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Ok, I am going to post a few questions that I know have been put on here before but I need help and have very little extra time. (I know no other ISM has extra time either.)


Here is my issue... I have been overseeing and managing the Internet sales, leads and websites for a multi-line import store for 5 years. (oh, I also managing all our CRM efforts) We have accquired a few stores along the way. Until now, my job really only had me "helping" one other Nissan store and a used lot.


Now, I have 2 brand new store a Buick/GMC and a CDJ store for a total of 5. All of the sudden it seems, all the sales managers and my ISM are asking more questions about the number of visitor to leads, where to speand money, what is working etc? I track this information and I know at my store. I am starting to track for the new stores.


However, most of the statistics that I have been viewing for years are quite surprising to them. So what I am looking for are some slides or just general replies on a few main points so that I can make them understand - they must be patient and work the plan! Buying leads and sometime this source is not is issue.


- Website Converstion Rate for a main dealership sites - on average what are you guys seeing visitors to leads (are you contacting phone contacts)


- Time on Site and Page Views


- What about Cars or Autotrader? Does anyone track views to leads or have a good way other the sold units on these type sources. I do a cost per impression type report already.


- Closing Ratio... I know this one can be all over the board depending on your dealership you process etc.


I am going to try and make a brief presention on Monday to the sales manager for 5 stores so send me what you can.


I am SOOO glad that Internet sales and sources is now "on their radar" but I am finding it hard to explain. I can use the help but I want them to understand the reasoning.


Here is my example, I have installed a product on the ISM PC that shows in real-time the visits they are getting on craigslist. They are doing well but now they are calling me saying it is broken because they have visits and not enough leads.



Tags: closing, conversion, rate, ratio

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Do have a link to a craigslist ad?
Not off hand we are using Car Gigi listing service...It has only been live like 4 days so I am not worried about this just yet...
All of the sudden it seems, all the sales managers and my ISM are asking more questions about the number of visitor to leads, where to speand money, what is working etc?

Are they asking because they don't understand how to track conversions? Do they want to compare their conversion rates with yours?
No they don't want to compare - they expect me to fix it for them. Mainly because they don't know what they are looking for. Our dealer group is growing and we have some new managers in new stores so I am fielding at alot of calls - mostly about "leads".

What I want to do id get them to understand that Internet sales is not just leads it is advertising!!!

For example, the Cargigi product shows a real time monitor of clicks but it is just informational you can't contact the customer. They think it is "broken" because we are getting lots of clicks/views/visitors but not a lot of leads - emails and trackable calls. I was very excited by the numbers of view in such a short period of time and they think it is broken!!!

Just wanted let them know that while I am very glad they are suddenly all into the internet there is more to it than calling a vendor and buying leads or spending money getting listed everywhere.

It also has to be about process in the store. In my two smaller stores, they only seem to count "internet sales" based soley on what the ISM sells. They don't take into account walk-in traffic and even phone ups that call the main line - instead of call tracking lines.

I have one dealer that want to spend money (really he thinks of it as buying leads) and one that says they need to cut money because Internet sales are not growing but yet they only start changing their processes two weeks ago. Before I had to preach like crazy about price quotes and that leads without phone numbers were still valid leads. They were also makring almost everything lost sale at like 20 days.....

So... I have put together just some basics that I want to cover above statistics here are some of my planned comments please tell me if they sound to "smarty"








I know this sounds like years ago, but it seems sometimes we need a reminder. And some shifts in thought processes take longer for people to see.

Hope this makes sense ... Everyone wish me luck that I don't stutter.
Here's my impression, take what you wish and scrap the rest.

Fact #1 - You've built a process that works for you.
Fact #2 - You've helped them and it's now at the point where they need to help themselves.
Fact #3 - Just copying your process won't work because it requires them to understand the meaning and how to adapt it to their own needs.

Problem #1 - You stated: "What I want to do id get them to understand that Internet sales is not just leads it is advertising!!!"
Problem #2 - They're overwhemed with the power of the internet: "Just wanted let them know that while I am very glad they are suddenly all into the internet"
Problem #3 - I have one dealer that want to spend money (really he thinks of it as buying leads)

My Suggestion:

You're not going to get them all "transformed" in a single meeting. Tell them what you hope to gain out of the meeting and how you are prepared to acheive those goals, but it's just a meeting and doesn't mean squat unless they take action.

Explain to them that the most valuable "leads" through the internet are ones searching for your brand name because they're considered "buyers", it'll represent the majority of your traffic and they are the most engaged in terms of pageviews, time on site, etc.

Tell them to stop calling them leads and instead use the 3 stages of internet users.
1. Browsers
2. Shoppers
3. Buyers

People in the first phase are just learning about the vehicles, figuring out what may fit their lifestyle, and perhaps searching on particular features "Ford SYNC" or "Lexus Enform" etc.

People in the second phase are doing more comparison searches, either between models, prices, incentives, etc.

People in the third phase are ready to buy, they know what they want so these may be longtail searchs year+make+model+color+transmission etc.

Then ask them what stage is the most lucrative stage, I bet most will say the third stage.

My answer is all of them. But in order to reach buyers at all these stages you have some competition, and it's up to them how much they are willing to invest strategically at each phase and how they can possibly get people from phase 1 to phase 2, or phase 2 to phase 3, etc.

Expecting people to go from phase 1 to phase 3 in a single day is possible, but it's likely going to make them uncomfortable and slightly concerned about trust levels.

Its a ton of work to develop the strategy, the process and then use actual data to improve the process. The advantage of the internet is that you can track all of this behavior and see what triggers someone to move from one stage to the next. Currently, lots of people begin stage 1 and end up at sites like KBB or Edmunds.

Then you have the lead gen sites and their SEM/PPC marketing that pencils out to six figure+ monthly revenues - that's not going to stop as long as they have buyers for the leads.

Best bet is to invest in a strategy that allows you to stop buying leads / traffic and put money towards SEO - content - and social media. The problem is that it takes a lot of work because this is "real relationship building" - it means you have to answer the guy on your blog that asks a question about how to use his remote start, it means you have to keep your content up to date and it could be six months before you see any meaningful traffic on a content site.

The people who are saying this stuff won't work, they've tried it are the same ones that spent 2 weeks looking for the same results you waited months to acquire. It means you know how to parse the data and find opportunities.

Once you get to that level, nobody understands what you do and everyone wants your help. Obviously, you can't do all of that for each dealership so don't try to solve it all at once. Identify the key milestones for every process and stay focused on getting one single process complete before moving to the next.
That is SOOOOO perfect. Thanks for the reply...

Meeting went fairly well.... I had one question..."if more than half of buyers are online, why don't we spend more money there?" I almost kissed him....

I know I can change anything in one meeting and I know we don't do everything right ourselves. But I just wanted a based line on how to review certain things and general expectations.

I am going to keep your email to expand on some things - mainly how we need to shift $$ and focus to search as well as other online media. I know part of the whole "leads" equals internet is partly my fault. But what Internet manager didn't say it that way at one time. That is how we started with Internet. However, I think not only has Internet changed the car business it had also changed rapidly in how dealers use it and harness it's power.

Thanks again... Rome wasn't built in day - but I can usre try!
Glad it was helpful. Feel free to email or call me anytime.



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