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Inventory, price and location aren’t your only deal winners. When it comes to differentiating your dealership in sales or service, don’t discount the power of communication done right. Just look at Ryan Mays’ team.
As the BDC manager for Cadillac of Mahwah, Buick GMC of Mahwah and Hawthorne Chevrolet, Ryan has a lot of opportunities to test (and fine-tune) his digital communications strategy. We asked what’s been working for his team—responsible for 38-40% of their dealerships’ overall business—and he shared three steps that could be helpful across the industry.
Just as car shoppers jumped on the email train years ago, many are now looking for even more instantaneous online connections. After all, mobile technology has shifted our expectations of being able to get in touch with anyone, anywhere.
“This way of thinking has permeated all generations. People want information yesterday,” notes Ryan. “Email is the new snail mail, and smartphones are the new laptops.” And phone calls? They’re important, but some shoppers will put that off until the very last moment.
So what does Ryan do? On top of the other contact options, he uses chat and tracked mobile text. And due to how his team uses these newer communications, 10-15% of BDC business can be directly attributed to them.
Ryan’s team uses those real-time, text-based communications to influence shoppers’ decisions at key moments that often wouldn’t be possible any other way. Here are a few examples:
Gathering lead information is an important step, but Ryan believes that providing help first is even more powerful. He calls it earning the lead—answering questions first and then asking for contact info. “I say that I’m here to help you get the answers you need. In fact, I once answered a guy’s questions for 10 minutes via chat, but it ended with a sales appointment.”
So here’s how Ryan looks at it (and trains his team): “If you don’t get the lead details in a chat, that person could come in and you wouldn’t know it was him. But if you don’t help him, it’s almost a 100% guarantee he won’t come in the first place.”
Ryan’s insights show that while keeping up technology-wise with your consumers is important (especially when trying to engage them in sales conversations!), it’s not an automatic fix. The best results come from using technologies the right way—to provide convenience, attentiveness and real-deal help.
And that can really make your dealership stand out to a shopper unsure of where to go or who to trust.