I feel compelled to share more of my auto shopping story because there are great lessons in all of this. It simply amazes me how little selling actually goes on. Yet many people continue to talk about their business being down.

Last week I wrote about the four dealerships I had visited looking for a new car (read this post here). I narrowed my search down to two foreign auto dealers. Here’s what has transpired with their follow up (not just the two I am considering) since my visits started three weeks ago. They were all given the same information at the start – my home address and my home phone number thus putting them all on a level playing field.

Dealer 1 (Foreign)
Received a form letter four days after my visit from the sales manager. Not sure who he is, never met him. Nice gesture though, I guess.

Have heard nothing from the representative I did met with. Don’t you think he should follow up too?

It’s been over three weeks.

Dealer 2 (American)

Received a phone call from the salesperson I met with one week later.

Nothing more.

Dealer 3 (Foreign-one of the two I am interested in)
Six days after my visit, I had a couple questions and emailed my contact.  (Note-he now has my email address and my work phone since it is built into my emails). He replied one day later via email. I then asked a couple more questions via email and he replied the same day. The next day I emailed again and didn’t hear from him for five days. Five days!

I stopped in again this Saturday (one week later from the last contact with him) to test drive the car again. He didn’t remember me and he was very frazzled. It was 10:35 am and he was expecting a customer at 10:30 am to pick up their new car. Told him I understood, no problem, just wanted to test drive the car one more time. He got me the keys, the plate and I went off on my own. When I returned 20 minutes later, his appointment still had not shown. So we sat down to work up some numbers. All the while he was worried the people would show up and kept watching out the window for them. Within five minutes, they arrived and he became even more flustered. You could tell he just wasn’t sure what to do. I told him not to worry, to take care of them, gave him my cell phone number and asked him to call me later in the day with the pricing info.

I have yet to hear from him.

Dealer 4 (Foreign-the other one I am interested in)

This is the dealership that has made the most favorable impression on me. The rep has called my home phone and left me a message almost every day since I was there.
When I stopped by again this Saturday, he remembered me. He made a comment about his relentless follow up.

He is always on and working toward the sale. He loves the car, the manufacturer, the service department and the owner of his dealership. His excitement is infectious. Above all else, he also takes time to be personable and work to build a relationship with me.

He gets it. I need to buy this car from him. He has sold me, sold me on the car, sold me on the service department, sold me on the owners but most importantly sold me on himself.

Lots of people talked about not wanting to be sold. That’s not true. People want to be sold. They want reasons to give you their money. You need to give them the reasons. You need to be excited about it.

Here’s what I keep asking myself though about my whole car shopping ordeal.

Are the owners of these dealerships aware of what their salespeople are doing? Do they care? Or maybe they have thrown in the towel and chalked it up to the 10% unemployment rate and the erratic stock market and anything else they can blame. Then I also think maybe their numbers aren’t bad in comparison and they think they’re doing o.k.

In the end though, I should have four dealerships clamoring over me and I only have one. One in four!

Thought to ponder-how is your salespeople’s follow up? Like the one in four or the three in four? Hopefully, it is the former.

Author: Kathy Jiamboi

Owner of Creativedge Marketing, where growth-oriented dentists find dental practice marketing strategies and advice to take their practice to a new and higher level.

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