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Timmy James

Timmy James Chief Operating Officer

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All dealerships get leads that originate from the Internet. Not all dealers, however, are equal when it comes to how they handle these leads. Ever wonder why some dealers are able to close Internet leads at 12+ percent, while others struggle to reach 6 percent? The reason has everything to do with how these leads are handled – from speed of reply to the content in the reply itself.

One of the most powerful ways to communicate to today’s tech savvy customers is with video. It’s a highly effective form of communication because it engages the customer’s senses. It can help capture the customer’s attention and increase the amount of leads that turn into appointments.

There are three basic types of videos that I find work best when created and integrated into any lead follow up system :

  1. Lead Response Videos: When you receive a 3rd party Internet lead, chances are really good that lead also went to multiple other dealerships. This interested buyer then gets bombarded by e-mails and phone calls. Quite frankly, most of these responses are generic, contain no information, aren’t personalized and tend to start looking alike. Gain a competitive edge with your response -- rather than simply send a template email, create a personalized video response that thanks the customers for the inquiry. Introduce yourself, mention the vehicle the customer inquired about and invite them in. Your video will stand out and make you the memorable one. Customers will also feel flattered that you took the time to create this video and realize that there is a real person communicating with them, not just a computer.
  2. Appointment Confirmation Videos: When you do get a customer that is interested in test driving a vehicle, it’s important to create a sense of obligation on their part. It’s proven that e-mails that contain videos get opened at a far higher rate than those that do not (especially when the word “video” is in the subject line). Create an appointment confirmation video and you can increase the chance that the customer will open and view it. In addition, use the video to tell them that you’re looking forward to seeing them and make it “personal” so they feel guilty if they blow you off and don’t show up.  Let them know that you are doing something “for them” by making sure you have the vehicle cleaned up, pulled around and waiting for them…and offer to have an ice cold bottle of water or a cold Coca Cola waiting for them.
  3. Personalized Walkaround Videos: Nothing is stronger than sending a personalized walkaround video to your customers. The fact that you took the time to video and explain the features and benefits of the specific vehicle they inquired about JUST FOR THEM, can impress them and can also increase their interest level. People appreciate it when others go that extra mile to help them. Make your vehicle AND yourself memorable and you’ll have a better chance of building trust and rapport with your customer and, ultimately, getting them into your dealership.


Give one or two of these a try, I’m confident you’ll be impressed with the increase in the lead to appointment rates and appointment show rates that you receive.

Taylan Yu
Last week we launched our video program with our sales team, I am eager to share this ammunition with them and to see the difference powerful videos make on their lead conversion rates. Right now we are just doing a quick overview and walk around video as a lead response, but I am going to incorporate this for Appointment confirmation videos as well! I'd love to hear how I can improve our videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4cZTM15-L-NJJjMpY3Rzlg
Jason Stum
Nice article @Timmy. When I was in sales I personally used lead response and personalized walkaround videos to my advantage. If you get consistent with them and you bring value, you should see an increase in overall appointments shown and closing percentage. @Taylan Great job on the videos for your store. The only recommendation I would make is to mic up the people on camera so you get clearer audio.
Chris K Leslie
I agree with Jason. One of the microphone I use is the Rode Smartlav. I plug it in to my iPhone, tuck it in my back pocket and record audio that way. http://www.amazon.com/Rode-Smartlav-Lavalier-Microphone-Smartphones/dp/B00BHN05H2

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