Subject Lines and Voice Mails are the New Greeting

Almost every dealership I walk into, I hear, “You just don’t understand. We don’t get walk-in traffic anymore. Our customers come to us though the internet and over the phone. We don’t need to worry about the sales process.”

Every time I hear this, I just want to scream “You don’t understand.”

I understand that times are ever changing. I even understand that every dealership has their own vision for their sales process. However, it doesn’t matter if your sales process is 5 steps, 7 steps, 12 steps, or any other number of steps. It also doesn’t matter if you get your customer as a walk-in, a phone pop, or an internet lead. In all of these cases, the fact is every process and every customer need to start with the greeting of a customer and ends with selling them a car. And all the stuff in the middle is the same too. You need to do an investigation into the customers wants and needs, you need to do a value-building presentation & demonstration, you need to present the customer with figures, and then you close the deal.

Every sale with every customer should go through this same process. Sure, if the customer is not in front of you, you may insert setting an appointment to get the customer to come in to continue this process in person, however, you should pick up where you left off and continue with the process.

Dealers, Sales Managers, and Salespeople need to realize this these scenarios are more similar than they think. This begins with the start of any good sales process, the Greeting. Most great salespeople have an in-person greeting that they have perfected over their career. The found what worked for them, used it so frequently that it is now instinct.

However, times are changing. More customers are reaching out to dealerships via the phone and the internet. And we need to “Greet” our customers in the form of an email or over the phone.

This means that you need to be great at formulating emails and talking to customers over the phone, right?

Not necessarily. Obviously, writing engaging emails is a valuable skill and being able to communicate effectively with customers over the phone is also a valuable skill, however, it does not matter how engaging your emails are if your customer never opens it. It doesn’t matter how smooth you are on the phone if the customer never answers.

This is exactly what happens, according to statistics:

88% of phone calls go unanswered when the person does not know who is calling – This basically breaks down to 9 out of 10 of your calls are going to voicemail because the customer doesn’t know you. This is important to you, because your first initial call to your customer is going to be a voicemail. Meaning that your voicemail will be your first interaction with your customer, your Greeting to them. Because of this fact, you MUST have a voicemail script prepared that will encourage your customer to call you back. The voicemail is the perfect venue to “offer” the customer information if they call you back. The key is to make the customer believe that there is “good news” information for them when they call you back. Be sure you can deliver when they do.

26%+ of emails get picked up by spam filters – This means that at minimum 1 in 4 of your emails never even get to your customer. It is impossible for your customer to ever engage you, if they do not even get your email. In a recent mystery shop that I conducted nearly 50% of the email responses I received went into my spam folder.

50% of the emails that make it into your customer’s inbox get deleted before ever being read or responded to. – This means that approximately 35% of the emails that you are sending to your customers are going to get opened and read.

To me these are pretty scary statistics. So, now let’s ask why, does this happen? The answer is two words: SUBJECT LINE.

Your subject line can dictate whether your email get to your customer, whether it draws their attention to read the email, and most importantly whether they open it. Yes, your subject line can do all of these things and literally can be the difference of making a sale or not.

In the mystery shop I mentioned earlier, I shopped ten dealerships, and all ten dealers subject lines were of two similar varieties:

  1. Thank you for your Inquiry to {Dealership Name}
  2. Thank you for your Inquiry about {Year Make Model}

With my inbox being flooded with these same boring, non-descript subject lines, really made me think about this from the customers perspective. I asked myself, “Why would I want to open these?” and the answer was, “I wouldn’t.” And the reality is, if I did open any of these, it would be one or two, definitely not all ten.

Why would you want to risk your success on if you are lucky enough to be the one or two email the customer actually opens?

Just like you would plan your in-person greeting and now your voicemail greeting, you must create a subject line that gets to your customer and makes them want to open it. To learn more about how to create that perfect greeting in your voicemails and subject lines, inquire about my Introduction to Online Selling Workshop.

This workshop includes:

  • Communication & Statistics
  • Campaigns, Templates, & Scripts
  • Reasons to Contact Customers
  • How to Make Better Phone Calls
  • Keys to Effective Voicemails
  • Subject Lines
  • Keys to Effective Email
  • Keys to Effective Text Messages

For more details email me at: In addition, if you include “Voicemail Greeting” or “Subject Line Greeting” as your subject line I will include a FREE script to assist you with your online Greeting.



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