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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Don't just sell car/s - sell the total experience

MY (Jeff Lim's version) CLICK ME! as posted on 5/3/2010.  In my humble opinion this one is quite similar except this one more "attention to detail".

This version by kenso source: CLICK ME!

START of source:

Many sales persons feel their sole purpose is to sell the product they're hired to promote. Nothing wrong with that. The only problem is, so is everyone else. So in the light of increased competition, many go-getters constantly think of new ways to reach out to their customers and to see what value added services/offers they can do to entice the discerning customer.

The whole customer experience starts from the moment he/she walks through the front door (it is arguable that with the current internet savvy Gen X/GenY customers, it starts online). The cycle of customer service excellence:

1) Encountering the enthusiastic reception
2) Being served by an emphatic and knowledgeable sales person
3) Being given a test drive with key features relevant to the customer's needs addressed
4) Unreserved and easy explanation on payment
5) Follow up
6) Close

Sadly, a lot of sales person don't pay attention to the finer details in their encounter with the customer. How nice it would be if the following happens:-

1) Customer receives an SMS/email from the sales person thanking him/her for his/her time in coming over for a test drive and remind the customer the offer of assistance should he/she requires it
2) The sales person calls the customer 3-5 days later asking him/her how is everything and if another test drive is preferred.
3) Keeping the customer abreast with the latest car launches and invites for test drives
4) Take note of the average period of how long a customer keeps a car before changing models
5) Notes the purpose of the purchase (ie anniversary present for the wife, ferrying kids to school, etc)
6) Notes the age of kids (if any) and is always note the opportunity that may present itself years later when the kid grows up/a new addition to the family (a bigger car is required) or the kid goes to college and needs a car of his/her own (selling another model)
7) Sends an SMS every festive season to keep in touch and renew the network the salesperson has

8) Upon delivery of the new car, buy an appropriate gift to go with the car (ie for anniversaries/ladies, buy a bouquet of flowers/teddy bear for the wife, a little booklet of all emergency numbers to call, a baby car seat if the cost is not too high, an extra pair of torch light for the boot, etc. They don't cost much)

All those above aims for customer satisfaction. It does not take a genius to think of those little actions and yet it does not happen (or very rarely). I've yet to come across 1 sales person who does all above. And the main reason why I suspect is lack of information. The sales person does not keep a book of all the information he/she has of every customer he/she comes across. It does not matter of you're selling a Proton or a Mercedes, there are always customers who have specific needs for a specific vehicle. Whether it's a upgrade to a more luxury brand or a small car for the odd Sunday market run, an information book's value is immeasurable, especially when it's updated every once a while. And that book belongs to the sales person .... it's his/her initiative and would follow him/her wherever he/she goes. If he/she is serious in planning a career in the automotive sales line, this is a must have.

At the end of the day, happy customers means:-
- more new customers
- better retention of customers (instead of the customer changing marques)
- less cost of doing business (no need to advertise, maximize productive time)
- greater profits
- more competitiveness and profit
- better compensation for sales team, particularly in areas where there is a group sales target
- more motivation and job satisfaction
- building corporate culture
- happy and prosperity

So the next time when you enter your own showroom, take a moment and imagine you're the customer. What is the overall feeling the moment you see your showroom? What are the finer details that's missing that can be done to improve the whole experience? You don't have to be selling Rolls Royce to provide a 5 star sales experience .... and definitely do not have to spend as much.