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Boss! That's my customer!

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Whose customer is it anyway? The factory and dealership often have very different ideas about who owns the customer but what about salespeople?

We see this scenario in dealerships everywhere: a client comes into the dealership and meets a salesperson and begins working on finding a vehicle.  A second salesperson comes back from lunch, sees the client, and recognizes them from when he sold them their last car – 4 years ago. He storms into the sales manager's office and says: "hey boss, Charley scooped my customer".  The sales manager says: "if that's your customer then why didn't they ask for you?" or "how come you didn't know they were coming in?" or "why didn't you know they were in the market?" or "that's funny, they couldn't remember who sold them their last car". 

In some stores this scenario would result in a turnover back to the original salesperson or a split deal.  Does the original salesperson deserve anything?  Has he taken ownership of the client and earned the repeat sale? We don't think so.

The individual salesperson is in the very best position to build client loyalty.  Make no mistake Client Loyalty is much more important and powerful than Customer Satisfaction.  If you haven't read the book "Customer Satisfaction is Worthless – Customer Loyalty is Priceless" by Jeffrey Gitomer go out and get it now.  It's a powerful wakeup call for salespeople in any industry.

So how do you build client loyalty? How do you make it impossible for the client to forget you?  Simple and hard… build relationships.  You probably are already giving good customer service to every client who buys from you – if you didn't they wouldn't.  However, good service only gets you today's sale. If you want all of the future sales from this client and the people around that client then you have to do more.

It seems so obvious that it is painful to have to state it: you must keep in touch with people you sell.  Yet, in dealership after dealership, we see more than half of experienced salespeople doing no long term follow-up or relationship building activities with their sold client database.  It's insane!  4 to 20 year veterans having a poor month because floor traffic is light!

We also have the pleasure of meeting salespeople who really "get it" and build such a strong client following that they need a full-time personal assistant handling their appointments and correspondence, they have waiting chairs outside their office, and don't ever need to take an "up".  What do they do that you might not be doing?
They build relationships from the start by making a friend as well as a client.


Automotivaters is highly recognized and one of the most respected automotive training and consulting companies in Canada. Since 1987, the company has acquired an international client base throughout Canada, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand.

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