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Ron Henson

Ron Henson Director, Dealership Strategy & Development

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Action is the Foundational Key to all Success

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!

Eric Miltsch
Great example of that follow-up management process. Nice to see you "practicing what you're preaching," Ron
Ron Henson
Thank Eric. I think there is some practical application here. :-)
Wayne Carter
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
Ron Henson
Well said, Wayne. Very honest and eloquent as always. You're going to conquer the world!

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