When Follow-Up is Too Much
A frequent question that comes up during my coaching calls has to do with follow-up. Specifically, clients want to know what to do when the customer ghosts them. Perhaps this occurs after a price has been submitted. Or maybe a first appointment went well but there does not seem to be any interest in a second appointment.
For sure, one must balance being thorough with the risk of being annoying. Allow me to illustrate using a live “too much” personal example:
Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020
- 12:18 p.m.: My wife and I leave a car dealership south of Boston after a fact-finding visit. Our twins will be driving in the fall and we stopped by to check out a replacement car for Allison after we give her SUV to them so they can fight over something new. How do I know the exact time? Because FOUR minutes later…
- 12:22 p.m.: Having just sat down for lunch, my phone rings. It’s a manager at the same car dealership “just calling to ensure that all of our questions were answered and to find out if there was anything he could do to help.”
Sunday, Jan. 26
- 12:28 p.m.: I receive an email from one of the salespeople we spoke with. He was inquiring, “to find out how he could help move the timeline.”
Monday, Jan. 27
- 11:12 a.m.: I receive a phone call from the same guy who called me at lunch two days prior. He wanted to know, “how they stacked up against the other cars that we looked at and if there are any questions he can answer.”
- 12:16 p.m.: I receive an email from the General Manger, Tony. (Is every car dealerships general manager named Tony or is it just my imagination?) He appreciated the visit, wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help, and wondered if we had all the information we needed;
- 12:47 p.m.: I reply, “Starting with a good visit, a follow-up call 4 minutes after we left, an email over the weekend, a phone call this morning, and now your email, you can rest assured we feel informed and appreciated, Tony.”
My guess is, we have not heard the end of this story. If something comes up between now and the time this blog is posted, I will make certain it gets added.
For the record I am not at all annoyed by this, I find it amusing.
I play pickle ball with a guy who owns three car dealerships. He told me just last week it’s a tough industry to make money in, and added, “I wish my guys made even ONE follow-up call,” so I guess that explains the all-out aerial assault.
Update: Jan. 30, 2020
- 12:38 p.m.: Email from the dealership: “Did you like what we had to offer?”
- 12:40 p.m. (2 minutes later!!!): Another phone call. This time I pick up. Someone was calling because it is the end of the month and they wanted to know if they could sell us a car. I told him we were quite clear that we’d be buying in November and he quickly (and politely) responded, “We did receive that message. Often times, people who say they are buying in 8 months end up buying a car much earlier and we wanted to follow up just the same.” That’s fair. I asked him to call me back in 6 months and he told me he’d call in two.
I wonder: If we buy a car, then will they stop calling us???
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