There are some very interesting things happening in dealership showrooms right now. The days waiting for Ups while reading the newspaper and drinking coffee are over. They’re so over, we need a new word for over!
I recently pointed out a case study with Donna Harris at Automotive News about a dealer I know who paid good money for 90 high-quality leads from Social Media and not one of them was followed up on. That’s right, it wasn’t that none of them turned into sales, it’s that none of the leads were even contacted! Dealerships need to have air-tight systems in place for follow up on leads from Social Media. On the Social Web, your potential customer expects you to be listening. They’re waiting for your reply now, not later.
My case study stirred some debate in the comments section of the article. It’s clear to me that salespeople are frustrated too. One commenter said I should, “Work the desk and see how hard it is.” His point was that not all leads turn into sales and I totally agree! I’ve worked the desk and we all know it’s a numbers game. We work as hard as we can to convert each customer. The issue pointed out in my case study was that the leads had never been contacted and I think most every sales manager out there would agree that’s not acceptable. In fact, I ran the scenario past one of my client’s sales managers, Robert, and his reaction was, “When my people don’t follow up on leads, I know there’s something wrong and we address it immediately. We have a lot invested in those leads.”
Social Media Leads start from a conversation. One recent Facebook comment said, “I NEED A CAR. Do you guys sell Used?” Once your customer reaches out to you on a Social Network like this, you must respond quickly or the deal goes to someone else. Conversions on Social Media require a shift in technique: participate in the conversation.
Once you have fans on Social Media, it’s time to expand your interaction with them. Give them a reason to opt-in with their email and phone number. The more points of contact you have with each fan, the more likely they’ll be to convert into something more.
Listen, monitor and respond. Social Media done right is a conversion machine. The conversation is happening, with or without you.