We have agreements with about everyone....had a terrible experience with Carsdirect 72 leads 0 sales...and customers seem to use it as a wish lists...for new or used...not to mention I hate that they have a site to tell me how much I should be selling my cars for. AutoUSA seemed less attractive when they lost Edmunds. Imotors/Reply.com very low closing ratio..similiar customers to Carsdirect.

 

So currently we are using Autobytel, Zag, Edmunds, KBB, Dealix, we even pay for 3rd party leads from the manufacturer. We get a total of 550-600 leads on average.

Who do you like....and why?

I am always looking for good companies that are not on my lists or radar and would love to know your closing ratios....

We close over 11% when you include the leads driven by our website...and I have 2 experienced managers and 2 people with no car experience answering the leads. We have a decent system I put in place.

I am just not getting enough leads and I want more traffic...(that does not mean I want to expand my miles radius past 25)...whenever I have stretched it out the close ratio drops too much and puts my R.O.I. out of wack.

 

Look forward to the thoughts out there.

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I have a son thats works a Fredy Kia in Houston Tx and sells 30 Kia's a month, his name is Frank Luna. Just want to see about maybe getting togther with you to help promote your CAC's Guaranteed Credit Approval program?

call me anytime 832-341-1806

 

Thanks

Manny Luna

Frank Blair said:

What I think stinks about Auto Trader is that if you price your vehicles aggressively you are put at the end of the vehicle list and when customers look at your ad they are pulled away to other soures for financing and "big box" car dealers. So the space you are buying is really not yours. Any body have any luck with any marketing programs that promote CAC's Guaranteed Credit Approval program? FKBlair@aol.com
Mr. Hildreth,

In my previous experience we found Autobytel to send many of the same leads that AutoUSA sent, but usually they were 10 minutes to sometimes even hours behind.  Time is of the essence so you might take a look back and see if any of the lead providers have a tendency of delivering the leads quicker.

When it comes to 3rd party leads, I don't believe there will ever be a magic vendor that comes around and offers some new product that will add on significantly more leads that close at a high rate.  It is a great question though.  I am always watching for something along those lines, too.

The other answers that others shared with you regarding your website are really the area that would be a great place to start focusing on as well.  It sounds like you are selling a bunch of cars with only a couple of people.  Have you thought about adding additional members to your sales team? 

Jason
It seems like AutoBytel, Dealix and AutoUSA are getting the leads from the same sources - there are a lots of duplicates. Did you give a chance to CarSoup? It's working very well for us plus they are not expensive.

Great questions here... I think the same frequently and completely agree with your outlook on the providers you mentioned. Are your people answering the leads, also selling the car and providing test drives or are they just setting appointments for the Salespeople? With 550-600 leads a month even 4 people doesn't sound like enough for constant follow up of the leads (especially if their selling the car too). Too many dealerships I see out there work them for a week and forget if there is no reply... They MUST have CONSISTENT follow up for at least 90 days! I have heard many varying "quotas" for how many to take but I have seen from experience that a "salesman" taking the leads from start to finish shouldn't have any more then 80-100 fresh leads in any given month. An "appointment setter" should have no more the 150-175. I have seen that just tweaking this will provide MUCH better results.

 

As getting leads, I have used just about all the main 3rd party lead gens.... Thing is, they are NEVER consistent! I have seen time and time again these 3rd party vendors praise their leads as being the best around and giving even 30-60 day trial periods. Most do excellent the first few months then start to go downhill fast. I could mimic what you say about CarsDirect leads, AutoUSA had some amazing leads to start but turned out some horrific results after a few months, Autobytel was horrible back in the day but last year sold us on their change and was INCREDIBLE for well over a year (20%+ closing ratio) but now, well, leads are awful and I am considering pulling the plug VERY soon (-3% closing into sales for 3 months). We used Zag for a while but their business model does not make sense at all with competitors in our area going past the point of making ANY profits at all with those sales and still having to pay ZAG $300. We recently signed up for the new Edmiunds program and I have not seen much to impress me as of yet but its still very new and time will tell. Dealix was good for a while but quickly went to bad leads when taking them all on, so now we only take the "hot" leads from them. All of these providers already know what will be a good or bad leads and some even price the leads accordingly. The constant though is that they will send EVERY lead they get to you and cross their fingers u don't catch all/most of the bad ones. Its an endless cycle but we must keep on it. 

 

Listen, My process here is not perfect but we do a good job and have a process that we stick to with EVERY customer regardless of where they come from. ALL of of leads that come from our Manufacturer or our own website close at 20%+ EVERY month into sales and we see 40%-50% walk through the door EVERY month as appointments. We work on getting more leads from those sources and slowly are getting there but no matter what we do, there will ALWAYS be a need for 3rd party lead gens... Its just a matter of keeping on top of them and using the ones that work for YOUR STORE. Every store, every brand and even location will produce different results with the providers, We just need to keep on top of them to see which are not providing consistent results and use the ones that are. 


Ultimately we need to draw as many leads from our own sources as possible and work them to the bone... 3rd party generators will always be inconsitant. Its not a matter of how many your getting, its a matter of what your doing with them when they arrive. 11% total into sales in not BAD but 15% is what I shoot for every month and usually hit. Don't get me wrong... Still use these 3rd party providers but only the ones that work. There is the old saying... "Quality not quantity".

