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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Eric Gidney, AutoUpLinkUSA PA NJ DE

Eric Gidney, AutoUpLinkUSA PA NJ DE President/CEO

Exclusive Blog Posts

The Recruiter: Episode 4- People Use Google to Find Jobs

The Recruiter: Episode 4- People Use Google to Find Jobs

How to title your help wanted ad so it gets found on the internet. Please use Google in their job search. Use what people call themselves on their resu…

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4 Reasons to Improve CRM Utilization in 2017

Yes, dealers are creating a tremendous amount of data. The problem is, most of it is junk. Data is like this 1958 Tops Baseball Card complete set. You have…

Your Car Repair Shop Should Appeal To Parents Whether It is At a Dealership or Privately Owned

Your Car Repair Shop Should Appeal To Parents Whether It is At a Dealership or Privately Owned

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I’ve done a lot of mystery shopping, emailing and calling hundreds of automobile dealers on a consistent basis just to discover more about their process. In my findings, over 70% of my email leads were answered by an auto-responder. Personally, this drives me crazy. I don’t need an instant response. I need a response with value…not one that tells me how great you are, and where you are, and when you are there. Besides, 8 out of 10 of those auto-responders went right to my junk mail box anyway. If I wouldn’t have specifically hunted for them, I would have never seen them at all. In my opinion, if you’re auto-responder is going to prospects junk mail folders then you are probably better off anyway.
Take the time to write a quick, yet personal email. Add a photo of yourself, add a photo of the car they inquired about (not a stock image), and also put a coupon in there. Be creative…you’ll stand out from the 8 other dealerships that have to email that prospect back as well. Last but not least…answer the questions the prospect has. In most of my test emails I specifically ask questions about the used car I am inquiring about (cd changer? Leather? Etc.) Out of 10 email leads sent with vehicle specific questions, only 1, yes just 1 dealer answered my specific questions. Unfortunately it was about 3 days later…but that’s another story. The other 9 dealerships email responses only cared to set an appointment, have me come in for a test drive, pleaded for me to pick up the phone and call them. A real prospect would have moved on…there were only 78 other used Expedition’s that showed up in this particular search on this used car website. I may have found the vehicle I was looking for; I just didn’t find a sales person.

It didn’t get any better when I started calling the dealerships. I even specifically asked for an Internet Manager or Business Development Center when I called. While they were all particularly strong on the phone (they “gave good phone” as one dealer I know often jokes) they were terrible at listening to me…the customer. Every question I asked was never directly answered, but was followed by them asking what time I wanted to come in. Meanwhile, there I am, on that particular used car website still, and I have already started looking for a different vehicle. It was time to move on. Maybe the Internet Manager thought I turned off my computer screen before I called them and this was the only Expedition out there (remember the 78 that I found earlier?) I asked if it had a third row seat…they didn’t know…I asked if it had a DVD player…they didn’t know that either. Being asked what time can I come by was their best and only response. Apparently being an Internet Manager or working in a Business Development Center doesn’t require a daily inventory walk, which is a shame, It would help out a lot.

Perhaps dealers are just placing too much emphasis to their Internet Managers on setting appointments. I know some dealers paying $25 and up for appointments. JUST FOR APPOINTMENTS! I obviously can’t speak for every consumer out there, but I have a tough time scheduling any time to go ahead and see you when I still have so many questions. Now most of these Internet Managers did write down my questions…and they did get me an answer, but once again it wasn’t in a timely fashion. The average manager took 7 hours just to answer 3 questions. I am still waiting to hear from some and it's been a few months. It was a good thing I really didn't want to purchase that vehicle.

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