s mind, update a
customer on what the sales person and the company are doing and project an image of success.
That said, what happens to that social media account when salespeople leave and go to a rival company? They are walking
out the door with a de facto customer list. It is likely that the names and contact information of some or all of a salesperson’s
key client relationships will reside on that social media account. It used to be that salespeople would have to sneak their
customer lists out from the watchful eyes of their employers, first in a physical file, then on some type of data storage device
or by an e-mail to a personal account. Now they simply need to maintain access to their social media accounts and they have
a list without having to steal anything.
In order to deal with this situation, you need to take certain steps to ensure that you aren’t allowing your trade secrets to drip
out the door with every salesperson who departs your company.
• Make clear that the Company Owns the Social Media Account: This can be accomplished either by agreement
or by a written policy, preferably one that the employees sign. Even better, have your salespeople set up new social media
accounts when they commence employment so the company can deactivate or transfer the accounts when the employee
leaves. Of course, many employees bring existing accounts with them when they start employment and prefer to add to
their existing accounts. In that case, have employees agree that at the end of employment, they will delete any business
contacts that they established over the course of employment.
• Insist on Privacy Settings: One good employee defense in a trade secret action concerning a customer list is
that the employer did not take reasonable means to protect its trade secret because anyone can look at contacts of the
company’s salespeople on LinkedIn and find the relevant contents of the customer list. In other words, the information is
not a secret. The solution to this problem is simple: require employees to make their contact lists private on any social media
account they use for business.
• Address the issue of Status Updates: Employers frequently use restrictive covenant agreements to prevent their
employees from competing for a certain period after employment. One common provision in such an agreement is a noncompete provision, which prevents an employee from performing certain competitive acts in a given territory for a stretch of
time after employment. But employees often push back against such provisions and judges can be reticent to enforce them
because of the view that they prevent an individual from making a living.
Thus, employers will frequently use non-solicitation of customers’ covenants in place of (or sometimes in addition to) noncompete restrictions. Non-solicitation provisions prevent an employee from soliciting customers after the conclusion of
an employment relationship. These restrictions are especially useful with salespeople and other categories of employees
that have significant customer contact and relationships. Non-solicitation provisions are less onerous than non-compete
restrictions and are usually easier to enforce.
However, non-solicitation restrictions create proof problems that non-compete provisions do not. It is usually straight
forward to show that a former employee is competing in a given territory. It can be harder to show that an employee
solicited a customer, because the question “what is solicitation?” is sometimes hard to answer.
This is especially true in the social media context. Say you have a salesperson named Pete who has agreed not to solicit
actual or potential customers with whom he had contact for one year after termination of employment. Pete resigns and
then immediately posts a status update on LinkedIn or Facebook that he has left your company and joined a rival outfit. Or
maybe Pete is really subtle and simply changes his employment information on those websites, meaning that his customers
get an automatic update regarding the identity of his new employer. Assuming Pete has connections to customers on
LinkedIn and Facebook, has Pete violated his agreement?
There is no definitive answer to that question, so it’s up to a forward thinking employer to plan ahead when drafting and
revising restrictive covenant agreements. While no one can contract for every contingency, the status update problem
is one that can be solved by addressing that scenario in a non-solicitation covenant. Pete’s agreement should say that
providing information to a new employer through social media will be considered to be a solicitation.
The harder question is how to handle the simple act of changing one’s employer on a social media account. It does not
make sense for an employer to require a former employee to keep incorrect information on an account, so the only viable
solutions are the ones suggested earlier: employers should either own the social media account in the first place, or require
an employee to agree at the outset of a relationship, that upon termination, the employee will delete business contacts
added during the course of employment.
In other words, employers can handle the tricky issues presented by social media relationships, but advanced planning is a
Source: Fisher & Phillips LLP, Attorneys at Law
Things to Consider When Firing Employees
Whether your small business employs one part-time assistant or a workforce of 20, the following is some basic information
on terminating the employer-employee relationship.
