Category Archives: Repeat Business

5 Ways to Make Your Customers Repeat Customers

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

How to Build a Repeat Client Base in Automobile Sales

Here is a question I recently received from a young automobile salesperson:

[list:3hddiyyl][i:3hddiyyl]"I’m a sales rep just starting off. I am 21 years old and have nine months experience at a (auto dealership) store. It is hard for me because I am very young. The rest of the sales guys are at least 40 with many years of experience. I would like to ask you for some personal tips so I can surpass these guys. I don’t have a repeat client base quite yet, but I’m working up to it. I would appreciate if you wrote me back."[/i:3hddiyyl][/list:u:3hddiyyl]
Here is the answer that I provided to this young go-getter:

You can really set yourself apart if you focus on learning how to ask questions to determine the key factors behind your prospects’ buying decisions. If you ask good questions, your age will rapidly become a non-factor as your prospects gain respect for your courtesy and professionalism.

Ask penetrating, insightful questions and listen very carefully to each prospect’s answers to your questions. Those answers will tell you whether the individual is a prospect that is worthy of a significant time investment, and, if they are, how you can best help them buy.

Too many automobile salespeople are focused on trying to cram a vehicle (any vehicle) down someone’s throat
Or, they are fixated on features of vehicles that they themselves admire. Here is an example:

One time when I was looking at cars, I met a salesman that waxed eloquent about a particular car’s engine, horsepower, 0 to 60 time, and other "gear head" specifications. I politely informed him that those things didn’t matter much to me. As long as the car could perform decently when I was passing someone on the highway, that was all I needed to know about its engine and horsepower. I was more interested in the car’s appearance and the quality of its interior appointments. Yet, even though I explicitly told the salesman what my primary interests were, he kept peppering his conversation with "gear head babble". I found his behavior to be quite amusing, but it didn’t help him make a sale.

That doesn’t mean you never want to discuss engine specifications with a prospect. Just reserve those conversations for people that are truly interested in such things. They will make themselves known by the kinds of questions they ask and the general focus of their comments.

When someone visits your dealership, a good place to start is by finding out what brought them into your store.
Here are some questions you could ask:

[list:3hddiyyl]- Why are they looking at your specific brand? Is it because they have some loyalty to the brand, or did some other reason bring them into your store?
– Is there a particular type of vehicle or certain features they are especially interested in?
– Why are they interested in that vehicle or those features?
– What kind of vehicle are they driving currently?
– What do they like about their current vehicle?
– What would they like to change when they acquire their next vehicle?
– How will they go about making their vehicle purchasing decision?
– How do they prefer to acquire their vehicles (purchase or lease)?
– What is their purchasing time frame?
– What factors are driving their purchasing time frame?[/list:u:3hddiyyl]
People make buying decisions for an astonishing and ever-changing variety of reasons

Your mission is to determine the particular combination of reasons that is driving the buying decision for each of your prospects. Be sure to avoid generalizations or stereotypes and treat each person as a unique individual. Just because someone is a certain age, gender, ethnicity, etc. doesn’t mean they will make their buying decision for the same reasons as others of the same or similar age, gender or ethnicity!

If you ask questions like the ones noted above, you will prepare yourself to provide the best possible service to your prospects. In many cases you will also help them clarify their own thinking about how they will make their buying decision.

Remember, people don’t like to be sold, but they DO like to be helped to buy. Facilitate the buying process, help your buyers rationalize their purchases, and help them make choices that fulfill their needs and wants. When you do this, the end result will be happy, satisfied customers that buy from you repeatedly and provide numerous referrals!

Sales performance expert Alan Rigg is the author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Sales Team Performance: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building and Managing Top-Performing Sales Teams, and the companion book, How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Top Sales Performance. His 80/20 Selling System™ helps business owners, executives, and managers end the frustration of 80/20 sales team performance, where 20% of salespeople produce 80% of sales. For more information and more FREE sales and sales management tips, visit

Increase Customer Retention in Your Dealership

In today’s auto industry, holding on to repeat customers is extremely beneficial. A repeat customer not only means more money for your dealership, but also less cost for you to acquire them. J.D. Powers estimates that in 2009, new auto sales will dip below 12 million, so you can’t afford to lose any potential sales to the dealership down the road.

In the latest J.D. Powers Customer Retention study, Honda has been able to retain the most customers in the United States with 64.7% of their customers returning to buy another Honda. Overall, customer retention rates are down from 49% to 48%. Obviously, you can’t control the vehicles that your OEM makes, or their efforts to retain customers on a brand level. But you can control what your dealership does to increase your own customer retention.

Follow-Up – Have a plan in place for all types of customers and non-customers. Make sure you get the emails and phone numbers of those that buy and those that don’t. Send periodic, relevant emails to everyone that comes into your dealership. Keeping in touch with those that visit or buy from your dealership will help keep your name top of mind the next time they need a vehicle.

Increase Service Customers – Give those that buy a car from your dealership a reason to return to the service department. Offer free oil changes or discounts to those that purchase vehicles. Send coupons and service reminders while following up with previous customers. Not only will their service business further increase your revenue and profits, but you will maintain a relationship with a future new car purchaser, so that you will be first in line to sell to them.

Follow the Golden Rule – This one’s easy; treat your customers how you would want to be treated. Be respectful and ask for their business (now and in the future). Consumers will buy from salespeople that they like and trust, so get to know your potential customers and get on their good side.

Working to keep as many customers as possible is an even better business practice than ever. The number of vehicles sold each year is projected to decrease further before it gets better, and building your repeat customer base could be what helps you survive this difficult time, as well as position your dealership to succeed in the future.

Written by Ali Amirrezvani