Todd Smith is a serial entrepreneur who is now building the leading sales text messaging platform for automotive dealerships. Todd is an industry author, speaker, and industry expert with over 30 years of automotive retailing experience. View all posts
Mobile continues to change consumer behavior and how they interact with dealerships. Texting can help you adapt successfully and deliver a better experience, especially in the growing need for remote selling.
For quick reference, “dealership texting” is texting messaging as a brand, with a level of organization and a unified experience and voice.
You might already be texting with prospects, customers, or employees. You might be texting using your personal smartphone or even a management tool like ours.
But what makes dealership texting different from texting socially is that conversations need to be managed as a team and track and stored as a business. Unfortunately, many dealerships are not doing this in practice, or texting is split between the CRM tool and your sales team’s personal phones.
Texting has become one of the most commonplace things you and I do, and it’s this simplicity that makes texting the most used, most popular, and preferred form of communication today. Just ask or watch your kids in action, communicating with their friends!
The move to a texting centric dealership can be a tricky switch, but these dealership texting strategies will help you adapt alongside consumers, and excel in the mobile-first texting world we now live in.
Using texting to drive more leads
Most dealerships but not all have specific auto dealer texting enabled tools already in place alongside their chat feature as a lead generation “Call To Action” like these.
This is a great start, but just creating leads is only the first step in utilizing texting as an effective platform at your dealership.
Fun facts to consider if you don’t have a texting enabled dealership website yet.
- Studies show consumers prefer to text your dealership.
- The majority of website traffic is from mobile.
- Texting enables smoother mobile engagement.
- Many dealerships have trouble converting mobile visitors into dealership leads. Conversion on the average dealership website is 2%-3%
- Texting isn’t just for mobile users since you can also ask a desktop viewer to text you.
Confirm leads through text, learn who is worth your time.
After completing an enormous dealership lead follow up study of 100 stores, it became apparent dealerships salespeople spend an absurd amount of time and resources verifying leads, qualifying them, and attempting to convert them into test drives and ultimately customers.
Texting can streamline this process and bring your sales team an excellent ROI on their time and results.
Anytime you get a lead at your dealership, you need to make sure to answer these three questions:
- Is the lead information accurate?
- Does this shopper care enough to take the next step in the sales process?
- Can you communicate with the shoppers when you need too?
These three questions help you segment and prioritize your leads to help you and your team understand and then focus on who’s worth spending your time on. The better process you have in place to answer these three questions, the more efficient your dealership will become, and the more sales you will deliver.
How can you implement this through texting?
Thankfully, this is pretty easy to put into practice. When a lead comes into the dealership through email, chat, text, or a third party lead service- send them a text first.
This will confirm their information and intent and open up the most effective communication channel between shoppers and your dealership.
An auto dealer texting strategy will increase engagement, better qualify your leads, and move them through your sales funnel while making people happier and ultimately enabling your dealership to close more sales.
Who wouldn’t want that at their dealership right now?
Texting for follow up and to increase your close rate.
It has become relatively common for dealerships to make sales solely through a text exchange if done correctly. Calls and emails are still valuable, but texting can be highly effective without much effort.Did you know that 92% of leads never get more than four follow up attempts from automotive salespeople? Click To Tweet
Data highlights that more than 80% of sales come after the fourth follow up.
Here are a couple of reasons why your sales team might give up on your leads to early.
- Limited information on the lead, making follow up hard. Check out 360Insight here.
- Poor dealership CRM processes that cause the next steps to fall through the cracks
- Your sales team never reach the prospect
- Another dealership made contact first
There are other reasons, too, but these tend to be the biggest causes of lackluster sales results from our study.
It’s not always simple to solidify your processes or to find and train a reliable sales team, but you can virtually guarantee that you’ll reach prospects and be the first dealership to engage them with text.
At least 99% of texts are opened and read. Text messages have a 45% average response rate and 90-second average response time. Think about it. When you text someone, you expect a reply. It has become second nature for us.
Auto Dealer Text compared to email.
According to MailChimp’s Email Marketing Benchmarks, the average email open rate is a meager 21.8%. That means your automotive shopper opens less than 22% of emails, yet email is the heart of communication in dealerships CRM systems, while 99% of texts are opened and read.Email engagement is low at 2.6%, while text engagement is 45% Click To Tweet
Another interesting statistic is that the average email response time is over 6 hours. You might think that’s not too bad, but the average response time for a text is only 90 seconds
Now you might be saying your dealership doesn’t rely on an email that much you push phone calls but using an auto dealer texting platform can have a profound effect on your dealership’s sales results.
Phone Calls Aren’t Better
Did you know that 90% of people prefer texts to calls?
Even more astonishing is that only 20% of people are willing to answer phone calls. Maybe it isn’t a big deal to you since you train your team to leave a voicemail. Only 18% of people will check their voicemail within a week.
In our next blog post on auto dealer texting, we will continue to talk about the advantages of texting over any other form of contact. We will dive deeper into using text to confirm and reschedule appointments.
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