Back to Basics : The Next Big Thing?

Introducing the amazing marketing technology all dealers must utilize for success.

The pace of technological change can be dizzying these days. It seems like every few months, along comes some new technology or upstart social media platform that marketing experts will say you’ve simply got to be using, or else you’ll get left behind by the competition.

Well, I’m here to tell you about an incredible marketing and communications tool that you’ve just got to be using, or else you’ll get left behind by the competition!

Seriously, this thing is unlike no other technology for bringing prospective buyers and auto dealers together. It has a remarkably consistent track record of turning leads into sales and boosting your bottom line – provided that you and your staff are capable of mastering the technology, and applying it properly in your day-to-day operations.

There are a variety of units and service providers on the market, and while the specific names and models vary, the core technology is widely known as… the “telephone.”

It’s tremendously user-friendly: any prospective vehicle buyer can, simply by entering a seven or 10 digit access code, speak in real time with a sales rep or any other member of your team.

Own the opportunity

OK, seriously, did you know that on average, when a customer interested in a vehicle at a dealership calls and speaks with a salesperson – and that salesperson suggested setting up a face-to-face appointment – the acceptance rate was 88 per cent? What is your conversion rate to sale from appointment?

That’s the finding of recent research data from CarWars. It says that dealerships have the potential to book even more appointments through phone leads – but they’ve got to own the opportunity. Because the same research shows that 58 per cent of the time when a customer calls to ask about a vehicle, the salesperson did not request an appointment. Now, do the math … it’s pretty compelling.

While it’s true that there are all sorts of exciting, shiny new marketing and sales tools coming at us all the time, mastering the fundamentals remains job one.

That’s a level of missed opportunity that no dealership can afford to incur. CarWars also reports that 40 per cent of inbound calls that are about a vehicle – not a parts or service enquiry – are not handled by a salesperson. Far too often, they’re left hanging on hold while a sales rep is paged to “pick up Line 2,” and before long, they hang up in frustration. Again, a huge indication of the degree to which genuine high value prospects are slipping through dealers’ fingers.

Mobile users & phone leads

As more and more car shoppers are doing their research online on mobile devices (50 per cent of all Kijiji customers now come to us through mobile), phone leads are also on the rise – because it’s easiest just to click on the dealership’s phone number to ask if that car they just saw on the mobile site or app is still available.

But how is your team doing when the phone rings? Are you taking the time to listen to recorded calls and provide coaching feedback to your team members?

Does your dealership have an effective process for handling inbound sales leads? Do you provide staff with a sample script, checklist, template? Is telephone technique part of the on-boarding process for new staff? What about ongoing training, monitoring and evaluation?

While it’s true that there are all sorts of exciting, shiny new marketing and sales tools coming at us all the time, mastering the fundamentals remains job one. It’s the top area of weakness I hear about from dealers themselves when I’m out in the field. So before you get too focused on the “next big thing,” circle back on the tried and true basics that may be going a bit neglected.

Get them nailed down, and then the fun truly begins – and the ROI will be significantly more meaningful!

Hey, I think your phone is ringing …

Categories : Dealerships

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