When the consumer enters the point of sale, he or she is stepping into the voting booth. How well has your brand campaigned?
Joe and Betty walk into the showroom convinced they deserve a new BMW. Their neighbor drives one, co-workers have them, and advertising has assured them that now is the time to buy. Joe and Betty have been to their local dealer’s Web site, noted television and radio commercials, surveyed the selection on the outside lot and are ready for the sales experience. Will they buy or lease from this dealer or will they drive across town and check out the competition? Depends.
If the dealer established itself as Joe and Betty’s brand of BMW dealer then yes, they’ll shop him first. By creating a claim of distinction and providing evidence that it is truly unique, the dealer allows the audience to claim this brand of BMW store as their brand. Without it, the low priced dealer will get the lion’s share of the deals, because without distinction, all dealers are commodities.
Once the dealer has established distinction and communicates it through advertising channels, the first touch point (pre-sale) has been covered. What’s next? The sales experience.
Joe and Betty now have a sense of what service, selection and value to expect. But will their expectations be met? Let’s say they expected and are met by a smartly tailored sales associate with a pleasant nature and a lot of product knowledge. She introduces them to the service manager who reinforces the decision to shop here. She gives insight into the dealership, has just the right car in stock and the test drive is exhilarating. Top it off with a light round of negotiating and it’s a done deal. The second touch point is now complete: Expectations met. So why is there a post sale touch point? One simple answer: Repeat and referral sales.
By following up with personal calls, a newsletter, parts and aftermarket department e-Postcards, BMW boutique catalogs, birthday cards, invitations to new model introductions, as well as requests and incentives for referrals, the dealer reinforces the sale and helps make Joe and Betty customers for life.
This process is simple, although often difficult to administer.
Do this and you’ll have greater success at the voting booth. And that’s a campaign promise!