During one of our FasTrak sales manager training camps I asked the managers present what to identify the single most important thing they need to know if they were going to really increase their sales numbers and market share.
It did not take long for someone to suggest that it would be their customers. I challenged that with a few questions starting with, Why? The response was direct: So we know why our customers buy from us.
My response was that I agree it is very important information to know, but can we not assume that how we handled those that did purchase was apparently perceived as adequate since they did purchase?
So what is more important than who did buy from you? I would challenge you that those who DID NOT buy from you is the single most important piece of information you must have if you are going to grow your business.
working with lost customers
Once you identify who did not buy from you then you can begin to identify why they did not buy from you. Was it because they have not been shown enough reason to buy and are still potential customers? Did a powersports competitor earn their business? Or did they spend their disposable income on some other item or service unrelated to our industry, like a vacation or redoing the back yard?
This information then puts you in a position to determine what changes you need to make to capitalize on your full market opportunity.
At this point it becomes critically important to know why those that DID buy from you made that choice — you don’t want to lose your existing loyal customers as you make adjustments in your marketing, internal systems, and processes to capitalize on your additional opportunity.
Now you are able to go after new business in a manner that retains your existing loyal customers, and, in many instances, even increase the loyalty of your current customers.
How do you find this information without spending a fortune or creating a mountain of additional work right smack in the middle of the season when it is all you can do to take care of your walk-in opportunity, and yes that ringing telephone as well?
In our PHD 20 Groups, we are always looking for ways to work smarter instead of just harder in order to get the desired return on effort. What we find is that there are little things we can do that might require a small amount more effort upfront but will return many times more dollars to the bottom line than almost anything else you do per team member effort hour.
The number one tool you can use is a show room “Guest Register” administered by your sales people. They should already be meeting your guests and discovering each guest’s unique needs and desires. It takes very little additional effort to gather and organize these contacts in a way that allows you to find out an incredible amount of very valuable and lucrative information about your guests and their buying habits.
There are available sources you can retain that will call all your contacts and do a very quick third party interview so you know what your guest’s experience at your store with-in 24 hours of them being at your dealership.
They are then able to get reports back to you in real time identifying what is happening with those who did not buy from you.
They also can call your sales manager about “hot” prospects. These “hot” prospects are guests that left your store and are telling the interviewer that they intend to buy in the very near future or that they had a bad experience at your dealership. In this day and age of the cell phone we routinely get reports of customers being interviewed after leaving one store while they are at a competitor’s store
There are also advanced caller ID tools that allow you to gather the name, address, and phone number of those calling your dealership. These customers and prospects also can identify for you the media that influenced them to call you. This information is then saved in a database allowing for many different report views so that you can better understand if those calling and those buying are indeed the same people. You can also mail merge this information and use it very effectively as direct mail follow-up.
There are numerous other tools available to help you be efficient and make real money while at the same time creating happier more loyal customers out of your guests.
My challenge remains that if you desire to be more profitable and grow your business, Nothing is more important than finding out who DID NOT buy from you.
Happy selling. psb
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business