My car is not a fan of the arctic cold.

I found this out firsthand as temperatures in Detroit dipped to minus 17°F recently.

One frosty morning, as my car begrudgingly chugged to life, the anti-lock brake (ABS) and emergency brake lights lit up my dashboard. After testing the brakes in the driveway a few times, I did what any responsible I-don’t-have-time-for-this individual would do — I headed to the office.

Upon my arrival, a Google search informed me the malfunction was likely caused by an abundance of road salt in a sensor. Most drivers experiencing similar issues shared that as the salt dissipates, the warning lights eventually turn off, while others reported spending nearly $1,000 to replace the part.

Seeing that my car lost its new-car smell many moons ago, I began considering all options, including the possibility of trading the car in for a newer, more reliable replacement. A second Google search directed me to a nearby automobile dealership. While the dealership’s online service promised to provide me an accurate trade-in assessment, I first had to provide my contact information. So, I did. And, while I was appalled to learn my beloved car is worth a measly $1,800, the experience taught me so much more.

Sales Leads

At 8:15 a.m. the next day, I received a call from an unrecognized number. The caller identified himself as a salesman at the dealership I connected with last night. After explaining my situation and emphasizing my car-buying interest remained minimal, he continued to explain that the day I called (some random Wednesday) was the optimal day in all eternity to purchase a new car. He encouraged me to visit the dealership that night, offering to stay beyond normal office hours to show me what he had on the lot. I politely thanked him and told him I would be unavailable to swing by that night and all of the next week, as I would be busy tending to business in Chicago (the AHR Expo).

At the close of the conversation, I felt pretty good about the salesman and would certainly consider the dealership if and when the time came for some new wheels.

The next day, on my way to the airport, the phone rang again. A different sales person from the same dealership introduced herself. We repeated the previous conversation, and, 8 minutes later, landed at the same impasse.

And, then, lo and behold, while waiting for the expo shuttle bus the next morning, I received another call. Another agent; the same song and dance. I politely asked the salesman to lose my number.

Now, I get it. My inquiry put a bull’s-eye on my back, though, admittedly, I was starting to feel a bit trampled.

And, the next morning, like clockwork, Guy No. 1 called again. His opening statement: “What can I do to get you in that new car you were considering?” I explained that this was the fourth call I’d received in four days, and that, at this point, I was no longer interested in a new car. (The brake lights — which miraculously turned themselves off — were no longer of concern to me.) I told him I’d call him if and when the timing was right. He agreed and we went our separate ways. … Until two days later, when the phone number flashed again on my caller ID. I didn’t answer. The dealership’s called twice more since then, but I’ve yet to listen to the voicemails.

Leading by Example

When done properly, following up on a sales lead can be very effective. Though, when done improperly, it can achieve the exact opposite result.

What steps do you take when attempting to hook a ripe prospect? Are you calling clients ad nausea? Are you not calling enough?

We’ve got the answers at our website, Adams Hudson, president, Hudson Ink, writes a monthly column that focuses on marketing and sales leads, and other authors, including Will Housh, Jim Hughes, Mike Cassity, and our entire staff, have written numerous articles dedicated to closing the
deal. Knowledge is power and our website is overflowing with tools and tips. Do yourself a favor and heed our advice, literally.

Publication date: 3/9/2015

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