I remember being asked “how do you do all that you do?” Not exactly sure what the person meant by that statement so I asked for clarification. They responded by saying “you write 3 or 4 books a year, you’re traveling and speaking all the time, you run a successful car dealership and consulting business, you’re on TV and in movies, you promote wrestling and you STILL seem to find time to spend lots of quality time with your family to be the world’s best dad and husband. You pretty much make me look bad and need to stop.” Thankfully the last sentence was said with a smile and a hint of sarcasm or it would have hurt. As far as the rest of the statement, it was humbling and something that I had never been thought about until that moment. It’s easy to get a lot done and to be successful at what you do if the things you do make you happy. Someone else once said to me “I don’t know how you work all the time.” I responded by saying it’s not work when you love doing it. It feels as if you’re getting paid to enjoy your hobby. The key: do whatever it legally takes to find that “something” you have a passion for and find a way to get paid to do it. That’s when you’ll be able to do LOTS of stuff, have fun doing it AND get paid…all at the same time.
I remember receiving a disheartening and anonymous email from someone who told me to “stop putting on a fake persona on social media because it’s sickening…it’s impossible for someone to be as happy as you pretend to be all the time. I mean, you own a used car lot. How happy and successful can you possibly be?” I decided to share this NOT to call him/her out, rather I’m sharing this to say that it’s a choice to choose the better route, to rise above the pain and find the silver lining around the dark clouds that some folks dwell in.
Besides, research shows that unhappy people:
1) Have a higher heart rate and may be at higher risk for heart attacks.
2) Are 65% more likely to get a cold.
3) Have a greater risk of heart disease, strokes, hypertension, infections, and Type 2 diabetes.
4) Release more of the stress hormone cortisol, therefore being more stressed.
5) Are less likely to find a spouse.
6) Live nine years fewer than their happy counterparts.
So…when you are happy, you are likely to live longer. You are more emotionally healthy, physically healthy, creative, energetic, compassionate, and successful!
So if you have difficulty being happy and have more of a tendency to be a Debbie Downer, my simple advice is to “fake it ’till you make it.” Your life and health depends on it.
And for the record, NO ONE is happy all the time. Even Jesus wasn’t always happy, and he wasn’t always sad, but he was always kind.
TRUE STORY: A General Manager of a BIG dealer group called me one afternoon about securing my training services. Allow me to share “the meat” of the conversation with you. As always, names have not been used to protect their ignorance.
Him: “I’ve spoken with several trainers and consultants before you. I know what I’m looking for. May I email you a list of questions that I want you to answer before we go any further?”
Him: “Good. Please don’t be insulted. I’ve asked all of the trainers the same questions that I’m asking you.”
I receive the email and a few of the questions were as follows: What type of car do you drive? Where do you live? When you travel, do you fly 1st class? How big is your house? Do you own a beach house? How many times a year do you speak? Where is the last place you went on vacation? What’s the most expensive piece of clothing you own? Are you an international company? Etc, Etc.
There were 25 of these random and odd questions. When I read them, I called the dealer back.
Me: “Thank you for your email but I believe you left off the most important question.”
Him: “Which question is that?” (sounding very confused)
Me: “In my modest opinion, it’s the question you should ask ALL trainers who you are considering to hire for your dealer group. You didn’t ask me when I sold my last car.”
Him: (silence followed by an expletive) “I NEVER thought about that but you are so right! So…when DID you sell your last car?”
Me: “About 2 hours ago.”
I received his signed contract and a credit card deposit less than half hour later. Remember: it’s easy to talk the talk but do they also walk the walk. The best teacher/trainers/consultants did it and STILL do it.
In part one of Strong Customer Relationships, I introduced the six vital pillars that support strong customer relationships. I also discussed pillar #1: Making The Right First Impression (read about it HERE).
In part two, I discussed pillar #2: Being Easy To Do Business With (read about it HERE).
In part three, I discussed pillar #3: Remembering Your Customer Has A Choice (read about it HERE).
Each of these pillars have an important role to play and the stronger each of them are, the better your overall relationships will be. Today, let’s talk about pillar #4: Making Life Better For Your Customers.
Pillar #4: Making Life Better for Your Customers
As well as making it easy for your customers to do business with you, you need to remember that the role of your business is to make your customer’s life better or easier in some way.
