Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development Manager

Exclusive Blog Posts

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer Lifetime Value

  We sat down with Jon Rossman at DSES to see what he thinks about the challenges facing automotive today. Companies need to be looking to …

A Big Reason People Leave Your Website and Don’t Come Back

A Big Reason People Leave Your Website and Don’t Come Back

I intended to write about the renewed importance of service videos on a dealership’s website. A resource I had lined up changed my topic in about…

Some Car Buying Tips for Customers

Some Car Buying Tips for Customers

Car dealerships are known for being stressful places. It can be very difficult to resist pressure from a skilled vehicle salesperson—and customers sa…

The Easiest Thing to Do to Speed Up Your Site

The Easiest Thing to Do to Speed Up Your Site

    We sat down with Britney Muller, Senior SEO Scientist at Moz, during DSES to discuss all things marketing and SEO. The speed of…

Digital Finance SOS – Is Digital Retailing the Answer? (Part 3)

Digital Finance SOS – Is Digital Retailing the Answer? (Part 3)

Part Three: What is Digital Retailing's Impact on Dealers and Consumers? Digital Retailing is all about giving the customer what they want – a…

What is The Customer Really Asking For When Submitting A Lead?

We spend a great deal of time trying to figure out what the customer really wants and or expects from us at the dealership.  Albeit, this is a loaded statement;  one that delves into the conversation surrounding omnichannel experience -  in addition to what omnichannel even means. For the purpose of this conversation, offering an omnichannel experience starts with the customers experience online. The idea that perhaps we are offering to much information on the website. Where the average dealership has as many as five different options to contact the dealership - providing everything from chat, messaging, text, call, and email. So while it is not necessarily a bad thing to offer the customer flexibility in how they inquire; the bigger question is “what are they inquiring on” and “how they expect to be answered.” 

Think about it for a moment, not all dealerships have their lead sources named correctly. So when the lead converts off of the website whether that is a click-to-call or a lead form fill the BDC Agent or Sales Consultant does not always know where the lead derived from; it could be a general inquiry on the VDP, Get ePrice, or Get Quote to name a few. In which case, the customer has to say (if they get them on the phone) “I was calling to get the eprice,” to which the typical response - even today - remains “well to get the best price you should come in and meet with my sales manager.” Now, referring back to offering an “omnichannel” experience to the customer; the customer thought that by choosing that ‘method’ of inquiry, they were going to get that information in return. All without having to first speak with a sales manager, and or find out that the price includes discounts that s/he otherwise do not qualify for. Hence why there are customers who become frustrated with the whole online process. 

This is by no means offering that the customer should not come in, either. In fact, more often than not, the customer might wind up purchasing an entirely different vehicle. The point of this example, however, is to offer that we have to be consistent in what that call to action means on the dealer level. So that when the customer does call into the dealership, whoever is answering the call or lead can provide the customer with a good experience, one that is in alignment with an omnichannel experience. What’s more fascinating though is that if you were to ask the sales consultants - or even managers - what options the customer has online to inquire on a vehicle, I would guess that they would not know all of the different options. 

One of the first ways to tackle this situation is to ensure that the sources are hitting the CRM correctly. Where your website provider can in many cases name the form for each call to action. So that when the lead hits the CRM, your BDC Agent or Sales Consultant is aware of where the lead came from. In turn, allowing them to offer the customer a better experience. As there is nothing more frustrating for the customer to inquire on a vehicle using one of the many choices provided to them, to then not have their questions answered. The other thing to note and discuss with your team is how to respond to those questions based on the lead. So when the customer does ask “I was calling to get the ePrice,” you can respond with something to the effect of “We appreciate the opportunity to earn your business here with us at (dealer), and to answer your question that is the ePrice and we are very competitively priced. But before I get ahead of myself, is this the only make and model you are considering? We have over 100 vehicles in our inventory, and if I were able to save you some additional money is that something you would be open to?” This, of course, is just an example, one that answers their question but also inquires about the customer’s flexibility. At which point, the goal is to get them into the store asking if they have a trade-in, etc. 

The example above is also not as easy to handle effectively though if we are not aware of where the lead came from much less ensuring that your dealerships BDC Agents or Sales Consultants are aware of what the call to action even means. The bottom line though is that it is essential to ensure that your lead sources are labeled correctly and that you have outlined what your dealer considers the best way to respond to the many call to actions. In doing so, you are not only offering the customer a good experience, but it increases your chances of turning that lead into a sale. 

How do you handle training your BDC Agents or Sales Consultants when it comes to call to actions? 
 

Mark Grabowski

We believe it is paramount to read all of the elead details before contacting any customer. Take a moment to read the lead details or look foolish. Often times you will find a question to answer directly. Same goes for text chat transcripts. The most difficult leads for us to convert are vague and lack usable information. Do the work. Make the calls. Ask for clarity. Respond quickly. Send an email that is short and to the point without any fluff. Be direct and upbeat. Place a mirror in front of you when you are making calls. People can tell if you are smiling or not by phone so watch your own face while you speak, it makes a huge difference in converting leads to appointments that show. Be professional but avoid trying to become best friends with them. Send a short video of the vehicle to increase the number of people that actually show up for the appointment. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Sell sizzle, not steak. The phone is for selling appointments, not cars. Offer to go offsite to them. Ask for the order. Don't give up until you hear no five times. Most salespeople give up after the first or second no. Remember no simply means I don't know. A hell no is their tail lights leaving. 

Derrick Woolfson

Great points, Mark! And to your point, that is often - from my experience - why Dealer's have hired BDC's because the sales consultants might (in some cases) give up after only a few tries. The BDC, however, can do the same thing, though, if they are not managed. As for the low-quality leads, that is a huge issue. And why I tend to lean towards investing more money into our dealer website versus too many third-party sites. 

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now