Appointment-Driven Communications – Part 10
TRANSCRIPT: All of our ‘what’ must be quality, right? All of our emails and all of our voicemails have to be quality activities because we need to understand the ‘what’. What is the goal of the email? It’s to drive a phone call. What is the goal of the voicemail? It’s to drive a phone call.
The activities that we do, these emails and voicemails have to be high quality, so, let’s start with your emails. Why don’t we remove all of the pictures, all of the beautiful headers we put on all of our emails in automotive? Our goal is not to show a terrific store. Our goal is not to make the email look like an advertising piece. Our goal, in our emails, is to drive a phone call, right? So, let’s do text based emails that look like something we typed this morning to the prospect. Now, most of our emails, fully more than 90%, maybe even 95% of the emails that go out should be automated. They should still look personal but they should be automated. You shouldn’t be typing all these emails. Remember, we talked about what working looks like in an appointment culture and that is being on the phone, not typing.
So, let’s remove the pictures. Let’s make it look like a text based email. Now, let’s also remove links. Why do you have a link to your inventory in an email response to someone inquiring about a new car? Remember, what we talked about? We’re going to treat each lead like an order. If someone truly ordered, say, a brand new Tundra, would you send them a link to your inventory? No, why would you? They’ve ordered the car, right? Now, we just need to find out when they can come in and pick it up. So, let’s remove the link to our inventory, okay? We’re going to treat every lead like it’s an order. Every email lead that comes in, we’re going to treat it like an order. We are just going to send them information, a little information, about that vehicle, but we’re going to try to get them on the phone. That’s the goal of the appointment. Let’s remove the link to our inventory.
What about the link to our ‘specials’ page? Lots of you have links to your specials pages in the emails you send out to people who inquire about a specific vehicle. That is absolutely asinine. It doesn’t make any sense. Again, the customer inquired about a specific vehicle and, now, we’re going to show them something cheaper? They asked about one vehicle. Our goal is not to confuse them.
Only about 31% of people who go online to look at cars ever get to the dealers website, right? So, most people who submit you leads probably haven’t been to your website, yet. Sending them a link to your specials page just takes them off the vehicle they were on. Let’s say I inquire about a five year old Nissan Exterra that you have in stock and part of your email back to me says, “Hey, be sure to check out our specials”. Maybe I saw your car on autotrader.com and didn’t even know you had these other specials. Then I click on your specials, and I see “Wow, look at this Scion XB. It looks pretty cool. And look at this Honda CRV, and, gosh, maybe I should research those models as well”. See, you’ve made me car drunk. You’ve got me confused, because you sent me links to your inventory; you’ve sent me links to your specials, and none of those makes sense because I ordered the car, right?
Keep me on track. Keep yourself on track. Remember, the goal of your emails is to drive a phone call. How about the links to ‘parts and service’ pages. That’s probably more asinine than the links to your ‘specials’ pages. Some of you have them in your emails. I inquire about a car. I’ve never done business with you. Why would you send me a link to your parts and service pages? It doesn’t make any sense. How about your hours and directions? You guys either put links to your hours and directions or you’ll actually put hours and directions in your emails. “Well, Steve, we want people to know how late we’re open”. No, we don’t. We need them to set an appointment. We need them to call us. If I give them all the information they need, for example, my hours, they don’t need to call me. So, I send them an email back; it’s got my hours in it or it has a link to my hours and directions in it so they can just show up at my dealership. “Wait, Steve, isn’t that what we want”? No, it’s not what we want because we can only close them 20% of the time.
Once someone has connected with me, I only have one goal, right? The email goal is to drive a phone call. Once I get them on the phone, I have one goal, right? What is it? It’s to get an appointment that shows. I can’t have them be a traditional Up because I can only close them 20% of the time, but, also, it’s better for them. It’s better for the consumer if they’ll make a stinking appointment with us. We’ll close them in 90 minutes, they’ll be in our dealership for 90 minutes instead of four hours; they’re going to get a VIP treatment. Fact of the matter is, appointments are better for everybody.
We need to reduce the length of our emails. For most dealers, they are too long. You are writing schoolbooks and talking about stuff that is not important. You are building your value proposition; you’re trying to build rapport in emails. You need to stop it. We need to get right to the point and we need to, just, simply ask for the phone call, right? We need a single call to action in an email and that single call to action is, always, “Call me at…here’s my number”. It’s not, “Call or reply to this email”. It’s not, “Call, reply to this email or stop by to say, ‘hi’”. We don’t need them to stop by and say ‘hi’. We don’t want them to stop by and say ‘hi’, because if they stop by and say ‘hi’, we’re going to close them at 20 % of the time.
And, finally, you should have this ability with any CRM tool in automotive today: you need to measure and you need to delete your non-performing emails. “Steve, how can I tell if an email is not performing?” What’s the goal of the email? That’s right; to drive a phone call. So, if I have a ten day email in my internet sales process and I start to measure and realize no one ever called from that ten day email, guess what? That’s a non-performing email. The email has one goal and that’s to drive a phone call. That’s how we’re going to get rid of non-performing emails.