Saturday, April 12, 2014

Your Employees Are Speed Dating Your Customers

By Kyle Reyes

I'll bet you thought that speed dating was something only singles did.


Your employees are doing it every single day...with your customers...right under your nose.  So here's the question - are you helping make dates happen?

I'll explain in a second - but first: the background.

Last night, our team at The Silent Partner Marketing partnered up one of our clients - Monaco Ford in Glastonbury - with a local speed dating company called Got 5 Minutes.  The idea was simple.  Outrageous marketing.  "Don't just fall in love WITH our cars.  Fall in love IN our cars."

It was a big fundraiser for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  We previewed the event by filming introduction videos with a few of the single ladies (click here to check it out).  We invited local vendors to showcase their products...we hired a DJ...brought in food...and the speed dates took place in some of the hot new vehicles (the front seats - not the back seat).  It was a fun and unique way of bringing a new demographic to a long-established dealership.  It's just one of the many unique approaches we're taking with marketing car dealerships we work with.

Being the guy with the camera, nobody could complain when I "crashed" the dates for a little filming.  And what I discovered on some of these "dates" made me think about the interactions you have in your business every single day.  So let's explore some of these, starting with the customers.

The Customer: "The Rebound".
The Background: They're not necessarily looking to buy...but they're definitely window shopping.  They are considering doing business with you, but are apprehensive.
The Approach: The soft sell.  You don't want an aggressive salesperson here - you want the buyer to be able to call the shots on their terms.  Be there...provide value...but don't be the same person - or business - that they left.

The Customer: "The Sweetheart".
The Background: Loyal and gentle, they're looking for someone they can trust.  They'll fall quickly but won't necessarily tell you.  You'll have to gain their trust.
The Approach: Help them trust you.  Provide value.  Let them make a decision that's best for their needs.  But don't burn them or make them feel that you're taking advantage of them.

The Customer: "The Serial Dater".
The Background: They're shopping you.  You don't have a lot of time to make an impression - so you'd better make it good.  They know what else is out there...and you'd better be willing to get them what they need...when they need it.
The Approach: No games.  Give them the top selling points about the product and their business - but don't try and mask anything.  They already know what your competition is up to.  You'd better pay attention to detail here.

Now let's take a look at your sales team.  Do you know who we're talking about here?

The Salesperson: "The Creeper".
The Background: They think that every customer is their friend.  They lead you to believe they are using technology to grow your business - but the customer is creeped out by the fact that your sales person has "friended" them on Facebook and is texting them pictures of "a car they'd look sexy in" at 11:30pm on a Friday night.

The Salesperson: "The Sleeper".
The Background: Bored.  Unengaged.  Probably a little hung over.  There because they have to be...not because they want to be.  Your customers know it.  And they sure don't like it.

The Salesperson: "That Guy".
The Background: Stands a little too close.  Touches a little too much.  A little too excited about the the point where they are constantly stepping on the customer's words.  You're keeping him on the team because "come on - he's really a nice guy".  Or maybe because you're worried that he might snap if you get rid of him.

Here's the point.  Every single one of your customers, in some way, shape or form is speed dating you.  You have just a few moments to make a first impression - you'd better make it a good one.  Because it's no fun going home alone on a Friday night.

Want to learn a little more about how your customers are shopping you in the digital age?  Turn to The Silent Partner Marketing to understand customer habits, trends and what social media means to them.


Written by Kyle Reyes

Kyle Reyes is the President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing, a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology.  You can find him on Google+Facebook and Twitter.  He's the Chuck Norris of marketing.  It's outrageous - we know.  That's kind of the point.