My recent car-hunting experience made me think. Why don’t companies follow up?

It all began when I brought my car in to the dealership for routine servicing. The service advisor called to say the mechanic had suggested some additional work, some of it fairly expensive. “Here’s the thing,” I answered. “I was going to buy a new car this year anyway, so I’m not prepared to spend that much.”

We agreed on the work that needed to be done now for safety reasons, and what could wait, and I went on my merry way.

I expected to hear from the sales department in a day or two, offering to set up a time to talk about what kind of car I wanted. But, as it turned out, the service department did not let the sales department know I  was interested in a new car.

Later, the dealership called to find out if I was satisfied with the work done on the car. I confessed I was waiting for a list I had requested of the mechanic’s recommendations. The caller promised to look into it. Later, when I was in the showroom looking at new cars, I dropped by the service area to ask about the list. More promises. Who knows? I might have had some of the work done, but by the time the list showed up (after I called), I had already bought a new car.

So, here’s what I’m taking away that can apply to my business as well as yours.

  1. If someone specifically asks for something you can provide, do it. If you can’t do so right away, make a note of it. Make sure others you work with are aware of the request.
  2. If your customer mentions a possible need, follow up. If you don’t have the item/service, can you connect the customer with someone who does? Check back later to see if you can help.
  3. If someone hands you a fat lead on a silver plate, jump on it! You don’t have to be pushy about it, but why not call to say, “I hear you’re looking for…” and “Let me know if I can help”?