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It’s been awhile since I have posted anything in the forum and I want to thank everyone for their input and thoughts. My Internet Team has came a long way in the last few months but have a lot more to accomplish (especially in today’s brutal market). My Internet Team's closing percentage is roughly around 7-8% and I'd like to see it higher.

My question I want to ask everyone out there is, what do you all consider a good first initial email response to a client? The majority of my internet opportunities come into our C.R.M. with basic, generic information. For example, 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport Sedan, Customer Comments: None. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have attached a first response email template that I feel should work. This template addresses a lot of things such as availability of the requested vehicle, pricing (MSRP), link to finance application, and a link to our Sales Testimonials page on our website as a way to build value in the dealership.

I am curious to hear from others and what they use as a first response when given generic information in their internet opportunities. Feel free to critique mine or share with me what you use that is successful to you and your dealership.

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Hi Richard,
If I were a visitor to your website and I clicked on stock# MB9099, a 2009 C-class sedan in red with 12 miles on it and an MSRP of $37,970, I'd probably then click the Get A Price Button on the same page. If I didnt get one I'd be disappointed. A generic MSRP on a generic vehicle is of little value but for the fact that you know who the prospect is.

The reason the vast majority of your visitors don't click through is because they already know they won't actually "Get A Price". This problem is not unique to your dealership, it is a widespread problem facing most dealers.

I developed a solution to this non-response response by introducing RedNumbat. All your inventory is presented and when an online shopper selects a vehicle and requests a price (as most do), they are immediatly sent an actual price (preset by the dealer) specific to the vehicle they have selected. They get what they came for and the dealer is able to reach more of their website visitors, set the appointment, and ultimately sell the car. Dealers are adding the RedNumbat pricing tool to their websites as a simple way to help them satisfy their visitors and collect more contact information.
Good luck and great topic!

Here's a few email templates and phone scripts that may help...
Oh wow very nice (LoL). The good thing about that reply is there are actual dealers in my area (competative dealerships) I have mystery shopped and have responded to me that way. Thats good for our sales.
My rule of thumb is this. First, answer their questions. Second ask them a couple questions--What equipment is important, what colors do they prefer, how soon are they interested in purchasing. Finally, tell them what you what them to do next--call me on my cell at BR 549 or stop in the dealership. I try to use this format in every email we send until we make contact with the customer.
Richard, I have always been successful by always asking a question at the end each and every one of my emails. Keep the customer heading in the direction you want them to take next with the right questions.

Also, "sense of urgency" needs to be tied into the first response. Not only a sense of urgency to purchase the car but more importantly the sense or urgency to serve the customer. These 2 elements are vital to a successful first or any response for that matter AND if done correctly, this can be accomplished with just a few words so you're not writing a book to the customer they never read.

What do you think??

I completely agree with you about the sense of urgency in serving the customer... The time to sell a car is NOT during email exchanges! That is when you use the questions and the sense of urgency in properly responding to the customer as the reason to continue the exchange... Email sets the stage for phone conversations, and phone conversations is where you set the stage to get an appointment for the customer to come to the dealership. The real "selling" happens during presentation and test drive. Everything before you get the customer face to face with the car is about building a relationship and establishing trust and credibility.
I totally agree sending an email should set the stage fo a phone call and the phone call sets the stage for an appointment to get the client into my dealership. I'm still unsure in that initial first response if we should send a price quote or not.

For example, let's say a lead comes into my crm tool, I have the clients full name, phone number, email address and vehicle of interest (2009 Mercedes-Benz C300), comments: None.

This is about 80% of the type of leads I get. No specific stock number, no options or equipment they prefer and most imporantly no comments or questions from the client. I have mixed feelings on sending a price quote with MSRP on a base model with no options and equipent, explaining that to the client in the email, then asking them what options and equipment they were hoping for in the vehicle. I could also pick out the least expensive one, a fully loaded one and a Certified Pre-Owned one, price them all out, include links to the actual pages of the vehicle on my website, links to credit applcation and a link to our sales testimonials page on my website. Then the question is what price do I give them? MSRP and list incentves, or do I (for the lack of better terms) whore the price out in hopes mine is the lowest.

My other thought process is since I only have basic vehicle infomation, pace-lead, reply in my first response by quaifying the clients wants and needs with relavent questions, build value in myself and the dealership, set the email up with my intentions of calling the client shortly and totally staying off price. After all there is nothing in the lead indicating to me the client is asking aout price right? And how can I give the client a price if I don't know exactly wat they want on their new Benz?

I'm sure there are some best practice dealerships that handle their incoming leads to an extent by some using my first eample and others usig my second example. I'm curious if there are any research studies that prove which apprach produces better results. After all our main goal is to sell more cars off the internet and I'm willing to try anything that makes sense as long as the ultimate goal is acheived.
My own personal experience is that if you quote multiple prices on multiple vehicles right up front, it helps to take away the consumer's fixation on pricing and allows you to focus on developing a relationship based on value beyond the price point.

When we hold back pricing, it seems to stimulate the consumer's increased focus on getting it!
Here's a process map, an initial email template and a phone script... For posterity!
Thanks Ralph, I understand if you can't give all your secrets away but I'm wondeng what ech of the specific emails look like in the process map.
There are no secrets in this business, except for maybe how to get people to execute on a consistent basis... And, I have not yet found that one!

I will see about zipping all the email templates into one file and uploading it...
You got a point there Ralph. One thing you will learn about me if we ever meet is I have no problem executing and executing on constant basis. I appreciate everything you and BZ Results and ADP have taught me thus far. I respect you guys and will continue to seek your consulting expertise.


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