In the Fog

Burying his mom was the hardest thing he had had to do since…well, since burying his dad 25 years earlier.

Now, 6 days post-funeral he is back in the office.  He thinks to himself, “Things seem so clear…” but everyone around him is thinking, “His head is not quite right yet.”  And why should it be?  6 days ago he stood beside his brothers and sisters as they lowered the matriarch of the family, the most constant and consistent part of their lives, into the ground alongside their dad.  Things were different.  They were orphans now.

He has been about his work since his return, glad to have the distraction however there is no escaping those moments when he is alone with his thoughts.  Thoughts that don’t just creep up on him, they rush his mind like an invading army of Huns.

He is solid; mentally, emotionally, spiritually tough.  The way his mom was.  One of the traits that they had in common.  One of the many.  Mom was caring, but transparent.  You knew that she loved you, but you also knew what she thought about you, your friends, your choices…  That integrity, the fact that right or wrong you knew where you stood with her, was a turnoff to some but he had always found it refreshing.  He thought to himself, “Mom’s integrity, dad’s charm.  A golden combination.”foggy-cemetery-01032017

He hadn’t been sleeping well since the funeral, but he found himself feeling well-rested.  Since mom died on Christmas Day, the year-end business that had to be done was a week behind so there was some stress in his world however, he found that in spite of the presence of stress he wasn’t necessarily “stressed”.  This had not been the case just 7 days ago.

So now he is wondering if he is in a fog?  Nah!  He knew the difference between “intensity” and just being “tense”.  He is aware of his circumstances, he knows what needs to be done and what has to be done, and he knows the difference.  He knows you can maintain your “edge” without being “edgy”.

Clarity of mind and purpose; this was his meditation each day, and he felt as clear about where he was and where he was headed as he had in a long, long time.

But he also realizes that you can achieve clarity within the fog.

  • Big Wave Davedavid on Sea-doo
  • Trainer-Mentor-Coach
  • (469) 939-0410 Mobile


There were many changes for the Simpson’s in 2016.  At the beginning of the year I was the Regional Sales Manager for GM Financial; the finance arm for General Motors.  I was responsible for 187 dealers across 5 states and 5 area reps.  The job entailed a lot of travel and being in a different car dealership every day.  When I accepted this position my strategy was to build relationships with my dealers that would result in an opportunity to eventually become a General Manager.  With my territory being the Midwest, I anticipated my opportunity to be a GM to be somewhere in the Midwest as well.

At the end of the Summer last year both of my kids left to go to their perspective colleges, so Jan and I effectively became “empty-nesters”.  Having raised our kids to this point in their lives ran parallel to Jan and I achieving this point in our lives where we could accept the right position at the right dealership regardless of where it was in the country.

I flew to several dealership interviews from one side of the country to the other, and once I had made up my mind of where we were going and who we were going to work for things moved pretty quickly.  I packed everything I needed and left Jan in Dallas to get my kids off to their colleges and to pack up our apartment in preparation for a relocation.  I arrived at my new store on a Friday morning, and by 11:00 I knew I had made the wrong choice.

A week later I got on an airplane and flew back to Dallas.  Before I left the dealership parking lot I made a phone call and accepted another GM position in another part of the country.  I called Jan from the airport with the news, “Don’t stop packing, but we’re going someplace else.”  I spent the next week helping Jan pack and the next Sunday I was on another airplane headed to our new opportunity in Maryland.  That Tuesday I started my next new career at my current store.  Walking into the conference room to meet my new staff, I knew in an instant that I was home.

In the 4 months since I accepted my current position, the store I manage has made a 180 degree turn, Jan and I are closer than ever, my kids are learning how to be self-sufficient, and I am finding things out about myself that I could not have learned in any other context.

figure-playing-basketballThe first day of the new year is a great time for introspection and reflection, and looking back I am so proud of the way Jan and I have embraced this new road we are on.  I am thinking this morning of the lessons that I learned along the way.



