Used Ford Fusion

What It Actually Means to Add Value

My daughter left for Laos where she lived for two years, we sold her car. Then, she moved back to the U.S. and needed a car.

My spouse and I researched used cars to find one that fit our budget.

How One Car Sales Manager Stood Out

I emailed one dealership. He asked my requirements and I let him know. He said that it’ll be tough to find one based on our budget.

Meanwhile, we exchanged a few emails where he provided information about used cars. He didn’t try to sell anything.

He emailed me a couple of weeks later to see if I found a car. And told me about two he had in stock that were close to our budget.

By then, we had a car and I gave him the details. His reply?


Like I said, it’s hard enough to find a great vehicle at that price, but they are out there.

You will enjoy the car. Great fuel economy, tons of room, and very easy maintenance.

He didn’t have to reply. He didn’t have to compliment our car purchase. But he did.

I liked his responses because they weren’t salesy. He added value by providing relevant information in earlier emails. He sounded genuine in his compliments.

I let him know that it won’t be too long before my youngest turns 16 and will need some wheels. He said to reply whenever we’re ready.

That kid just turned 16, but he’s a long way from getting his driver’s license. When we’re ready to look, I’ll be contacting this sales manager first.

What Adding Value Means

When I started working with Hank Stroll (RIP) of InternetVIZ in 2001, he shared his philosophy for his email marketing, content marketing, and publishing company:

“Prospects buy only when they trust that a demonstration of value is repeatable and relevant to them.”

Adding value is not the freebies or the self-serving videos. Those downloadable freebies? They often promote the company behind it.

Adding value *is* giving the prospect information he or she can use without promoting the company. And that information is *relevant* to the prospect.

A company could create content that’s educational or informative, but it could fail the relevancy test.

Don’t know what’s valuable?

  • Check your reviews and testimonials.
  • Ask customers what information they want.
  • Study questions and comments from clients.

Any company that doesn’t have any of these needs to work on building relationships. It also helps to have conversations beyond selling, upselling, and general customer service.

The Relationship Doesn’t End After the Sale

When an owner drives the car off the lot, that’s not the end of the relationship.

A sales manager can nurture the relationship by checking in to see how the car is working out. He can ask about their favorite and least favorite features, discover what they wish the car had, and take note of any questions they ask. (Turn questions into an FAQ item and future content.)

The dealership can send consistent emails to the customer with tips and tricks to care for the car. The content could reveal a cool feature that isn’t obvious. Content marketing is about sharing useful and relevant information the reader can use without selling.

Even if the reader deletes every issue, the company remains top of mind by sending content on a regular basis. The reader will recognize the company name in the email’s From line. Bonus points when the From line contains the name of an employee and the company. It’s more personal than just using the company’s name.

Don’t wait until the car needs servicing (upselling) or replacing. Consistently add value with relevant content. That’s good content marketing.

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