 

Seems like we use the same providers right now... Have you found any other providers out there? I always like to try new sources to se what they are providing and most importantly WHERE they are coming from. 

I've heard the same thing from customers all over complaining about the qualtiy of leads from these 3rd Party sites. One such person told me they count clicks as leads...clicks to me are meaningless. And I think it is counter productive to use your inventory to produce leads and then share them w/ everyone in a 200 mile radius. At that point it comes down to who has the better pricing, not who has the best sales people or the strongest close ratio. The quality of leads is more important than the quantity. Still some of these sites will produce results and can be used as an extra. But I would focus my digital marketing to just my inventory first and keep them shopping on my virtual lot. Your website is your biggest lead source? Well, start pushing traffic there and upgrade if you have to. Your website is just as important as the lot itself...If you'd like to hear more of my thoughts or see how I help dealers do just that, you can contact me@ 866-881-3229 x212 or visit LotVantage.com 

One thing that has been successful in keeping the cost of leads down is to have a reputable company handle Craigs List posting consistently and compliantly for the dealer.  I have been using a system for about a year now with one of the dealers I know here in Birmingham that has provided a very good ROI.  The monthly charge for the service has been relatively low (about $750 per month) and the number of phone leads has been around 80 plus per month.  That's about $10 or less per phone lead (unique).  Plus they get 10 or so email leads each month as well.  So they get about 90.  They sell about 8 cars per month off of this program and pay approx $750.

 

I have tried to hook up with various other, more aggressive programs to produce 'organic leads' over the past couple of years...at great expense to myself.  The only thing out of all those efforts that has actually stuck and has returned value at a reasonable price is the posting service.  Some of the programs worked for a few months before 'back links' and other interferences rendered those programs less than of value.  I guess you live and learn.

 

As for the third party providers (Cars.com, Autobytel, AutoTrader, etc.), if they work in your area and you get a decent ROI, I guess you might as well play along.  We all agree that 'organic lead production' is the desired way of marketing, but when you need to go outside that circle to obtain enough leads to operate, they do fill a need.

We have customers keep telling us they hate the coupon on the web sight

Mike Warwick said:

You've got the thrid party leads covered so I would look at putting a coupon onto the webiste.  Dealeron has a great product with their E-Autosavings coupon.  Depending on how much traffic your site gets, you can easily generate an additional 75-150 leads a month from this coupon.

 

If your PPC is performing well, you can also look to increase that budget.

Depends on the coupon.  I've never had a customer tell me they didn't like the Dealeron coupon.  It's a lot more than a pop-up coupon, it allows the customer to select a vehicle and walks them through setting an appointment.  If they schedule an appointment online, it increases the coupon's offer. 
We JUST started to use the DealerOn coupon and in the past 2 weeks have already seen more leads then with the one we used from AutoBytel... I was VERY against these coupons before convinced to try them... Well, now I wouldn't have a site without them! You just need to have a GOOD coupon that is set up right. a "normal" pop-up coupon will NOT work.

bryan w shufelt said:
We have customers keep telling us they hate the coupon on the web sight

Mike Warwick said:

You've got the thrid party leads covered so I would look at putting a coupon onto the webiste.  Dealeron has a great product with their E-Autosavings coupon.  Depending on how much traffic your site gets, you can easily generate an additional 75-150 leads a month from this coupon.

 

If your PPC is performing well, you can also look to increase that budget.

Like several on here have said, Most work for a short while then they are no good Had the exact same problem  with auto- by- tel, they started out strong early this year. but had to cancel them they faded out...cars direct worked for a few months but then the leads were so rotten could not do anything with them.   I am about to try lead strom has anyone used them can you give me any info on them.......oh also blue sky.....a big dud!!! not luck at all with them

 


Bryan, lead strom is a trigger lead program,  In 23 years selling cars, I have never had any luck with trigger leads, they charge anywhere from .99 cents to 3.75 per lead if you give them a try and they work well please let us know.

 I had one of our clients sign up with there father company and stop payment on the check two days on the program.

good luck!
bryan w shufelt said:

Like several on here have said, Most work for a short while then they are no good Had the exact same problem  with auto- by- tel, they started out strong early this year. but had to cancel them they faded out...cars direct worked for a few months but then the leads were so rotten could not do anything with them.   I am about to try lead strom has anyone used them can you give me any info on them.......oh also blue sky.....a big dud!!! not luck at all with them

 

Thanks for the info, that was the kind of feed back I was looking for! 

MANNY LUNA said:


Bryan, lead strom is a trigger lead program,  In 23 years selling cars, I have never had any luck with trigger leads, they charge anywhere from .99 cents to 3.75 per lead if you give them a try and they work well please let us know.

 I had one of our clients sign up with there father company and stop payment on the check two days on the program.

good luck!
bryan w shufelt said:

Like several on here have said, Most work for a short while then they are no good Had the exact same problem  with auto- by- tel, they started out strong early this year. but had to cancel them they faded out...cars direct worked for a few months but then the leads were so rotten could not do anything with them.   I am about to try lead strom has anyone used them can you give me any info on them.......oh also blue sky.....a big dud!!! not luck at all with them

 

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