Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Action is the Foundational Key to all Success

By Ron Henson on Mar 13, 2013

I definitely think Picasso was on to something when he was quoted as saying "Action is the Foundational Key to all Success."

That has been the basis of my philosophy when it comes to Professional & Thorough Follow-Up whether referring to my 20 years in the dealership world or my time with DrivingSales.

I have this friend and client in Canada named Wayne C.  Wayne is a tough car guy on the outside and a great human being on the inside.  I would like to share some of the experiences that Wayne and I went through in forging our business & personal relationship.  We went through quite a tumultuous process to arrive at where we are today.  A fairly good case study on follow-up on both sides.

Stages of follow-up with Wayne:

  • 9/10/2012 ~ Emailed & Phoned Wayne to respond to his request for information
  • 9/10/2012 ~ Received email containing pricing objections
  • 9/10/2012 ~ Sent email explaining value & benefits
  • 9/11/2012 ~ Sent email with a "Successful Client Quote"
  • 9/12/2012 ~ Sent email & left voicemail
  • 9/12/2012 ~ Received email stating he is "re-thinking'
  • 9/13/2012 ~ Sent email with a list of references
  • 9/17/2012 ~ Received email stating he is going to hold off
  • 9/17/2012 ~ VM & email "I'll be here if you need me"
  • 9/24/2102 ~ VM & email
  • 10/15/2012 ~ VM & email
  • 10/22/2012 ~ Received "Request for more info" from Wayne
  • 10/22/2012 ~ VM & email  answering questions
  • 10/23/2102 ~ VM & email "I'll be here if you need me"
  • 10/30/2012 ~ Sent Wayne a link to a great blog post
  • 11/12/2012 ~ Received email from Wayne thanking me for the link
  • 12/6/2012 ~ VM & email "I'll be here if you need me"
  • 12/6/2012 ~ Received email from Wayne asking me to stop contacting him :-(
  • 12/6/2012 ~ Sent email confirming his request and asking if I could contact him quarterly to check in
  • 12/12/2012 ~ Sent Wayne a Holiday Card
  • 1/13/2013 ~ Sent email wishing Wayne a prosperous year in business
  • 2/6/2013 ~ Received the following email from Wayne!  

    Hi Ron,

    It’s been a while since I decided to pass.  I’m re-engaging now.  Seems the slow wintery months up here are getting to me and I’m spending way too much time researching and learning all the trends!

    Talk soon,

    Wayne

So what are the takeaways from this 6 month exchange other than the fact that I am a pain in Wayne's rear end?  I think it goes back to what Picasso said, "Action is the Foundational Key to all Success."  I am a firm believer that there comes a time in the follow-up relationship where you stop selling and just continue building rapport and value.  However, never stop providing professional and thorough follow up.  EVER!  What would have happened if I had stopped following up with my future wife when I received the response of "Let me think about it" to my marriage proposal?  I know of 3 kids that would have been disappointed.  Although, maybe she would have found a better "provider."  I know that I never could have.

Now I will fully acknowledge that not every long term follow-up story ends like the one I just illustrated.  However, if 1 out of 20 does, isn't it worth it?  Also, Wayne has become a valuable source of information for me in understanding Canadians. :-)  Just kidding, that was his line.  But in all seriousness, he is a valuable resource for me and our company.

 I hope he will share his side of how this all went down but I shared this story to illustrate a few important things that I believe in when it comes to providing professional and thorough follow-up:

  1. Just Do It! (My apologies to Nike)
  2. Provide value to prospects as well as customers 
  3. No simply means, not right now
  4. Canadians are pretty cool

Let's move some metal!

Comments

Great example of that follow-up management process. Nice to see you "practicing what you're preaching," Ron

Mar 13, 2013

Thank Eric. I think there is some practical application here. :-)

Mar 13, 2013

Ron, this is a good post. Real world experiences sometimes teach us the most when viewed in retrospection. All too often we lose sight of the basics in our business, and good, thorough follow up is a key to our success that is often underrated. What stood out for me during our exchange was your professionalism, blended nicely with your sense of humour. Let's not take life too seriously!
What's important to know is that I never really didn't want the product, I simply wasn't totally sold, and for the investment you were asking, I felt I needed more justification. Now, this wasn't a conscious thought. It's simply a great example of the way shoppers' decision making processes work. You could have easily dropped me, because I gave you some pretty stern 'no's! But instead you did what a professional closer/salesperson does and you hung in there, unaffected by my ambivalence. Each time I received an email with the various pieces of material or data got me a step closer to not only realizing how much I needed your product, but that, as Eric points out, you were practicing what you preach. That's credibility in my books. Exactly what I wanted. Great job.
And now a plug for you guys. I couldn't be happier with DSU. Anyone in our Driving sales community that is on the fence about DSU, contact me. I'll give you an honest evaluation. Believe me ,this Canuck is finding out quickly that even with 26 years in this biz, I've never known so little!
Wayne

Mar 15, 2013

Well said, Wayne. Very honest and eloquent as always. You're going to conquer the world!

Mar 15, 2013

Comments 1 - 4 of 4

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Ron Henson's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Good Ol' Google is Updating Again, and We Like It.

