You say there's No Such Thing as Weak Leads. Sounds good! BUT, actually there is such a thing as "Weak Leads".

Leads from Lead Providers have a known probability of closing. Some leads close at 3% and other leads have a probability of up to 18%, and the lead providers know which are which.

First of all some leads are generated from such low close sources as enter to win a free car while others are generated from actual buyers and shoppers inquiring. Some are in-market and others are mildly curious clicking all over every make and model.

There is such a thing as “Lead Brokerage Houses”. www.detroittrading.com

You can Google Up – ‘Automobile – Internet – Leads – Broker and come up with a dozen companies that generate and resell leads. Some of these brokerages sell the same lead to multiple companies who sell those “Weak Leads” to multiple dealerships. Did you ever call a lead and they cursed you out because so many dealers were calling them or emailing them… “Weak Leads”.

Did you ever cancel a lead provider for poor performance, and; all of a sudden their leads started closing at a crazy percentage? The truth of the matter is they were selling you a mixture of 3% weak leads…NOW that you are threatening to cancel; they shoveled in a pile of 18% leads.

Do Lead providers sell leads to each other? You bet they do.

SO, the truth of the matter is… they know exactly which leads they are selling. The worst of this are manufacturer affiliated companies.

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Comment by Charles Beckman on January 23, 2017 at 10:16am

Thanks for your response, Mark Handlon. I appreciate it. You obviously have a great depth of knowledge when it comes to this, and I certainly respect that. I will certainly take to heart what you've said here. Thanks again for taking the time to respond, and have a great day! Charles.~

Comment by Mark Handlon on January 23, 2017 at 8:56am

     This comment is directed to Charles Beckman. Having run a successful BDC/ Internet department for a multipoint franchise for several years, I can appreciate the your frustration in addressing some of the leads. Many consumers inquire by mistake and some will deny ever being on your website but never underestimate those leads. These people are looking and possibly near purchasing but are not ready to be engaged. Grant Cardone emphasizes that these leads need a minimum of eight follow ups and possibly another eight to bring these customers into your store.

       I agree that there are some bad lead providers out there and there are also some good ones! May I suggest that you track all of your lead providers for at least a three month period. After three months you may determine which of these providers you may want to retain. If you are receiving enough good leads to at least cover the cost from that provider, you may decide to retain them. You may want to also consider how much of your overall floor traffic is being generated from your BDC/ Internet Department. Prior to my career change, the BDC/ Internet department was responsible for an average of 22% of the overall sales of that dealership. The figure you come up with for your dealership may be lower, but even if it is 10% of the overall sales it is worth re-examining before abandoning. 

Comment by Charles Beckman on January 23, 2017 at 12:35am

Actually, I've never been a big fan of internet leads at all. Just don't like 'em. Much of the time, the phone numbers are fake, the emails are never returned despite professional and inviting construction, and I've just always found them to be waste of time, generally speaking. The average closing rate is so low, that I'd just soon not bother with them, and most of the time, don't. I find that good, old-fashioned footwork-type prospecting does much better.The "every once in a blue moon" sale as a result just isn't worth the effort for me. You can have 'em.~

Comment by James A. Ziegler on January 5, 2017 at 3:56pm

Wise strategy Steven Chessin. Some of the Alleged Lead providers today are little more than Smoke and Mirrors and cannot justify the outrageous fees they charge. So they blind you with "Bullshit" and baffle you with sleight of hand bogus statistics and rigged surveys disguised as research. They talk about "Influence" and claim they were responsible for all your sales whether they generated them or not.

Comment by steven chessin on January 5, 2017 at 3:33pm

Exactly why purchasing leads fell out of favor. The providers were greedy and diluted the quality. Today, I only concern myself with used leads from Craigs where I can quantify the results accurately and can keep the budget strictly controlled.  

Comment by James A. Ziegler on January 5, 2017 at 12:08pm

Thanks Mark Handlon, These numbers are not opinion or speculation. These are verifiable numbers and the providers that do this know it. Remember, they pay less for the 3% leads going in. With these Lead-Brokerages Quality leads are more expensive. They know what they're giving their dealers.

Comment by Mark Handlon on January 5, 2017 at 11:56am

I agree with you Jim. Unfortunately most dealerships are hooked up securing leads from the manufacturer. The BDC departments have no control where the leads are originated and cannot control getting rid of the lower producing leads generators. They respond hopefully to each and every lead regardless of the quality of that lead. When looking at your appointment ratio versus number of leads submitted, one needs to take the all of this information into consideration. The best a BDC can do is compare the appointment ratio from month to month and concentrate of improving that number each month.

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