Shoot First and Ask Questions Later? Appointment vs Information

Dan Sayer
I need your input. Whether you have cradle-to-grave internet sales departments or a BDC or even a hybrid, do you train your people to focus on gathering the shopper's information in the first stage of the call or do you go for the appointment as soon as they inquire about a car? Why? Also, if you could answer as well, what is your Lead to Shown Appointment percentage on phone and web leads (total leads divided by shown appointments)? In the last 90-days we have stores ranging from 22% to 58% on phone-ups and 17% to 28% on web leads. This measurement allows us to measure the BDC and sales consultant effectiveness in taking the lead and converting it to an appointment that shows. Shown appointment to Sold percentages we then use to measure the process from appointment prep to desking to closing. Anyone else focus on Lead to Shown percentage? Interested to know as well. Thanks.
Dennis Wagner
Sell the appointment. Get basic contact information. The customer has already completed over 70% of the buying process on their own so they don't want to be sold anything. They are in reality only looking for someone to help them obtain what they have already decided to purchase. The dealers who push hard to gather tons of information usually are the first ones who are eliminated from consideration. Every dealer focuses on Lead to Appointment show conversions and they should be over 50% across the board or you are doing something wrong. I have some clients who have over 75% conversion rates. You might want to re-think your process if you have stores that are converting under 50%.
John Sevier
Dennis just to clarify... Are you saying just off of leads that you should be having a 75% appointment rate? So out of 100 leads you should be getting 75 people to show up in your dealership? I have never heard of anyone that high in %. I know there are a lot of things to take into consideration like Manufacture, which lead sources, the area you are in, etc...
Dennis Wagner
John, That's not at all what I am saying. The average show rate should be 50% or higher when you add everything in. Calls, Leads, Applications..etc
John Sevier
Thank you for clarifying.
Dan Sayer
(Assuming no one is confusing lead to show rates with appointment set to show rates) Dennis, I have to agree with John, having a lead to show rate of over 50% is pretty lofty when figuring in web leads as well as phone. Phone lead to show, yes if we set 75% of all phone-ups with an appointment and then 75% show that would give us our 56% lead to show rate. 4 of our 5 stores have rates in this range of 48% to 64%. Having a 50% or higher lead to show rate on web leads would be crazy good. We are shooting for 40% appointment set for web leads, with 75% appointment show, and 75% close which would give us a 22% web lead close rate. That is a 30% lead to show rate working backwards.

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