“At Will Employment”: Under the “at-will” employment doctrine, either the employee or the employer can terminate
employment at any time, for any reason, except those involving illegal discriminatory action. For example, a small business
may fire an employee based on poor performance, or even as a cost-cutting measure, but the employee may not be fired
because of pregnancy, race or religion.
Don’t get personal: No matter how much you may (on a private level) dislike a particular individual or group, do not let
those feelings cloud your business judgment.
Special Protections: Many states have enacted legislation protecting workers under certain circumstances, such as those
serving jury duty, military service or reporting employer misconduct.
Firing Justification: If employment security for a defined period has been implied or expressed, proper justification is
needed to terminate the employee. Without a solid legal argument, the employer may be the target of a lawsuit.
Create a paper trail of the employee’s performance review: Keep copies of all negative reports or warnings you have
issued to an employee. It is much easier to protect yourself later if you can show that on more than one occasion you issued
the employee a written warning that his or her job performance or attitude was sub-par.
Think things through: Before you decide to fire an employee, make sure that you have thought things through carefully.
Firing an Employee – Good Cause, Good Faith and Fair Dealing: If an employee does have an employment contract,
express, implied, oral or written, then generally you must have “good cause” to fire an employee. Good cause generally
means that the reason for firing the employee is based on purely business needs. Here are some of the most common
examples courts have found are “good cause”.
Consistently disrupting the workforce
Endangering co-workers
General insubordination
Low productivity
Threats of violence
Excessive absences
Habitual lateness
Illegal acts
Poor work performance
Violating company rules
In addition to good cause, employment contracts generally require the employer to act in good faith and deal fairly with the
employee. This requirement is generally referred to as the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. To breach this covenant
however, an employer generally has to be a pretty bad apple for a court to find breach of the covenant. For example:
• An employer fires an employee to avoid paying them retirement benefits.
• An employer fires an employee to avoid paying a sales commission.
• An employer fabricates evidence of an employee’s performance to justify firing the employee.
In other words, an employer has to be blatantly dishonest before courts will find a breach to the covenant of good faith and
fair dealing.
Employee Termination Checklist
Documentation & Notification
• Compile the proper documentation.
• Prepare the termination letter.
• Notify Human Resources.
• Ask employee to write a resignation letter that states he or she is leaving and the termination date.
• Notify your network administrator of the date and time on which to terminate the employee’s access to computer
and telephone systems.
Return of Property
• Make sure employee returns all company-owned items, including access cards, credit cards and keys.
• Make sure employee provides his or her supervisors with passwords and other information pertaining to accessing
computer files and telephone messages.
• Make sure access to external company databases is removed.
• Make sure employee’s e-mail account is canceled.
• Set automatic e-mail notification to alert sender that employee is no longer employed.
Compensation Issues
• Determine what ‘wages’ are owed.
• Determine how much vacation the employee has earned.
• Determine how much vacation the employee has used.
• Prepare information regarding rollover of any 401(K) plans and other benefits.
• Discontinue premium payments on Life Insurance and/or Disability Insurance.
• Obtain executed copy of employee’s final expense report.
Exit Interview
• Make sure Human Resources office will schedule an exit interview.
• Discuss appropriate details regarding termination.
• Review confidentiality or proprietary information agreement.
• Confirm employee’s address for future mailing of information.
• Provide employee with COBRA information.
• Provide employee with a contact person and information for questions arising after the meeting and for any
questions in the future.
The Affordable Care Act & Your Taxes-What You Need to Know
For the first time ever, your health insurance (or lack of it) will be a part of your 2014 federal tax filing. The law requires almost
everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty, also called an individual mandate. The information you need for your
taxes depends on how you get your coverage.
If you had health insurance through your employer in 2014, your coverage would be reported on your W-2 Form
and you’ll need to check a box on your federal income tax form.
If you purchased a plan through the NY State of Health Marketplace, you will need a 1095-A form that was
mailed to you in early February. You will need the information from this form to claim the premium tax credit when
you file your tax return. The form was mailed to members enrolled in bronze, gold, silver or platinum plans.
If you bought a plan outside of the Marketplace or enrolled in a catastrophic plan or Medicaid, Child Health
Plus or Medicare, you’ll need to check a box on your federal income tax form.
