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Brandon McNett

Brandon McNett General Sales Manager

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Is retention REALLY that hard?

I will admit, I haven’t been in this industry all that long, but it seems like we often are victims of over analyzation and miscalculation.  We’re pretty good at selling vehicles, just bring me the customer and SHAZAM, let me work my magic – SOLD!  Often we struggle at retention, retaining customers and retaining employees seems to be an aspect of the business we are always working on.

The big obstacle that we put in front of ourselves is how do we retain our current business (Service, Sales, Parts) while earning new business?  I don’t want to sound over-simplistic, but it really is about listening to and doing what is best for your customer.  The concept of retention extends to our employees too; do what is best for them and be an advocate for their happiness and I promise you you’ll see the return on your investment from employees and customers! 

If our business truly attempts to take care of the people we encounter in all facets of our business, usually the people will take care of us.  They’ll buy more, they’ll service more, they’ll refer more friends/family and they’ll say great things about us on Social Media.  These are all things that are important to us.  Organic growth, though providing a truly great customer experience is the best money you can spend.  Spend it with your customers, spend it on your facility, spend it on your employees and it will be better than the money you spend on any advertisement, program, plan, training or technology. 

Our greatest resource is truly our customers and our employees, once we invest enough in them – with quality leadership every aspect of our business should improve. 

Simple concepts that win in retention:

  • Retention is ALWAYS cheaper than starting over, with customers or employees.  Protect what you have, keep them happy and new business will come.  If you can’t keep what you already have, why go out and get new business/employees that you’re just going to lose anyway?
  • Ask for and listen to feedback.  Employees and customers often provide us feedback, some of it we don’t want to hear or don’t care to hear.  Everyone has the customer/employee that just could never be made happy.  However, if you notice a theme amongst the feedback you’re getting, maybe there is something to the feedback being given…LISTEN TO IT!
  • Have a plan, develop it, implement and execute it!  We’re really great in this industry about identifying obstacles/objections and sometimes we even overcome them.  But how often do we make plans, develop them, implement and execute.  If these 4 steps aren’t being fully followed, it’s likely you’re having some fall out somewhere.  Have a vision for the business you want to be, the employer you want to be and make sure that you take the necessary steps to get there. 
  • It isn’t that hard, but retention is never easy!  Kind of a contradiction right?  Well by this I mean that it isn’t the difficult to implement ideas or thoughts, it is really doing the small things, doing them well and living by them.  It isn’t easy, because it’s not something you can fix once and just let it go.  It’s constantly curated, worked on and improved upon…this is where it becomes hard for us.  We move from fire to fire to fire, and often forget about the previous fire we just worked on!

I’m sure that everyone reading this already knew the things discussed and it’s nothing more than a reminder….but sometimes reading things that we already know is better than learning something new…you know, like RETENTION!  

 

Brandon McNett

Kristen and Adam, thanks for your input and feedback.  Your insights are great, and have given me some new ideas to think of!  

Colin Thomas

well written article. Thanks Brandon

Ken Gregson

There's an old saying in the car business; "the customer will twll you how to sell them, if you just listen."  True yesterday, true today.  Apparently they will also tell you how to retain them, again if we just listen.  Great article.  Thanks for sharing.

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