Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers
Be warned. This post is not about digital marketing. In fact, it discourages most any form of ongoing customer or contact-worthy prospect follow-up that isn’t snail mailed. Oops! Now, hold on for a second. I’m only here because, after Ralph Paglia and I got acquainted during a phone call about a composition question, and he found out what I’ve done for reps and dealerships for the past 20+ years, he thought it so “compelling” he insisted I tell you. You know Ralph. How could I say no? Anyway, this is what I’ve learned in a lifetime of big ticket retailing.
They’ll return if they know, like and trust you
Imagine, for a moment, you could pick the reason why your next customer was coming in to see you. Would you want them to be a “walk-in”? Or, that they saw an ad on your website or in the newspaper? Or, that they’re a hot lead from your BDC? They all sound challenging, don’t they? Thinking about it, wouldn’t you prefer they were your own previous customer, coming back to see you again, or as a second choice, their friend, whom your customer referred directly to you?
Every “starts fresh each month” career rep regrets they didn’t do better follow-up
If selling a previous customer or their referral sounds like the easiest way to go, and you’d like to create more of those situations, read on. If not, this post, as well as my first-ever website, a real nothing-held-back “How-to-do-it” guide about relationship-centered marketing (RCM), will only make your eyes glaze over. That’s too bad, too, because you’ll be missing out on experienced direction about building stronger equity in your sales career, as well as making each month a little easier and more productive via continuously improving repeat and referral business.
When your follow-up is RCM, your customers will love what you tell them
Here’s a question to better illuminate RCM from a customer perspective. What would you do if you had a friend, who, every time they contacted you they asked for “money”? Now, say instead they seldom mentioned “money” and mostly talked about how much they admired you and valued your friendship. Do you think you might respond better to the second scenario and be more inclined to hear them out when they did mention “money”? That brings up another question. If you don’t talk about “money” (e.g., big sale going on, need your trade, “now’s the time,” etc.), what should you talk about that would make you money? You'll find the answer to that, and most every other question you’ll have about RCM, at archer-profit.com.
It’s educational, not entertaining (Jim! I’m a sales rep, not a website designer!)
As to our website, if you’re expecting lots of colorful type, framing and dancing logos, you’ll be disappointed. It has illustrations, but only to reinforce the content. To read the home page and its twelve related links, expect to spend about 35 to 45 minutes. The upside is you’ll learn about a time-tested, easy-to-understand way to make your business more consistent, with bigger and better profit opportunities. (You’ll get that 35 to 45 minutes back the first time you’re busy selling a returning customer and miss going “toe to toe” with 4 or 5 other dealers to sell some Internet shopper who’s turned “chiseling the price” into an art form.)
Guaranteed to improve your image and make your follow-up more effective
Because of my appreciation you’ve read this far, and my admiration for the length of your attention span, I’ll cut this shorter than I’d like, and end with a few relevant, but unrelated thoughts. When RCM is implemented, it will actually help all of your other customer and known-prospect marketing (e.g., AutoAlert, etc.) work better. RCM’s delivery is by snail mail only, for a lot of reasons. For “better profits,” keep RCM true to its principles. (The website explains them.) RCM enhances “Transaction control,” that “comfortable familiarity” that only happens when the buyer allows it because they know, like and trust the seller. RCM systematically improves the seller/buyer relationships and, above all, helps retain those special people sharing a commonality in that they’ve all said “Yes” to you before, so you can ask them that question again.