How to generate driving school leads and convert them into customers

  • September 20th, 2018
  • in Leads
  • By Steve Jones
How to generate driving school leads and convert them into customers

Would you like to generate more driving school leads? Of course, you would! However, one of the biggest keys to running a successful driving school is to then generate those valuable and hard-earned leads into paying customers. Cha-ching!

This lead guide from Drive Scout is broken down into two sections. First, we provide helpful tips to generate more driving school leads. These leads are your “lowest hanging fruit,” which means your closest customers who are most likely to purchase your services in the next year or so.

Second, we pay particular attention to turning those leads into paying customers. If you don’t nurture those coveted leads, they become useless and lead to a dead end. Carefully guiding your leads through the conversion funnel is what leads to long-term success of your driving school.

Part # 1: Tips to generate new driving school leads

driving school leads Drive Scout

Because your driving school has a very specific and defined customer base, it’s critical to always be on the prowl for new leads. This is especially important in the slower months of the year when cash may be tight, classrooms empty, and cars idle.

Unlike restaurants, you don’t have a steady flow of loyal customers that come back time and time again for your award-winning chicken parmigiana. However, with driving schools, it’s an entirely different scenario.

Parents might return to your driving school when their other children turn 15 or 16, but that could be years. So, owners always need to find new driving school customers to sustain and build the business.

Over the years, I’ve tried about everything in and outside the box to generate new driving school leads. Some of my ideas worked like a charm. Others crashed and burned. Learn from my experience, both good and bad.

Below are some of my most successful ways to generate more driving school leads.

How to generate driving school leads:
Step 1 – Ask the right questions and manage new leads

Driving school leads drive scout

When a potential customer calls your driving school, is your staff properly trained to immediately ask lead questions? For example, before getting in to a discussion my office staff always asked…

  • Is this the best number to call you back in case we get disconnected?
  • Awesome. Can I have your first and last name?

By answering these two questions, your caller turns into a valid lead. The customer may have a few questions, but isn’t quite ready to make a purchase.

So, now you have a valid lead, but what do you do with it? That’s where all-in-one driving school software comes into play. Drive Scout has a special tab devoted to “Manage Leads.” This small extra step helps you obtain customer info and then follow-up.

Get Your Demo Today!

We will delve further into converting leads into sales in Part #2.

How to generate driving school leads:
Step 2 – Add a “Contact Us” button on your home page

Contact us Drive Scout

As posted by Loginradius.com

Having strong but relevant calls to action on your website will help you grab the attention of your website visitors. This will help increase user interaction while achieving business goals like: email subscriptions, sales, sign-ups, and so much more.

Many small businesses have a “Contact Us” page on their website. However, it might be buried and not easily accessible. For your website, have a designer add a simple “Contact Us” call-to-action button on the home page. Make sure the form is simple to complete.  Before you know it, you’ll be generating leads right from your website for FREE.

How to generate driving school leads:
Step 3 – Become a business partner at local high schools

Most schools charge an annual fee of $200-$500 to become a business partner. This usually entitles partners to set-up a table at attend registration day at the beginning of a school year.

My driving schools attended seven registration days a few years ago and generated over 1,000 highly- qualified leads. We gave away one free Driver’s Ed package per school, so parents WANTED to fill out our lead form.

Parents LOVED talking to us and they completed our registration form 99% of the time. Next, the office staff called ALL of our driving school leads to discuss our services. Plus, we included these contacts on our distribution list for our monthly newsletter.  This back-to-school lead generation program was a huge success for my driving schools.

How to generate more driving school leads:
Step 4 – Utilize Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook lead ad

Facebook lead ads are a specific type of ad that lets you run lead generation campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Unlike other ad types, lead ads include an instant contact form that allows businesses to contact people interested in your driving school services.

My driving schools have had great success with Facebook lead ads. In a 3-month period, we ran a Facebook lead ad with the headline, “Register to win a FREE driver’s ed package.” We spent the minimum $155 per month and generated 400 leads. If we converted just 25% of those leads and our average sale was $450, the Facebook lead ad generated $45,500 in sales for a 3-month cost of $465 ($155 per month). That’s great ROI!

We did not run the lead ads in March – July since that’s when we have more incoming calls and sales. We ran the ads in October – December. I highly recommend running Facebook lead ads to increase your driving school leads.

For more information about Facebook Lead Ads, head to this Facebook Business page .

How to generate more driving school leads:
Step 5 – Start blogging and sharing

Blogging Drive Scout

A website usually has only one main door to enter it. So, to increase website traffic and sales, it’s important to open other windows and portals. That’s what blogging does. It directs more traffic to your website, improves your website’s SEO, and gives you more inbound links (which Google loves!).

If your content is timely or relevant to your core customer base, it will drive traffic to your website.  At the end of every blog post, invite readers to subscribe to your blog.  You will get their email address this way. They become qualified “leads” because they’re interested in what you have to say.

Finally, don’t forget to share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter for maximum exposure.

Part # 2: Tips to convert leads into customers

Drive Scout leads into customers

Driving school leads are potential customers, but they may not be ready to purchase your services. Does your driving school nurture these leads, or do they fall by the wayside? If you don’t have a solid plan to nurture your leads, you’re leaving money on the table.

