Automotive Lead Response Strategies: Stop Overthinking the Auto-Response!
The primary goal of your internet sales process – that is, the process you use in response to a new sales lead arriving in Web Control (or whatever CRM you use) – is to reconnect with the prospect. That’s it; just get them on the phone or get them to respond to some other communication (text… email… you get it).
Understanding and accepting this goal makes it easy to design the right processes; and write effective email templates and voicemails scripts that will drive that reconnection. Among these templates is the Auto-Response – that first email that fires automatically as soon as the lead hits Web Control.
But, We Eliminated Our Auto-Response
Unfortunately, many car dealers listened to a bit too much outside advice and jettisoned the Auto-Response from their internet sales processes. Whether it was their OEM or some well-meaning, though misguided internet trainer, someone convinced them that their team should be responding quickly enough that they shouldn’t need to have Web Control send an Auto-Response.
Ugh; even if this were true – that is, that your team was always responding within a few minutes – every dealer should be sending an Auto-Response to every lead they receive. Let me give you three quick reasons why.
First, the prospect may not have paid attention to which dealers received their information (as can be the case with third-party leads). Your Auto-Response, in this instance, let’s them know to expect future communications from your dealership.
Second, the Auto-Response is not spam to a consumer. No, it’s actually a welcomed confirmation that their information was received. Just as consumers are happy to see the order confirmation email from Amazon, they’re equally happy to receive your confirmation of their request.
Finally, a properly worded Auto-Response can either drive an immediate reconnection (giving you the advantage over the competition) or set the stage for what comes next – ensuring they’ll take your call when the phone rings.
Let me give you an example Auto-Response you can load into Web Control and begin using today:
Thank you for contacting Steve’s Ford. This is an automated response to let you know we’ve received your online request for the 2018 F-150; and an appointment coordinator will contact you shortly.
We’re genuinely excited to help you in your vehicle search. At Steve’s Ford, we’re well known for providing a true no-hassle buying experience every time.
If you’re ready to schedule your Priority Test Drive now, please respond to this email.
Otherwise, we will call you (if you provided a phone number) to help you schedule this. If you’d prefer, you may call us at any time at 555-555-5555. We look forward to assisting you!
This example lets the prospect know which dealer received their information and it sets the stage for what will happen next. Moreover, it will also drive reconnections for those customers ready to schedule their test drives (“If you’re ready to schedule your Priority Test Drive now, please respond to this email.”)
Don’t Overthink This: The Goal is a Reconnection
If our goal is a reconnection – which it is – we actually told the prospect this four times in the auto-response!
- … an appointment coordinator will contact you shortly …
- If you’re ready … please respond to this email …
- Otherwise, we will call you …
- If you’d prefer, you may call us …
Sounds like we want to reconnect with the prospect.
If you were the prospect and received this email immediately after submitting a request, what would you think? Would you be offended? Would you feel spammed?
Nope. You’d do exactly as our research shows: You’d reconnect more quickly with this dealer than the one who failed to send an Auto-Response. Given that our primary goal of the entire process is to drive a reconnection, always sending a well-written Auto-Response is pretty much a no-brainer, isn’t it?
(This post was derived from our recent Undeniable Advantage LIVE video webcast. You’ll want to watch and share that 73-minute video if you’re interested in receiving my 2018 Internet Sales Processes for free and/or if you want to build the best automotive internet sales processes ever.)