Believe it or not, trends going on in the automotive buying process are leading more towards consumers picking up the phone to contact dealers directly.
It seemed for a while that the internet would ultimately take over the car buying industry but over time, dealers have been too slow responding to leads and therefore training customers to call and complete their business over the phone or in person.
A study done by ADP Digital shows that dealers get 10 phone calls for every two internet leads, when a year ago the same statistic was seven phone calls per every two leads. Also, over the past 10 months, 2 percent of visitors have asked to be contacted on dealer sites, whereas in 2007, the rate was 4 percent.
Phone calls are becoming shoppers initial contact because they have already researched what they needed to and are now informed and ready to be taken through the buying process by a professional. Professionalism is judged better via telephone or in person rather than by email or other means over the web.
Jefferson, the director of Internet and training for the Proctor Dealerships of Tallahassee, tells his salespeople to focus on getting timely and quality responses out for every 600 to 700 internet leads they get monthly. He says, “Tell them what you can do, not what you can’t.”
(Source: Automotive News, 5/16/11)