As a car company, what are your goals for lead follow-up?

The sales process should always follow this order: 1. Dialogue, 2. Appointment, and 3. Sale!

I often ask car salespeople what their goals are when it comes to lead follow-up. Do you want to start a dialogue? Are you looking for information about the trade-in car? OR Do you want to avoid following up on that particular lead or opportunity because no one is looking?

The “sale” of the marketer!

If you look at the creation of a lead, it is overwhelming to see how much money and effort marketers put into trying to secure the lead on the dealer’s website. On average, only 2% of auto shoppers can be tempted to provide the right information so that the lead can be followed up.

The marketer may try multiple tactics to entice the shopper to share their data. A Call To Action (CTA) such as “Value Your Trade” or “Check Availability” should entice the potential customer to leave their details in order to access the information they want in exchange. The text on the CTA button or the Google Ads copy must be so good that the potential customer feels compelled to provide their contact information.

lead follow-up

Now, suppose the lead enters a fake number: 06-12345678. After all, there was an asterisk with the text informing them that leaving a telephone number was mandatory. Who then falls short? The lead or the marketer? I say the marketing officer. They have failed to make it sufficiently clear that leaving the correct phone number will result in a WIN/WIN exchange of information..

Consider this: What do you do when you receive the best proposal or appropriate advice by providing a fully completed information form? Indeed, you are curious and fill in every blank. Providing detailed and relevant data that the customer wants will help ensure that shoppers provide their correct information. See the dutch example below:

Assume that the customer fills in every information request. The marketer has achieved their goal and has managed to convert the CTA into name and address data. Now it’s the seller’s turn to convert the lead. What goals should the salesperson have in mind?

Purpose of the seller (lead follow-up)

The seller’s goal is simple: he has to establish a dialogue (lead follow-up). Preferably in the showroom, but if that doesn’t work, the best dialogue currently is handled personally through the telephone.

How do you sell that dialogue? First, the faster you call, the more likely the customer can be reached (there may be a maximum of two minutes between receiving the data and calling the customer). What do you do if the customer is not available, has their voicemail on, or does not have a telephone number. What do you sell?

Your goal is still a dialogue, however, if only an email is available, then you want to gather phone contact information as the next conversion. So, you have to develop an email that details a clear benefit for the customer to call you or provide his phone number.

I see too many examples of salespeople emailing: “Can you please call me back?” This continuing dialogue must be sold with a benefit to the customer. Offer an advantage such as getting the best offer (not to be confused with the lowest price), personal contact, or time savings.

You achieve a two-way communication!

If that conversion is successful and the dialogue is established, what is your next goal? Is it just asking for information regarding the trade-in car so that you can make a proposal remotely? Or do you have to sell them the benefits of an appointment in the showroom because you have the best chance of a sale there?

“If the latter is the goal, what is the advantage for the customer to make an in-store appointment? Could personal contact and even time savings regarding their trade-in car be the best offer to lure them in?”

As the seller, you should not follow up leads just to satisfy a “tick” on your to-do list. You should strive to schedule a specific appointment in the showroom with the lead. If that does not work, then a concrete call with date and time is the best alternative. Then you can, for example, discuss a proposal that has not yet been emailed. You can only move forward if you have clear and relevant goals. So always ask yourself that one question: What are your goals when you are following up on a lead?


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