Obtaining new customers is one of the most challenging aspects in business. Yet, day after day businesses leave prospects at the door because they can’t convert them into a paying customer. But what if that could be avoided?
How much would you pay to know why your prospects don't convert?
To benefit my readers, I want to share a personal experience I had this week where I wanted to work with a local business I had never worked with before, but ended up going to the competition.
Why I Didn’t Buy
I was shopping for break pads this week. Ever since my long-time mechanic passed away, I have been struggling to find a place to work on my vehicles that I can trust. I have been using two different locally owned franchises, but I’m not completely happy with either one and am willing to explore some options.
So, from the referral of a friend, I decided to call a local garage. I was excited because they are completely local and I really want to find one mechanic to work on both of my vehicles.
The problem was, I couldn’t get a quote out of the guy.
I had called the two franchise stores I had worked with in the past and easily got quotes from them: $379 and $329 (after a extra $20 online coupon the store told me about).
But when I called the local garage, I couldn’t easily get a quote. The first quote I got was for $238, but I quickly figured out that this quote was for the labor cost only. He explained that he always quotes what he would put on his own vehicle, so he was quoting me the top quality parts.
His full quote came in at $418.34.
I then told him that I had a quote for as low as $330 (which actually turned out to be $297) and would love to do business with him if he could get closer to that price point. He answered by saying that he could if I was willing to take a lesser quality part because that is what his competition was clearly doing.
I didn’t have time to debate him and I was starting to get confused, so I thanked him for his time and went with a competitor.
5 Reasons Why They Lost My Sale
The reason I went with a competitor had nothing to do with his shop being small. In fact, I wanted to give him my business.
The problem was, I didn’t know how to give him my business.
If I had been in “A” type personality mode, I would have told him exactly what I needed and hoped that he stepped up to the plate. But like most potential customers, I wasn’t in that mode. So, I was looking for him to take my business - to lead me to the cash register.
But that never happened. I really don't blame him at all as the choice to not work with him is ultimately mine.
But I do want to share with you a few of the reasons why I didn't end up working with this locally owned auto shop:
- He Didn’t Give Me What I Wanted - The shop owner told me that he only quotes what he would put on his car, but he never stopped to listen to my needs. I want safe parts, of course (aren't they all safe anyway?), but don’t know how long I will keep the car so I don't want to pay for premium parts. In our conversation, I never had the opportunity to tell him what I wanted. He only assumed that I wanted what he wanted.
- I Couldn’t Compare Apples To Apples - The shop owner stated that my competitors were probably quoting inferior parts, but I had been told by both of the other shops that they were quoting premium parts (all of which said came from the same place, Advanced Auto Parts). I don’t know anything about break pads and felt I had an apples to apples comparison - which he obviously felt wasn’t an equal comparison.
- The Quote Wasn’t Comparably Packaged - When I called the first two franchise shops for quotes, I was able to get a quote for four break pads in just a couple of minutes. Both quotes were within $30 of each other (before the coupon) and there was no hastle to get the quote - just a question or two regarding the type of vehicle. They had a standard package they quote, all while explaining that they have to see the car for an accurate quote, which I completely understand. The independent shop owner, however, didn’t have a smooth process. I was clear that I was calling for quote on 4 break pads so I could get an equal comparison, and it took over five minutes to get a quote out of him.
- The Process Wasn’t Smooth - I initially had planned to go with the local shop, so I set up an appointment to come in. When getting work done on my car, I almost always wait on it, rather than dropping it off, because I just sit and work on my laptop, uninterrupted. The problem was, however, that the owner passed me to his secretary who assumed I was dropping it off. When I said I planned to wait on it, she said that wasn’t a problem, but didn’t give me an actual time to drop the car off. I was told that I couldn’t set an appointment, but that they would get the work done in the order it came in. So if I got there early, I would probably wait a shorter period of time than if I came later, as a 3 or 4 hour job may have gotten in before me.
- They Didn’t Ask For My Business - After my call to the independent shop owner, I had further discussions with the franchise that was offering a price of $349 with a $20 coupon. In order to earn my business, they even offered a 10% discount off of my work. So at this point, the franchise that I had worked with before was just shy of 30% cheaper than the independent shop owner. Therefore, I decided to cancel my appointment and when I did, I again spoke to the owner. I all but begged him to ask me for my business and find a way to work with me, but our conversation ended up focusing on inferior parts, which really wasn’t a concern to me. I didn’t expect him to be the lowest price, but at 30% more, I just couldn’t justify working with him - someone I had never met and never worked with before.
I know. I know. This may sound like I am complaining. My only complaint is that I didn’t get to work with this shop.
I really wanted to.
My point of this article is to share with you my impressions as a customer - a potential customer who wanted to work with a specific business, but ended up not doing so.
In your business, do you know why your prospects decide to not work with you?
A Personal Question
Okay, here is a question for you; should I send the business owner a link to this article?