An Internet Sales Professional should be a life raft. You can stop an internet customer from drowning in a pool of builds, specs, and prices. You can save them from visiting one salesperson-flooded dealership after another.
Now ask yourself…are you a life raft or are you an anchor?
A life raft will answer a question quickly and, more importantly, competently.
An anchor will attempt to drag the customer into the store by giving them either as little information as possible or by flooding them with prices. A life raft offers quality answers after the initial email and gives customers realistic expectations and fair offers. An anchor promises the imminent arrival of a vehicle they have little chance of obtaining.
One thing that an Internet Sales Professional (ISP) can be sure of is the internet-savvy consumer knows a price waits for them right around the corner; one website away. More and more, customers demand to have all their questions answered… and sooner rather than later. Vague answers are no longer adequate bait to lure today’s consumer.
Save them from vague answers, repeated urges to visit, and automated follow-up responses. If you want to be competitive, you have to answer their questions on the first email.Please notice… “email”. Don’t be the person that calls them immediately, even if it is under the veil of “Did you receive the information I sent you?” They are sitting at their computer with their inbox open! They know you did not send anything! You can always call later; but you can’t change a bad first impression. Send a personalized email first.
Internet Sales Professionals have the opportunity to separate themselves from the typical salespeople on the dealer floor. These are the very people the consumer fears and want to avoid speaking to in the first place. And let’s face it, we ISP’s are all just glorified sales reps with good word tracks, better organizational skills, and fast fingers. However, customers have higher expectations of us. Johnny Car-Buyer doesn’t want to believe he is talking to a Sales Rep that can type.Nor does he want to be conversing with a technician from a computer store. He wants to believe he is speaking to a knowledgeable friend that is looking out for his best interest. Johnny needs a life raft.
Any ISP worth their weight in leads will tell you that directing an internet customer to act is just as easy as a walk-in customer. We all have the same job duties. We all are fighting toward one goal. “Get the customer in.” How we go about this and how we view our job description, though, is what separates you from the sales professionals a few miles away. How do you direct an internet customer, you ask? Your first email will rarely spur someone to hop into their car, drive to see you, and drive off with the exact vehicle quoted. Not anymore. A few years ago this was a little more common, but people want all of the information nowadays. They don’t do this solely by collecting prices. Internet customers ask follow up questions. It is how you respond to these questions that determines your worth as an Internet Sales Professional.
Build trust by moving the internet customer one step at a time. Build the relationship, connect with the customer, and move them toward you. This is how you differentiate yourself from other ISP’s and endear the customer to you. Customers want to be guided on their car-buying process. Replying to customers’ questions will give you the opportunity to direct them to the dealership. If handled correctly, you can guide them straight to your lot. You don’t need to light a fire under them in the first email. You simply need to give them reasons over time to see you. It is a process.
Some dealers operate by inundating their internet leads with mass amounts of information, whether it was requested or not. This is called the “Info Anchor”. The anchor drowns the customer with builds, specs, and prices, hoping to look like they are being upfront with their information, but, in reality, just trying to save themselves time from following up. You don’t need to purchase ALL of the leads possible. You simply be more thorough with your leads so your closing ratio increases.
Like everyone else, I shop my competition. Their initial emails with amazingly low price quotes, attached list of all features and options (and even discounted warranty prices!) are absurd.Even though they are not being vague, they are supplying the customer with too much information: The Info Anchor. However, try to ask them a follow up question and wait for a response. Continue to wait.Take a nap. Take a trip.Take a coma. You will keep waiting because they hardly ever answer follow ups. They give it their one shot and they’re done. That is when Life Raft (me – and not just because of my size) floats in and saves them. I keep them headed toward land by answering any remaining questions they have. I don’t make their vehicle purchase seem like a too-good-to-be true mirage, but a tangible and reachable goal. An overflow of information will simply numb them from realizing the difference between a fair deal and a nit-picky deal. You will just send them shopping. Doing this is creating your own worst enemy.
Here is my request to all Internet Sales Professionals.This is what I am asking you to do.
1) Do not give the lowest possible price for a vehicle. Offer a competitive price that reflects the value their vehicle deserves. You are selling something of value. You are selling a motor vehicle that will be carrying their most important commodity – their family.
2) Don’t offer to beat everyone’s deal. You will only send them scavenging for quotes.In latter emails, simply tell them you will stay competitive with other offers.
3) Build value in what you do. Buying a vehicle can be a painful process. You are saving a customer from going through a potentially-frustrating and painstaking process of visiting an endless number of dealerships to get the same questions answered.
4) Tell them the truth. It is a lot easier to remember what you have said in the past.
If a customer feels that you have saved them time, energy, and a little money…you have already become their life raft. You have become a real Internet Sales Professional and you have earned the sale.