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In my last blog I explained the 3 ways to kill a prospect. The first 2 scenarios I will discuss today and leave the 3rd alone as you

know what to do there.

The first scenario was this:

1) You’re not getting the lead in the first place or the lead is not received in a timely fashion.

When is the last time you sent in a test lead?

Out of the 10 inquiries I sent in, only 4 dealers responded back. Which means I did not get a response from 6 dealers!

Those 6 that I did not receive a response from were based off inquires that I sent through their website. Which made me wonder if they

received the lead in the first place? So make sure you are sending in test leads on a regular basis!

From the 4 that did respond, only 2 sent me more then one email! Out of those 2 dealers, one sent me 8 follow-up emails. Which brings me

to the second scenario:

2) Your dealership has no process in place for when leads come in.

How soon do you have to respond after the lead comes in?

What information is required in the response?

Is the response email, phone or both?

What are your additional follow-ups and when?

Almost immediately I received a response from 2 of the dealers that read like this:

example lead letter
(Click to enlarge)

And this:

example lead letter 2
(Click to enlarge)

Both of these examples are automated responses from the Internet Director at the dealerships. The first example was based off the question,

“How much is this vehicle”?. Like I said I received a response immediately but if you read what was sent you will see that my question

wasn’t answered. The second example was a response based off the same question. The email was good but the content still left me wondering,

how much is the car? Then you have to ask yourself what is more important: how quickly you get back with a prospect or the content of the

message you send?

Aside from the immediate responses not really answering my questions; I did receive additional follow up from both dealers. My favorite

one was this:

example lead letter 3
(Click to enlarge)

Why you ask?? Because she is creating a needs analysis and trying to find out more about me and not just continue to focus on the one

particular vehicle I inquired about. However, she should have started the email out with information on the vehicle and then asked the

questions. I think people get tied up in the one vehicle that a prospect is inquiring about and they forget one of the most important things:

CROSS-SELLING!

She continued to follow up with me via email 6 more times until I finally told her that I was no longer looking to purchase. One of her

last emails to me was this:

Example lead letter 4
(Click to enlarge)

What was strange about the email was that she said she tried to reach me via phone and I never gave her my phone number. At that point maybe I

was receiving automated emails? I appreciated her emails as they were friendly and not pushy but consistent at the same time.

With all of the good emails I received there were a few not so good ones. Like this one:

Example lead letter 5
(Click to enlarge)

I emailed the question via a listing he had on Craigslist. It took 5 days for the dealer to respond and when they did the response did not

include any of the pictures I requested and actually told me to go to their website to view the video. What the dealer should have responded

with was photos attached to the email and a link to the video included. You have to remember to keep it simple and easy for the customer and

include the information they not only ask for but also include the additional information you want them to see.

Here is another email that was not so great:

Example lead letter 6
(Click to enlarge)

I asked what the safety features were on the vehicle above. What the dealer should have responded with was the safety notes from the VIN

explosion and then add that its one of the safest vehicles on the road plus a few photos and a video if available.

The next dealer followed up with me multiple times but take a look at his signature:

Example lead letter 7
(Click to enlarge)

Make sure you have a signature block that is viewable when responding to a prospect. Again make it easy for them to get in touch with you!

As I said in the beginning, I am not going to cover the 3rd scenario, as it speaks for it’s self, but to refresh everyone’s memory

here it is:

3) You have a process and the process is not being followed.

Look at retraining personnel and/or new personnel.

After doing this little experiment I asked my friends, whom some have recently purchased a vehicle, why they purchased where they did. The overall response I received was that they didn’t purchase from the dealer that had the best price but rather purchased from the place that either called or emailed them back.

As I mentioned in Part 1, this “experiment” was conducted a year ago. I thought it would be fun to follow up with these dealers and secret shop them again and see how they are doing now. So stay tuned for my next series of blogs in August for the results!

As always, I would love any comments from you!

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As of yesterday, summer has officially begun! We welcome the season of “fun-in-the-sun” by pulling out the grill, inflating the pool rafts, and anticipating the family vacation.

Unfortunately, there is a less-than-sunny side to summer as well. This is the season that teenage drivers hit the roadways in dramatic numbers. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for US teens, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest for drivers ages 15-20.

For most kids, every day in the summer is a weekend day – school is out, curfews are relaxed, summer parties are plenty and parental supervision is at a minimum, usually with one or both parents working. Teenagers covet their independence, however, with this sought-after independence comes a huge amount of responsibility.

