Why I'm Hennessy Lexus's Biggest Fan Several of you have written to ask what I decided to do about buying a new car, given my unexpectedly bad experience trying to make a purchase off the Internet. Here's the scoop: I bought a 2006 Lexus IS250 from Hennessy Lexus in Atlanta. It really came down to service even more than the car itself. As I mentioned in my last blog entry, Lexus was the only dealer to honor its commitment to give me pricing via e-mail. A local Audi dealer sent four follow-up "we need to talk" e-mails and the salesman even called me by getting my number through directory assistance. It irritated me so much, I refused to even go in and look at the car. I never did hear from anyone at Infiniti about the G35 that caught my eye. And I ruled out the BMW after talking with a tow truck driver and a couple of mechanics, who opined that it was a beauty, but very high maintenance. Don Bonura at Hennessey sent me the information I requested by e-mail, then followed up with a nice e-mail letting me know he was there to help. No pushing. No "just come by for a drive," no gimmicks. Now there's a confident salesman! Exactly the kind I was looking for. When I did go by Hennesey, the first thing I noticed was a sign in the lobby. It read, "Compromise is an acquired skill. Acquire it elsewhere." At first this struck me as an odd message, even potentially off-putting. But after talking with Don and learning what options were available on the cars, it began to sink in what the sign really meant. Essentially, Lexus was sending a message that people don't drive their cars because they can't get what they really want. They drive a Lexus because it's their car of choice. I quickly discovered that the car I wanted was a little pricer than I intended to pay once I added the options I was interested in. I told Don it was just too rich for my taste right now. He didn't push. Instead, he told me he was ready to work with me when I was ready. After I went home and got to thinking about the banner I had seen in the lobby, I decided I wouldn't compromise. I'd buy the car with the package I wanted, period. "Settling" really wasn't an option. After two more visits, we struck a deal. At this point, I had taken a good bit of Don's time, yet he still gave me the Internet pricing as if I had bought the car sight unseen. And then came the kicker: they didn't have the color I wanted (Tungsten Pearl - an expensive name for Silver), but they found my car in Mississippi and paid to have it brought to me at no additional cost to me. Moreover, when I mentioned I'd be traveling in the next week, Hennesey pulled out all the stops to get the car to me the day before I was leaving town on a road trip. It was one of the most fun, memorable road trips I've ever taken. With each mile, I loved the car even more. I've purchased a dozen cars in my life and I've never gotten better service than I got at Hennessy. No wonder my friend, David Dempsey, has bought seven Lexuses (Lexi?) from Hennessey. What we have here is great Word-of-Mouth marketing combined with excellent service from a single salesman that resulted in a high-dollar purchase by someone who will now keep the good word going, as I'm doing here. The lesson here is simply this: there are a lot of shoppers like me. We know what we want, we know what we're willing to pay and we expect to be treated with courtesy and respect. That's not a lot to ask for, but apparently it's not as common as I'd like. What are you doing to ensure your clients are having a good experience every time they do business with you? If you're Don Bonura at Hennessy, you just follow the customer's lead.


At May 26, 2006 10:35 AM, Anonymous Marc Marton said...

Let me guess: Hennessey is a Edelman client?

At May 26, 2006 10:43 AM, Blogger Marilynn Mobley said...

Good guess, Marc, though not correct. Hennessey is not, nor have they ever been, an Edelman client. In fact,they're not even on our prospect list.

I can certainly understand your skepticism,though. It's so rare for anyone to be so effusive over great service with no expectation of a return. But, hey, it's so rare to get such great service, I figured it's the least I can do.


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