Automotive sales skills
It feels like a personal defeat when your competitors attract customers that should be yours. Obviously, you think your business is a better choice. So why do people go elsewhere?
Several months ago, I met with the owner of an automotive service and repair chain. This entrepreneur was frustrated with people choosing his competitors and with shrinking sales. He needed to optimize his marketing budget and, more importantly, get more customers. He hoped pinpointing which ads and campaigns generate phone calls and drive more business would be the answer. This is call trackings primary function, and exactly what he needed; however, his concerns raise an important question:
Why do potential customers choose your competitors?
Whether that happens a lot, or not very much, the question is significant. When your customers go to a competitor, you need to know why.
Many businesses jump to conclusions and blame price. However, this is a scapegoat and distracts from the real offenders. Our data more often than not finds that marketing and sales are the culprits. This stings but the cure does not need to be long or complicated. This blog honestly presents the real reasons customers choose your competition.
Several call tracking companies determine if your employees sell effectively on the phone. They monitor if employees ask for the business, if they are persistent on the phone, if they are nice, and ultimately if they make the sale. After analyzing millions of phone calls, Convirza knows how to convert calls into sales.
Asking a caller to bring their car in at a specific time makes the caller 4.4 times more likely to purchase. Start using phrases like “Why don’t we get you in later today?” or “We have some time this afternoon. How’s 2 o’clock?” This is a direct invitation to do something. However, in about 78% of the calls we’ve analyzed in the automotive industry, employees didn’t even ask for the business.
The automotive repair and tire chain owner mentioned earlier started call tracking with Convirza Conversation Analytics® services Most employees in the automotive industry only book appointments on about 20% of the calls they receive, but his stores were only booking appointments 16% of the time. Their automotive sales skills needed some attention.
Regardless of your business, remember this: phone callers need what you’re selling. They need to get their car fixed or auto parts replaced. No one just calls an auto repair business for fun. So, if they don’t buy from you, they are buying from your competition. You should never let a caller get off the phone without setting an appointment. Your ability to sell is directly related to the number of customers you drive to your competition.
As soon as our friend discovered his close rates were below the industry average and only one in every 6 or 7 phone callers booked an appointment, he immediately implemented an effective sales best practices policy. Integral to his best practices was that employees Always Ask For the Business. In just three months, his close rates almost TRIPLED. And this means 3X fewer customers are supporting his competition.
We have hundreds of clients with the same experience. Gerald’s Tires & Brakes, is another organization with remarkable results.
Nurturing your existing customers is a savvy business practice. It costs eight times more to get a new customer than to keep a current customer. Therefore, one way to prevent your customers from choosing competitors, and save money at the same time, is to stay in touch constantly. Make sure you are top-of-mind for your customers. If you nurture your customers, next time they need something fixed or replaced they’ll call you first.
Research from Hubspot and IBM confirms that companies who stay in touch with their customers at least once every two weeks make more money than companies that only stay in touch with their customers every six weeks.
The key takeaway: you’ll lose fewer customers to your competitors if you stay in touch.
For more than 16 years, Convirza has helped marketers prove and improve their ROI. We have verified a common-sense approach: the larger the marketing spend, the higher the revenue. In other words, you have to market if you want to attract customers. (You see the “common-sense” factor.) But higher revenue is more than just spending a big marketing budget. Automotive marketing must be effective and measured; otherwise, it’s like throwing money out the window. There are many tools available to determine which ads, campaigns, and keywords generate phone calls and which don’t.
Regardless of your business size, you need a website. In fact, one expert said, “If your business doesn’t have a website, it’s like you don’t even exist.”
The main reasons to maintain a good website are: build credibility, stay connected, provide convenience, outperform the competition, and customize advertising. More than 80% of potential customers visit a website before purchasing. It’s a pivotal tool that instills trust and reliability or chases away new customers.
Make sure your website is professional and that both your phone number and address are very easy to spot. Also, you can do many things such as Search Engine Optimization to help your website be easier to find.
There is a direct correlation between data and revenue. A relevant study from IBM found that companies who say they collect “a lot” of marketing and sales data; such as web traffic, lead source, customer demographics, and more; have 40 percent higher revenue than companies that said they only gather “some” marketing and sales data. If you’re using Google Analytics and other marketing analytics tools, you’re going to make more money than your competitors who aren’t gathering data.