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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... **I am working on developing a packet that I will send to the local real estate offices. We have a ton of real estate agencies in our little valley here and I have several as customers already.**



    It's a very good idea ... but you need to make sure there is follow-up via phone and/or a second packet in 30 days ....

    We've done this now for the last 10 years and have had very good results ... we not only cover the real estate sector, but the marine manufacturers, big air conditioning companies (heating companies in your area .l.o.l.) and the large roof and plumbing business for cargo vans ...

    Usually I send out 10,000 packets all in color and pictures of their "actual" company with the vehicle cut and pasted in their parking lot - which really gets their attention .....

    The return has been just shy of 11%, and that doesn't include the sister we sold the van to, the guy who needed a convertible, the owner who wanted a sports type, etc, etc ...... I really don't have a firm grip on that particular figure, but the Ad agency thinks it's been good for another 5% .. I think it's more like 2/3% ... but I'll take it ...

    It only works if there is follow-up .... if not, it's a waste of $$ ....



    Terry ;)
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Yeah follow up is always the key I know and I also know I do not follow up as well as I should sometimes.

    Our store is kind of at a turning point. We have two sales guides but our handling enough traffic that we almost need a third. If we had a third now one of us would starve just no way around it. If we could bring in someone part time untill we build up a little more traffic that would be ok but for a full time position we don't have the volume yet.

    When Land Rover launches the replacment for the Freelander in the fall then we will defnietly need a third sales guide. Untill that time we are just going to have to pick and choose the follow up or hire a third person and one guy will starve.
  • cluedweaselcluedweasel Posts: 148
    I did something very similar for both the FX45 and QX56 a while back. It did generate a lot of interest, a good many test drives and 11 sales on the FX and 6 sales on the QX. Not huge but they were sales I wouldn't have made otherwise.
    Now, as a business owner myself, if I was to receive a similar packet I would definitely look at it. If it was targeted at my needs I would probably follow up. One thing I'm short of, and the same goes for many self-employed people, is time. Target the car at me, offer to bring it to my offices for a test drive and offer good pricing with a minimum of drama and I would probably buy.
    One last tip on the packet. Make sure they ask for you if they come in. Despite having my name and photo on the info, folks would still wander in and talk to whoever was up and there went half a deal :(
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Thanks for the tip. I am considering including some multi media aspect to it as well. I have a little bit of video editing skills, access to a huge library of cool Land Rover footage and a DVD burner.

    I am going to start with real estate offices in our little valley area that are 15-20 min drive away from our dealership and then work my way out as time goes by.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,761
    In addition to the main packet, try to do some drip marketing. Little e-mails, postcards, etc. with current information on models and promotions.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    The Style section of the Washington Post had a very interesting article about a guy who sells Hondas in Bethesda MD. He sells over 300 cars a year. He is from South America and has only been selling cars for about 5 years. In the article it seems like he specializes in selling to people of Latin American heritage. He treats his customers very nicely and they keep buying cars from him.

    Supposedly he makes between $150K and $250K a year.

    I'm not sure what to think about this. Is he a great guy because he makes his customers so happy? Or is he not so great because he uses their ignorance to get them to pay more than they should? Anyway, it is a very good article.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,761
    Or is he not so great because he uses their ignorance to get them to pay more than they should?

    Did the article say he does this or is it a presumption on your part?

    Plenty of dealerships have salespeople who specialize in certain languages/ethnicities. It makes recent immigrants comfortable to do the deal with someone they can relate to. As for paying too much, word gets around in communities of new immigrants quickly. He wouldn't be doing so well if he were doing anything shady.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    It was a presumption on my part.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... Speaking of Washington (huh.?) .......

    It's really more common than you would think .... being in a "Área de habla Hispana del país" it can be a great benefit ....

    About 9 years ago I had hired a young lady that was of Middle East decent and she did famously ... she's now gone on to DC and she's the 3rd highest producer with Met Life ...



