It’s important to take into consideration what the car-buying customer is thinking, understand their behavior and use psychology to maximize your opportunities. It’s equally important to use your CRM to work for you not work your people.
When your customer sends you a lead from your website or a third-party service that you’re using to generate leads, they expect to be followed up with an email. When you call them on the phone, at least 84% feel like you are breaking the code of conduct. I am not saying not to call. I just want you to understand their thinking.
One important point is to earn the right to move them from the email to the phone, text or chat to an appointment or delivery. Today, customers typically start researching six months before the purchase and are motivated by Consumer Reports, friends and television. Most of the time customers have three to four cars they are considering across different brands. Three months before the purchase, they are seeking unbiased information and have now five to six different vehicles they are considering. They often seek third-party validation for good, unbiased opinions, typically three months before they purchase.
At two weeks before they purchase, they are considering two different brands and models. Most dealerships assume the customer is shopping them with a competitor with the same OEM and, in fact, they are most likely shopping you with a different make. It’s more important than ever to have a great process in place and make sure to give the customer reasons why your brand is better and why your dealership is better.
When you get a lead, you typically pull out all the stops to engage them any way you can, but maybe the customer doesn’t pick up your call because he hasn’t discussed this with his wife yet. Decisions to get a new car are often made by two people with differing opinions and desires. The question is, do you have the appropriate communications to be able to reach him at the right time and stand out from your competitors?
Here are eight tips to help you make more sales from the leads you’re already getting:
Tip 1: Always answer all of the customer’s questions, including price. Make sure you share your COVID-19 policy and online purchase options. This should be in most of your communications going forward at least for the next six months. Also include your hours for sales and service.
Tip 2: Give the customer the reasons why your dealership is better. Brainstorm reasons and get creative with other staff members, including management. You’ll be surprised how many reasons you can come up with.
Tip 3: Because your customers are making decisions about different makes and models, you need to make sure you add reasons why your make is better than others.
Tip 4: Make sure your templates are built on a responsive design. More than ever, people are using mobile devices, iPads, Droid devices and different PC formats. With responsive design templates, your messages will adapt to the device the customers are using. This will increase open rates and readership.
Tip 5: Make sure your templates include multiple links back to your website. Links should include pictures of the cars, “more information” buttons, your COVID policy, service appointments and service discounts. The more links, the more likely you will engage the customer and get them kinesthetically involved. Traffic to your site will add to your SEO and add relevance to your website. The more links, the more likely you will increase leads as well as sales.
Tip 6: Include a picture and signature image of the sales consultant. We are in the people business. People buy cars from people they like. If your message is generic, it won’t work as well as one that comes from their sales consultant.
Tip 7: Have a long-term email marketing strategy. You need to follow up with each lead for a long period of time, and you can use your CRM to do that. Long-term follow-up can consist of an email every week indefinitely if it’s done properly. Incorporate social reciprocity: include a human-interest story, a recipe, health tips or fun facts and your specials for the week, along with fantastic graphics.
Tip 8: Cut your advertising costs and be more intimate with your customers. Use your CRM to send out weekly messages but make sure your messages are right and well received by the customer.