Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mighty Casey has struck out!

In real estate, or in sales for that matter, we only get so many chances to exceed the expectations of our clients. Are you recognizing and acting on your opportunities?
Recently, I received a Mission Control email from Jimmy Vee (Five Foot High Marketing Guy) and Travis Miller (The Big Idea Guy) of Gravitational Marketing. Have you ever heard of them? I always read their emails even if I have to leave them in my inbox for several days until I have the opportunity to pour through their reflections, thoughts, and ideas. Like many, this too sat for a few days until I could give it the attention it deserved. I wasn’t disappointed. Here is what it said:
“A few years ago the transmission went out on my Acura TL. No bueno. Thankfully it was under warranty. I only had a few months left on my lease anyway.

I was going to be without my car for about 2 weeks. Last time this happened, Acura paid for a rental (that's part of the deal). But I ended up with a Dodge Neon or something. No bueno #2. You feel a little silly driving a Neon and making an Acura payment.

Anyway, I fully expected to get the same deal this time - and was not looking forward to it.

I called the dealership and let them know I was coming down - they said they would have a car waiting when I got there.

Sure enough, I meet the guy right at the curb and he says the car is waiting - and he has it started with the AC on so it's nice and cool when I get in.

The only difference was this time it was not a Neon - but a brand new Acura TL. Yeah!!
He explains that they felt bad about the problem and wanted to take care of me. Whatever. I was just mucho happy that I didn't have to drive the Neon again.

Then it occurred to me. I'm not sure if they did this on purpose or not, but this was a brilliant marketing ploy.

First of all, they get to look like heroes by taking good care of me.

Second, I get a 2 week test drive of the brand new model. Since my lease was up in a few months, "what to get next" was on my mind.

I didn't foresee any other dealership giving me a 2 week demo. So if the product had proven to be exceptional I would have been that much closer to closed when I turn it back in.

If they're really smart, they would have called me in a week or so, and ask how I like the car. Maybe suggest that I just leave my old car with them, they'll take care of the remaining few payments, and I just keep the car I've got. "We'll mail you the paperwork, Mr. Miller." I wasn't expecting that, but it would have been pretty clever.
Didn't happen.

Anyway, it's a great example of thinking a few steps ahead, turning adversity into pleasure, and using any customer interaction as a chance to build value.”
My first thought after reading this article was of Earnest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat"
"Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out."

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