Every dealer I speak with who wants to dial up their Internet sales will eventually ask me some variation of the following questions;
“What do I need in order to dominate my local market online? What’s it going to take to make this thing fly? ”
“An Evangelist “
Noun; 1. Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. (Wikipedia.org)
No matter how much money you spend on pay per click advertising (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), video search engine optimization (VSEO), micro sites, or video production, without someone driving the bus who understands how to “convert” traffic into stickers, your store will not reach its full potential.
“Just driving more traffic to your website is no longer enough”
Let’s say you have a Ford Dealership in Vancouver.
There are basically three categories of new prospects.
1) People you know. (Current or former customers, family, and friends).
2) Referrals from people you know.
I’m going to focus on just the 3rd group, strangers.
These could be first time Ford buyers, Ford owners who just moved to the Vancouver area and need a dealer, or Ford owners who, (for whatever reason), have decided not to buy from their dealer again and are looking for another in the Vancouver area.
Many of these people will end up doing a Google search for something like, “Ford dealers”, “Ford dealerships”, “Vancouver Ford dealers”, etc depending on where they live.
If they did a search today from Vancouver for “Ford Dealers” the results would look similar to this; (Note: only organic “non-paid” results are displayed in the search results below)
When these prospects visit some or all of the sites above, they will see Ford stores (online) look very much alike. (As do most new car dealers in Canada today).
Let’s face it. If you’re selling new Fords in Vancouver, you have a lot of competition, the fiercest of which isn’t GM, Toyota, Nissan, or Dodge.
It’s the other Vancouver Ford Dealerships who are best prepared to sell a new Ford to prospects searching for a “new Ford dealer”. (These folks are, by the way, the lowest of low hanging fruit. You don’t need to convince them to buy a Ford. They’re already “brand loyal”).
All the Ford dealers in your market are selling the exact same product, made on the same factory floor, by the same people. They arrive at your dealership on the same trucks. You all pay the same wholesale price to the manufacturer.
From a stranger’s perspective, there is little difference between you and the other stores.
So, in a market where prospects have multiple (same brand) dealers from which to choose, what does it take to get the sale before the other guy does?
The individual receiving leads at your dealership needs to understand this; the first salesperson to make contact with an Internet lead often gets the sale.
“Hold on Dave. You’re not taking into consideration the skill of the salesperson making the call, doesn’t that count for something?”
Of course it does, however, at this point, (March 2012), most stores in competitive markets already have their best people responding to Internet leads. (Any that don’t need to start, today).
Rapid response has never been more important than it is now. When a prospect gets a phone call from a skilled salesperson, they stop sending request to other dealers in the area. More often than not, they stop shopping.
“OK. So where does the Evangelist fit into all this?”
It’s not easy to convince your salespeople to reach out to prospects when an Internet lead arrives at 11:00 at night or at 8:00 on a Sunday morning. In fact, although I’ve seen rare exceptions, I assure you this does not happen in most stores.
“The Evangelist is the person you need to put between your Internet leads and your salespeople.”
The Evangelist instinctively knows which leads can be “converted”, and he or she knows exactly how to do it.
It’s not hard to spot stores with an Evangelist on the management team.
You know who they are. Don’t you?
Yesterday, before the Internet “disrupted” the car business, you never heard of them.
Today, you’re trying to figure out what they’re doing so you can be more like them.
We’re pretty good at the helping dealers find more traffic online.
We’ve also worked with a few Evangelist. (We know how to spot them. We know how to train them).
Perhaps we can help your store move the needle?
We work exclusively with only one brand (franchise) per city. (One Ford dealer, one Dodge dealer, one Toyota dealer, etc)
Our dance card in Western Canada’s not full yet, but soon will be.
If you’re interested in knowing more about who we are and what we do, don’t wait.
Contact us today. You’ll be glad you did.