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The Six ONLINE Steps On the Road to the Sale

The Internet has infiltrated your classic Road to the Sale—did you know that?  Think about it this way:  Would you let your salespeople lot-drop dozens of UPs without a turn?  Would you let them yell at, confuse, or manhandle your shoppers on the lot?  Or, worse yet, would you let them ignore your shoppers?

Your website does this EVERY DAY.  Take a second to ask yourself why you allow that, and when in the next second you realize you should NOT allow that—then take these six steps with you to measure what you are doing and work to get it right!

Here you go:

The Six ONLINE Steps On the Road to the Sale

1. Meet and Greet: Reputation and Website – This may be as early in the process as a shopper looking at your online reviews—does their story welcome the shopper to do business?  Or drive them away?  Do you appear interesting and trustworthy on their social media?  What do you say and more importantly what is said about you?  And then they click through to your website from social media, SEO/reviews, PPC, or a banner ad—OR come to you directly from knowing your website name.  Does your website welcome them visually and invite them to chat?  Can they see pictures of your facility and especially of the people they will likely buy a vehicle and service from?  Do your PPC campaigns land the shopper on pages of your inventory which are directly relevant to the advertising message that led them to click?  And are your PPC landing pages “closed” to navigation so that the shopper isn’t “lifted” off their car to do other things?  Does your SEO strategy also lead the shopper directly to what they asked for?  And are your pages friendly to the shopper with easy navigation?

2. Interview: Inventory and Chat – This is a shopper reviewing your inventory, and better yet engaging in chat that is relevant to information they need in order to understand THEMSELVES what they want.  It’s not a full needs assessment, except that it is a SELF-SERVICE needs assessment (depending on the strength of your chat AND on their own comfort with chatting about their needs—usually, they ask direct questions rather than answer them, regardless).

3. Vehicle Selection: Inventory Information Navigation – Now they’ve landed on a cars in your inventory and you’ve got to let them know how to select one.  Can they sort by feature?  (long, short bed)  By price?  (under $10k, etc.)

4. Walk-Around: Pictures, Video, History – Do you provide enough pictures?  Video walkarounds?  Good comments about the history of each used car?  CarFax or other such service?

5. Trade Evaluation:  Positive Trade Message – KBB, Blackbook, etc. plug-ins for your website satisfy some of this, as do things like Autotrader’s Trade-in Marketplace (TIM).  Do everything you can to make them feel comfortable bringing in their trade!!

6. Test Drive:  CONTACT ME/LEAD/APPT.! – Now we are into a gray area of sorts!  Is a video walkaround from #4 also a test drive, for example?  Maybe.  However, what I think this is, really, is the shopper’s affirmation via a contact action-to-a-lead on their part (a form, email, or call) that they would like more information/contact and schedule an appt.  By the way, does your website offer an APPOINTMENT to see the car that they can ask for directly?  If not, why not??

Note:  If you like this, check out Road to the Sale is More than Ten Steps--You Knew this, Right? and Online and Offline Road to the Sale: Merge Lane!

By Keith Shetterly,
Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved

Views: 193


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Comment by Tom Gorham on June 13, 2012 at 8:24pm

This is a good roadmap for any Internet Manager to follow.  Thanks Keith!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on June 10, 2012 at 2:03pm

Thanks Aaron!  

Comment by aaron kominsky on June 10, 2012 at 1:15pm

Outstanding  article well said and thought out Keith!   great job!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on June 6, 2012 at 5:25pm

Thanks Nancy!  Your question inspired it.  :)

Comment by Nancy Simmons on June 6, 2012 at 5:20pm

www=wow wow wow!  Thanks Keith!

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