I’m on a new car hunt… Been through four dealers so far..but not through doing research. I go to three car dealerships this morning. It’s a bear to get out to where the dealerships are located because the Metro system in our area is being extended out to where the majority of car dealerships are located. Tons of construction. I truck out to three car dealerships this morning.
1. Suburu sales guy- very helpful, greets me politely when I walk in the door. Says.. if you need any help ask me. So I ended up taking the Forester out for a test drive. Great experience. Will be going back.
2. Honda guy comes up while I am looking at the CRV in the lot. Asks if he can help. I tell him, basically, I really just need to sit in the car so I can tell if it’s going to work for my height etc.. /blindspot concerns etc. “No problem. Let’s let you try the model in the showroom.. there is A/C .. and then if you want to test drive ..we can come back out.” Turns out.. tons of blind spots.. seems huge..and I thank the guy and tell him it’s not going to work for me. appreciate his time.. blah blah blah.
Walk into showroom. Three sales guys at desk on phone. I think- a receptionist? Or somebody’s teenage daughter earning some dough for the summer. No one says anything. Not a head nod. Not “I’ll be right with you.” Did not even acknowledge the woman in their showroom with a summer apricot-colored shirt on! Nothing. I mean, I know I’m not a 5’10” leggy blond.. but I think maybe these guys are waiting to finish their calls. Nope. Two more (sales?) staff folks walk by.. don’t say hello or anything.. Didn’t ask if they can help me. NOTHING. So I walked out. Will never frequent that dealership again.
FIRST impressions DO count. That is why at my job- where my title is Director of First Impressions, it really says.. “K- You are our front line– The very first person by phone or in person that people meet.” We value your important role in our firm. I love being the first person folks meet at our office. I know my role is important to customer service and also to my peers in the office.
And although some people may want to label me as “just” front desk staff or “just” the receptionist.. maybe the staff position is unimportant to you..but at YOUR business- Are you losing dollars because the first contact experience the customer stinks? Don’t underestimate the importance of first impressions, especially in a sales environment.