Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
My wife and I have some wonderful friends whose restaurant serves up some of the most delicious Latin cuisine. Pedro and Adrianna have the warmest hearts. So, when they told me about the car salesperson they had fallen in love with several years prior, who never bothered to follow up with them after the sale, I could feel their disappointment.
They loved this guy. He’d been pleasant and warm to them. He’d treated them respectfully and with utmost integrity, and they’d been blessed to buy their vehicle from him. So why, I asked, weren’t they going back to that salesperson at that dealership now that they were in the market for another new car?
“We can’t remember his name,” Adrianna sighed.
“You mean”, I said, “He never followed up after the sale? You never heard from him on the anniversary of your purchase or on your birthday? He never called to give you a heads up about specials the dealership was promoting?” She shook her head. I shook mine. There is no reason this salesperson should not have won a customer for life. He’d done all the right things – a great meet and greet, demo drive, and worked a deal that pleased Pedro and Adrianna.
“I appreciated him so much, I even gave him a hug and a kiss,” Adrianna said. “We never heard from him again…and now I can’t remember who that great salesman was. Pat, can you refer us to one of the clients you work with, who might want our business?”
Pedro and Adrianna bought a new car from the dealership and the salesperson to whom I referred them. Shortly thereafter, they bought a second car from the same salesperson. In the meantime; guess what that “great” salesperson at that other dealership was doing both those mornings? He was waiting for the next up. All because he loved Pedro and Adrianna when they were there to buy, but failed to maintain that relationship once they’d driven off. As he walked to the Manager’s office to put another “X” on the board, they were forgetting his name.
That sales representative had a lot going for him. I’m certain that his other customers came to love him too. Yet he is unconsciously incompetent. He’s conscious of the need to establish rapport and trust through the sales cycle, but ignorant of the necessity to communicate with customers after the sale and periodically thereafter to keep his name fresh in their minds. Moreover, because he’s unconscious of this important step, he’s a sales failure. Sure, he might steadily put solid numbers on the board, yet how much more productive could he be – and in a smarter manner – by continuing to romance customers after the deal is done?
That unconsciously incompetent salesperson lost that follow-up sale to Pedro and Adrianna. He lost the sale of the second vehicle they also bought (plus the service revenue on those vehicles) and he is losing all the business that Pedro and Adrianna now send instead to their new dealership and new salesperson, whose business cards enjoy prominent display adjacent to the cash register in their popular restaurant.
Customers want to know they mean something to you. You can love them to pieces during the transaction phase, but if you ignore them afterward you have failed. Prove you love them by sending notes, emails and letters once in awhile to keep your name fresh in their mind so when repurchase time rolls around they know exactly who to call.