Extraordinary Results With Your Internet Leads

How you handle your internet leads determine so much about your culture, your dealership, and your customer experience. Do you differentiate yourselves from the competition that surrounds you?

If you want to be a successful automotive sales professional, you need to have a plan in place concerning how you handle your internet leads, the rate in which you reach out to customers, and how you bring them into the dealership.

There is a ton of research that speaks to best practices in the dealership, how to best handle leads, processes, and how customers are shopping in the moment. Who has time to wade through all of it? So here are some facts that stood out to me:

  • The average mobile campaign significantly outpaces online in ad awareness. (Source: DynamicLogic.com)
  • Adults spend 10.1 percent of their media time on mobile, but only .9 percent of ad spends are on mobile. (Source: eMarketer.com)
  • 73 percent of smartphone users say they used the mobile web to make a purchase instead of using an app. (Source: JumpTap.com) We just had a very interesting conversation about this on Driving Sales.
  • 81 percent of smartphone users have done product research from a smartphone, and 50 percent have made a purchase via their phone. (Source: Prosper Mobile Insights)
  • 70 percent of mobile searches lead to action within one hour. (It takes a full month for the same percentage of desktop users to catch up.) (Source: MobileMarketer.com)
  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action. More than 50 percent lead to sales. (Source: SearchEngineLand)

And this data will change quickly. As new technologies emerge and disruptions are added, data grows, morphs, and develops into new, slightly different data. It is almost impossible to have “current” information because current is constantly evolving.

Think about how that affects the way we reach out, market, and talk to customers. It is an ever changing game and we need to either know the most recent rules or start creating some new ones.

A few points to take away from all this data:

Is your website responsive?

One major takeaway is that customers are searching your dealership and looking for information on multiple platforms. Is your website set up for a multi-device experience? If 81% of customers are doing research on their smartphone, and 70% lead to some form of action within an hour, you need to make sure you are meeting customers where they are. It is not enough to have a functional website, but you need a responsive one. One that provides the information they want without having to minimize to see the text or do the scroll of death to try and find the right margin. Your website should be completely functional on any platform with any device the customer chooses to utilize.

Are you prepared for change?

We are creatures of habit in an industry that does not embrace change as quickly as others. The problem with that is our customers ARE changing, and we need to keep up in a manner they find inviting. That means we have to have multiple modes of contact, advertising, and selling. Customers expect to have choices now, and we are more than capable of providing them. Texting, Chat, and Dealership Apps are the new kids on the block (maybe not NEW, but newer) and need to be discussed. One statistic I read today stated that texts get read in under 3 minutes. That is powerful, as long as it is not an intrusion for your customer. Dealer Apps are very cool, but you need customer buy-in. There is so much to think about that your head would spin trying to keep up.

Let me give you some peace of mind.

There are some things--some tried and true methods--that are still effective. You can add any new approach needed, but these are three static forms of contact that must happen.

  • You must email your customer
  • You must get them on the phone as soon as possible
  • You must set an appointment
  • You are already doing this, right?

Good.

You have one solid piece in place, as long as you are doing this well. With all of this innovation and change, take comfort that there are methods you already embracing. The interesting and exciting part is figuring how to weave the old with the new. How to incorporate texting or apps or geofencing with what you know needs to be done. Should you incorporate a service that immediately links you to a customer via phone when they fill out a lead?

You should not abandon prior methods, but you can enhance them and make them even more effective. So do what you are doing, but add what you can one step at a time. Master that, and then see if it works.

Because, at the end of the day, it does not matter if it is cool or cutting edge. What matters is if it helps you reach more customers and sell more cars.