Around this time last year I wrote a series of blogs on lead handling which I am posting again for the benefit of those who did not read them. Then, as they do in Hollywood all too often, I am going to post the “sequel” blog, “How to Kill a Prospect with Poor Lead Handling, Part Deaux” and we will see how the follow-up is a year later.

Part 1: How to Kill a Prospect

1) You are not getting the lead in the first place or the lead was not received in a timely fashion
When is the last time you sent out 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, unfortunately some free sites have been known to do this.

2) Your dealership has no process in place to handle leads as they come in
How soon do you have to respond after the lead comes in?
What information is required in your response?
Is your response by 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 priority to develop one immediately! Even if you are the only one working the Internet leads, having a process to follow will keep you on track and focused.

3) You have a process in place, however it is not being followed
Look at training new personnel when they start and retraining your existing personnel.

Over the past several weeks, I have “secret shopped” 10 random dealers on this very topic. In my next few weekly blogs I will go into my findings in detail. I will not be addressing problem 3 above because you already know what to do there. I sent in email inquiries via the dealerships website, and Craigslist. Please read my next few blogs to view the results and see if your dealership was one of my random 10. I am sure the results will shock you as they did me! In the meantime, re-evaluate where your dealership stands in regards to the 3 lead handling scenarios above.

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