They are among the elite who have posted perfect or near perfect customer satisfaction scores for the past 12 months, and they talk about some of the keys to success.
It’s obvious that retired school principal Denny Toll at Hudson Chevrolet GMC likes his job, but doing it well isn’t a matter of tricks and methods, he explains.
“There’s no magic,” he said. “The one thing you’ve got to do … is marry the one you’re with. Give them your undivided attention and treat them like they’re family.” He tries to help people whenever he can and senses great backing from the
When something goes wrong for a customer, he’s never been turned down by the store if the request was reasonable. Toll said he doesn’t just sell cars, he builds relationships and is selling everything, the store as a whole and the experience. “The opportunity is there for everybody.
“Just be yourself and let people in,” said Toll. “Every morning when you get up you can pick to have a crappy day or a happy day. Why not be happy? (laughs).”
Just across town, Kat Morrissette at Hudson Chrysler Jeep Dodge says she’s careful to find people’s comfort level and not push them. She answers all their questions and makes sure they have everything they want. Morrissette started selling cars in 2011 and has a real estate background.
When a customer drops in for a car wash after the sale, she’ll wipe down the vehicle herself. One prospect in a Range Rover was exploring the Jeep Overland, so Morrissette had three different colors and options lined up, side-by-side, for his perusal the next day.
The car sales rookie sends birthday cards and handwritten letters and spends time and money on marketing, visiting businesses and leaving her cards. She’s also partners with a local restaurant to offer $5 coupons for test drives and $50 gift cards with a vehicle purchase.
“I love my job,” she said. This is the best career move I’ve ever made.”
At Hudson’s sister Chrysler store, Brookdale Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Brian Mensching said the whole ethos is that a customer can buy a car anywhere, and everyone’s car is good. He tells customers he doesn’t sell them a car, they buy the car and he just finds the one they want. Mensching tries to put customers at ease, make them comfortable and not push them into anything special.
Keeping people happy is the goal, and customers know if a salesperson is preoccupied, Mensching explains. “You take care of them as if they’re the only one you’re going to see that day,” he said. “It’s kind of simple. If your customer isn’t happy, you can’t survive, so make your customer happy because it’s the best thing for them and the best thing for you.”
Mensching, a New York native, entered the “one price” world of Saturn sales at age 42, after careers as an operations manager with airline companies and as a nursing home administrator.
He considers himself fortunate. Prior to Saturn’s demise in 2009, the Saturn market in the Twin Cities outsold all others except California, he explained.
Car sales have gotten more complicated, but Mensching tells people to have fun with it, to make it a game to help people to be relaxed.