When a person decides to do business with a service provider their first decision will be on the person they’ll be interacting with the most. They ask the question – “Do I want to do business with this person?” Second, they ask “Do I want to do business with this company?” Then they ask “Do I want the service this person is offering?” The thought process is largely followed in that order with most people. Thus, the interpersonal relationship between the service advisor and customer can have the most impact on customer acquisition and retention. Situations can vary but for the most part consistently following this sequence in personal interactions with customers will yield positive results. The following points should be an integral part of an effective sales relationship strategy:
- Cultivate the Personal Relationship – Maybe the most important factor in any sales relationship is the personal affinity between the sales person and the customer. The impact of the relationship will vary from customer to customer with most people resting somewhere in the middle. When it’s all said and done a person would prefer to do business with a friend.
- Establish Common Ground – The ability to convey an understanding of another’s point of view will establish a sense of comfort with the customer. Each person has concerns and priorities in life and effective service representation includes interest in these areas.
- Develop the Business Relationship – Resting on the foundation of the personal relationship is the business relationship. Every customer has an idea in their mind of what benefits they seek from an automotive repair service provider. The alignment of services provided with benefits sought should always be enforced and reinforced through personal interaction at the point of sale.
- Review the Process – Customers appreciate nothing more than a clear of explanation of what will take place during the repair cycle. They may only feel the need to know what will transpire until the next point of contact and when the next contact will be. But communication builds confidence and solidifies relationships.
- Establish Communications – Customers preferred mode of communication will vary. When a customer knows how and when they’ll be contacted they become more comfortable with the relationship.