Yeah, I said big bucks because that is what you pay for your internet marketing. Oh, who am I talking to? You know what you pay and will agree it’s not cheap to have all your vehicles listed on the most popular automobile websites. Hey, it’s worth it, right? The customers are there. You want to be as well. Then I have to ask why on earth you would not take advantage of your advertising dollars and showcase all your vehicles with photos and notes? Also if you are paying for a pricing tool, your vehicles should be competitively priced from day 1 online. Even if you are pricing your vehicles by the “I think, I feel” method, getting a price online will certainly help you on sites like Autotrader where you lose in both the high to low (which is the default search) or the low to high (which is probably the most common search) if they are not priced. If your vehicle does not have a price, you are at the bottom of the list either way. We all know the goal is to sell your vehicles as quickly as possible since the longer they sit on your lot, the less profit you will make as they depreciate and your cost of owning them rises. Remember 80+% of shoppers start online. You have got to get it right if you expect to get the most for your advertising buck.

I challenge you to inspect your inventory and see what percentage of vehicles are being advertised without photos, notes and pricing. I am not just guessing that many dealers have high percentages in these areas, I know they do. I review our dealers’ accounts monthly and send them a report so they can see where they can improve. There really are no excuses for neglecting these areas. With all the cool internet marketing tools out there, including ours, you can upload photos, use a description builder tool if description writing is not your thing, and price your vehicles without having to check several sites to see what vehicles are retailing for all in a snap.

A common excuse I have heard for not having pictures is the weather. If you live in an area that has a long messy winter, you may consider investing in a photo booth out of the weather or just reserving a service bay just for photos. If you do not have a photo booth, then you should have plenty of time to sit in the nice warm dealership and get your notes updated. If it takes a while to get photos, you can at least give a potential customer some good info on the vehicle to let them know why they should consider yours. Another common excuse for no photos is that the lot service company only comes by a few days a week. Everyone has a camera, so why not take a photo or 2 of the vehicle as soon as it is traded in and upload them into your inventory management tool so that photos are online until a complete set can be taken. At least you’ll show the potential customers that the car is in good shape and worthy of a call. No picture showing means I am moving on.

Really I could go on and on, but I will give you a moment to chew on this. If you do a great job (and there are many who have mastered this), you are probably too busy to read this blog (unless you are making time since you think I am really cool and just enjoy my rant :)) On the other hand, if you are a dealer not getting the lead return you expect from the sites where you market, then you should evaluate whether or not you are doing the things that have been proven to be effective. Internet Marketing 101: Show more, Tell more, Sell more. If you master it, you will get the best bang for your big bucks.