Best PracticesOpinions & Advice

What do you recommend for lead management and advice for getting past first and second emails without quoting price?

I just stumbled over your web site. Your the first person / site that seems excited about internet sales and help. I just took over the internet side of a growing Toyota Cadillac dealership in Iowa after 6 years of sales. The goal is to create a department.

The sale steps are the same however I am looking for tools of training and lead management that does the kind of email and web site editing you talked about on your page.

What do you recommend for lead management and training or advice for getting past first and second emails without price.

I will book mark your page and review often any help you might be willing to give is awesome.


Eric Hippen

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

Man, what a site I've been in the eBusiness for quite some time now and let me tell you, what you have here is special. Let me tell you why; I've been in the eBusiness for quite some time now (3 years) and always for the same dealership, I thought that I was very good at it, I had my processes my way of doing the templates my way of having my Sales Consultants make the phone calls... But a month ago I decided to take on a challenge, I felt that I reached a wall with my previous employer and wanted to better myself so I took this offer from another Dealer (same make that I worked for before), I thought it was going to be easy after all I created a complete BDC from scratch with a budget of $5,000.00 a month... How wrong, so far (and I've been here for 8 days) I haven't been able to come up with something diferent for this Dealership, I am only 6 miles away from my old dealership and I know that I have to be diferent, but the problem is how can I be diferent from myself after all, the templates, the processes and even the phone scripts were either created by me or modified by me. So I started to look for new ideas online and found your website... and honestly let me tell you I have learned more in 8 days reading your site than 3 years as a BDC Manager and 4 years on the floor as a Sales Consultant.

Just wanted to thank you... and if you have any pointers please give a buzz I will appreciate it!!!


Samuel A. Rodriguez
I'm completely new to the internet side. I'm the first person in this position at this Dealership. So I'm carving the way here but not sure steps I should be doing. I know we need a ISM tool asap but I don't want to make a mistake on what one to choose. I have been looking at:

- IcarConnect
- Rey Rey

I have heard that AVV doesn't have the best support when you run into problems. To be honest I'm really not sure exactly what I should be looking for in a tool, becasue any tool would be better then no tool at all which I'm at right now. Any help would be great. Thanks!

  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • January 28, 2007
<p>Thanks Eric! <br /><br />I do enjoy &quot;internet sales&quot; (though I hate that term) but it's the technology that is evolving around it that truly excites me.<br />
<br />
This is a BIG QUESTION! I would look into 3 different products for internet lead management. <br /><br />1. <strong>iCarMagic </strong>- <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> - I really love this product, it’s fast, secure, has an automated lead return feature that makes your job easy when you need to return those duplicate leads. It also has a nifty inventory pull/display so you can email out actual inventory, pricing and photos in a snap. It uses a split screen technology and allows you to answer leads and follow up with customers quickly.<br /><br />2. <strong>AVV Webcontrol </strong>- <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; - One of the first Internet lead managers available. Clean and easy to use. I like the fact that it's modular allowing you to add and/or step up to different features as your ILM progresses into a full CRM. They have a feature that dials into your DMS and sync’s up SOLD customers that also might have been a potential “internet customer”.<br /><br />3. <strong>eLEAD</strong> - <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; - Another solid ILM / CRM. I was playing around with their eLEAD Evolution product at NADA this year and was impressed. I’m not sure they offer just the ILM feature as a stand alone or not. <br /><br />I would call all 3 and request a Demo. They all do the same basic features but each has their own look and feel. There are others out there to choose from so keep your options open. <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; <br />As for training or advice for <strong>getting past first and second emails without price</strong>…this is always a huge debate. I can’t really answer this for you. I think you should be open to testing different approaches. Remember, the internet has caused us as consumers to be price driven, often forgetting about value and service (I hate it too!).<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; <br />Here is is a suggestion;<br /><br />When a lead comes in, try to <strong>get the customer on the phone</strong> ASAP. (I use a program called <a href="" rel="nofollow">CallProspector</a> that helps me with this). If you're unable to get the customer on the phone..<strong>why not send them a price quote?</strong>. Have an aggressive price on an old age unit of each of your popular models. Use this vehicle for your&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;internet&quot; price quotes (Of course this pertains to New vehicles. Used cars can be a different story). I have found that 90% of the time it’s not what the customer wants anyways but I have found it helps get them in the door. Is gives the customer the perception that you are willing to work with them. <br /><br />Use the discounted model as <strong>leverage, </strong>so when they want the silver model with the premium package but they don’t want to pay for can take it away from them and offer the discounted model. Use it as a negotiating tool. If they buy the discounted unit, so what!, it’s an old age unit out the door, just try and make some $$ on the financing. <strong>Side note:</strong> Last month I sold 3 cars quoting an aggressive price on an old age unit, each customer opted to buying a different trim/color/options (costing more and making more)..the 4th customer actually bought the sale vehicle. He drove over 2 hours.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; <br />I hope this answers your questions!! Good luck to you and let me know what ILM you choose!!<br /><br />-Jeff
Here are a few preliminary steps I would suggest:
1. Review your website: Contact #s, where they ring, are you tracking those calls, who is getting them; hours of operation, services available, links on your website, etc. Test EVERYTHING!

2. Where are your leads coming from? Who are your lead providers, how many leads have they given you and what is the cost. Get the URLs for their back-end tools and save the password/username in a secure document only you have access to.

3. What kind of Internet Department are you going to have? Cradle to grave where the ISM takes the up, works the deal and then delivers, or where someone receives the lead on the floor and works them with your supervision, or perhaps with BDC setting where people in a call center set the appointment and certain individuals show the vehicle and work the deal. Each has specific strengths and weaknesses, so determine which way your dealer wants to go.

4. What is your process? How long will you work leads, what types of templates will you use, etc. Many customers will be turned off if you do not give them a price. And I hate to say it, but your Toyota/Honda buyers are typically more savvy when it comes to Internet sales. That is to say, they are typically more comfortable with the gathering info and shopping on the Internet so they will be a little different than Cadillac shoppers.

5. Your CRM software can be as simple as Outlook for now, but there are many good vendors out there. An inexpensive one is Autojockey which has a lot of features and is not a lot of money.

6. Develop a spreadsheet to track your ROI! This is your lifeline. By tracking deals, profits, leads in, appts set, units sold and the profitability of the department is key to asking for more money and more leads!

7. Contact your lead providers like Cars, Autotrader, Dealix, AutoUSA, CDM Data, Dealer Specialties and ask for some time to meet, understand what they represent, any training opportunities they may have, and if they can come by and orient you ontheir back-end tools.

8. Ensure your merchandise is ready! Good quality, multiple photos will tell the story to a prospective customer that this is a vehicle worth looking at. Do not skimp, and if you are not satisified with the quality or number (I recommend at least 7-9) make changes!

Get with your Manufacturers' Reps and see what help they have. There are some great resources out there, including this one! As you start to negotiate the course of an Internet Director, you will be exposed continually to more information and things to help make you better. Learn a little every day.

Good luck and stay in touch.

Gerald Hand
Internet Director
Toyota of Irving