A Customer for Life: The Story of Rob and Roy

This past weekend, like most of the Midwest, we saw a heavy snowfall in southeast Wisconsin. I spoke with a dealer who told me he has sold out of half of his snow thrower inventory. Many people rushed out to buy a thrower just in time (typical). Personally, I'm a renter and the snow business is taken care of for me. But a homeowner friend of mine named Rob, with a corner lot and plenty of sidewalk, was shopping around for a snow thrower and shared his experience with me. Rob named numerous big box stores and large chain farm equipment retailers that he visited hoping to find a little guidance and the right product. He said at each store his was confronted with the same letdowns: a lack of product knowledge and a lack of caring. When Rob told me this, I directed him the dealer in town. Telling me he went to see Roy (learning and remembering the dealer's name) he relayed the following story: "As soon as I walked in the nice woman behind the counter greeted me and said someone would be right with me.  Roy took the time to talk to me and ask questions about what my needs were. He could have easily sold me a thrower in the $1,00o range, but in 30 minutes had found me the right fit in something closer to $500. Unlike the other stores, he didn't once ask me how much I wanted to spend." By taking the time and caring enough to learn of his individual needs, Roy had gained a customer for life in Rob. Having previously purchased a mower from an ACE Hardware and returning often for parts, Rob told me he now planned to visit Roy whenever he was in need. I hope you learned something from the story of Rob and Roy. Focus on the customer and not the price tag. Care enough to take the time to qualify your customer for the right product and they will notice not just your product knowledge, but that you are putting their needs first. What questions do you ask customers in order to qualify them for the right piece of equipment? Leave comments below. - Lisa Danes