Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

By Jared Hamilton on Dec 1, 2009

Why your Internet Sales Process matters more now than it ever has, and the 7 Process Points you must execute to be successful: masters-series-logoAdvanced marketing tactics like SEO and Social Media Marketing are a big focus in the industry right now. These marketing tools are very successful at moving the bar forward and YES your dealership needs to be involved.  However, if you are growing your arsenal of marketing tools you are also being more wasteful if your process is not nailed down.  Your store should not be investing more marketing dollars unless your customer funnel is proven to convert the customers into deals.  As the economy rebounds and you look to grow your marketing it's a perfect time to do a dealership process check up.  How does your store stack up? The Correct Internet Sales Process A successful Internet sales process is not rocket science.  There are 7 things every process should accomplish.  By executing these seven points consistently and with your dealerships brand, you will maximize your close rates.  Use this as a checklist to grade your dealerships process: 1. Quick Response time Yes, this concept has been beat into the industry but in this age of immediacy it continues to be one of the largest separators of success.  An hour to respond to an email is NOT acceptable.  Your response needs to be within minutes, if you cannot do this consistently restructure your department or use technology that can respond with YOUR price quote immediately. Do not measure, average response time, it's a bogus measurement.  Instead measure what % of the time you responded within 15 minutes.  Face it, if you don't respond quickly the chances of closing the deal drops dramatically. 2. Transparency in price, availability and trade Customers can get whatever information they want.  If they don't get it from you they will get it elsewhere.  Don't let that happen.  If they ask for a price give them a price.  If they want to know what their trade is worth talk to them about it.  Don't ever avoid a question.  Be transparent, be engaging, be a place they want to do business, answer their questions and give them a reason to come see you. 3. Provide multiple options When customers go online the regularly add features or submit requests on vehicles out of their price range.  They are curious, they are hopeful and they are human... trying for something better than current reality is just what we do.  Once you realize they are unlikely to buy the vehicle they submitted a lead on you realize the importance in providing options to them.  This helps engage the customer with you as they explore their options and come to reality of what the best car for them really is. 4. Sell the advantages of your product Again, customers regularly DO NOT buy the product they submitted a lead on.  Many even switch brands or bounce from new to used and vice versa.  Clearly the MYTH that Internet customers know exactly what they want is FALSE.  You need to "sell" your product. How do you do this?  Provide links.  Send them to your product landing pages, micro sites and the pages that tell your brand proposition.  If you don't have these pages built and optimized put that on your list of things to do.  Use OEM sites, outside news stories, social media profiles and your dealership ratings and reviews to boost your brand proposition. Do be cautious sending customers to sites you down own, you have less control but added 3rd party credibility.  Balance the pros/cons appropriately. Track these links.  Your CRM should be able to tell you who is clicking on what, replace the links that get no action and keep the content fresh. 5. Phone call to request appointment If the customer provided a phone number you have permission to use it.  Call them.  Confirm they got your email, start a conversation to get to know them.  The one piece of your product another store cannot is your relationship with the customer, be sure that relationship is strong.  Use a phone script, set an appointment and track your shows. 6. Long term follow up Most 3rd party leads close AFTER 30 days.  If you are a dealership that does a great job at following its customers for 3 weeks, congratulation!  You could double your closing rate if you could extend that follow up/engagement process follows for an additional 60 days.   Long term follow up should be more than automated emails or a dealership newsletter.  Include regular phone calls into the mix.  You are most likely better at building and maintaining relationships on the phone than you are at email.  Use this to your advantage. 7. Differentiated "customer friendly" sales process After you have done all this work to get the Internet Customer to the dealership, don't blow it with a bad "in person" sales process.  Continue to be transparent, answer questions, be a resource and over come objections.   You should close an exceptionally high number of your Internet appointments that show up.  It's ok to sell and be a closer, just maintain your customer relationship through the process and you will be fine. Dealership Internet Sales Success If there is one thing I would I would emphasis is consistency.  We are in the business of doing the little things a lot of times.  Measure every step of your process and report with your management team in weekly meetings.  Reward the process by keeping spiffs and awards focused on execution.  You cannot manage results but you can manage the activities that get the results.  The 7 activities listed above will get you results but most stores struggle in the execution of their process.  Hitting all 7 points consistently is an uphill climb.   Where does your store excel and where does it fall short?  What is the biggest tip you could offer your fellow dealers about executing your process correctly?  Please share...

