I had to purchase a new car this month. A deer decided to leap onto my trusty car and essentially caused sufficient enough damage that the insurance company wrote it off. Because I wasn’t planning on purchasing a new car, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. So, I checked out the local car lots to see what was available. I visited a lot of dealerships: eight in total (with return visits to three dealerships and email follow-ups to three).
And the follow-up from the salespeople? Not so great. Of the eight dealerships, only two followed up.
The dealership I purchased my last car connected with me a week after my visit in the form of a formal, form letter. No personalization (other than my name and address at the top of the letter) and no acknowledgement of my history with the dealership.
There was only one salesperson who actually proactively asked for and wrote down my name, phone number and email address. He was the only one who called me the next business day after my visit to simply thank me for test driving a vehicle.
I eventually decided on a car and purchased it. When I arrived to pick up the car, it was in the showroom with a big red bow on it. What a surprise! I also received a personalized handwritten thank you note that included reference to conversations we had during the buying process. I received that note two business days after my purchase, on the dealership letterhead. Nothing fancy, nothing formal, just personal and immediate.
What can we learn from this?
Immediacy has greater impact than formality.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort (or financial investment) to make a positive impression, but timing is everything.
Personalization means remembering and acknowledging you heard what I said to you.
A timely phone call, a dollar store red bow and a personalized handwritten note were all that were needed to stand out from the crowd.