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Don’t Let Folks Fall Out of the Funnel; It Hurts!

You know the basics of the sales funnel. Some funnels are more specific, some less.

  1. Develop awareness.

  2. Educate and create desire.

  3. Call to action... sell, sell, sell.

  4. And a good funnel offers retention or loyalty marketing too.

But what if a prospect enters the wrong way? What do you do?

In February 2019, I got a coupon in the mail from a car dealership promising a Walmart gift card if you spun the wheel. (Friendly Advice: RUN! Don’t do it.)

So, my daughter and I hopped in my car and went to the dealership. Mayhem would be a nice way to describe it. When I asked a guy about the gift cards, he said, “I think we’re out.”

We headed out the door.

In the parking lot, we were caught by another fellow. A sweet talker. He assured us more cards were coming and that we should look since we were already there.

I’m putting full blame on my kid. I’d promised her the gift card. I was ready to go. The salesman showed us two vehicles. Zero. Zip. Nada. I was ready to go. Then he mentioned a Chevy pickup. I was still ready to go, but my daughter was hooked.

Lo and behold, he happened to have the keys in his pocket. Let’s go on a test drive.

I think she’d have locked her jaws on the bumper like a dog on a T-bone if we hadn’t sat down to negotiate. I won’t bore you with the details. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t done well, and I should have walked away, but we drove off the lot with a 2016 Chevy Colorado. And, I never will go to that dealership again.

For 3 years, I’ve driven Berta Mae and loved her. But yesterday, she didn’t start and I heard the clicking. With some help from a friend, I got her started and hoped the 2-hour drive would charge her battery. It didn’t.

Thus begins my sideways Odyssey in the Sales Funnel.

I bought my truck used from a non-GM dealership. As a used vehicle, she was missing things like an owner’s manual.

Now I need a little information so I can replace the battery. The dealership doesn’t care. They want to sell new Kias.

I found a phone number for GM online. I called it. The recording told me the line was no longer serviced and I’d have to “chat” online.

In an hour and a half online, I was asked my name 3 times. I had to identify my vehicle make and model twice when I’d already provided my VIN, and I never got the info I needed. I guess I’ll be trying out ride-share apps tomorrow.

Vehicles aren’t cheap. 5 of the 9 cars I’ve owned have been GM products, but if yesterday’s experience is what I can expect, brand loyalty died.

I went to several VIN lookup sites to find info about my truck. The eighth digit is supposed to identify the number of cylinders. The three free ones I tried were incorrect. I refused to pay for a report. I tried the official GM site and got nothing.

You see, there were 3 different engines installed the year my truck was made. The engine will affect the parts I buy.

I know how to change the battery because of YouTube. It wasn’t a GM sponsored video. It should have been. I know they want to sell their service department (that was much of the chat online), but the loyalty and retention part of the funnel would be better served with a useful video.

The video will let people know whether they want to perform the work on their own or have it done for them.

Without a customer service phone line, I was forced online. *Businesses need to be aware "online" is NOT available to everyone.

Companies need to provide valuable and useful information (copy & content). GM (and every automaker) should be able to offer an accurate graph that explains each part of a VIN number. It would be a beneficial piece of content that promoted trust. For that trust, it MUST be accurate.

A chatbot that ignores the answers provided by prospects does little to develop likeability. Having to repeat the same information multiple times let me know they didn’t know me and didn’t care.

Brand loyalty is developed over time, but it can be destroyed quickly.

When I needed help, there was none.

What I know is that they want my money and don’t care about my satisfaction.

I know they can’t be trusted.

And, I’ll be looking for a new company to like.

A little bit of good copy and content would have kept me in the funnel.

If your business doesn’t offer retention content, we should talk. A video that shows how to use your product can make the difference between “This is great!” or “I’m never buying from them again!” The content doesn’t have to be video, but let your customers know you appreciate their business. Help them find success with your product. Dove Copywriting has the answer.

PS: I got online to seek help from the local GM dealership. I wanted their phone number. Sadly, I was once again directed to chat. Whether it was live or AI, the chat was more responsive. I was promised a call from their service department. The call never came. Three days is long enough, right?

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