out because a dealer decides to start their own digital marketing initiatives.
One of the common perceptions of third party lead providers is that the combine a list of strong lead sources with poor lead sources to create a mix that dealers will tolerate. In theory, old school practices believed that this would increase the third party lead collectors revenue while still keeping clients.
I was recently discussing lead management processes with Dealix and when I posed this typical complaint, their response was interesting. They refuted this wide brush stroke of negative criticism and educated me on their Dealix Quality Pledge guarantee. Dealix stated that any dealer who feels that specific leads were poor quality (bad name, address, contact info) they can request a 100% refund.
Since this is the case with Dealix, there is no significant downside in my mind, in testing their leads and creating a process that keeps charge-backs in line with quality. According to Dealix, this feedback loop will help them police their feed sources and improve their delivery quality.
This is not pay-per-sale as some suggest but a promising middle ground. I think what dealers have done in the past is just stop by leads because they were not informed that they had a financial recourse. In this case, everyone loses.
I'm not sure of how many other lead sources have a strong return policy but it was refreshing to hear that if the dealer felt quality was poor, instead of bitching about 3rd party lead sources, they could refine the Dealix lead stream and make it better.
Dealix controls popular websites like www.usedcars.com (I wish I owned that site) so it would benefit dealers to understand that third party lead providers have rich national website assets that can produce quality leads. They also have relationships that might produce lower quality leads, but in the end, if you are not happy you can get a credit.
A strong digital marketing strategy includes the best of breed solutions from many consumer touch points. Kicking out all third party lead providers may be hurting you more than you know. A recent JD Powers study showed that consumers frequent 3rd party website often in the 6 months prior to a car purchase.
Car dealers just have to find the third party lead providers that will work with them to find the right cost per retail sale. Painting all 3rd party providers with the same brush is ignorant.…
ruly understood what we actually do based upon facts and not erroneous suppositions, then you would have a different opinion here because you're a smart guy. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is probably the same reason why many of the top folks at JD Power, PIN, ALG, Acxiom, Experian, Polk, Urban Science, Consumer Reports, AMEX, B of A, USAA, etc., as well as the top dealer operations consultants in the industry, the top CRM companies, the top dealer groups, etc. whom have reached out to me and others in recent days, and have discussed these threads behind the scenes, have found this one-sided debate to be interesting, intriguing, flawed, completely missing the point, and painting the retail world into a bad light. IMPO, to spend this amount of time and energy on attacking a single company that helps facilitate the sale of just 1.5% of all new vehicle sales through only 18% of new vehicle franchises is remarkable; to put it another way, 98.5% of vehicle sales are made outside of TrueCar and our 100 blue-chip partners. If 1.5% of profitable sales (a fact) to dealers by customers seeking a different way of doing business (another fact) is going to destroy the entire new car dealer network, then you'll have to explain how exactly that would happen.
I was selling cars and running stores when Edmunds had TMV pricing, when KBB provided similar invoice/cost/pricing information, and so on, and 1) I never had a problem with it because we knew how to sell value and were damn good at it, and b) I don't recall anywhere near this level of consternation when Edmunds, KBB, et al introduced cost and pricing information to the public. I actually liked it because it helped me build more credible pricing context during negotations, helped curb overnegotiation by customers (that is the beauty of transparency in a world where consumer perceptions are so inaccurate relative to reality in terms of pricing and margins), and helped me close deals. I also don't recall anyone ever making these same calls-to-action and attacks when KBB recently announced "Reality Check" on their site, which gets FAR more visitors than TrueCar.com. Strange. So Edmunds, KBB, and others like us have dodged this bullet. Kind of makes you wonder what's really behind all this...…
ion, while it's a tad vague in regards to "adores," you did a commendable job "painting a picture" of a socially immature, technologically dependent and woefully narcissistic misfit. Which, when you get right down to it, defines a rather large chunk of today's "under 35" crowd. My Dad pretty well nailed it over 50 years ago when he told me that, in general, "People are a miserable bunch of bastards." Be that as it may, as a sales rep, I'd give the "adore's texting" type a wide birth. Selling really doesn't have to be that "abstract." Especially when you consider most dealerships are loaded with neglected and untended orphan customers.
That's a big reason why I'm not "turned on" to chat, or to a good number of other programs dedicated to the complexities of bringing internet-savvy price-dependent prospects "on line." Having interfaced with a good number of dealership managers over the past 20 years, their answer to how they attend to their existing customers will be something like "we regularly email or postal mail them coupons, etc. or other types of mass mailings." However, many will hear the question and their eyes will just glaze over. I like it simple and the simplest, easiest way to sell, if not to one of your past customers or their referrals, is to one of your dealership's past customers. Can you imagine how much easier a "chat" prospect would be if you had the same amount of info you could find in a dealership customer's previous deal file?
Make no mistake about me, I'm definitely a "misfit" as an ADM member. I joined two years ago only to get an education about automobile digital marketing. (This old dog likes to learn a new trick or two.) I long ago quit suggesting any ADM member "go to my website." It's not "cutting edge" and has way too many words in it. And in actuality, only about one in ten dealerships I've pitched even "gets" what I do. That's OK, though, as my "dance card" has stayed "full" exclusively from dealers who have referred other dealers, who originally "buy" me not quite knowing what I do. Everything I "sell," I developed from 20+ years of selling high-ticket items to consumers, the easiest-to-sell items being vehicles. One last thing. The foremost reason I've learned what I've learned is because of my love of selling and the value I place on transaction control and the freedom it gave me, not because of the money. Nowadays, that's damned near an impossible concept for most people to understand.
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