One of the easiest ways to lose a sale is by not following up with your customers. There is a fine line between pestering them and being there to guide them to the sale.
According to statistics posted by Dealer Refresh in August, 20171, as many as 90% of salespeople do NOT follow up with potential customers or even customers that have purchased a vehicle from them. That is a huge percentage and the reason that many sales associates don’t have the numbers they are looking for at the end of the month.
Not following up with your potential customers and the customers who have purchased a vehicle from you results in lost sales and lost referrals…period. In the time that you are not interacting with them, another sales associate in another dealership is and they are the ones that are going to get the sale.
Remember the Me + 3 rule. Based on the principle of this rule, It is safe to assume that each customer that talks to you is either already talking to or WILL talk to at least three other dealerships. That’s a minimum of three other dealerships that could potentially get that sale if you do not do your due diligence and follow up with them.
Staying in contact with your potential customers is how you remain in control and this is very important when closing the deal. This control helps you keep the deal on track and your customer remains engaged.
We have provided some important points to remember when you are following up with a potential customer after you have spoken to them initially.
Send Follow-up Email Immediately After Meeting – Get into the habit of writing down the questions that your potential customer asks you during your initial meeting. You also need to write down the answers you give them in these notes.
After your meeting, you can send them an email with all of the questions and answers that were asked and given so the information can stay fresh in both yours and the customer’s minds.
This is good for many reasons. It prevents them from asking the same questions they already asked and may have forgotten, and it provides them with the ability to accurately recount the conversation you had with their spouse or partner and refer back to it as needed.
Restate the Point that Your Customer was Excited About – The ideal scenario that every sales associate should have as a goal is their customer leaving that initial meeting excited and happy about what you have discussed. It is your job to KEEP them excited.
One of the best ways to do that is to send a follow-up email that highlights the key points that got the customer really psyched about the meeting and about purchasing a vehicle from you.
Make sure that you pay attention to the customer’s body language during your meeting and you will be able to spot these points easily and make note of them.
Notice and write down words that got affirmative nods from the customer or a sincere smile of happiness or excitement. You will be able to use these points as the sale progresses to keep the momentum and excitement going.
State a Point that You Both Agree With – One sales strategy that is recommended by many well-known salespeople is to agree with your customer. We’re going to start by explaining what that ISN’T. You don’t want to be a “yes” man and you certainly don’t want to come across as insincere.
Agreeing with your customer is a good thing and builds mutual trust and rapport between the two of you.
Agreeing with EVERYTHING the customer says is very transparent, not to mention dishonest and can actually lose the sale.
You don’t want to upset your customer, but if there are things the customer wants that won’t accomplish their ultimate goal, it is better, to be honest than simply agree just to get the sale.
After the customer leaves, go through your meeting notes and look for an important statements or points that you and the customer sincerely agreed with. Make a point of incorporating these statements or topics into your follow up.
This reinforces a sense of mutual respect and also guides the customer toward you as the logical person to do business with since you are of like mind. Restating these agreeable points makes it a lot harder for the customer to justify or even want to go to someone else.
Remember the Important Dates or Events the Customer Mentions – Remembering what is going on in your potential customers’ lives is a good way to build rapport between the two of you as well.
This doesn’t mean going overboard and showing up at their kid’s soccer game (unless you have developed that kind of relationship with them over time) but it DOES mean inquiring about these events and showing that you remember they are not just a mark on the sales board.
Sending a short email or text asking how their holiday was or how their child’s game turned out can go a long way toward building the kind of long-lasting relationships with your customers that result in multiple referrals to their friends, family, and even their acquaintances.
Communicate with Your Customers the Way THEY Prefer – At the first initial meeting with a potential customer, find out how they prefer to communicate.
Do they like phone calls? (some older customers still shun “technology” and prefer good old-fashioned phone calls)
Do they prefer emails or do they like texting? Whatever their favorite form of communication is, is how you should follow up with them because they are much more likely to open that email or read that text if they have asked to be reached in that manner.
It doesn’t matter if YOU don’t prefer texting, your customer may prefer it and that will solidify their feeling that you are there for THEM, not trying to shove them into your own box.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can start the follow-up process with potential and existing customers. We’re going to post more articles on how you can become a master follow up salesperson in the weeks to come.
This is a very in-depth topic that has a lot of opportunity for adding your own personal touches and style. We’ll provide you with the foundational elements of the perfect follow up…you can run with it after that.
The main thing to remember is that following up can mean the difference between closing the sale and losing the sale completely. It is well worth your time to aspire to be an expert follow up sales associate so you can close as many deals as possible.
Losing a customer for reasons you can’t control is unfortunate, losing them because YOU didn’t follow through is never where you want to be, as a sales associate.