You probably put a lot of thought into your marketing strategy. It may be paying off if you have thousands of website visitors, hundreds of “likes” on Facebook, a thousand Twitter fans, and a steady amount of foot traffic into your dealership.

Your marketing strategy seems to be working if it’s generating leads, but there’s another important piece to the puzzle. The ultimate goal isn’t just to generate leads. The goal is to sell vehicles. The following tips can help you convert more leads to sales and give your dealership better profits.

1. Know your stuff, and your customer

Know your inventory. More importantly, know why one vehicle is better than another depending on the prospective customer lifestyle. Do not just focus on knowing the competitive price! Prospects who find that your dealership understands their motivations and values versus the “how much” may choose you for the sale.

Lead with lifestyle and benefits, then sell price.

2. Be responsive.

Literally every minute counts when it comes to response time. 80% of leads go cold if not contacted within 5 minutes! Your chances of landing a sale are highest when you can call a potential customer back within a few minutes of receiving an inquiry. Your rapid response can help build a sense of loyalty that remains even after the consumer has explored other dealerships. Just be sure the conversation is casual and professional versus aggressive, pushy or stalker like! Demonstrate your willingness to help, and your respect for the prospect’s attention.

3. Be persistent.

Don’t give up on your leads. A vehicle is a major purchase. Consumers often need time to think about their options before making a decision. Most often the consumer spends time browsing for a vehicle before they are ready to buy. Stay in touch and don’t get impatient. Try to establish a relationship, so you’ll be top of mind awareness when it is time for the purchase.

Statistics indicate that about 80% of sales people make only one phone call. Of the 20% that make the second call, only 10% make a third. Most often, it takes 7-12 touches to sell, make the calls, send the emails and direct mail, so that they think of you first when it’s time to buy.

4. Cater to online consumers.

Because a large part of your marketing strategy relies on your dealership’s website and social media presence, a fair number of leads are likely to come from internet shoppers. Personalize your content by focusing on fantastic technology. Sun Toyota out of Florida, does this extremely well. They are using some of the most sophisticated technology. More importantly, they have a team that connects immediately and makes meaningful and personal offers based on shopper online behavior. Not everyone likes Starbucks so stop forcing Starbucks gift cards on them as an incentive!

5. Use multi-channel marketing.

Multi-channel marketing involves communicating with leads using different methods. For example, if your lead came through social media, you could send emails or direct mail to reinforce the same message through a different channel. The approach may help build consumer trust faster than if you just use one form of marketing. Even using one extra channel can mean noticeable benefits. Consider some or all of the following.

  • Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • Email.
  • Direct mail.
  • Telephone calls.

Keep up with your aggressive efforts to generate leads, but don’t forget that your ultimate goal is to land the sale. These strategies can help you convert leads to vehicle sales so that your dealership stays ahead of the competition.