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Clients for Life

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Pop Quiz:

1. Do you feel that you give outstanding service to your clients?
2. Do you have an objective that they buy not just once from you but many times over their lifetime?

Most of us would answer yes to both questions - but do we really walk the talk? We all want a long and profitable relationship with our clients but too many of us leave future business to chance.

Consider these statistics:

- It costs approximately six times as much money to gain a new client as it does to keep an old one.
- 68% of the clients that stop dealing with an organization do so because of perceived employee indifference.
- The average business never hears from 96% of its unhappy clients.
- The average client who has a problem with an organization will tell 9 or 10 people about it.
                                      Source – Harvard Business Review

What do these statistics mean? It is far more expensive to replace a client than it is to retain the one we have! Most people quit dealing with you because they think you don't care about them or their business. We live with a false sense of security about the level of satisfaction of our clients because most of the unhappy clients don't complain. Without our intervention, we lose new business because the unhappy clients are telling their friends and family.

If we really want to build a loyal client following that provides repeat and referral business, we need to be talking to them. We need to have a long term follow up strategy in place. We can't count on them coming back on their own a few years later. We sure can't count on them sending referrals if the last time they hear from us is the day they took delivery. Remember that "68% of the clients that stop dealing with an organization do so because of perceived employee indifference".

It's not rocket science.  So why don't we spend more time and effort on follow up?  Here are some ever-popular excuses:

No time. This is hard to understand. Add up the hours you are on shift and then compare that time to the amount you are actually speaking with clients. No time because we are busy doing what?

Don't believe that follow up works. Unfortunately this myth is usually perpetuated by someone that has never made follow up calls.

Don't know what to say. If there is no plan, skill training and objectives for the calls they typically do not happen.

Poor organization. We don't plan and track our contacts. Without a systematic approach to how often we call or write and the purpose of each contact – it just doesn't get done.

Not committed to the automotive retail business or current employer. Maybe I won't be here when they next need a car. This attitude has caused many 5/10/15 year veterans to rely on floor traffic with little repeat or referral business. Floor traffic is the most difficult prospect we have! Why would you choose to do it the hard way all the time?

If you can't think that long term just think about next month. You can get one additional sale from the vehicles you sell this month. One of your new clients knows a friend, coworker, or relative who is also in the market for a vehicle. You just need to phone and find out.  Find out how the car is working out, thank them for the business, and offer to help any of their friends or relatives. Sound easy? It is.

"The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit."
- Moliere

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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Copyright © 2008 by ISI/PAL Automotivaters Inc.
Copyright © 2017 by ISI/PAL Automotivaters Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.

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