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

  • Conquesting 2.0: Attract Cross-Shoppers With Search Remarketing to Capture More Sales

    Once a qualified buyer browses your website and leaves to check out your competition, what tactics do you have in place to bring her back to choose your model? My most successful dealers have addressed this opportunity by combining two tactics that have been proven to drive increases in return website visits by cross-shoppers using mobile devices and PCs. Put simply, we’re running search ads in a new way that’s actually getting a response to help our dealers meet their sales goals consistently. Read post

  • Mobile Click-to-Call vs. Tap-to-Text: Controversial or Complementary?

    A July 2014 Automotive News article sang the praises of phone calls over email and form leads, citing faster responses and ease of use via mobile. What it didn't point out, though, is that text-based, one-to-one messaging is worthy of a verse or two as well.Read post

  • Do Your Salespeople Spend Too Much Time Managing Software...Instead of Selling?

    The fact is, lead generation is an expensive business and having the right tools to manage this investment and deliver the most qualified leads to your dealership is paramount to your success. When it comes to mining your database and working your in-market customers, you have two choices: use your internal team to run and manage all aspects of it (self-service) or outsource many of the functions to a service provider who does most of the heavy lifting (full service).  Self-service options demand the installation of comprehensive software that requires training and hands-on daily interaction to be effective, while a full service provider will take over the day-to-day tasks (i.e., database management, developing marketing materials, mailings, e-mails, etc.) and, instead, deliver qualified leads to your sales force. Both approaches have their pros and cons. Full disclosure, I currently work for a full service provider, but I also spent eight years as VP of Sales and Marketing for a la...Read post

  • Proactive PR & the NFL?

    While I love to be active myself, I certainly could not call myself a big fan of watching and keeping up with sports. It seems, however, that you cannot turn on a television, read a newspaper or use any social media recently without hearing about continuous misdeeds and wrongdoings of NFL players. I’m sure that you’ve seen them as well. So this is not designed to rehash, recap or discuss any of these controversies. Much of the attention and negative PR has been directed towards those players involved, as well as the NFL itself, as can be expected. Due to the ongoing controversy, sponsors have distanced themselves and some have even disassociated themselves with the league. One sponsor, however, seems to be taking a slightly different approach to the controversy… Verizon.   Let’s face it. Regardless of any controversy, football is not only uber-popular in America, but also big business. It brings massive exposure to its partners and sponsors. Just as in the real world, howe...Read post

  • Dealer Solutions: Catching Red Flags on Millennial Resumes

    Does it ever feel like the term “millennials” is an annoying buzzword or something that the American workforce can’t stop mentioning? Regardless of how this may make you feel, this is a term that won’t be going away anytime soon. You probably keep hearing something about “Generation Y is the future” or “right now is the time to attract millennials at your organization”—although it might seem repetitive, it’s true. This generation currently makes up approximately 23% of the dealership workforce, according to a report released by the NADA last year. Additionally, the percentage of millennials in the workforce is only going to increase in the years to come. This also means that there’s a good chance you’ve had a decent influx of resumes coming from this specific generation at your dealership. While hiring millennials is essential to growing business, it’s also important to make sure you’re hiring the best-fit candidates. One way to avoid poor hiring decisions is by scanning resumes for certain warning signs. The following are several red flags on millennial resumes that hiring managers should search for in order to avoid hiring a potential turnover candidate at your dealership: Careless Grammar & Spelling—This is an obvious red flag to spot on any resume. If a potential candidate is lazy enough to not carefully proofread his or her resume, then it’s likely that same candidate will not perform to the best of his or her ability. Full Sentences—Resumes should never be writRead post

  • AutoLoop Welcomes Sales Rep Sean Donovan

    Clearwater, FL--October 21st, 2014--AutoLoop LLC, a leading developer of sales-generation and customer-retention software for auto dealers, today announced the addition of Sean Donovan as Sales Representative for western North America. Donovan brings nearly 20 years of automotive marketing, technology, and analytics experience to the team, and his new position emphasizes AutoLoop’s continued expansion into the western U.S. market.   “Sean’s an exciting addition,” said John Bottone, AutoLoop’s Vice President of National Sales. “He has a deep understanding of our products and the ways dealers can benefit from them. Having him on the team will be a tremendous asset to our ongoing success in the west coast markets.”   Before joining AutoLoop, Donovan served at dealerships throughout the western U.S., and has watched how the rise of mobile devices has affected the consumer purchasing process. “Today’s dealers must focus stronger efforts on engaging and retaining cust...Read post

  • 3 Halloween Ideas for Car Dealerships

    Trick or treat! There’s a little less than two weeks until Halloween! Does your dealership have a plan for how to bring more shoppers into the showroom and service bays during this fun and hopefully-not-too-scary time? You should! Holidays are always an opportune time to foster some community spirit and be the host to memorable events for your customers and prospects. If you’re struggling with coming up with ideas for how to celebrate Halloween while bringing in more sales, I’ve put together a few ideas below that are sure to get your community excited to come see you.   Throw a Community Halloween Party Everyone loves a party, right? Provide food, drinks, and music, have a costume contest with prizes, set up a haunted house, hayrides pulled by a truck (to show off the impressive strength of your vehicles) give out candy, and make sure everyone has a good time. Events like these build community bonds and even if the attendees don’t buy a car while they are there, theyRead post

  • Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer – Blevins Brothers

    Dealerbaby Announces Newest Customer - Blevins Brothers Blevins Brothers Launch Their First Native Mobile App  Saratoga Springs, NY: Dealerbaby (www.dealerbaby.com), a custom mobile app platform for auto dealerships, is proud to announce that Blevins Brothers, an auto group in Ogdensburg, NY has launched their first native mobile app via the Dealerbaby mobile platform.  “Dealerbaby allows us to connect with our customers like never before.  It puts our store literally in the palm of their hands, anywhere, anytime,” said Marc Blevins, Sales Manager at Blevins Bros. Blevins Brothers, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership, serving Gouverneur, Canton, Watertown, Potsdam and Fort Drum, NY, has been a family run business since 1983. Last year, Blevins Brothers, began looking for a new way to reach current and potential customers. After a thorough review of options, Blevins Brothers, choose to invest in mobile for the following reasons: reach, loyalty, and the future of car bu...Read post