Stopping the Clock is Sinking You

The worst buzz words I have ever heard. EVER. Is “Stopping the clock”.
In the past, I would get a little nauseous, a bit sick.  Now I am flat out angry.
It starts at the top with manufactures, this disease. And spreads to owners, GM’s, Internet Managers and their folds.
What we are doing is indicating that we have made an attempt to contact a customer.
That ends up on some report.  A measure that we are judged on.  In some cases, it is
the one and only thing looked at to determine the health and welfare of our lead handling.
Yep, response time is good. Lets move on……..  YIKES !
We have taken probably the most important opportunity to effectively communicate
with customers and turned it into a knee jerk reaction.  A click of the button, a send
of a lame template.  All to satisfy this evil, sadistic clock.  That like the monster under your bed, is not really there at all.
True, a quick response time increases close ratios.
So we are car folk right ?  Which means we have sought the laziest means to accomplish
this.  In most CRM’s, clicking “made phone call” stops the clock.  There, now we can get
on with the morning biscuit and bullshit.
And then we forget and suddenly after lunch that we really get around to responding.
Pick and choose. I am willing to compromise.  OK ?
A third party lead from Nissan is much different than a true new car lead from the manufacturer or your own website.  If you are going to stop the clock, then do it
on these leads.  Their value is diminished because they are probably a bit stale
a bit haggard and have mold growing on them.
Just sending an email template to stop the clock is not a good idea.
Templates have their place and can be used as a good framework
initially.  Sending a “quick” email is often full of mistakes.  The form fill

is often wrong and what the customer gets is NOT how we want
to represent ourselves.
That first email is the most important email.
It is your best and sometimes the only chance with a customer.
It will set the tone with the customer for what to expect
from you and your communications.  And they decide from that
what value continuing to open your emails are.
A good initial email takes time to put together.  From 8 to 16 minutes.  I often use it as  a script when calling a customer.  I just read them the email.  It acts as a guide and helps make sure I deliver the best info to the customer.  If no answer, I just leave an abbreviated message and send the email.
Crafting a good email takes practice and it is a skill set that most sales people
lack.  But with time and practice they can get better.

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