Written by Nancy Luttrell
If you’ve lost it, find it!
I’m currently in the market for a new car – something I’ve eagerly anticipated for more than a year. Weekends one, two, and three were planned well in advance, my strategy being to visit those dealerships farthest out and work my way home. Quite honestly, I never expected I would still be looking after weekend two.
Fast forward six weekends and the bloom is off the rose. Excitement has turned to drudgery. So many choices! I lost track of which Sales Associate made what deal on which car when my grandson dropped a peanut butter and jelly sandwich onto the stack of price sheets I’d scribbled notes on and tossed into the back seat. (Note: Price sheets absorb grape jelly faster than a paper towel!)
There is Power in Follow Up
I’m not a demanding person by any stretch. Give me a car with wheels, an engine, a kickin’ radio, and plenty of sturdy cup holders and I’m happy. What I do insist on is excellent customer service.
Having been a consumer for more years than I plan to admit, there are certain courtesies I expect from a company vying for my business, especially when my purchase involves a large cash outlay or several years of monthly payments. My expectations are not unreasonable:
- Be kind and respectful
- Be patient
- Answer my questions
- Give me your undivided attention
- If you say you will check on something for me, do it and get back with me when you say you will
- If I don’t buy today, follow up with me
Throw in great customer service and I’ll recommend you to everyone I know! Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Fail to demonstrate great customer service and, well . . . Word of mouth is a powerful thing.
Would you be surprised to learn that after visiting six of the largest car dealerships in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, only one Sales Associate took the time to follow up with me? One! Would it surprise you to learn that I was offered a slightly better deal by his competitor but chose to purchase my new car from the Associate who clearly valued my business?
Call me crazy, but this young man took the time to stay in touch with me after I left the show room. He built a relationship with me. He let me know I could trust him to do what he promised he would do. Why would I risk buying a car from any one of the other five dealerships when none of their Sales Associates considered me or my business important enough to follow up?
Follow Up - Don’t Ignore It!
Follow up has been key since the dawn of sales, yet video mystery shops show far too many new home sales professionals have been systematically eliminating this crucial step from their sales strategy.
Making a phone call or sending an email takes only a few minutes. Take time to follow up! The simple gesture you make today could result in a big payoff tomorrow!
Follow Up – An Excellent Habit!
As your prospect works through the decision-making process, location, quality of construction, customer service, and builder reputation are certainly going to be top considerations. But human nature being what it is, emotion can and will play into the buying process, as well. It is up to you to cultivate a relationship with your prospect that ensures you and your company stands out from the competition.
The salesperson who continues to market himself and his product after a prospect leaves the sales office . . . the salesperson who understands and implements the power of follow up . . . is the salesperson who wins the sale.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act; but a habit.”