Why was Toyota fined 16 million?

In our last post I talked about the leaky bucket problem and your customer loss rate.  So, why was Toyota fined 16 million dollars? Was it because the US owns GM? I don’t believe so, you see they were fined that much for trying to cover up a mistakes, and they didn’t follow the one rule that will help you keep your customer and keep them happy….drum roll please…

Alwaysdo what is in the best interest of the customer. This is not always easy,  the popular  “The Customer is always right” is garbage. They are not always right and often times they are unreasonable. But, as salespeople we are personally accountable for the results we promised them and the results they expected by doing business with us.

Toyota did not do what is right, and expected from a trusted brand. They did what was easy. Doing what is right for your customer will keep them coming back to you and giving you referrals,  and their money, because they trust YOU.

Over the years I have implemented sa few things that I know helped me keep my customer, and they will help you.

1. The salesperson is personally accountable for the result the customer expects (even when they don’t hear correctly)

2. Get to know and understand their business and their business cycles. ( this will help you be proactive in bringing new ideas to the table)

3. Fight for them, even if it’s with your own company, to get what you promised and they expected.

4. Keep in constant contact, but not too much…. Everyone hates getting sales pitch after sales pitch. Call when you are not trying to sell something, this goes a long way.

 5.  Keep responding to their needs…Just because what you sold them last year worked, doesn’t mean it still is.  Keep innovating and trying to help solve other problems.

6. Don’t act as problems or issues are “routine”, and “happen all the time”  or are an interruption to your day….nobody wants to hear that. Acknowledge it and fix it.

If you do this you become a partner and problem solver. Not a commodity. Commodities lose for the lowest price and are easy to replace.  Toyota responded to their problem….fixing the mechanical issue and dropping interest rates to buy back a lot of business.

Don’t put yourself in that position. Do what is not always easy, but what is right for your customers. If you do your leaky bucket will slow to a halt.

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