It’s not often you encounter a salesman who does such a great job that you immediately want to do business with him. His name was Dan, and I was thinking about buying a motorhome “somewhere down the road.”
Although it’s been more than 40 years since I owned and traveled in my own RV, four children and as many grandchildren later I still recall the experience with pleasure – as I told Dan. Some of the most fascinating people I’ve met to this day were fellow travelers, people who approached life with an air of freedom that I found both relaxing and alluring.
Did the fact that I clearly was in the earliest stages of re-kindling an old dream dampen Dan’s enthusiasm? Not one bit. He proceeded to show me a nearly new Winnebago that had caught my eye, a Class C in primo shape with low miles.
But the most primo thing about that experience was Dan’s enthusiastic presentation – despite the fact that his store, Campers Inn of Mocksville, North Carolina, didn’t even sell new Winnebagos. His presentation was the best sales walk-around I’ve experienced in a very long time -- in any business. His product knowledge was superb. Dan was sold on the motorhome’s features and benefits, and he presented them with my needs in mind.
As he learned more about my dream, Dan suggested we look at another motorhome, an unfamiliar brand that didn't appear to match the Winnebago’s quality but which had a floor plan that met my rather unusual needs rather well. He didn't sell the nuts-and-bolts of that RV as much as he had the first one but instead let me sell myself on its floor plan. If this motorhome hadn't been out of my price range and bigger than I had been considering, I would have thought about buying it.
But Dan was not done. I told him a bit of my background (including RV sales many years ago), and we discussed his background. I asked him whether he enjoyed working at Campers Inn, at a store that recently had changed hands. And that’s when his enthusiasm really took off. He had wonderful things to say about both management and the company’s owner.
And if Dan was a rare bird, so was his manager, who was just as effusive about the company. I got a tour of the whole place. The shop was super neat, and the technician I met there was just as upbeat about his work and his company.
As a long-time consultant to business clients about communicating competitive advantage and business culture, I have only rarely encountered such enthusiasm by an employee for his company and such a well-stated understanding of what management was trying to achieve. Dan had a firm grasp on what I call "marketable truth." He sold me on Campers Inn and made me want to become their customer.
One of these days, I will return to my RV dream, and when I do, Dan Lipe will be the first person I call.
TakeAway: People who enjoy their work and communicate their product’s competitive advantage with true belief and real enthusiasm truly are priceless. If that sounds like your business, you are truly blessed.
Content © by Brian E. Faulkner