Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Going the Extra Mile for Your Customer

by fouts

yukonIt would seem like a no-brainer that going the extra distance to really listen to what your customer wants and delivering it is good for business, right? Still, really listening to customers is a skill that a lot of businesses seem to have forgotten.

Recently I bought a trailer for my horse and my Jeep just didn’t have the horsepower to pull it, so we went looking for a bigger SUV. Something used and in good enough condition I won’t have to worry about it out on the back country roads where I’ll be riding or heading to Tahoe for a family getaway. We visited half a dozen dealerships. We did a few test drives but none were the perfect fit for all the needs of our family.

Not one sales person offered to keep in touch and let us know if something came on the lot that was a good fit. When I suggested it a couple of times the salesman looked at me like I was an alien. They didn’t even ask questions about what we wanted, just how much we could spend and tried to make a deal on whatever cars it  they had in stock. It was all about the immediate sale.

We did some searches online and found a truck that looked good at the Gilroy Auto Outlet (about 30 miles from our house) and drove down to look at it. It was close, but still didn’t have some of the features we wanted. Imagine my shock when the sales manager, Jeff Buich, started to ask us questions about what we were looking for! Not only did he ask questions, he took notes, gave us his card and offered to let us know if something came on the lot.

A week later Jeff called with a truck for us to look at. He’d searched partner dealerships for a car that fit our needs and had it brought to the lot, ran it through a safety check, detailed it and had it ready for sale. Although that first vehicle didn’t work, he asked more questions and found a second one that was spot on perfect. It had every one of the “important” details we were looking for, the mileage AND price we requested.

THAT my friends is the epitome of service. He listened, he listened again and he delivered exactly what we wanted. Was I a difficult customer to please? Yep. Am I a customer of his for life? Probably, and I’ll tell everyone I know looking for a car that it’s well worth it to head to Gilroy and see Jeff.

What’s the lesson?
In my little search I met a lot of salespeople. I saw a lot of sales strategies ranging from “you’ll never find what you want you should settle for this” to “I’ll cut you such a deal that you’ll start to like this car after all”. I’m a salesperson too, and I’m not an easy sale, but I truly appreciate a salesman who is about service first. Attention to the customer must be job one if you want my business.

2 Questions to ask yourself about your sales techniques

How do you treat your customers?
Do you sell them what you think they want or do you listen to what they need first?

Are you about the one-time sale on the life-long customer?
Sure you can sell some people a car they really didn’t want if you make the deal sweet enough, but eventually they just might resent you for it. Do you want them to tell their friends you sold them a car they really didn’t want or that you gave them great service AND a great deal?

Follow through!
Lots of salespeople looked at us as a one-time sale and if we didn’t buy right away they just moved on to the next one. How many deals are you leaving on the table because you’re in a rush to get to the next sale? Do your buyers come back and like your Facebook page or do they take the dealer plate holder off as soon as they get home?

Online or offline?
Here’s the thing about social media (I know, you were wondering when I was going to get there);

.You can use all the social media you want to get people in the door, and it’s great at that, but if you don’t make the sale don’t blame social media, cuz social media doesn’t make sales, people do. One instant sale isn’t going to get you rave reviews like this one.

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Have you read my book yet? “Social Media Success! – Practical advice and real-world examples for social media” is available on Amazon

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