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Vehicles Made in U.S. Seen as Important by Dealership Leads

Posted on: August 14th, 2012 by credit

Have you encountered automotive dealership leads asking you about where a particular vehicle was made? Did one of them backed out from purchasing it because it is not made in the U.S.? If so, there is some good explanation to that. A recent study from AutoTrader.com Trend Engine revealed that vehicles made in the U.S. are seen as more important by car shoppers than vehicles made by U.S. manufacturers.

According to the July 2012 Shopper Insights Report, 41 percent of car shoppers say that it is important to purchase vehicles built in the U.S., while only 28 percent say that it is important to purchase from a U.S.-based company or automaker. Those car shoppers that comprise the 41 percent believe that purchasing vehicles made in America supports American jobs and the country’s economy and keeps American dollar at home.

Vehicles referred as “made in” America in the study includes vehicles that were physically built in the U.S. by U.S. workers, but not necessarily made by U.S. manufacturers. These car models can include foreign models. On the other hand, vehicles referred as “made by” U.S automakers are not necessarily made in the U.S. These vehicles can be built outside the country.

The report also revealed that more than half of the car shoppers surveyed perceive vehicles made by a foreign manufacturer in the U.S. as American-made. Only 43 percent see vehicles made by U.S. automakers outside the country as American-made. The top models made in the U.S. ranked by AutoTrader.com are 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, 2013 Ford Escape, 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 SRT Viper, 2013 Buick Enclave, 2012 Volkswagen Passat, 2012 Kia Optima, 2012 BMW X3, 2012 Honda Odyssey, and 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class.

There are two possible insights that can be learned from the study: that most car shoppers now prefer vehicles made in the U.S. and that they are more likely to buy such vehicles now. However, dealers cannot still operate with just these two possibilities, especially the latter. There are still many factors that car shoppers consider during the car buying process. Whether the vehicle is made in the U.S. or made by an American manufacturer is just one of the factors they consider.

Nevertheless, the insights and ideas that the study bring the industry are still considered as important for dealerships especially in their generation of automotive dealership leads and sales operations. It doesn’t mean, though, that dealers must only sell cars made in the U.S. from now on. It is just important for dealers to watch the trends in the industry closely as they rapidly shift.

Reminders When Hiring Auto Lead Providers

Posted on: August 9th, 2012 by credit

Many dealers often forget how to look closely at auto lead providers when hiring one. As a dealer and a businessman yourself, you should understand that hiring a lead provider is also like choosing your business partner. Auto lead providers take care of a dealership’s marketing efforts and strategies and lead management systems—things that largely make up a dealership’s operation. Therefore, it is necessary that you are always reminded of how to evaluate auto lead providers in the process of hiring one.

Lead Provider’s Legitimacy

First thing to make sure is that you are hiring a legitimate provider. Look up a lead company in BBB’s online database or ask for recommendations from other businesses. Research about the lead provider’s background, including its performance and experience. It is better to hire a provider that has been generating leads for dealerships for more than a couple of years already. Although experience does not really define a lead provider’s performance or professionalism, having more experience still means understanding the industry better. If you only want to generate special finance leads, make sure that the lead provider you will be hiring has an experience in handling such leads.

Delivery Time of Leads

The lead provider must be able to send you the leads they acquire as quickly as possible. Why is this important? Frankly, your prospects do not have all the time to wait for your response. If your response takes too long, they would either listen to your competitor’s offer or simply lose their interest in yours. These would be the last things that you want to happen with your leads. Therefore, make sure that the lead provider you’ll be hiring understands how important it is to send you leads even as soon as the prospects dropped their information in.

Lead Quality and Lead Generation Techniques

Some dealers do not realize it but lead generation techniques have something to do with lead quality. How? Say, your lead provider generates leads for you by using SEO techniques—but they use them abusively. Definitely, your lead provider would not generate quality leads or potential customers who are really serious about buying a car. Why? Some leads could be those who were just deceived by ads and were forced to sign up. Ask your lead provider about how they execute their lead generation techniques.

Comparison of Quotes

Have at least three bids from different auto leads providers and compare them from each other before finally shaking hands with your new business partner. Don’t be too focused on how many leads a company could give you. Rather, look at the conversion rate; the higher the rate, the better. Such leads usually cost more; however, it is better to spend on expensive leads that are most likely to convert into sales than on a lot of leads which conversion is even uncertain.

What Your Dealer Chat Must Have

Posted on: August 2nd, 2012 by credit

A dealer chat is an internet lead generation method that has proven itself to yield promising results for dealerships. You just need your sales people to stay online and be always ready to answer queries from online car shoppers. To maximize the potential of this effective lead generation technique, consider the following must-haves to more fruitfully generate automobile leads.

Online Salespeople

As has been mentioned, your sales people must always be online. There must always be someone logged on to answer the queries that will be coming in. Otherwise, the lead would feel like entering an empty dealership. The problem with this is that when automobile leads have no one to talk to, they would proceed checking out their other options. That is why, it is important that you have as many sales people as possible to stay online for incoming queries from your potential customers. Your sales staffs can also use a mobile version of the dealer chat software so they can receive and reply to incoming queries in their smartphones anytime, anywhere.

