The business of selling cars has changed. It’s all about working car sales internet leads today. It has changed quickly since the Internet became a part of our business. The showroom used to be flooded with potential buyers who had no idea what was happening. However, unless they have already visited another dealership. But today, 90% or more of your showroom traffic has already been to your dealer website. Not to mention several others and the manufacturer’s website. Not all, but many of our potential customers submit Internet Leads before they ever step foot on our lot.

car sales internet leads

Some of them will come after they have visited your site without submitting an inquiry. Then, others who fill out online lead forms and request quotes must be persuaded. Plus, 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. However, first, you need to get them to enter the dealership with the information they provided in their Internet lead.

I have compiled a simple list of dos and don’ts when converting your Internet car leads into showroom visitors and car buyers.

Car Sales Internet 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 who 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 try to set an appointment. Suppose you are lucky enough to have a good number and reach the person who submitted the lead.  Then, you must 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. You want them to 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 wheel’s feel and the possibilities you can provide.

  3. Do Stand Out in Email:

    Sending the same old email that everyone has seen a million times buy a million leads that ramble 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, these things will include your name, number, email address, and link to the dealership.) Make them remember you because they will be flooded with old emails saying, “Call me if I can help you.” Would you want to do business with one of the dealers supplying you with the same old thing? Or the one providing abundant information that reinforces your decision to buy the car they were considering?

working internet leads


Pricing 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 will expect. The policy at your particular dealership on whether you do or don’t price leads is up to them. You should know that the lowest price received via phone or email only closes 19% of the customers. There are many other factors, but 81% are about more than price. That is a pretty strong number, but that is the subject of another post where I will discuss pricing Internet Leads.

Car Sales Internet Leads Don’ts

  1. Don’t Badger, Push, or Harass:

    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 or through email. You need to be a different person when you are working a lead than when you have them at your desk in the showroom. You can go to work once they get to the dealership, but not until they arrive.

  2. Don’t  Tell a Lie:

    I didn’t say 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 communicating with prospective car buyers and convincing them why they should come and see you, there are certain words you should never use. These words are locate, dealer trade, order, find, or anything else that clarifies that you don’t have the car they seek. You would say you have one available if you don’t have a specific vehicle on your lot. I didn’t say I have one here. I said I had one available. If you can do a dealer trade or locate one, you have it available, correct?

  4. Don’t Be Specific:

    The last thing you want to do is be specific if you can help. If there is no other option, then you have to do what you must, 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 list of dos and don’ts for car sales internet leads, and it might seem basic to you. But there is much to be said about these simple rules for converting Internet leads to showroom visits.

 There is so much more to get them in the door, but 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 see their face, but you can still pick up on simple clues to read the customer and ultimately close a deal.

Later, fresh lead in the CRM