Offer service. Tell the customer that your award-winning service department welcomes all factory warranty customers regardless of where they purchased their vehicle. Threatening service refusal or appointment delays will only damage your dealership’s reputation. Many future sales are made in the service department first!
Ask why they bought somewhere else. Ask the customer in a non-confrontational manner such as, “So if you don’t mind me asking, what was the deciding factor in your choosing the other car?” Tell the customer, “We always seek this information so we can learn to do a better job next time, and it helps us better serve our customers’ needs.”
Ask for referrals and future business. This is not the end of the world, or the last car this customer will ever buy. Be friendly and politely ask for a chance at their future business and any referrals. If you treated this customer properly and respectfully they will agree to this, even though you didn’t sell them this time.
Keep the customer in your marketing activities. Add this customer to your e-mail, mail or casual follow-up lists, and keep communicate with him or her until they asked you to stop. All customer information is a valuable resource which the dealership worked hard (and spent money) to obtain, don’t waste it.
Just because you didn’t sell to that person today doesn’t mean you can’t sell to them in the future.
Vol 3, Issue 12