One of the most valuable assets in the modern-day car dealership is the sales data in your DMS. In mergers and acquisitions, there is often a goodwill payment agreed, the value of which is determined by the quality and quantity of data available, and the value is often substantial.
It stands to reason that the more engaged customers you have at your disposal, the busier and more profitable your business. The transactional data collected through vehicle sales, aftersales, and parts sales activity forms the core of the typical dealership’s targeted marketing activity, having identified those customers as engaged and empathetic towards your business.
Finding new customers is not easy. And it’s expensive!
While other data can be acquired through purchasing customer lists, the accuracy of such information can be of questionable quality and therefore nothing like as valuable as the data in your DMS.
Indeed, the average dealership spends a significant amount of its marketing budget trying to reach new customers by advertising campaign offers and sales events in order to lure customers from other brands. In fact, it typically costs around £150 per vehicle sold in marketing expenditure. If we assume a sales closing rate of 1 in 3 that would assume £50 per enquiry generated.
So how can you get more from marketing budget?
Lost sales data – a hidden treasure
Given the cost of generating new leads, it is essential that you leverage the most from the data already at your disposal. An important source which is too often overlooked is your lost sales data. What happens to the people that don’t buy a car and therefore don’t make it onto your DMS marketing system? In most cases, they sit on the sales system and any future contact sits at the discretion of the Sales Executive. Where the Sales Executive no longer works in the business, they fall into a black hole of inactivity.
Since these prospects made an enquiry and were qualified sufficiently well to have been recorded on the sales system, it would seem sensible to work hard on developing a longer-term relationship with them. The customer may well have chosen a different brand or even your brand from a competitor, but in two to three years’ time, if not earlier, they will be in the market again.
How will you endeavour to contact your lost sale? Probably through another marketing initiative at £50 per enquiry! You already have the qualified prospect’s details, if you aren’t using them, why not?
Look at your lost sales processes
It’s likely that the dealership your lost customer bought from does not stay in touch with them. Imagine the power of the message if the dealership of a competitor works harder at engagement? There are measures you can put in place to ensure that this potentially lucrative source of leads is not forgotten.
– Ensure that all prospective customer contact details are recorded completely and accurately.
– Make sure your Sales Executives understand their responsibility to follow up both their customers and their lost sales prospects.
– Ensure that new starters pick up the responsibility for contacting all of their predecessor’s contacts.
– Check that the above is happening!
Just because you missed the opportunity to sell a prospect a car, do not write them off as non-buyers. Take the long-term view and work to ensure you are the first dealership the customer thinks of when change time comes. That way you can tap into the pool of customers you missed the first time.
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