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How to Turn Bad Leads Into Good Ones

In life and business, so much of what we accomplish is dependent on our mindset, and there exist so many opportunities that can being capitalized on in our industry. If your lead management process is still stuck in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, you’re climbing an uphill battle. As Bob Dylan so famously sang, “For the times, they are a-changin’.”

Let’s dig a little deeper shall we?

Google’s “2018 Think Auto” study found the average car buyer spent 62 days “shopping” before they made a purchase decision. That equals roughly 35 days “thinking,” 17 days “researching,” and 10 days “buying”. Unfortunately, we still see many dealers who’s “lead management” process is designed as if everyone is between days 53 and 62. 

On Social, a lead will likely see your ad 3 – 5 times before they make an action or click. Once they engage, they have to take the time to manually type the year, make, model and mileage of their current vehicle in addition to having to provide their contact number and email address. This perhaps painful or time consuming manual entry can quickly turn an interested prospective client, uninterested.

Moreover, the reality is that not all your inquiries will be ready to make a deal immediately. Not only do you have to be prepared to nurture a prospect, your responses should be timely and informative. As prospective clients, they are looking to you to give them valuable information. If they have to fight to get information from you, and the competition provides valuable timely, and pain free answers to their questions, who has the upper hand? The store with the old school mentality of, “Book an appointment and don’t give them anything until they come in store” is not necessarily the best way to attract leads and will likely turn your perhaps promising lead into a “bad quality lead.”

Remember, your prospect may only be on day 31 on their road to purchase. If you can’t sell them a car today, wouldn’t it be nice to still be in the mix next month when they are ready? Regardless of what stage a prospect is in on their road to purchase, if they engage with your store and then disengage, they are not “bad leads.” More likely is that perhaps the lead did not follow through because of the time consuming manual entry process, or maybe they were looking for better, more thorough answers, which they received elsewhere.

These are just two of the many examples that may cause a lead to fall off and take action with a competitor. The leads themselves are not necessarily to be blamed for their actions; behind their decisions likely lie a multitude of answers as to why they disengaged and why they did not complete the customer journey with you. If you think for a moment that a prospect is a bad lead, try to understand the psychology behind their customer journey! Looking at what you can do to improve can take your leads management process to new heights.


By Scott Wain, Shift Marketing General Manager

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