Recently, I shared some of the findings from PCG Digital Marketing and our Lead Handling Audits at The Innovative Dealer Summit. One of the areas which drew the most interest from dealers was creating  a “Sense of Urgency” for your consumers.

This was centered around the results I found from inspecting over 40+ dealership CRM processes for handling consumers who submitted their email address in reference to a specific vehicle. As data shows, fewer and fewer consumers are submitting their information through web forms, so when someone takes the time to do so, they deserve your undivided attention.

There are a few areas you can focus on to improve and create a sense of urgency for your customers.

“We have a closing problem.”

Too often the dealer on the audit told me their closing ratio was too low. Upon review of the data, this was often not the case. I looked at the ratio for customers who arrived for their appointment to those who purchased, and it was in line with my expectations. The ratio of appointments scheduled to the number of customers who showed up to their appointments was also was right on point.

The problem I saw was that based on the number of opportunities, they were not setting enough appointments. In reality, the problem was that the dealers weren’t taking advantage of the opportunities that were already being presented to them.

First Email:

Every dealership I review does a great job on the first day of receiving the opportunity: a phone call is made; a text message is sent and an email is sent to the customer. Yet in many cases, I see four to five different versions of day one emails being sent by the staff of a particular dealership. One may have a photo of the selected vehicle. Other may contain a link, and others may have nothing.

Maybe they include alternative vehicles, maybe incentives and maybe nothing more. I have seen different email signatures, different fonts, some emails missing signatures as well as spelling mistakes.

No matter how you decide to format your emails, make your message clear in the first email exchange and standardize it so everything the dealership sends out supports the brand message.

After day one, the process became spotty for those with appointment issues. Day two tasks were completed, but nothing followed for 2-3 days. Your team is leaving someone who asked for information out to dry. Would you do that if they were in front of you?

Focus on the first 7 days. Create consistent email formats and decide what you will say in each one. Make sure salespeople understand they need to personalize these emails, keeping in mind that consistency and marketing should be prioritized.

If salespeople get stuck on what to say, ask them to write down the questions they would ask a customer on the lot who is enquiring about a vehicle. Have them add those questions into their emails. The goal is getting customer to engage, and asking questions is the best way to do that.

Stop asking things like “do you have any questions?” and “Are you still in the market?”

Provide value online in the same manner you would in person.

EXTRA TO DO: Spring cleaning on your CRM. Remove any old templates you are not using. Too often, I see older templates from a consultant or trainer who was there to help 3 years ago. Keeping your CRM decluttered helps you and your sales team keep your message the same.

Glenn Pasch

Glenn Pasch is a Partner and CEO of PCG Digital. Glenn continues to author articles for multiple industry publications, blogs and forums as well as continuing his writing online at www.glennpasch.com.