If you went without coverage for more than three consecutive months in 2014, you may qualify for a health
coverage exemption or be required to pay a fee when you file.
Who doesn’t have to pay the penalty? People who may be exempt from the requirement to have health insurance include:
• People who cannot afford health insurance, because the insurance offered through a job or the Marketplace is
unaffordable. This means that the cost of health insurance coverage available through a job to you or your family is
more than 8 % of your household income.
• People who experience hardships that prevented them from getting health coverage, including but not limited
to, homelessness, domestic violence, facing eviction, or experience a fire, flood or other disasters that caused
substantial damage to their property. A complete list of hardships that may qualify is on the hardship exemption form.
• People whose income is so low that purchasing health insurance during the tax year was unaffordable.
• Members of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to health insurance.
• Members of a health care sharing ministry.
• Members of a federally recognized Indian tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider.
• People who are incarcerated.
• People who are not required to file a federal income tax return, because their income is too low.
• People who are not lawfully present in the United States.
• People who are without health insurance coverage for less than 3 months during the year.
• People who have coverage through a Marketplace or non-Marketplace health plan effective May 1, 2014 and did
not have health insurance in the previous months of 2014.
If you are approved for an exemption, it means you will not have to pay a penalty to the IRS for not having health insurance.
However, it also means that you will have to pay for the entire cost of your medical care.
How much is the penalty? The penalty in 2014 is calculated one of 2 ways. If you have a penalty, you’ll pay the higher
amount of:
1 % of your yearly household income that is above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status, or
$95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.
But the maximum penalty is capped at the national average yearly premium on a bronze plan through the
Marketplace in 2014.
The penalty increases every year. In 2015, it’s 2 % of income or $325 per adult ($162.50 per child under 18 years). In 2016
and later years, it’s 2.5 % of income or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child under 18 years). After that the penalty is adjusted
for inflation. If you’re uninsured for just part of the year, 1/12 of the yearly penalty applies to each month you’re uninsured.
Generally, you are not subject to a penalty if you’re uninsured for fewer than 3 months.
What happens if I’m not exempt from Obamacare and Don’t Pay the Fee? If you decide not to get coverage, and don’t
qualify for an exemption, then you’ll have to make an Individual Shared Responsibility payment on your income tax return
for each month you went without minimum essential coverage.
Can I go to Jail for not paying the Fee? The IRS cannot enforce the Individual Shared Responsibility provision with jail time,
liens or any other of typical methods of collection. The only way for the IRS to collect the fee for not having health insurance,
if you choose not to pay it, is for them to withhold the money you would get back (Federal Income Tax Refund) from the IRS
when you file your income tax return.
Source: Excellus, NY State of Health
Dr. Weils Health Tip, 3 Reasons to eat more Broccoli
This vegetable platter classic, along with other cruciferous vegetables, is tasty both raw and cooked and
is a standout in soups, casseroles and salads. I have long recommended broccoli as part of a healthful
diet. This versatile vegetable:
Promotes a healthy nervous system. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin),
which can help calm and nourish nerve fibers as well as help prevent migraines.
Supports bone health. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin K and calcium, both of which help
keep bones strong and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Can improve energy through its high levels of vitamin C, a micronutrient that supports the normal processes of
cellular energy production.
The nutrients in broccoli may also help protect against cancer, heart disease, cataracts and birth defects, while promoting
a strong immune system and supporting optimal gastrointestinal function. One of the healthiest ways to prepare broccoli
is to lightly steam it, which can help to retain the nutritional components, better than other cooking methods, such as
New Association Member for March 2015
NextGen Car Care, LLC
7786 State Route 5 • Clinton, NY 13323
Rich Nimey
E-mail: [email protected]
Your Car Might be Target of Hackers and you’re Not Protected: Report
Auto manufacturers are increasingly equipping their vehicles with wireless technologies, but have overlooked the part about
including protections that will guard owners against cyberattacks that hackers may launch on their systems.
