Anyone who knows me knows that I love the color brown. Maybe that's why chocolate is such a favorite of mine! I once owned a brown Porsche 944 that showed up in a blog about what's in a number? I never thought I could feel the same way about another car. I drove that gem for 10 years until I totaled it. I loved that car.
Saturday after my morning workout, I got a call from TLH Lee that he had a problem with his car, had taken it to the dealer, and needed me to pick him up. Now everyone knows that Lexus always has a loaner car for customers. His said, no, there was no loaner because of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
So I drove to the dealer, pulled into the lot, and called Lee on his cell phone. "I am waiting for you outside." He said to come inside, and I said, "Nope, I will wait for you here." And I went back to making appointments.
Next thing there was a tap on my car window and it was Stan, the salesman. He asked, "Will you come in for a minute?" I told him, "Not today Stan, I am busy making appointments, plus I am in workout clothes!"
Then he said, "Dennis (the manager) really needs to talk with you." OK, so I went to Dennis' office, but he wasn't there. I went out on the showroom floor…and there it sat!!
A brown SC 430 with the top down, wrapped with a huge red bow, and a certificate with my name!
I exclaimed, "You painted a car for me, I love it!" But no, not a paint job… it was a NEW CHOCOLATE BROWN car with a honey tan interior!
My daughter Erica was there to share the surprise, snapping photos with Lee's cell phone camera. I still don't know how Lee and Erica kept this from me. Dennis had the car ordered two whole months ago, and Lee knew about it two weeks ago.
My wonderful husband wrapped this fantastic surprise around two very important and happy dates – his birthday on May 29, and our anniversary on May 30. We've been married for 14,244 days – yes, we always know how long in days, because each one is special.
Lee, Erica, Dennis, and Stan were truly able to surprise me, and that's not easy. I should have suspected something, though. Lee has been asking me what car I want next, and my lease is not up for another 4 or 5 months.
I really did like the car I was driving - it's a two-door coupe and exactly right for me. I've had the identical Lexus SC430 – in black – two cars in a row. I was happy with the car, I just wanted it in brown. Several times Dennis told me the car was simply not available in brown. I would even have painted it, but was told I couldn't do that either, that painting would destroy the value…yada, yada.
After the big surprise, Dennis came over to me and apologized. He said our relationship has always been built on trust, and he had to fib about this. Not to worry, Dennis. Just about a week ago we were in the showroom with our friends Corie and Vic, who love cars, and they pulled out this perfect brown color swatch. Dennis didn't miss a beat and said, "Not available." If I had even gone to the web site I would have seen that they now make it in brown…but I was too busy and believed that gentle lie.
Special treatment really is what I got. Stan was on vacation this week, but he came in just for me and even dressed in BROWN. In the picture of Stan and Lee checking out the trunk, you'll see they are both in shades of brown, too!
So what does all this have to do with real estate? If we can find out what the customer wants and needs, there is NO selling involved. These guys listened, they took it upon themselves to order the car with no commitment. These guys got TLH involved to help with the excitement. They knew their customer and they went way above to give personal service.
Do you think that I am not aware of all they did, coming in on their day off, having all the paper work ready? They arranged to take my Treo and program it for the Bluetooth in the car so I was ready to go. Stan even programmed the GPS with my home address, and changed the presets on my radio to match my previous stations. THAT is extraordinary service.
How do you make your clients feel special?