iMotors / Reply leads for your dealer interest sales department
I “usually” keep my negative opinions to myself. BUT there are times where I find the need to take my voice above the boundaries.
When I first started here at Mercedes-Benz of Hagerstown, I quickly jumped on board with a few 3rd party lead vendors to get the ball rolling. For some reason or another I brought iMotors (division of Reply Inc.) on board. Two months using their service I found myself spending more time managing duplicates and bad leads then actually following up and selling to qualified buyers. I quickly realized that it was not making sense keeping iMotors (Reply Inc.) on board as a 3rd party lead provider for my dealer. So I axed them!!
Then last year, (Sept 2006) I started getting phone calls from one of their sales representatives again. I’ll have to admit, she had a sweet voice!! She called and called, convincing me that they had changed their “lead filtering software” since I had past used their services. Matter of fact, they even had a higher-up sales manager call to re-enforce the fact that they had made vast improvements in their process and software for filtering qualified leads. Now..I’m not a fool and I didn’t bite right away!! BUT “she” kept calling me! You know what it’s like to get that phone call that stimulates the ears. And I have to admit, I can be such a sucker. I’ll buy anything from a persistent sales person that can follow-up and be so convincing. Before I knew it I was signed up with iMotors..again.
So I don’t sound like such a sucker here, I’ll let you know that I worked the price down to a very persuasive cost per lead, AND since we wanted to have a strong end of the year push, I was biting on anything that made sense.
Before signing the agreement, I informed the sales lady that I ran a website and IF this time proved to be a flop, I would write about it (hence the reason for this posting). So…2 months back into using iMotors, it wasn’t setting the world on fire (but then again what 3rd party lead does?). I have an effective follow up process established here at the dealer so no one could accuse me of not following up with each and every lead. The end of the year was approaching and by then we had 1 credit sales for iMotors. The crazy part was; the gross was very considerably high, so I continued on with the service.
BUT by the end of February I found myself back in the same boat that I was in the first time using iMotors, too much time following up with duplicates and bullshit leads. I was getting leads for cars that no longer
existed in the Mercedes model line. Now, one could argue and say; “Jeff…you need to call every customer and ignore the car they are requesting a price quote on”. Well, I was and always do!! We were calling every customer and totally ignoring the vehicle of interest that was quoted on the lead. BUT the problem was most of the phone numbers were bogus or no longer in service. Complete total CRAP!!
Throughout the course of Jan, Feb and March, we sold 1 more credit sale for iMotors (again a decent gross), but it came to a point where it was not worth the time and effort to keep them around. The ROI on paper was making sense, but when you factored in my time and energy, my sales peoples time, the confidence in the service, it was not justifiable. So I AGAIN axed them!
The positive points were; the customer service was nothing less then great. They willingly credited every lead I asked to have credit for. The 2 cars that I sold during the period of using iMotors (again) were very lofty. BUT, it became too much for me to manage every month. The time that I spent following up with bogus leads and getting credit for these leads was costing me too much time and money at the end of the month.
I’m not saying iMotors will not work for your dealer. I’m merely pointing out that it didn’t work for my dealer on 2 separate occasions. I’ve taken the liberty to post my last 3 months of leads I received from iMotors (erasing the customer last name) with the current “status” each customer was in at the time of this posting. You can see most of them are marked “Bad Lead” and believe me I’m being generous. Several of the leads are in limbo/working status and I’m still not sure if they are real people or not.
Sorry iMotors, but I gave you fair warning.