Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Pity the individual who buys a vehicle from you today. If your dealership is like most, you’ll do your best to earn this customer’s business, shake their hand at delivery and then get back on point to wait for the next up.
Meet the forgotten customer.
Once they sign the bottom line and drive off the lot, most customers will then fall into this category. We will send their information to the DMS and maybe to the CRM, but other than reaching out to them with an occasional email blast or direct mail piece, they’re as good as neglected. Think about how many missed opportunities are right there…in your database…just waiting for follow up.
Your database is full of them:
The initial math here is awful. Industry wide, dealers follow up with just 15% of their database. Dealerships are neglecting 85% of their customers! Few of these neglected customers will do business with your dealership again if you don’t go after them aggressively.
CAR-Research surveys tell us that 33% of unsold customers would indeed return to their selling dealership -- if the dealership bothered to prospect them. Furthermore, the statistics say that 67% of them will buy.
Consider that at any one time, 2% of the customers in your database are in the market to buy another vehicle. For a dealership with 50,000 customers, that’s 1,000 units waiting to be purchased either from your dealership or one down the street. What if you prospected to these customers by phone and marketing mail and earned an opportunity to deliver just 20% of them? Keeping in mind that the national average closing rate is 18.6%, your team could sell 200 units!
Sales managers, it is your responsibility (it goes with the title and the salary) to coach and train your sales associates not only the Road-to-the-Sale process, but how to prospect and follow up with customers in the store’s database. Remind your sales team that only 15% of sales associates in America make a good living chasing ups; those who consistently put high unit numbers on the board are those who prospect their database. Teach them that every household has an average of three drivers and that those drivers will buy an average of 12 cars in their lifetime. That is a potential of 36 vehicles for every household they prospect!
Will you lead your dealership to a higher level of profitability by coaching staff to prospect their database and work those customers’ households? When you do, the dealership can reduce its advertising spend while increasing gross and CSI. And, how would you like to see your sales team stay consistently busy and earn more money? Could that decrease your turnover? Talk about a win/win!