A good salesman is focused on selling a car. But a great salesman is focused on building a relationship with clients that will result in the sale of not just one car but many down the road, to the client and everyone the client refers in the future because of the excellent service he received. That’s because sales is about more than just how many cars you sold that month. It’s about building relationships and making those relationships work for you even when you’re far from the sales floor.
Here are five tips on how to make your customers repeat customers.
1. Stay in touch.
There’s nothing more annoying than a salesman who just calls to shoot the breeze. But a salesman who calls to tell you there’s a 0 percent financing deal on that car you were test driving two weeks ago? That’s a welcome intrusion. Make your phone calls or emails relevant, interesting and most of all productive. Don’t just rehash old information or say “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while.” Offer pertinent information, and you’ll see them again.
2. Listen to your customer’s needs.
The expression “the customer is always right” has stuck around for a reason. Listen to what your customer is saying and try to negotiate the best possible outcome for them, not for you. For example, don’t try to convince them to buy the deluxe media package, even though it would give you a bigger commission, if they truly wouldn’t use it. You will earn their goodwill for your helpfulness, and they’ll recommend you to friends and family as an honest salesman. If they are concerned about something, or have questions about other things, be there for them. Don’t get frustrated, even if they have you talking about cars for an hour and then all the sudden decide they want to look at the pickup truck trailers for sale, just be supportive and you’ll have them coming back time and time again.
3. Always offer your thanks.
Many dealerships have thank you notes automatically emailed to customers after they get an oil change, take a test drive or buy a car. But don’t let that be your only word of thanks. Send a handwritten note that refers to specific instances in the buying process, so that the customer knows you are thinking of them and remember your conversations. Being thought of as a person and not just another potential sale is hugely important to customers, and they will return again and again when the feel they’re getting that personal attention.
4. Be consistent.
One thing that drives people crazy is a lack of consistency in the buying process. Don’t promise something one week, then renege the next. And likewise, don’t say something is impossible, and then offer that same deal a few minutes later when the customer threatens to walk. Most importantly, be positive, friendly and courteous in all of your dealings, even when you feel frustrated by the person in your office. Consistent customer service may be the single best way to ensure repeat business.
5. Deliver on your promises.
One of the most disappointing things you can do is fail to deliver on something you’ve promised a customer. Make a deal with yourself: Never compromise on a promise. You’ll find people lining up to buy from you over and over.
by Courtney Gordner