Comments

Great info what ideas do you have for the first email should it be price?

Apr 9, 2013

Comments 1 - 1 of 1

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Jared Hamilton's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Report Card - 12 Key Areas of Opportunity for 2015

    When building the culture of a dealership, there are 12 Key Areas that make up a healthy dealership. The following areas are not ranked in order of importance or of urgency. These 12 independent areas are part of developing a culture for your dealership that is healthy and thriving in 2015.Read post

  • Why Some Dealerships Continue to Struggle While Others Shine

    Why is it that the automotive industry struggles to realize that old processes are no longer relevant to today’s consumers? Today’s customers are more intelligent, technological, and scared than ever before. Today’s work force are today’s consumers as well, which means that...Read post

  • Google's New Store Visits Metric - PPC Driving Showroom Traffic?

    Google has very recently launched a new feature inside the Adwords reporting element called “Store Visits” and it’s something auto dealers should pay attention to. It isn’t open to 100% of Adwords advertisers yet - so now is the time to gain understanding and be ready. Here’s what the new store visits metric is all about, and what it means for your business. (this is a 12-pack post my friends, crack a cold one and enjoy!)   What Is The Adwords Store Visits Metric?   Without getting overly complicated, it’s a way that Google can utilize data from clicks on your paid search ads in conjunction with location and device data from the user to offer some pretty sharp metrics on when and if those clicks drive people through the doors of your showroom or onto your lot.   Let me illustrate:   A young man named Brian, a recent college grad, has landed his first job at a startup in Valparaiso, Indiana. He settles in for a few months and eventually decides it’s time to t...Read post

  • Great Sales People Aren’t Born They’re Made

    Training budgets have been cut back to the bone to preserve cash flow in these challenging economic times, so we cross our fingers and hope that good sales people are born and all we need to do is find them and recruit them!Read post

  • Happy Holidays from OneCommand

    With the holidays and end of the year just around the corner, the team at OneCommand wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Without your support and continued business, our success would not be possible. We understand you have many options in the marketplace and we are pleased you chose OneCommand as your preferred vendor. We are deeply thankful and would like to extend our best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous new year. The OneCommand offices will be closed on December 25th and January 1st, however we will be available December 24th and December 31st, should you need any assistance. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2015. Thank you again for your loyalty to OneCommand, it is a pleasure doing business with you! ...Read post

  • Attribution Modeling – Tough to Implement?

    Many dealers use digital marketing for their websites with no idea how many cars their marketing has actually sold. Attribution modeling solves this issue.Read post

  • Don’t Sit Down! 6 Reasons to Change How You Do Your Investigation

    When you meet a new customer on the lot, where do you start your investigation process? I believe there is one best place to do it. But before I share what it is and why it’s the best, look at these typical places and pick the one where you usually start your investigation process: a) out on the lot, b) at your desk, c) on the show floor, d) near the new car the customer’s considering, and e) near the customer’s current car. I will share 6 reasons why only one of these places will gives you a unique advantage in the sale. It will also allow you to be efficient by learning about your customer’s needs and wants much faster.Read post

  • Digital Marketing Company Naked Lime Helps Automotive Retailers Seize Opportunities

    Naked Lime Marketing authored four white papers this year that showed digital marketing’s effect on the modern dealership. The white papers covered a range of topics in automobile retailing, including new profit opportunities, customer acquisition, web design, and digital engagement. You can download the whitepapers on nakedlime.com.Read post