Texting can be a great way to supplement how you’re communicating with clients! Did you know there are over 400 billion text messages exchanged world wide monthly? Think about that, 400 billion. So let’s talk about how we can use texting as another tool to reach our clients. It’s incredibly effective when used correctly.
According to a recent Gallup poll, “sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication for American adults under 50.” The preference for text communication is a reality that won’t go away anytime soon and when used properly, can help you with your show rate to the dealership.
Text messaging is instant communication, rather than email which is less urgent. Rather than a phone call, people are actually able to respond to text messages in close to real time at their convenience.
Think about it, when you get a notification for a text, you’ve been programmed to immediately view and respond, whereas an email can accumulate in a person’s inbox for days and oftentimes your calls get sent to voicemail if you’re not timing them correctly. According to Mobile Marketing Watch, “98% of all text messages are opened compared to 22% of emails.” A separate study found nine in 10 texts are read within three minutes of delivery. Wouldn’t you like that kind of attention from your prospects and customers?
Factors for success include:
1) Use text messages at the right time in your communication
Timing is everything. In most instances, texting someone does not replace calling them. We say most and not all because it is acceptable to only text someone for something as simple as confirming an appointment. For most other occasions though, it’s in addition to. It’s one more thing that we can do to build rapport while keeping in touch.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the point at which you connect with a prospect via text impacts conversion. Research from Velocify shows sending text messages to a prospect before connecting with them on the phone decreases the likelihood you’ll ever connect by almost 40%. However, if you first speak with them over the phone and then follow up with a text you can expect to convert at twice the rate of an average prospect.
Texts can be effective for:
– Appointment confirmation
– Phone call follow up
– Answering a question they asked earlier
– Sending them a resource you discussed
– Post sales note
2) Keep it short and sweet
The key to success with text messaging is brevity. Keep your texts to 160 characters or less which is about 2-3 sentences, max. Any more and they’ll be broken down into multiple messages of 153 characters and your chances of losing the customer increase. Save the longer communications for your email correspondence.
3) Be professional
Make sure that you’re clear, concise and courteous but don’t be afraid to add a personal touch. Your style of communication can vary depending on the level of rapport you have with the client but always maintain a level of professionalism. Let’s say a client just came in, spent 2 hours with you and didn’t buy. After they leave, you text them, “Katie, thanks for coming in! It was great meeting you tonight – John Smith.” It adds a personal touch, something to separate you from just being ‘that salesperson’. The better the client likes us and the more effort we put into gaining their trust and friendship, the more likely they are to buy from us.
4) Send video texts
It has been found that people retain 95% of a message when they watch it in video compared to 10% when reading in in text. That makes sense since it’s a more immersive experience. The use of video allows you to communicate tone, body language and helps put a face to the name. What’s more, this is a great way for you to really stand out and differentiate yourself with a prospect or client. Creating a video text only takes a minute and you can easily do it on your smartphone from virtually anywhere.
5) Always ask permission before sending text
Regulations are always changing so it’s important that you check with the Federal Communication Commission FCC and the guidelines set forth by the Mobile Marketing Association to make sure that you’re compliant. Fines can be steep if you’re not doing this properly, so be sure you’ve asked the client for permission and always include opt-out instructions in your first message.
Also, it is strongly recommended that you send text messages out through the CRM and not using private cell phones. That way your dealership will be able to track the information to provide the customer the best experience and ensure that your staff is compliant.
By integrating text messaging into your communication strategy, you’re ensuring that you have your client’s attention at the right time which in turn, will increase the likelihood of their purchase and their response rate.
Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions can help your sales team convert more opportunities to the showroom. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-996-4665 to learn how we can help your dealership become more successful.