Question: Is getting more leads really the best goal?21 april 2021, Paul
Question: Is getting more leads really the best goal?
Leads are actually just a starting point for a dialogue. At least that’s what I’ve been saying for years to anyone who wants to hear it. But is that really the case? Does the salesperson really want leads? When I ask them, they say NO. They want orders and not leads from consumers who may still be in the research phase. Why? They don’t want to spend time on a high funnel shopper who hasn’t narrowed down their choices. The consensus is that the online customer has already made their choice, so we wait patiently for the buyer to report back to us with their final decision. Preferably, we hope that they physically come to the dealership, of course, because then the customer is really serious…. Crazy reasoning? No. I’m not kidding.
Back to the key question of whether the sales team and the dealer really want to have leads delivered. Here we are in 2021, and we are still hiding key information that the consumer wants behind a CTA button (Call to Action button). In order to get the real price of a vehicle, for example, the customer always has to provide personal information. To clarify what I mean, just look at the three most frequently asked questions for online leads:
What is my trade-in car worth?
What is the ultimate price?
Is the car still available?
If 80% of online leads are asking these questions, is it necessary to create a lead? I mean, why can’t we just give the trade-in price in 2021? It also seems we would want to be able to tell the customer that the car is still available and what the real price is.
The trade-in price is often the most common lead and is pushed hard by dealer holdings and importers. If you look at the statistics regarding leads based on trade-in inquiries, the ROI is lousy, as are most dealer follow-ups. Most trade-in modules create a PDF showing the car’s value based on the dealership’s settings. The PDF is emailed and then the salesperson is expected to call the lead, explaining to the often-outraged customer that the car is really worth much less than they were expecting. Then the lead ends up in the trash and the cycle repeats.
What is the sales price?
Most customers want to know vehicle price (or at least a dependable range) so that they know whether it is worthwhile to come by the dealership. Because many dealers prefer to be cautious with their pricing, that tends to result in disappointment for both the shopper and the dealer. If you simply indicate the price range online, without needing all name and address details immediately, for example between € 11,000 and € 13,000, then you can elaborate on what the next steps are that the consumer should consider. You could say to shoppers that 50% of your customers have received a better price after meeting with your salespeople. As a result, you get a significant number of more qualified leads. Take a look at our new website: Autokopenduitsland.nl for an example of this.
The ultimate price is, of course, tricky! At Nieuweautokopen.nl, we indicated very clearly what the price was, what the discount was, and we did this without the shopper having to ask for it. This is one of our why-buy-from-us strategies: Transparency in discounts!
It is pretty typical for the customer to ask for a discount. Everyone knows a friend who somehow received a big discount from a car company. Some importers also show in their commercials that the price advertised is only an asking price and that with a 50% discount on this, or € 2000 bonus on that, the price could be much lower. Unfortunately, the consumer never really knows the actual price.
Actually, the auto industry is educating the customer that negotiating, and the lack of transparency, is part of the process for auto buying. Discount and best trade-in price verbiage is used as bait for the shopper. Why are we surprised if the customer expects to be able to negotiate the price? This expectation can only be prevented by explaining that there is an established pricing strategy, just like Auto.nl, Bynco and Carnext. Only then can we start educating the shopper on uniform auto pricing. It will take time for that to happen. And a consistent policy in the auto industry.
Asking whether the car is truly available is a question that shows real purchase intent by the consumer. Sometimes this is asked over the telephone, but this also often occurs with online leads. You could, of course, automate answering that question, in fact Autotrack uses this CTA regarding car availability. You see many providers, such as Arval, who indicate when there is a concrete quotation for a car or when a car has been reserved. If the reserved stamp is not on there, then the car is available.
Many marketers are still judged on the number of leads they are able to generate. The trade-in module is ideal to populate the lead bucket. If you look at the conversion rate, it is often not encouraging. That low conversion rate could also be due to a poor process where even very good leads become useless. I also know the statistics that 60% of the license plates that passed through the trade-in module changed names within six months. So, there were a lot of real buyers among them.
My personal opinion is that you don’t always need more leads to sell more. What is really needed is better follow up on the leads you have. If you follow up according to a prescribed process, you will sell more; without needing more leads or better leads. Indeed, this message is not new, we have been saying it for years …