    Remember when you’d search for your dealership on Google, only to have old, outdated or even the wrong photos show up in the knowledge graph portion of the search results? You’d spend all that time making sure your business listing was correct but have no control over what photos represented your dealership. Well, Google just released an upgrade to their “My Business Photo” section that resolves this problem and we’re excited to share it with you.Read post

  • Auto/Mate to Host Spring User Summit for Auto Dealer Customers Near Boston, MA

    Attendees who pre-register by Friday, March 6th will be entered to win one pair of Red Sox tickets! ALBANY, N.Y. – March 2nd, 2015 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) today announced it will be hosting a User Summit for its auto dealer customers on Friday, April 17th in Westborough, MA. The User Summit is an all-day event with breakout sessions featuring product experts who will introduce and give in-depth training on the latest and greatest features of Auto/Mate's dealership management system (DMS).   "Due to overwhelming and positive feedback from our first user summit in September, we realize our customers really appreciate being able to meet and network with our own employees as well as other Auto/Mate users," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems. "On our end, the feedback we receive from our customers during the event is invaluable."   There is no charge for Auto/Mate customers to attend the all-day event, which incl...Read post

  • Business development center requirements

     We puchased a Chevrolet store last August. We have just put a Bdc department together for that store. We have had a bdc department for 4 yhears in our hyundai store which is located one hour away from the Chevrolet store. We will have all of the bdc reps for both stores located at the Hyundai store. We are trying top get ready for our first audit from General motors. We have developed scripts for every type of sales call. we also have documented processes on how to handle that. we are trying to get a concierge board in the showroom for sales appointments as well. We also have a service bdc person for this store and have all of the above things for them as well. we do still have to document a few of the processes for this team. I have a few questions for the Gm dealers in the community 1. Have you experienced this audit? 2. Is the score based on sales and service? 3. Is it ok for my chevy bdc reps to be working in a call center off site? ...Read post

  • Auto Dealer Websites - BEHIND The Curve?

    Automotive advertising has always been an integral part of the Dealership business. Spending hundreds of thousands per year to stand out from the dealer down the street. The budget has never been the issue, it seems that taking an innovative leap might be...Read post

  • Aligning Brand with Operational Discipline – Cardinale Auto Group's COO to Address Presidents Club

    We are pleased to announce Erich Gail, COO of the Cardinale Automotive Group, will address Presidents Club attendees with his presentation: A Culture of Courage: Aligning Brand with Operation Discipline to Achieve Exceptional Results. Erich will present key takeaways for automotive retail leaders such as...Read post

  • How Customer Training Leads To Retention

    With almost everything consumers purchase, there’s an owner’s manual or set of instructions for them to use.  For decades, car manufacturers have included an owner’s manual with new vehicles. Sadly, it is no secret that this tidy three hundred-page booklet is one of the least read publications produced in mass quantity.    Some car dealerships require that their sales people give each vehicle purchaser a thorough presentation of their vehicle at time of delivery.  This slower-paced and personalized walk-around is perhaps more common in days past, than in today’s busier climate. However, it acquaints the car buyer with their vehicle’s key features, inside their vehicle as well as critical components under the hood.  In short, it offers a much-abbreviated version of what is found in the owner’s manual.    Customer training is not a new concept, but in an ever-changing industry, automotive manufacturers and dealerships adapt to the wants and needs of the consumer....Read post

  • Direct Mail Has Changed But It’s Never Going Away

    Direct mail might seem like an outdated and out of fashion marketing tactic, but dealers using it effectively are having the last laugh: consistently reporting an average of thirteen incremental new car sales per month by targeting customers who are “in-equity” in their current vehicle.   A recent study of over 200 US dealerships using personalized direct mail for strategic, targeted campaigns showed that, with a minimal spend and little hands-on work by dealership personnel, dealers are experiencing huge ROI – moving customers into new vehicles with little or no out-of-pocket spend and getting great trade-ins as a result.   It’s important to understand how best to find those customers who are “in-equity” – you can’t simply rely on length of ownership as customers are often upside down in their vehicles, instead it’s important to do extensive database mining to find those customers who’s cars are worth more than they owe, despite how long they’ve owned it. ...Read post

  • Dealer Solutions: 4 Ways To Boost Productivity & Improve Your Hiring Process

    We all have those days when we’re feeling sluggish or offbeat. Sometimes it’s because we’re lacking sleep or have too much on our schedule to handle. Other times it could just be because BuzzFeed is killing it with awesome quizzes for the day. Regardless of what causes us to be unproductive, there’s always that one thing we need but can’t quite obtain on these types of days: focus! Inc. Magazine recently published an article about the psychology of productivity and used results from their Inc. 500 survey. According to the survey, “85 percent of fast-growth-company CEOs work 10 or more hours a day” and that “Under such circumstances, personal productivity isn’t just a metric. It’s also a mandate.” Those hours may be necessary for CEOs, yet the same can be said about employees in other positions, especially managers at auto dealerships. It’s hard to stay on top of your work if you can’t be consistently productive, yet alone hire the right people in a timely manner. If you’re looking for ways to increase your personal productivity, whether in the office or at home, here are the four ways according to Inc.’s article: #1. “Go to the Root of Your Procrastination” Addressing why you procrastinate is the first step towards strengthening your productivity. Sometimes the reason why is because of fear or the fear of making the wrong decision. “With uncertainty comes fearfulness. You have to acknowledge that fear.” - Timothy Pychyl, Professor of Psychology at Carleton University Read post