Over the past weeks I have been shopping for a new car and had shared a little of my experience a couple times in this blog. If you missed those posts, you can read them here.
It has been an interesting experience to say the least. Out of the four dealerships I visited, only ONE had any kind of organized and persistent follow up. Only ONE really seemed interested in me each time I visited. I was not an interruption to their day, I was the reason for it. This is a HUGE lesson for any one out there. How are you or your employees reacting to your guests, clients, or patients? Are they the reason for your day or are they an annoyance to you?
With everything that’s been said about salesmanship and follow up, it still comes down to the product. I have to say I seriously considered another car despite the lack of selling and follow up skills from the salesperson, but mainly because of the opinions of my friends. They seemed to like the “other” car better.
But in the end, my heart and my gut told me to go with the salesperson, the dealership, and the car that truly met all my needs throughout my buying process. Another important lesson or I should say lessons. Product alone may not make the sale AND more importantly, salesmanship CAN overcome the allure of another product.
This whole car buying process made me think of other things too that may be helpful to you.
If you are experiencing sales failure of any kind, there may be any one or more of these three causes at the root—
- You are selling to the wrong prospect. Who you are selling to is much more important than what you are selling. The more you can pinpoint and drill down on your prospect, the better you can tailor your message and speak their language. (My salesperson took the time to find out what was important to me and made sure he sold me on those features and benefits. Oh, and he didn’t just do this one time, he brought them up in subsequent calls, further seeding my brain with all the reasons why I needed this car.)
- You do not have a well-thought out sales and/or follow up process. A well-crafted sales presentation can go along way but if there is no follow up, it could be all for not. Statistics show that most sales are made between the 5th and 13th contact. If your sales people are not following up or if they are giving up after one call, you are definitely missing out on sales. (A note on the sales presentation/process—each time I visited the dealership I was offered a cold beverage not only by the salesperson but by each person I came in contact with. Each time I test drove the car, the first thing the salesperson did was start the car and open the doors to cool the car down while he ATTACHED (not throw it in the back window) the license plate to the car. With regard to follow up, I received 16 phone calls and 3 emails from him.)
- Your offer or compelling reason to buy is just not strong enough. When it comes down to making a final decision between several products and services, this stuff is important. If you are way out of line versus your competition and there are no compelling reasons for the disparity, you’re done. If getting a new customer (and all of their lifetime value) is important to your business, it’s best to spend more time and money designing your offer than to risk the potential loss of that new customer or client because you don’t compare. (No one vehicle stood out here. All were comparable and had their pluses and minuses.)