How To Turn Shoppers Into Buyers

Friday, May 30, 2014 - by Monica Parker
Monica Parker
Monica Parker

Now that I’m back in the swing of things at the car business after spending the last few months helping small businesses grow with Connect Marketing, it strikes me that if small businesses work to engage and follow up with their customers the same way a great car salesperson does, they would be rich. 

Rich? Okay maybe not rich, but certainly more effective. Here’s a recent example for you. This week, I inquired with a small business about their services. The owner answered the phone and described to me her services and processes, which by the way sounded very convenient to her and very inconvenient to me. Concluding the conversation, she did not invite me to come in or ask my name. For her, I was just asking for information, but for me, she turned a buyer into a shopper. 

In the automotive business, a great salesperson will follow up with you till you’ve passed onto the next life. We perceive that you’re busy and will put off making a big decision like a vehicle purchase as long as possible. We’re in the business of selling cars, so we call, email, send carrier pigeons - all in hope of spurring you along to make a decision. Are we annoying? Yes, probably. Does it work? Yes, mostly. 

So, what to do as a small business owner with limited resources trying to grow your business? Plan for and cherish customer inquiries. Have a phone script or at least a few points to be sure and cover in each conversation. Create and implement a system for follow up -whether it’s your calendar or a customer relationship manager. 

In every conversation to be sure to capture or cover:
• Customer’s name, email and number
• Short verbiage on how to describe your business
• How you are different from your competition
• Why your customer should choose you
• Answers to a few basic questions – remember to ask questions so you know what your customer needs
• Next step – always ask the customer to do something whether it is come in for an appointment, learn more online, a specific time you can follow up by phone or email
• Then, follow up.

Lead the conversation – treat it like an agenda in a meeting that may run three hours if you don’t jump in and stay on task. Remember this is your customer – or she will be your customer if you give her a reason to stop shopping and start buying.

Monica Parker MonicaDParker@gmail.com 451-6372 
Monica Parker is the e-commerce manager for the Mountain View Nissan and Mountain View Chrysler dealerships. Originally from northwest Alabama, she moved to the area and graduated from UTC. After years working in the restaurant industry, she launched and managed the special events department at the Hunter Museum of American Art. Then, she managed e-commerce for BMW of Chattanooga where she focused on marketing/advertising, CRM management, and reputation management. Then, she joined the Connect Marketing team, where she continues to contribute as a guest editor in her new role at two of the Mountain View dealerships.


Chattanooga Chamber Business Calendar Oct. 3-10

MON/3 Bubbly vs. Brews (A Startup Week Event) 5:30-7:30 p.m. Chattanooga Chamber Alley: 811 Broad St. The purpose of this event is corporate matchmaking with local startups. If you’re a startup, click here to register.   MON/3 – NEWtrepreneur? 10 Bookkeeping Mistakes to Avoid from the Start (StartUp Week) Noon – 1:30 p.m. TN Small Business ... (click for more)

Supreme Court Abolishes Mutuality Element Of Collateral Estoppel

In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court has modified the state’s approach to collateral estoppel – a legal principle governing the relationships and issues between parties that are involved in successive legal proceedings. The decision will prevent a person who has been convicted of a criminal offense from contesting guilt in a subsequent civil lawsuit brought by the ... (click for more)

Boyd Questions Effectiveness Of Read 20 Program; Coppinger Defends It

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said he questions the effectiveness of the Read 20 pre-K literacy program and wants the director to come before the County Commission to answer questions.   County Mayor Jim Coppinger defended the program, noting that it was the creation of former County Mayor Claude Ramsey.   Commissioner Boyd said the low literacy level hearing ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)