There has been a disastrous effect of the pandemic on our businesses resulting in almost 40 million Americans losing their jobs. We are yet to recover from the setback as economic activities are starting to slowly move back to pre-COVID levels. The marketing fraternity needs to stay on top of the massive change in consumer behaviour that has come about because of staying quarantined for extending periods of time. The changes are likely to stay even after the restrictions are lifted.

The direct consequence of the current situation is that consumers who would have potential leads a couple of months back, may not be today. However, there is every chance of that lead becoming available once the restrictions are slowly lifted. Those who are postponing the purchase of a new car may end up buying it in the foreseeable future while some could be dropping the idea entirely. This is where the sales teams need to cater to consumer needs and align their strategies to their plan of action. They need to come up with offers that can generate response sooner than later.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR MARKET

In dealers’ businesses across the country, there has always been a significant amount of variety, but the disparity in infection rates and various policy responses to COVID-19 have created even more disparities between what challenges dealers face and what options they have to tackle those challenges.

For example, an urban dealer with over 45,000 cases confirmed and an unemployment rate of over 21% in Michigan will have to formulate a different strategy as opposed to Montana where there are less than 500 recorded cases and where 20 of the 56 provinces of the state do not have a diagnosed infection reported. The two dealers cannot and should not communicate with a new sales lead in the same fashion.

TWEAK YOUR STRATEGIES AND PROTECT YOUR LEADS

Your marketing and sales efforts should not assume that what was accurate about the prospects of your dealership two months ago is still true today, or that their present problems in the long term are disqualifying. Three to six months of unemployment or underemployment will affect even households that get back to work.

For instance, a new car sales lead could suddenly become a pre-owned sales lead. With economic uncertainty looming, the abundance of de-fleeted used vehicles on the market and the disruption of OEMs’ production of new vehicles, many customers could opt to buy pre-owned rather than new ones. For a consistent dealership-customer experience, this will entail a smooth moving of those prospects between new and used sales teams by your car dealership.

Another way to tailor your sales cycle is to allow the sales teams to think more about where their opportunities fit into the greater recovery, and not spend time on car sales leads that have unexpectedly become ice-cold.

In general, states that have reduced economic activity are preparing to resume on an industry-by-industry basis for public health purposes, which means that employees in certain sectors will normally wait longer than others to return to work. A new car sales lead employed in the travel industry, an airline or a concert venue is more likely to covert than anyone in road building, agriculture or other businesses when it comes to postponing their purchasing plans.

The quantity of quality auto sales leads may theoretically decrease in the coming weeks, which means that it is more necessary than ever for auto dealers to make the most of any precious sales lead. This includes embracing a lead generation strategy that is data-driven approach and continuing to use these consumer insights to cultivate leads and deliver a highly personalized customer experience.