Want new customers?  Treat prospects like friends.

Don’t treat prospects like outsiders. Difficult to use websites, repetitive forms that ask the same questions, generic content and silly social media posts ( i.e. “happy Friday!” just don’t cut it anymore). The big deal is making the experience friendly, easy and personalized!

Case in point: for many dealerships there’s a huge disconnect between e-sales and the showroom. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. You fill out a lead on the website. You like what you see, so you make time in your busy day to visit the dealership. You drive across town and finally go inside for a firsthand look at the vehicle. Then,  after all this, you’re asked to fill out yet another lead form that asks the very same questions you just filled out on the website!

These kinds of hoops are maddening, and can actually deter – not support – a sale.  Asking a prospect to repeat the same actions shows you aren’t paying attention. Don’t fall into this trap.

Your dealership should NEVER make potential buyers fill out endless, repetitive lead forms. Prospects simply won’t play along.   They’ll go to another dealer site that makes it easy to get information. And they might leave skid marks!

With today’s tools, this kind of disconnect can be avoided altogether. Take the time to make the experience more welcoming, and better integrated between online and dealership experience. You will see far better engagement, and ultimately sales.

Instead of asking for the same basic information online and at the dealership, consider using a progressive form that collects smaller bits of data to build a prospect profile. Use the dealership visit to collect additional information about the prospect in the dealership. By the time he or she leaves, you will have compiled a rich profile with plenty of intelligence to help a salesman tailor his or her selling message.

The customer profiles are invaluable when a salesperson follows up with a prospect. Playing back particulars about a prospect’s automotive needs demonstrates that your team is paying attention.

Remember, buying an automobile is an arduous process. If you don’t make the experience easy and personalized, why would a potential buyer believe buying from your dealership would be a good decision?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology exists today that makes it easy to discern a customers’ needs, tastes, and dislikes. Building a strong database of buyers in a your CRM system not only helps create loyalty, but allows you to track and understand what buyers are looking for.

Offer a prospect personalized content. Once you know a customer’s hot buttons, play them back and explain how your dealership can meet those needs.  In the eyes of your prospects, you’ll be on your way to a truly customer-friendly and a more focused online presence.

By tailoring your content online, you are treating prospects like insiders not outsiders. You’ll establish your dealership as a thought leader and really move the needle by showing you are a dealership that cares about the individual. That’s a rare commodity in today’s world!

Tap the power of customer reviews. Because personalized content is so popular – 9 out of 10 people indicate that they trust reviews of businesses more than the business’s advertising. Many buyers consult websites such as Yelp, Facebook, and Angie’s List before visiting a dealership.

With the growing importance of social media, it’s your responsibility as a local dealership to ensure that you are portrayed positively online. One way to guarantee pleasant reviews and good ratings online is to make sure every customer has a positive experience and leaves the dealership smiling. That’s second nature right?

Not so fast. Of course there’s no foolproof way to make every prospect happy. But being honest and treating customers well at every step along the way – from your website, to your advertisement, to your social media posts, etc.  will eliminate most of the problems. You never know when a grumpy visitor will hit the internet, posting damaging, and potentially costly, reviews.

The Gen X’s and Y’s are buying automobiles at a rapid pace. While boomers are still the largest automobile consumer group we need to consider both seriously and differently. Gen X and Y “know it all” because they have grown up with instantaneous response to questions. If a question comes up while they shop, they can easily “Google” answers. This means your ratings and reviews are just as important as personalized content.

It’s not always easy to acquire new customers and stay in touch with old ones, but there are plenty of tactics available to make the process less complicated. Don’t be apprehensive about utilizing technology to make marketing and customer relations easier for you. Speak with one of our friendly representatives today to learn more about how Client Command® can help you to increase sales.