You might be making this Internet car sales mistake and not even realize that you are doing it. This simple oversight could be limiting your success as an Internet car salesman or ISM (Internet Sales Manager). Years ago the salesperson that was considered a good employee, but certainly not a top performer became the ISM or the whole Internet department. However todays Internet sales managers are often top performers that have come from the sales floor. They have transitioned into the Internet sales department because of the way people want to buy and shop for cars today.
These sales people know how to sell cars, but they have to make the transition to ISM, which is easier for some than it is for others. The idea of getting all of their customers through the Internet can be a little scary until they get the hang of the process they use to acquire customers. Once ISMs get comfortable with the process they often make this Internet car sales mistake with leads.
Sounds simple, get an Internet lead, make a phone call, send an email and make an appointment. Then the customer comes into the dealership and you sell them a car and repeat the process over and over. Oh, if it was only that easy! We all know that the process of taking Internet car sales leads and turning them into showroom visits can be as easy as making a phone call (rarely) or it can take numerous emails, price quotes and phone calls before you will ever get them into the dealership if at all.
The most common Internet car sales mistake working leads that I see over and over again and all over the country is the ISM trying to sell the car before getting them in the door. Most Internet Sales Manager pay plans are based on performance, which means; sales and not appointments determines how much they earn. The ISM’s time is valuable and they want their appointments to show and sell ASAP so they can sell more cars, but only a very small percentage of Internet leads will reveal their true intentions even if you can get two-way communication.
I am not saying that you aren’t doing your job properly; I am simply saying that it’s very hard to make the transition from car salesman to Internet Sales Manager because on the floor you want to sell a car NOW, not tomorrow, not next week, but NOW. Our car sales experience is needed when it comes it comes to being a successful ISM, but working Internet car sales leads requires us to focus on the bigger picture. The mistake is trying to bring in the customers that you think are buying now and not focusing on the shoppers.
Stand back and think about this for a minute; if you have been selling cars for a living for any period on time think back on some of your best deals. I am sure that you have sold plenty of customers that said they weren’t buying today, they were in the first stages of research and they only want to compare your brand to several other brands. That’s right, you sold them even though they didn’t come into the dealership to buy a car. You did your magic; you used your car salesman skills to sell them a car NOW!
The successful ISM, just like the car salesman is a professional that uses their skills and experience to sell cars, lots of cars. The mistake working Internet leads that I am talking about is trying to sell the car before they ever get to the dealership. Bring everyone in that you can, regardless of when they are buying. Invite them in to take a test drive, to learn about your car, to see the different colors, compare options and trim levels and to experience the vehicle first hand. Tell them that you are not asking them to buy, but your are asking them come in a let you demonstrate all the great features your vehicle has to offer. Let him or her know that there is no hassle or pressure to buy; you only want to help them gather all the information they need to make a good decision.
Sure there are a few Internet leads that you can sell before they get to your dealership, but you know they won’t have much gross. Try to break your habit of only bringing in the buyers and start bringing in everyone that is thinking about getting a new car. Once you have them in the dealership and they take a test drive you can do your magic. You can perform miracles when they are in front of you. I am sure you sold many customers that weren’t buying today and the same holds true when working Internet car sales leads.
Internet leads are just looking and they are not buying today, but nearly 80% of them are buying in the next 180 days. However if you get them in front of you there’s a good chance that you can turn those prospects into buying today. Don’t make the Internet car sales mistake of limiting your opportunities. Your F&I director will work much harder to get your customer approved when they are in the dealership. Plus you never know what your GSM and/or Used Car Manager will do to make a deal unless they have the buyer at the dealership.
Later, Fresh Lead in the CRM
You Can Always Sell More Vehicles! – 100 Car $ales Tips eBook