How to Use a Pattern-Interrupt Phone Strategy to Sell and Service More Existing Customers Every Month

It’s the eleventh hour. Have you called your existing customers yet to keep them from leaving your dealership? These are customers whose vehicle ownership position makes ripe pickings for creative competitors to snatch from your family. If you see value in maintaining and growing customer retention, you’ll want to prevent this loss from occurring.


Opportunities to keep existing customers are lost by dealerships because:


·         They don’t have mechanisms for creating timely automatic reminders or alerts to notify sales or service staff of specific opportunities to be pursued.


·         They don’t place a high enough value on such opportunities and wait until it’s too late to contact these customers or they contact them in ways that customers find off-putting.


Grab the advantage


To be successful in selling to these customers:


1.       You need to know what the critical points are with your customers.


2.       You need to know about the risk points months earlier or in more advantageous ways than most dealerships utilize.


3.       You need to call the right customer, with the right offer, at the right time.


Dealers that have success with this calling process find the most receptivity with customers in one or more of the following categories:


·         Trade early and often


Source customers whose vehicle equity, mileage, model type, or year might encourage them into a newer model without any money down while retaining a similar monthly payment. Bring trades into your lot as high-quality, one-owner late model, potentially certified units.


·         Lease or finance-end


Start marketing to lease-end or finance-end customers earlier than the finance companies, banks, or other dealers typically do and capture that business while moving your customers into newer models for little payment difference.


·         Avoid high-mileage penalties


Identify customers whose leased vehicle usage shows they will likely incur high mileage cost penalties at termination and offer to move them into another leased or finance vehicle to avoid those penalties.


·         High service


Identify those vehicles that fit certain customer-pay metrics and offer to help avoid those costs in the future by offering re-purchase opportunities.


·         Warranty expiration


Identify warranty-end customers and invite them in to extend their peace of mind through a service contract through your dealership.


A powerful selling strategy


Here’s a paradigm shift—a pattern-interrupt call. Instead of calling to sell something, let the customer know right away that:


·         You’re calling to buy something from them—their existing vehicle. You currently have buyers for that quality trade—would they sell it to you if you could put them into a newer model for about the same monthly payment?


·         You’re calling to help them avoid a costly mistake.Your records show the leased vehicle mileage is going to exceed their contract limit, costing X dollars in penalties. You can eliminate those expenses and move your customer into a newer model for about their current monthly payment.


·         You’re calling to offer assistance. Their factory warranty is expiring soon and you can offer a commensurate vehicle service contract with additional peace of mind for many more years to come.


·         You’re calling to save them frustration.Your records show their aging vehicle has become increasingly costly to maintain properly and you have a fine selection of certified pre-owned units they might want to consider. These include late model vehicles complete with lower miles and the balance of factory warranties or with vehicle service contacts included.


Dealers that use alerts-based data analysis to identify existing customers at critical defection points and then use pattern-interrupt marketing to retain them are:


·         Selling from 5 to 100 additional vehicles every month at improved gross profit.


·         Fulfilling their need for high-quality trades from their own customer base, because dealers pick the year, model, and mileage.


·         Retaining more customers by reselling them first, because you get ahead of other marketers courting them as their contracts end.


·         Increasing service contract penetration—in some cases, up to $80,000 a month.


·         Reducing marketing costs, by contacting their previous customers to drive traffic.


Pattern interrupt calling to the right customers, supported by modern high-impact data analysis technology, can help your dealership sell more units, fill your lot with high-quality pre-owned vehicles you sold originally, sell more parts and service, and even increase F&I penetration.


For more about data analysis and pattern-interrupt strategies to sell and service more cars every month, visit for an informative eBook.


Boyd Warner is CEO of AutoAlert®, Inc. (, the most advanced lead generation solution available on the market today. Contact him at





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