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Tear It Apart and Rebuild It...Better

Most of us who have spent any amount of time in sales realize that our database/contact/Rolodex carries an incredible amount of value, in many cases more than our skills or abilities. With the prevalence of CRM and other database software, many believe that the job is done. Nothing can be further than the truth.

Today it's more important than ever to continually tear down the client database and make sure it delivers the most value and revenue possible. Auto retailers are notoriously bad in this area and, quite honestly, deserve the reputation. When we send the same newsletter, flier, direct mail, etc to every customer/prospect, what type of message are we delivering?

Better put, consider John Doe who's shopping for a Heeker Shnazer Beta 1. He sends two leads directly to two Heeker Shnazer dealers and also requests quotes from dealers through CarsStink.com and DontBuyACarHere.com which send the leads to three more Heeker Shnazer dealers. When he doesn't buy for a few weeks, every dealer sends him virtually the same eNewsletter linked to the same site with the same content! It's great to be fast, respond, ask questions and try to get the appointment but what are we really doing to connect with our guests?

If you are not segmenting your database and your customers, specifying your content and setting expectations, someone else will. Or worse yet, the lacking experience continues to validate consumers' opinion of car dealers.

So, what does it take?
1. Start understanding why your 'ups' are in the market and actually put that info in your CRM
A. Empty nesters
B. Soccer mom
C. Petmobile
D. Weekend driver
2. Create a field so you can segment your database based on those categories
3. Set certain fields in your CRM that must be completed
A. email and/or text (customers cell & service carrier allow you to text message for free)
B. Reason in market
C. Follow up parameters
D. What they do (work, leisure, family, etc)

Remember, contextually relevant content will bring a person back. If they don't open your first three emails/eNewsletters, they most likely won't open one 36 months from now (if they don't unsubscribe in the first place) when they're in market again. Don't blame your email marketing company, you're the one that bought the same service your competitor did. Remember: YOU are the marketer. Not the brand you sell.

Don't waste all of the data that you get when you're qualifying, walking and delivering your customers or store it in the computer behind your eyes. Work your database, update your database, market your database and use your database effectively.

If you regularly check and rebuild your database, it will pay you back handsomely. Do it yourself so you are not depending on something or someone else to do it, which is the road to failure. Once you start being really relevant, you won't believe where all the customers came from.

Be smart, be efficient, be relevant, be timely, be smart...be successful.

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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Tags: CRM, appointment, best, car, client, consulting, contextual, customer, database, dealer, More…engagement, marketing, newsletter, online, practices, sales, update

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