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Jared Hamilton
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Owning your own business is the dream of many, while many are in business for themselves and do not even realize it.  When I first entered the car business in 1990 I had an awesome sales manager that took the time to really ingrain in me that I was in business for myself.  The dealership provided me with free inventory, a free office, a free phone line and even a few potential customers.  He also reminded the entire staff daily that if you are just waiting for ups to walk through the door we were never going to be very successful. We all know that people that have already done business with us are the best people to market too, especially if their purchase and service experiences were extraordinary, not a new concept.  One of the things that was taught to me way back then was a dedicated follow up process to follow.  To bad we did not have the technology then that is available to us now. Today while unpacking my office, I just moved, I found that old follow up routine in my treasure trove cabinet.
Follow up on sold customers: Day 1 or Day after - Congratulations call and thank you for your business.  Maye sure there are no unanswered questions.  Mail thank you card. Day 3 - Follow up/Fact Finding - How are you enjoying your new ride, what other kind of vehicles are in the household, Which of those will be replaced next. Day 5 - Recent nice trade.  Mr and Mrs Jones we just traded for _______ . This would be a great vehicle for ________.  Who do you know that may be looking for something like this? Day 7 - Are you tired of me calling you yet?  Let them know that you just want to make sure that they are enjoying their new car and you are available if they ever have any questions. Day 15 - Hey I got something for you.  Give a free first service.  Ask questions about neighbors cars from criss cross directory.  (Note to self: Not even sure it this is still around, need to find online resource) Day 30 - Referred lead talk.  Mr Customer who do you know. Follow up every thirty days for the first year.  Follow up every sixty day for the second and third year. Fourth year start 30 day follow ups again.
These were just the notes from my initial training almost two decades ago.  Of course as you progress documenting your customer contacts some will leave your list, others will refer you a tremendous amount of business and you will earn repeat business. Aggressive follow up like this is how you hit "honey holes" where you wind up selling everyone in the family, office, church, neighborhood cars in a 30 -60 day period.  One of my favorite types of customers were young soldiers and sailors.  If you treated them right and followed up aggressively it always meant additional sales. Now technology has made this type of constant contact easier and faster and a heck of a lot easier to manage.  Index card boxes and tickler files are a thing of the past, for some, but for sure the techniques will still apply today.  Chances are if you are In the Trenches and following up properly you probably have some other good tips to give yourself, as this was just an over view.  Please fire away in the comments below.  

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