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The Tyre-Kickers

Aug 08, 2019
Eric Bornman from buzzsurvey argues that video survey tools can help you to convert some of those more casual enquiries.

Eric Bornman, buzzsurvey

Coined by American car-salesmen, tyre-kickers refer to browsing customers strolling the car lot, shopping around but with no apparent intent to purchase anything. They walk from one vehicle to the next, giving the tyres of each vehicle a little kick in some kind of random quality test. Sales staff couldn’t be bothered with these browsers, seeing any attempts at a sale as a waste of time, opting to direct their efforts to opportunities that looked more likely to yield a result.

I learnt early on in my sales career that it is perilous to judge a book by its cover because how does one really know the intentions of a would-be customer? One may well develop an instinct for ‘eyeing’ a buyer but just when you think you have mastered the skill, a less picky (or perhaps more prudent) sales person secures a sale that you had sniffed at. People looking to move and those looking to move them do not escape this idiosyncratic scenario.

The tyre-kickers in the moving context are the customers that browse onto websites and request quotes. A series of filters pre-qualify these enquiries to establish whether it is a worthy lead to pursue. Given the cost and time required to convert a lead into a revenue-generating job, most of the web enquiries are treated like second rate opportunities and understandably, limited funds, constrained time and capacity are subsequently directed into opportunities that appear more convertible; the bigger more important jobs.

Economics is defined as the science of making decisions in the presence of scarce resources, so the practice is understandable. The caveat is that one generally gets out what one puts in (the adage of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ springs to mind) so if you do not actively pursue the b-rate opportunity, small job tyre-kickers and put something of substance behind the effort, can you really expect to yield anything better than single figure conversion rates?

Companies in the know are resorting to innovative ways of pursuing and more accurately quoting these leads by surveying the opportunities using purpose-built technology. Given the rising costs of in-person surveys, pursuing the tyre-kickers the traditional way doesn’t make sense. There are more efficient ways of converting these leads however, virtual surveying being the easiest, most useful alternative. Statistics show that virtual surveys yield accurate volume reports and have proven to be effective in converting enquiries.

Unsurprisingly, UK-based moving firms that have added virtual surveys as a string to their sales bow, are showing four-fold increases in conversion rates of the web-lead tyre-kickers. They haven’t replaced their in-person sales efforts but have made a strategic decision to implement easy to use web-based platforms to create additional revenue streams in the face of under-pressure margins and lethargic market conditions.

The systems that are available are easy to use, require no capital investment and despite most movers having an opinion about it, are useful and have been statistically proven to be very effective in converting leads.

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