AutoSuccess - May 2017


Scott Pechstein 2017-05-11 14:51:48

I spend quite a bit of time in the industry providing lead management tips and advice to help dealers sell more cars, and arguably the most important advice I give pertains to communicating with customers. Let’s face it: Good communication can make a sale; bad communication can break it. Communicating with consumers, however, is more challenging than ever. First, dealership visits are down while time spent online researching vehicle purchases is up. Beyond that, industry data shows that nearly half of all car buyers do not buy the vehicle they originally intended; roughly 43 percent of new car buyers defect to used cars and nearly 20 percent of used car purchasers defect to new cars. These are important statistics to consider since they lay the groundwork for enhanced communications tactics that can help you reach and engage with a broader audience of ever-changing consumers. Make a great first impression — The basics of quick response times are important when that lead first comes in, but so is highlighting why your brand is the best brand and why your dealership is the best dealership to work with in your initial correspondence. Fully answer questions about the vehicle of interest but also give information about comparable new vehicles in your inventory so the customer has options. And, since nearly half of new car purchasers defect to used, consider providing information about comparable used vehicles on your lot. End every email with a question — Questions are a great way to keep a back-and-forth dialogue going, which is exactly what you want. They also help you get answers to important questions about the customer’s needs, wants and unique buying situation. Questions about their interest in financing versus leasing, whether or not they have a down payment or a trade-in, what interior and exterior colors they prefer most, or whether they would consider buying pre-owned make great email endings. Answer “Who,” “How” and “What” — The best and most important information you should glean up front is who the driver of the vehicle will be, how that driver will be using the vehicle and what features the driver finds most important. I suggest making these questions the ending to your very first email correspondence. Put a fork in the road during that first call — As a new car lead ages, the propensity to buy used increases, so be sure to gauge a consumer’s willingness to consider pre-owned during your initial phone call. If the customer is willing to consider used options, follow up starting at the 30-day mark with a conversation about additional comparable used vehicles in your inventory that you might have recently acquired or taken on trade — optional vehicles they might find interesting. Always have a reason to call — Ditch the word “follow up” in your vocabulary with consumers. “Just following up” is the same as saying “I have nothing new to talk about.” Instead, have a good reason to call, such as updated incentives, special financing rates or a sale at your dealership that impacts the vehicle they’re interested in purchasing. This is excellent information to share and a solid reason for circling back — and your customers will appreciate it. View objections as opportunities — Just because a lead doesn’t seem serious doesn’t mean they’re not ready to purchase. View phrases such as “I was just playing around on the Internet,” or “I was just looking to see what was available out there” as opportunities, not objections. Personally speaking, I bought a mountain bike recently and spent hours online researching my options beforehand. I’m sure many of you have done the same with purchases you have made. Again, open up the dialogue by relating your personal shopping experience, and then by asking questions such as “What were you looking for? A car or truck? New or used? Financing or leasing?” to move the conversation in the right direction. It’s simple. People want to find the right vehicle at the right price and have a great experience doing it. That great experience starts with great communication to move people down the path to purchase and into your showroom.

Published by AutoSuccess c/o Silver Lake Press. View All Articles.

This page can be found at