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You get a lead for a vehicle that you have in stock and you know that there's 6 other vehicles just like yours in a 50 mile radius, AND you know that yours is not the lowest priced model but it's less then the average of those 6. In addition to your standard response, armed with this additional information how would you tailor your response? Apart from features and mileage questions, what other questions would you ask?

I thought about dropping the usual "thank you" for helping and then I, make someone's day today. So... the most creative/genuine answer will get 1 month free of the SellersVantage product from ronsmap!

I'm looking forward to your responses. Yes I'll be the judge... but I'll use experts like Phil Zelinger to help me judge :)


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Hi Jeff,

No soap box is too high for something that works and loyalty is an earned asset that obviously Eddie and his system deserves. That said, the issue -- I think -- is what QUESTION would you like answered BEFORE it is asked in an Internet lead. The best lead source and process is one that provides the salesperson the answers to the customer's questions before they are asked to insure control of the conversation by the salesperson -- with or without a proven word track or secondary process to make an appointment. Of course the goal -- once the conversation has started -- is to make an appointment and/or sell the salesperson, the dealer, and the vehicle -- NOT THE DEAL -- and obviously Eddie has that part of the process down.

Ron may have a different purpose for this post but I am curious to learn what information is important for a dealer that would be valued as part of a lead and/or process BEFORE the initial contact. Of course once the contact is made -- I am sure that Eddie will know what to do from there but I have to think that the more information he has about the customer the better.
In reply to Stan, as I prepare to indoctrinate yet another member of the Mastery Council, I can say with certainty that I personally have applied the MC teachings in an extreme variety of circumstances, with varied franchises, and differing market sizes, and the principles been proven to be sound and the results predictable. I too once thought it was "hype" or "whack" or whatever you want to call something that sounds too good to be true, but if you listen and LEARN and apply the Mastery Council teachings, you find yourself on a level you never thought possible to reach. It's not a bunch of magic tricks, or cute little scripts or crafty templates, it is sound behavioral science combined with professional selling techniques. The Mastery Council program is SO fundamentally different than anything else you've ever come across and it WORKS!
Hey Eddie,

As usual, I agree with your premise that we need to "pre-position ourselves as the expert" and that the "product" -- and the price by the way -- "has less to do with the transaction than the individual." I also agree that "the whole paradigm has to switch." It is in that switch that I -- or more correctly, my client ronsmap -- might be able to contribute some new opportunities that don't distract from your policies and processes in regards to handling the customer once they enter your system. Frankly, it will even compliment the "second impression" that your dealers are actually dealing with; let me explain.

Simply put, the prejudice that dealers must overcome exists before the customer dials the phone or sends an email. The market is a conversation that starts before, during and after the shopping/buying experience for the customer and unfortunately the dealer is often not invited into the conversation until after a decision, or at least an opinion, is formed.

The Internet has allowed customers to bypass the dealer as the primary reference source for even the most basic information used to narrow down their selection process -- first to a vehicle and then to a dealer. The credibility of third party references within the industry coupled with newly evolving social media provide a source for opinion and competitive comparisons with no apparent self serving agenda. Statistics support that conversations on Face Book are being used more and more in the shopping process because they are more credibile as a confidence builder in a product or a dealer than any dealer advertising message in either the real or the virtual world.

It is in that foundation of first impressions earned on third party reference sites and shared opinions of like minded consumers and social networking friends and family that the positioning of a dealer as the "expert" can now be established. ronsmap positions a dealer in these social channels through their vBack application that allows online shoppers to Ask-A-Friend / Tell-A-Friend about the vehicle and the dealer that they are considering even before they initiate a dialogue with the dealer. This C2C communication and viral extension of the branding identity of the dealer is not perceived as a self serving sales message but simply an extension of the same conversation that customers have been having with their spheres of influence ever since the first vehicle was sold -- it might even have been a horse drawn chariott.

Having your customers -- and their friends -- spread the word about you and your vehicle after "meeting you" on a customer centric platform like ronsmap which provides the ultimate in relevancy and transparency for the online shopper is the true first impression which I trust we all agree is irretrievable.

Once that confidence in you and yours is confirmed by their online friends, ronsmap continues to assist the dealer to earn their reputation as the "expert." When the customer contacts the dealership ronsmap's SellersVantage and Intelli-Lead provides the salesperson with a detailed competitive comparison of not only the vehicles and dealers that the customer is comparing them to, but to every other similar vehicle that is on the Internet in a geo-targeted area in real time as the customer is still in the beginning of their shopping cycle. The salesperson now knows everything that the customer knows -- and then some -- so he can talk intelligently not only about himself, his dealer and his vehicle but about the other people, dealers and vehicles in a fifty mile radius.

Of course that resource of information is only one bullet in his gun, and processes like yours are still necessary to move the conversation into an appointment and a sale, however the confidence of the salesperson and the customer is elevated to a knew level based on facts supported by people and personality as enhanced with your process; not a bad combination!

