‘Great experience’ and ‘used car salesman’ are generally not two phrases you see together, but in this case, it’s true… and the story provides some valuable lessons for all salespeople and seller-doers.
It started several years ago when my wife wanted to buy a used Lexus SUV. So, we responded to an ad in the newspaper (back when people actually read the paper). The ad had been placed by a car broker (named Bryant), a licensed individual with access to cars on the wholesale market.
He found us the vehicle we wanted and made it an easy and even enjoyable experience. The experience was so good, in fact, that we bought two more vehicles through him over the next few years.
Fast forward to late 2021… we reached out to Bryant and told him we were looking again. And several weeks later, I’ve got a new car! But what really makes the story valuable is all of the little things that Bryant did to make it come to fruition…
- He stays in touch. Since we’ve known him, both my wife and I get phone calls – not text messages or emails – from Bryant a couple of times a year… just friendly “How ya doin’?” calls. He genuinely looks at his customers as friends… and from a sales perspective, it keeps him top-of-mind. It obviously works… who did we reach out to for this most recent purchase?
- When I told him the kind of car I was looking for, he started doing his research and sending me spec sheets of the cars that fit the profile. He was serving as a resource… no sales pressure, just being helpful. And once I found the specific car that I liked, he worked to get even more resources for me, including more detailed data and getting the seller to take additional photos of the car.
- There was never any pressure to buy. When I wasn’t particularly interested in some of the car spec sheets he sent, he simply went back to work to look for more. He wanted to be sure I got what I really wanted. Bryant wasn’t selling me anything, he was helping me through the buying process.
- Bryant was very good at follow up. When he found car spec sheets he thought might interest me, he would email them to me in the evening. Then the next day, he would send a short text message to assess my interest level. He never pestered me… he just sent fast, friendly, follow-up notes.
- And most importantly, the entire customer experience is what it should be like for all buying transactions. First, he did 90% of the work… doing all the homework, searching for vehicles across the country and then sharing that information with me. As we started narrowing down the choices, he worked with the seller to get additional resources and answer my questions. At purchasing time, he even reduced his fee to ensure the car price came in under the amount I wanted to pay. [Note: I declined his generous offer, further strengthening our relationship.] And lastly, he is personally delivering the vehicle to my home, driving it in from about 300 miles away.
Think about all of the boxes that Bryant checks in his sales role:
- ‘People do business with people they like’… and with Bryant, it’s mutual.
- One of the most common reasons for losing clients between purchases (or projects, more likely, in your case) is that the client stops hearing from you; Bryant never let that happen.
- ‘Seek first to help… then to sell.’ That was a big part of his role – doing the research and serving as a resource.
- ‘People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.’ And Bryant never sold me… but he did help me make a good buying decision.
- Make the customer experience memorable. Bryant was all about the CX… staying in touch, following up, sharing resources, working with the seller, and even driving the vehicle to my home.
Bryant follows all the rules for being a top-notch sales professional who would succeed in any industry, including Market Research. He just happens to have a passion for cars.
Final note: if you’re in the market for a used car, send me an email and I will share Bryant’s contact information with you. I’ve referred him to several of my friends and neighbors… and that’s the biggest compliment you can pay a salesman.