Friday, July 15, 2011

Stereotyping customers can cost sales.

In March 2009 I needed a new company car. Armed with a generous budget I set out to order a car. I have no knowledge of cars whatsoever (if the oil needs changing I ask for help in the gas station and a flat… well that is why you have roadside help is it not?). I drive long distances a couple of time a month so I want a powerful car that drives smoothly and I like having small compartment for cards, coins and yes lipstick, but basically this it the extend of my needs in a car. Close to the office we have a Audi dealership and as we (alpha-male and I) have driven Audi before I thought I would spend my lunch break checking out the kind of car they could offer.
What happens: I arrive, hover around a bit looking at the cars whilst waiting for somebody who can help me, although I am the only customer in the showroom they all seem very busy doing paper work, and as I approach the desk one guy get up very reluctantly from his desk and decides that he have time to serve me.  But the service is non excitant, clearly he has come to the conclusion that no way am I going to make a decision without a man present, and thus he tries to fib me of with showing me just one car. Bearing in mind this was in early 2009 and the economic crisis were full on you would think that they would be more eager to sell me a top-end car.  My thinking here is obviously that if I get no service whatsoever when I am standing there with money in hand ready to spend – how are they going to serve me if I have a problem? Clearly I took my business elsewhere and now I am the very happy driver of a Volkswagen.
 The point missed by Audi in this case was they stereotyped me, by looking at me they decided that I was not the decision maker for this transaction. Completely wrong as the first time Alpha-Male saw the VW was when it was delivered. Treat every customer the way he/she deserves, do not jump to conclusions but take the time to give the service and make that sale.  If I get good service and a good product then I am a very loyal customer; my next car will almost certainly also be a VW.  Audi did not miss one but probably multiple sales.