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Anyone who has sold cars in their life has come across the customer that forgot them. They sold someone a car, then they see them a year later in finance after buying another one from a different salesperson. You gave them your card. You called them to check on things and to prep them for their CSI call. Why didn't they come straight to you this time? They liked you, right?
The same thing happens at the dealership level all the time. They bought a car at your dealership, then they went to a different dealership to buy another one later.
It's not that people are trying to screw us over. It's because you gave them no reason to remember you. Just because you delivered a great experience and gave them a great deal is no guaranty that they'll come back to you next time they're in the market. People forget. Many of them also believe that a Nissan dealer is a Nissan dealer and it doesn't matter where you buy.
You can change this perception. You can be different. You can make an impact. You simply have to constantly remind them that you are their dealership and they should always be doing business with you.
This isn't about dropping them in an automated database and spamming them with generic emails once a month. It takes strategy. It requires diligence. It takes a specialized view on the mentality of modern car buyers and a willingness to be aggressive without being annoying.
Today, there are plenty of services available to car dealers that help them to stay in front of their customers, but the majority of these are not doing it the right way. As we describe on our website, you must:
Maintaining loyal customers isn't hard. It's a process, but it's worth the effort. It's easier to bring past customers back to the dealership next time they're in the market than to focus on getting new customers. That's not to say that you shouldn't get new ones. You just shouldn't ignore the old ones.
Make your dealership memorable. Your past customers are the low hanging fruit on the tree of success.