Pour Me a Partnership

“Thank you. May I help you find anything else sir?”

It was an odd question given the fact I had just spent my life’s savings on a set of wheels; shouldn’t that have been enough? In 2002 I bought a Nissan Pathfinder, the second the sale was signed the gentleman who collected the commission sauntered off to pickpocket another potential wallet. I hadn’t even breathed in the new car smell and here he was searching for the next sale.

The Pathfinder lived up to its promise, the place I picked it up from (not a Nissan dealership I might add) was found wanting.

This past weekend my roommate wrote up an ad for his own car—minutes later he had an inquirer willing to drop a dollop of dough as down payment. After the would-be buyer inspected the car, he simply nodded and said:

“I don’t know how things are done here, but in my country I now buy you a drink. This way you get to know someone who you are doing business with.”

Nothing builds ongoing business better than a bond with your customer; so naturally, as marketers we’re constantly searching for a secret sauce to secure a repeat sale. So what does this shot-session show us? Perhaps the one thing we ultimately need: patience.

A simple drink allowed for extra interaction, a moment to truly ‘meet’ the customer. These ‘moments of truth’ exist as opportunities to make a customer something more—a confidant. Taking the time to get to know an individual as more than a sales statistic creates goodwill, and ultimately, that goodness garners greater sales. Now that’s something we can all drink to.

As is the tradition with Friday posts, here’s a little something to help crank your weekend up to a nice respectable level. Ladies and gentlemen, start those engines!