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Chris Costner

Chris Costner Account Executive

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I'm In a Hurry


I will be the first to admit that I am usually in a hurry and want results immediately.  In our industry we all seem to want immediate results right?  It can be discouraging for many of us with that mindset and it affects more than we know in both our personal and business lives.  I am going to take a moment and write on how over the last 100 days, being in a hurry kept me from having success with a product I am using:  Autotrader’s “Trade-In Marketplace.”

This is not a “pitch” by no means.  All of us here use to share best practices to help the entire industry get better at what we do and I wanted to share something working for me.

I want to first share a few points of being in a hurry that have helped me refocus and take a different approach:

  • Try to figure out why you are in such a hurry.
  • Pinpoint the triggers that often influence you to lose patience.
  • Look for patterns.
  • What processes do you have in place now?
  • Write these down on a scrap piece of paper or whatever to embed in your mind.

After I assessed the above, I then took the next steps:

  • Change your attitude, relax and overcome these bouts of impatience.
  • Let go of anything you have zero control over.
  • Remind yourself that some things take time and keep focus on the BIG PICTURE.

Now in regards to the “Trade-In Marketplace” leads, it definitely was our approach and process in converting these leads into appointments.  This is not to be combined with how we use it in the showroom. Coming from the BDC/Internet world, we have been approaching these leads in the wrong manner.  I am accustomed to receiving a lead, followed up with a personal response via email / video and then an immediate phone call or text unless the client requested email communication only.

With the above approach, I encountered very little contact and think many others witnessed the same.  I became discouraged because I am eager, in a hurry if you will, to make contact and close the appointment.  Now I am not saying that I never made contact with any but the percentage was much lower than the others.  It didn’t make sense.

I then realized, which was tough for me that these leads have to be higher up in the sales funnel. Really?  They are online, took the time to enter their information, and are not ready to buy now? I will say yes.  They aren’t much higher up the funnel but definitely are.  So what did we do to change our results?

  • AUTO RESPONDER – we killed it to all incoming “TIM” leads.  I know everyone has their opinions on auto responders; we use them except on this program.
  • PERSONAL RESPONSE – not extensive, simple, to the point and lightening fast.  Many I am in contact with haven’t truly selected a vehicle to replace their current vehicle with.  I wanted more responses and achieved them with this:

Hello Chris,

I recently received notice that you are looking to sell your 2007 Infiniti FX35.  Is it still available?

I see you received an electronic quote. I now have the "real time" ability to get you the most for it by allowing millions to see it and bid.  During your visit it will take only minutes and is a guaranteed.  This, without question, will ensure you get the best value.

I will be in the office until 9PM and look forward to your call, text or email.


Chris Costner

                757.289.1860 wireless / text



  • TEXT (if applicable) / PHONE CALL (only if landline phone)  –

Hello Chris – this is Chris Costner following up on my recent email on the availability of your 2007 Infiniti FX35 – still available?

These two subtle adjustments in our approach have increased contact dramatically.  Now its time to overcome the normal objections we all hear and close on the appointment.  This was the point with these leads I was looking for and didn’t get to it with normal, “Thank you for choosing…” approach used with other opportunities.  In addition, with my experience, bringing the client further down the sales funnel immediately.

I have had more contact, appointments set, shows and deliveries over the past two weeks than I have had since inception.  Will it work for you? 

Good Selling Everyone.

Lindsey Auguste
Did the Trade-In Marketplace help you find the right pace for the approach or was the tool better used with a different speed of approach? It's great that you are using a product that you feel is really helping you achieve your goals, Chris - keep up the good work!
Chris Costner
Thanks for the reply Lindsey. "TIM" helped with both the approach and pace. Being the impatient person I can be sometimes, I was very frustrated. Implementing some of their suggestions along with my "approach spin" has worked wonders. Just today, I am at 100% contact with 100% appointments set. Now it may not be the norm but looking back on our previous results, this is huge. It is working no doubt.
Lindsey Auguste
That's fantastic!
Bryan Armstrong
Chris, this is an excellent example of tailoring the process to the lead source. Cookie cutter aproaches run rampant in our indutry as we try to forrce people into "our way". The old adage of "A gifted Salesperson is one that leads the Customer down the road to the sale without them realizing it" should be exchanged to "A gifted Salesperson is one that listens to their Customer, provides the right message at the right time through the proper medium, and gives increased Value with every interaction until the Consumer chooses the desired result". I know, a little long-winded, but isn't that what you did here? Thanks for sharing!
Chris Costner
Very well said Bryan. I always appreciate your insight and perspective. You are absolutely correct. I certainly learned a few valuable things myself over the past couple of weeks and certainly wanted to share. Great post title huh? I certainly wasn't in a hurry to finish writing the post I know. Ha. I will be mindful next time. Thanks again for the reply.

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