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Embrace the modern conversation — texting

Neil Pascale, Columnist
May 14, 2014
Filed under Columns

It’s a mobile world. Your smartphone buzzes and blips to life, and then text happens.

The first text: “Hi Dad, mom is wondering when was the last time you put oil in the car?”

My response: “Uhh …”

“Mom just said something about ‘doghouse’ — I didn’t catch all of it.”

“Oh boy.”

Mobile is communication. If you don’t fully engage with the former, you’re not accomplishing the latter.

Text happens. Text happens now. The phone? Let it ring. Email? Let it sit in the inbox for awhile longer. Text happens now.

“Dad, we’re down 51-50. 50 seconds left.”

“Whose ball?”

“Theirs.”

“Well? 50 seconds was 50 seconds ago!!”

“It’s tied! Anita just hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left.”

Text is life, meaning it’s as entertaining as you choose to make it.

“Dad, I will be ready at 5:15. Pick me up outside, in front of the gym …. Actually, 5:10.”

“Not available until 5:11. Sorry.”

“Butt — just get here!”

Text is life, meaning it’s happening now and in conversations. It can be casual. It can be personal. And through it, you can accomplish a lot in a very little time.

Now think about that: Casual, personal, time-sensitive, results-oriented. Can you think of four better adjectives to summarize a successful sales conversation? The funny thing is so many of us view a successful sales conversation as a phone call rather than a text.

A text? No, no, I’m told. We want our sales guys calling customers, not texting them. A phone call is more personal, and we’ll have a better shot at making a true connection with that consumer.

You sure about that?

In preparation for a recent Dominion Powersports Pulse webinar on powersports mobile shoppers, I talked with one of the top sales guys at Pensacola Harley-Davidson in Florida. His approach is much more modern than most. He embraces text conversations with consumers, as he has noticed this communication channel produces a more casual and beneficial conversation. Why? For some reason, the consumer feels less pressured and more comfortable, so a more rewarding exchange occurs.

The fact is our shoppers are more mobile-oriented than ever. They live through their smartphones, and consumer studies show these shoppers are just as comfortable with texting as they are with emailing. In fact, a healthy percentage of our shoppers send more than 11 text messages a day to their partners alone, according to factbrowser.com.

You live in a mobile world. Your sales department needs to embrace this. Your managers need to embrace this, ensuring your store’s business systems possess the most recent mobile advancements.

Casual, personal, time-sensitive, results-oriented. Four reasons to reconsider just what the right channel is for today’s conversation with our consumers.

Remember, it’s a mobile world, and text happens.

“Dad, did you notice the service engine light on in the car today?”

“Uhh ….”

“Do you want me to tell you what Mom just said?”

“Oh boy.”

Neil Pascale is the industry communications manager for Dominion Powersports Solutions, a dealer solutions provider that includes DX1, ZiiOS, Traffic Log Pro, PowerSports Network and Cycle Trader. He can be reached at neil.pascale@dominionpowersports.com.

 

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