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Three words that every salesperson hates to hear from a potential customer are these: “I’ll Be Back.” That’s because the average auto dealership sees 75 to 80 percent of floor traffic leave the store without purchasing a vehicle, and 40 percent of those shoppers will buy a vehicle in the next three days from a competitor.
But short of tackling your customers as they head out the door, what can you do to stop this mass defection? Offering an incentive to come back is one method that is proven to work. In a recent six-month long field test with auto dealers, a time-restricted, redeemable gift card was very effective at targeting these prospects and turning them into vehicle buyers. In fact, one Toyota dealership sold ten new Toyotas in the first 10 days on the program in which they offered a gift card for the buyer to return. And overall, dealers who offer an incentive card see 18-20% of prospects return and purchase a vehicle within 10 to 15 days.
Other ideas include following up immediately via phone and/or e-mail with a warm, personalized message. Customers want to feel appreciated and a little extra attention can go a long way.
Salespeople, what do you do when you hear those words, “I’ll Be Back?” What additional best practices have worked for you to get customers back into the dealership?