Want to Increase Sales? Increase Engagement by Engaging Buyers

Do you have a spouse? If so, have you ever argued with your partner? What are some of the most common grievances when fighting? When I pose this question to my fellow auto dealer partners, they respond, “My wife says I don’t listen!” The dreaded “You’re not hearing me” or “You’re not understanding me” What if you continued to tune out?  What would happen to your relationship if you just paid attention to 60% of what your significant other said? Let’s take it a step further: what if you responded in 60% of the cases after taking more than an hour to do so? Once the divorce papers were filed, in my opinion, she would rapidly control half of your dealership!


Most people would concur that such shoddy, slow communication is inappropriate and won’t make your partner pleased.


Let’s apply these ideas to the auto industry and discuss how your CRM should function for you to generate “engagement” from your customers.


Engagement is what the Marriam Webster Dictionary refers to. What is relevant for this blog post within the definition has been bolded and underlined.


a job or period of employment, especially as a performer. Definition of Engagement 1a: an arrangement to meet or be present at a specific time and location; a dinner engagement

2: an action or commitment: a pledge

3a: the act of engaging; the condition of engaging:  emotional commitment or involvement


A prosperous dealership is a blissful engagement! The issue is that there is a communication barrier between your vehicle business and your customers! Can you be heard? Absolutely.


They hear you before you ever see them. Every time I turn on that radio as I tour the nation, all I can hear is a gong sound and one of us hollering at them. When I open Facebook and scroll down two inches, I see three vehicle ads! We holler about our rebates, our 0% financing, and our push-pull or tow trade allowance!


We don’t hear or listen to them when they email us an internet lead, phone our dealership, or swing by to say hello when they ask us out on a date. We answer with a generic “template” that is unrelated to the online conversation when we see a customer’s name in our CRM, and the vehicle they are in, and don’t take the time to read what they are saying. We try to ignore their inquiries regarding price, availability, incentives, rebates, and trade-ins and instead ask them to schedule an appointment.


They leave our showroom floor after our first date, and we rarely, if ever, follow up. You allow your salesperson to refer to them as “tire kickers” or “strokes” because their ego has been hurt by not being able to sell them a car. If they do get in touch with us again, we might or might not read it, and if we do, 35% of the time it takes us well over an hour to reply. So, are we giving the appropriate response to the query or remark? Since dealer management cannot see what we are saying in response to them, we are unable to answer. Exactly why not? because it is on your salesperson’s text message inbox, cell phone, email, their Facebook messenger, or any other form of communication that you are unable to hear, see, or read!


You don’t have the time to delve into each customer’s database to figure out what the heck is going on, even if it is someplace in your CRM. Nobody does, and modern CRMs are created by accountants for auto enthusiasts. You should know that the two go together like oil and vinegar.


As you can see, we only communicate with our business partners—our customers and the ones who enable us to operate—in one direction. Can you make them out? They are divorcing you every single day because they answered NO.


Which avenues are available for clients to contact the dealer?


They call, we transfer them twice and put them on hold, but they don’t pick up, so they have to keep calling back to speak to someone.


When they email in, your salespeople either start emailing from their personal accounts or, worse still, send them question-unanswered template emails. That would be the same as your spouse asking you what you want to have for supper. and New Zealand was your response. How annoying!


“Is this car available, and what’s the best price?” they text back. and our response time is two hours. What if your partner texted you at 3 PM asking for the kids to be picked up at 5 PM and you didn’t reply until 5:30 PM? Wouldn’t that be favorably received?


We furiously inquire, “What happened to the deal?!” after a customer has left, and we learn this the hard way from our salesperson. “Those strokes are just kicking tires!” they exclaim. We were unaware that the customer sought more for their trade-in and that your salesperson advised them to offer it for sale on Craigslist. Has the client tried selling it on Craigslist? No, as the nearby dealer offered them $200 more than you did! There, they purchased an automobile! Response times to inquiries like these are consistently over an hour, as measured by an average over the previous six months from over 100 rooftops. The fact that these discussions are even happening is unknown to the managers.


If we’re fortunate enough to sell someone a car, we don’t pay attention to their comments after they’ve left. They “roast” us on a survey as payment for our assistance. You’ve already gone through a divorce by the time this occurs. They won’t return to your dealership to purchase another vehicle. When you are served with divorce papers, your suitcases are on your front lawn, and your spouse has already been given custody of the children, you are roasted on a survey. At this moment, your salesperson informs you that “no matter what, they would have roasted us, they were mooches.”


Right now, you have to believe anything your salespeople say. Why? The amount of work your managers have to perform prevents them from having the time or energy to read every text message a customer sends to a salesperson, check every email in every inbox, and visit the back-end tool of your website to listen to every call.


If we carry on managing engagement in this manner, our spouse will be taken by the “disruptors” that everyone in the auto industry fears! Since there are so many individuals, gadgets, and channels involved in the communication we just outlined, it is impossible to hear what your customers are saying. As a result, the customer, who is also our dealership’s significant other, is resentful of us. We are causing the very problem we are trying to solve.


The Answer

We must first talk about the various degrees of communication. We must first talk about the various degrees of communication.  It goes as follows: I can’t hear you. You’re listening, right? Are you following what I’m saying? Do you concur with my assertions? Will you be able to carry out the plan we discussed? What is the course of action that benefits both parties? We only attain the highest level of communication through action.


We must put all communication in one place that is easy to read right away. a place where a manager can easily read and keep an eye on things. We can only be certain that we truly “hear” our clients by consolidating all the complex forms of communication into one place. We can now see them as they raise their hand on our virtual lottery, also known as an online lead! No longer are we able to ignore what our salespeople say when they say the wrong things!


We examine and evaluate the medium through which clients communicate. Then, we follow up in the manner that THEY like. It is comparable to your wife texting you to say, “Text me, I will be in a meeting.” Do you not make an attempt to call? We now communicate with and follow up with our consumers via the channel through which THEY like to receive communications.


Next, we keep track of how quickly we respond to messages. We need to make sure we agree with our clients, demonstrate that we are paying attention to them, and assist them in taking action.


After selling them a car, we must make sure that our relationship will last a long time. Long before our bags are packed, waiting on the front lawn, and the locks to our house are changed, we need to undertake internal polls to gauge the health of the union.


Customers need to be heard, and we need to listen to what they want and act appropriately! Every day, we must demonstrate to our business partners that we care about them and will do whatever it takes to keep them satisfied.


Let’s repair our connections by using clear, effective communication. Let’s begin providing our consumers with the relationship and experience they deserve with our dealership.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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