  1. Don’t lose focus on your goals, regardless of your circumstances or your geography
  2. The most important asset in any ones life is the quality of the relationships we make along the way
  3. We are capable of more than we think we are if we focus our efforts on our strengths and passions, and are willing to do the work and invest the time
  4. A person is never too old or too stuck to reinvent themselves into the person that they know that they can be
  5. Making a mistake is never fatal, staying in those circumstances becasue it’s easier than risking another mistake is the reason most people are dissatisfied with their lives


  • Big Wave Davesimpson-seadoo
  • David Simpson
  • Trainer-Mentor-Coach
  • (469) 939-0410 Mobile

Performance Selling

I do a lot of “stand up” training for dealerships, and I was thinking about how communicating in front of a room (which most people are terrified of) has a lot of parallels to communicating to a single customer.

1.  Credibility is everything

If you don’t have credibility when dealing with a customer on the showroom floor, you might as well give them a card and turn them loose.  They aren’t going to buy from you, and if they do it will be because your manager has intervened with, “How cheap do I need to sell this vehicle to make this make sense?”  Likewise, my credibility in front of an audience has to be established early, or I end up speaking to the backs of everyone’s smart phone.  Lou Holtz says that customer’s have to answer 3 questions about a sales person before they will make a decision to do business with them.  Those 3 things are, Do you know what you are talking about?  Can I trust you? and Do you care about me?

Whether I am speaking to an audience of 1 or 1,000 for me to be successful, they each need to be able to answer “Yes” to those 3 questions.

Microphone-on-stage2.  You have to have good timing

The best stand-up comics are good at what they do because they have good timing.  They respond to their audience, and they space the jokes and the punchlines appropriately.

A successful sales person has good timing as well.  They respond to their audience, and they don’t try to force the “punchline” (the close) on the customer too early.

There are a lot of little closes in a sales transaction, before there is the big one.  There is closing that I am the right sales person to help the customer achieve what they are trying to achieve.  There is closing the needs-analysis conversation, then the product presentation and demonstration.  The timing of those closes has to be perfect, or at some point the customer becomes disconnected from the sales person, or the process.

I had a sales person who rarely ever had to negotiate.  When this person brought me a deal, it was a deal.  I asked him once how he was so successful closing on the first offer and he told me, “Some sales people close the customer on paper, I just don’t go to paper till the customers are closed”.  He timed his closing right so he didn’t have to negotiate; it wasn’t a matter of “if”, it was a matter of “when”, “how” and “how many times”.

3.  You have to close with impact

Simply put, if I get to the end of a performance or the end of the sales process, I need to have earned the right to ask for commitment.  This means that the previous 1, 2 or 3 hours had to have been spent building value in me, my message and my conviction.  For these things to be true, I need to have been in touch from the start with what my audience/customers expectations were, and I should have spent the balance of my time meeting those expectations.

Credibility, timing and impact are 3 things that effective communicators have a handle on, whether they are communicating with an audience in a stadium or a customer in a showroom.


I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was on the big tractor with the 8′ brush hog on the back and it was the first day of Summer.  One of my jobs this particular Summer was to mow the back pasture of our farm; a vast expanse of knee-high hay grass that seemed to go on and on.  

In my mind my Summer was spent; this would be my June-August Purgatory.  

My dad was going once more through the controls of the tractor; the gears, clutch, brake, etc…  I looked down at him desperately and said, “Look at how much there is!  I will never mow all of that in one Summer!”  

My dad patted my leg, hard but good, and pointed at the nose of the tractor and said, “Just cut the hay in front of you.  The rest of the pasture will take care of itself.”  


Jesus told His disciples not to worry about tomorrow.  Tomorrow has worries enough on it’s own.  He told the disciples, in not so many words, to just “…cut the hay in front of them.”  

How often do we lose our perspective by looking at the expanse of what stands between us and what we desire, or what we are called for?  We have been taught to appreciate the merit in “big picture” thinking, but there is a difference in seeing the big picture and getting lost in it.  Often we can look so many steps ahead thinking we are being prudent, that we lose our footing on the next step and fall where we stand.

