This Month’s Selling Principle:
Quick Guidelines To Keeping Our Name In Front Of Our Customers
This month’s article is in response to another wave of requests for ideas on building a book of repeat and referral business. I would refer you to the ARTICLES section of our website also.
There are many different approaches to keeping our names in front of our clientele. Here are some of my quick suggestions;
1) NO asking for referrals at the time of delivery (it’s their magic moment, not ours. Besides our customers won’t care enough to send us referrals until they know how much we care about them. Remember, in the long run, it’s not the first impression that makes us the most money, it’s the last impression we leave.) UPDATE: An alternative would be to use a relational approach like the one outlined here: How to ask for a testimonial video.
2) a thank you note immediately after the delivery with a few biz cards included (to set up the referral pipeline). Better yet, push your contact info from your smart phone to theirs,
3) a 24 hour phone call to make sure everything is okay and to answer any questions they may have (no asking for referrals yet, we still need to set up that pipeline some more and they haven’t gotten our TY card yet either),
4) a 72 hour phone contact again to make sure everything is okay and to answer any questions and also to explain the biz cards in the thank you note. (“Mr. Client, in the next few weeks, many of your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members will be gawking at your new car. If any of them mention an interest in a car for themselves, new or used, any make or model, would you do me a favor please? Would you please give them one of my business cards? I promise to give them the same kind of professional service and show them the same respect I showed you and your family.)
5) a 7 day phone contact, mainly for referrals. (“Give out any cards yet?”)
6) a 30 phone or video message contact, again mainly for referrals.
7) short postcard greetings like Happy New Year, Safe & Fun 4th of July, Scary Halloween (with a TINY, and I mean T…I…N…Y referral reminder)
8) Birthday card/video greeting and a Season’s Greetings card/video greeting in December. (with NO mention at all of referrals)
9) a newsletter every other month or at least once a quarter (we have tons of examples, just ask)
10) periodic e-mails or videos with info pertaining to the individual client (new lift opening at ski resort if they ski or great article on spotting signs of child abuse if they are counselors, etc.)
11) check service EVERY DAY to see which clients are scheduled to get (or are getting) their car serviced and leave them a note, shake their hand, or have their car cleaned and filled-up.
12) host an occasional social gathering for your clients. (for instance a catered new car showing at your dealership, a networking lunch at a local hotel, a client picnic at a local park, etc.)
13) regular invitations to join your social networking efforts (your website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
14) of course the occasional text or call to simply say your were thinking of them and you hope all is well is a good idea too!
Be creative and have fun. Have a systematic method of data control (preferably digital) and follow up and work your system every day, not just when it’s slow. Ask your dealer to cover some of the cost for you (postage, printing etc.). Ask them to offer inventive incentives to your clients for referrals not just the common and very ineffective $50 bird dog fee and consider putting up some of your commission too (i.e. making one monthly car payment for each referral that buys or one free scheduled service, etc.) Make sure you call to update and thank your referring customer for every prospect they send to you, whether or not they actually buy. And get off of the sales floor (I mean stop taking fresh ups not get into management!) as soon as you can!! By the way, the one monthly car payment per referral works as a close too! “Hey, would you like to hear of a way you can drive your dream car for free?”
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“Our mind is the most valuable possession that we have. The quality of our lives is, and will be, a reflection of how well we develop, train, and utilize this precious gift.”
Harold R. McAlindon
Objection of the Month: “I need my husband/wife.”
These are just a few of the most common strategies shared at the workshops we’ve conducted all across North America and attended by thousands of the top sales people in our field. Please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these strategies, of course, need to be tailored to the individual user, to the specific customer, and the particular situation. Also, this is by no means the definitive work on overcoming this particular objection and it’s not intended to be.
a. “Let’s go get her!”
b. “Let’s go ahead and call her.”
c. “Let’s take it to her.”
d. “No problem, we can complete this with the condition of ‘subject to your wife’s approval’ within 24 hours.” 1a. this usually requires management approval before we can make this suggestion
e. “Here, you can take it home over night and get her approval.” 1a. traditionally known as the “Puppy Dog Close”, this usually requires management’s OK and must also have a time limit attached to it.
f. “Why isn’t she here right now?” After our customer lists out the reasons she’s not there (works a lot, has to watch the 9 kids, hates car shopping, etc.) We use those very reasons to suggest that he “Save her the time, grief, and aggravation and do it without her.”
