By Matt Woods
Director of Field Operations
On a recent family visit out of town, the keyless remotes to my Honda Odyssey weren’t working properly, so I found the closest Honda dealership to replace the batteries. When I arrived, I drove past a huddle of six or seven salespeople. At least four looked up and saw me, but despite my waving and smiling at them, I received little to no response or reaction. Neither of the two salespeople by the door greeted me either. As I was walking out I passed one more salesperson, and I couldn’t wait any longer – I said, “Hi! How’s it going?” I’m concerned that I scared him, because he only mumbled, “Fine, thank you,” and hardly met my eye.
Let’s recap: seven salespeople made eye contact, one spoke to me—but only because I engaged him first, zero smiled, and zero waved. Zero have any chance of earning my business because they can’t exhibit even a modicum of people skills. Lesson to salespeople everywhere, regardless of industry: Don’t wait until you learn the customer’s intentions before making him/her feel welcome and important. Speak, smile, wave – do something friendly! Engaging your customers this way from the very beginning of their visit goes a long way in dictating the level of satisfaction they will feel with your dealership.