How many of you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day? Really, between answering new leads, following up with prospects, delivering sold units, managing the rest of your Internet team, making sure your inventory is distributed properly to all the sites you market on, checking with your photographer to make sure new trades are getting ready for market, WHO would. Oops I forgot one other task, secret shopping your Internet sales department. Wait, you don’t do that, don’t have time, never thought about it? Let me help you with the Why and How you can secret shop the process of your own Internet department without spending more than 15 minutes a month on it.

All you have to do is create a process that is a step by step guide of exactly what you want done.

The How!

Step 1: Go to
Step 2: Search cars by dealer
Step 3: Find your store
Step 4: Send a lead using a Gmail account and ask to be emailed only or give cell phone for phone follow up only.
Step 5: Mark down on a sheet the location, time lead sent and how it was sent. Then track response times, how many responses and method of response.
Step 6: Add a grading scale to grade the quality of response.

Ok, I know this does not cover it all but it’s just to get you thinking. By now you are saying how is this only going to take 15 minutes of my time per month. I have 14+ sites I send my inventory to. How can I possibly send different types of test leads for all these sites.

The answer is YOU don’t, all of you either have a cashier, BDC or receptionist. Have them take 2 minutes of their day and send a test lead to a different site. Divide and concur, don’t let them tell you they are to busy, the morning receptionist could fall asleep at most stores and the cashier has time too. They all just need to understand the importance of what they are doing.

The WHY!
Why do I bring this up? We recently did some secret shopping and all I can say is double check your process and response times. Over half the test leads we sent never got a call or email reply!

A few things to be aware of if you secret shop your dealership.

1. If you are using a CRM tool it will only take one time for the person secret shopping your department to get marked by your sales rep as a “non prospect” and your team will stop following up as they normally would. To fix this use a vanity email and name and change them frequently.
2. Don’t tell anyone you are doing this. In addition if you handle leads don’t think about it or you will get unrealistic results. Simply review the findings every month and try to improve your processes.
3. Most importantly, don’t get on your team members if you don’t have clear cut processes in place for them to follow.

Having a process will allow you to handle more leads and give you a benchmark for measuring changes that will improve your lead response and conversion times. If you don’t have a process what are you going to change first if your secret shopping results are not positive?

Not sure where to start? Secret shop a couple of Mercedes Benz stores! In a recent study of 3400+ secret shoppers conducted by Pied Piper, MB scored higher than all other brands with Lexus coming in a close second. Remember, you can provide your prospect a Lexus experience at your Ford store if you truly want to.

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