These are the findings released by the office of Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), whose staff conducted a study of 16 car
companies and their security measures for protecting their customers against security breaches of their vehicles’ electronic
systems. Markey also inquired about what policies and practices car companies have in place on retrieving data from their
customers, through various modes of wireless transmission, used in most new cars today.
“Drivers have come to rely on those new technologies, but unfortunately the automakers haven’t done their part to protect
us from cyberattacks or privacy invasions,” Markey says. “Even as we are more connected than ever in our cars and trucks, our
technology systems and data security remain largely unprotected.”
The senator’s report comes just after CBS News aired a 60 Minutes segment that showed how hackers were able to infiltrate
a brand new car’s systems, successfully turning on the windshield wipers, sounding the horn, deactivating the brakes and
controlling the accelerator, all done from a remote location, while journalist Lesley Stahl was unable to do anything to stop
the security breach.
Markey’s report concludes that “there is a clear lack of appropriate security measures to protect drivers against hackers who
may be able to take control of a vehicle or against those who may wish to collect and use personal driver information.”
Among the report’s findings is car companies’ lack of awareness of or inability to report on past hacking incidents. Only one
among the 16 manufacturers was able to detect a security breach in progress, and only two were able to identify effective
methods to respond to the attack. The report also cites security experts consulted by Markey’s staff, who say that the use
of identification numbers and radio frequencies, which are the majority of protections automakers have in place to guard
against attacks, are inadequate because that can be easily bypassed.
Just as unsettling is the finding that car makers collect personal vehicle data, such as the vehicle’s location and driving
history, without customers’ informed consent. In some cases, customers are only informed that their data has been collected
after the fact and they have no way of opting out of a data-harvesting program without disabling important wireless
features, such as the vehicle’s navigation systems.
Last year, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers published a set of voluntary
guidelines addressing car companies’ data collection practices, allowing for the collection of customer information only for
“legitimate business purposes.”
But Markey’s report notes that the phrase is too broad, that auto manufacturers have ample room to collect private vehicle
data for a variety of purposes. What Markey is proposing instead is for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create clear and definite rules to provide security and privacy of car
NHTSA spokesperson Gordon Trowbridge says auto safety regulators will consider Markey’s recommendations as it is
“engaged in an intensive effort to determine potential vulnerabilities related to new technologies.”
Wade Newton, spokesperson of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors, Ford, Fiat
Chrysler, Toyota and Volkswagen, among others, says he has not seen the report, but emphasizes that automakers deem it
important to maintain customer trust by investing in consumer privacy protections.
“The industry is in the early stages of establishing a voluntary automobile industry sector, information sharing and analysis…
for collecting and sharing information about existing or potential cyber-related threats” Newton says.
Source: Future Tech: Tech Times
What Makes a Successful Sales Meeting?
My friend Steve Lishanski has a saying, that 80% of life is common sense, but only 20% of people are using it. In my
experience, a similar rule applies to sales meetings: 80% are a complete waste of time because simple common sense was
never applied. Follow these rules for effective sales meetings and you will no longer find yourself in the 80%.
Three rules for powerful sales meetings:
Rule #1: Keep your meetings short, positive and energized
Most of the sales meetings I’ve been to, are too long and when people leave them they are tired and deflated. In fact,
recently I ran into a company having sales meetings on Friday afternoons, because they felt it was a good way to wind
down at the end of a long week. Ouch! Sales meetings should last for 60 to 90 minutes max and leave people upbeat and
ready to tackle the week. Here are some important components of this rule:
• The meeting starts and stops on time. No waiting for people who are late and punishing those there on time.
• Have an agenda and stick to it. People have 30 seconds, 5 minutes or whatever time is appropriate, and at the end
of that time, they are done, whether they are or not.
• It’s fine to start by reviewing the numbers and congratulating people for important wins, but this should last no
more than a few minutes. No getting bogged down in details, aided by boring Power Point slides.
• Everyone stays positive and upbeat. While constructive conversation about problems and issues is fine and
encouraged, you must focus on solutions. If the room turns “all negative with no solutions”, it’s time to put the
brakes on and get the focus back on what you can do about the situation.
