You work hard to generate leads. You spend a lot of time promoting your inventory through websites and classified listings, email marketing and paid search. If you're successful, leads are coming in 24/7 via a multitude of devices.
This is all fantastic, IF you take advantage of the leads by contacting them immediately.
As online leads are coming in to you, there’s a good chance your competitors are receiving leads from the same buyers. Especially if the consumer is searching for used vehicles on an online classified site. They may submit a number of leads within minutes of each other. So if you want a chance at the sale, you need to act fast. Reach the prospect while they’re still online and in the mindset to buy.
Just how fast is fast? Sales reps are 100 times more likely to make contact with the buyer if they call within five minutes* of the online request. Catch them while they’re still in front of their device and interest is at its peak. In addition, lead qualification rates are 21 times greater when the buyer is contacted within five minutes after the lead was submitted, versus 30 minutes.* Yes, a mere 25 minutes can make a big difference.
Keeping in mind that buyers may be sending multiple leads to multiple dealerships, 50 percent of buyers choose the vendor who responds first.* You may have the most user-friendly responsive website, but if you don’t show a sense of urgency or responsiveness to inquiries, the customer’s journey hits a wall and they’ll look elsewhere.
Technology is changing consumer behavior. With the massive amount of data available online, consumers are spending time researching vehicle details, ratings, pricing and availability, before even reaching out to a dealership. This is shortening the sales process, and ultimately your opportunity to connect with the buyer. By the time the lead is submitted, the buyer is ready to purchase. Seize the opportunity to reach them in that moment when they’re most interested in talking rather than later, when they’re immersed in other tasks or worse, on their way to a competitor’s dealership.
Technology is also giving businesses the means to meet the ever-changing expectations of their customers. In addition to being a lead receptacle, lead managers provide tools to help dealerships improve lead response times. Many lead managers allow sales managers to:
- Set up alerts to receive lead notifications in real-time
- Send auto-generated emails for instant response (note: this does not replace a follow-up call)
- Shave off additional response time with lead auto-routing, bypassing the middle man to direct the lead immediately to the designated sales rep
- Monitor lead response times through status alerts
And one final thought on increasing the success rate of your leads. If the unit inquired about has been sold, don’t give up the opportunity for a sale. I’ve seen it happen, and recently I’ve had it happen during a search for a car. Do not send a response email indicating the unit’s been sold. This buyer is in the market, and they may not know exactly what they’re looking for. Maybe you have a different vehicle that better suits their needs. Pick up the phone and talk to the buyer. Find out what it is they’re looking for and be helpful. You just may be able to turn that call into a sale.
Kim Rocco is the director of Marketing for DX1, the complete dealership management platform for the powersports industry. DX1 gives dealers access to everything they need to manage and market their dealerships, including DMS, website & online marketing tools. Dealers save time and eliminate frustration with the efficiency of one login, one dashboard and a single database where customer and inventory data is stored.