As posted by Wordstream, the definition of lead nurturing is…

The catch-all term given to whatever systems a business has in place to move a prospect down their conversion funnel, turning a prospect into a paying customer.

So, while you may be very successful in generating new driving school leads, they’re worthless if you are unable to convert a portion of them into paying customers.

Below are some of my most successful tricks-of-the-trade to convert leads into paying customers.

How to convert leads into customers:
Step 1: Utilize software

Drive Scout logo

All-in-one software like Drive Scout can help you manage your leads. Think about your current situation by asking yourself these questions.

  • For every 10 phone calls that come in, how many do you close?
  • For every 10 walk-in customers, how many do you close?

My guess is that you close 20-30% on initial contact. What happens to the 70% who don’t make a purchase on that first call or in-store visit? If you don’t attempt to move them through the sales funnel, you’re losing thousands of dollars (or more) in sales.

Manage Leads feature

Most driving schools don’t have a plan to follow-up with leads, so that’s why we recently launched our new “Manage Leads” feature in Drive Scout.

When a customer calls in or walks through the door, our clients are able to easily and quickly pull up a lead form right in Drive Scout. With a little training, your office staff can capture information within a few seconds.

When incoming calls slow down, your staff can reach out to these leads to convert them into paying customers. All leads can be categorized as Open, Archived, Closed or All. This lead management system makes it easy to streamline the lead conversion process.

How to convert leads into customers:
Step 2: Train your staff

Lunch and Learn Drive Scout

In order to convert driving school leads into paying customers, your staff must be properly trained in closing techniques. I liked to hold annual Lunch and Learn seminars. Investing in and training your staff will result in a high return on your investment. During our meetings, we discussed what was working and what was not. We discussed how to close leads over the phone and in person.

A staff trained in effective closing techniques will close more sales. Period. It’s a no-brainer.

How to convert leads into customers:
Step 3: Nurture your leads

Lead nurturing Drive Scout

According to Hubspot, lead nurturing is…

The purposeful process of engaging a defined target group by providing relevant information at each stage of the buyer’s journey. You want to actively move the prospects you’ve created through your marketing and lead generation efforts, to the point where they become paying customers. Some tactics on how to nurture leads are through targeted content, multi-channel nurturing, multiple touches, timely follow-ups, and personalization.

Once you have actual leads, you probably wonder…

  • Which lead nurturing tactics work best for my driving school?
  • What do super successful driving schools do differently to convert leads into customers?
  • How do I get started with lead nurturing?

Example of lead nurturing campaign

The easiest and most inexpensive way to nurture leads is to set-up an email campaign. For example, your email schedule could look something like this.

Day 1:             Send email to thank customer for signing up for your newsletter.

Day 5:             Second email to customer with 2-3 popular blog posts about teen driver safety

Day 10:           Third customer email to announce a sales promotion.

Day 15:           Final email to customer with a call-to-action, like “Register Now.”

This type of lead nurturing campaigns is called a “drip campaign” because you slowly drip benefits and information to potential customers, followed by the big “ASK.”

You can also nurture leads by running highly targeted Google and Facebook pay-per-click ads. Make sure to check Google Analytics frequently to see if your ads are converting sales.

How to convert leads into customers:
Step 4: Have a sales contest

When the slow season hits, it’s time to spice things up to encourage your staff to close more sales. Pick the contest (for example: most outgoing calls, most closes, etc.) and announce it to your office staff. Make sure the prize offered is large enough to stir enthusiasm and spark more closes. Repeat as necessary.

How to convert leads into customers:
Step 5: Develop trust with online reviews

Online Reviews

Building a reliable driving school brand will make it easier for you to market your services. One of the best and easiest ways to build trust is through social proof, specifically online reviews, and testimonials from your current or previous clients. Social proof will not only confirm that you’re talking the talk, but that you’re walking the walk.

Let your current customers sing your praises by encouraging them to write a review or testimonial through email, on Yelp, Facebook, or any other relevant review site. For those “special” reviews, showcase them on your website. Do not worry about getting one or two negative reviews.

In review…

Increasing sales is a 2-step process. First, you have to find and capture qualified driving school leads. Next, your driving school must convert those leads into paying customers.

How to generate driving school leads:

  1. Ask the right questions and manage new leads
  2. Add a “Contact Us” button on your homepage
  3. Become a business partner at local high schools
  4. Utilize Facebook Lead Ads
  5. Start blogging and sharing

How to convert leads into paying customers:

  1. Utilize software
  2. Train your staff
  3. Nurture your leads
  4. Have a sales contest
  5. Develop trust with online reviews

About the Author: Steve Jones, CEO at Drive Scout

In 2009, I opened my first driving school with a $15,000 loan, used office equipment and my Honda Accord from college. Within three years, we hit one million in sales and were growing rapidly. After being unable to find a customized software solution to help us scale, I partnered with a brilliant engineer and built Drive Scout. Soon thereafter, I stepped down as CEO and started working full time on Drive Scout. I created this blog to share my experiences (both good and bad) to hopefully help your company become more profitable and easier to manage. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

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