This week I was thinking about what I would do if times were tough and I was still on the retail side of the business? What changes would I make in my Internet sales department? So, I decided to put together a list of seven easy to do things at your dealership that will absolutely have an impact on your Internet sales and productivity
. This list is compiled to get you thinking about things you can do right now without adding to your budget.
- Redesign your autoresponder for shoppers- I have always found that autoresponders are a terrific place to make a great first impression and set the tone of how the Internet sales process will unfold at your dealership. Most autoresponders I see only state that the lead has been received and someone will get back to them ASAP. But, this is such a great place to do so much more. While I know that Internet shoppers may not read all the emails you send them, this one will not only set the tone but could establish if the shopper will even open up any of your additional emails. Take the time and rewrite your autoresponder or better yet make it a video and send the Internet shopper a link. Include specials' highlight events going on at the store, post the latest rebates and incentive. Video it hot right now so leverage it and get personal.
- Create an email offers to previous prospects- a monthly personalized offer to your shoppers is a great way to stay connected. Continued follow up even with your nonresponsive shoppers can yield results. Stores that I work with that consistently send email marketing offers always result in at least a couple opportunities that bubble to the surface and at least one sale. This sometimes is completely overlooked at dealerships but always produces results. Put a combination of new and used in the offer to give your email maximum penetration for your Internet sales.
- Make two extra calls per prospect- A major point of poor Internet sales results in falling short on follow up process. Just when you think you have made enough attempts to contact a shopper add two more attempts to the schedule. Another key piece of this is also calling at different times. Try first thing in the morning or later in the evening. Mix it up and try to find the sweet spot to make contact. Just two extra attempts will absolutely connect you with more shoppers this month. Calling more will get you a couple more appointments and in this economy that is exactly what you need.
- Send one additional email per prospect- I refer to this email as the last man standing offer, to try to break through the clutter and get your shoppers attention. This email must be text only without any graphics. The goal is to make it through any potential spam filter roadblocks. Ever wonder why almost all spam you receive is text based? Simple, it gets through to people's inbox. Create your most powerful email offer and deliver it in text only form. Make sure you have a powerful call to action at the beginning, middle and end of the email. Just sending an offer is not enough. Explain to your prospects what to do next.
- Update your website specials weekly- I visit so many dealership website and their special page is blank or hasn’t been updated in forever. We all forget but statistically I can say that the specials page on your website is one of the most looked at pages on almost every single dealership website I have visited. Take the time keep it updated and watch your Internet sales grow. Here is a good example just click here.
- Ask for an appointment at least three times for each call- asking for the appointment is critical. Just listen to some of the phone ups at your dealership and you will see huge opportunities. Salespeople just don’t ask for the appointment enough during the call. I found that setting a minimum of three attempts ensures we have made every attempt to move a phone-up from interest into an actual desire to come into the dealership and purchase a vehicle. Here is another article to increase test drives for your dealership.
- Email all new car leads a pre-owned vehicle offer after 30 days- Cobalt, Yahoo & Polk did a industry study a while back that documented that shoppers will switch from a new vehicle to a pre-owned after the first 30 days. It might be due to the realization that they can’t afford a new vehicle and now they need another option. The key to this is to make sure your marketing doesn’t pigeon h*** shoppers into what they originally sent their lead form in on. After 30 days expand the options for shoppers.
These are just a few easy to do things that can have a sales impact in your Internet department immediately. I always found that by just looking around you can find many unique ways to increase your business without it costing you a dollar. Here is one more bonus idea
to increase website sales.