• No rambling or getting stuck in the weeds with minutia of detail on items that are best handled off-line after the
• No one high jacking the meeting and taking more than their allotted time.
• No random vendors, who are not exclusive to your company, talking about the flavor of the week.
• No boring heads from other departments droning on about their problems and what they need from sales.
Also keep in mind, that in order for the meetings to be positive, everyone must be present for each meeting, barring some
extenuating circumstance. You must have a team mentality and no individual is an exception.
Rule #2: The most important part of the meeting is education
Focus on areas that have the most impact: prospecting, presenting, closing and building relationships with your biggest
and most important accounts. Here are some areas you may cover:
Brainstorming strategy to win an account
How to beat the competition
How to ask for referrals
How to cold call or prospect effectively
How to close more deals
The objective here is to get the best stuff from your people. Some people are great at referrals, others are great at cold
calling and others are great at closing. Also, it’s important that the successful people are talking. While we want to be
respectful and inclusive, we don’t need to hear tips from someone who’s made one sale in the past nine months.
Rule #3: Open and close the meeting the right way
Logistically you want to hold meetings on Monday morning to start the week off right. This best ensures everyone is in
early and focused at the beginning of the week.
Start the meeting with something short and positive. A positive quote or passage from a book is good. You can also have
a weekly focus point. Another idea is to highlight something positive that may have happened recently. Next, cover the
agenda in 15 seconds or less, then bridge into the main part of the meeting. An effective way to close the meeting is to
give everyone one or two action items that they can act on immediately. Here are some good examples:
Go call on that account you’ve been afraid to call on.
Do something you haven’t done before or challenge yourself to break your previous best. For example, if the most
prospecting calls you’ve ever made in a week is 50, shoot for 75 or 100.
Identify and do one thing that, once done, will ensure the whole week has been a success.
The key to effectively closing the meeting is to harness the energy created to take immediate action and get the
momentum rolling toward a successful week. This will also help you develop the habits of stepping out of your comfort
zone, facing your fears and pushing yourself to become better.
How to Build Your Selling Confidence
The biggest issue I see with salespeople, by far, is a lack of confidence. While most salespeople deal with this in quiet
desperation, there are also the loud ego-maniacs who, while seeming to have too much confidence, in reality also don’t
have enough and are simply over compensating. This lack of confidence and belief leads to a fear of making phone calls,
knocking on doors and otherwise doing whatever it takes to be successful.
Five Rules for Increased Confidence
Rule # 1: Stop making excuses and instead, develop your sales skills.
Two days ago someone told me the only reason he lost a $250,000 deal, was because he was $2,000 higher than the
competition. He then went on to tell me that his area is different from every area of the country and people really do buy
solely on price.
That’s an excuse I hear about once a week. Ten out of ten times, when I research their market and find the company doing
the most business, the top company is always selling more expensive products to the same people who supposedly buy
only on price. The truth is: your market is not the exception to the rule, price is simply an excuse for not doing the hard
work of developing sales skills and learning to sell value.
There are obvious excuses people use, such as: the economy, “our prices are too high” and “there’s too much competition”,
and then there are the less obvious ones that the powerful subconscious brain creates to protect our fragile egos and save
us from stepping out of our comfort zone. For example, I once had a Financial Planner tell me that the reason he doesn’t
ask for referrals is because he “knows a guy” whose client got irritated and closed his account because he was asked for a
referral. Has that ever happened? Maybe. Assuming you’re asked nicely and not constantly beating them over the head,
the odds are probably 1 in 10,000,000. This leads to another issue I see a lot: Living as if the exception is the rule. Living
your life afraid of the exception, the 1 in 10,000,000, will ensure you have no life and no business. In fact, if you ran your
whole life according to odds like that, you’d never get in a car, leave the house, or even get out of bed for that matter.
We come up with the most ridiculous, unlikely scenarios to avoid facing our fears. The key is to realize all excuses are
just that: excuses and whatever one you come up with, someone has had it worse and overcome it. So whatever excuse
you keep repeating, stop it!! At the end of the day, price, the competition and your significant other, have nothing to do
with where you end up, the only one who determines that is you.
