Want More Quality Leads? Start Talking About Finance in Chat

Written By Eric Schlesinger

“Stop wasting so much time on leads that won't close!”

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever screamed internally when you watch your BDC repeatedly follow up with crappy leads, it’s because you know that the quality of your leads determines the quality of your showroom traffic—and if this month’s sales quota will be met.

With today’s shoppers visiting less than 2 dealerships before making a purchase, your digital marketing strategy needs to be optimized for quality lead conversion. But how does your team discern high-funnel leads from ready-to-buy shoppers?

Offering to pre-screen shoppers during chat conversations can help your team close opportunities that are ripe for the picking. But before I explain how, let’s clarify what makes a QUALITY chat lead.

PSA: All Chat Leads are Not the Same

Yes, you can have chat leads with only a first name and email address. But you can also get quality leads from chat—and it's easy for your team to tell the difference. Quality chat leads have rich customer information, like:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Possible trade-in
  • Purchase intent and timeframe

...and other good-to-know information. Now that we’ve established that you can have good and better leads from chat, I will see your quality chat lead and raise you an enhanced chat lead.

Pre-Screen + Chat = Enhanced Lead

Imagine never hearing the words “I’m just browsing” again. When you pre-screen online shoppers in chat, you drive more qualified car buyers to your dealership.

Recently, ActivEngage partnered with 700Credit to offer an innovative approach to soft credit pulls: QualiFi. With just a name, email, and home address, our team can facilitate pre-screens through one of our credit service partners and drive more prequalified customers to your store. And our data shows it's exactly what your customers want.

In a pilot with Sloane Automotive, over 70% of shoppers who converted into a lead agreed to a pre-screen.

These enhanced ActivEngage leads included live FICO scores and auto tradeline information, which is a game-changer for internet leads. Why? Because our expert chat team can have finance conversations through multiple channels, like Facebook Messenger, Craigslist, Google search results, and SMS text. Wherever your customers are looking for cars, we’re there to empower them to buy from you.

Check out a short clip of QualiFi in action below:

Why YOUR Sales Team Will Love Enhanced Leads

Your team benefits the most when you pre-screen shoppers before they set foot in your dealership. It allows your sales team to filter through leads, and work the opportunities with the highest ability to close first (enhanced leads)—which stops them from spending time on every lead hoping everyone they talk to is financially able to buy a car.

Additionally, you could create lead scores based on the financial information received. Dealerships with high lead volumes can use lead scoring to easily prioritize leads and increase lead follow-up efficiency. With this rating system, your sales team can know what vehicles to match to a person before they step foot into the dealership.

Here’s an example: Erica is looking for a 2018 Corolla. But your enhanced chat lead shows her FICO score, and she’s financially able to buy or lease an Avalon. We also know she has always wanted a moonroof from the transcript of the conversation. Your salesperson can have a list of potential vehicles ready to show Erica — and use the rapport from the transcript to close.

Finance Conversations...for Service Customers?

Have you considered what this can do for your Service-to-Sale process? When service customers are coming up on the end of their warranties, chat can help open them up to the possibilities of buying a new car from you.

For example, because ActivEngage integrates with major service scheduling platforms, our team can set appointments in chat (and other channels). With the right customer, we can suggest getting them into a newer car by offering a no-hassle, soft credit pull.

Closing the loop on the customer lifecycle in the aftermarket stage is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Neither does separating okay leads from enhanced leads that get your team excited to sell and boost your ROI. Chat, and specifically chat about finance can turn automotive shoppers into buyers, and buyers into lifetime customers.


Want more qualified car buyers on your lot? Fuller service bays? More ROI from your marketing spend? We can help. Chat with us!


Ready to discover how ActivEngage helps your dealership succeed?