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December 2017
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Aftermarket: How do you sell your dealership?
By John R. Walker

I would like my readers to know up front this article has nothing to do with the wave that is sweeping the country today. That is, selling a dealership to a competitor, merging with another group handling your same line or taking on a line of product identical to what you have been selling for years. Many suppliers are telling dealers their “market share” is not high enough and they have a choice to make with their business. They must decide whether they want to become a “buyer” or a “seller,” one or the other. You may think you don’t have a third choice, but you do! It is called providing your current and prospective customer base positive customer satisfaction with the services your company provides.

What we will be discussing in this article is how do you sell your dealership to a prospective customer or even a current customer who is looking to buy from you or your competition?

“Ducks Quack—Eagles Soar”

Recently we received an email from a client that totally explains how enhancing a customer’s buying experience can most certainly develop the “Customer for Life Culture” within your dealership. It is entitled: Ducks Quack – Eagles Soar. The author’s name we believe to be Harvey Mackay. He states: “No one can make you serve customers well and that is because service is a choice!” He then goes on to tell a wonderful story about a taxi ride that proved his point:

Harvey Mackay was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a taxi pulled up, the first thing he noticed was the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie and freshly pressed black slacks, the taxi driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.

He handed Harvey a laminated card and said: “I’m Wally, your driver. While I am loading your bags in the trunk I would like you to read my mission statement.” 

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally’s Mission Statement: To get customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way in a friendly environment.

This statement blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean . . . .

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf. Harvey said jokingly, no I would prefer a soft drink. Wally smiled and said no problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice. Almost stuttering, Harvey said, I’ll take a Diet Coke.

Handing him his drink, Wally said, if you would like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.

As they pulled away from the curb Wally handed Harvey another laminated card. Stating I get station WLW and the music they play, if you would like to listen to the radio.

And as if that were not enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he would be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

Tell me, Wally, Harvey asked the driver, have you always served customers like this? Wally smiled into the rear view mirror, No, not always. In fact it has been only in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru Wayne Dyer on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called: You’ll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you will rarely disappoint yourself. He also said, stop complaining. Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.

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