By Nate Lehmann
With nearly 90% of tire and wheel buyers researching products online, you’re bound to receive emails from customers asking for more information. It’s important to not only respond to these emails, but to do so promptly. Customers shopping online aren’t willing to wait around until you can get to it – with a few clicks, they’ll be contacting your competition.
Response time – deal or no deal
A common misconception is that online leads have a lower perceived value than walk-in prospects. This is not the case. Potential buyers who take the time to research your products and contact you are interested in what you have to offer.
Even if an email inquiry doesn’t sound like a promising sale, respond. A request for a brochure, for example, is still a sign of interest, and will give you the opportunity to build a relationship with that customer.
The key to harnessing the power of a customer’s curiosity is to respond promptly. The most successful dealers begin their outreach within 30 to 60 minutes of receiving a lead. With the right lead management solution, you can reduce response time by personalizing pre-written, branded emails that automatically respond to email inquiries.
Read carefully, answer quickly
When you receive an email, take the time to thoroughly read through it. Understand what the customer is expecting, and answer clearly. Doing so will demonstrate your genuine interest in their inquiry and your desire to meet their needs. Remember that your email responses should be visually consistent and branded with your dealership’s logo on the top left to establish a reliable, visual signature.
If the email you receive includes a phone number, tell the recipient you will call them shortly to discuss any further questions. If they do not include a phone number, offer your direct line. Let them know you’re interested in calling them to further assist them in their research.
The power of the follow-up
The first inquiry often marks the beginning of a sales process. This is why implementing a follow-up process with all online leads and being there for them throughout the buying process is so important. In the long run, it will result in more sales.
We suggest following up with a new prospect weekly for the first month, followed by 12 monthly touch points. Each contact should maintain an open, personalized dialogue to indicate your interest and keep your dealership at the forefront of their mind.
Profitable businesses treat their online leads like gold. Every inquiry is a potential sale, and every sale counts. Responding promptly, answering questions clearly and following up consistently will position you as the dealer of choice when the time is right.
Nate Lehmann is sales manager, automotive tire and wheel, at ARI. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help more than 2,100 independent tire and wheel dealers spanning over 3,400 locations Sell More Stuff! – online and in-store. Nate can be reached at [email protected] or 218-740-1407.
Article courtesy of TIRE REVIEW.