What’s your business’ personality?

As a business and marketing strategist I freely admit to being considerably more than a little critical of the way businesses do things.

Mature car salesperson talking with young couple.Just as people have only one opportunity to make a first impression, so do businesses.

Case in point. Yesterday afternoon I dropped off my car for service. I walked from the service area into the dealership showroom. While I was waiting to be picked up I kicked a few tires. Then I went outside to kick a few more.

During my entire visit lasting about 15 minutes, not one team member in the dealership looked at me, spoke to me, smiled at me, or asked if they could help me. I was completely ignored by salesmen and staff.

When I arrived home, I looked in the mirror. Perhaps it was me. I was dressed casually, but definitely not dirty or homeless. What was it that made me invisible to everyone in the sales department?

Was it as simple as a lack of training? Of course, I couldn’t know for sure. But my guess was the corporate culture itself. It was more concerned about the bottom line than what it takes to get to that bottom line. Because I’ve seen this so many times, I surmised this was at a strong-arm top down management style in which the dealership’s employees were considered to be irrelevant outsiders and even a necessary evil in the scheme of things.

I talk about this in my book How to Close More Business in Less Time as I connect the dots between marketing the sale process.

The endgame is to create a lifetime customer. In order to create a lifetime customer, you need to make a sale, deliver the vehicle, and follow-up after the sale. Each of those steps needs to be an exceptional experience.

Prior to that every step –– every activity –– in the sales process also needs to be exceptional. It goes all the way back to the beginning when a customer walks in the door. A proper welcome that leads to building rapport, that facilitates gathering information, and that allows you to properly educate the customer.

Every selling transaction in every business is a part of a sales process. Like all other processes, a sales process can be studied, analyzed, and improved. Given constant monitoring, it can produce exceptional results.

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