Generating leads is the purpose of your dealer website and all online marketing efforts. Now that you have that lead, do you know what to do with it? Is your dealership ready to handle leads?

A survey conducted by Morpace showed that a combination of lead response actions results in a sale 400% higher when executed within 24 hours of a lead submission. Those actions are:

· Dealer responds in less than 2 hours

· Dealer confirms availability of multiple vehicles

· Dealer provides a fair price quote in first email

· Dealer contacts the customer by telephone (after email)

If customers don’t get their response fast enough, 50% will switch dealers. It is essential to increase response time as this is critical for consumer satisfaction and translates into improved conversion rates.

Make sure you answer the customer’s questions in the email they sent. Nothing will turn off a potential customer faster than having their specific questions about a car ignored. Also include a map to your dealership location, and links to the inventory and finance sections of your website.

What does your dealership do next with the lead? The lead should continue to be contacted until they buy or tell you to stop contacting them. Keep contacting leads past 30 days up to 6 months for more conversions. 41% of dealer web site visitors plan to purchase a vehicle within 30 days and 66.8% plan to purchase within 90 days.

After they do buy a car from you, put them on your current client email list. Don’t lose contact and send out service coupons or advance notice on sales. 67% say receipt of personalized post sale communication would make them more likely to buy from that dealer again.

If they buy from someone else put them on an email auto responder to be contacted in about 8 months when they’re possibly thinking of getting a different car. Remind them that even though they did purchase from someone else you’d love to help them get the car they want this time.

If a lead made an appointment but never showed, send them an email that you missed them and would like to set up another time that would work out better.

In this economy effective lead management is more important than ever. An integrated approach to lead management can significantly improve conversion rates and decrease the overall cost of selling cars. A strong web presence with up to date product and price information is critical to positively influence the customer experience.

News Reporter