Followup. It’s an essential part of the sales process that often is overlooked. In fact, an article in Wards cited research by NADA that found:
- 75% of prospects who come to dealers’ showrooms depart without buying.
- 90% of buyers did not get follow-up contact after leaving the dealership without making a purchase.
- 90% of the prospects bought somewhere within a week.
By far, the best opportunity for sales is the business behind you, those people you’ve already talked with and whom made the decision to buy later. We call that “Chasing the Business Behind You.” To reach them, you need an effective follow-up strategy that includes various tools and processes.
One of these is email. Of course, email will never replace personal contact, yet it can be effective when done well.
Writing Effective Emails
- Pay attention and ensure there are no errors.
- Be clear and concise so your customers understand your message and the benefits of setting up a meeting.
- Never use templates. If you must, use the format or a flow you like, but personalize it. Always check to be sure you take out any placeholders like, “Insert Name Here.”
- Summarize your meeting. Remind the customer when you met, what you discussed and how you left things. Include information that relates directly to their specific needs, wants and desires.
- Include an article or new information that helps them decide on a vehicle.
- Make it easy for customers to respond. Use a clear subject line and a specific call to action. Include your phone number and invite them to call or text.
- Never flag your email as urgent or high priority.
- Don’t be cute or funny. It will backfire. Transferring cute or funny into words may not always come out the way you meant it or the way it does in person.
Here are several examples that show how to create personalized emails for different scenarios.
Subject line option 1: Wonderful to meet you today!
Subject line option 2: I’ve included some information I believe will help!
Good morning [Name],
I really appreciate the time you spent with me talking about your search for a vehicle for your family. All I want to do is help you find the right vehicle that will help you buy a car. I wanted to recap our conversation to be sure I didn’t miss anything that will help me find the right vehicle for your needs.
- Your new vehicle must be flexible enough to hold family and friends, or equipment and gear, or both.
- Since you enjoy family road trips, it must be reliable, safe and comfortable.
- As the primary driver, you want the time you want features that make your life easier and more enjoyable and that are easy to use.
I included a new report on our vehicle by an independent firm. I think you’ll find it an informative, quick read. I’d like to set up our next meeting so I can answer any additional questions. Simply click on this link for my online calendar, or call me at [phone number].
Many thanks in advance,
My Cell Phone
After you’ve left a message:
Subject line option 1: Sorry I missed you.
Subject line option 2: When is a good time to chat?
Good day [Name],
I am sorry I missed you, I just left you a voicemail. I called to [give a reason].
I’ll try you again on [date and time], but feel free to reach me whenever works best for you at [phone number] or shoot me an email.
I look forward to seeing you soon,
My Cell Phone
After you’ve left several messages;
Subject line option 1: Hoping we can connect!
I’m sorry we haven’t been able to connect recently. The last time we met, you seemed quite interested in our new [MODEL].
I realize that you’re incredibly busy and want to respect your time, so I’d be happy to schedule a meeting whenever it works for you — even after hours. If it’s more convenient, I can come to your location.
My Cell Phone
Believe it or not, a handwritten note still gets the best attention. People feel like you took time especially for them and it puts you a step above the rest. However, in some cases a follow-up email may be the step needed to bring a customer back to close the sale.
By following these guidelines and creating personalized emails that extend your relationships, you will convey your enthusiasm, professionalism and sincerity in your communication.— and, of course, you’ll close more business.
Richard F. Libin