May 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
Picture this: you leave your office on a Monday night and the last thing you do is make sure your desk is clear and ready for the next day. On Tuesday morning you find five completely filled out and signed credit applications from customers neatly arranged on your desk. Not only that, but their available down payment is listed on the application, as is an appointment time they are due to arrive at your dealership.
Now let’s take it one step further. What if this happened every day. Would you be interested?
Why should you have a BHPH Web site?
1) To get more credit applications, which will then sell more cars for you
2) To collect more money
BHPH Web sites sell cars for their dealerships by getting completed credit applications from customers online. Most of the so-called “automotive Web experts” will cringe when I say this, but listing your inventory on your Web site, quite frankly, is a waste of time and effort. In fact, you will sell less from your site if your inventory is listed. BHPH Web sites are different from a new car dealership or used car dealer site. Our goal is to concentrate on getting credit applications. We extend credit first; then we sell the car.
So, what is really possible to accomplish with a good BHPH Web site? These numbers can vary a little depending on your number of branch locations and market size, but at a minimum, you should be receiving five complete credit applications per day from your Web site or it is not functioning up to par. Receive seven to eight per day, and you are doing a very good job. Ten or more per day is exceptional. By the way, these numbers are real and attainable. In fact, we average over 10 per day right now.
Five per day for 30 days equals 150 apps per month. How many cars can you sell from that? With only a 15 percent closing rate, that is 23 additional deliveries per month! Could you use 23 additional deliveries per month? Of course you could. Not only is this possible, but it is being done every day at BHPH dealerships across the country.
So, you say that your Web site isn’t doing this? When a salesperson doesn't sell any cars for a week, what do you do? You look at what he/she did for the week and you try to counsel or fix what they are doing wrong. Salespeople are expected, and required, to sell cars. You will eventually hold them accountable for the money you are paying them and the cars they are NOT selling. But ultimately, it is your responsibility to set goals, monitor them and enforce them.
If your Web site doesn’t sell a car for a day or two, a week or even a month, what do you do? Chances are nothing. Complaining does not count as doing something. BHPH owners (for some reason) do not expect their sites to sell cars for them. Their Web sites and their Web designers/developers are not held accountable when they do not get credit apps or sales. It is your responsibility to hold them accountable, especially now that you know what your site is really capable of. So you say, “But what do I do to improve my Web site’s performance?”
Here are the four steps to get you started:
1) Make up your mind that it will take some work and time to get it done, but not a lot of money. Remember it is your Web site, your business and your responsibility to see that your site is performing up to par.
2) Be sure you have a short but secure credit application on your site for customers to complete and submit online. For BHPH dealers, getting credit applications is the main reason to even have a Web site. If you do not have a secure credit application, you are wasting your time.
3) In large letters (at least 12 to 18 inches), put your Web site address on your building or signage. The number-one way to draw traffic is to take advantage of the drive-by traffic you already have at your lot.
4) Then, set a meeting with your Web designer and have him/her explain to you the Web site statistics from your Web site. If you don’t have any statistics currently, have your Web designer add “Google Analytics” to your site. It’s free and a good program to start with. The Web statistics will show you how many visitors you have and what they do when they enter your site. You can’t fix something if you don’t know what is going on.
Special Finance Insider Vol. 3, Issue 3