It’s no secret that the business of selling cars is changing. It has been changing very quickly ever since the Internet became a part of our business. The showroom used to be flooded with potential buyers that had no idea of what was going on unless they already visited another dealership, but today nearly 90% of your showroom traffic has already been to your dealer website not to mention several others and the manufacturers site. Not all, but many of our potential customers are submitting Internet Leads before they ever step a foot on our lot.

The Dos and Don'ts of Internet Car Sales LeadsSome of them will come after they have visited your site without submitting an inquiry and others that fill out online lead forms and requests for quotes need to be persuaded, tempted, urged, influenced, sweet-talked, bribed and seduced to visit your dealership.  Your job as an Internet Sales Manager is to sell them a car, but first you need to get them to come into the dealership with the information they provided in their Internet lead.

I have put together a simple list of dos and don’ts when it comes to converting your Internet car leads into showroom visitors and ultimately buyers.

Internet Car Sales Leads Dos

  1. Do Response Quickly: Answer their request as quickly as possible. There is a good chance that your dealership is one of many that received a request for price or information. Being the first gives you a much better chance of making an impression than being the 3rd of the 6 Internet Sales Managers that have called and or emailed them. It’s hard for them to keep track of the flood of calls and emails’ so being first is definitely a plus.
  2. Do Stand Out on the Phone: The first thing that almost everyone does is call (if they supplied a good phone number) and tries to set an appointment. If you happen to be lucky enough to have a good number and reach the person that submitted the lead you need to offer your assistance rather than push for the appointment too quickly. Be enthusiastic, helpful and accommodating. Follow their lead and provide only the information that you need to provide and no more. You are not the public library you are here to sell cars. I like to say that you need to keep it “Gray”. Not clear, black and white or precise and to the point, but “Gray”. Offer to show them, let them drive, see for themselves, experience and feel, see the different colors, trim levels, options and anything else you can think of to embrace their senses. Tease them, attract them, seduce them and make them long for the feel of the wheel and the possibilities that you can provide.
  3. Do Stand Out in Email: Sending the same old email that everyone sends that has seen a million times buy a million leads that rambles on about how long you have been there or how many customers you have sold doesn’t mean a thing to the potential customer. They want to know what you can do for them. They only care about themselves and “what’s in it for them”. Stand out from the crowd by including graphics of the car, yourself and the dealership, videos, spec sheets, History Report (if it is a used car), window sticker, links to video reviews and write-ups. Give them something that will make you stand head and shoulders above the competition. (Of course of these things will include your name, number, email address and link to the dealership) Make them remember you because they will be flood with the same old emails say “Call me if I can help you”. Would you want to do business with one of the dealers that supplies you with the same old thing or the one that provides you with an abundance of information that reinforces your decision to buy the car they were considering.

Internet Leads to Dealer Showroom TrafficPricing is not everything because practically every lead source convinces the car shopper to fill out a form to receive a price so that is what most people are going to expect. The policy at your particular dealership on whether you do or don’t price leads is up to them, but you should know that a lowest price received via phone or email only close 19% of the customers. There are many other factors, but that means that 81% are about more than price. That is a pretty strong number, but that is the subject of another post entirely where I will talk about pricing Internet Leads.

Internet Car Sales Leads Don’ts

  1. Don’t Badger, Push or Harass: The car buyer loves shopping on the Internet because they don’t have to deal with us annoying salespeople so don’t be one on the phone of through email. You need to be a different person when you are working a lead than you are when you have them at your desk in the showroom. Once they get to the dealership you can go to work, but not until they get there.
  2. Don’t  Tell a Lie: I didn’t say that you had to be precise and give details, I just said that you don’t have to lie to a potential car buyer when you are working an Internet Lead. When you tell a customer over the phone or through email that you have a specific car, in a specific color, with very specific options and they come through your door only to find that you lied to them it will be like trying to sell a car to an angry bear. It’s not going to happen! See number 3.
  3. Don’t Use These Words: When you are communicating with a prospective car buyer and convincing them why they should come and see you there are certain words that you should never use. These words are locate, dealer trade, order, find or anything else that makes it clear that you don’t have the car they seek, but some another does have the vehicle. If you don’t have a specific vehicle on your lot you would say that you have one available. I didn’t say I have one here, I said I have one available. If you can do a dealer trade or locate one that means you have it available, correct?
  4. Don’t Be Specific: The last thing you want to do is be specific if you can help it any way. If there is absolutely no other option than you have to do what you have to do, but that is rarely the case. Like I said in the dos section stay “Gray” when it comes to answering questions. Use terms like available, practically, most buyers, several (model of car) in stock and not a problem. Remember you have to get them to the dealership before you can do your magic and until you get them to visit you let them be in control.

I told you it was a basic lists of dos and don’t and it might seem basic to you, but there is a lot to be said about these simple rules for converting Internet leads to showrooms visits. There is so much more to getting them in the door, but good a good car salesman or car saleswoman can do their magic on the phone and through email to ultimately sell them a car. You might not be able to see their face, but you can still pick up on simple clues in order to read the customer and ultimately close a deal.

Later, fresh lead in the CRM