    Terry.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    *** It's really more common than you would think .... being in a "Área de habla Hispana del país" it can be a great benefit .... ****

    People buy from people that they are COMFORTABLE with ... Comfort may include language, common beliefs, membership in the same church. etc.

    When I was living in Mexico a decade ago, I usually hunted down the waiters and salesman who could speak English (or could understand my butchery of the Spanish language.
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    Rover...

    I would go to a local real estate office and introduce yourself. Real Estate agenst are a very strange bread, and they often will assemble together.

    Often an agent when initially listing a house will do an AGENT showing. Where during a 2-3 hour window they open the house only two agents. Sometimes, they serve lunch at this things, but if a real estate agent REALLY wants to draw a crowd, they will do a "door prize" By giving $50 away every 1 hour by drawing an agents card out of a "fish bowl"

    Introduce yourself to the agent and ask if you can attend the next agent showing so you can pass out your packets and answer any questions individualy. Then as a gesture of thanks Your Dealership will Sponsor the Door Prize.

    So rather than gamble on $100 of postage you get face to face time with real agents. Also, if you can bring a nice shiny LRS for others to see that would help.

    I have marketed to agents before and found the "best in" is to get to know someone at an office, and offer to come buy at the next "office" meeting, etc.

    Agents to me are a different bread and like the personal touch. If you can add this element to your direct marketing I think it would work well.

    Good luck..
  • black_tulipblack_tulip Posts: 438
    Question for the non-sales people. If you recivied a packet like this that was tastefuly and proffesionaly done what would you think of it?

    But I am not sending this to someones home address I am sending this to a business and a specific type of business.

    Then you should not have invited opinions from "non sales people", but only from people belonging to a specific business.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I am not in the business, but love to read this board to get some insight as to how things work.

    After reading your post, the first thing that popped into my mind was what if your dealer hired a part time "customer service" type person? This way, you could have a person (that was trained in the products), to do follow up type calls, and they could then weed out who is and isn't serious and then forward those that are to you or the other sales guy.

    If this person were hired as a customer service person, and paid by ther hour, they could be viewed more as teammate of the sales team as opposed to someone ealse competing for sales. In addition to the hourly wage, maybe this person bould receive a semi-annual bonus depending upon how they/sales team do over a 6 month period. This way, there would still be some incentive on their part to want to increase sales - instead of just coming in to earn a paycheck. I am sure your dealership could also find other things for a customer service person to do...such as to notify a customer when parts or accessories have arrived that they ordered, deliver cars/pick-up service loaners from clients, etc...

    Might not be feasable, but just a thought.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,702
    Question for the non-sales people. If you recivied a packet like this that was tastefuly and proffesionaly done what would you think of it?

    I would think of it the same way I think on any unsolicitated sales literature that comes to my door. It most likely would go directly from the mail box to the trash can.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,628
    I just wouldn't have the time for that. My follow up is lacking as it is.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    That is a very good but if you had any idea how cheap our autogroup was you would know how impossible it would be to implement. I had to fight for months to get some blinds for my office so I could actually use it in the afternoon. I finaly lucked out and had someone in the building when I had customers in my office and showed them how my customers had to wear sunglasses cause the glare was so bad. That and even though it was 20 degres outside it was about 90 degrees in my office.

    We have a receptionist who is fairly good at doing stuff kind of like that. Her desk is pretty full though because she is also our title clerk, does billing and registration for deals, warranty claims, follow up calls for service customers plus a bunch of other things.

    I like your idea Golic once this month is over I will have to talk it over with some people. We are right on the edge of shattering Land Rovers objectives for this month so nothing long term like my idea is going to get traction till after the month is over.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... **I had to fight for months to get some blinds for my office so I could actually use it in the afternoon...**

    Now that's CHEAP.! ...l.o.l......

    Terry.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Oh you have no idea. I mean the 50 bucks or whatever it cost them to have blinds installed was probably less then a quarter of what the added cost for cooling my part of the building per month was.

