How the best dealers keep the sale alive
Got a lead? Time for speed. Because everyone knows that the quicker your response is to an Internet email or phone lead, the higher your closing ratio will be. That’s why the best Internet dealers on cars.com respond to all of their phone and email leads within minutes.
But responding quickly is not enough. Many dealers are leaving sales on the table by responding to leads only once. So what sets the best apart from the rest?
A recent study analyzing cars.com leads conducted by Experian Automotive showed that a lead isn’t dead just because time has passed. It’s true that 79% of lead senders who purchased did so within 90 days. But the other 21% still purchased several months after submitting the lead.* The best dealers know this, and aren’t giving up their leads for dead.
Buy or die. You need to stick with it.
In our dealer training sessions across the country, we talk to thousands of dealers. It’s clear that what separates the very best Internet dealers from the rest is that they continue to work their leads until the lead purchases a car from the dealer or removes themselves from consideration. In short, until the lead "buys or dies."
These dealers develop a relationship with each lead sender and continue to have a dialogue with them until they buy from the dealer, indicate that they’ve bought a car somewhere else, or indicate that they aren’t in-market for some other reason.
Share their secrets. And their success.
The best dealers have a closing ratio of approximately 25 to 30%. Good dealers still manage a 15% closing ratio. So what’s their secret? Actually, there are quite a few.
[list:1axy5e51]Use your CRM system. Follow-up individually and keep the contact strong via email, direct mail and/or phone calls on a regular basis. After all, if a prospective customer has shown an interest in a vehicle, that’s one of the strongest contact points you have. So don’t let that lead grow cold. Keep up the communication stream putting the interest they’ve shown to work for you.
Communicate special offers. If you have a hot offer or promotion, let them know. It’s one more reason for you to contact them, and for the customer to choose your dealership when they’re ready to buy. The email below is a perfect example.
Ask if they are still looking. So they liked that dark green SUV. Don’t let them pass it up. Send an email like the one below, complete with a picture of the vehicle. Simply ask if they are "still interested?" and let the vehicle help you sell it.
Send Newsletters. This is a non-threatening way to regularly remind prospects of your dealership and specials. The key is to keep the content fresh and relevant to your customers. And remember, newsletters definitely get read, just like you’re reading dealerAdvantage right now.
Don’t let them fade away. If a customer is out of the market for the moment, that doesn’t mean they will stay out. The "Thank you" email below shows a strong way to keep the contact solid, proving that your dealership is ready whenever the customer is looking to buy.
Ask why. If they bought somewhere else, ask them why. This is free marketing research and can help you get the edge with the next lead.[/list:u:1axy5e51]
The bottom line is, keep the lead alive until your prospects say they’re no longer in the market. Remember, bringing home that 21% who purchase months later separates the best dealers from the rest.
Written by Fred Haney a cars.com Dealer Trainer.