I knew EXACTLY what I wanted, and I wanted someone to help me find it and buy it.
IMHO, I was the PERFECT customer because I had already done my research and only had a few questions:
- Which is the better Motor for my needs, the 3.5L twin Turbo V6 or the 5.oL normally respirated?
- 4X4 was a requirement
- XLT was my preferred Trim Package
- Leather seats were a preference (but not a deal killer, if everything else was there)
- Would I need the towing package with the extra radiator and the possibility of “Hauling mode” for the tranny? (Plan to be towing a boat long distances)
- Would I be better off with the SuperCab or SuperCrew setup?
- Could I get all of this for $30,000 with relatively low miles? (I was pre-approved)
- I’d love RED or BLACK, but color would not an issue other than WHITE – NO WHITE!
- And finally – I had never even sat in one of these F-150s, so I wanted to sit in (and drive) both SuperCab and SuperCrew.
My searches on Carmax.com and Carfax.com were nauseating for me because so few of the vehicles had complete information. Very few mentioned the tow package but did say “trailer hitch” – Sometimes no reference to RWD or 4X4 – Weirdly, many referenced Leather AND Cloth seats. For @ 3 weeks, I casually looked on these 2 TOP search sites and would occasionally click the “I’m interested button” offering my name, Email, Telephone, The above bullet points, and the simple question: “Does this truck fit my requirements, and it is available? If not, can you help me find the right truck?”
I was an internet lead who inquired 9 times with NO response from ANYONE!
Well – I still wanted the truck, so I pressed on. Friday night, I noticed that Lincoln Ford in Franklin, TN seemed to have more used F-150 inventory than any other dealership, and a few of the trucks on their site seemed to match all of my requirement, so I filled out the on-line request and went to bed.
Next morning, I woke up, and there was a RESPONSE from “Doug” who said that Ryan would be contacting me. Ryan did, indeed, send an email about an hour later with a short list of 3 trucks that they had on the lot that would fit my requirement. I replied immediately and said that I would stop in on Saturday to take a look.
Saturday, daughter Allison and I headed to Franklin with the GPS guiding us Lincoln Ford. the GPS told we had arrived at our destination, and it was a car dealership, so I swung into the first parking space I saw. A guy came shooting out of the building and asked if he could help me. I asked for Ryan, and he looked at me like I had 2 heads, mumbled something about Bryan, and told me I needed to move my car to next building over (50 yards). I obeyed, and as we walked into the showroom, there were no fewer than 10 salespeople competing for my attention. I asked for Ryan, and they all looked at me funny and told me I must need Bryan . . . I assured them that Ryan was who I needed and showed the salesperson closest to me the email. She noticed that I was in the wrong dealership and decided to try to STEAL me from Ryan.
I was in the Dodge Chrysler Dealership and Lincoln Ford was across the street. She told us that both dealerships have the same owner and that she could help me . . . and that she could get me a better deal than they could. I asked if they had any F-150s on the lot . . . She said: “3” . . . I asked if any of them have the Towing package, and her eyes glazed over as she conjured up a complete Bullshit response. she then began pulling up the Lincoln Ford website to see if she could find the right truck for me and was CONVINCED that the WHITE one was the truck I should buy right then and there (Remember only deal killer color on my list was white).
I asked to sit in a SuperCab and a SuperCrew . . . More glazed eyes and more bullshit.
I finally told her we had another appointment and would need to go. I handed her a business card, and she wrote her email on a post-it note (no business card) . . . I knew I would never hear from her again. Allison & I talked in the car about the fact that sales lady had only ONE goal . . . to SELL me a car – ANY car – and she didn’t care a hoot about what I WANTED. Additionally, she obviously knew NOTHING about Ford F-150 Trucks.
We drove across the street to Lincoln Ford and knew the minute we parked in front of the building that THIS experience would be COMPLETELY different.
That place was FULL of HAPPY people who quickly found Ryan for us, It took a few minutes for Ryan to connect the dots that I was that internet lead from the day before. He was surprised that I actually showed up because “most internet leads don’t show up at all and never respond to emails”
I assured him that I am not just another internet lead . . . I was there to buy a truck if they have it on the lot.
Guess what Ryan did?
He took us to an office, offered us a water (and Mexican food in the break room), and left us there saying he needed to grab a sheet of paper. While he was out of the room, he obviously reread my emailed requirements, and walked back in the room with NOTHING but a blank sheet of paper and a pen. He wrote out what we remembered from my email and answered ALL of my questions. Explained the Tow Package . . . and the difference between the 2 motors (recommended the 3.5L) . . . and told me that I should buy the SuperCrew because if I were to buy the SuperCab, I would want the SuperCres for as long as I owned it.
He then said he had 4 trucks on the lot than were good matches, but he tossed the white one – then tossed the black one with 65,000 miles – leaving 2 choices – both 2014 models with under 30,000 miles – one Silver, the other Black.
I asked to drive both. The silver one was out with someone else, so we drove the black one . . .
Ryan didn’t have to SELL that truck to me. He served me impeccably and respectfully, and honored my time by having a process that began with discovering my needs and wants and answering all of my questions within the first 20 minutes after we walked through the front door.
I love the truck and told him I’d take it as we were pulling back into the lot from the test drive. 2 hours later, I was the proud new owner of a fabulous truck.
So . . . Allison and I experienced the worst and best customer service experiences in the space of @ 45 minutes.
BTW – the REAL owner of Lincoln Ford in Franklin was in the building and went out of his way to visit with us. Ryan told him I had served in the Army, and we had a great connection. I learned that the Dodge Dealership is owned by the same group, but the 2 dealerships are managed separately – That was OBVIOUS – Lincoln Ford completely outclassed the pushy competition.
How does this relate to YOUR process with your customers and clients?
What do you learn from my long story?
Thank you Ryan and Lincoln Ford in Franklin – Y’all ROCK!