When working with Internet car leads we all know (or at least we should know) that the very first step is making the first call. Before you send them a price quote, before you send them an email about how great you are or how great the dealership is, CALL THEM. Some dealerships like to use an autoresponder email that goes to the customer as soon as a lead comes into the CRM.

The email tells them someone will be with them shortly and other blah, blah, blah. Or what the customer hears is that they are too busy to help me so I got an automated email. Don’t get me wrong I love autoresponders when the dealership is closed. But there is no reason for an automated email when the dealership is open.

working internet car leads

When a fresh lead hits the CRM the first thing you do is read it thoroughly. Determine the vehicle they requested and availability (but not color), if there is a trade-in, and anything else you should know. Then check for a phone number and a good email. Also depending on your lead sources, you may need to handle them differently based on the source. Plus, look for anything the customer requests explicitly or any questions they have.

Don’t look for all the options they are asking about, and don’t check to price because I am sure you can get exactly what they want. Stop wasting all this precious time before you make the first call when working internet car leads. Don’t try to anticipate what they are going to ask, just jump in with both feet.

Critical First Call Working Internet Car Leads

Then quickly and before you do anything else, you should pick up the phone and make the call. Every minute counts when a potential customer submits a lead. You want to catch them before they leave their computer if possible. Everything else can wait until you are talking to the customer or you get their voicemail. Once you connect with them, you can discuss their request and/or answer their questions. Confirm and compliment their choice of vehicle and discover whether or not they have a trade.

This first call is critical because there is a good chance the same lead may be going to multiple dealers. The first caller that connects has the advantage. Once you start talking, try to avoid colors unless you know that you have every color available. Let them know that you are there to help them and answer their questions. Talk about their trade-in and try to build some rapport. Don’t pressure them for an appointment. Potential car buyers associate this with the stereotype of the “Pushy and Annoying Car Salesman”.

If your dealership has a policy of working Internet car leads by pricing new cars immediately, then follow procedure. But if they don’t try to focus on the trade. Everyone wants to know what their trade is worth. In fact, it’s very likely that they have already checked their trade value at Kelley Blue Book, the manufacturer’s website or some other website. If the trade-in value is a sticking point ask them to stop in for a quick trade evaluation. If the customer doesn’t have a trade (and many won’t tell you if they do) then answer their questions and offer a test drive.

When you connect on the first call, you have the best chance of getting them to visit your dealership. Unless, of course, you are out of their area. In that case, all you can do is ask for that test drive or trade appraisal. Be helpful, don’t push or pressure them, and make them want to visit you and your dealership. Listen closely, and you will have a good idea if you are progressing or striking out.

Working Internet Car Leads and Used Cars

So far I have been talking about new vehicles, but calling quickly is just as crucial on used cars as it is with new cars. However, you have a distinct advantage with used cars. You are the only one that has the car for which they submitted a lead. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking at other used cars from other dealers. So speed is essential when working internet car leads and making the first call.

When working Internet car leads on used cars, you have a better chance because each car is unique. When you connect, try to create some urgency. If you feel that they are really serious, let them know you had several calls on the car and ask when they come in and take a look. You can take some chances with used cars and even push a little. But first, you need to make the first call quickly.

Now for the bad news: You made that first call, but no answer. You must leave a voicemail. Introduce yourself, your dealership and let them know you are here to help answer your questions. Also, let them know you will call back when you will call. If your dealership uses texting like most dealers today, it’s time for a text. If your dealership has a texting policy, follow it accordingly.

And now the inevitable, you are working Internet car leads, and you got a bad number. Somebody that submitted an Internet lead gave you the wrong phone number (like that ever happens). It’s happening more all the time, and if that’s the case, it’s time to get a response through email.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot


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