How to Track Consumer Behavior and Leverage What You Learn

If your dealership is able to take advantage of the right tools, you can easily tell which consumers are in the car-buying market and what vehicles they’re searching for. This knowledge, however, means your employees’ approach is key in making sure they attract potential customers instead of scaring them off. 

Why Your Approach Could Turn Consumers Off

Many consumers don’t know why, but they do know that every time they reach out, their phone blows up with sales calls or they start receiving emails containing information about exactly the products they’ve been looking for—even though they haven’t communicated that information directly to you. Since your dealership may be able to gain insight into the consumer journey without individual shoppers handing the specifics to you, it’s important to approach the situation correctly and delicately in order to bring potential customers to your dealership instead of sending them running in the opposite direction. In order to approach your target consumers in a strategic manner, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Check for social network connections. If someone at your dealership or a friend of a friend knows the consumer you’re targeting, make that connection. Get in contact with your connection and use that contact to reach out to your consumer target, referencing your mutual connection.

Check for previous business. If your consumer target has visited the dealership for service, send a message with a deal for the service previously received along with a subtle image of sales or deals on several vehicles—one of which includes the vehicle he or she is interested in. If the consumer target previously bought a car through your dealership, simply check in and offer up potential monthly payment price differences that would make a different vehicle a possibility.

Send a generic email. Don’t be pushy or too straightforward, but instead, if there are no social connections or previous business deals between your dealership and the target consumer, try a generic email for an event or current deals that may reference and include vehicles of interest to the consumer. By creating a generic email or list of vehicles, it’s not obvious you know exactly what consumers have been searching, and they won’t be overly cautious about how you acquired the information when they didn’t provide it to you.

Avoid over-calling. Generally, the last thing modern consumers want to deal with is a call from someone trying to sell them something. They’d rather offer up an excuse and cut ties afterwards, which is bad for your dealership. Finding other creative, noninvasive ways to get in touch and plant the seed is a much more profitable path for dealerships to pursue if they are looking to gain a customer or bring back a previous customer in today’s market.

When you’re executing a creative approach to obtaining consumer information that hasn’t been specifically handed over to you, it’s much easier to get a positive and interested response when you avoid coming on too strong. You’ll end up scaring off consumers when they have no clue how you obtained, for example, the exact make, model, and year of the vehicles they’re looking to purchase.

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