g. “This car’s for you. You’ve been thinking about it for the last three months, right? It’s the right color, right equipment, our store is close to your office, you’ve heard good things about our service department, but you just want her involved in the decision right? Then pause and ask him, “What if she says you can’t have it?” If customer says that she won’t, then we simply close the sale. If he says he won’t get it then, we say, “If she did object, what would she most likely object to, the car itself or the money? The money? Well, would she be most uncomfortable with the monthly payments or the total investment? (If payments) “If I could show you a way to get into the brand new car and keep your payments about the same as you’re paying now, what would she object to then?” (If total investment) “If I could show you a way to drive this new car for roughly 60% of the sticker price after you’re done with it, what would she object to then?”
h. “You know what I’ve discovered in MY marriage? Sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness, than it is to ask for permission. Isn’t it sometimes true for you too?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I don’t need a salesperson.” We need YOUR input! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
It Is Impossible To Gain Without Losing
by Pavla Michaela Polcarova
It is impossible to change while remaining the same. It is impossible to gain something new without losing something old and oh-so-familiar.
When I was leaving law, people were often asking me “why do you want to LOSE all the years you spent In law school?” This was a tough question. I didn’t see my decision as a decision designed to lose something. If I stayed, it would have been out of the desire for security, not out of love for being a lawyer. By leaving, I wasn’t losing. I was gaining a great opportunity to find out what made me tick, what I loved, and how that could contribute to the world. Sure, in the short term, I was losing the security of a steady (and not-so-bad) paycheque. In the long term, I was gaining the ability to make a living (at least as good as the one I left) COMBINED with doing meaningful work.
Great meaning is seldom found in holding on to the old for no reason other than it being safe. Going to the next level ALWAYS includes leaving something behind. Some things are easy to leave and others are tough. The question always is “what do you want more? What you have in front of you now or what lies ahead of you?” Scary to decide? Yes. The benefit of saying good-bye to what no longer serves us? A full, rich life that will have few regrets at its end – for us and for those around us!
Success Is Easy, But So Is Neglect
by Jim Rohn
People often ask me how I became successful in that six-year period of time while many of the people I knew did not. The answer is simple: The things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life. They found it easy not to. I found it easy to read the books that could affect my thinking and my ideas. They found that easy not to. I found it easy to attend the classes and the seminars, and to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn’t matter. If I had to sum it up, I would say what I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. Six years later, I’m a millionaire and they are all still blaming the economy, the government and company policies, yet they neglected to do the basic, easy things.
In fact, the primary reason most people are not doing as well as they could and should, can be summed up in a single word: neglect.
It is not the lack of money – banks are full of money. It is not the lack of opportunity – America, and much of the free World, continues to offer the most unprecedented and abundant opportunities in the last six thousand years of recorded history. It is not the lack of books – libraries are full of books – and they are free! It is not the schools – the classrooms are full of good teachers. We have plenty of ministers, leaders, counselors and advisors. Everything we would ever need to become rich and powerful and sophisticated is within our reach. The major reason that so few take advantage of all that we have is simply, neglect.
Neglect is like an infection. Left unchecked it will spread throughout our entire system of disciplines and eventually lead to a complete breakdown of a potentially joy-filled and prosperous human life.
Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity. And as our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer, our attitude begins to weaken. And as our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more … and on and on it goes.
So my suggestion is that when giving the choice of “easy to” and “easy not to” that you do not neglect to do the simple, basic, “easy”; but potentially life-changing activities and disciplines.
“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.”
Upcoming Public Events:
Retail Automotive Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“Great information offered in an engaging way. Even after nine years in sales, I’m surprised I’ve learned this much. The workbook is a great reference to hone my skills and revisit the studied material.”
Abdi Hussein, Sales Rep. – Burien Toyota
“A great number of good ideas was a good assessment of the condition of the car business.”
Jack Yeager, Sales – Riverside Ford
“Great tempo, relaxed atmosphere, makes for a great learning experience.”
Brian Ebbs, Sales – Larson Toyota
Date(s): May 12th & 13th, 2020
Location: The Best Western Hotel – Tacoma Dome
2611 East E Street
Tacoma, WA 98421
Click here for more info on the 1 Day Sales Pro’s Workshop
Date(s): July 7th & 8th, 2020
Location: Embassy Suites Hotel – Seattle North
20610 44th Ave. West
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Click here for more info on the 1 Day Sales Pro’s Workshop
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