I am buying a new vehicle.
Let me rephrase that. I am attempting to buy a new vehicle. My current car will be turned over to my soon-to-get his license 16-year old, and that means I need a new ride.
Over the years I’ve purchased 3 different vehicles. The first was a small pick-up truck after the car I was driving croaked. (It was my first brand new vehicle!) The second was a sedan I bought because we couldn’t fit a baby in a 2-seat pick-up truck. Then I bought my third, current car because the sedan croaked.
They were all vehicles I liked, but they were all bought because I “had to.” So I was getting whatever was on the lot that I could afford.
But now, I can be a little choosy. I can get what I want. (Well, mostly - what I want and my budget don’t quite sync up!) I can take my time and get the vehicle that will last for the next couple of decades.
So I did things differently.
I researched dealers. Then I researched certain salespeople at dealers. And I began to email them specifically, sending them my request. The type of car, the features (must haves and really wants), the monthly payment limit, the down payment, etc. I asked each person to let me know if they had a deal for me based on what I want (or at least something close).
Guess what happened? Nothing.
That’s right - nothing. No response. No reply even to tell me they couldn’t help me.
I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with car salespeople before, but for no one to reach out to me - that’s just not right.
Here I am, offering to spend money, asking for help - and I get no reply. What kind of good sales tactic is that?
In my business, when people contact me about my services, I reply. And sometimes there are people I cannot help. But I still reply. I actually look around for other VAs who may provide a service I don’t.
The first part of the sale is acknowledging the potential customer. Without that acknowledgement, it’s just a person wandering around a website, a parking lot or a showroom. How else do you expect to get people to purchase your goods or services if you’re not going to respond to them? How do expect to have an income?
I finally got one person who emailed me back, promptly and with information.
Guess who’s getting my business and my money?
What I Learned on my Summer Vacation
Last week I spent a couple thousand miles in the car to travel Southward for our annual family vacation. Even in the midst of sweltering 90+ degree heat, I learned a few lessons that I thought I’d share while things were still fresh in my head.
From Mammoth Cave National Park
There’s a bigger picture out there – see it! A beautiful forest with deer and wild turkey romping about it is cool, but hiking 300 feet underneath those turkeys to see a room that could house my son’s elementary school (and this was only the 5th largest discovered) makes me excited about all the discoveries I’ve yet to make.
From the Grand Ole Opry
Marketing and advertising have an amazing amount to do with our perception of products. Well, I know that’s a no-brainer lesson, but it truly struck home in Nashville. I don’t know about you, but when my husband and I were thinking of the Grand Ole Opry, we envisioned this large “vintage” theatre set downtown somewhere. You know – it’s Grand and it’s Ole! The truth of the matter is that the Opry is right off the highway. It’s a large, auditorium-type building. And it’s right next to a mall (right by the Dave and Buster’s entrance!). I was told the mall used to be Opryland.
From Ruby Falls, Chattanooga TN
Achieving a goal can be terrifying, but you can do it. When we were planning our vacation, my son saw a brochure for Ruby Falls. It’s “America’s highest underground waterfall.” He wanted to see it, so we let him have this stop on our trip. Now, before I go any further, I have to tell you two things. First, I have an insane fear of heights. Second, I have a terrible fear of being trapped underground with nowhere to go.
Ruby Falls is at the base of a small mountain. You have to drive up a small, winding road to get to it. By the time we parked I was already at a solid 9 out of 10 for stress level. So, you go in, and pay an extremely overpriced fee to go see the falls. The perception is that you walk in to the cave and see the falls. The reality is that you have to get into a small elevator with glass doors and go down 260 feet, all the while thinking “what happens if the elevator breaks?” and “I don’t see any extra elevator or emergency stairs.”
By the time I exited the elevator I was a solid 10 for 10. If I had a choice, I would have stayed in the car. But, I had to do this for my son. And perhaps for me, too, to show myself I could do it. (And now I think if I can do that, I can do just about anything!).
Honestly, I’m not sure what the takeaway is from Graceland. That the 70s really were a completely gaudy time in home décor? That you can have everything and still lose it all by making bad choices? Or maybe that I must really love my husband to agree to go there in the first place. :)
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.