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Stop Trying to Netflix and Chill Your Customers

Maybe I’m not the ideal person to make this analogy. After all, I haven’t been single for almost 20 years. That was before smartphones. Before Google. Before social media. Wifi barely existed. There was no Kindle, we actually read paper books. And Netflix wasn’t even an idea.

Regardless, the phrase “Netflix and chill” has become parlance for a laid-back method of closing the proverbial deal romantically with another. A simple statement uttered to another, letting them know your primary goal, all under the guise of another activity.

Unfortunately, it has become customary to say it at the start of an interaction, rather than toward the end of the evening…

Stop Trying to Netflix and Chill Without Knowing Your Potential Partner

With customers going farther down the purchase path online (if not all the way), their expectations for retail salespeople have changed drastically.

When contacting a store in advance of a purchase, they’re looking to have their I’s dotted and t’s crossed. They hope to receive enough information to make an informed decision before walking in. Much like the obvious preference of going out on a date with someone before going to bed with them, shoppers need to be courted, even if a little, so a relationship can be made. Yet, this is not what is happening in your CRMs.

When a lead comes in, you cannot go right for the close without a conversation. The customer is using their screens to prevent engaging with someone who only cares about that one thing. Shoppers want their needs met before being another notch in the belt of a salesperson. They want to be wooed and given some peace of mind that engaging with this sales professional is in their best interest as well.

How do we Netflix and Chill our customers too quickly?

The answer can be found in your team’s first responses by email and text…

Stop Inviting People to Netflix and Chill Too Quickly

As DealerKnows monitor CRMs and review lead handling, we see many ISMs, salespeople and BDC alike going right for the appt/sale/date/kill immediately. The prospect may have submitted a lead on a call-to-action saying “Request a Quote” or “Get ePrice”, but our first reply involves a request to “come on in” or “schedule a test drive”.

Inviting a prospect into the store for a test drive is fine, but not before you’ve at least answered or addressed their question. You need to build a little trust with the customer by answering their questions, or trying to understand their needs, before pushing them toward your own agenda. No agent’s first reply to a customer should be a “when can you come in?”. Yet that is exactly what is happening. Your first interaction cannot be “let’s schedule a test drive” unless the call-to-action which they submitted the lead was to do just that.

Stop Trying to Netflix and Chill Without Letting Them Know Why They Should

When someone wants to date online, I’d like to believe most prefer a date at a restaurant prior to a date on a mattress. People want to be validated. Interested. Courted. Cared for (one would hope). No one wants to be a number and no one wants to feel like they were only there to fulfill another’s goals. Instead, make sure they’re comfortable with you first.

Do they know “why you” are a good choice? Have you exceeded their expectations with the attention paid to them? Have you shown them your goal is a relationship and not a one-deal-stand?

Closing the deal, whether it be in sales or in dating, sounds like it has a finality to it, yet the best deals have an expectation of continued engagement.

For a deal to occur, it requires TWO parties to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship/agreement. If the salesperson hoping to close the deal makes all communication only about their own needs, with constant requests to come in, get in here, check it out, stop in, visit, buy, or let’s get this thing done, it’s disrespecting shopper’s hope for a mutually beneficial relationship. 

Asking for the deal too quickly, without showing respect to the other party’s initial intent, is trying to Netflix and Chill them before taking them out on a first date. Let’s get back to earning people’s business rather than expecting it. We need to win people over through with words, action, and effort rather than demanding they acquiesce to our whims.

They say it takes two to tango. Same goes for deal-making. Both people need to see it as a win. Otherwise, you’re not being a good salesperson, you’re just being a selfish lover.

Automotive trainer and consultant. I'm also a writer, speaker, movie buff, and Dad. --President of DealerKnows--
For your next article, you don't have to be so "Netflix and Chill" nice about things. Let's hear about dropping a digital roofy on the customer!

I've sent this one to quite a few people by the way. It is good.
  • J
    Joe Webb
  • April 25, 2019
Thanks so much, Alex! I appreciate it.