A huge catchphrase for years in all facets of retail has been to “exceed expectations”, right? If we polled 100 dealerships, it’s a pretty fair bet that all 100 would claim to exceed expectations. But few actually would.
We don’t mean to sound critical. Most dealerships today do understand the importance of providing a professional showroom experience. We’re just saying that exceeding expectations – truly “wow-ing” a customer, is a lot harder than just acknowledging the standard.
Below, we’ll breakdown the different elements that might make the experience you provide your referrals (and all of your showroom guests), something truly memorable.
The 4 Best Ways to Wow Your Referrals
#1 Nail the First Contact
Once your Autoblynk Administrator receives email notification of a new referral submission, it needs to be delivered to the team member specified in that referral.
Now, it’s showtime.
There’s a lot of study data out there about first impressions and how important they are. The Harvard Study of Communications said that it only takes seven seconds to make an impression on another human being. And that first impression will become the anchor for everything that comes after. A good first impression can provide enough “impression equity” to carry an entire transaction to a successful conclusion. Conversely, bad first impressions can sabotage any chance you might have with a prospect.
Be sure to focus on the following, regardless of initial contact medium, whether by phone, email, text, video, or video call:
A bright, people-focused welcome.
The very best sort of greeting will make it crystal-clear that your focus is on the prospect’s agenda and the prospect’s perceived needs… and not your own. If you sound like a salesperson from the get-go (or anytime, really), your first impression will be a poor one. People today look for a partner in the transaction, not an old-school high-pressure huckster. Those days are long gone, thankfully.
Ok, we made up that word. But it describes perfectly what you need to to once you have a fresh referral come in. You need to use Google (or whatever search engine you prefer) to learn about your potential customer.
Almost everyone is an open book these days, and some quick Google searches (hereby declared henceforth as Googlefying LOL) can be a goldmine for getting to know about who you’ll be speaking with and possibly meeting with.
Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are probably the most prominent examples of sites or apps that, when perused, will help you to learn who your referral is, what they value, and how they see the world as they interact with it.
Do not skip this step and critical resourse. Just Googlefy!
#3 Set the Proper Expectations and Deliver
One of the worst things any sales rep can ever do is over-promise, or create an expectation level that cannot be met. Few things cause a loss of trust like a rep that focuses on appointments by telling potential customers what they want to hear, regardless of your ability to deliver on those elements.
Ask your referral what is most important to them, and listen to the answer. Ask good follow-up questions. Show genuine interest in their responses and tailor your actions around those responses.
#4 Make Their Arrival at the Dealership a Big Event
If you want to wow your potential customers, you absolutely cannot set an appointment with them, have them show up for that appointment, and then have the team treat them as if they are walk-ins when they arrive. That’s just foolish and crazy, frankly.
When you set an appointment, make sure the greeter or receptionist knows their names, the time they are scheduled to arrive, and the vehicle that they are interested in. A perfect greeting upon introduction to the greeter or receptionist might be:
“Oh, Mr. Miller! We’ve been expecting you! You’re here about that red Challenger, right?
Now, that’s the kind of initial greeting that makes potential customers feel as if they’re in good hands and have come to the right place.
Be sure to have their vehicle of interest pulled up in front of the showroom, cleaned and gassed and ready to drive, and add a hang tag from the mirror with the customer’s first and last names.
Referrals are not like walk-ins, and you have to treat them as V.I.P.’s from the outset. Do that, and you’ll put yourself in the best position for success, every time.