Editor’s note: This is the fourth blog in a series about asking for the sale. In this installment, Steve Lemco shares a lesson learned from an encounter he had with a customer that didn’t end in a sale.
In the early ‘70s, I met a customer who became, and is still, a good friend of mine. His name is Chuck Rushton. Chuck came into my dealership one day, and we had a lot of fun talking about different things. We shared some jokes and lied to each other about our love lives. I was so sure he would come back and buy a motorcycle from me that I bet my brother Ed $10 that he would. That’s right, my big brother was still getting me to make stupid bets with him. You’d think I’d learn.
Well, I was half right. He did come back. He came back to show me the bike he bought from someone else. He must have spent an hour telling me how much more he liked me then the guy he bought it from. He went on and on about how much he had wanted to buy one from me. He explained that he was giving a friend from work a ride home when they drove past another dealership. He said all he intended to do was show his friend what he was going to buy from me. He told me that the salesperson just sat there like a bump on a log not saying anything at all except answering questions he was asked. But when Chuck and his friend were ready to leave, he did ask him if there was anything he could do that would make him want to buy it today.
“Sure,” Chuck said, “get my payments under $150.” The next thing he knew, he was sitting in the office signing an offer sheet, and before he knew it, he was signing a contract.
Then Chuck had the nerve to tell me his payment ended up being $190.00. I could have easily made that payment for him, or possibly less. I couldn’t believe that he thought that was funny. He apologized and said that he just got hung up on the excitement of buying one, something he’d been dreaming about for so long.
I said, “Gee, Chuck, why didn’t you buy on from me?”
He replied, “You didn’t ask.”
That was the greatest commission I never made. I explained to my brother Ed how the light came on, that I learned my lesson. (He still made me pay him the ten bucks. He was a hard guy to get a break from on a bet.)
The lesson I learned that day has saved a countless number of my new friends from buying from the wrong person at the wrong place. I knew at the time that Chuck was a buyer. I just didn’t understand what my main job was at the time — to ask for the sale. It is so simple once you understand.
The first three blogs in the series can be found by clicking the links below:
Steve Lemco is the youngest brother of the late Ed Lemco and has been doing sales training and hiring for motorcycle dealers since 1983. Steve has trained in every state in the U.S., as well as England, France, Australia and New Zealand. Steve incorporates motivational boards and games along with his training and hiring because he believes the best way to get the job done is to make it fun.