Jean-Laurent Lévesque’s interview : How to Convert Leads Into Clients

Jean-Laurent Lévesque
Vice-President, Sales
How to convert leads into clients?

There are many steps to convert a lead to a customer and they can vary depending on the dealership, the area, the sales process. There’s lots of different ways of converting a lead to a sales to a customer. There’s a few things that you want to remember that are very valuable.

Rule n°1
Stay at the forefront of the customer journey

For one, the consumer that’s online and submitting a lead to you, he may be a month or two away before he’s actually in the purchasing mode. You need to understand that buying a car can be a transaction, but there are some emotions attached to it, involved behind it. You need to be at the forefront of the customer.

I give you an example. Today my car is making a noise. My car just doesn’t feel the same,  whatever it may be, or my needs have changed. I’m fitting in another hockey bag in the trunk and I think that it would be easier if I had an SUV. My needs have changed. I’m going to be driving with that in my mind and I’m going to see a couple SUVs, and I’m going to identify a couple cars that I may like. The first thing I’ll do is go on to the internet, go on to Google, do some research and likely land on your website.

"The experience on your website will influence
the customer to the next level"
"The experience on your website will influence the customer to the next level"

At that point, I’m going to qualify the car and I may send in a question, I may be interested in driving that car, whatever it may be, but I may not actually be able to purchase. I’m in the mindset of information, but I’m not in the I’m ready to make a transaction or I don’t have the urgency or my emotion’s not there, whatever it may be. It’s very important for the dealership to stay in contact with  me because my emotion or my needs will vary in the next several weeks. If I don’t hear from you, then I’m not really feeling the sense of importance, not really feeling valued.

"The customer needs to feel valued"

Now, I don’t want to be annoyed. I don’t want to be called twice a day for a month, but there has to be some touch points with me to keep me engaged and keep you at the forefront so I remember, “That’s right, I need to buy a car.” At one point, I may just be putting a bag in the car and the stick won’t fit, whatever it may be, and I’m going to be back into the emotion. Now, I’m going to remember the interactions that we had. I’m going to remember the experience I had on your website and that will influence me to the next level. Maybe that next level is to, “I’d like to drive that car.” Maybe I’m ready to make that purchase. That’s important that you understand where the customer is in his journey, but the touch points, valuable touch points, without annoying the customer is very important.

Rule n°2
Your customer's expectations are now very high

You have to remember that I have done my research, I have done all my work online. My expectations, when I’m coming into the dealership, are going to be much higher than someone that’s just basically browsing and had no interactions. You have to consider me as a be-back. I would say be back with high expectations.

I expect the car to be ready. I expect the salesperson to know who I am, to understand a little bit about my journey. Where I’m at in my journey. There is a lot of things but so many times all the steps have been taken but then I would present myself or the consumer presents himself into the dealership, but it’s more of, “I’m sorry. Who are you? What are you here to see? Who were you talking to?” I recognize that I’m a person and  there’s lots of people, a little bit less mind you, but walking into these rooms you may not recognize me.

If I gave you my name, “I’m Jean Lévesque. I’ve been on your website. I’ve saved the car in the garage. I may have began a transaction or completed a part of the transaction.” You have to be able to recognize that, validate that and continue with my journey.  My expectations are very high, If you don’t meet that need of mine, you’re losing a little bit of influence.

"Fulfill their needs at the right time to influence them"

That can mean I’m going to think about it further. That can mean I’m not going to buy the car. It could also mean that I’m just going to negotiate a little bit higher because I don’t feel the win. I don’t feel valued.I don’t feel the love if you can say. I’m going to make sure that I end up being the winner here. Negotiations are part of every transaction. but I can tell you negotiations with a good journey and proper influence, is a lot easier than someone that’s had a up and down experience.

"It's all about the quality of
the customer journey experience"
"It's all about the quality of the customer journey experience"