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Are Internet customers all that different than showroom customers? Josh Vajda analyzes the sales processes used with Internet leads and with showroom customers, and gives recommendations on how to ensure that both groups of customers are being treated the same, for maximum closing rates and profitability.

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Comment by J. Michael Zak on October 11, 2012 at 11:29am

Whether a lead comes via a bird dog, internet, walk-in, customer referral, or phone they all are people behind the lead and building the rapport right off the bat is the crucial point to making the prospect into a customer.  We live in a very fast world where people are more knowledgeable and sometimes only want an answer i.e., price, color, model, terms, etc.  However create the rapport and gain the reason behind the question and you will either win the deal or at least gain their respect for the next time they are looking.

Comment by Gary Jon Prough on October 11, 2012 at 8:59am

They are all the same people now. Showroom, internet, phone. Does not matter where they come from.

Comment by Richard Valenta on October 11, 2012 at 8:19am

One day, the word "lead" will just turn into "customer," regardless of where they come from. - Well said.  

Comment by Josh Vajda on October 11, 2012 at 6:02am

Thanks, Ralph, Blaine and Gillon - it's easy for a salesperson to lose focus on the person behind the lead. One day, the word "lead" will just turn into "customer," regardless of where they come from.

Comment by Gillon S. Johannson on October 11, 2012 at 4:43am

I came to this new employer for me about two months ago. My domain covers two stores, with Kia and Nissan. When I got here, the prevailing attitude of the sales staff was that internet leads were complete s*#t. This came about due to the attitude of my predecessor. He thought all the leads were garbage, so naturally, that attitude went right on down the line.

Without getting all wound up on this issue-which I sure could do-I would say that these leads need to be handled just like we would do if the customer was in front of us.  If the customer senses that they are being handled in a sincere and genuine fashion (like you would do if they were in front of you) they will listen or read on. When a customer makes an inquiry, they will resent it if you send them a canned T.V. commercial. Your primary response needs to be genuine and sincere.

If you send them an email with a video of a guy in a sweater-vest pounding on the hood of a car and spouting feature/benefit price justification...well, you're gonna' go straight to the trash, and you wont get opened again.  But I'm getting off track.

Anyone who thinks an internet lead is less than a walk in is going to loose. In today's world, over 80% of all car shoppers start on the internet. All you gotta' do is follow EVERY lead, and sooner or later they WILL buy a car. It's a big picture, but some of us see it!

Comment by Blaine Traber on October 11, 2012 at 3:25am

When you humanize the individual on the other end of the computer, you have a much better chance of actually connecting. It's through connections that sales can happen. People often say it's a numbers game. I think it's a people game. Great video, Josh!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 11, 2012 at 2:05am

Any time we start to forget that "Leads are People" our contact rates, appointments, showroom visits and sales from those very same leads will drop... Yes, behind every lead there is a real human being who is going to buy a vehicle at some point after they send the lead in... Unless they die first.  Josh makes a very valid point.  Yes, leads are people just like a phone call, walk-in visitor to the dealership or a chat conversation.

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