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Have any of you have seen a study that establishes what percentage of 
internet inquiries actually buy the same vehicle they inquired about?

My guess is that it is much lower than most people think, under 40% and would be similar to incoming calls.  Do any of you have any thoughts and also any substantial data or studies to validate the actually results.

Also thanks for all of you that became inspired enough to watch and comment on my "You Can't Handle the Truth" Video.

Grant Cardone

Tags: appointments, call, conversions, incoming, internet, inventory, sales

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Not trying to pitch, but Polk can match internet leads to registration data from the State DMV's. We can report out how many leads bought at each particular retailer**(a few states don't permit the use of selling dealer info) For example, if Grant Cardone Chevy received 100 internet leads, we could check against registration data to know that 25 of those leads closed at Grant Cardone Chevy, 15 of those consumers closed at Joe Smith Ford, 10 more closed at John Jones Honda, etc........We can also provide analytics about lead sources

If you would like, give us a shout and we can assist!
But can you show me studies that would demonstrate what percentage of the time the customer actually bought the exact car that they pinged on the net?
Bob, this comment is off-subject, but I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with pitching the services and data that RL Polk has to offer when they are directly related to answering a question that an ADM member posts... Heck, in Grant's book "Selling - The Secret To Success" he writes:
"Caring about people is senior to the products and the processes you use. Be genuinely concerned that your customer is getting the right product for them. Make the individual more important than the individual sale and you'll make more sales. Be interested in what the person is trying to accomplish and what problem he's trying to solve and treat people as individuals, as living breathing individuals that are irreplaceable. Stay interested before the sale, during the sale and after the sale and even if you don't get the sale. Don't ever let the process be senior to the people!"

In my opinion, responding to Grant's inquiry, then following up by getting him the data he needs would be a great way to serve BOTH the customer's needs and your company's mission objectives...
Bob, I know that RL Polk can match customer data to vehicle sales by the dealership and the originating lead... But does Polk track the vehicle inquiry data to the vehicle data reported with a matching sale?
by the way I suggest you never apologize for pitching your services....heheehhe

I have seen several studies and all of them consistently report some level of variation the majority of time on new vehicle leads... Used vehicle leads are entirely different.

There are variations depending upon make, but as for people buying EXACTLY the new vehicle that they submit a lead on? This happens less than half the time.

Used vehicle leads have a much nigher sales rate on the unit that the lead is submitted upon. However, keep in mind that the majority of customer inquiries generated by used vehicle listings are in the form of a phone call. In the past few years we have seen an increasing number of used vehicle purchasers reporting that they found the EXACT used car that they purchased on a web based inventory listing. Many of these listings are third party classified advertising marketers such as,, and such, but an increasing number of used car buyers are finding their vehicles on dealership owned websites, microsites and search engine advertising listed landing pages.

New vehicle leads are highly likely to result in the sale of a different unit than the one that was submitted with the lead for a variety of reasons. For example, when a customer configures a vehicle using a new model configuration app, it is likely that what they buy will be something configured somewhat differently because very few customers are willing to wait months to get exactly what they order as a fresh build... More importantly, every one of us who has and is working in retail has been trained on how to assess a customer's needs and then find a vehicle that fits those needs using the tools we have at our disposal to accelerate the sales cycle... Rather than ordering a car from the OEM.

Certain makes, such as Honda which have a model type and configuration system that has been optimized so that within a vehicle type there are very few different configurations will have a higher sales rate of the car delivered matching the car the customer submitted the original lead on. When the only differences are color and transmission, this is more a matter of less choices than an indication of any process advantage.

What it all comes down to is that new vehicles are a homogeneous commodity and used vehicles are a heterogeneous commodity. Customer perception is that the same new vehicle from a make, model and options perspective at Dealer A is the same new vehicle with a different VIN at Dealer B. Likewise when a new lead that has a new vehicle VIN or Stock number associated with it is received by a dealer, it is inconsequential whether or not that exact vehicle remains available for sale. If the dealer has a different new vehicle with a different VIN, but the same equipment, it is rare that the customer will be influenced either way.

One of the worst practices I have ever seen used in a large scale by far too many dealers is the new vehicle lead response that says "We are sorry, but the new car you inquired about has been sold..." which is the most counter-productive lead response I have ever seen used by a large number of dealers... This is equivalent to saying "You are s*** out of luck when you try to buy a car from us, please go away". Unfortunately, what it actually reflects is this "The car you asked about is sold and I am not willing to go through the work required to find a similar vehicle with which to respond to your lead because I only sell about 10% of all the leads I receive and am not willing to invest my time into finding you a similar vehicle, with similar equipment that might even save you some money when I can reasonably expect that work to be a complete waste of effort, 90% of the time?"

What;s the solution? Personally, when I get feeling like my efforts are not worth my time, I watch one of your video clips and it gets me pumped up to smash myself into another airplane seat, do my own version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles to go make the case for the work my team does to a car company, enterprise dealer group or a bunch of Internet Sales Managers or Dealers who are attending a conference or workshop I am facilitating in order to improve their professional performance so they can improve their overall quality of life.

Sorry, about that... Here, I am giving the soap box back to you.

Grant, thank you for participating in our community, it means a lot to me and to the thousands of automotive professionals who come here for insight and knowledge. I hope you noticed that you video clip placed on ADM got more plays per hour than it did during the same first 24 hours of getting posted to YouTube.
thank you for having this and making it available for all of us. That video invigorated some and pissed others off...Those that were upset think that every message should be one of encouragement but the reality is you can't win a race without a horse that is alive and willing to run and even then it ain't just love that wins the race.
Here's the video clip Grant is referring to... Over 1,300 people have watched this clip on ADM in less than a week:

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)
You and I should do a workshop together- would bring together a wide range of audience...
I have never suggested that to anyone!
I'd be there!

Count me in, Grant... Name the time and place, and I will clear the decks to be there and prepare appropriately. Likewise, give me a date that works for you and I will get my event planners at ADP to set up the venue and market the event for attendance.

Doing a workshop with you would be an honor, and a privilege I would appreciate.

Been out car shopping again today... One of my favorite things to do!

I absolutely agree. Our informal research indicates that new car buyers end up buying the exact vehicle for which they submitted a lead less than a third of the time. Further, of the leads that turn into a purchase, over 40% of new car leads turn into a pre-owned sale. For that reason, it is key to present both new and pre-owned alternatives in your price quote response. Responding just to the VIN level request is not the preferred way to go—give them choices!

As to used, I agree it’s important to show the VIN level request first. But even though a much higher percentage of pre-owned leads will turn into a purchase of that exact vehicle, it’s certainly nowhere near 100%. So we believe the response must include the VIN specific vehicle first, followed by alternative pre-owned vehicles similar to the requested trim, followed by new vehicles of the requested trim.

It’s also key for that response to occur in 10 minutes every time. That way the consumer, who has sent the lead to multiple dealerships, is impressed not just by the quality of response but also by its speed—giving you the significant advantage once the phone call gets made.

It should also be noted that by executing a multi-vehicle, new and pre-owned price quote back to the customer in 10 minutes every time, you set up a fundamentally different phone call with the customer. Now you can move the conversation from an adversarial “apples to apples” price comparison to a consultative discussion about FEATURES—what does the customer want? What price point can the customer afford, and how does that change which vehicle to focus on?


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