When I started doing internet leads in 2006, I generally tried to follow the “slightly modified” Road to the Sale.
The modification was an additional step since communication usually started via email. Get them on the phone, get an appt, ect…
Times Have Changed
Internet customers want transparency, price quotes and site unseen trade quotes. In Houston, shoppers can call John Clay Wolf live on ESPN radio and get a real deal, real time quote good for 7 days over the air.
I think most dealerships have evolved too, but they don’t like it. Most (in my experience), throw out ridiculous low ball trade quotes and play with incentive money on the purchase car.
So how do we get the shopper from computer to showroom?
I’m a firm believer in NOT giving out price quotes until communication has been established, at minimum via email. Otherwise all that work is pointless.
But once that communication has been established, game on!
From here it’s just like the customer is sitting in front of me in the showroom but the goal is to get them to the showroom.
Simply trading out showroom lines:
“What will it take to get you (the customer) to take it home today?” with “If I get your payment down to $xxxx.xx/month, when can you come and sign”.
“If I can get your trade up to $xxxxx.xx, will you take it home today?” with “If I can get your trade up to $xxxxx.xx, how soon can you get to the dealership?”.
My close rate on showroom appointments was over 80% because the deal was already done when the customer showed up, from there it was just a formality; test drive, paperwork, ect.
But for the Internet Dept to have true success, the managers must be working with the internet/BDC department every hour of every day on every lead that makes contact.
I rarely see that happen.
Internet Road to The Sale
- Internet lead arrives: Goal #1 is to prompt them for any type of communication in return. Once that is established…
- The purpose of the Email-Text Communication is to get the customer on the phone. Give some info if demanded but “Ask For The Phone Call” to divulge that info.
- The purpose of Phone Call is to Set an Appointment. Yes, give more info, confirm vehicle selection but “Ask For Appointment Commitment”.
- If at any point in this process real pricing info has to be given: Get a commitment back first.