I saved money for years to replace my old 1991 Plymouth Acclaim with a new vehicle. Last fall, the savings were in place and the time was right to make a purchase. I decided (with my wife’s support, of course!) on an SUV to accommodate our frequent trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot and also to allow us to haul some kids around.
I had read about a great way to buy a car via fax on the Fool.com that helped eliminate the hassle of negotiations. I decided to try this route with the Kia dealerships in central Texas.
I faxed 9 dealerships from Kileen, Austin, and San Antonio. I told them I was ready to buy, gave them the specifications I sought, and requested their best offer on a new Sorento. I only got one response.
What? I tell 9 dealerships I want to give them $20,000+ and I only hear back from one dealership! Amazing.
Some Customers are Ready
You’ll have customers contact your company that are ready to buy today. What will you do? Close the sale, or kick them out?
When customers come ready to buy, you don’t have to convince them to buy, you just have to meet their needs and close the sale. Don’t waste their time (or yours) with unnecessary preliminaries.
Inbound Leads are Gold
When a customer phones, emails, faxes or drives to your store, the odds are pretty good that they are in the market to buy what you are selling. The customer has identified their need and is seeking a solution. Your company is on their list of places they think they can meet that need.
The customer on your doorstep may have seen a commercial, looked you up in the yellow pages, or been referred by a friend. Irregardless of how they got to you, you need to treat them like gold. Since customers that come to you have prequalified themselves to do business with your company, they will have a higher sale ratio than other prospects.
Handle with Care
Once you have the golden prospect in your hand, don’t blow it! Going back to my Kia example, I responded to the one dealership to see what we could agree upon. We “discussed” the price and vehicle but the negotiations ended there. The salesman proceeded to talk down to me and undermine my confidence in his dealership. Obviously, he felt that a power struggle was more important than tucking a sale under his belt. With a bad taste in my mouth, I walked away and bought a Mazda somewhere else.
Just because a potential customer falls in your lap doesn’t mean everything will continue smoothly. Be courteous, ask questions, and meet the customer’s needs. If the salesman at the Kia dealership had met me halfway or had wanted to sell me the vehicle, I’m sure we could have come to agreeable terms. A basic customer service attitude would have gone a long way here!