Building a Solid Base of Customers

Good customers are a lot like an oasis. Once you find them, they’re precious. They should be like water in the desert to you, a matter of life and death. You’ve worked hard to find them and make them yours. You never want to lose touch with them, stay out of contact with them, or worst of all, let someone else steal your “bucket of water” from right under your nose. To make it impossible for these thieves to pick your pocket, your best weapon is staying in touch with the prize they’re after—your customers. Always let your customers know how important and special they are to you. Let them know you don’t take their business for granted, and tell them often.

In fact, customer relationship building should be your number one priority. If you think you’re done once you’ve sold something to a customer, you’ve got it all wrong. The real selling begins after the sale! It’s a well known fact that it’s a lot cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to go out and find a new one. Prospecting for new customers should be your second priority. Why? Because there will never be a greater business asset to you than your existing customer base—your number one priority. They already know who you are and what you can do for them. They represent your greatest growth potential.

You must remember that your job isn’t simply to go from sale to sale, putting all of your effort into developing new customers—you must make the time to take care of your existing customers. When you give steady reliable service and keep in constant contact with your customer, whenever a problem does occur, you can work with him to solve it. People are truly grateful for the extra effort you put into servicing them, and they don’t forget it when the time comes to buy again. Repeat sales are so easy and require little effort in comparison to the first time these customers were sold. Considering the amount of time it takes to generate a good lead, no salesperson can afford to lose established customers because of poor servicing. Excellence in servicing customers during and after the sale has everything to do with closing sales—future sales.

When you consider how many cars a satisfied customer buys during his or her lifetime, the first one is just the tip of the iceberg. Not to mention how many friends and family members a contented customer will refer to you. It’s a fact that after two years in sales, if you provide outstanding service, 80 percent of all of your sales for the rest of your career will result from existing customers. On the other hand, anyone who fails to provide good service will never realize the building process that comes with establishing a solid base of customers and the fine reputation that ensues. I’ve always believed that the first car I’d sell somebody was the beginning of a long relationship. My customers were like family to me. I was in it to win and to make winners out of my customers. I kept them coming back for more and more. And I made sure they enjoyed the experience over and over, again and again. Nurture those relationships and do it often!