Today is the fifth anniversary of my 29th birthday. (That’s how I’m counting my age from now on.) All this week, I’ve been getting “Happy Birthday” emails from various companies with whom I have done business. I got mailers at the beginning of the month from the company who I bought my glasses from, as well as the place where I get my oil changed. A couple of doctors have also wished me a happy birthday. To be honest, as a consumer, these automated messages don’t particularly make me feel special; it’s not like a specific person called me up. However, while I ignore most, there are a few that I actually look at. You know which ones those are? Yup, you guessed it: the ones who have something to offer.
Do you take advantage of these opportunities? Special days – such as birthdays or anniversaries – can spark a delight in your customers when done right. Like I said, the automated ones don’t get much attention from me. But personal interaction can make a difference, even when there’s no potential sale attached. Let me tell you a story:
In 2016, I went to a well-known car dealership to get a new car. The salesman that I worked with (let’s call him J) was fantastic. J walked me through the entire process, made sure that I had everything I needed, and answered all of my questions. After I got the car, he personally called me 2 months later to check on how I liked the vehicle. He asked how my daughter and grandmother were doing (who had both been at the dealership with me) and wished me luck. I thought that was awesome, but figured I would never hear from him again. That following year, I received an actual birthday card in the mail, signed by J. So when I needed another car, I went straight back to him. Once again, he was fantastic. He asked about my grandmother, commented on how big my daughter had gotten, and asked if I was still having shoulder issues from the wreck I had been in (when I got the first car from him). I loved my interactions with him. He continued sending birthday cards, too – handwritten and everything! I once again needed a car, but found out that J had retired. I was practically heartbroken. He was, hands down, the best salesman I have ever encountered.
Salespeople have the reputation about being pushy, ignoring boundaries, and being overall slimy (particularly car salespeople). But you can break away from that stereotype. Build those relationships and create an atmosphere that promotes comfort. Don’t make it all about making that next sale, and you’ll have them coming back to you ever time.