    The UV radiation was so bad that the back of on of my polo Land Rover shirts was bleached from dark blue sky blue.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... **The UV radiation was so bad that the back of on of my polo Land Rover shirts was bleached from dark blue sky blue**

    GET outta here ..l.o.l.......

    Terry :P
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    I think I threw that shirt away but if I did not I will take a picture of it for you. :)
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    I take it with the "penny-pinching" operatives of your dealership you don't have any flexibility in sending one of those nice polo shirts out to a particular Edmund's poster who lives in Chicago *hint-hint*

    My local Honda dealer have these very sharp "wind-breakers" which would be great for running. I was going to try and get one thrown in on my car purchase..but to no avail.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,702
    I take it with the "penny-pinching" operatives of your dealership you don't have any flexibility in sending one of those nice polo shirts out to a particular Edmund's poster who lives in Chicago *hint-hint*

    Hey thats mighty nice of you to suggest that he send me one of those nice polo shirts. :D

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Actually the entire Land Rover gear catalog is available online. Land Rover Gear

    Just to give you an idea of "penny-pinching" let me tell you this story. The shirt I am wearing today is a geniune Land Rover gear shirt that is made out of sea washed cotton twill. It is I think from the 2004 Land Rover gear collection and is very comfortable and light weight but warm enough for winter use. If you roll up the sleeves it is fine for spring and early summer wear too. I think it retailed for between 60 and 70 dollars though.

    We were complaining that we needed more shirts but they did not want to buy them. We are required by the Land Rover Way retail philosophy to wear Land Rover gear at all times. Instead of buying some more official Land Rover gear that had the el cheapo shirt company that makes the uniforms for our techs sew a Land Rover green oval patch on some of their button up collared shirts. :confuse:

    I don't know how much it cost them but I can bet it was less then 10 bucks a shirt but they did not pay any license fees to Land Rover either so... :( Not good.
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    The UV radiation was so bad that the back of on of my polo Land Rover shirts was bleached from dark blue sky blue.

    I believe you of course... but doesn't glass block most of UV radiation (can't get tanned behind the windshield etc.) Something else at play here? Or is the group too cheap to have a glass window?
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Up to a point it does but it does not block all UV rad. I used to get a tan face sitting here and having the sun come down onto the right side of my face.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,761
    Windshields block about 80% of UV-A and 100% of UV-B rays. Regular auto and architectural glass only block UV-B rays which are the burning rays that causes skin cancer.

    UV-A rays cause skin aging and tanning but enough exposure to them can cause skin cancer. They are also the ones that cause fading.

    british rover - if it's that bad, I suggest you wear sunblock at work.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    I have blinds now so I am in good shape.

    Side note I sold three cars on saturday which I know does not sound like much to IsellHondas with his Honda volume ;) but when our store typicaly does between 15-20 new and used cars combined three in one day is huge. I am at eight used cars for the month and five new.
  • biancarbiancar Posts: 913
    I read that article too, about the guy from Bolivia who is now a super salesman. I lived in Bolivia for two years so was especially interested.

    It sounded to me like he was reasonable on the price (it mentioned him giving $2,000 more off the sticker on a new Honda Accord). What also impressed me was some of the other little features, like setting a new car's radio stations to the same ones as on the owner's trade-in vehicle, and making a "memory album" for some customers, using his computer to burn a DVD. One was a customer's wedding and another one "Recordando a Nancy" in honor a customer's sister who had passed on.

    You have to hand it to him, he knows his customers well, he gives personalized service (he knows, for instance, what the professional Hispanic woman wants in a car - and it's not what her husband wants!) and he really hustles (in the good sense of the word). The article mentioned that a local radio station that caters to the Hispanic community said they had never heard a bad word about him.

    If I were interested in a Honda, I'd be making an appointment with him myself.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,628
    Three cars is great...a "hat trick"!

    You beat me. I only did 2.5 on Saturday.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I only did 2.5 on Saturday.

    Man...you are good. Buyers couldn't afford the whole thing?
This discussion has been closed.