Follow Up, Vol 3 - A Plan

Staying on this theme of Follow Up, and presenting two excerpts from the book Accepting the Sales Challenge, I remembered a sales record I listened to at the start of my sales career back in 1973. On the record was a traveling salesman who stated that he had bought 33 cars in his life and they were purchased from 33 different sales people. Then--you know how thoughts go--that led me to another similar thought in that I have bought several homes and not one of the sales people have ever followed up past the first month or less. This is also true of many, many other items that I have purchased. I am sure I am not alone.

Where auto sales are concerned, once the sale is made, there might be a mandatory call to see how things are going with the new car, but that is usually about it, if that happens at all. Then, they are back on to the next "up" on the lot. I teach otherwise, but this is about the norm at most dealerships in the country. When it comes to cars, the average person owns a lot of different cars. I remember selling one of my customers 13 vehicles over a period of 25 years. He only liked keeping them about 2 years or so.

Here are opportunities for additional sales. They won't be today, but they will add up over time. It is not just the repeat sale which is a small picture, but it is referral sales (a larger picture), additional sales like to other family members, changing needs sales (they were newlyweds, now they have a family and the coupe has got to go. . .). Then of course, this is just the vehicle sales. What about all the service opportunities like oil changes, tires, batteries, repairs, body work, replacement parts, accessories. Each one of those is additional business. Then the kids become 16 and need a car and then they get married and then they are on their 4th car and on and on. It is just a huge network! At least it is for those who might see this larger picture of the one sale.

Where are all the customers? They are right here, ready, and even eager for the attention and care. All you need now is a plan. How will you develop this strategy? How will you follow up regularly? How will you secure referrals? How will you continue to grow with the families? You will need to keep good records. You will need to follow up regularly and in different ways. You have so much business, you will need some help. Isn't that interesting?

Want a plan? You are smart. You can make one yourself, but if you are missing it, you can go to Joe Verde's website. You can start your own database with some contact software like ACT or Maximizer both of which I have used, or go to Google and type in "contact software." They all work. Joe Verde's is specifically about auto sales, but you can make the others the way you want to.

Next write out a plan on paper of who you want to follow up with, how you want to follow up with them, how often, how you want to categorize them so that it is easier to use. You can group your contacts into groups like prospects, owners, referrals, etc. I recommend you have a field for how you got the prospect as well.

Last, if you need help with it, don't get frustrated, get help! Find someone who understands this stuff and if you have to pay them, it will save you countless hours of frustration to have them help you through the first part. After that, you won't even remember it was hard and you will look back and think, "this was the best thing I ever did for myself!" Congratulations are in order!

No comments: