If you want to sell more cars, you don’t always need more leads
On a daily basis I talk to sales staff about the follow-up of online and call leads and there is never a salesperson who wants to deliberately do this in a bad way. On the contrary, everyone has the intention to do his job as well as possible. Nevertheless, the results from these two lead sources are often not consistent. How is that possible?
There will probably be salesmen who think: ‘Let that de Vries talk all he wants, I will do it my way’. That is fine in itself, because my vision on lead follow-up is not blissful either. However, a proven method that doesn’t need to be doubted, is to be consistent. In all telephone conversations between sellers and leads that we go through at #DCDW, both inbound and outbound calls, we hear that the car salesman determines whether a conversion takes place or not. Is the seller well prepared? Does he have a goal of the conversation in mind? Is he ‘free’ in his head? All things that play a role and determine the course of the conversation.
A successful dialogue with a potential customer starts with a process for lead follow-up. I don’t care what that process looks like, as long as it is there. A process can even be different for every seller, as long as it is consistent and followed up. Describe how you, as a salesperson, handle leads, how often do you want to call, e-mail, make videos, send messages, etcetera. Calling twice is good, eight times can be fine as well. The point is that it should suit you, your DNA, your company and your customers. You go for the highest chance of conversion, and the first step is a successful first dialogue.
Also set your goal. What do you want to achieve with the first conversion? Is it answering all the customer’s questions? Qualifying the customer, assessing the trade-in car? It is simple for the most successful dealers. The goal is to answer the customer’s questions and then make an appointment. Or, if the client wants it first, make a proposal in combination with a follow-up appointment.
Being free, I mentioned it when listening to conversations. This may be the most important aspect of lead follow-up and yet it is something that people often don’t think about. Any idea how many sales you miss when vendors are used for tasks that don’t have anything to do with direct sales? What if he should handle, for example, the back door of the workshop reception? The telephone then becomes an annoying interruption of the work of the salesman with the result that his voice no longer has energy if he does have a prospect on the line. While there is also an invoice for delivery waiting, he still has to check a car, the cleaner has to help and there are still five occasions to be put online.
Too often I hear that the salesman has to manage too many peripheral issues that obstruct him to deliver top performance. If you don’t have the first conversation with the customer right, there is no chance that there will be a second call. Unless you are the cheapest … Your sales people are your strikers who need a good position to score. Defending, goalkeeping and being energetic in a few seconds is impossible. If we use, motivate, train and equip vendors better, you will see that online and call leads are better monitored and way more successful. Really.
About Paul de Vries
Paul de Vries has a tremendous track record in the automotive industry. He went from owner of a dealer company via the online sales platform Nieuweautokopen.nl to Marktplaats (eBay), where Paul is now Key Automotive Spokesperson. In addition, he is the founder and owner of #DCDW, a platform for dealers and car companies that want to sell more cars online. Paul presents the #DCDW Podcast weekly and under the heading #DCDW Academy he provides training and courses in the field of sales and online automotive for salesmen, sales managers and management. Paul is frequently asked as a speaker at seminars and congresses, he blogs a lot and his most popular blogs were brought together in two books: ‘Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ and ‘Follow up: meer success als digitaal autobedrijf’. More information about Paul, his books and his services can be found at: DCDW.nl.