What it all comes down to is one word: trust. If a customer trusts me, he will buy from me. But I have to be sure that his trust lasts beyond the moment when he gets his car and pays for it. I have to be sure that he trusts me after he has driven the car home and showed it and talked about it to everybody he knows, including how much he paid for it. When I shook the hands of my customers as I gave them the keys to their new vehicles, I complimented them on their purchase decision and reminded them,
“Today you also bought Joe Girard”. I made a promise to them right then and there that I would be there for them if they ever needed anything. I knew what the power of a promise and building trust could do for my future relationship with a customer. They needed to know that if anything goes wrong with the car after the sale, not only General Motors, but Joe Girard would stand behind every sale.
I will go out of my way to help the customer and make sure the work is done right. That is part of my job. And if the customer has still worse problems, my job is to take his side and make sure his car runs the way it should. I will fight for him with the mechanics, with the dealer, and with the factory. Always check with your customers or business clients after you’ve resolved some issue to make sure they’re happy and satisfied. You can’t get your name in their minds too often at a time like that. You must know that all is well. The value of taking the customer’s side is obvious. I become a friend, you come back to me for your next car, and you tell a lot of people about me if I stand behind you. That is one of the best ways to make customers into believers, believers in you and in your interest in their satisfaction.
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.
A lot of salesmen want to turn their back on a customer as soon as they have made the delivery. If something is wrong with the car and the person brings it in, some salesmen even hide from the customer. They consider customer complaints and problems as annoyances that will finally go away. But that is the worst attitude you can have. I look at it this way: Service problems and other customer complaints are a normal part of all business, regardless of what you sell. If you handle them properly, they can help you sell a lot more in the future.
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. It is many more times expensive and time consuming to gain a brand-new customer than it is to save an old one. Excellence in servicing customers during and after the sale has everything to do with closing sales—future sales.