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There’s No Ghosting in Automotive

Customer incoming message
Article Highlights:

  • Set yourself up for success by gathering as much information as you can.
  • Create a dialogue that doesn’t pressure, but interests the customer.

Have you or your sales team ever been ghosted by a customer? Being left with no response can be frustrating, especially when it can happen at any point. It seems like the customer has wasted your time and effort and now you’ve lost a sale. Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid, but there are strategies to help you reel them back in and prevent ghosting in the first place.

  1. Establishing Expectations

An important step to take early on in the buying process is to ask the customer what they need from you to make the process stress free for them. Equipping yourself to handle their questions and be proactive about their needs makes them feel valued. After the first contact is established, whether it’s a phone call, email, or text, you’ll want to start by making sure you have all the information about what they’re looking for – buy or lease, what’s their timeline, do they have a trade-in? It’s also a good idea to ask them what their preferred method of communication is so you can tailor your efforts to the customer and be more confident knowing they will not only see the message or call, but return it.

  1. Continuing Conversations

Depending on the customer, the time it takes to move the sales process can vary, so it’s important to continually stay in contact with them. This regular dialogue will add value to their buying process, and it’s essential to building a relationship. It’s especially important to set the communication precedent if they first visited the dealership in person. Make communication a two-way street by handing the customer your business card. This opens the door for them to reach out to you. But what if they never do? Be proactive and show the customer you are dedicated to helping them by reaching out. Using a redefined CRM, you can focus on your potential leads, based on time, what’s important to them, or even likelihood to buy so you aren’t wasting your time. You should be able to set up automated, yet personalized, communications that keep the customer engaged and feeling taken care of with little effort from you. Whether it’s sales promotions, happy birthday reminders, or post-visit follow up, these messages help you build trust and ultimately lead you to a sale.

  1. One Last Chance

Sometimes you just can’t get them to stick around. Despite all your best efforts of checking on them and making sure you’re giving them the best experience, they suddenly ghost you. Maybe it’s not your fault at all, but it’s time for one final effort to understand where their head is. This communication should be based around only that, not another pitch for a sale. A good example of this is an email I received from a salesperson after we hadn’t communicated in a month. It was laid out very simply, while making a timely and appropriate joke regarding my lack of response. He opened with “So I can take a hint, please just respond with letter A, B, C, or D.” It gave four options:

  1. I am unable to consider at this time.
  2. I no longer have interest or have gone elsewhere.
  3. I am interested, but have some challenges to consider.
  4. I am ready to talk further on this deal; I am available…

This light-hearted approach allowed me to respond easily and let him know how interested I was. It also created a low pressure relationship with him, where I feel comfortable going back to him in the future.

Communication is a key building block for your relationships with customers. When it comes to non-responsive customers, there’s only so much you can do, but your best effort and these strategies can keep the ghosting to the horror movies.

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Marketing Communications

Nick is a Marketing Communications Professional at Reynolds and Reynolds. Since joining Reynolds in 2022, he markets GoMoto, the Connected podcast, as well as OEM and high-profile account team initiatives. Nick received his bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Master’s in Business Management from the University of Dayton.

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