I get so sick and tired of these internet customers. You can’t make a dime off of them and they’re waste of my time. Let me tell you WHY!
They come into the dealer armed with information and print outs from Edmunds, KBB.com and other various websites. You end up spending half the day with them; answering their questions, explaining to them that what they read in the forums is misrepresented truth, test driving several vehicles while they compare everything to their print outs. After spending half of the day with them, building rapport, performing a great demo and product presentation while being very professional and courteous, I have to hear “I know your invoice, back end and the dealer incentive for this car, so I want your absolute BEST DEAL!”.
Two to Three hours later I realized that I just spent way too much time with this customer AND I’m about to make a whole WHOPPING $50.00 bucks for a mini deal. Really, it’s not worth the effort unless it’s a volume unit that puts me over the edge for a bonus. Otherwise, I’d rather wait around for a normal customer to visit the showroom floor, someone that I have a chance of making some real money on, and someone that will appreciate the service and time I can offer them.
I’m not sure why, but the Internet sales manager still feeds me a few leads from time to time. You almost never get these customers to answer you back. I’ll send them an email with my contact info asking them to call me for more information on the vehicle they are interested in, but that’s a waste of time cause they never contact me back. MAYBE two out of a hundred times I’ll actually get someone on the phone, BUT when I do, they’re either a bunch of kids playing around on the internet or worse yet, some schmuck wanting nothing more then “YOUR BEST PRICE” only so they can shop around with my numbers.
The Internet sales manager keeps telling me that I need to follow up with emails and phone calls, phone calls and emails. He’s always telling everyone that it takes an average of 9 phone calls to get a customer on the phone. If that’s not enough, I have to figure out this CRM to track and makes notes for all the emails and phone calls Iactually do make. Who has time for that? I just want to sell a car and If a customer is truly interested, they’ll call me back or answer my freaking email.
On the rare occasion when I actually get one of these internet customers to come into the showroom, they usually want to steal my car and want FULL retail for their trade-in. Comeon people, you can’t have it both ways! I mean, this is a business and we are here to make money. The last time I checked there wasn’t a steeple and a cross on top of our dealership building. I thought we were here to make a profit.
You know what’s really interesting? My best customers (and the ones that give me the best CSI scores) are ALWAYS the ones that pay the most for their car, or at least allow decent profit. WHY IS THAT? Truthfully I’d rather have these people all day long. I don’t mind spending the extra time with these customers. I always remember my paying customers and send them cards during the holidays and even call to wish them a happy birthday. These internet customers have no loyalty to the dealer or the sales people so why even waste that much energy on them? The way I see it, the return doesn’t make much sense. And if they actually refer a friend or family member, they want the same nothing making deal.
I’m at work from bell to bell most days and this is what I have to deal with. Is this what the future holds for being a car sales professional? I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep doing this. I think I speak for myself and many of the sales people that have been in this business for sometime. Case example, look at Circuit City! They move over to a non-commissioned sales force, fire off all of their highest paid sales professionals and now their customer service is the pits and their stock is worth whole $4.63. The Internet has ruined the car sales business.
Guest Posting by Earl Veteran