How to convert "lost opportunities" and increase the closing ratios of online leads. By: Irish Carroll & Peter Martin
Online Buying * • 86% of car shoppers use the Internet to do research. • 79% use the Internet to research dealerships.
Lead Origination * • 63% of online shoppers submitted an inquiry via email • 67% went through the dealership website. • 42% went through a third party portal. • 36% came via an OEM website.
Customers will Travel * • Consumers are willing to travel further for a dealership they feel is going to provide the right experience. • 32% percent traveled more than 20 miles from home to physically visit a dealership. • Need to have local phone number on the site. All 800#’s are not National.
Average Dealer • Purchases 200 leads a month. • Average cost of $20 a lead. • Monthly expense $4000. • Average Closing Ratio 10% • $3600 worth of leads left UNSOLD. • 180 Lost Opportunities a month
Lost Opportunity • 23% bought the same brand. • 36% bought a different brand. .
Used Conversion Opportunity * • 41% bought a Used Vehicle from another dealership. • The longer a lead remains unsold, the more likely the opportunity to convert the lead to a used vehicle.
Poor Interaction • You are losing sales opportunities because you don’t have the proper processes or associates handling online inquiries. • Of the lost opportunities, • 23% blamed poor interaction with the dealer. • 14% because no response from the dealer. • 9% because of a bad experience with the dealer.
Ease of Contact * • Make communications easy. • Prompt • Relevant • Transparent • Communicate on their terms and according to their wishes.
Communication Options * • eMail • Video eMail • Phone • Text • Instant Messaging • Live Chat • Blog
Live Chat • The consumers is online and Live Chat provides the opportunity for you to communicate and keep the lead engaged with your dealership. • Remember, this is part of the information gathering stage. Live Chat Support:
Best Practices • Prompt, relevant and transparent communication to email and online inquiries. • MUST be treated like a phone call or a walk-in. • Must tell the dealership’s story. • Must build a relationship and trust. • MUST answer the following questions!!!
Two Questions You Must Address * You MUST ANSWER these questions: • Do you have the vehicle in stock? • What is the price?
Best Practices Answer the questions fully and completely. (transparency) • Give them options: • Give them price on similarly less equipped vehicle. • Give them a price on CPO. • Give them a price on a Used Vehicle. (This will help build a relationship and trust.) Note: People always want more than they can afford.
How to Respond to Leads • Do NOT use auto responders. • It is crutch that everyone else is using, you need to stand out from the crowd. • Pick up the phone AND send a personal email. • Provide links to take the lead back to your website for more information. • Provide professional and complete responses to the inquiry. • Transparency is the KEY.
Respond Quickly * • According to a Cobalt study, dealers who respond quickly close – three times (3X) as many leads. • Per the previous slide, if you have the phone number, call! • Follow up (immediately) with a personal email confirming your conversation. • Give them the information they desire on the phone and in the email.
Sample “bad” eMail Peter, I received your request for information regarding a Hummer. Please let me know what you are interested in and I will assist you.Best regards,Mark "the bow tie guy"Cadillac and Hummer727-822-20
Sample Response eMail Dear Peter: Thanks for your inquiry. As we discussed on over the phone, we have a black 09 Envoy SLT with an MSRP of $36,770 (as you requested – sunroof, rear DVD, and a 6-CD changer). We have it priced at $32,118 (plus tax, tag, and title). Please CLICK HERE to check it out on our website. We also have other NEW 08 and 09 Envoys in stock, as well as some extremely nice 08 pre-owned. I will touch base with you again, and feel free to contact me for more information. Sincerely, Kevin O’Hara 941.907.4132 Kevin.ohara @abcbuick.com www.abcbuick.com
Best Practices * • Speed is critical! • Call, if phone number is included. • Answer the questions completely. • Follow up eMail to them with the requested information. • Needs to be Blackberry compatible. • Links to website. • Tell them why they should do business with your dealership, build a relationship.
Follow Up • 33% of leads purchase after 90 days. • Need a automated system to insure that you continue to keep your dealership top of mind with consumer. • An email program is the best method for communicating without being obtrusive.
BEFORE • Spam headline • Poor logo placement • No personalization • 5 second test (reject) • Problematic HTML • Poor call-to-action • Poor creative • No quick links • No postal address • No signature found • No unsubscribe • Preview • window
AFTER - Preview window • Descriptive headline • Great logo placement • Personalization (name) • 5 second test • Call-to-action (freebie) • Multiple quick links • Includes signature • Includes postal address • Includes unsubscribe
Subtle Branding Steve, We need to get on top this story about the presidential election scandal. I need 2000 words on my desk by noon tomorrow. Contact Jane Edwards if you have any questions. Regards, Jack Bernstein 8
What Else to Include? * • Dealers need to include information that differentiates their product from likely competitive alternatives. • Proactively including specific make and model information quoted from professional review sources like Road and Track and Car and Driver combined with compelling reasons to purchase from the dealership.
Pearl vs. the Shell • 63% of car purchasers surveyed said if they received a response from a dealer and it included a competitive price for the vehicle THEY WOULD STOP SHOPPING!
Online Communications Tools * • Chat • Blog • Myspace • YouTube • email • Video email
Social Media * • As you move forward in the online world, • The more ways that you can incorporate social media into your site and communications, the more successful you will be.
What are Social Networks? * • Social networking websites offer their users an online community to share and explore common interests and activities. • They provide a variety of ways for users to interact; through chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, forums, discussion groups, and applications.
Take Away * • MySpace and Facebook combined to represent 88% of market share of visits to a social network. • However, keep in mind that the key demographic for MySpace and Facebook is 18 – 24 year olds. • If you are going to invest time and resources on social media focus on YouTube, Blogs, and Video email. • This allows you to reach a much wider demographic.
Mobile Communications * • The cell phone is one of the three things that people always take when leaving home. • Wallet, key, and cell phone • Because of the capabilities of cell phones (text, email, Internet), you can interact / make an impression without much interference by other factors. • Allows for integration with other marketing media.
Breaks through the clutter of traditional advertising with “WOW” effect. Sends video presentations to demonstrate products. Makes Internet more personal and interesting. Video eMail
Consumer Online Research • They want special treatment and to feel that their questions are being answered, not avoided. • They want a good experience. • 86% of the consumers who posted reviews provided positive comments about their experience. • Ease of communication. • Online credit application. • Directions
Who is Doing the Research? * Just about everyone! • The female segment is big. • And, they purchase over 65% of all new vehicles. • The Gen Y segment growing. • You have an opportunity to become their brand. • Retired are moving online.
Consumer Research • On average, consumers physically visited six (6) dealerships. • And, as you’ve seen, they used the Internet to filter which dealership they will visit for a test drive.
Web Site Requirements To increase conversion, the web site should include these items. It should: • Be a direct extension of the physical store. • Be well-maintained (very important). • Provide full vehicle configuration. • Have the local phone number. • Have a complete Contact Us page. • Including staff information.
Web Site Mistakes • The website should not be crowded. • Don’t use oversized flashing banners. • Move the obstructive promotional coupons that pop up to the side of the page. • Don’t let your video automatically launch! • Video is great, but only if you let the lead decide when to push “Play.”
Online Credit Applications Because, more people are turning to online credit applications… • Need to be user friendly. • Less is best. • The more information you request, the higher the rate of abandonment.
Data Capture * • Start a dialog Solution: Include an email address data capture form on the homepage to extend the opportunity for a dialog.
Data Collection Registration forms - • Focus on the transition points, such as a form that leads prospects through a marketing funnel. • Capture leads from all channels in a centralized database.