Real People

Prospects feel better about a dealership when they know that they are talking to the real dealer or sales people online and not just to some computer-operated responder. How would you show your prospects that they are talking to real people? Ask your sales staff to use their real photo and name when they talk chat with online car shoppers. Moreover, this also makes it easier for your sales staff to build rapport with prospects. It will also help prospects identify the salesperson they are talking with online when they visit the dealership.

Skilled Salespeople

Train your sales team on how to communicate well with prospects. Dealer chat is like telemarketing, except that the challenge is how you can sound friendly and kind. That’s easy to do over the phone but it is a challenge on typewritten words. In addition, each sales person must be knowledgeable about your products and services. They should be able to answer common questions that a car shopper would ask about a certain car model or service. Also, make sure that your salespeople maintain a lively atmosphere online and even in your dealership.

Excellent Service Provider

It is ideal for small dealerships that only have few people to outsource a BDC department to handle internet leads. Some lead generation companies like Approved Auto Leads provide BDC services for dealerships as well as call center trainings. However, make sure that you only hire a legitimate, professional and experienced provider.

3 Important Lead Generation Techniques Every Car Dealer Should Use

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by credit

If you have been keeping yourself abreast with the latest trends in the automotive industry, you should notice that trends, such as in car shoppers’ behavior, dealership marketing, car sales, and auto lending, have been shifting more frequently than before. These trends dictate how dealers like you should now generate car leads and convert them into sales. Based also on those trends, the following lead generation strategies now seem necessary for every car dealer to use.

SEO

Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website in the world wide web by driving traffic to it using various techniques. Creating a dealership website is the first step to start with SEO dealership marketing. Your dealership website serves as the counterpart of and is equally important as your on-site dealership. The reason why there is a need for dealerships to be online is competitors and potential customers are already online.

One of the important skills in SEO marketing is keyword research. Through the help of a software or online tools, you can find out what keywords relevant to your website are most searched. These are the keywords that you should use in your content so that search engines will detect your content as relevant to the search.

Speaking of content, you also drive traffic to your website through blogs or by providing online car shoppers with helpful content. Some helpful information are car reviews, tips and advice, and news. They create for your dealership an image of trust and credibility.

Social Media

Social media has become a popular lead generation platform as it spreads information rapidly while reaching millions of recipients. However, social media experts have spoken warnings for dealers not to use social media too much to sell their products but to interact with prospects instead. Social networking sites were basically created for interaction and dealers can take advantage of that to reach prospects and foster customer loyalty.

You can generate car leads through social media marketing efforts by regularly posting updates on your page or account. You can start building relationships by simply replying to comments and messages. Share also interesting photos, like photos of happy car buyers in your dealership, and videos.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is gaining popularity now as it seems to be the easiest way to reach potential car buyers because people always carry with them their mobile phones wherever they go. Mobile marketing can be in a form of SMS or text messaging, mobile websites, applications, multimedia messaging or MMS, and quick response or QR codes. Text messaging is cheaper than direct mail marketing. Also, in a recent study, more than 30% prefer offers communicated through text messages. Although this type of marketing is yet to be further studies and developed, surveys have already shown that car shoppers are not just online but also on mobile.

Lead Generation Mistakes Car Dealers Should Avoid

Posted on: July 16th, 2012 by credit

You can generate auto leads in two ways: by using traditional methods or through the internet. Although some of the traditional methods are obsolete and considered ineffective already, many new techniques were discovered and are now used as effective lead generation means. However, many car dealers are not able to maximize the potential of these techniques in making their dealerships more profitable. They fail over and over in their lead generation efforts, not even producing significant sales. Why? Learn about some of the common lead generation mistakes you should avoid to stop the cycle.

Some car dealers fail in generating leads simply because they have the wrong focus. They are too obsessed increasing their traffic than devising an excellent plan on how to translate the traffic into sales. Making your dealership website drive traffic is basic and easy in auto lead generation once you’re familiar with the techniques. However, converting these leads into sales is the more challenging and the most important part. Massive traffic is not that significant if it does not bring sales to your dealership. Thus, lead generation and lead conversion work side by side in making your dealership more profitable.

Being a rigid dealer and marketer is not also going to work for your dealership. Perhaps you were able to come up with an excellent strategy to generate and convert leads, but that exact strategy won’t work the same as time passes by. You’re missing on a lot if you are not reading the news or the studies about the auto industry. As a dealer, it’s important that you know the current trends on auto marketing, consumer behavior, and the like so you can modify or update your strategies in conformity with the current trends and needs of your target market. You will generate and convert leads more effectively this way.

It is also a mistake to ask your visitors to fill out a form right away without giving them any easier options to contact you. A form is necessary for you to get their information; however, it should not be the only way through which they can contact you. Make it more convenient for them. Provide a toll-free number where they could contact you immediately for their queries. You can also have sales reps stay online to provide assistance to your visitors through live chat.

Finally, hiring a poor auto lead generation company or provider is obviously a mistake. To be able to produce good quality leads, the lead provider must be legitimate and professional in using various lead generation techniques. Check a lead provider’s legitimacy by looking them up in BBB’s online database. To find out how they generate leads, ask them how they employ lead generation techniques because it certainly affects the quality of leads they generate.

 
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