Stop Chasing Squirrels: The More You Know, the More You Sell

Henry Ford was once asked why he visited his executives rather than having them come to his office when problems arose or he needed questions answered. “I go to save them time,” said Ford. “I’ve found that I can leave the other fellow’s office a lot quicker than I can get him to leave mine.” Ford knew the necessity of gaining information.[1] He also knew that being more efficient in gathering that information would save both his time and also make the executive more efficient in their work.


Internet leads have been around for almost 2 decades now. As their volume progressed, dealers started paying closer attention. To this day, however, most leads – whether third-party- or organic – contain very little information and are often inaccurate. Customers may be willing to provide their email address to gather information, but they may give a false phone number. This causes dealers who are on top of their game to waste a lot of time chasing a squirrel.


Great dealerships will convert Internet leads into customers showing at their dealerships and a sale somewhere in the 10-15% range. The reason for that is that most dealerships respond to leads based on the simple information they have, which is typically only the vehicle they’re interested in, what the dealership’s “best price” is, perhaps what their trade-in is worth and, finally, what a payment would look like.


Different dealerships have vastly different strategies when responding to leads. Some dealers will send the “When can you come in?” message. Some will respond with a “best price” that includes every rebate and incentive known to man. And some will start an in-depth inquisition of the customer which can easily cease the engagement.


Just like that customer that walks onto a dealership’s lot, the more you know about the customer, the easier it is not only to sell them but also build trust. By providing a more informed answer to the consumer’s questions, the dealership is able to begin a relationship that doesn’t start on an adversarial basis. Consumers are already leery of car dealerships. As a survey by Gallup indicates, consumer trust in car salespeople ranks at the bottom of the list -  right below members of Congress.


Dealerships also know that the more information they have about a customer, the more accurate they can be in providing information to the customer.  , this isn’t always possible which causes friction from the beginning of the relationship when a dealership quotes one price yet is unable to honor it simply because of credit (or other) factors involving that specific consumer that they weren’t aware of.


Today’s technology has the ability to offer more robust information to a dealer so that they are able to respond to customers based on factual information and personalized to that specific customer.


Imagine engaging a customer after a chat conversation and being able to – in real-time, right after the chat conversation – being able to provide them with the information that they seek already having an idea of not only who they are but also what their credit score is. Wouldn’t that allow you to give the consumer better information? Wouldn’t it allow you to provide a better experience rather than having a customer come in with unrealistic expectations only to be disappointed and irritated when you can’t deliver? What typically happens then? Chances are high that they leave your dealership angry, go to the next dealership and restart the process. Only this time, the second dealership reinforces what you already told them, so they end up buying at the second dealership – and not yours.


Car dealerships are slaves to information. The more they have, the easier the sale is. The less they have, the more inefficient and the higher the probability that the customer gets upset, the transaction takes longer, and the customer inevitably leaves without buying a car.


Stop chasing squirrels and start gathering information in a more efficient manner by going to the customer’s office (to collect information) in order to provide accurate answers to the customer’s questions that engage you and without making them come to the dealership (your office) to do so. By making it a priority to find the right technology partner that can provide you with this information, you will not only engage more consumers but also sell more cars and be able to do so faster thus freeing up your sales staff to engage with even more customers.


And in the end, that’s what matters.




[1] Fadiman, C. & Bernard, A. Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes, Page 210, Revised Edition 1985

Views: 89


You need to be a member of to add comments!


Latest Activity

Sally Whitesell's blog post was featured
7 hours ago
Bill Wittenmyer's video was featured

#WittsWiseWords: Do You Know What Your Competitors Are Doing

Scoping out your dealership competition is good business. Bill Wittenmyer says it can help you determine what prospects want that you currently aren't providing.
7 hours ago
Simon Hopes posted a blog post

American Made New Ford Trucks for Sale!

This is a unique time in history because we are witnessing the rebranding of America on the global…See More
12 hours ago
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

#WittsWiseWords: Do You Know What Your Competitors Are Doing

Scoping out your dealership competition is good business. Bill Wittenmyer says it can help you determine what prospects want that you currently aren't provid...
17 hours ago
Michael Trasatti posted a video

How to Work With Millennials

Mike Trasatti shares his thoughts about hiring and working with Millennials in this video blog.
18 hours ago
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Sally Whitesell posted a blog post
Lehel Reeves posted a video

How Video Leads to More Sales

Lehel Reeves shares why consumers prefer video and how dealerships can lose sales if they fail to provide it.
Courtney Evans posted a blog post
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

Develop More Mental Toughness and Killer Instinct

No matter what level you're at, whatever your role, whatever your sport, if you're committed to…See More
Damian Boudreaux posted a blog post

Our Monthly Webcast

We’re back with…See More
DealerELITE posted a blog post
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

#WittsWiseWords: Don't Let Your Ego Get in the Way of Your Paycheck

The best way to grow your team and grow your paycheck at the same time? In this edition of Witt's Wise Words, Bill Wittenmyer says keep your ego in check wit...
Dave Anderson posted a blog post
Oct 8
John Sternal posted a blog post

5 “Spooktacular” Lease Deals for Halloween Compiled 5 Most Reasonably Priced Automobile Leases Around the…See More
Oct 8
Scot Eisenfelder posted a video

Why Creativity Can Lead to More Service Revenue

Scot Eisenfelder explains how creativity can help dealers capture more service revenue from recalls.
Oct 4
Mike theCarGuy Correra posted a video

Are You Forgetting Your Dealership's Google My Business Page?

Account Manager Mike Correra explains why dealerships shouldn't neglect their Google My Business page in this video blog.
Oct 4
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Oct 4
Wendy Reeves posted a status
"SO excited,check out my NEW website for BDC Angels!!! Not all angels have wings, some of us wear headsets!"
Oct 3

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service