Leads. Leads. Leads. Lead? Nope, the customer that should be yours that will buy somewhere else. All the data (little data and it’s more well-known brothers medium data and big data) says the same thing: people that submit leads buy. And buy in a well-defined timeframe. And buy from…….well, it doesn’t matter. Most of the time it’s not you.
So what’s the deal? The deal is this: the more leads that are typically generated deliver fewer customers. Why? Because we can’t change an industry of salespeople, management, training and manuals before it wants to shed its rich history of stuffing customers into cars, only going for the low-hanging fruit and being “busy” which is a crock of bull. Between seemingly insurmountable amounts of information and customers buying, there is a brick wall. Yes, the one you keep hitting your heads against; the one that prevents us from being great and gaining attitudes that push us outside of our comfort zones.
Internet leads are gold. Back in the 1800’s California Gold Rush a lot of people went broke while a fair number made their riches. Fast forward to the last fifteen years and, likely for many of the same reasons, a few are making a killing while most are screaming “bad leads” rather than actually looking at what the heck is happening in their stores.
Between a dealership’s website and third parties, the average store can create enough business to sustain at least one person dedicated to managing “leads” or a floor of great communicators (which everyone says they are) sharing all of the business. The problem lies at the point where a response is sent. For the most part, dealerships respond with crap, period. Invite me into any dealership in the country, I’ll show you mediocre at best responses within the 30 days period prior and many of them.
So what needs to be done to eliminate losing someone at hello? Ready…here’s the rocket science:
The reason that most dealerships don’t receive equitable responses from customers who submit online leads is….we send garbage! If it’s easier and more rewarding to buy a $25 item from Amazon than a $30,000 car from your store, shame on you!
Never send an email or pick up the phone (recorded phone calls demonstrate that we do just as s**tty of a job on the phone as emails) when (1) you don’t know what you are going to say, (2) don’t address the customer’s needs, (3) can’t properly invite them into the dealership and (4) talk/write more than asking questions.
Expectations around online experiences leading to purchase are increasing. So it doesn’t make sense to miss the mark, then defend yourself to your GM or GSM with anything other than “you know what, I don’t deserve to manage your leads”. And by the way, that’s not much of a defense, however at least it’s honest.
Remember that there is no such thing as a bad lead, just a crappy response. Yes, there are bogus leads but you’re old enough and smart enough to sell 20+ cars a month on 100 leads. Yes, you are. Go get ‘em tiger!
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results
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