With all of that said -- I am still curious to get back to Ron's agenda in this post which was: "In addition to your standard response, armed with this additional information how would you tailor your response? Apart from features and mileage questions, what other questions would you ask?"

As you know, we are entering phase two with the Beta Launch of ronsmap at The 8th Digital Dealer Conference after our Pre-Launch at the NADA Convention and we need to know if there are any more bullets that we need to add to our gun when we deliver our Intelli-Leads to our dealers. We know what we know, so it is what we don't know that we are seeking. Where else can we find out what questions dealers need answered from their customers to add a valuable component to our Intelli-Lead than ADM!

After all, what are friends -- and ADM -- for!
I'm assuming there is a phone number and upon reaching the customer I would tell them that there are 6 others just like it, of which ours is not the cheapest. If THAT doesn't build rapport nothing will.

At that point I would continue to build rapport with my magnetic personality, I would find common ground with an economy of words and sell myself, my dealership and the service the customer would receive by being one of my customers. Then I would ask if they had a trade and hook them emotionally on their own vehicle, I would then set an appointment, which they would show for because of my honesty, integrity and our common ground. I would go on to sell the car because at that point they are buying me, not the car. I would treat the customer as if our friendship is more important than the commission check, because after all they are.

By now they are my fans and would give me a glowing testimonial because they had never worked with or heard of a salesman as brutality honest as I and would be thrilled to spread the word.
Did you say "Hook"? lol Come again? Just playin..
Of course I did! LOL Hook: A means of attracting interest or attention; an enticement.
Yes we're definitely getting somewhere! Thank you Phil, David, Eddie, Stan. You're all quite right and now we're moving into discourse and messaging that will put YOU in the customers' intellectual-community or make you a part of the trusted "crowd" that they "crowdsource."

This is done by active listening. In the online and especially social world it means total transparency, total honesty, and genuine recognition of "what they know" and not immediately working to gloss over, re-interpret for them, or inform them that what they don't know is more important (i.e. you and your dealership). You see, trust is built on listening and executing a form of alignment (I agree, I appreciate, or I understand). THEN ... after listening a bit more the other person in the dialog - in this case the consumer - begins to give you portions of the secret passcode (share their interests and reasons behind them) to the ever important space in their heart/mind... their trusted crowd. As trust builds... guess what they do. They then begin to listen actively too.

Now... knowing the hypothetical situation above that initiated this discussion: with our without a phone number, what would your response be?
Interesting that this discussion has turned into being about listening. That's been my theme all week. In reviewing phone calls or listening to salespeople on our floor I have heard too many times people who weren't listening or even worse talked right past the sale. My first manage ever said to me, and we've all heard it before. We get into the business because we are good talkers but "god gave you 2 ears and one mouth so if you do twice as much listening as talking you will sell twice as many cars".
I think that many of the previous posts were pretty close to being correct. The main thing to remember is that we aren't selling this car through a phone line. The main goal whether it be via email or phone is an appointment to see the vehicle in person. You can write or speak til you are blue in the face about how great this vehicle is, but ultimately, one thing I like to use is asking them how much they like buying a car. Most tell me how much they hate it, and then I sympathize and explain why it isn't going to be like that when they visit our store and here is why ,...... The only problem is that you HAVE TO deliver excellent service when they come in i.e. the vehicle is perfectly detailed, it has had a once over (no check engine lights, the battery isn't dead etc.) You have researched consumer reviews and other info for them, and are prepared to give a full PROFESSIONAL Demonstration when they arrive. How can you say no to that? You won't find that type of service at most other stores that I know of. Especially not in my area.
Amanda I love your approach. I'd like to see what that approach coupled with the trends in "consumer focus" could bring to the industry. You see, at some level I agree with your "main goal... an appointment to see the vehicle in person..." but on many other levels - specifically the adherence to social media norms - I'd have to disagree with your main goal.

What if.. "what if" ... your main goal aligned with the consumers main goal? When businesses do that they benefit from both the new customer/sale as well as massive word-of-mouth. But to get there we need to consider what the consumers main goal is and I have to tell you that there main goal IS NOT to make an appointment. Their main goal oft times is getting the questions they want answered when and where they want them answered with no quid pro quo or strings attached like "come on in and see how we're better."

Consumers today are expressing that the businesses and professionals they trust are the ones that build trust by giving ... without regard to receiving any commitment whatsoever. It seems a bit counter-intuitive but there's proof abound that meeting consumers objectives and doing nothing more FURTHERS conversation and FURTHERS rapport.

Answering questions begets genuine thank-you's. Genuine Thank-you's open the door for "open ended" or other specific questions and assistance that you can extend which is better received/appreciated by someone who now has a higher opinion and higher trust value in you.

Experiment with me: Look at the original scenario that I posed in this post, then review the comments that I just made and using your approach... try answering the customers question - then I'll respond as the customer to show you how powerful you become when you address the consumers' main goal versus yours and the dealerships. After all, the only reason that you're there is to help consumers with their main goal. That's how everyone wins.


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