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Jim Bell

Jim Bell National Sales Executive

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Sales and the Hand Written Thank You Note

What makes you stand out from the rest in the automotive business?  About every dealership has a CRM that they are using that generates all of the letters for you.  Yes, it is nice to have all of those form letters and emails generated for you, but how personable is it?

I was watching CBS news last night and they had a segment on hand written thank you notes.  Yes, I said hand written.  With the internet age and emails, people are getting away from hand written notes.  They did an ‘experiment’ and sent out some thank you notes.  The people on the receiving end were very appreciative.  There was one gal that worked at a Starbucks and received a simple note of her just remembering John’s name.  There was another gentleman that received the note, and made notice that he had written it on someone else’s stationary.  He said ‘well, thanks anyway and hope you have a great day.’

How does this relate to car sales?  Well, with CRM’s, for the most part, we all have gotten away from a simple hand written note.  If you do write a note, make it personable and make yourself stand out from the other 3-5 salespeople that they will be talking to in making their purchasing decision.  It will make you stand out as chances are, the others won’t be doing it.  Do it right after they leave the dealership on their first information gathering visit.  Hopefully they will receive it the next day or two and will appreciate it and you taking the time to hand write a note to them.  Yes, they may get a standard email from you that is automatically generated along with the others, but your note will make you a step above all of the others and increase your chance in the sale of their next vehicle.  If you don’t get the sale, congratulate them on the purchase of their vehicle and keep on following up on them like you sold them the vehicle.  They will definitely remember you in that and may send business your way and may purchase their next vehicle from you.

Bart Wilson
Great idea and I think the note would definitely set you apart. The objection I would always get was "I don't have their address". How do you make sure you have all the information you need to send a hand-written note after the customer leaves? That being said I'm a big fan of sending out a personal note to your sold customers as least twice a year. That personal connection shows you are doing the follow up and not some automated system.
Jim Bell
Hopefully if they went on a test drive, you got a copy of their license. We have to at our dealership for insurance purposes. If not and you have their phone number, do a 411.com on them and hopefully they will be listed.
Ryan Thompson
Great Article Bill. I wrote something similar for the Canadians on using Tim Hortons cards and hand written notes as a 1,2 punch. http://thedealergeek.com/how-to-use-tim-hortons-to-close-a-test-drive
Bryant Gibby
I love the idea but I completely agree with Bart. We have had an ongoing battle with our salesguys trying to get them to collect email addresses on every customer that they help. On top of that, we expect them to get a first and last name and hopefully 2 phone #'s. I couldn't imagine the resistance that I would get if I asked them to get a physical address as well. I'm sure it would help us stand out, but I think it would be a very difficult thing to manage.
Grant Gooley
I believe if you provide the customer with info and your time (test drive, walk around, payments, Etc.) the customer should give back (phone #, address, email) When I ask for this info I put my head down and start writing and let them fill me in. Hand written notes are a great way to be personal! Thanks Jim!

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