Brent, sorry for long message – but I hope you will benefit from it because I just answered this question for the colleagues I work with inside of my dealership. I have been in the auto industry for 10 years, and doing the steps I line out for you below for three years. In a nutshell, just know that you can get just as many referrals (or more) from those you don't sell a car to as those you do. I Send Out Cards to the people I meet showing my appreciation, and then I stay in touch with cards for life… They get the same treatment as somebody who bought from me. I would advise that you take a moment to understand what I lined out for you below... Wishing you the best, Tobias.
Well, I thought long and hard, when I was originally asked to share something with you guys that I could contribute to the group that might be outside of what is the norm – and what I feel is one of my specialties, in terms of what I have encountered over the last two years. It is no secret that I'm a big fan of network marketing – I know that there are are a lot of people that aren't, in fact I was probably one of the biggest opponents to network marketing before I got involved in it that you ever could have met. In fact, I was involved with a network marketing company for one year, before I actually stood inside of a room and understood what it was really about.
Network marketing is simply an alternative way to move products - and what it is, is a business model that is founded upon relationships. What it allows, is for a company to offer a single product, and to focus their energies on improving the quality of that product; and giving their "independent distributors" (in our world, they're called "consultants") the best tools they can to help them grow a business based on relationships. Well, it's kind of funny, that as I got a little bit further into my network marketing career; I started to realize some of the similarities that it had with the company I had come to love, in being with Centennial Leasing & Sales.
What I'm saying, is that our business is built on relationships, and people knowing what we do; and how we take care of them. My network marketing business is built on relationships - with people knowing what I do, and how I take care them. Even though the tool was initially looked at as something that would help me in this business, as a follow-up and stay in touch tool; what happened in time is that I realized my network marketing business was also another tool that could help me in this one from the perspective of introducing me to people that I shared common interests with, and giving me a story to tell. It may seem kind of crazy, but when I go to my network marketing events the people are going to ask me the question, "How did you find out aboutInsert Name of Network Marketing Company?" (It is no secret what my company is, as well.) And I get to tell my story: that it was shared with me by a client of mine inside of the auto industry... What a great way to stay in touch, and celebrate important moments with people - and it ended up being a tool that I've really come to love.
Now, one of the things it really plug me into, as well, was a personal development system. Thankfully, I took the time to come down to this place – to start making the regular commute from Longmont; because what it did was allow me time on a daily basis to get really involved with some of the educational resources that are out there to help me grow as a person. One of the best things I can say that I have learned in the last two years with the breakdown of taking things to easy steps of 1-2-3. I know this is very basic, and I know that a lot of businesses already do this; but for me, personally - I didn't have this organization before I got involved in network marketing. As I break things down into the 1-2-3, it always helps me to focus better on what my goal is – some of the things I would say, to think about initially is "before, during, and after." What we need to do to continue growing our businesses - and again you hear me interject with "this is how I suggest you build your business here, and this is how I suggest you build your business if you ever got involved in the network marketing business" – because it's built the same way: continue to meet new people, let them know what you do, and take care of them in a manner that they would understand either why they would want to do business with you – or perhaps refer you to somebody else.
When I worked in the traditional business model setting in the car dealership arena, this is kind of what all sales training taught us.
X X XO O O O O O O
(They taught us that we would average a30%closing ratio of the people we touched - that was just the industry-standard...and our job was to find the buyers. Today, I find it kind of laughable – because they are all buyers, some are “now” and some are “in the future” - it’s up to me!)
What our goal was, was to try and learn how to become really persuasive, or really organized so that instead of being the average30%-er, we could become a40%-er:
X X XXO O O O O O
(Based on the way their play plans were set up, and the traffic they generated this one extra little"X"was going to transform our paychecks from making a meager and mediocre income, into the wages of a true sales professional.)
Now, the only problem that I noticed, was that usually the tactics they employed in order to get you to achieve a 40% closing ratio deterred the people from wanting to do business with you in the future; simply because usually you were pushing them into doing something they were not yet prepared to do.
Now, as I look back at this, this is what I have discovered: it is a lot easier to let the one difficult customer get away from you - and instead focus on how we treat everybody. I recognized that if we continue to meet new people - and treat everybody with care; we can instead focus on30%of people wanting to do business with us – simply because they like us:
X X XX X X X X XO
This next group of30%chooses to do business with us, in the near future, because of how we treated them after we met them – sometimes called short-term follow-up.
X X XX X XX X XO
(I send thank you cards.)
And then, let's let this last group of30%become a source of referrals for in the future. Meaning, they may or may not ever choose to do business with us at a time in the future – but there is a pretty good chance if we continue to take really good care of them, that regardless if they ever choose to do business with us, or not – what we are hoping for is that they will focus on one of two refer us to somebody that they know and like at a time in the future - often times referred to as long-term follow-up.
(I stay in touch throughout time with an occasional greeting card.)
X X XX X XX X XO
What I have found, is that by taking care of all of these people – yes I even take care of the one that I don't think will ever want to do business with me, or send somebody my way. I always have him represented as an outlier (O). I have always found it to be a good idea to represent this person, otherwise I hear the stories of "Yeah, but this one time I had this one guy and he…"So I've always found it easier to just give this person the benefit of the doubt and represent him as one out of 10.
I have found that it is a lot easier to getone, two, or threemore people, in addition to the people that chose to do business with you, initially, because they like you – and turn yourself into a 60%-er; than it is to learn how to be persuasive – and try to control whether or not somebody says "yes" or "no" to you. Instead, you get to control the "yes" or "no" based on how you will continue to take care of them. You can control how you treat them initially, and how you continue to take care of them. By the way, I have always found it to be a good idea to represent the person that never does business with you, and would never want to send anybody your way as (O), otherwise I hear the stories of "Yeah, but this one time I had this one guy and he…" So I've always found it easier to just give this person the benefit of the doubt and represent him as one out of 10, even though I feel he represents a much smaller part of the people we encounter.
X X XX X X X X XO
I have realized that there are some things that we cannot control – like whether or not people will say "yes" – however, we can control the level of service that we choose to provide; and influence their level of comfort, so that they will keep us in mind in the future – and feel comfortable referring us at the right time. Ultimately, this is the biggest lesson I have learned.
I would recommend to anybody to pick up some of the books that are available, and get plugged-in on LinkedIn; where there are a lot of professionals that have really good suggestions about books that you can read. If you're not a big reader, I'd recommend picking up some of the audio books. Taking into consideration the people I've met inside of this business, and the resources that have been recommended to me – I can say that it has given me so much more than what the initial outlay was for me to get started in network marketing. For those of you that are opposed to network marketing businesses, I would encourage you to take a look and understand that what we do, here, at Centennial Leasing & Sales is "network marketing": we continue to meet new people, and let them know what we do – in case there is a time that we can take care of them in the future...
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