Garbage Lead Responses

Want more leads?

Knee-jerk response? Absolutely! But why?

While there is no denying that the more opportunities you cram into the top of the proverbial funnel, the more will trickle out of the bottom. Let’s not forget, however, that typically more leads equal more cost to your dealership. More cost means less profit. Less profit, grumpier bosses, and no pizza on Saturday. So you’re locked in a vicious cycle of blowing money on more and more leads to keep the same piddly number of sales because you are relying solely on the quantity of opportunities. Everyone eats bologna sandwiches at their desk and the world gets grayer every day.
Here’s what you’re missing: QUALITY. 

Nope, not lead quality, although that is obviously very important too. Duh. But we’re talking about the lesser acknowledged importance of your dealership’s lead response quality.   Yeah, I know, its shocking to consider that the way you reply to internet leads could be hindering your closing rate. Frikin mind-blowing stuff here. Do me a solid and fill out this questionnaire, if only in mumbled self-talk.  It could help inform your decision to go out and buy more leads, or to simply DO BETTER with the ones you have now. 

Are you providing answers to your customer’s questions? 
Do you include a price?
Do you include lease quotes?
Do you include finance quotes?
Are the quotes accurate and achievable?
Can the customer interact with the quotes?
Can the customer choose incentives and rebates?
Are you calculating prices to include taxes and fees?
Do you know when the response was opened?
Do you know if the customer engaged with your quotes?
Do you ask what they want for their trade?
Do you ask what they want their monthly payment to be?

Hold onto your butt for the next question. Do you do ALL OF THAT in the first reply? Because you should. There’s an epidemic of auto-responders and crappy sales people sending out pure shit to automotive internet leads. The first email asks for a phone number and the second one tells them how to spell the sales person’s name correctly. The third and forth inexplicably ask if they’re still interested. Somewhere around the FIFTH REPLY dealers are getting down to business with maybe MAYBE MAYBE!!!! a price quote. 

Hang on, I need a drink. 

Our industry has witnessed a steady decline in internet lead close rates over the last few decades. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s it was not uncommon to see closing ratios averaging 15-20% with spikes of 30% for dealership website leads. Ah, the good ol’ days.  By the time Ke$ha was brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, the average was closer to 9%. We hit 7% the year Sharknado inexplicably became a hit, and today we’re closing about 5% of our leads. FIVE FRIKIN PERCENT.

What the hell, Guys?
What has changed so drastically from then until now?
Ok, here are some more important questionnaire items for you to consider.

Who is answering your internet leads? 
Are they stupid, lazy or apathetic?
Are you?
Are you using an auto-responder during business hours?
What are they saying? 
Would it make YOU want to rush right in and buy a car?
How many attempts are they making?
How many cooks are in the kitchen?
Are they properly managed?
Are they properly trained?
Do they have the tools they need to provide a quality first response?

There, that last one. Read that one again. That’s the secret sauce.

Even if you’re dealership is the one lone unicorn doing everything else correctly, you’re still missing sales opportunities if you have not yet armed your team with a simple, fast, easy-to-use tool with which they can provide your internet leads a personalized, robust, interactive price, loan, and lease quote in the VERY FIRST REPLY.  Every lead. Every day. Every time. First reply.

In your defense. It didn’t exist until recently. Now it does and if you’ve read this far, I’m sorry to inform you that you are now responsible for implementing it ASAP.  No no no! Don’t you close the browser now, you done did it. You are armed with the privilege of knowledge. We all know that with great privilege comes great responsibly. Failure to quickly sign your store up with illumiQUOTE will result in YOU being a big part of the problem with your dealership’s internet lead response quality. 

Do the right thing:  Learn more about illumiQUOTE

Written on August 21, 2019

Written by Christine Plunkett

You may also like…

Phone Up Game Part 6: The Solution

Dealership phone ups and outbound marketing campaign calls can be handled by a virtual call center. BDCiQ is your dealership’s BDC.