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Aug. 14, 2006 – Connecting online shoppers with dealers

August 14, 2006
Filed under Features

A program connecting online shoppers with their regional dealers — used successfully for years in the auto industry — is coming to the powersports industry.
Two companies, NADAguides.com and PowersportsTV.com, are partnering to provide the service that will give dealerships leads to consumers that have been actively shopping for new vehicles on the Internet. Many powersports OEMs provide a similar service, but NADAguides and PowersportsTV.com officials say their program will provide better quality leads and will not be biased toward one brand or manufacturer.
The new program, which is scheduled to begin in September, will cost dealers $9.95 per lead. There is no long-term commitment necessary or sign-up fee. Vehicle leads will be offered for motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and PWC.
The lead program works this way: A consumer ventures online to NADA’s Web site to evaluate how much their used vehicle will fetch. Damon Bennett, NADA’s director of business development, said NADA’s Web site generates 6 million users a month, with about 60 percent of those being auto consumers.
Once the consumer reaches the powersports area of NADA’s Web site, they’ll be able to use software that NADA is now developing to look for a specific new powersports vehicle. The consumer will be able to look at a photo of the vehicle as well as its’ different features. They will then be able to compare that new vehicle — photo and all — to other brands in the industry.
“The next thing is get them in touch with the dealer,” Bennett said.
That natural progression will start with the consumer clicking on “get a free dealer price quote” button. The consumer will then fill in general information, like a home address and phone number, that will be screened by NADAguides to verify the customer is a real person, that the address matches the city and zip code and other similar steps. The intent of the screening process is to make the lead as solid as possible for the dealer.
“We don’t want our dealers to be calling leads and the people aren’t interested or kids are doing it,” said Jason Weinandy, one of the two owners of PowersportsTV.com.
That consumer information will then be routed to PowersportsTV.com, which will perform its own screening process before it is sent to the dealer. The entire screening process will take about 1 minute, Weinandy said.
The consumer will then get an e-mail from PowersportsTV.com informing them that they’ll be contacted from a sales rep from an area dealership. The process is the same system that has worked in the auto industry.
Weinandy and his partner, Mark Campbell, worked online leads in the auto industry for 10 years before selling Campbell’s business, car.com. For the past year, they’ve been using the program on the powersports side with their new company, PowersportsTV.com. So far, they have nearly 60 dealers who are using the service.
The new partnership with NADAguides, expected to start next month, will drive even better quality leads to dealers, Weinandy said. “It’s just a natural fit,” he said.
The key to converting leads into sales, Weinandy said, is speed on the dealership’s part.
“Once they figure out what they want, these (online shoppers) are people that are ready to do something,” he said. “And they’re ready to do it quicker than somebody coming into a dealership and just looking around it.”
Weinandy saw the same thing on the auto industry. “For some reason,” he said, “people on the Internet are much quicker to action.”
Features of the online leads program:

  • Each dealer gets an exclusive territory generally 35-50 miles around their dealership for their specific franchise.
  • A dealer will receive results to follow-up consumer surveys so the dealer knows how they are doing and if they didn’t get the sale, why they didn’t and what dealer did. That’s included in the $9.95 per lead fee.
  • A dealer can post all of their used inventory on PowersportsTV.com’s Web site. PSB
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