The Truth About 3rd Party Lead Source Providers, Aggregators and Online Classifieds
I hear all the time that “these leads suck”, “those leads suck” etc… The truth is that most of the times it is NOT the 3rd party provider, aggregator or online classified that “sucks”. It might be several other issues such as:
- There might be too many leads and not enough people to work the leads. If this is the case your dealership won’t be able to put the proper amount of time, energy, focus into cultivating that prospect into an in store appointment. Remember, Internet prospects have a 45-90 day “gestation” period.
- Or reverse, you might not have enough leads…
- “Cherry Picking” of leads…
- You might not have the proper schedule in place. For example, the “prime time” to connect with prospects is between 6-8pm and if there is no one working the leads during that time or if the department or the dealership is closed at that time then you obviously miss out and this will affect the “connection ratio” with your prospects
- Process –
- This is a BIG ONE! I see over and over again dealerships that have a BAD process. They ONLY email, or they ONLY phone call, or they ONLY follow up with the prospect for a certain amount of time and assume this lead “sucks” and then they “dead” the lead.
- Dealers assume leads with “No Phone Number” or “Wrong Phone Number” are “Bad Leads” but that is NOT true! What do you expect for $20? A closed deal? A guaranteed commission? No, what you get for a $20 “lead” is an OPPORTUNITY… That is all. There are no magic beans, there are no silver bullets. It is up to the dealership to cultivate that opportunity into an in store appointment. So, if you have a “lead” with no phone number or a wrong phone number then you should:
- Open up the original lead in your CRM / ILM because sometimes the prospect info doesn’t parse
- Call 4-1-1 and do a reverse look up
- Go to www.anywho.com
- Utilize Social Medial to find additional contact information. Some CRMs have Social Media integration just for purposes like this!
- (Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc…)
- Technology –
- I can NOT stress this enough… technology is one of the biggest culprits for mistakes, poor numbers, the illusion of “Bad leads”. What happens is that the dealership might not have set up the CRM / ILM the right way or they set it up but it wasn’t managed or up kept the right way so it might get congested, it can become a mess. The best analogy is a file cabinet that has only one drawer, no folders and no color tabs for the (non) folders… CHAOS!
With all of that being said, there is a HUGE value for having 3rd Party Providers, Aggregators and Classified Listings. But before I get into that I do want to stress that you should never put all your eggs in one basket. A dealership should diversify their marketing and specifically their digital marketing efforts with SEO, VSEO, Video Pre-Roll, PPC, Social Media and 3rd Party Sources.
If you are going to utilize 3rdy Party Lead Source Providers, Aggregators and Classified listings make sure:
- You know what type of “leads” you are looking for. Each lead source provider has its own “specialty” some 3rd Party Sources specialize in New Car Leads, some specialize in Used Car Leads and others specialize in Special Finance Leads. I know that a lot of these companies offer both. I suggest you identify what your wants and needs are and find a 3rd party provider that fits your exact need and wants.
- Do your research investigate all of the “Major” 3rd Party providers and ask them to do a “Market Analysis” on your market for the last 30, 60, 90 days. How many leads did they generate or were available through their network. Also ask for them to provide those numbers on different radiuses.
- Remember that the farther out you go from your dealership, the lower the closing ratio. I am not saying don’t go too far. I am just stating a fact.
- What you can do is secure a radius that is close to your dealership. Maybe you use your PMA given to you from your OEM or a certain mile circumference around your dealership (20, 30, 40 miles etc…) And then surgically creating smaller perimeters around your direct and indirect competitors. For example, lets say you secure a 35 mile radius around your dealership that generates you 100 new car leads. Lets also say you have 4 direct competitors within a 75 mile radius. Instead of just securing a “blanket” 75 mile perimeter around your dealership you secure that 35 mile radius that is yielding you 100 leads and then you can secure maybe a 5-10 mile radius perimeter directly around YOUR COMPETIROS, using their zip codes. This way you are focusing your energy more surgically.
Bottom line, 3rd Party Providers, Aggregators & Online Classifieds are a powerful resource if and only if we utilize them the right way.
If you have any questions about this article or you would like a list of lead source providers please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 267-319-6776