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What being a Kia Genius can teach you about onboarding new clients

A “Genius”. You don’t come across that every day in a job title!

Before joining The Yardstick Agency, I was a product genius for KIA, the well-known South Korean car manufacturer.

Being a product genius meant that I was the first point of contact for every customer. As a customer entered the showroom, I would offer them assistance with their visit.

If the customer wanted to take a car that they’d been looking at out for a test drive, I’d be the one to accompany them. During the test drive I’d get to know a more about what had led them to visit the dealership and help answer any questions they had about the car.

My aim was to always build a good rapport with everyone I met. I wanted the customer to feel like there was an honest and trustful connection, because I always wanted to ensure they got the best outcome.

I would always strive to understand what was right for the customer, even if this meant being brutally honest with them. If a different manufacturer and model sounded more suited for them, as much as it would be great to have their business, I would always make a point of saying “do what is right for you”.

Following a clear and open conversation, if the customer decided that they were keen to purchase a KIA, I would make sure they left the showroom knowing that I would remember them and with reassurance that I would be in touch shortly.

In my role as a product genius, I treated every customer in a very similar way to how you would meet and greet potential new clients.

Here’s the three-step process I stuck to every time a new customer entered the showroom. They are simple steps, but worth remembering when you greet any new client.

1. The first hello

The first hello is what the customer will always remember. So, I greeted them with a clear voice and welcoming smile that would remain through their visit.

Like you, I wanted every potential customer to feel relaxed. I wanted them to gain trust in me, my experience and knowledge and help them feel confident that they were not being lied to or given false information.

On that first initial encounter you are aiming to build rapport, to put the customer at ease and show you are listening to exactly what they want.

2. Learning more about the client/customer

Financial planners arrange discovery meetings to find more out about the client and understand what goals they want to reach and achieve.

In the world of a “genius”, this would be a test drive with the customer. During the test drive I’d learn why they chose the vehicle, what budget they were working towards, and what they wanted out of the car.

I always made sure I never pressured the customer to look at a vehicle that may not suit their needs. I would always ask exactly what they were looking for, so they’d know that I wasn’t going to try and sell them the most expensive model or fancy features.

3. Closure

At the end of the test drive, I would always tell the customer that there was no need to rush into making a decision. I’d reassure them that I wasn’t going to force them into anything they didn’t want.

However, if on the day they wanted to go ahead and buy a new KIA, I’d assure them that I would be in touch through email as soon as the car had been through all its checks. I’d also make sure their new car was cleaned and polished ready for collection.

I was in regular contact until the customer collected their new car. The last thing I ever wanted was to make the customer feel like their visit had been forgotten about until collection day.

I always wanted to leave a good first impression so that the customer always felt welcomed if they ever had any further questions or issues with their car.

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