Why is Client Loyalty So Rare?

Why is Client Loyalty So Rare?

With Maggie’s car lease maturing, we decided to visit her local dealer. This would be her third new car from the same dealership and she has been a loyal patron of their service department as well. We met with a salesperson (whom we’ll call Jake) for nearly two hours. Jake was seemingly doing many things right. He was personable and attentive, used our names often, offered the test drive and injected occasional witty humor. While his product knowledge wasn’t up to par and he admitted to being with this dealer only five months (and to working for about “twenty other local car dealers”), his outgoing personality and aptitude for client service more than made up for his deficiencies.

Much to our surprise, as we’d only planned to look, we eventually ended up in the negotiation stage of the process. When Jake presented a new lease offer, he explained it as, “A flat deal – we’re not making any money and we’re not losing any money.”

I’ll refrain from getting too deep into the details of what ensued and simply say that within five short minutes Jake’s sales manager was saying, “We haven’t [Read more…]

Sales Lessons from the Girl Scouts

Focusing Your Message into a More Attractive (and Relevant) Offering

As I exited the grocery store, the girls were shouting, “Girl Scout Cookies! PLEASE buy our Girl Scout Cookies! Girl Scout Cookies!” Aside from sounding desperate (which is acceptable at age 10 and ill-advised for the rest of us) I saw a fundamental challenge with their approach. These adorable and hard-working kids weren’t speaking … into our listening.

Whether you’re age 10 or age 50, this might be one of the most valuable discoveries, if you want to communicate your message in an effective way so as to connect more often and — in turn — close more deals.


Broadcasting and Receiving: Dominant Buying Motives

Let’s use the analogy of radio broadcasting. There are almost as many listening styles as there are FM channels on your radio … and as consumers we’re all on different “channels.” Your chosen channel is based on your wants, needs, interests and past experiences.

For example, if you were ever unfortunate enough to have owned a car that ended up being a “lemon,” there’s a good chance that your next car choice was affected (motivated) by that experience. Your dominant buying motive might now be … you guessed it … reliability. Now imagine if everywhere you went shopping for your new car, salespeople were proudly telling you about their vehicles’  performance … or safety … or styling … or utility. While those things might or might not be all that important to you, the most important thing on your agenda; your #1 priority; your dominant buying motive is: reliability. Trouble is, most salespeople will never take the time – nor are they equipped with just the right series of meaningful questions – to ever learn this about you. The result is that most salespeople are not speaking into your listening. You’re set to “receive” on channel 5 and they might be “broadcasting” on channel 12. I refer to this as a disconnect and in my observation it’s the rule, not the exception. I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Taking the time to ask just the right meaningful and deliberate questions will, in turn, give you all the information you need to make a proper presentation — a presentation that ends up being the perfect fit for your client and thus helps you earn your title of Sales Consultant.


As for the Girl Scouts … 

They had one additional challenge that I was determined to help them overcome. The nature of their selling is not consultative — more of a bull-horn-appeal-to-the-masses approach, really. I went up to one of the moms that was supervising this cookie “sales counter” just outside of my neighborhood supermarket and asked if it would be okay to share a selling strategy. She quickly and excitedly asked the girls to gather ‘round and listen. I said, “Hey kids, you know how sometimes you go out to eat dinner at a restaurant, have a great big dinner (that might have even left your tummy feeling really full) and then the waiter asks if you’d like dessert? Well, in that situation you’re probably not so quick to say yes to dessert, especially if you’re feeling full, right? …but partly because the waiter wasn’t specific enough. Have you ever noticed that when the waiter starts offering his desserts by name – like Chocolate Lava Cake or Granny’s Apple Crumb Bake, all of a sudden you’re able to find room in your tummy?” The girls responded with a unanimous “Yeeeeees.” I continued, “Well people have been buying Girl Scout Cookies for many years and lots of them already know (very well) their favorite kind, so you girls want to try something? —Okay. Instead of shouting ‘Girl Scout Cookies!’ try calling them out by their special names. That way you’ll be reminding your customers just how much they love your cookies.” And as I walked to my car, I could hear in the growing distance, “Thin Mints! Samoas! Tagalongs!” So cute. I’m assuming they saw an increase in sales. 😉

Go-Givers Sell More

Everything You Learned About Sales Is Backwards

[Guest Post by: Bob Burg and John David Mann, coauthors of Go-Givers Sell More*]

“I’m no good at selling!” Have you ever heard someone say that? Or maybe said it yourself? (Now, tell the truth.)

We hear it all the time. Everyone who is not in sales thinks, “I could never sell” — and most people who are in sales secretly think the same thing.

Go Givers Sell MoreThere is a reason people feel this way: most of us look at sales backwards. Backwards how? In the most fundamental ways.

For example.

They see sales as convincing people to do something they don’t want to do. It’s not: it is about learning what people do want to do and then helping them do that.

They think sales is about taking advantage of others. Not so: in fact, it’s about giving others more advantage.

Most people think of sales as a talking business. Nope: it’s really a listening business.

Classic sales training focuses on the “close.” The true sales greats hardly notice the close — they are too busy focusing on the open.

But the biggest inversion of all, the great upside-down misconception about sales, is that it is an effort to get other people to do something. Ask most anyone to define sales and you will hear some variation of this: “Sales is getting people to buy something.”

The truth about sales is that it isn’t about getting at all. Sales at its best, at its most effective, is precisely the opposite: it is about [Read more…]

I Have a Referral for You

Making Referral Business Your Business


How to turn even your toughest client into a referral source

When I was selling Acuras, I’d reached a very comfortable and rewarding 70% repeat and referral business. The breakdown is what’s important to note… While 30% of that total business came from repeat buyers, that number was only trumped by the amount of referral business, responsible for 40% of my total sales. Said another way, 4 out of 10 clients that bought from me, were referred by previous clients.

Now, I don’t care what your product or service is – referrals are where it’s at! What higher compliment could you receive from an existing client, than their referrals? Let’s face it – Whether they showed it or not, this client was impressed with you. So impressed, in fact, they were willing to put their name and reputation on the line.

This is a win-win-win:

For your existing client, they know how much their friend will appreciate them for having found you. For the referred client, the weight of anxiety and lack of trust [Read more…]