Sharing one inside secret, how to understand auto transport lead generation
How to avoid dozens of annoying, high pressure calls
This afternoon as I was meditating on a topic for our next newsletter the phone rang. Like most other calls this one was a prospect that wanted an auto transport quote for his new car purchased cross-country.
He explained to me that he had done a search online using Google. The search was for nationwide auto transport. This being his first experience purchasing a car online he was leery enough. His next challenge was the task of figuring out how to get his car from California to northern Illinois.
The search turned up thousands of sites related to auto transport and he quickly became overwhelmed. Clicking on one of the links toward the top of page one he thought his troubles were over. The page told him to rest assured, completing your personal auto transport information here will save you time and effort, one form, ten competitive quotes and you are finished.
What the prospect did not know is that was only the beginning of his education in auto transport, lead generation and lead generation sites. Let me explain, using this nationwide auto transport transaction to share with you how this works.
Slick website seems simple enough
What the man experienced is what most people do in auto transport. The thinking behind these websites is to mask over the fact that they are neither auto transport brokers nor carriers. Rather, these websites are in existence for the sole purpose of generating leads to sell to auto transport brokers.
Now, the customer does not know this. With so much information available, out there on the worldwide web, it can be and most often is very overwhelming. No wonder a person chooses the first one they come to and suffer the consequences later.
The lead generation sites owner knows what they are doing using keywords and pay-per-click advertising to draw in the prospects. During peak shipping season one single site can generate anywhere from 10,000 to hundreds of thousands of leads per day.
As many as twenty auto transport brokers purchase each lead. The cost per lead varies. Oftentimes they sell in a package, for as little as $1.00 per lead. I am good at math, but you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how much money these lead generation sites are making for their owners.
The problem is the sheer numbers of auto transport brokers purchasing these leads. It creates several problems one of which is the massive number of brokers calling the prospective customer. There is no time for them to research each company that has provided them a quote.
This customer told me that not ALL of the brokers that called him did not promote what they could do for him. Instead, they insulted, bashed and demoralized their competitors. He was not impressed. No one focused on helping him achieve his goal of getting his new car home.
Auto Transport Reviews
His next step was to visit the auto transport review board. In his research he found some holes in what others had said. Several of the companies appeared to be the same company, located at the same address.
Many of those companies had negative reviews written by their customers. Now, he was starting to panic. How was he ever going to find a reputable company to help him ship his car?
After checking each company and their reputation with their customers on the review board, he decided it was time to return to Google and start his search anew.
Top search not always the best
Continuing his search online, he almost gave up and just closed his eyes, pointed at the page and clicked to place the order. Instead, his instinct told him to push on, read just one more page.
Finally, as the page refreshed something caught his eye. It was a name; a personal name; it was my name mentioning something about customer service in auto transport. Page ten of Google had a link to an article I had written many months ago.
Within the first two paragraphs, he knew that his search was over. He found something in common with me; we both are ex-bankers. Maybe there is a code or something, I do not know. All I know is that we made a connection. His headache was over.
Trashing all of the other quotes he had received he called our office. After introducing himself, he poured out his heart. He shared his plight with me. What he had gone through to get to me was crazy.
He struggled to understand how any business could launch an all out attack on another company just for providing a free quote. Our customer said he felt like a number, not a person. He did not understand why after filling out only one form he received twenty plus phone calls.
Relationships take time, make for life long customers
After listening to our customer's story, I empathized with him. Taking the time to explain how the lead generation sites work helped him to feel better. It was not necessary to go into great detail; a general explanation was all.
We laughed about his frustration, we discussed his nationwide auto transport and gathered some additional information we needed to do our research. His whole demeanor changed in the fifteen minutes we talked on the phone and he felt better, too.
I explained the reason for writing the article was due to my frustration with the industry, too. Expressing my desire to serve my clients, the way I would want someone to serve me gave him a look into the person behind the phone. We connected on so many levels; he was not just a number, not just another auto transport customer.
Asking permission to call him back with exact details and a verified quote, we ended the call with a giggle and goodbye. Immediately calling one of our preferred carriers, I was able to get a firm rate and a pick up date for my customer.
Within ten minutes of our initial call ending, I was able to call him back. Our carrier's rate was below our estimated quote and we were able to pass that savings on to him.
Therefore, from beginning to end, our conversation lasted about thirty minutes, give or take a minute or two. We provided our customer with a fair market rate, a guaranteed pick up date with a delivery date, too.
Not only do we now have a new customer, but a new friend who will return to use our services repeatedly. Our philosophy has always been to build our value up. To highlight how we can serve our clients, not tear anyone else down.
That builds relationships with trust and honor in a world of less than honorable auto transport, lead generation.
Join us won't you? We need your help to spread the word about these lessons. If you have learned anything at all from our story, send a tweet to your Twitter friends; drop a short post to your Facebook friends. You can bet they will enjoy and learn right beside you
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner