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ProfitX seminar excerpt: Losing out on online leads

October 20, 2010
Filed under Uncategorized

Bob McCann, ARI Network Service’s director of education, says dealers are losing out on many of the opportunities the Internet provides by ignoring leads generated on their Web sites.

In a secret shop of the dealers registered for Profit Xcelerator, McCann found only one-fourth of dealers picked up the phone to contact online leads, and 37 percent of leads weren’t responded to at all.

According to McCann, e-mail leads should be followed up with a phone call in order to make an in-store appointment, and ideally that should happen as quickly as possible. He cited an MIT study that says if a lead is called within 30 minutes, chances of contacting that lead go up 500 percent.

He suggested dealers who are far outside that 30-minute window should strive to get response times down to no more than 120 minutes. McCann said data from ARI’s Footsteps lead management software suggests that sold/delivered leads drop off significantly after 120 minutes.

In addition to speed, he said the quality of a lead response is also key. Either before or after calling an online lead, McCann suggests dealers also respond with pre-written e-mail templates branded with the dealer logo. These templates ensure salespeople use consistent and professional language, minimize sales rep key strokes and encourage process adherence.

“You need to have a published process for handling leads,” McCann said.

Finally, McCann urged the audience to be patient. Research shows most customers buy after seven customer touches by the dealership.

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