Even if I never hear from the customer after the sale, I keep in touch. A lot of salespeople take their commissions and then forget about the customer, especially if there are no problems with the car. But, as you might expect, I look at things a lot differently. If I sell someone a car, they’ll get my thank-you card and they’ll get my help with the service department if they ever need it. But even if they don’t need help, they are going to hear from me. Keeping in touch with your customers is critical. It’s the most important thing you can do with your time. 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.
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. 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. KEEP IN TOUCH with your customers. Everybody thinks that no salesman, especially a car salesman, ever gives a damn about the customer after the sale. Keeping in touch with your customers is good business and goodwill.
A few weeks or months after I make the sale, I’ll go through my file of recent customers and start calling them on the phone. You would think that might be asking for trouble, but for me it is important that my customers know I appreciated their business. And then I pick up the phone, dial, and ask how the car is. If I haven’t seen them since they took delivery, then I figure they have had no problems. I’ll remind them about coming in for the series of checkups necessary to keep the warranty in operation. And I’ll tell them if they have any problems at all with the car, any rattle, any mileage problem, or whatever, they should bring it in and ask for me. Then I’ll ask if they know of anybody who is looking to buy a car. I’ll suggest friends or relatives and remind them that I will pay $50 for any customer who buys from me that they referred. If they say a brother-in-law was talking the other night about how beat up his car is, I’ll ask for his name and number. And I’ll also ask them to do me a favor and please call him, and I’ll call him myself later. Then I remind them about the $50 thank them again and say goodbye.
Just think about the typical experience of the average person buying a car from the average salesperson. When it is over, the customer is relieved just to have got out of there in one piece. But with my customers it is different. I work hard, and they know it. When it is over, they are relieved too, but it is not because they escaped from the clutches of a high-pressure salesman, but because they got through an experience in which they started out full of fear and ended up feeling satisfied that they got better than expected. If you respect people, treat them right, and keep in touch with them, they’ll become yours for as long as you want them. A great part of the financial success I enjoyed came from repeat business I worked hard and smart to retain. If you stick to a disciplined plan for staying in touch with your customers, they should never find a good reason for leaving you