If an incoming lead is the Moment of Truth, when a customer puts multiple dealerships on trial, then victory at the Moment of Truth depends on what happens next. Much has been made of the power of sending a multi-vehicle price quote response (SmartQuote) in 10 minutes. But that power depends on a second step: making the phone call.
What is the optimal initial response to a lead? It is a quote response followed by a phone call to the customer, with both happening within 10-15 minutes. By responding with a multi-vehicle price quote response very quickly, you differentiate yourself from the competition in the comprehensiveness and speed of your response. By calling the customer right away, you take command of the relationship with the customer—delivering an initial service experience that is unparalleled. Assuming you are following a tight call script that ensures you deliver and receive the key information you need to advance the sale, you have decisively increased the likelihood that the customer will buy from you.
Given the reality of conflicting priorities—with other customers, on test drives, in the finance department, etc.—how in the world can a dealership deliver on a 10-15 minute mandate to make the first phone call? The answer lies in structure. Nick Lozovsky is the strategic consultant to Capitol Toyota and San Leandro Honda in the San Francisco Bay Area, both customers of ResponseLogix. Nick believes that the 10 minute phone call is absolutely key. His recommended structure includes an executive assistant to the internet sales team, whose job it is to make a call to the customer within 10 minutes of every lead arrival. The assistant’s job is to:
- Connect with the customer
- Formally introduce herself, the assigned internet sales rep and the dealership
- Explain the dealership’s selling process
- Go over the SmartQuote and ask if there are any questions
- Ask about financing requirements
- Confirm the customer’s purchase time frame
- Confirm whether the customer has a trade-in
- Set up appointment for a test drive
Once there is a confirmed appointment time, she passes the customer to the assigned internet sales rep. The assistant is incented to drive to a filled appointment ($10 per appointment, but only if the customer shows up). The internet rep then receives the customer at the dealership and proceeds through the selling process. If the customer doesn’t come in, the internet rep will take on the job of reaching out with daily calls for about 5 business days. If the customer has still not appeared an no connection has been made, the sales rep moves on and lets SmartFollow kick in.
But let’s get back to the initial lead response. The decisive step is to ensure that a call is made in 10 minutes every time. From the customer’s perspective, to have a dealer provide such rich information, so quickly, with an immediate follow-up phone call demonstrates a powerful service ethic. It’s an impressive car-buying experience! When done consistently, on every single lead every single time, you substantially increase the likelihood that the customer will buy from you.
President and CEO