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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Jeff Sterns

Jeff Sterns VP Sales and Business Development

Exclusive Blog Posts

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

  According to Dale Carnegie only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. We all know how valuable referrals are but when it comes time to ask for a …

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

You think you’re dangling an enticing lure in front of your customers’ eyes. You plan to set the hook and reel them in. But what you don&rs…

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

  Most dealers understand the importance of making it easy for customers and prospects to find contact information. Websites often have prominent &…

Quick Tips for Improving Dealership Culture

Quick Tips for Improving Dealership Culture

Car dealers have a terrible reputation. It's such a negative experience for so many that people are electing to make a major purchase like a vehicle fr…

The Biggest Mistake Dealers Make When It Comes to Customer Retention

The Biggest Mistake Dealers Make When It Comes to Customer Retention

Jim Roche is the Divisional VP of Marketing & Managed Services at Xtime. We asked him to tell us the biggest mistake he sees dealers making today when …

Help First, Sell Second with Chat

Helping

Selling comes naturally for many of us in the car business...

In most conversations, people in the automotive industry have a tendency to turn the conversation with the techniques we've been taught - building rapport, qualifying, leading the conversation, listening for hot buttons, etc.

On website chat, there's a slightly different mentality required to make it work. Unlike phone and face-to-face conversations, it's more challenging to utilize our natural and trained skills to lead people towards the goal. We have to, in many ways, earn the right to ask for the lead. This is contrary to some philosophies that attempt to go straight for the lead information on chat, but it's better to talk them through it rather than force the issue.

There are two common scenarios that we see on chat today. First, there are those who answer the chat and reply to any question with a request for contact information. Even if they ask something simple like, "what time do you close," the response is always, "I'm not sure but I'll check on that and contact you. May I have your phone number and email address, please?"

The second growing phenomenon is the "lead gate". In this scenario, requests for chat are prompted with a form getting all of their information up front. If they want to ask a simple question, they have to fill out a lead form just to be able to get through to people. It's like calling the dealership and having the receptionist answer by saying, "Thank you for calling Sterns BMW. May I have your name, phone number, and email address, please?"

On the surface, it can seem like a good idea to ask for the information up front. If they're serious, they'll leave the information, right? Wrong. Just because people aren't wanting to leave their information for the dealership doesn't mean they're not serious about buying a car. In fact, many people prefer chat because it's less risky to them. They aren't having to talk to a salesperson on the phone and they don't have to wait for a reply via email.

The wonderful part about chat is that we've seen thousands of instances over the years where a person is a bit standoffish from the start, but after being helpful and answering their questions quickly and informatively, they are willing later in the chat to give their contact information to the chat operator.

Earning a lead on chat means that you're starting off by meeting their needs so that they're more willing to meet your needs. That's the give and take that makes top dealerships the most successful.

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