As soon as I drove off the lot in my brand new silver Audi TT with black interior, I saw one with a convertible top and tan interior.
I loved my new Audi, and yet I wondered, did I make the right choice?
Because I’m human, I was suddenly drawn away from what I’d been in love with only minutes before. Humans are switchers by nature. Sales people should know this reality and take steps to prevent cancellations.
One of my most basic approaches in business is to copy successful people. And for me, there’s nobody with a better reputation for creating loyal relationships with buyers than Joe Girard, deemed the ‘Greatest Car Salesman’ by The Guinness Book of World Records.
Girard sold 1 425 cars in 1973 and 13 001 individual retail units over his 15-year career. According to Girard though, he never sold a car, he sold himself. The most valuable products his customers walked away with were Joe Girard and his ‘service’. These principles gained endless return customers.
If you want to keep your buyers from straying to your competitors, take a lesson from Girard. Never stop selling.
Girard says, “The sale begins after the sale.” This means he never saw his buyers as someone else’s responsibility. If they had a problem with the car, Girard was involved.
He took care of the mechanics so they would take care of his buyers. He never wiped his hands of the deal. As far as he was concerned, things were just getting started the moment the customer purchased.
“The real value you offer clients happens after the sale,” says founder of One Way Up Productions, Zaheer Cassim.
“I believe in being respectful to everyone, from the cleaner to the CEO. When you make a point of greeting and getting to know everyone in your client’s business, your life is made that much easier. You become part of the company, and the employees will do everything they can to help you.”
Let’s be honest here. Do you step up your game after customers sign on the dotted line? Or is that when you sit back and relax?
Can you honestly say that you are as excited to see customers and clients already under contract as you were when they were still a hot prospect? What about those who return with a concern? Do you see this as your personal concern?
We need to recognise that when a prospect signs the product reaches its peak in the buyer’s perceived value. If we’re not careful, the same will be true on the flip side, too. That is, when a prospect signs their value reaches its peak in our minds.
We don’t look at them with the same sparkle as we did when they first walked in. When they are still prospective buyers, we are motivated and greet them with enthusiasm.
We do the ‘be-back’ dance (the ‘they really like me!’ dance) every time they show up. And it’s a far cry from the ‘Oh crap, what do they need this time?’ shuffle. These are the ones who have committed to us and put money on the line for what we’re selling, but we appreciate them the least. Yikes.
After a sale, Girard would say, “Today you bought two things. The car and Joe Girard. If you got a lemon, I’m going to turn it into a peach. I am going to show you that I am different from any other salesman. I will give you service like you never saw.”
That kind of confidence and skin-in-the-game make it hard to cheat on Joe Girard with some guy down the street. As long as your customer feels like they are more important to you than the paycheque you’ll get from them, they’ll stick with you.
Customers can sense that you just aren’t as interested in them once they’ve signed. So stop it! Be excited. Remember that these are the folks paying next month’s bills and referring future business. Make them feel just as wanted after they’ve contracted, and you’ll build loyalty.
To decrease cancellations, increase customer satisfaction, and obtain referrals — never stop selling. As Tony Robbins says, “Do what you did in the beginning of the relationship and there won’t be an end.”