Last week one of the Internet managers I work with called to make sure his inventory exports to the sites where he markets were going out properly, because his leads were down. Though that could be a possible reason why the leads were down (and I verified it wasn’t), there is so much more involved in lead generation than just having your vehicles online. The competition is stiff out there, so you better be on top of your game if you want your fair share of the pie. We’ve all heard it before, and I have certainly tried to beat it into my dealers’ heads, but you have got to show your shoppers why you are the one they should buy from. Aside from SEO (let’s just assume they got to your site – your website analytics will tell you if they did), showcasing your merchandise is so important. You can have the best SEO’d site, but if your site is not user friendly or your vehicles are not updated, shoppers will leave. I know, I am a shopper, and I’m gonna leave.

Going back to leads being down, if the shoppers are not shopping, there is not much you can do about that, but when they are shopping, and you have been fortunate enough for them to have chosen to see what you have, make sure you are giving them what they seek. We’ve said it over and over, 30+ pictures is a good number to give a decent walk around description of your vehicle. When taking the photos, act like you have the customer right there on the lot and you are walking around showing them how clean and nice the vehicle is. Build value for the car. Once they are done looking over the photos, shoppers will look to see what you have said about the car. Again, talk to them like you would if they are physically at the dealership. “This is a nice one owner vehicle just traded here at Liquid Motors. It comes with leather, navigation, and a sunroof. It is a non smoker and compares to the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, and Nissan Altima. This car drives great and won’t last. Please call me today for a test drive.” How hard is that? Apparently some think it is hard, because not all dealerships are telling shoppers why they should buy from them. Why should you expect they would if you are not even taking the time to tell them how excited you are to offer them such a nice vehicle? If you don’t care, they probably won’t either.

If you happen to be one of those dealers that does a great job with merchandising your inventory and are seeing a decline in leads, it may be a good time, to go to all the sites where you market and send some test leads. It never hurts to make sure you are getting the leads. Also, ask yourself if you are taking advantage of any free advertising. The main site that comes to mind is Craigslist. If you are not posting to Craigslist, you are missing leads. Try posting without price. Your phone will ring.

I feel like a broken record sometimes as I blog about these basics that should be a normal part of Internet advertising, but until I see that my dealers are all on top of it, I’m gonna nag. And remember, if you are not seeing the results you are expecting, it could be your fault. Check your process and reevaluate if necessary.