Holy Week has meant a lot to me, not because of the power that God has shown me in what He has chosen to do in my life but because of the grace He has shown me in what He has chosen to withhold from my life.

I know this is His way of patting my leg, hard but good, pointing at the path before me and saying, “Just cut the hay in front of you, and the rest will take care of itself.”


ImageBig Wave Dave
(469) 939-0410 Cell



finding-your-purposeThe longer that I live, and the more that I learn about people, the more convinced I become that humans as a species are born for a purpose.  We are born with an inborn desire to discover our purpose.  We are conditioned by our culture that prosperity gives us purpose, but promotion without purpose is not prosperity, it is futility.

So what is “purpose“, and how do we inject our desire, our pursuit of purpose into our lives in such a way that we can live into that purpose and still assimilate ourselves into our culture?

Alignmentalways precedesassignment“.  Finding-life-purpose

I can only speak for myself, and in my own experience, that there is room for purpose in our pursuit of prosperity.  There is a way to live into our purpose even through the process of participating in our culture.

Once we align ourselves with our purpose, we are now ready to live our lives in the light of that purpose.  While others are chasing “careers“, those of us who know our purpose, that reason for which we are created, are able to live our “calling“.

dartboard bullseyeI say this who is a car salesman, not a preacher.  I say this who is not necessarily a “good” person, but who has identified his purpose.  Even in the activity of capitalism, I am determined to live into that purpose for which I believe I was created.

One aspect of purpose that exists in all of creation is relationship.  We are all born to live in relationship with one another.  We are all created as social creatures, that is a fact.  Denying our responsibility to relationship is not only counter-productive, and unhealthy; it is unnatural.

This is what I try to communicate first and foremost to the people that I am charged by my clients to train, nurture and develop; that whether we be salesmen, managers or top-level executives, the only things that we do that matter, the only investments we make in this life that lasts, are the quality of our relationships.

Likewise, the only value that we bring into our vocational lives is our ability to create, foster and manage relationships.

Business goes on.  Our free-market society by design demands that we buy, sell and trade to continue to turn the wheels of commerce.  There is nothing inherently evil about participating in our economy; whatever our role.  However, the same culture that is driven by this economy can become pervasive.  That culture tells us if enough is good, more is better.  So the question, “How much is enough?” is answered, “A little bit more.”

ProsperityThis takes our eyes off of our purpose, and so we begin to seek our identity in what the world has to offer us, rather than what we have to offer our world.   

From experience I can tell you, no matter your skill set, or the aptitude you have achieved within your craft; if you ignore your purpose, you rob yourself of any hope for peace, progress or real prosperity.


Stay Green!david on Sea-doo

David Simpson


Do you like to gamble?  (Whether yes or no)

You know how to play blackjack, right?

Every hand in blackjack is going to end one of 3 ways; win, lose or push, isn’t it.

If you walked into a casino and there were 2 blackjack tables; one of them was normal with the 3 possible outcomes, but the other was special, at that table you could only either win or push, which one would you choose?

The one where I couldn’t lose, of course.

Of course, that’s an easy one, right?  You’re buying your vehicle today, betting that it’s going to be worth a certain dollar amount down the line.  Let’s say that you expect your vehicle to be worth $10,000 in 3 years, but it is actually worth $12,000.  Did you win?


And if it was worth $10,000, would you consider that a push?


But, if something beyond your control was to happen and your vehicle was only worth $6,000, wouldn’t that be a loss?

Oh yeah       

That’s right, unfortunately you’d lose.  That’s why myself and most of my customers choose the lease option.  You see, our lease program offers the option that conventional purchasing does not, the ability to give it back to the bank and walk away.  That way, you can never lose.

Since you told me that you like/don’t like to gamble, and no one likes to lose, wouldn’t it make sense to play the hand you can’t lose?

I guess so.

Let me show you how it looks, and some of your available options leasing vs. buying.  Fair enough.