Rule # 2: Get completely sold on your product, your company and you.
I have seen the most timid people, become the most confident, persuasive salespeople when they believed in their
product and what they were doing. I once watched a young stock broker who only opened three accounts in four
months, open three in an hour when news came out on the stock he was pitching and it started to go up in price. He was
possessed and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He knew people were going to benefit. If you have a deep knowing, an
absolute belief and conviction that you unequivocally have the best product and one that can help people, you will move
Heaven and Earth to get the word out and make sure everyone has it.
Rule # 3: Prepare.
The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be. You need to know your product and be ready for anything
that comes up on the sales call. You need to have solid answers for every question, objection, issue and customer situation
you might run into. The answers need to be committed to memory and roll off your tongue to the point where if someone
were to wake you at 3:00 AM, you’d be able to answer immediately.
Rule # 4: Get comfortable being uncomfortable and face and conquer your fears.
These two will do more to build your confidence and self-esteem than almost anything else. In the most important
times in your life you will be uncomfortable and also a bit fearful. How many times in those situations did you do or say
something you wish you hadn’t, or didn’t do or say something you wish you had? Look for uncomfortable situations, put
yourself in them and embrace them. What you’ll realize is that very few things in life are in fact life and death. When you
come to this realization, you’ll simply take a deep breath, relax and do and say what you need to.
“That cave you’re afraid to go into, holds the treasures you’re looking for.” Fears create blind spots. When you overcome them,
you’ll wake up one day and see things you never saw before. They’ve been there all along, your fears just simply wouldn’t let
you see them. When you overcome a fear, you will be empowered and begin to run at fears as opposed to away from them.
Rule # 5: Work on motivation and self-discipline.
The fastest way to motivation is to realize WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. What is the ultimate goal and payoff? To find your
WHY, decide what you really want out of life. What do you want your life to ultimately look like? What do want for your family and
your kids? What do you want to be able to do? With a powerful enough WHY, you will face any fear and endure through anything.
Self-discipline is getting in the habit of doing what you need to do every day, whether you feel like it or not. If you can
simply get in a daily routine and make everything you have to do, a habit, the locked in habits will usually be enough to
keep you going and on track.
Here are some additional tips:
Fake it ‘til you make it. Act as if you already possess the confidence you need.
Get someone to hold you accountable.
Engage in self-confidence and self-esteem building activities.
Stop taking things personally.
Stop caring what others think of you.
By: John Chapin, a sales and motivational speaker and trainer, with over 26 years of sales experience as a number one sales
representative and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia. For permission to reprint, e-mail:
[email protected]
New Education Benefit, Program Discount Available to Members
Carm Capriotto’s Success Partner
Sales Training for Outside Salespeople along with
Advisory Services for Independent Auto Parts Stores.
A new, different and unique approach to training!
Learn More At
If you are a legacy auto parts store owner, meaning you’ve been in the aftermarket for about 25 years
or more, you most likely have the attitude that you own the commercial business in your market (its
tradition) and it will always be yours. You grew up in this business; that’s how it works! (Careful
thought necessary) In fact it is yours to lose if you let it happen.
Looked around lately? The big box suppliers are growing their commercial share by double digits.
Where is it coming from? Not from new shop openings. But from legacy auto parts store owners. Yes
the big three or four are fighting among themselves and the pickings are easy with the traditional
jobbers; if we concede our share.
So what are the big box retailers doing in your sand box? Isn’t availability, hot shot service, brand,
relationships, rewards, training, great and knowledgeable counter professionals and outside
salespeople ENOUGH? Why are our customers showing signs of support to the non-traditional
Let’s consider that these competitors are not only playing in our own sandbox, but they have really
good architects to re-design a better sand castle. In their sand castle are brands, well trained people,
and a superior can-do attitude that is motivating your customer to buy. From there they are using all
the tactics and smart business acumen we hold so dear to our heart, as mentioned above.
