Opinions & Advice

“They would’ve bought here anyways!”

It’s a Friday evening and a lead comes in from Dealix or AutoUSA at 8:12 pm.
You call the customer right away (cause you know Friday night leads are
Saturday morning appointments), you get them on the phone right away
and schedule the appointment for Saturday morning. The customer arrives
(late of course) and you demo the
car, ask for the sale and close the customer. The end of the month
rolls around and you hand in your MTD Sold sheet to the GM. The General
Manager reviews your sales sheet and says..

"Well, I’m not sure if we should count this customer, they would have bought here anyways since we have sold them a car before."

The blood pressure rises, your face gets beet red and you say..OOkkayy.

You’re thinking to your yourself..You prove to me that they would have bought from our dealer anyways! BUT on the flip side, YOU prove to the GM that they would have NOT bought from the dealer anyways.

So lets look at it
this way..

What if..a customer lives in your hometown and also bought
their last vehicle from you. They’re on edmunds.com shopping for their
next vehicle and narrowing down their choices. They decide to submit for a price quote from your dealer AND the next closest dealer. Your dealer isn’t up on their game (or better yet, your dealer doesn’t
even purchase leads from that 3rd party lead provider and you never
even get the lead), your competitive dealer gets the lead and makes the
phone call right away. The customer answers and the sales person is
GREAT on the phone…building rapport and making great conversation.
Lets say the customer even says…"well, I like to keep my business
local and I have bought my past cars from the local dealer" (yea, I
know I’m digging deep
here). The Internet sales person on the other end says "you know Mrs
Smith, I totally understand and I appreciate the fact that you like to
keep your business local BUT we are having a HUGE sale this weekend and
I know I can save you thousands of dollars that your local dealer can’t.
We are a much larger dealer and are able to give larger discounts..what
time Saturday morning can you come in?"

SO..you tell me, would that customer have bought from your dealer anyways?


I have experienced the same situation, as an Internet Manager there is a specific pride in the traffic that you drive into the dealership! I personally serve a couple roles including Marketing and Sales through the Internet Department at my Suzuki Dealership. Due to the Hard Work that I do 55+ Hours Weekly I dominate the online Marketplace in my Demographic. Suzuki is pretty very aggressive with their online advertising and MANY online Suzuki Shoppers result in Sales.

I think that GM's and DP's alike need to recognize the importance of Mondern Representation in the Online Marketplace!!

That's just plain ridiculous. Anyone who assumes ANY customer is going to automatically buy from them again is living in a dream world.
Told our GM last week pretty much the same thing. Let one of our good customers shop online and not get treated the right way by us, they will get mad an shop elsewhere.Chances are they have shopped a few other dealers also. Their expectations of us are already higher so if we don't reply quickly and offer all info requested in a timely manner we loose! Put yourself in their shoes and tell me what you would think if the dealer you had a good relationship with did not reply to your online request.
  • F
    Frustrated ISM
  • October 20, 2006
It actually goes much deeper than this. In some stores the ISM will follow up with a customer for 6 mos, a year, etc.. What I see happening is the ISM will develop templates to send out to these long term customers keeping the customer interested in the dealership. When the customer decides to purchase, the GM will say there wasn't adequate communication or (personal communication) even though in the beginning there were numerous phone calls and for the past 6 months routine emails sent. The ISM kept the dealership visible to the customer but when the customer buys, the GM does not count it as an Internet Sale because "they were always buying from us". So what happens next? The ISM will stop sending out these long term emails and just take the easy pickings. The GMS defeat themselves!
  • M
  • May 8, 2007
I am sooo glad to know I am not alone in this wonderful Internet world of constant battle. I find myself constantly shaking my head at certain things...
In the last few monhs, we went from 10 internet sales a month to just under 50, in a store that does 85-100 a month. Our GM says "we need to cut the internet budget by $3k a month and by the way, I need you to do 60 this month..."
Enough said...
Our GM says "we need to cut the internet budget by $3k a month and by the way, I need you to do 60 this month..."

-Im impressed your dealership even spends $3k/ month on internet. As stupid as it sounds many, many dealerships dont even spend $1,000 per month on internet marketing.
I am truly glad someone is outspoken about this. I have been hit with this too and at first didn't know how to react because I thought the GM was sorta right. But then I mystery shopped and found that you can be pulled in or pushed away due to the internet response. My GM still thinks he would get the deal anyway and I don't see it changing. The only thing I see changing is my job, if you want to know the truth. I had a "Po - Dunk" dealer ask me Saturday to get him cost's for re-inventing his internet department. I might have to take him up on it, after he spends some money to "show commitment to buy".
  • M
  • June 10, 2007
I know you are right. It just amazes me that so many dealers are missing the boat.