In sales it’s often said that preparation is at least half the battle. The people that interact with customers in automotive repair are excellent at establishing and building relationships. Preparation in sales involves learning as much as possible about a person or company before actually engaging with them in order support relationship building. With the Internet and social media a good deal of information is readily accessible. Preparation is different and less demanding for a consumer than for a business but the value of being prepared is no less beneficial. Following are keys to sales preparation:
- Visit the Customer Facebook Page – A Facebook page can divulge a lot about a person or company. Likes and dislikes as well as areas of interest can be found here.
- Review the Customer Website – When a prospective customer is a business there will most likely be a company website. A website can contain valuable information on the company, its business, philosophy and community interests.
- Do an Internet Search on the Business Name – An internet search may provide more information about a business than can be found on their website. There may be articles written about the company or its principles.
- Check Online Reviews – A local small business may have online reviews and rankings available online. It’s beneficial to know what customers are saying about a business.
- Check Business Listings for Information – General business listings such as Manta or Inside View may have information on a business. Also information on businesses can be found by searching different trade associations.
- Do an Internet Search on the Owner’s Name – Searching the Internet for the name of a business owner or executive may yield valuable information that will facilitate relationship establishment. If the customer is a consumer – information about that person may be found.
- Supply Benefit Information – A practice employed by many professional sales people is to email the customer information on the benefits of doing business with the company prior to actually meeting with them. In auto repair this could be about the service advisor, the company or both.