Since we wrote: HOW TO RE-ADJUST YOUR SALES PROCESS TO NAVIGATE COVID-19 the support for the article came in thick and fast (thank you, it means a lot). We wrote it because we care, there was no agenda.

Since Coronaviris hit, we’ve re-purposed our entire team towards supporting car dealers. It’s not important to us if you’re a customer of ours or not – it’s time to stick together.

This article covers:

  • Current car buying behaviour.
  • What behaviour we’re seeing in our global advertising accounts, with focus on the UK market (PPC & Website Analytics).
  • What people are saying at dealership level.
  • What the experts think you should do to navigate the storm.

Key takeaways that this article unpacks:

  • There are strong numbers out there, with a kinda ‘season effect’ fluctuation.
  • Day time leads are ridiculously up. Dealers generally arent handling it well.
  • Change the way your team works temporarily for big wins in the sales process. If you don’t you’ll likely struggle.
  • Response times are key.

Perhaps less talked about openly, is that rather unfortunately, we’ve had conversations with customers and friends alike that are obviously very concerned for the future.

That’s been hard to take – we’ve hated seeing the people we care about so much, feeling the way some of them are right now. Some are working so hard to adapt.

We’re blessed with a wonderful, skilled automotive team at Armchair Marketing, and frankly, many of them could get jobs anywhere – they don’t need to work overtime.

It took just a single 5 minute meeting for us to decide that it’s time to over-deliver to our customers, scrap the holidays and work non-stop, for as long as it takes.

Without any hesitation, the entire team agreed to work around the clock. Our advertising team have been handling double the workload.

We’re not going to charge our clients a penny more. They will, however, lavish us with cake when this is all over. Lots of cake. All the cake. 🍰

Our technical development teams and our administration roles have agreed to be re-purposed into providing maximum support to our client work. And anyone in our industry that’s feeling uneasy, customer or not; can call us for a steer – even if it’s just a chat to boost morale. Just call us. 01604 879657.

It sure is positive out there (in the main), so keep ya chin up!

We’re working longer and harder to understand the advertising data, and adapt our clients advertising accounts accordingly. It’s been a lot of late nights and quite a lot of coffee – but the good news is, that there’s a really positive vibe out there, depending on who you hang with.

Weirdly, we’re producing really strong numbers (it’s quite interesting that a crisis can bring a fortune in some cases).

The overall picture? Some sections are killing it (car finance in particular). Some sections seeing a drop that resembles what happens in the analytics when you get a ‘warm day’ in the UK. In the advertising accounts, we’re responsible for, there’s currently no great shockers.

Some of our clients have been really well-positioned for this. We’ve been busy over-analysing every dial, and re-optimising settings to stem the flow we think might be coming, and in some sections, we’re adding more adverts, because we can see knock on growth effects.

Dealers should do the same. Optimise everything. You end up where you set your navigation.

We’re seeing some strange coming and goings for sure – it’s more important than ever to have the right people working on your advertising account. We’ve had to pull a lot of science out of that bag these last few weeks – a lot of number crunching and forecasting. 🤓

First up, here are some quick facts.

  1. Across all PPC accounts, and across all Google Analytics accounts, we’re seeing small drops – but we’ve seen worse for unexpected heatwaves.
  2. There’s been a small decline in leads overall – but daytime leads are up 50%
  3. We’ve spoken with call tracking partners, and they’ve seen a small drop in enquiries – but Calldrip points out: there’s a huge change in daytime behaviour that’s revealing huge process weakness if dealers don’t adjust their management procedures.

Daytime behaviour has peaked – but dealers aren’t responding.

This morning, Calldrip released data that showed that many dealers have actually seen a significant increase in ‘in-hours’ phone calls. However, the results show some dealers aren’t always answering the phones.

There’s been a small decline in overall leads – but daytime leads are up 50%

Remember, your customers are now at home with more free time during the day.

Calldrip recommends dealers look at improving their response times and connection rates for phone call enquiries – this feels like a great area to focus on in the current climate.

See Allistair’s post here

Focus on response times. It’s proving CRITICAL.

Every single enquiry matters more than ever right now. The truth is, the longer it takes for you to respond to a lead, the less likely it is that you’ll actually win their business.

Allistair Carmichael – Calldrip on the latest episode of The Armchair Show.

Lee Manning, Co-founder of Armchair Marketing & The Armchair Show (The automotive Youtube show) said:

“Go back and look at every single process point that leads to a sale and dedicate your team to improving them one by one.”

Ensure the people responsible for answering the phone are free of distractions. Remove all unnecessary jobs.

Change the way your team works, become temporarily 100% dedicated to delivering the best possible customer experience over the phone.

Be first, be fast and get them in. No distractions – you can tidy the forecourt when the situation has all died down.

We know that it might not be the most efficient way to operate, dedicating so much time to waiting for the phone to ring – but the data from Calldrip suggests this may be the best way to win in the current climate.

Remain focussed on in-bound calls, but don’t neglect your customer database.

Use this time to build better relationships with prospects, a good place to start is with customers near the end of their finance repayments – try customers that purchased from you 3-4 years ago.

Aftersales sells: For many dealerships 50% of revenue comes from aftersales.

Usually, repair work is at the bottom of a customers to-do lists, but right now they’re sitting at home with nothing to do, so it’s the ideal time to contact them. All you need is a driver to pick-up and drop-off their car.

Use your customer database to pinpoint customers that are due a service or MOT in the next 4 weeks.


What else are people saying?

Chris Ashton-Green says that Regit has seen a similar spike in the last couple of days.

Lawgistics says “make sure your terms and conditions include a ‘Distance Selling cancellation clause’ or you may find yourself giving your customers the right to hand their keys back for up to a year after delivery!”

Finally, keep doing what you do best.

In challenging times you have to do what feels right, because there is no right or wrong. What’s right today, may well be different tomorrow. Most of all, no matter what; just be kind.

It’s great to see so many of you still doing such a great job 🙌