In the world of car sales, follow up skills are what separate the highest performers from the rest of the pack

How many of your dealership sales meetings have begun with you shouting, “Team—you have to do better car sales follow up! Too many deals slipped through the cracks this week!”?

Your reaction is understandable; it’s incredibly frustrating to watch your salespeople throw money away. You cannot, however, scold them regularly and not provide any solutions. Instead of starting your sales meeting the same exact way next week, considering offering them a few car sales follow up techniques that may make their lives easier.

If you have customers or prospects that have opted-in to receive text messages or emails, these two forms of communication can be quite effective in following up. Customers can’t hang up, refuse to pick up, or send your salespeople to voicemail. Many of your customers also prefer to receive a text message or email, versus getting a phone call.

There are six common types of car sales follow up situations, and they aren’t created equal. Every follow up is different, so adapt your email and text follow up techniques to each scenario.

  1. Same-day unsold
  2. 24-hour unsold
  3. Ongoing unsold
  4. Management review
  5. Sold
  6. Ongoing sold
car sales follow up

Car sales follow up techniques to move deals forward and nurture relationships

Share these techniques with your sales team—they’re written in a way that speaks directly to them, so you can print them right out, or adapt them to your voice.

1. Be conscious of the platform you’re using to communicate

Are you a bit long-winded in person? That form of communicating isn’t going translate well to email, and certainly not to text. You only have seconds to get—and keep—the attention of the person you’re trying to engage. Keep messages short, but impactful. You’ll be amazed by how much you can say in very few words. Bonus tip: Before you hit “send” on a text or email, ask yourself—and be honest— “Would I take the time to read this whole message?”

2. Look at the time 

When you’re trying to make a sale, it’s easy to lose track of time. You need to be aware, though, especially before sending text messages. Unless a customer has initiated a text with you or specifically asked you to text them later, try to keep texting hours professional and between 9 am – 5 pm. Email is a bit more flexible, as the customer likely won’t get an intrusive notification while they’re sleeping or busy.

3. Impress customers with your emoji game

As emojis become mainstream, it’s more common to find companies using them strategically in different forms of communication. For example, adding an emoji or two to your car sales follow up email subject line could make your message stand out in a customer’s inbox. An emoji in the text could help humanize your message and make it seem less unappealing or “salesy” to the recipient. Use discretion, though. There’s a fine line between an occasional smiley face or car emoji and a creepy winking face or heart emoji.

4. You don’t have to choose just one

If you’re dealing with a same-day unsold or a 24-hour unsold, text is probably your best first option since you know time is of the essence. If you don’t get a response, though, don’t write the customer off completely—just switch tactics. Try a gentler approach and reach out via email. You’ll be able to say a bit more (but not too much—refer to tip #1) and possibly succeed in reeling the customer back in.

5. Take advantage of sharing media 

Text and email can be much more efficient car sales follow up tools when you have photos or videos you can share with a customer. For example, which scenario do you think has a better chance of converting?

a) Phone call: “I know you were really hoping for a light blue Hyundai Elantra when you were in a couple of days ago, and we didn’t have one in our inventory at the time. If you haven’t found a new car yet, I wanted to let you know that a great blue Elantra just came in this morning, but it might be a little darker blue than you were looking for. Do you have time to come look at it?”
b) Text or email: “I know you were hoping for a light blue Hyundai Elantra when you were in a couple of days ago and we didn’t have one in our inventory at the time. If you haven’t found a new car yet, I wanted to let you know that a great blue Elantra just came in this morning, but it might be a little darker blue than you were looking for. Would you like me to send you a picture?”

Yes, it would be great to get the customer down to the dealership, but when it comes to something like seeing a color, text or email can make you seem more helpful and aware of not wasting the customer’s time.

With so many ways to get in touch with customers and prospects, your salespeople must possess a certain degree of common sense, as well as listening and observation skills. There are best practices, but then there are unique situations, as well as respecting how customers say they wish to be contacted.

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