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I just read an article in Automotive News by Dave Barkholz entitled, “Lost Leads.” I hesitate to say it. But, within the article some smart people were quoted. I hesitate because I was also quoted in the article and I don’t want to break my arm patting myself on the back! That being said the most dead on comments were from others such as Alex Jefferson (eComm Director from Proctor Auto Group) who was quoted as saying:
“Shoppers are receptive for only a few minutes, the closer you can reach them while they're in the right mental state [to listen], the better your chances are of getting them to come in."
Makes perfect sense right. But have you ever stopped to think about why that is? I know many of us think that car shoppers are very organized and methodical. They sit down at their computer for a few hours, shop 19 websites (as indicated by Google’s ZMOT study), narrow it down to the 3 stores they like and then submit a lead to all three.
NOTHING could be further from the truth!
The car shopping process for most customers is a dysfunctional mess. People see something they like and do research when they have time. For a few minutes before the boss calls or before they are interrupted by one of the thousands of distractions we all have in our daily lives.
As noted in the above referenced article Alex’s stores are held to a 20 minute response time and contend that’s too long! In a recent channel attribution study we did "It's Called A Marketing Mix For A Reason" on lead generation we tracked response times and found that the 20 minute mark is on the tail end of the lead becoming stale. Here is how the response times broke down…
1 – 5 minutes = 311% increase in show rate to the dealership
6 – 20 min = 124% increase in show rate to the dealership
21 min – 24 hours = 0 change in show rate!
Bottom Line if you’re at or beyond the 20 min mark the shopper is probably shutting down and moving on to something else.
But there is so much more to it than this…
It’s not enough to be fast you have to be fast WITH VALUE! This became more apparent to me as I sat through Kevin Frey’s (who is he) session at NADA last week, “The Digital Crisis That Is Killing Your Dealership.” Basically Kevin termed incentives as a must do and summed it up in a way I absolutely agree with. “Giving $25 to a customer to come in is a lot cheaper than discounting your car to get them to come in.”
The reality is that your potential customers have little time for BS. If the only bullet you have in your gun is the “great deal” you’re going to give them then you're not telling them anything that they haven’t already heard. Meanwhile, you’re gutting your gross margin just to get the show. Nothing good can come of that.
My former sales manager used to tell me that you don’t want to be the smart guy on the phone who has all the answers. People can get all the answers on line. Instead, you’ll be more successful being the guy offering something of value other than price to get them in the door.
The goal should be to be on the phone with a lead within 5 minutes, who is still shopping online armed with something of value to offer them other than price. That’ a recipe for higher show rates, close rates and more gross profits.
The ultimate recipe: Having our clients on the phone with targeted incentivized leads (that already have a reason to show) within 5 minutes of lead submission, while there still on their website to confirm appointment times that have already been made!
I am doing a webinar on this data Thursday Feb. 6th 10:30am CST. You can register here if you would like. Click this link "Lost Leads Don't Let It Happen To You"
OnlineDrive is a digital marketing automation platform, the company is located in located in Houston Texas. Founded in 2010 OnlineDrive digital marketing automation is the first in bound digital marketing platform built strictly for automotive. OnlineDrive has grown services several hundred dealerships in the automotive digital marketing space. Its web marketing products consist of PPC (Pay Per Click Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Custom Web Site Building, Content Marketing, Landing Page Management, Behavioral Marketing and Targeting and Incentive Based Marketing on a fully integrated marketing automation platform.