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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development Manager

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Texting - The Good, Bad & Ugly

Texting is an integral part of business whether we like it or not. Texting is also not relevant solely because it's what Millennials want, either. In fact, recent statistics have shown that the number of “click to call” continues to increase on mobile devices. A large part of that number is, in fact, millennials. 

The fact of the matter is that our devices have offered a new means of communicating. And with a new means of communication comes the Fear of Missing Out, frustration, indifference, excitement, results, & issues - prompting the question - quite literally - what and how does texting affect the sales process? What is texting? 

Texting in its Primitive form 

One of the most important things I want to mention is that in no way has texting *replaced* all other aspects of communication. Instead, think of texting as an enhancing the communication you already have with your customer. 

Studies show that customers need an average of 5 touches before s/he is ready to fully engaged (i.e. securing the appt) with the average time to close the lead being four days. Think about it - you have emailed, called, and now what’s next? Another email or call? With 77% of leads coming in between the hours of 8-5PM* customers are shopping between regular business hours. They are at work, no?  I strongly encourage you to review your analytics -  looking at your busy times. What time are customers on your website shopping? 

If the busy hours are between 8-5AM, the customer might not be able to speak on the phone. Answering emails on their phones isn’t necessarily easy, either. Especially depending on how the email was sent and whether or not it hit their junk folder, no? 

The one thing that is sure to be seen whether s/he responds is a text message. That’s right. 98% of the text messages sent are read within two minutes*. The customer will have it on their minds, and until s/he deletes that message they will continue to see that message every time s/he opens their messages, which is an average of over 141 times a day! You get the picture. 

So if texting is the *hottest* mailbox - how do we approach it? How do we capture that market? What is that market? 

Often I think - in so many ways - we over think what texting is and should be. There have also been grave concerns over the legal aspects of texting - i.e. opt-in’s, CRM texting vs. personal phones, etc. But when you break down those instances whether it was a text or email there still would have been concerns with legal issues, no? 

That being said, I do offer that it is best practice to use a CRM platform to text your customers. Not only is this a safeguard compliant practice but it also provides the owner analytics behind the usage of texting. In addition to offering the ability to manage what your consultants are saying. It is not about being big brother. I mean, we record inbound phone calls - so why wouldn't we record texts? 

The best way to get started with texting (which I argue that your consultants are already texting using their mobile phones. Just ask.) is to use it as a means of confirming appointments or keeping the customers updated for their services if they’ve already opted in. 

Once you feel like you’ve got a handle on how your store is using texting you can educate, train and implement texting as another facet of communicating with your customers who are looking to purchase a vehicle! 

What are your thoughts on texting? How has texting changed the way your store interacts with customers - whether good, bad or indifferent? 

*please message directly for links to the studies

Chris K Leslie

It's funny you should ask this question. I talk about SMS and business in my latest podcast.


Derrick Woolfson

I will have to check that out, Chris!

I agree with your point, texting definitely doesn't replace the other forms of communication, but it enhances it and gives you another creative way to reach your customer and be on their mind. I had no idea the average person checks their message 141 times per day, that's a lot! 

Mark Rask

You guys are so right.....texting works great for us .....gotta stay compliant though

Derrick Woolfson

@Scott - I know, I wish there was an app that told you how many times you looked at your phone (I should totally patent that idea!) - marketing companies would kill for that kind of data. 

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