I ran into an old acquaintance at Starbucks a while ago. I had referred him and his wife to a dealer friend a couple of years back, so I casually asked him how the deal had gone for them. He said he’d appreciated how seamless the dealership had made the experience, and how the salesperson had correctly given his wife equal attention. “She loved the guy,” he told me as the barista prepared our beverages.
“Now we’re looking at a new SUV,” he added, slipping a lid onto his drink, “But that guy my wife loved never once bothered to follow up after the sale. We can’t even remember his name.”
I could feel their disappointment. They loved this guy—they said it outright. He’d been pleasant and warm to them. He’d treated them respectfully and with integrity, and they’d felt blessed to buy their vehicle from him. He’d done all the right things, from a great meet-and-greet all the way through the financing deal. This salesperson had won a customer for life.
And he’ll never get to sell them again.
That sales representative had a lot going for him. I’m certain that his other customers came to love him too. Yet he is being unconsciously incompetent. Certainly he’s conscious of the need to establish rapport and trust through the sales cycle, but when it comes to communicating with customers to keep his name fresh in their minds—both immediately post-sale and periodically thereafter—he’s ignorant.
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