Parents of young drivers need to be more engaged than ever before in their child’s life. Although the infamous and usually painful “teen years” seem to contradict this, parents ARE role models for their teenagers. Mom and Dad must set an example and educate their kids on the dangers and consequences of reckless driving. According to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health, parental involvement and adhered to restrictions significantly reduce risky driving behavior during a driver’s critical first 12 – 18 months behind the wheel.

Summer is a laid-back time to kick back and relax. Mom and Dad can lay in the hammock or relax by the pool, but when it comes to the teenage drivers in the household, there is no time for relaxing the rules or unfortunately, the worry.

1) Your not getting the lead in the first place or the lead is not received in a timely fashion.

When is the last time you sent in a test lead?
Did you get a phone call from another dealer trying to sell you a car? If so, maybe you are not the only one getting your leads. (some free sites have been known to do this)

2) Your dealership has no process in place for when leads come in.
How soon do you have to respond after the lead comes in?
What information is required in the response?
Is the response email, phone or both?
What are your additional follow ups and when?

If your store does not have a process in place then make it a propriety to develop one immediately. Even if you are the only one working the Internet leads having a process with keep you on track and focused.

3) You have a process and the process is not being followed.
Look at retraining personnel and/or new personnel.

Over the past several weeks I have secret shopped 10 random dealers on this very topic. Over the next few of my weekly blogs I will go into my findings in detail. I will not cover problem #3 above as you already know what to do there. Look out over the next few blogs as I sent in email inquires via the dealers website, Autotrader.com and Craigslist. The results will shock you, at least they did me! Stay tuned for the results or just to see if your dealership was one of the 10. In the meantime where does your dealership stand in regards to the three scenarios above? Be sure to leave your comments, feedback or questions and don’t forget to follow Liquid Motors on our blog, Facebook and Twitter today!

We have discussed ways to make sure your online listings are found but what happens after that? Important listing information like good photos and vehicle data are vital, and we have also covered those elements, but what sets your listing apart; what convinces the customer they need to contact you and buy from you?

With the resources that exist today, customers have access to hundreds of potential vehicles to choose from so you need to utilize every tool at your disposal to make yours stand out. As I mentioned, the first part of this is getting your listing in front of them – good SEO, good photos, good data, listing on all of the major sites. Being found is only part of the battle though; you must leave an impression on the customer. Think about the television ads you may run. You would never spend the money to buy TV ad time and just have a plain looking person read off a list of your cars in a monotone voice. ‘We have a 2009 Lexus RX350 for $34,000 – come buy it’ ‘We have a 2008 Toyota Camry for $17,000 – come buy it’ etc… Your TV ads will have something in them to grab people’s attention: a slogan, witty saying, crazy outfits, background props, melodramatic voices – in a word: personality. Why wouldn’t you do the same thing with your online listings?

Consider making your listing reflect your personality – your colors, your logo, your slogan, etc… Using a customized template for sites such as eBay and Craigslist can make this a very simple process for you. Then consider adding a brief bio of the dealership and yourself. What is the dealership known for, how long have you been in business, how involved are they in the community? What does the salesperson look like? A picture of the salesperson may seem trivial but it can add a sense of confidence to the customer when they know what the person they are talking to looks like. The point is to make the effort to put the customer more at ease with their decision to contact you or even send you their contact information. It is much easier to pull the trigger on an email containing your phone number when you have some idea of who is going to receive that email.

Crawling – Googlebot / Spiders / Robots
• Indexing – Can the site be ‘read’
• Serving – relevant content

Crawling is the process by which Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index. They use a huge set of computers to fetch (or “crawl”) billions of pages on the web. The program that does the fetching is called Googlebot (also known as a robot, bot, or spider). Googlebot uses an algorithmic process: computer programs determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each site. Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls in order to compile a massive index of all the words it sees and their location on each page. In addition, they process information included in key content tags and attributes, such as Title tags and ALT attributes. Googlebot can process many, but not all, content types.

When a user enters a query, their machines search the index for matching pages and return the results they believe are the most relevant to the user. Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the Page Rank for a given page. Page Rank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages.

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=70897&cbid=-1ja7yrwzhkwxf&src=cb&lev=answer

The Basics
• Design your site for users with SEO in mind not the other way around.
• Make sure each page is clearly linked on the site.
• Keep the navigation simple and understandable – do not overload the user with too many links.
• Include a site map with links to each page.
• Make sure each page contains relevant content that matches its purpose.
• Do not try to cheat!
– ‘Black Hat’
• Submit your site to Google – http://www.google.com/addurl.html

Please be sure to leave your comments, feedback, re-tweet or just add valuable information to this blog as our goal is to educate car dealers so they can be better today than they were yesterday. Make sure you follow Liquid Motors on facebook, Twitter and our blog for a variety of information for car dealers.

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