Source of Sales?

Art Peloso
We are a large city, self financed, used-car dealer who specialize in customers who can't get financed from other dealerships or lenders. Buy here pay here. Overall, we're happy with our sales, but of course we'd always take more.I'm curious as to everyone's thoughts on these numbers and which area might be necessary for improvement. We spend what I would consider a minimal amount on internet leads and a considerable amount on television. After going through our last 100 deals we've seen the following statistics as to where each of our SOLD customers originated. Unknown - 3% Web - 12% Repeat - 26% Cust. Referral - 36% T.V. - 13% Drive-By - 9% Other - 1%
Michael Smith
Are the sales team doing a good job of asking how they heard of your dealership? How much digital advertising are you doing?
Andrew Johnson
Single sourcing on the lot is very difficult...practically impossible. Every dealer I work with has the same obstacle...how do we know where they came from? Generally, TV is considered a "launching pad" to get people online, and start the online shopping process w/ your dealership/brand at the forefront of their consideration, thereby making them more receptive to your online advertising. We know 90% of people search online before deciding where to buy. These people a typically on 3rd party research sites like Autotrader, cars.com, Carguru's, etc. The downside to TV & radio is that less than 10% of people are in the market for a new/used vehicle @ any given time. Therefore, 90% of the people you reach on TV & Radio are wasted impressions (unless you consider the factor of enhancing your brand awareness). If your a larger franchise dealer, you should be on tv & radio...if your budget permits. However, if you're a independent dealer, and want to maximize your ROI, your advertising dollars would be better invested on research sites, simply because 93% of the people on those sites are actively in the market for a vehicle, compared to 10% or less of the TV/Radio audience. The adage goes "when someones in the market for a vehicle, they don't turn on the TV hopping to find a commercial, or sit in their car until they hear a car commercial on the radio...they go online & start searching for it" Buy here pay here is a totally different beast though. As you've seen, the highest source will always be repeats & referrals. TV & radio would outperform research sites in your unique scenario, I would think. Also, consider investing in an SEO campaign, and purchase the words "buy here pay here", "special financing" "repo & finance" etc/. Hope this helps!
Casimiro (Casey) Garza
Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but your referral business, I would think not only be the biggest source, but also much bigger. Are you in contact with other sales people at other stores? Ones that do not have the in-house ability. Make it a point to go by and meet all of these major dealership....a $100 referral fee is a lot better then nothing.
Art Peloso
Finding out how the customer found our dealership is part of our application process and It's something we really encourage our sales personnel to get. As far as digital advertising, we work with google ad targeting. In the last year we've really been working on regular SEO for www.creditcars.com. We use campaigner every week for bulk emailing. (1 email for new customers that week and a different email for our inquiries) Whenever we have something to announce or promote, we send an email to our current/paid out accounts) We've listed with carsforsale, auto search, autotraders buy here pay here, tried some craigslist in the past, etc. Price is NOT our strong point, so it's difficult for us to make a presence on those sites. We're starting with social media now, facebook and google+ mostly. We're having a tough time building an engaging following through facebook. We do offer referral incentives, nothing extraordinary. I feel like most of our referrals come from our genuinely good business practice. We do have some referrals coming from sales personnel at the larger, new car dealerships. I also feel like our core customer isn't the type to go online and do much research about buying a car. I think it's more about who is going to give them a car. But I would like to change some of that. I suppose my main question was if these statistics seem sort of industry standard, or should we be trying to push harder in one of these areas. Our CRM data keeps a general idea of our leads source, but after digging through every application we've done in the last 12 months our statistics were a bit off and overall look like this. Sold Vehicles Unknown ------------ 6% Web ----------------- 14% Repeat --------------- 20% Referral -------------- 34% T.V. ------------------- 12% Drive-by -------------- 12% Other ------------------ 3% Unsold Vehicles Unknown ------------ 9% Web ----------------- 18% Repeat --------------- 4% Referral -------------- 42% T.V. ------------------- 14% Drive-by -------------- 10% Other ------------------ 3% 10%Other ------------------ 3%
mark rask

that looks like correct numbers......push the referals from traditional car lots

 

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