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Choose the Platinum Rule Over the Golden Rule

Posted By Liz Keener, Thursday, July 30, 2020

We’ve all heard the Golden Rule and probably had it engrained into us at a young age. The Golden Rule is to treat others like you would want to be treated.


While the Golden Rule is a great start, we should be living by the Platinum Rule, which is to treat others as they would like to be treated.


Dealers who were enrolled in the 2019 Continuous Certification Curriculum should remember the Platinum Rule from Jim Million’s course “Develop Your Dealership’s Workforce Outside In.” In that course, Jim discussed how we can use the Platinum Rule in coaching and mentoring our team.


But we can also talk about the Platinum Rule when it comes to your customers, treating each individual as they would like to be treated.


How would this look within your dealership? Here are just a few examples:


  •  When collecting customer information, ask the customer how they want to be contacted. Ask them if they prefer to communicate via phone, email, text and/or video. If you have them choose the option or options that work best, they’ll better appreciate the outreach and will be more likely to respond.
  • Going back to the blog on fixing customer’s issues, you want to work with each customer to come up with a solution, if they have a complaint. For example, if a customer’s boat gets stuck in the shop for an extra week, you may think you have to go over the top to make them happy, but maybe you just need to connect them with a rental boat for the weekend to keep their loyalty. You won’t know unless you ask.
  • When a customer has a family, especially when that family is involved in the purchase and delivery, during follow-up and subsequent visits, the customer will likely want you to ask about their whole family and how the family is enjoying the boating lifestyle, not just themselves.


There are numerous ways to treat people like they would like to be treated, but you have to ask and take notes. Of course, if you don’t know how people want to be treated, you can start with the Golden Rule and treat them as you’d like to be treated. But as you get to know the customer and build a relationship with them, take notes of their needs and wants. Record those in your customer relationship management (CRM) system and reference those notes every time you call or text your customer or see them in person.


Again, the goal is to serve them at the level at which they’ll want to return to your dealership and shop nowhere else for their boats and boating accessories.

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