Preparing for the service visit and researching your customer
I’m going to talk about Joe Girard again. He has the world record for the most cars sold in a year (1425). He did this back in 1973. Over forty years later and still no one has beaten that record.
It’s important to know he didn’t do this through slimy sales techniques.
His secret weapon too sales were building relationships.
This is the key to long term sales that become effortless.
Joe did this in the 1970s. This was before email marketing, social media, or other marketing tactics used today.
How did he achieve this? He used old school mailers. He sent these mailers to all his customers, thousands of them, every month. He sent them newsletters, birthday cards, and letters that said: “I like you”.
In four years when it was time to buy a car, there was no one else on their radar.
You had to book an appointment in advance to buy a car from him.
Think about that for a minute. What car dealership says that if you want to come buy a car you need to make an appointment? No one does this. And yet he was able to achieve this.
You have a huge advantage today that you’re neglecting. I’m talking about social media. The few shops I see using it properly are killing it! They’re building a personal brand instead of hiding behind their brands business page. They’re using their personal profiles to friend their customers. They’re having normal conversations with them. Liking, commenting and sharing their posts. They’re now in front of mind when the customer needs an oil change or a repair.
They’ll call you because they have a personal relationship with you.
As a service adviser, you need to stop hiding behind the counter and the company brand. Get personal with your customers. You’ll reap the rewards as those relationships strengthen.
It only takes 10-15 minutes a day to build strong relationships with your customers on Facebook.
• Find your customers by email on Facebook and friend them.
• Search for customers coming in tomorrow. Look at their wall and takes note on a recent post of interest or a recent milestone in life they passed. Use this as conversation starters when they come in.
• Spend the remaining time going through your feed. Like, comment, or share your customer’s posts. Engage with them on a regular basis.
• Post interesting things about yourself. Your day, your achievements, jokes, etc. Let customers get to know who you are.
That’s all it takes, and your customers will build know, like, and trust. People buy from people. Not brands.
Build better relationships and you’ll achieve better sales.
Someone asked me once, “isn’t this creepy? aren’t we stalking them?” Look, If I’m posting on Facebook, I’m doing so to get attention. Everyone is the same in this. When you like their post, put a heart on it, comment on it, and share it, you’re giving them the attention they want. You’re also giving them a feeling of self-worth.
Here’s a great example for you. When Mrs. Smith’s son won the soccer tournament, you can say something like this. “Hey Mrs. Smith, I saw that Johnny won the soccer tournament, that’s so awesome.” She’s ecstatic and she’s dropped her guard with you.
We’re changing the atmosphere of your shop.
You’re no longer the shop that just talks business. You’re her friend that happens to work at a shop.
Joe Girard couldn’t build relationships like this in the seventies. He had to use mailers, go to events, and take clients out to dinner. Things you should still consider today. But Facebook allows you to have a similar impact, but with a lot less time and money.
I already know some of the kickback I’m going to get from some service advisers.
“Marketing is the shop owner’s responsibility, not mine.”
Look, If you want to increase your sales and have customers coming back to you, it’s all about the relationship you have with them. As you solidifying these relationships, you will be a stronger asset to your shop. Your boss will pay you more because of the results you’re getting. You’re becoming indispensable.
Let me give you an example of how that’s worked out for me.
I have exactly the same thing I am telling you above. I am friending shop owners and their staff. I am engaging with them on a daily basis. I am getting sales from shops who are finally ready because they know me as that guy!
When I go to conferences and trade shows I’m recognizable. I’m not saying I’m the most popular man in the room. But I get some people who see me and call me from across the room.
This happens because I built the relationship. When they see me in person, they want to come and say hi.
Your customers want to shout out your name because they want to say hi to you. They know you, they like you, and they trust you. They trust you with their car and they trust you with their money.
PS. Joe Girard became a famous speaker and wrote multiple books on selling. Here are a few good ones.