They are not doing business with you because they like you or want to help you.
They are buying the solutions you offer. That means you have to help them to eliminate their pain points or to make their life better.
Your products or services must therefore help to improve their lives or relieve their pain in some way.
Every one of your customers is tuned in to their favorite radio station: WII-FM (What’s In It for Me?).
So you need to be able to give them something that satisfies that requirement.
For an auto repair shop, the customers’ pain point is often the inconvenience of getting their cars serviced. They have to drop off the car, and then find a ride to get home or to work.
If there was a trustworthy mechanic who offered this service, it would be exactly the solution most customers needed, and it would ease their pain point.
Now, if that same auto shop washed and vacuumed the car in addition to servicing it, that would be over-the-top customer service – and customers would tell all their friends.
At my car dealership, I know there are at least three recurring pain points that customers have regarding buying a nicer, newer car: down payment, monthly payment and financing/credit.
That’s why I focus on these issues in my advertising and marketing.
It’s no coincidence that those are outlined in my “Car Buyers Bill Of Rights”, and my marketing addresses these pain points in a big way.
I have hundreds of happy clients in seven countries so I know that when you cure your customers’ pains, you are well on your way to having deep customer relationships. And that’s the key to having a profitable business.
So, it’s a good idea to find out what your customer’s top pain points are and then include them not only in your marketing but in all your main touch points with customers, such as personal contact, telephone calls and on your web site.
If you keep your eyes and ears open on this, you’ll be ready to respond immediately when issues arise.
Recently I found out that a brand-new customer was having problems with a vehicle he had just bought from us.
I immediately followed up with him and had my support team schedule a VIP Reservation with our service department.
In the end, we found out there was not a problem – he had simply gotten some trash in his gas.
But the fact that we responded swiftly to his situation not only made him very happy, it also helped to pave the way for a longer relationship, because we had built extra trust.
If you want to keep customers long-term, you have to make their lives easier by alleviating their pain.
However another potential pain point is that they may have doubts or suspicions about their purchase. So you need to take steps to alleviate those right away.
For example, if your website is not working properly, a new customer may be suspicious that he or she has just been scammed. You need to take account of factors like this and be ready to react to them quickly.
Prompt follow-up and problem resolution are important for businesses that have a lot of online activity. In this case, you need to let your customers know there are real people running the show.
When customers can feel confident that there are real people looking out for their interests, this helps build trust and loyalty.
When you address pain points with existing customers as soon as they arise – or even before they do – they’ll continue to do business with you.
It’s just good, solid customer service, and helps sustain long and profitable relationships.
To help you deal with these issues before they get out of control, you need to always be listening out for recurring problems.
That’s why you need to have good two-way communication with your customers and also have good feedback mechanisms for your own staff.
When you discover any indications that you’re not easy to do business with in some way, make sure you take action to fix it quickly. That’s vital to building long-term relationships.
– Stay Tuned For Strong Customer Relationships: The Six Pillars/Part Five. Coming Soon.
By tmyers|2014-04-29T16:04:07-04:00April 29, 2014|Categories: Blog|
There are two types of ads: one wins awards for the agency that created it and one makes money for the client. It is rare for one ad to be able to do both. Below is an example of an award winning ad, or at least one that should be. It was created by BBH, London for Axe Body Spray. It’s visually stunning. In fact, I would even call it art. Here’s the problem. It won’t make one dollar for Unilever, the makers on Axe. The three cardinal sins of this ad? There’s not an irresistible offer, no call to action and no deadline for the offer. So the next time you’re creating the next ad or marketing campaign for your dealership, ask yourself if you want it to win an award or if you want it to make money. Unless you’ve got marketing money to burn like Apple or Coke, the answer should be apparent.
I often talk about the 2 different types of ads: award winning ones and ones that produce an ROI, or Return On Investment. Click the photo below to see a perfect example of an award winning commercial. It’s by Apple and it’s beautifully done. The problem is that car dealerships who try and emulate this formula will fail. Why? Simply put, they don’t have “Apple money” (I called it Coke money before Apple’s heyday). If you own or represent a company smaller than Apple, take heed: STOP trying to create award winning ads. The bill collector doesn’t care, your dealership employees don’t care and your family doesn’t care. What they all care about is that your ad is a lead generator. So should you.