A lot of what we learn about working effectively with our own clients comes from watching people who sell products and services in other industries. And lately I've had some great lessons while out looking for a new car.
My lovely Lexus is really old now, and she's been an amazing car for the last 16 years. But a lot of the new driver-assist technology is calling my name. Also, the Lexus gets really awful gas mileage, and it would be nice to spend less money at the pump.
In my search, I found a beautifully designed hybrid that gets 56 miles per gallon, has all the help I need to stop and change lanes safely, and every other bell and whistle I could ask for. And I met a young car salesman who wants to make it happen in the worst way - well actually, in the best way!
Like many of my own buyers, I'm not in a hurry. I have a beautiful car that still runs well, so a new car is near, but not at the top of list in terms of urgency. And I've been really, really busy with my business. Every week or so, my young car salesman friend calls, beginning his conversations with something like:
Him: "I just saw that you were on [another dealer's] website and ..."
Me: "Whoa buddy! Are you cyber-staling me?"
Him: "Oh, no! And I noticed you checked out prices on BlueBook's site for you Lexus. If you want to trade it in, we can make it happen!"
Me: "OK, this is getting a little bit creepy."
Maybe people his age take it for granted that a car dealer or anyone else would be following their every stroke online, but when you are working with anyone over about 50, discussing their recent browsing history might not be the best strategy for winning trust and getting them closer to closing the deal. Stalk them maybe, but don't share your little secret with a would-be customer!
This kid is a good guy, and I'd like to see him earn a commission selling me a car. Why hasn't it happened just yet? Once I was a cat's whisker away, and he couldn't figure out the paperwork. Another time, I had my checkbook with me, and he couldn't answer (or get answers to) some very basic questions about financing and his boss was on a break. And I had an appointment in half an hour.
But he's a really nice enthusiastic newbie, and there is something about him that I like. Hmmm. Should I offer unsolicited coaching?
If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC metro area, contact me before you make any real estate decisions. Call or text me at 202-549-5167 or email email@example.com.