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*A Book Review*

Customers For Life

By Carl Sewell & Paul B. Brown

by Michael C. Gray

August 27, 1998

Carl Sewell is one of the outstanding Motor Vehicle Dealers in the United States. He sells Cadillacs and Hyundais, Lexuses and Chevrolets. Sewell grew his business from $10 million in 1968 to $250 million today.

He has given his philosophy, strategies and procedures for accomplishing this in his excellent book.

For motor car dealerships, this book is compulsory reading. For other owners of closely-held businesses, it is mandatory reading.

Here are Sewell's Ten Commandments of Customer Service.

  1. Bring 'em back alive.
  2. Systems, not smiles.
  3. Underpromise, overdeliver.
  4. When the customer asks, the answer is always yes.
  5. Fire your inspectors and consumer relations department.
  6. No complaints? Something's wrong.
  7. Measure everything.
  8. Salaries are unfair.
  9. Your mother was right.
  10. Japanese them.

The Ten Commandments come with a warning--they aren't worth a damn... unless you make a profit. You have to make money to stay in business and provide good service.

Sewell wants to make each customer a customer for life. A customer for life represents $332,000 in sales, from twenty car sales plus parts and service work. He has actually underestimated the value of the customer because of the potential referrals the customer might make.

"Are we going to make an extra effort for someone who might buy twenty cars from us? You bet."

Looking for practical advice on how to create an extraordinary business? Read this book.

Buy it on Amazon: Customers for Life: How to Turn That One-Time Buyer Into a Lifetime Customer.

For our new reviews of business and self-improvement books, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

Looking for practical advice on how to create an extraordinary business? Read Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown's book, Customers for Life.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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San Jose, California 95128
(408) 918-3162
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