There is a significant difference between calling someone “hot” in the real world, versus someone who is “hot” in the CRM. There is no time a customer is hotter than the moment they walk onto your showroom, or submit a lead, or call your store. That is considered a hot prospect, and those are necessary if you want to keep the lights on.
Rule of Sale: do everything in your power to keep a hot prospect combustible.
Much like a fire, customers start with a spark. That impetus that makes them begin their search for a new car, truck, SUV, or any other product. Maybe it was an advertisement. Or intrigued by a conversation with a friend or family member. A noise in the engine. Something makes people start to think about buying. And the more they research and visualize themselves owning a new vehicle, the more that flame grows. The hotter they become. When they take that leap to send in an Internet lead, call your sales team, or visit your store, they are red hot and your team needs to keep it that way.
Rule of Sale: Fan the flames of their desire for your product
When it comes to a shopper that calls in or emails in, keeping them burning with eagerness is entirely up to the amount of activity you put forth. My guilty pleasure is the show Survivor. Watch how hard some contestants try to start a fire. The work and energy to start it, make it catch, build it up, and keep it going. It’s exhausting… but necessary for survival. There are two primary ways to keep your customers’ fire burning:
- Add wood to the fire
This is where your content marketing can come into play. Every time you send the prospect a value-building email, you’re adding wood to the fire. When you send them a why-buy-from-here email with value propositions, it is adding wood to the fire. You’re providing content fuel to help their fire latch. When you share customer testimonials, video introductions, 3rd-party validation of your product, espouse the virtues of your store through ratings and reviews, or share an evidence manual, you are adding wood to the fire, and their flames will burn hot for you.
If you have a fire going, but you never add any wood to it, what happens? It dies out. If a shopper is hot when they submit a lead, but you don’t follow-up ongoing as you should, their interest in you fizzles out. Someone else who is feeding them information as fuel will steal that flame. At the same time, if you only ever add wood to the fire, and nothing else, you will eventually smother that customer’s fire out. That’s why you need to…
- Stoke the fire
Content marketing and well-crafted value-building emails won’t always win business by themselves. You need to engage with that fire. You must stoke the fire with intuitive questions, calls, and texts. This requires you to face the fire and interact with it. Communicate and understand what is making their fire grow. Every time you call or text a shopper, you’re re-engaging with their heat source. Leaving smart voicemails, asking questions that build momentum, and having conversations to understand their buying timeframe are all ways to stoke their interest and build urgency to grow.
If you make sure to add wood to the fire, and don’t forget to occasionally stoke the fire in an effort to engage with the flame, their interest in the product and you will grow cold. It takes well-crafted marketing messages and emails coupled with calls, texts and videos to fuel them into a wildfire decision. When a customer’s desire reaches a high enough temperature – and the fire within them is uncontrollable – they will make their decision to buy. Customers want to extinguish that flame and feel cool again. They don’t want to be burning with anticipation – they want the day to come where their purchase happens. If you leave them alone, never following up, you’re stamping out their flame for them. They’ll have no reason to buy from you.
Once they do buy from you, your goal is only to keep their fire going for your organization by adding kindling to their fire through ongoing service and stoking them with equity building campaigns and future offers. Never let them feel that you only cared for them back when they were at full flame. Repeat business is what keeps you warm. You’ll want their flame to grow again in the future.
So remember this quintessential Rule of Sale: always keep your customers’ fire burning.