Over the last few years, more and more companies have begun offering dealers, technology that is designed to predict which of YOUR customers (the information is derived from your database) is most likely to buy a car in the near future. Once you have this information, you would presumably, contact these customers about purchasing another vehicle. Before we discuss this contact, let’s examine what has transpired from the time when they purchased their current vehicle until now.
For purposes of this illustration, I am going to use my own experience. Over the last 15 years I have leased 6 luxury vehicles and 4 non-luxury vehicles. After purchasing each vehicle I was contacted within a few days by the sales consultant asking how the vehicle was. In addition, after every service visit I also received a call from a call center asking how my service visit went. All other communications I have had with these dealerships over the last 15 years involved asking me to buy something. I received emails, calls and direct mail pieces regarding sales or service specials. I was also contacted by these dealerships to inform me that based on the mileage of my vehicle or time that had past, I needed service or my lease was expiring. I believe I am safe in stating that what I have experienced is the norm not the exception. I bring this to your attention to make the point that the only time your dealership is contacting your customers is to sell them something.
This brings us back to the contact you are about to make with your customer based on the fact that an outside company told you they are in the market for a new vehicle. What will this contact look like? Since this customer’s relationship with your dealership has been transactional in nature, most likely the contact from your dealership will be the same. Any contact you make will most likely be to inform the customer about a special offer to get them to buy. All this does is reinforce the fact that all your communications are to sell something. Even if you are successful in selling them a vehicle, it will be at the same low gross profit of their original sale. You will only make more money on repeat customers if you or more specifically your sales consultants have developed a relationship that is experiential. An experiential relationship is based on personalizing all customer contacts. Only your sales consultants can do this. However, most sales consultants are trained on how to sell a car today, not on how to develop a personalized relationship with their customer. A relationship that compels the customer to not only buy a car today, but purchase every car they will ever buy again, from the sales consultant. If the sales consultant has this type of relationship then he or she will know when the customer is ready to buy again. In addition, the customer will not even consider going anywhere else. I guarantee, developing sales consultants who do this, along with providing them the tools and resources to accomplish this, is cheaper than having someone else sell you the information in your database.
You probably want to know how your sales consultants can create these relationships. Here is an excerpt from my book, “Turn Every Transaction into an Experience.”
To achieve the goals of getting customers to come back to you and to refer their friends to you and your dealership requires that you develop relationships with your customers. Simply contacting customers on predetermined intervals to ask how they are doing or how their vehicles are will not accomplish this. To increase the odds that your customers will keep coming back and refer their friends, you need to contact your customers once per month. I will let that sink in. Yes, I said contact your customers once per month—forever. Breathe and keep reading. Contacting each customer once per month may be hard, but it is not difficult to accomplish. Let me show you how.
Monthly contact that is meaningful and memorable will create experiences for your customers. However, the contact needs to be more than just telephone calls. Contacting your customers can be done through in-person visits, e-mails, texts, phone calls, letters, or social-networking posts. In the twenty-first century, there are many different media you can use to contact your customers, and within five years, there will probably be more ways to do so. The key is to contact your customers by using their preferred methods of communication. In addition, to truly make your monthly contacts memorable and experiential, they should all be personalized to each customer. The more you know about your customer, the easier this will be.
If you would like to learn more about how sales consultants can create loyal customers through the experiential execution of the entire sales process (from Prospecting through Follow Up), please take a look at my book, “Turn Every Transaction into an Experience,” as well as my 2 Day Sales Class.