WIN                 LOSE               PUSH

EXPECT                                                      GET                                                      RESULT

$10,000                                                           $12,000                                               WIN

$10,000                                                           $10,000                                               PUSH

$10,000                                                           $6,000                                                 LOSE




Paintless-Dent-Repair Protection should be a no-brainer fo customers purchasing high-line vehicles, or even customer’s purchasing a more “commodity” type vehicle but whose motivation is attached to how smart and sensible they are.  These people take pride in purchasing a vehicle that has all the same types of features, and is still aesthetically appealing for so much less money than the person spending extra for status that comes from driving a “luxury” car.

These buyers, in my experience, are highly driven by the satisfaction of purchasing a type of vehicle that is an extension of their personality.  Those good-feelings that make that customer feel special are only enhanced whenever they know that every time they pull aways from their dealers service department, their vehicle is free from dents and dings that make the vehicle look less prestigious than it should, and certainly more prestigious than vehicles similar in age with the same amount of miles that don’t have this coverage.

Asking “trigger questions” throughout the process will help create “needs awareness” in your customer so that this item on their menu will sing to them.

  • If they are replacing a vehicle I ask, “Has that been a good car for you?”  “Those cars are so good looking.  Does your old car have any type of cosmetic damage, or just your basic dents, dings…”
  • “Do you park on a street at work, or in a parking garage?”
  • “Is this car gonna have a special-spot in your garage at home?”
  • “Have you ever walked out of the grocery store or super market and seen someone parked right up next to your vehicle?”
  • “Your comprehensive and collision deductibles are…_____?  I always get those mixed up; collision covers major damage, and comprehensive covers everyday stuff like dents, dings…”

One of the challenges that we in sales face is “Projection of the Objection”.  We assume based on really unrelated criteria that certain customers will buy certain things.  This comes from our experiences with so many different types of customer day after day.  One of the things that I do when a customer tells me “No” is I ask them to help me with the next customer by telling me, “Why not?”

I know that the only objection that I cannot overcome is the one that I don’t hear.  If I let the customer off the hook by giving them the impression that I want to know what their objection is so I can apply what I learn to the next customer, and not try to sell them something they have said they don’t want, they will sometimes be more forthcoming.  Customers often get caught off-guard by that question, “Why not?” and have no real rational, no real argument for why they don’t want this product, other than just saying they don’t need it, or that they can’t afford it, or that they can afford to pay for those types of repairs whenever they come up.

Now, I have the objection.  The true objection can only be 1-of-3 things, the person, the product or the price.  Since I am rarely the reason people say “No”, it’s got to be either the price or the product.  Here is one rebuttal:

“I don’t want that PDR thing…”

“Really?  That surprises me especially since most of our customers want their vehicle to look as new as possible for as long as possible.  Is it the product itself, or the price that is causing you to feel this way?”

“It’s the product itself.  I don’t need insurance to keep my car looking new.”

I understand.  One of the reasons that my customers choose this option is for the convenience.  Can I show you what I mean?  Might save you some time and aggravation.’


“You told me your vehicle that you are trading in didn’t have any major damage, but you would admit, wouldn’t you, that when a used car manager sees a dent or a ding on a vehicle, they assign a dollar-value to fixing those?”


“And, give or take and in round-figures, how many times did you have your service department take out any repairable door dings and dents in your last vehicle?”

“Well, I don’t remember doing that at all.  I don’t even remember anyone ever offering to do that type of work.”

“That’s what most of my customers tell me, which is why the PDR Protection is such a good decision.  I sold this policy to a doctor just last week, and he actually demanded it because he knows how much better his vehicle looks over time because he doesn’t have to make that conscious decision to schedule those repairs, he just has to bring his vehicle into our service department for it’s regularly-scheduled maintenance, and let them know that he has this protection.  They now know they don’t have to “sell” him on the work, they just have to call in the claim and do the repair, and make their commission.”

“Did you want to keep the PDR protection for 3-years or upgrade to the 5-year plan?”

Stay green!

David Simpson
(469) 939-0410 Cell