What Not to Say in Your Automotive Lead Responses


What Not to Say in Your Automotive Lead Responses

I understand teaching your team what not to do is considered negative coaching; and negative coaching, as most of you know, almost never works.

For example, teach a young hockey player to “never shoot the puck at the goalie,” and they’ll hit the goalie square in the chest every time. Teach them to shoot the puck into the open corners of the net, and they’ll learn how to score.

That said, when it comes to most dealerships’ automotive lead response strategies, there are too many bad habits picked up over the years that we need to break… and the only way to attack these is directly: by learning what not to do.

Proper coaching be damned, here are a few of the most important don’ts you’ll want to avoid in your dealership’s automotive lead responses:

Don’t Cram Everything into One Email

I know your OEM or your group’s eCommerce director want you to include your store’s hours, your personal value proposition, your dealership’s awards, photos of your “state-of-the-art” facility, your “why buy from us” messaging and your dealership’s entire internet sales and appointment processes into every email, but let’s be real.

No one is reading all that crap.

Moreover, your prospects don’t care that you are a five-time President’s Club winner. Heck, they don’t even know what that means. They’re just trying to buy a car and they want someone to help them do that.

Given this, your lead response emails have one goal: to drive a reconnection. That’s it. Plus, because most of your emails are being read on mobile devices, when you try to cram War and Peace into a message, your prospect simply deletes it.

If you want to say all those things you think are important, spread them out over a few emails so that your prospect isn’t overwhelmed when they open any one message.

Don’t Fill Your Emails with Images

While today’s great CRMs, like Dominion’s Web Control, make it easy to add multiple vehicle images to an email; unless the prospect has requested this, I recommend you limit yourself to one image of the vehicle.

This makes sense for a couple of reasons that we’ve already discussed: mobile and your goal. Since these emails are likely being opened on a mobile device, limiting images improves the readability of your emails.

Additionally, because you’re trying to drive a reconnection with each email (that is, get them to call you back), pushing 27 images onto an email could dilute your message, and may give the prospect just enough information so that they don’t need to call you.

Besides, if they want to see more vehicle pictures (which is almost never the case), they’ll ask for them.

Don’t Include a Bunch of Nonsense Links

What’s a “nonsense link” you ask? Simple, a link that makes no sense given the context of a sales lead.

The customer wants to buy a car. They completed a form to receive, for example, your ePrice. You sent them an email that included some or all of the following links:

  • New Inventory
  • Pre-Owned Inventory
  • Service
  • Parts
  • Specials
  • Finance

These are nonsense links! The prospect is trying to buy a car – the one they already selected – and you’re basically telling them, respectively:

  • Don’t buy the one you asked about, buy one of our new cars!
  • Don’t buy the one you asked about, buy one of our used cars!
  • The car you want will break down, so be sure to check out our service department!
  • Surely you didn’t really want a whole car, just some parts, right? Check out our parts department!
  • Don’t get screwed buying the car you wanted, check out these specials instead!
  • Before you buy a car, come look at the finance department page on our website. It has lots of generic messaging the website provider put on there as a placeholder until we get time to dress it up a bit!

They’ve selected a vehicle and they’re ready to buy. Drive a reconnection, set the appointment and sell the car. (It’s really not complicated.)

Don’t Include a Bunch of Advertising Verbiage

This is an email lead response, not a television commercial.

They’ve already selected you and your vehicle, so when you shout in your emails that you have a HUGE SELECTION OF 2018 CAMRYS IN STOCK or that you have THE AREA’S LARGEST INVENTORY OF NEW TRUCKS, you’re basically telling them there’s no rush and that they should take their time.

That kind of verbiage is perfect for your ads, but terrible for an emailed lead response. You should want to create a sense of urgency and even scarcity so that they’ll connect with you more quickly. When the prospect connects with you first, you have the best chance of selling a vehicle.

Don’t Include Your Social Media Links

Since some of you are adamant about including a link to your store’s Twitter account everywhere you can, I’ll ask you why you feel you should include social links (instead of telling you myself why you shouldn’t). So…

Do these drive a higher or faster reconnection rate?

Do these links equal more appointments that show?

Do these sell more cars?

Let me help you with the answers: No, no, and no.

Today’s consumer doesn’t care that you have a YouTube page and they don’t want to read your Tweets. Plus, with the vehicle listing improvements to Facebook’s Marketplace, sending your prospects there is akin to sending them to your dealer page on Autotrader.com – something you would never do.

Basically, a good rule of thumb is to get rid of the fluff and just write all email lead responses with the goal of generating a phone call from the prospect. Simple really.

But I Don’t Know What to Write!

Stuck with what to say in your email lead responses? Would you like some free help with your email templates?

Thanks to Dominion’s Web Control, you can download free copies of my 2018 email templates (so you don’t have to start from scratch when writing yours). Dominion sponsored one of our training webcasts last year and secured the rights to share my 2018 processes, email templates and voicemails scripts with you. To download these, FOLLOW THIS LINK.

Good selling!