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Top Closers Avoid Industry Jargon, CDK Global Finds

June 9, 2016

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — CDK Global has found that the words dealers use in their email interactions with customers can have a strong effect on whether a lead will turn into a sale. Industry jargon, the company found, was not high on the list of words used by top performers.

In its “Language of Closers” research, CDK analyzed the email responses from auto dealers to pinpoint the words and phrases most likely to result in car sales, according to the company.

"People tend to assume that positive words like 'love' and 'amazing' will be the most persuasive to potential car shoppers," said Jason Kessler, data scientist at CDK. "Our research found the opposite and proved that dealers who used proactive language articulating clear next steps for action in their email were the highest closers. Car shoppers need to be guided through the process and the research supported using language to help them on their journey."

What the study found was the importance of guiding customers through the buying process. Phrases like “give me a” and “feel free to” were more often used by low-closers. Phrases that begin with those words, according to the study, were ineffective because they put the onus back on the shopper.

The word that most high closers used was “provide.” This word was used mostly in the context of sharing information, the study found. “Vehicle descriptions, details about the buying process and quotes all help the shopper gain a better understanding so they can feel secure in taking the next step,” the study stated.

Low closers also tended to use words like “body style” and “options.” The correlation between these words and low closers seemed to indicate that jargon and industry terms are not persuasive when used to answer shopper questions, according to the study.

"This research is exciting because it is so actionable," said Kessler. "By focusing on communication styles that shoppers prefer, dealerships can improve their effectiveness and sell more cars."

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