Why You Don’t Really Need to Acquire New Leads

We all know new leads are important and you always want to keep that pipeline full. But attracting new customers is expensive, and making more money while spending less is something that every business wants to do.


What if I told you that you could save both time and money by nurturing the relationships you already have in your CRM?


Research suggests you should spend only 20% of your time acquiring new leads, and spend the other 80% nurturing your existing relationships.


Mining your CRM for unclosed leads, customers with equity in their vehicles or sold customers who did not convert to service - your biggest profit center - is a huge opportunity to increase profitability while keeping customer acquisition costs down.


These three strategies will help you properly utilize the data and reports in your CRM to profit from the relationships you already have.


Target and market unclosed leads.


Unclosed leads are a reality for every dealer, and success winning business sometimes depends on how you plan to handle them long-term.  To take these opportunities from leads to customers, you have to re-engage them on a regular basis with messages that intrigue them or make them want to take action. Use advanced search functions in your CRM to create a list of every unclosed lead in the last 90 days, then create personal, targeted marketing messages based on where the customer was in the buying cycle when you last engaged.


What good are your email campaigns if no one is reading them? Untargeted email open rates are only in the teens, whereas you’ll get an open rate of around 30 percent if you personalize those messages. Using targeted marketing messaging lowers your costs, increases customer engagement and ensures relevancy so customers open your emails.


Leverage the power of multi-channel marketing by following up with a phone call. If your salespeople don’t have the time to properly execute phone campaigns, engaging an external BDC is a no-brainer. It takes an average of four attempts to get a hold of a customer. Stressed out salespeople will give up after a call or two, but a dedicated BDC will stay the course until the call connects.


Finally, continue to market to customers who opted to buy a car at another dealership or who purchased with you but aren’t using your service center. They are not lost opportunities. Stay in touch with service specials, seasonal tips, holiday greetings, etc. Even though you may have lost one deal, they’ll have automotive needs in the future and you have the opportunity to become their go-to “car guy” just by staying in touch and providing value.


Create an equity mining strategy.


I’ve written about equity mining a lot, and for good reason: it’s a proven way to earn more sales while sourcing the pre-owned vehicles you need.  And these are leads you already have a relationship with inside your database.


When combined with a strong BDC, equity mining delivers an ROI of 10 to 1. In other words, for every $1,000 you spend, you get $10,000 back. Not a bad investment, right?


But like any investment, you must have a solid strategy to succeed. You need to dedicate one salesperson to your equity mining efforts. Have them look for customers in a position of equity, or those coming up on the end of a lease or loan, with a vehicle that your dealership needs. It could be beneficial to also post a used car manager in your service drive to provide immediate vehicle valuations and proof of incentives to trade up.


Set clear parameters for eligible prospects. For example, a customer who hasn’t purchased a vehicle in at least two years, or a customer coming up at the end of a lease. Don’t bark up the wrong tree and call a customer who bought within the last 12 months to encourage a trade-in.


Remember to highlight the benefits of trading up to good prospects , and offer service coupons or other incentives to sweeten the deal.


Get to know your customers better.


Technology has advanced to track a customer’s online behavior and we can now use shopping intelligence to make relevant purchase suggestions. Customers are conditioned to this level of personal engagement from companies like Apple and Amazon, and they now expect it from your dealership.


Flexible CRM tracking technology allows you to maintain a 360-degree view of each customer so you can engage at the right time with the right message to meet their specific needs. When you know what they’re considering buying, you can send them information on that vehicle, as well as additional, similar options before they reach out to competitors.


You can receive alerts within your CRM when the customer performs relevant activity, like researching vehicles on your website or a third-party site. Think of it as digital breadcrumbs that allow you to follow where a customer is in the buying cycle.


All of this data is aggregated in your CRM so you have one centralized location to view and analyze a customer’s profile. These insights enable you to develop a strategy for salespeople to stay in touch at key points with relevant messages. Customers feel more seen, heard, valued, and happier. And you increase your chances of closing deals faster.


To grow your business from within your CRM, remember to target and market unclosed leads, identify and nurture equity mining prospects, and get to know your customers better so you’re there to meet their needs and wants. These three strategies will help you profit from the opportunities and relationships you already have, instead of buying more leads.  


Good selling!

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