Send Business To Your Competition. A Bold Idea.

Here's a networking idea that will pay dividends to you in the long run: send customers to your competition. What? Yes, send them to your competition and be of good service to them.

You aren't going to sell them all. Sometimes prospects come in and they are looking around, but they may already have in mind what they want and are just going through the motions as they think they should. Sometimes they are looking at your product and you can just tell by the way they talk that they are not interested in yours, but they are interested in another. Those are the times to send them to your competition. To be of real service in this, you will have to develop some relationships with the other dealers in your area.

I suggest that in time, you purposely visit every other make store in your area. When you go in, find out from the manager who is the best sales person at the store--the one who really takes care of their customers--the pro. Then go visit with that person and get to know them a little. Suggest to them that when you have a customer interested in their brand, that you will send them to this person. Get a number of their cards and you leave a number with them. In return, when they run across a customer who needs a commercial truck, they will send them to you. In this way you will both be serving the customer and also ensuring that they are well cared for by a professional. It need not be any more complicated than this.

Let's say I'm a Ford dealer and I stock upfitted trucks. So I go to the Toyota dealer and I find the best person and work out the deal with them so that when I find someone who I know is interested mainly in the Toyota, I will send the prospect to that person with card in hand knowing that they will be cared for. In turn, when the Toyota sales person knows there is someone needing a commercial truck, they would send them to me. Do this with every make dealer in the area. It is a powerful addition to your tool belt.

You will also have friends and associates who ask you questions about shopping for another make than you sell. Now, you will have cards and know specific people that you know will take good care of them. This is a powerful tool for you and your business. Just think how much your friends and associates will appreciate your help and especially the great care they will get by virtue of your knowledge and relationship.

This idea would be rejected by many people. It's not my job to help the competition and all that crap. Serving the customer is what it is all about. You never know how that will come back to you, but I can assure you of this: it will come back to you. Be a pro and think outside the box. Go out and solicit your competition to help you help your prospects. I guarantee this will help you in a number of ways. It is also one more way to point out that there really is no competition.

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