It begs the question. Is the ‘traditional’ jobber investing in the right things in his business? Is
inventory groomed and managed every day for superior availability? Are systems being studied to be
sure that our operational platforms are producing consistent and reliable customer service? Can they
be tweaked? When was the last training class for your outside salespeople? When was the last
customer service class held for your team? When was the last professional service dealer training
seminar held on the latest diesel technology or European electronic fuel injection? (Don’t discount
the value of all training. It’s being done by the other guys) Technical training is one of the of the most
important needs of the professional technician.
The current competitive landscape is showing very aggressive movement from the big box retailer for
the commercial business. (You don’t need to be reminded) It’s been going on for over 6+ years ever
so slowly and it is now really ramping up because their base is getting stronger every day. And the
impact is now very clear, they are gaining. This is no time for the faint of heart. No time to retreat.
You, the traditionalist, need to re-invent and build on your solid commercial strategy that got you
here in the first place.
As mentioned; investments in training, inventory, systems and improved ops help you win and not
lose your most important customer. This will keep your share and stem the assault. Your sandbox
needs a new coat of paint and a few new bags of sand (ideas, changes, and reinvention) to shore up
your solid traditional position with the professional service installer.
Visit Carm’s website at where you can see this blog article
and others. There are also other interesting articles to download
and research all dedicated to your success and the success of the
automotive aftermarket.
This headline may be waking you up each morning at 2 AM! The challenges and changes in today’s
aftermarket are compelling. Paying attention to every detail of your business is a monumental task. Your
most important detail is REVENUE. You cannot manage anything if you
don’t have a SALE; it starts there. If you want to know how to make
improvements, to refocus and accelerate your sales presence at the
street with your commercial customer, then keep on reading.
The loyalty that we knew and appreciated over the years is waning. The
new loyalty measure is consistent repeat business; it’s a precious
commodity! Your competition is fielding more qualified sales reps and they are not necessarily industry
veterans. But a key difference is that the competition is training their commercial sales reps in the art and
science of selling. Sales training is critical today to keep pace. Strong relationships are important but selling
skills is also KEY; and you know this to be true.
There are 3 courses in the training series. The course outlines are available on Carm’s web site; They are offered in succession because they build upon each
other. Courses are: Sales Training 101: FUNDAMENTALS; Sales Training 201: GROWTH; Sales Training 301:
Unique to the seminar format is a pre‐seminar conference call (with all participants to meet/greet/and set
expectations), a one day leader led class and three one hour follow up conference calls to cement the
knowledge transfer. This is the new 3 pronged approach to training quality. When you send someone to a
seminar and you HOPE that the knowledge transfer will work; that is a big risk
today. So to cement your investment there is only one way to make it pay. The
salespersons supervisor must attend. If the owner is the supervisor then he or she
must attend the seminar(s). This training program is designed to give the auto
parts store owner maximum benefits therefore the supervisor involvement will
help to implement and bring accountability and ROI to the sales training
investment. And best of all it is taught by an industry veteran who’s been there … done that.
The class size is limited to 14 so the workshops will have value for each participant. Each participant’s cost
is $495. Which includes the one hour pre call, the 8 hour leader led class and three one hour follow up
conference calls to improve the ‘forgetting curve’ always associated with training. This is a 12 hour
investment per course. An investment not an expense. The per‐hour investment is only $41.25.
Building your revenue base in today’s aftermarket will require creative new ways to make things happen.
Sales training has been one of those areas where the focus has not been that strong. It is time! Contact
Carm, he can become your success partner at 716‐523‐4915 or go to his web site: and read about the possibilities. Read the blogs and download a
few white papers. You can also email him at [email protected]
Carm is always looking to bring timely and important opportunities to help you grow your business
success. Get ready to make the necessary improvements to your selling strategy. Make a call now.
Gillette’s Electrical Supply
Remanufactured Automotive Electrical
Starters – Alternators – Generators – Pump & Plow Motors
We have over 400 units of surplus rebuilt units that we are looking to sell.
Detailed lists in Lester or Hollander available. Call us for more details.
We’re located at: 182 Colesville Road – Binghamton, NY 13904
Phone: (607) 775-0785
Fax: (607) 775-5701
Toll Free: (877) 775-0785
Open Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 4:00pm