Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers
For inbound marketing, leads determine success. The assumption is that the higher the lead volume and percentage, the higher the sales and service volume. All too often, these do not go in step with each other. Below we identify ten statistics that are the main cause of increased lead quantity not equating to increases in appointment shows and sales.
1. Setting an appointment at the time the lead is converted will increase show rate 37 percent. – This seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it? If the customer commits to the appointment at the time they submit the lead, there is a very powerful psychological affect.
Step 1: Lead Submitted
Step 2: Appointment Made
2. 37 percent of all automotive leads are never responded to. – WOW! That is a scary stat! When you consider that the real average cost of afirst-party lead is close to $100, for 37 percent to hit the floor is absolutely unacceptable. By “responded”, we simply mean that a call is placed from the dealership to a customer.
How to make sure all leads are responded to: Most CRM’s have a lead log of some type. Someone from your dealership should be reviewing that log making sure none of the leads are still open. To be sure that an actual call was placed, each BDC person or salesperson should have entered notes that an actual call was made. If you see a BDC person where more than 30 percent of their contacts result in a “Left voice mail” note, you likely have someone entering this as the default note when they couldn’t get to the lead.
If you really want to take this to the next level, have a proactive system that calls the BDC or salesperson with the lead information. If no contact is made, the system informs the manager immediately or, even better, the lead goes to an outsourced agency that will guarantee to make the call.
3. 86 percent of all automotive leads bought a car from the first dealership to contact them! – Wow, that’s a big number! When you think about this, it makes sense. If 37 percent of leads are never responded to and the number one reason a customer is online is to save time then, if you are the first to contact them with the answers they are seeking, it’s your deal to lose. Let’s face it, as car salespeople, we are at our best when we are with the customer.
4. You are 621 percent more likely to successfully contact a lead if called within five minutes of lead submission. – When we thought about why this happens this way it made perfect sense. According to ZMOT, while the customer may be shopping up to 18 different sources when researching the purchase of a car, the fact is they are doing it ten to twenty minutes at a time. Beyond that time, they are back into the everyday routine of their lives.
5. Contact success drops 100 times when leads are contacted between five to thirty minutes. – Bottom line: Thirty minutes is your cut off. If you don’t contact a lead within 30 minutes, you might as well wait until tomorrow. The results will be the same… BAD!
6. Appointment show rates rose 311 percent when the lead was contacted within five minutes of lead submission. – If you want customers to think you care about them and want their business, be responsive. Nothing says responsive like getting to a customer while they are still on your site.
7. The average number of contact attempts in automotive is 1.7! – There are so many ways to contact and follow up with a customer these days that there is no excuse for this statistic. The first contact doesn’t have to be a call but you should still be calling the customer if they haven’t come in and haven’t responded to digital communication.
8. Contact attempts beyond the second attempt drop off 540 percent but the closing ratio of a successful contact after the second contact attempt rises 222 percent. – This stat speaks for itself…. Never stop following up…EVER!
9. Sending an iCal or Outlook calendar invite for the appointment increased show rates 22 percent - This is a practice you need to get you BDC or Sales Staff in the habit of doing. Most people today manage their lives from their computer and smart phone. If you're not there, you don’t exist.
10. A personal call to confirm an appointment will increase show rates 36 percent. – This goes without saying. Why are we not doing it?
We have a lot going on in the dealership…maybe even more than a CRM system can even manage. To get the job done with inbound marketing, you need to be proactive, responsive and automated. I am afraid the current level of technology dealerships is still insufficient to make that happen. Business is suffering for many as a result and this will only get worse. Customer demand for efficiency will not stop.