By: Dave Scott, Scott Automotive Marketing Group
I was recently auditing the lead channels of a local car dealer and found that the word “SOLD” was costing this car dealer 10 to 15 delivered units per month. If you are in the car biz, you know what an additional 10-15 delivered units per month is worth. When you consider the all-in, front to back, …..that’s a lot of money. Now add in the long-term value of those missed deals, like fixed-ops, repeat buyers, referrals, etc. It’s a staggering amount of money in long-term value.
My son has bought 5 cars from the same dealer and will not go anywhere else for service. He is only 30. OK. We are both busy, so let’s get right to it. So, how was the word “Sold” costing this dealer so much money? When you sell a car, it can take time to get that vehicle out of your online inventory and all your lead funnels.
As was the case for this dealer. They were getting messages from in-market car buyers on sold units asking: “Is this vehicle still available?” To which their BDC rep was replying with one word: “SOLD.”
I found 37 of these exact message conversations, in the previous 30 days. I picked up the phone, called the dealer, and asked him to give me access to incoming leads and let me moderate. It did not take long. A lead came in on a vehicle that had sold that morning. The conversation went like this:
Prospect: Is this vehicle still available?
BDC Rep: Sold this morning.
Me: Are you looking for a traverse? Or are you looking for something in that price range?
Prospect: I’m looking for something with a third-row seat. We have 4 kids, two are in sports, and we aren’t a minivan kind of family. LOL
Me: LOL OK! I can relate to that! So the most important feature you are looking for is a third-row seat? Besides a third-row seat, what would be on your wish list?
(Now, while I am responding to the lead, I am also on the dealer’s website searching for vehicles with a third-row seat. I found 4.)
Me: So, a third-row seat, color black? Anything else?
Prospect: price, payment, etc.
Me: Hey! I just found 4 vehicles in our inventory with third-row seats and two are black! I need to run out onto the lot to make sure they are still here and not already sold. What’s the best number to reach you, and I’ll let you know ASAP. I can even send you pictures and live videos.
To make a long story short, I got their number, and they bought a Black Durango. The customer was happy, the sales rep was happy, the dealer was happy … even the BDC rep was happy. I was happy. Just making this simple tweak resulted in an additional 12 units delivered by end of the month. These were sales the dealer might not have made had they not made this simple change to how they respond to the word “sold”.
My advice to you? Take a deep dive into your sales funnels from top to bottom. You might just find some missed opportunities and make those end of month numbers.