Having robust listings is a great start in driving buyers down your sales funnel; however, having multiple communication options, and timely responses are essential in leading them down your dealership’s path to purchase. The key to managing these interactions is to anticipate the needs of your buyers. To help you better gauge the needs of your buyers, we surveyed the Equipment Trader audience to identify their communication preferences, needs, and expectations. Here’s what you should know about managing equipment buyers’ communication expectations when buying heavy equipment.
Communication Starts Before They Reach the Dealership
Gone are the days where a consumer starts their search by visiting their nearest dealer. Today’s consumers spend more time researching online, reading reviews on social media and search engines, before reaching out to a dealer. By utilizing all the information available to them, they will begin to answer the questions they have about that unit. One way to do this is by ensuring that your listings are optimized and include plenty of unit details in the listing card to help give them most of the information they need to submit a lead. Always remember, your listing is a form of communication!
Email is The Preferred Method of Communication for Consumers
Today’s buyers deeply value convenience and brevity when shopping, and this is especially evident in their communication habits. We’ve found that 22% of Equipment Trader consumers will call a seller to inquire about a unit, but 51% of consumers said they prefer to use email. While it’s always best to have a diverse range of communication channels to accommodate all customers, you should have someone on your team consistently monitoring any incoming emails. This will ensure you aren’t missing any potential leads.
Consumers Expect a Quick Purchase Experience
Your response time goes a long way in getting consumers further down the sales funnel. The great news is that 76% of survey participants think that dealers provide quick responses on average, based on their prior experiences. To keep meeting this expectation, you’ll want to try and follow up in a timely manner from when the lead is submitted. You can start by assigning members of your sales team to monitor specific channels and setting up a standardized process for responding to leads. Doing this will help set you up for success as 57% of Equipment Trader consumers intend to complete their purchase within a week of hearing back from a dealer.
Communication Is a Competitive Game
It’s important to remember that you are likely not the only dealership a consumer is going to contact on their purchase journey. In fact, our survey revealed that 40% of consumers stated that they would be willing to reach out to four or more dealerships before making a final decision on a purchase. You’ll need to ensure that you are providing top-notch customer service that will retain their interest in purchasing with your dealership, rather than a competing dealer. Set up internal expectations or guidelines for your sales team to adhere by, so communication is consistent throughout your dealership. You can also set up automated responses through email and other communication channels so that consumers know how quickly they can expect to hear back from you.
A Missed Inquiry Isn’t Always a Missed Opportunity
It can be difficult to keep track of every incoming lead that comes into your dealership, through the multiple channels of communication you have open.. Luckily, a missed call won’t always deter buyers. Though 20% of buyers said they would like to hear back from a seller within at least a week, 69% of consumers are willing to contact the seller again if they don’t hear back in the preferred time frame. The best approach is to monitor your communication channels closely, but it’s helpful to remember that you still have a window of opportunity if you happen to miss an incoming lead. Another helpful option is to take advantage of Equipment Trader’s Lead Manager, which stores your buyer interactions, including their contact information, transcripts, and notes from past conversations.
A strong line of communication is critical at every stage of your consumer’s purchase journey. By implementing a solid process for interacting with buyers, you’re able to establish your dealership as a reliable resource for truck buyers and retain them for future purchases. If you’re ready to arm yourself with easy to use communication tools to keep you connected with buyers, make sure to check out Equipment Trader’s buyer engagement offerings to get started.