Article

More Leads Please, Can A Dealer Have Too Many

March 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Jason Ezell - Also by this author

More leads are what every dealer wants from their Web site. Oddly, this isn’t what every dealer needs. There is such a thing as having too many Internet leads. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. The average number of Internet leads one salesperson can handle at any given time is between 100-150. Any more than that, the salesperson is forced to cherry pick and only work the hot ones.

You do the math.  If an Internet salesperson receives 150 leads in one month, closes 10 percent and 15 percent are dead or useless leads they still have 113 active leads to work.  If the next month the same thing occurs your salesperson is now potentially working more than 200 active leads.  The issue begins with what we, as car people, consider a “hot lead”; someone that we feel confident will buy a car in the next few days. Hot leads get the most attention, at the cost of the leads that are slow to respond, or those that give you the “I’m just looking” e-mail response. Those “not so hot leads” are often trashed or forgotten. In reality, the majority of these leads will buy a car in the next 30-90 days.

Here’s where the issue gets worse, of Internet shoppers who submitted a lead AND purchased a vehicle, only 42 percent purchased within 30 days of submitting that lead. So there’s your low hanging fruit. What about all those apples that are just out of reach now, but only need another 30-90 days to ripen? Do we just forget about them and let the worms eat them?

The remaining 58 percent of those buyers who submitted a lead purchased their vehicle between 30-90 days AFTER submitting that lead. Those are your deliveries for the next three months, but they were never followed up with after 30 days. However as staggering as this is, it’s true that 55 percent of dealers only responded one time via e-mail to an Internet lead…ONE time! That’s why, of those 58 percent of shoppers, or shall we say buyers, who purchased a vehicle in that 30-90 day time frame, only 8 percent bought from the same dealership they sent their original lead to. Eight percent! Why? Because the dealer they originally submitted the lead to gave up after 30 days. And when they were ripe for the picking, another farmer was there to catch them as they fell from the tree.

Moral? Simple, leads are finite in number, make the most of EVERY single lead. Follow up relentlessly for months after the lead arrives because not all are ripe in 30 days. Be a farmer, not a picker. Plant the seeds, water them, feed them, cultivate ALL of your fruit, the low hanging and the less than ripe. So that, when the ripe ones fall your basket overflows, not your competitors.

Vol 4, Issue 2

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