First Impressions Are Not Just Important, They Are Vital to Sales
by Heather MacKinnon, VP of Sales
Anyone in retail car sales learned early on that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Most everyone has at least one story in which they did and lost a sale. If you look, many of today’s millionaires don’t dress like millionaires. Just take a look at Mark Zuckerberg who sports a t-shirt and jeans daily.
That being said, in today’s digital world, first impressions matter to consumers. There is no face-to-face interaction in which people would normally have an opportunity to learn about and become interested in a person or business. First impressions matter in our digital world.
Imagine receiving an e-mail from a business filled with typos and grammar mistakes. That would probably make the recipient less likely to be impressed and want to continue engaging your company.
Trust is everything. In fact, in Marchex’s Automotive Buyer Study 2021, they found that trust with the dealership and salesperson is the most important factor for consumers (91%) when choosing a dealership to shop with, tied with getting a competitive price.
Surprisingly, consumers value trust over getting a vehicle for the lowest cost possible (85%).
It’s one of the reasons why Quotible has prioritized building a strong relationship from the word “go.” First impressions are everything, which is why our user experience is smooth, efficient, and puts the power in the hands of the consumer.
What about your dealership?
Dealerships can easily spend thousands of dollars (or even tens of thousands) on pay-per-click, display, and retargeting ads. In addition, they can spend upwards of $30 per lead from third-party lead providers along with the thousands that they pay to have their inventory listed on car shopping portals.
Why? Because they simply want the OPPORTUNITY to sell that car shopper a vehicle. Say that they are successful in receiving that lead…
Then what happens?
In many cases, if the dealership is lucky, they may see a potential customer attracted to and engaging with the many calls-to-action (CTA) that the dealer has on their website, like “Get Your ePrice,” or a “Contact Us” form. When the potential customer does, in many cases, they first receive a canned autoresponder (which a customer can tell is exactly what it is) followed by another canned communication essentially telling the customer that someone will contact them.
What many dealerships fail to do is fulfill the promise that the CTA told them they would —. nNnamely, provide information. That’s kind of like telling someone to call you then never answering your phone.
This could hurt your business tremendously. Marchex reports that “the leading cause of a negative dealership experience reported was ‘they did not answer my questions fully.’” If you initiate the conversation and then leave them hanging, they’ll go elsewhere. Conversely, if you meet the consumers’ needs, it’s likely they’ll stick around. 81% of shoppers surveyed said that they were still communicating with the first dealership they reached out to, suggesting that answering all of a consumer’s questions pays off — literally.
The process that dealers have been using hasn’t changed in decades. The reason? More customers are shopping online than ever before, and dealers simply cannot keep up with the volume. This is exactly why CRMs installed canned templates and scheduled “to-do” lists for salespeople or BDC agents. Why do you think BDCs exist? Because the volume of online communications has exponentially increased!
So, what’s the problem?
You know those phone trees that many companies have? Customers don’t want to press 1 to get X, 2 to get Y, etc. Many times, even pressing those leads to a secondary phone tree. This simply frustrates people and can easily make them choose another dealership.
In Google’s report “The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own,” how a dealership initially responds to a customer affects the last three of the five – Can I afford it? Where Should I Buy It? And Am I getting a Deal? Let’s break that down.
- Can I Afford It? – The whole reason a customer contacts a dealership online is to find out whether they can afford it. They’ve already done the first two steps (Which car is best? And Is it right more me.” These are low funnel shoppers ready to buy a car. They are simply trying to get answers to the last three moments.
- Where Should I Buy It? – We all know that the world of auto sales is hyper-competitive. Some consumers may be receiving communications from multiple dealerships. And many of those responses look pretty much the same. This isn’t going to endear any consumer to choose dealership X over dealership Y.
- Am I Getting a Deal? – Now we go back to the phone tree. This is what the customer is trying to decide but many dealerships don’t provide that information. All they do is make the customer jump through hoops and create friction in a relationship that hasn’t even started.
Say hello to Quotible. We understand the importance of satisfying the personalized responses that customers desire. Want to maximize your marketing, connect with more customers and increase sales? At Quotible, we have created the most powerful lead response and communication platform in the automotive industry!
Dealers that use Quotible communicate with their leads through personalized interactive quotes that seamlessly integrate with their existing CRM. Dealerships that use Quotible can provide their prospects with all of the information the customer needs to make a buying decision including the abilities to:
- Calculate Cash, Finance & Lease options
- Learn about the latest manufacturer incentives
- View Taxes & Fees
- Estimate their trade-in value
- View 360-Walkaround videos
- Learn about their salesperson
- Book their test drive
Quotible replaces the canned and unengaging responses being sent to prospects through the dealership’s CRM and replaces them with powerful and interactive quotes and more options that are sent to the customer through both e-mail and text. This is important because Marchex reports that 79% of buyers prefer the phone. And 27% prefer to negotiate and finalize their deal strictly online.
Giving people the option to shop and communicate via e-mail and text is non-negotiable.
Dealerships that use Quotible are seeing on average 88 percent of their responses being engaged with by those prospects within 4 minutes of the initial communication!
First impressions are vital to sales. Importantly, dealerships need to understand that when people are interested in purchasing an automobile, they’re ready. Marchex says that at the first contact with the dealership, 39% of shoppers are ready to buy in a week or less.
To learn more how to make a great first impression, increase appointments, see the customer choosing your dealership over your competition and sell more cars, contact us today and we’ll show you how to stop wasting time following up with customers who have moved on and turn your advertising spend into one that exponentially increases sales!