Every Internet Lead is a Car Deal – Right ?

by David Tingley

A.C.E. System - AmazonAutoNationA Sales Manager at a Ford Dealership once asked me;

“Dave, in your experience, what percentage of Internet shoppers who send an e-Lead to our store will buy a car?”

“All of them. 100%”

Good salespeople know they will close a certain percentage of their prospects.

The really good ones can tell you exactly how many people they need to speak with each day / week / month to reach their sales and income objectives.

What about the Great ones?


Great sales people  believe every person they meet will buy a car from them. They don’t think in terms of closing ratios. They assume every sale. This “certainty” is what separates an 8 car guy from one who delivers 30 every month.


Do great salespeople sell a car to everyone they speak with?


No… But they “believe” they will.


I’ve had the pleasure of working with some seriously talented salespeople in the car business over the past 3 decades. The majority of the Eagles share this trait, this belief that sooner or later, all prospects will buy from them.

What would happen if Internet Leads at your car dealership were treated in this way? (Assumed to be certain deals).

What would happen if all leads went to only those who absolutely believed they would close them? (The Eagles)

This is not a difficult question to answer. You can run a simple split test to find out.

Note: The example below is for a medium size dealership getting 10-12 Internet leads a day on average.

Step # 1

Ask the top 3  (non-Internet) salespeople at your store to help you “set the standard” for closing ratios on Internet leads. (This is a challenge few top producers will pass up, when asked directly by the Dealer Principal).

Make it a month long  competition and offer a WEEKLY incentive that you present at sales meetings. Appeal to their competitive nature.  (All salespeople working Internet leads would participate in the bonus, should they qualify).

Step # 2

Give no more than 2 leads a day to each star. Change nothing with the way you distribute the remaining leads to the other sales people.

Step # 3

Have your Internet Sales Manager (or Lead Manager) send a broadcast text message to your stars each time a lead arrives for them. First to respond, gets the lead.

Qualify the leads by including a few additional details in the text message. For example, if it’s a credit application or request for the Internet Best Price, tell them. If you have a phone number, mention this also. Why? You want to give them the option to pass on some leads, depending on their situation at the time.   (This is important).

Step # 4

Meticulously track the results for all Internet leads, appointment conversions, writes, deliveries, etc.


After a month you may discover that not only is the  closing ratio on Internet leads, (worked by your Eagles), much higher than historical norms, in some cases, it may actually be higher than the store average for sales calls and ups.

You may also notice a sharp increase in the closing ratio for other salespeople working Internet leads. Why? Because there is now an incentive to close more leads in order to get more leads.

When you directly tie performance to supply of new leads, the numbers shoot straight up. (Turn and Earn)

If this works for Internet leads, why not apply the same process to the way sales calls are distributed and tracked?

There are many other reasons why using a strategy like this works so well. Over the past several years we’ve developed a proprietary system for managing Internet leads called A.C.E. If you would like to know more about this or the other services we provide, let me know.

All prospects who send an Internet lead to your dealership will be buying a car. Some will purchase from you, some from your competitors, but in the end, they all buy.

David Tingley

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