Best PracticesDealership Communication ToolsDealership Operations & Processes


From time to time I’ll flip the switch on our CRM, allowing myself to be assigned a few internet leads for the day. Last week, within minutes I was assigned a lead for a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz.

A really nice, well equipped 2013 GLK SUV. Priced right with fresh photos and a typed description by yours truly :cool:

My first response back was simple; letting the potential customer know that …I had received her request and had some additional information on that particular vehicle that I would like to send her. How would she like for me to send her this information – email, phone call or text?

She responded with “text is best since she was traveling for work.”

I proceeded to send her the additional information on the GLK, by text message.

She informed me of her trade-in with a pay off and the previous financing being through the manufacturer. Within minutes she had responded back, by text, to the questions I had about her her trade-in.

Since her trade-in was a Mercedes-Benz, I had the advantage of utilizing the internal MB Netstar program – accesses to previous service records, the VMI and original window sticker. With this information I was able to pull the CarFax and perform an appraisal, sight unseen. I worked an exact number for her trade-in, pending a live inspection.

With this information, I desk’d/penciled the deal (first pass), printed the pencil / payment worksheet displaying the different payments and terms. I took a photo of this first pass Pencil worksheet and sent it to her, by text.

In addition to sending her the worksheet, afterwards I walked out to the GLK and took a photo of me standing in front of it  – “She’s looking forward to her new owner” was the message I included in the text.

Upon her review of the worksheet, by text, she informed me that she was looking for a slightly different payment. My response being the only way we can proceed is to get an accurate payoff of her trade-in and credit approval. She called MB Financial Services for the payoff while I sent her the link to our online credit application, by text.

I received approval for her requested finance terms, sharpened my pencil just a bit more – reworked the deal with solid numbers, took a photo of the finalised worksheet and sent it to her….by text.

Her reply by text, “let’s do it, when can I pick my GLK up?”
My response by text, “when can you be here?”

Meanwhile, she sent me a photo of her drivers’ license and insurance information. I responded with directions to the dealership (she lives over an hour away), and how? …you guessed it, by text.

That evening her and her son arrived. I reviewed her trade-in to be sure my sight unseen appraisal was where it needed to be while she got in and out of the GLK, never taking it out for a test drive. This was the FIRST NON TEXT communication we’ve had up to this point.

She was quickly in and out of the F&I Box since we had most all of the paperwork completed through our text communications – but NOT after purchasing the Manufacturer’s Extended Warranty.

She was utterly blown away by how easy it was to purchase this GLK. “The best experience she has ever had.”

Before she left, we took a photo of her and her new GLK using DealerRater’s mobile app LotShot (btw, my sales people LOVE LotShot). We sent it to her by text she returned a glowing review.

We made a fair profit on that GLK, but more importantly he made an EXTREMELY HAPPY customer that was able to communicate using the channel she most desired to use most – Text.

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Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.