I Need More Leads!

October 18, 2010

In my travels helping dealerships with their internet sales efforts, I hear this question a lot.

“How can I get more leads?”

 While it is helpful to get more leads to sell more cars, it usually means the budget has to increase in order for more leads to come in to your store.  And, yes, there are more leads to be had out there, but before we go signing up for another lead provider and spend more money, let’s take a look at what you have already.

One of the big things I am finding is the same explanations about why we are not closing more of the leads we are already receiving. 

“Well, I have to deal with these people who are not serious, under age, can’t buy a car, etc, etc.”

People who are not serious about buying a car are just not serious right now.  We still have to give them a fair shake.  They are only telling you they are not serious right now to relieve pressure on themselves.  We still need to put them through the process with the hopes that they will become serious for you.  Eventually, they will come around and you want to be the one they remember when that time comes.

What about the kids out there?  Well many of them have parents.  Many of these parents will help their kids get a car.  Think about it.  You rely on your car to get you to work.  You’ve been running your kids around in your car for 16 years.  Aren’t you tired of this?  I know I will probably help my kids get a car when they are old enough to drive.  Don’t disregard these people.  They might not be the buyer, but they will bring the buyer with them when they come in.

I love this one.  “These people can’t buy a car.  I am going to have to get a 5 liner and find out what we can do before I waste my time with them.”  OK, so you get the 5 liner and you find a “booker” on your lot and your F&I guy/gal tells you he/she can get it done.  Now you call the customer and tell them the great news.  Now they will feel like they can get a car anywhere and start going from lot to lot looking for their dream car.  You just wasted more time than if they were in front of you.  Get them in and treat them like a human being.  Isn’t that what you would want?  And if you don’t have enough leads right now, then what else are you doing right now?  I like people.  I would rather see them in person than never at all.

Not a lot has changed in the internet sales world.  People still send a lead to 5 different dealerships in hopes to eliminate 2 or 3 of them.  They don’t want to go to 5 dealerships and spend 2 to 3 hours at each one.  They want to narrow it down to 2 or 3.  Many of these nice folks have already been out to a couple of dealerships before they sent out the lead.  They were subjected to the traditional sales process and have had their trade insulted by the “devalue the trade” step.  They are looking for a hero.

Phone skills are your friend when it comes to the internet customer.  Yes we want to answer the questions their lead presents.  “Do you have this?” and “How much is it?”  We want answer these questions and include in our email response a similar vehicle with similar equipment that’s less expensive.  We also want to remind them of all the other vehicles that are similar to their request tha are on our lot right now.  We want to do this in a timely manner and then get on that phone and attempt a contact.

When we get them on the phone, we don’t want to talk price on the phone.  You already answered these questions in your email.  Our job now is to put the customer in the sales seat and put yourself in the customer seat.  Ask them about the car they driving now.  As you gather more information about it, start escalating your interest in their vehicle.  After all, you NEED that car on your lot.  When they start to see that you are their best chance at getting a good value for their trade, they will want to come in and see you.  Remember, they have already been beat down on their trade elsewhere.

Use these initial steps and you will get a higher number of your current leads to show up to the dealership.  You will start to see your closing ratio increase as you get better at this process.

As Kenny Blankenship from the TV show Maximum Extreme Elimination would say, “DON’T GET ELIMINATED!”

Then we’ll talk about how to get more leads.

Happy selling my friends.


One comment

  1. Good article Doug, you hit the nail on the head!


    Pat D.

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