Who do you trust least for truthful corporate communications: estate agents or used-car salesmen? Used-car salesmen have just dropped out of my list as a result of a great job of sales and corporate communications by Jason Leporte at the Mercedes dealership in New Maldon, London, just off the A3.
There are lessons for all of us in corporate communications to be learned from this encounter.
Not happy bunnies
We need a new car. A few weeks of searching and we found the one we wanted: a new C class Mercedes from a leasing company. And we want it new having had so much trouble with older cars. And we want it now. But the leasing company we were working with could not deliver until June. We are not happy bunnies.
Out we go this Saturday morning to look around. We arrive up at the Mercedes dealership which I thought sold new cars. No, only second hand.
Great opening line: save some money
“We are looking for a new model,” says I. “Why not try to save some money?,” says Jason. Great opening line. We start to look. And we find several C class cars at good prices, but I see a slightly taller car at a better price. A year-old B class. It’s got great good visibility: but I know nothing about cars so won’t try to be Jeremy Clarkson.
In all we will have it next Saturday. Partly because of his sales technique which included:
- His opening offer on saving money got us interested.
- There was no pressure. Maybe he is such a great salesman that he did pressurise us but we did not feel it.
- He seemed interested in satisfying us.
- It was all explained.
- He loves his product and, as far as I could tell, genuinely.
- He saw us change our minds for another car and a cheaper one and went with it, rather than pushing for the more expensive model.
- He demonstrated the car well.
- He showed us the process he was going through, turning the screen on his desk around.
- When we got a fact about the car we are putting in for part exchange wrong, like the number of previous owners, there was no surprise or quibble.
- He said he had been there for 11 years and his Linkedin profile says the same.
He said it parks itself. I thought that he meant it was easy. But it does park itself for parallel parking: he flipped some buttons, took his hands off the wheel and in it went. You car buffs know that but I was astounded. Don’t know when I shall have the courage to try that when it is ours.
And a notice to the leasing company we had been talking to: make sure you have the car available when you’re close to the deal. Deliver what you promise you can in corporate communications.
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