This article, only focussing on the transaction can cost you dearly, is a two-part series, make sure you don’t miss part 2.
When last did you speak to the salesperson that sold you your car? (Assuming that you haven’t bought a car in the past month!)
I hope my friends in the motor industry don’t hate me for using their trade to make my point. But it is so apparent when I buy a vehicle that the salesperson is only interested in the transaction and not in me. My experience is that once I take delivery of the car and the after-sales follow up is done, I never hear from them again. No wonder buying a vehicle has become transactional and not emotional. Failure to build rapport and ongoing relationships with customers is the reason why we will be buying cars from an online store in the future and not from salespeople. We can do all our research online, get statistics and compare while browsing through the website and imagine ourselves enjoying the car, all without human intervention. Then we can book and take a test drive without establishing a relationship with anyone!
To some, this might sound like the ideal transaction, but in this scenario, we lose something special about the possible experience we could have had. I don’t buy a vehicle; I buy a car of my dreams! To me, it must be emotional. I enjoy the purchasing process. I want to get excited and share that with someone. I want service, to feel sold and to feel safe because I am dealing with someone that I see as “My Guy”, someone with integrity that I can trust.
This feel safe relationship is what we are losing if we are only focussing on the transaction. The motor industry’s salespeople are missing the fact that the customer is going to have to replace the car one day or they might buy a car for someone else or have a friend that needs to buy a car and they can refer. I honestly believe that we must never let the relationship go out of sales transactions. As salespeople, we must invest the time in maintaining and building our relationships. In the end, this is the only thing that is left and the only thing that has value. The bond and service experienced are what leads to the next sale.
So, let’s say that your car salesperson maintains the relationship by giving you a call once in three months, to check in quickly and make sure that everything is ok. They should be focusing on building the relationship. Not to find out if you want to buy another vehicle. The sentiment will be sweet. You will start to build a relationship, a trusting relationship. The salesperson will in time even get a heads up when you want to buy your next car. You will tell your friends about this fantastic person. They also might want to buy a vehicle from this caring individual, and the salesperson will end up making more sales. It will be as if the next transaction is guaranteed. I know that if this were the case for me, I would become more brand loyal and make sure that I buy my next car from this guy, “My Guy.”
By not maintaining our relationships with customers, and only focussing on the transaction, salespeople are paving their way to redundancy. If there are no relationships involved, why can’t we automate the sales process and opt for an in-human sales cycle?
The failure to maintain relationships is not just an issue in the motor industry. We find that this is the case in most industries and that only the real professional salespeople understand the importance of maintaining relationships, and they are few and far between. There is a real danger in just focussing on the transaction and not considering the importance of the relationship. Salespeople that only focus on the deal, tend to push the sale and sometimes sell where there is no need or forcibly manipulate people into buying. This type of salesperson never endures in the sales profession and in the process destroys so many possible, positive outcomes and relationships.
In the next article we will explore the reason why salespeople don’t invest the time in the relationship. Make sure to follow our page in order not to miss the next article.