It should come as no surprise that prospecting is a necessary evil in the automotive industry. Prospecting has become smarter, more accurate, and more accessible as more technology and communication channels continue to develop. The question is no longer why dealers should prospect, instead, it is how and where they should prospect. In a culture of immediacy, prospecting requires a constant understanding of what consumers want, expect, and need. Today, prospecting needs to be data-driven and data-based in order to provide instant and actionable insights into consumer purchasing behaviors.
Dealerships have a continually changing availability for growing their revenue and market share. The preferred method is for a consumer to buy into the dealership’s brand with a new vehicle purchase and to continue the purchase cycle into the service lane. However, this isn’t always the case; often times, the source for a new service lead can provide less than a few hundred customers a month. What dealerships need is a consistent method for generating and retaining prospects throughout the purchase cycle.
The largest area for opportunity lies within intelligently targeting consumers who already live in the dealer’s primary market area and who drive the targeted vehicle make that the dealership services. Dealerships have a large pool of data at their disposal in their DMS, and with their manufacturer, but it’s not the sole source to look to for prospects. Consumers who buy and sell privately, buy used third-party, or who move into the dealer’s primary marketing area (PMA) are all big opportunities that are often overlooked.
GSM’s purchased list prospecting technology provides dealers with the tools necessary for accurately targeting prospects and expanding beyond their PMA. Customers can be pinpointed within a particular mile radius, by vehicle mileage, model year, and by individual model. With multiple purchase list selections, and zip code suppression and identification, reaching unique prospects is guaranteed without double-paying for names.
Data is acquired by overlapping circles around your dealership. Armed with this data, you can select by vehicle purchase date to identify the most sought after used cars for trade-ins. For more accurate targeting, you can suppress against your existing client base and RO history. This data can be applied to target on a consistent calendar, for one offs, and digital variable print. With purchased list prospecting, you will expand beyond your manufacturer provided reminder program by attracting new clients.
Reaching these customer segments is key in a strong prospecting strategy, but when you combine these segments with the dealer’s own data of customers who haven’t serviced in over 25 months, you create a target-rich marketing strategy. This type of targeted marketing needs to have precise language, clearly communicated benefits, and an aggressive service offer to entice the consumers to respond. Using this strategy can yield a 2-3% response rate.1 With this response rate from formerly lost, or new customers, lies the opportunity to establish a relationship with long-term returning revenue.
1 GSM prospect segmentation data