Do you remember what you were taught about safely watching a solar eclipse when you were young? Hell, you almost had to wear a HAZMAT suit to do so! Why? Because if you didn’t, you’d go blind! Go out and stare at the sun for a minute. Same thing will happen. Only difference is that you KNOW that’s what is going to happen. With a solar eclipse, well, you may get blinded, but you’ll do so while staring at a dark circle.
Look, the fact is that dealers spend a crapload of money for leads monthly. Some of those leads are via phone calls or walk-ins but most of them are online. Hopefully, these online leads are going into your CRM but, what happens when they get there? Salespeople and BDC agents LOVE low-hanging fruit and will attack those leads like vultures. The problem is that regardless of who is trying to communicate with those leads, a very low percentage of the potential customers engage back. If you’re lucky, salespeople and/or BDC agents are leaving messages and sending emails. But every day, more leads arrive, and they attack again. It doesn’t take long for their “to-do” list to grow and grow to the point where they just start clicking either “Left message,” “Left message,” until eventually THEY make the decision that those leads are dead and mark them as “Lost.” Well, there is $30 you might as well have lit a cigar with.
Here's a very simple question. And if you don’t know the answer, invest in cigars.
Do you believe that ANY OF YOUR SALESPEOPLE OR BDC AGENTS are qualified to give up on a customer?
If your answer is “Yes,” then your competition is smiling all the way to the bank while you just keep writing checks. How much money in sales (and service) revenue did you lose because some random process your employee came up with and then made the decision to flush your money down the toilet and bury that lead in your CRM because there’s more low hanging fruit tomorrow?
Look, salespeople get overwhelmed with “follow up” in the CRM. Those multiply faster than cockroaches. They’d rather be selling cars, not calling the same person for the 10th time. The fact is that is too many anyways.
Combining technology with process can not only create more sales for your dealership NOW but continue to nurture those leads that may have just been top-funnel buyers doing research, plan to buy but just aren’t ready. Not all leads are created equal.
But the process isn’t one your salespeople should be executing, it’s one your system should be executing. Higher funnel leads are best followed up with by AI. Leaving the lower funnel “hot leads” to be handled by your sales staff. The idea that salespeople or BDC agents can handle 125 leads each per month is over. They can’t. Technology, however, has grown well beyond that and can help solve that problem. Now is the time to use technology to track, engage and determine who’s hot and who’s not. Use AI to follow up with the leads that are “NOT.” AI will never stop.
With inventory and floor traffic declining, ALL opportunities need to be continuously followed up with. Not in an obnoxious way but in a way that is inviting and helpful. If you allow your salespeople or BDC agents to make the decision on their own whether to drop a customer, you might as well follow up with everyone yourself. Be a manager… manage! Don’t let them manage your customers and money! Be where the traffic is at – online – and hold your staff accountable. Invest in technology that can help your salespeople and dealerships sell more cars TODAY while continuing to follow up, nurture and set up your funnel for the future.
If you don’t, go to the Dollar Store (now A Dollar Fifty Store… Go figure) and buy yourself some sunglasses so you can sit in front of your dealership and stare at the sun.
THIS IS LARRY BRUCE, AND THIS IS MY 2 CENTS