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On the importance of following up

By Napoleon Tetreault

NapoleonTetreaultBlogIn this day of instant gratification and ease of spending our hard-earned money it has become second nature for consumers to take the path of least resistance when it comes to buying. Therefore, if you want to increase your sales you must make it easy for the consumer to spend their money with you. Following up is one of those ways in which we not only create opportunities to sell, but we demonstrate to our customers how we are doing the work for them by taking the burden of their problems and offering our solution to them.

Follow up with our existing customers

Let’s start with our existing customer list. People who have bought from you in the past, but who you have not seen in a while. If you are in parts, that timeframe may be a couple months. If you are unit sales, it could be a couple years. Get on the phone with them and follow up! Of course after initial pleasantries go right to questions. Have you been riding? How come we haven’t seen you in a while? Does your bike still suit your needs? If everything is fine then you just put yourself on the top of that customer's mind. In front of the election results, iPhone 7, upcoming black Friday sales, etc. If things are not fine, then you opened a doorway to make them fine. For example, if your customer starts to open up about an issue they have with their bike or a negative experience with the dealership or any other barrier to them not coming in to your store, they are giving you an opportunity to solve their problem. It is now up to you to follow up on what the opportunity is in order to eliminate that barrier.

Follow up based on feedback

This is your opportunity to do work and earn business. Conversations are great and they give us the roadmap in which direction to take, but that’s all it is — a roadmap. We need to get in the driver’s seat and follow the plan. Being in the driver’s seat means doing the work necessary to uncover the solution. This is where the rubber meets the road and is what separates a good salesman from someone who is all talk. It may be as easy as a customer who says he doesn’t ride anymore because his bike is too heavy for him so you find him a lighter bike. Or maybe she hasn’t been riding because it is too cold out so you set her up with some heated gear or other seasonally appropriate attire. But it also could be as difficult as a discovering a flaw in your dealership that you may have to make hard decisions to deal with. Maybe they don’t feel comfortable dealing with your store anymore because of something someone said or did that made them feel uncomfortable. Instead of complaining about it then, they just brought their business somewhere else. Now the burden has fallen on you to follow up on this problem, rectify it and see to it that it doesn’t happen again.

Being an aggressive salesperson requires that you take a leadership role in your book of business. In addition to prospecting for new business, it’s important that you not overlook the opportunities right in front of you. A simple follow up phone call shows that you care about your customer and will lead to more opportunities. Now is the time to start.

Napoleon Tetreault is a sales representative with Tucker Rocky, an aftermarket PG&A distributor in the powersports industry. He works with powersports retailers on merchandising, profitability and management of the parts department as well as the education of dealership personnel. His experience includes being the GM of the largest indoor motocross facility in the US, owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at:

Email: ntetreault@tuckerrocky.com  

Website: www.trdealer.com  (Consumer: www.powersportrider.com)

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