I got the sense when we were test driving a car that you felt like I was wasting your time. Admittedly, it wasn’t a car I had originally mentioned I was interested in and I was vague about my intentions to buy. Quite honestly, I didn’t intend to purchase a car that day. But I was trying to determine which car I would buy soon.
You had some choices to make:
- Build a relationship that might pay off or only worry about making a sale in the next 15 minutes
- Find out more about what I was looking for and why or take my initial thoughts as set in stone
- Treat me as though you want me to refer others to you or treat me as though I’m only important if I can benefit you this second
- Give me reason to buy from you or ammunition not to.
All these choices were yours.
I didn’t start the day thinking I was going to buy a car. Heck, I was just going to go mountain biking and maybe see what I could get for my truck if I decided to sell or trade it. That was my plan. I didn’t know I wanted to buy a car that day, but it didn’t take long for you to convince me that I wasn’t going to buy a car from you.
Here’s what you know: I was vague and non-committal. I was only there to get my truck appraised. I didn’t really want to buy a car that day. I wanted to test drive a car or two.
Here’s what you don’t know (and what you don’t know will blindside you). I had been seriously considering getting a car within a couple of weeks. After you gave me several reasons not to ever buy from you I went across town to a salesman I had talked to a month earlier about a used car. By the end of the day I ended up buying a brand new car from him that was 25% higher than the price range I had mentally set. I didn’t intend to buy, but I’m excited I did. That sale could have been yours.
It’s a shame I wasted your time. Sorry about that.
Great example of why the focus needs to be on the relationship, not the sale.
Laurie, if you haven’t done it yet, I’d love to see your thoughts on the best ways to build the relationship. It’s such an important topic for business success.