It’s Time You KNOW and OWN Your Internet Process
As I travel around the country helping dealers set up and
build their Internet Departments, one of the things I have really been focusing
on, is involving the Dealer, GM and Managers in the process. I always start out by asking.....
When someone walks into your dealership, what happens? What is your process? What are your steps of the sale? What are those, THIS happens every time or heads roll? Every time I ask this question, EVERY dealer and manager always know the answer, we do this, we do that, our steps of the sale are, etc.
I then ask the question....
When an eLead "enters" your store, what happens? When you receive a lead off of your website or from a third party provider, what happens? The normal response I get is, "I have a person that handles our Internet leads". To which I always say, "and then?.....". "Well, they try to respond within a couple of hours"....to which I say again, "and then?....."......"and then"...."and then"......I always have to ask them more questions, I have to dig deep because most do not know what their Internet steps of the sale are.
Once we go through this exercise, I have the whole room understanding that they need to own their Internet process!
Now I don’t expect them to know A to Z but in the end I want this to be their process. So they can say, “this is how WE do business online”. I want them to know “the steps of the sale” so to speak just like they know how they do business on the showroom floor. “When we receive a lead, this is what happens…”.
This is so important because of one of the big disconnects with most dealerships and the Internet is, they look for that great Internet Salesperson who is going to build up their Internet Department. The one who is going to take them to infinity and beyond! Nothing wrong with finding that "right" person but there is when the dealership doesn’t know HOW he/she is doing it or did it! Then, unfortunately when that person leaves, poof! Their Internet Department is gone. “I’m not really sure what they did”. “I know they followed up quickly with the customers”. And then most try to find another guru Internet salesperson to start the cycle all over again or they may spend time trying to figure out what and how they were doing things. Some even have the idea that they can just keep things going. “How difficult can it be?” “Sure, they were good but we can just continue doing whatever it was that they did”.
It’s time for dealerships to “own” their Internet process and build upon it!
Dealers need to know how they do business online. When they
hire a new Internet Salesperson, they can say, “This is how we do
business”. That Internet person is
expected not only to follow that process but to add to it. Add to the dealerships Internet process. Now, if and when one leaves and they hire a
new one, they will be able to hand over a manual – this is how we do business
here at ABC Motors. Yes, I’m sure I will
be called on to train that new salesperson but now the dealer has a process in
their store. Their process. So they can say “This is how WE do business
online. This is how we follow up with
Below are the Top 10
Questions Every Dealer, GM and Manager should know about their Internet
1) 1) Are ALL of your leads going into your ILM
(Lead Management system)?
Automatically or manually. Are
you sure?? You can’t track it if it’s
not! It’s very common for me to find
leads being sent to three or four different places. Manufactures leads are being sent to the ILM,
AutoTrader leads are sent to a used car
salesperson and website leads are going to the new car manager. It’s hard to track and get accurate numbers
if leads are going to more than one place.
2) 2) What are the first actions taken when an
eLead enters your store? When the
lead is sent to your Lead Management System, what happens next? Text alert notifies the salesperson –
Salesperson Sends eMail – Salesperson Calls Lead. Is that what happens? If not, do you know what does happen?
3) 3) What is your average response time? Time kills deals so response time is so
critical. Most Managers and Internet
Managers THINK they know what it is but usually they are very, very wrong. Average
response time for all of your leads. Not
what you think it is. Is it under an
hour? If not, it should be.
4) 4) How many leads do you receive, average, per
month? Is this number going up or
down? Someone needs to be tracking this
and working on improving the volume of leads.
5) 5) Performance. How
many sales do you average from your Internet Department? Do your Internet salespeople handle floor
traffic too? If so, they aren’t counting
those sales in the numbers, are they? We
want Internet Sales in this report, period.
Closing Ratio: It’s all about tracking each individual lead
source to know how they perform and which salespeople do best with different
leads. Knowing the closing ratio or each
lead source and then having an overall closing ratio of all of your leads. What is
your average gross profit from those deals, front and back? This should be the same or higher than your
6) 6) Who answers your incoming phone calls from
you website and third party sites like AutoTrader, Cars.com, etc. This is so important to know! There are so many deals lost because the
people answering the phone think they have that unique car of old. Not so anymore! There are hundreds of others just like yours,
right at their fingertips and people will travel to buy it. It is a must to know who is handling these
calls and that they know how to
handle these calls. And every single
call must be put in the CRM/ILM with the correct lead source.
7) 7) What is the process for following up with
leads after hours? Do the calls and
emails you receive after hours go unanswered until the next day? If two dealers get the same lead and one
responds and one doesn’t, who do you think will sell the car? Time kills deals. People find that other car just like yours
and maybe even better during that time that no one responds.
8) 8) Who is responsible for making updates to
your website (specials, incentives, etc) and how often is it done? Because most dealerships are used to the
newspaper rep stopping in and collecting this weeks newspaper ad for the dealership,
a habit for updating their website with specials has never been developed. It is so common to visit websites and see a
special from weeks, months and even a year ago!
Or how about “Please check back, there are no specials at this
time”. What??!! That’s like saying the your local clothing
store at the mall doesn’t have 50% off of all stock. For a limited time only of course :-)
9) 9) How well do you market your used cars
online? How many pictures do you
take of your used cars? Setting a
minimum requirement of 20 pictures per vehicle is a must. Writing custom comments of your used cars is
a must. How are your cars priced
compared to your competition? Market
10) 10) Are you updating your OEM provided websites? It is so common for me to find the different websites that the manufactures provide to their dealers to have NO used car pictures being sent to the site, wrong phone numbers on the site and leads being sent to never-never land. Another common problem I see is going to the manufacture website, entering the dealerships zip code to find them, clicking on “visit dealer”, only to find a dead link!
Feel free to contact me if you need help with how to put together your own process manual for your Internet Department, I would be glad to help you get started.