Do you know Joe?
Joe Girard is a car salesman.
But not like the typical car salesman we all hate.
Joe worked for a Chevrolet dealership between 1963 to 1978. In 1973 he set the Guinness Book of World Records by selling the most cars in one year. Joe sold 1425 cars, that’s an average 0f 3.9 cars a day. All were sold one by one, with no fleet or bulk sales. It’s pretty astonishing when you understand his sales process.
1 important question concerning his sales process record
A lot has changed in the world since 1973, almost 50 years ago. In specific, the marketing world has drastically changed. Since then technology has blessed us with email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, text message marketing, sales automation, sales funnels, sales process, etc. etc. etc.
There is no shortage of ways to market your business today. But with all this “improvement” in marketing your business, why has no one broken his sales record in 50 years?
Sales process and marketing technology are not enough to make sales
This is a conversation I’ve had over and over with businesses. They focus on all the marketing technology thinking it’s going to save their business. And if I can be perfectly honest with you, I’ve made this very same mistake in my business.
The mistake is putting the process before the people. We use technology to automate the sales process, which in turn has a negative impact on the relationship we have with customers.
While Joe had systems in place to help with his sales process, he knew how important the relationship with people was for his success.
I remember reading in one of his books where he had an aha moment when it came to understanding the importance of the relationship with his customers.
Sales opportunities from a wedding
One day Joe was at a wedding and saw the huge sales opportunity in front of him. Yes, I understand this seems really sleazy, but I promise you it’s not.
Joe noticed there were a lot of people there. He wondered what the average was. So he wandered over to the wedding venue owner and asked him. At the time where he was the average wedding had 400 guests. About 200 on the bride’s side and 200 on the groom’s.
It was at that point that he realized that for every customer he sold a car to, he had the potential to reach 200 people if they were single, and 400 if they were married. So that left him with one question.
How does he tap into those sales opportunities without being sleazy?
He knew the answer was simple. He had to wow his customers to the point that they would tell as many of those people as possible. He had to give them the incentive to spread the word. And he had to keep in front of them for 4 years after they bought their car, as back then that’s how often the average person replaced their cars.
So when someone bought a car, he was able to collect some important data he felt was crucial in building these relationships. When getting a loan to buy a car he had to collect their address, phone number, and date of birth. All great information. In his conversations, he was able to find out things like their wedding dates or other important dates to them. He knew if they had kids and made sure to ask how old they were.
Basically, he had a lot of personal information on them. So he sought to do things no other car salesman did.
- He sent out birthday cards/gifts to his clients and their children
- He sent out anniversary presents
- He sent out congratulatory cards for important events
- He showed up when he heard a customer had an unfortunate event happen
He did a lot more. But the important thing was that he knew that his relationship with people was his best marketing.
Near the end of his career, he had a full-time helper whose job it was to help with the workload of the above tasks. People who needed a new car would never buy from anyone else. At times he had a waiting list of customers willing to wait months to buy a car from him. There was no other option.
Can you imagine that? Would you like to have a list of clients waiting months to buy from you?
This is the biggest problem with the marketing and sales process today
When I talk about marketing to people, they think of all of the tools I mentioned earlier. I have to correct them. Those are just tools to assist your marketing, but they are not marketing.
Marketing is your relationship with people.
Put the people first, and the marketing tools are very effective. Put the marketing tools first, and your marketing fails.
Again. I say this by being fully transparent with you. I’ve made this very mistake in my business, just as I know you have. It’s not important that we made a mistake, what’s important is did we learn from it?
Take a look at who your clients are and ask, what is the potential impact you could have if you focused more on the relationship?
How much more effective will your marketing be if it was relationship-focused?
What does relationship-focused marketing even look like for your business?
That’s what I’m here for. If you need some guidance, you can request a free consultation.