Velko Tuhchiev is a sales teacher, business consultant, speaker, professional problem solver and a one-on-one sales performance coach.
6. Always Keep it Simple and Always be Honest
Be direct with your clients. In today’s world, more and more consumers are well-educated. They have access to almost every piece of information we use to sell vehicles. It’s easy for them to test you. Always be honest and you will earn lifetime customers. I believe honesty and a high level of integrity is one thing most top producers share.
When you find a good doctor — one you trust — you don’t want to look for another one. Same with lawyers, mechanics and accountants. All of them are problem solvers. And you will introduce your list of professionals to your kids, as well. Their job description requires them to solve problems. Until you see yourself as a problem solver, you are not going to be as important as the professions I listed above. All of them work by appointment only, and their clients are willing to wait for hours on many occasions because they are loyal to the unique experience.
7. Have a “Whatever it Takes” Attitude
One of the things I strongly believe is that whoever loses interest in the deal first loses the deal. I always demonstrate the “whatever it takes attitude” --customers can feel and appreciate that. Going above and beyond, doing whatever it takes, shows your customers how much you love them. When you care about each person as a human, not a number, then you will earn customers for life.
8. Focus on Your Client at All Times, and Always Double-Check Everything
One of the things I believe helped me a lot was that I was always focused on “Why customers buy?” I followed their biggest objections and what part of the process made them uncomfortable. One of the biggest turn offs for customers is the waiting. I always give them a heads up on what’s next in the process. Just a simple courtesy can make miracles. Treat your best customers like insiders. Let them know what's going on before you tell anyone else. Include them in your decisions, and ask for their feedback. Let them have the inside track and then they will feel a vested interest in staying with you. Take pride at everything that you do and double check everything. Part of that is not only to fill up the tank, prepare the vehicle for delivery or give flowers or some chocolate, but also make sure your paperwork is perfect and cover everything. To put it simply: Don't screw stuff up.
9. Help Them to Feel “At Home”(or Simply Make Them Feel Welcome)
I've heard successful business owners say: “Treat your customers like family and your family like customers.” Apply that thinking to your most loyal customers and they will stick with you. Obviously, to create strong customer loyalty you need arsenal of prospecting tools.
Get some help; it's a team effort -- I would strongly recommend working together with a service writer with the same mindset, or at least one with long-term experience at the dealership. Always introduce your customers to the service writer during your service walk and work as a team. You get twice the reward: All service goes to him, and all sales goes to you. He can set up appraisals and test drives for you and the opportunities in service are countless. Your relationship with this service writer will create a feeling of trust and peace of mind for your customer.
Give, give and give — I always include, as part of my process and part of building the ultimate value package, a “lifetime car wash.” My customers have 15 choices of free beverage and great popcorn (with that amazing butter smell across the showroom). To keep the kids occupied while their parents shop, there are Wii video games, a foosball table and kids room with many toys. Use the wonderful things your dealership is already doing for your customers and combine them with your own efforts.
You can improve your customer loyalty by measuring it -- By regularly and consistently reaching out to your customers for feedback on what is working — and what isn't — you can stay on top of trends and adjust as needed. Far too many salespeople have a “don't ask them, we don' t really want to know” attitude. And if you do ask, get back to your customers about what you heard, and what you plan to do about it. Nothing will destroy loyalty faster than asking but not taking any action. Always follow up.
Show that you care about their business as much as yours — Actual contact in real time greatly enhances the bonds between people, and that includes clients relationships. In every situation, ask what is the best way to communicate. Do business with them, recommend them and be their client, sending them as many referrals as you can. Go to lunch with repeat clients and active referral agents.
10.Review Results Every Time
I've learned this from huge, successful companies and their great customer service. Being on the other side, as a client myself, dealing with loyalty departments of these big companies has been a great learning experience for me. This is very effective, especially for surveys and reviews. If I can help a client understand the actual results and the value they are receiving, then they'll remain loyal forever. So often we never go back and review results with clients and too many times they fail to fully appreciate just how much value we are delivering. When we can help them understand that they never want to leave. (And, as a bonus: When you understand that, you gain the confidence to raise your prices.)
Over the past four years, I’ve started to make this a mandatory step of my process. I first review quickly — but thoroughly —everything I have delivered to the customer. Every customer will review my performance on video. I would also try to get few short video clips during the process to save the moment, just like a birthday party, graduation or important personal sporting event and make a short video about the entire experience. I use all of the collected multimedia for future follow up. Pictures and written reviews are also part of the process.
My goal is not to be “good” at customer service; I want to deliver a World- Class customer service experience every time, with every step of the process, with each customer. Prioritize the customer experience above the value you get from them. Never care about the commission; that is irrelevant in building a loyalty and strong repeat customer base.