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    Are You “Driving” Potential Customers to Your Competition?

    John Melley - Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    In this post I discuss through a real life story how a business literally drove me to their competition.

    I needed to have my Ford 500 fixed. My accelerator was acting a little odd. I love my car. It’s the best car I’ve ever had, so I’m keeping it for as long as I can.

    My mechanic diagnosed the problem and told me I needed a new “Doofinator Caframmis Valve Module” or some such item. He didn’t have the right calibration tool so he told me I needed to take the car to the Dealership to have it repaired.

    I’ve had Matt work on my cars for decades and I trust him. So when he said I needed to take it to the Dealer, I did.

    When I spoke with them to get the repairs made, I asked if they had a loaner I could use while my car was in the shop.

    “Uhh… maybe. If not you’ll need to rent one.”

    “Ok.”

    Here’s where it gets interesting. I drop the car off and they said they were out of rentals, so they called a rental company to pick me up. They set me up with a KIA.

    (Aside: I think KIA is a terrible name for a car. KIA to me means the military term of Killed In Action. Obviously it hasn’t damaged the brand too much, but it just doesn’t sit right with me. Has anyone else thought of this?)

    Back to my story. So basically the Ford Service Department drove me to rent a car to get a day and a half “test drive” of their competitor’s product. This is dumb.

    Here’s what I’d do if I owned the Ford Dealership. “Hello Mr. Melley. We’re sorry you’re having trouble with your car. We’ll fix it as quickly as we can. In the mean time, here’s the current Taurus. Just return it when you pick up your car.”

     Sure, I’d sign an agreement and fill up the tank. That’s understood. But that would have been cool. Here’s what would happen when I brought the car back: “How’d you like the car? Would you be interested in discussing a trade in?”

    How many people do you think might at least consider it? Probably enough to justify it.

    But hey, the economy is terrible and we have 47% unemployment and 99% aren’t buying the 1% of the cars that are about to go over the fiscal cliff due to the gridlocked congress. Yadda yadda.

    Nope. The problem is not enough people are thinking about selling opportunities that might get people buying and back to work.

    What opportunities are you missing in your business? I know I’ve missed some. Sometimes we’re too close to our own businesses to see them. That’s why belonging to Mastermind Groups is so powerful. You get different eyes looking at your business and seeing opportunities you might be missing and that’s good.

    My Mastermind Group has helped me generate tens of thousands of dollars for my business over the years. I would have missed these opportunities if I hadn’t belonged to one. If you don’t belong to one, consider forming one.

    Do you belong to a Mastermind Group? I’d love to hear your comments about what they’ve done for you.

    Please share this post with a friend if you think it was helpful. If it wasn’t I’m open to constructive feedback as well.

    Talk to you soon.

    John

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