Lead follow-up in the automotive industry, the hybrid method24 januari 2018, Paul
The hybrid method for cardealers
Many car dealers regularly ask themselves what the best method is for following up on leads. A legitimate question, because the amount of call leads and online leads that the car companies get has been growing for years and therefore it’s important to respond adequately. The first reaction of many dealers is to have the lead follow-up simply done by the salesmen, because that’s why they were hired in the first place. But… is every salesman suitable for this? That question occurred to me when I recently spoke to a Toyota and Honda dealer from Florida, United States. He had arranged his lead follow-up as a hybrid model.
Hybrid model for lead follow-up
A hybrid model, so a mix. What did that look like at this dealership? He did not have a customer contact center and the lead follow-up was done by the car sellers. But in a different way than you might think. The dealer started by asking each seller what type of seller he would like to be. With the proviso that you sell a minimum of fifteen cars per month and you have three options to realize this number: internet seller, showroom seller or hybrid seller.
The internet seller only deals with the online and the call leads. These sellers just handle leads and make their own appointments in the showroom. They sell cars from the showroom to customers that were seduced to make an appointment as a result of a lead. Their only kind of customers are the internet leads, which come in via e-mail and telephone. They have no help from a CCC / BDC and are responsible for the process, from start to finish. This form of lead follow-up is also called the cradle to grave model, but this is just a bit different. Of course, internet sellers are trained and coached daily in their field.
The showroom salesman is, as his name suggests, only responsible for the showroom. He will not receive sales calls or online leads that have been received and qualified by the customer contact center. His only customers are the people who spontaneously enter the store through the front door or are referred to him via the service department in the company. So many regular, returning customers. The showroom seller is really a sales method for sellers who do not believe in leads and stick to the image that people just enter. But the showroom seller must generate the same sales figures as, for example, the internet seller, measured on the basis of new customers. He cannot ‘smuggle’ by adding fleet sales to his list, for example.
The hybrid seller is a combination of the internet seller and the showroom seller at the dealership in Florida. They work with a so-called ‘up-system’, which means that the showroom sellers and hybrid sellers are in a queue, making it clear to everyone who picks up the next showroom customer. That’s fair. Are you the first in line, then you are in the showroom and ready to receive a customer. If you are third, the hybrid salesperson goes to the internet department to pick up online and call leads, in addition to the normal follow-up of these leads. In the meantime, he is paying attention to the fact that he is back in the showroom at the agreed time and, of course, also understands that the easiest way to sell at least fifteen cars to customers is to follow up leads that come in according to the cradle to grave model.
It turned out to be the hardest for the showroom sellers to realize the agreed number of sales. As a result, they became more creative in their sales opportunities and started proactively making proposals to, for example, customers who were waiting for their car at the service department. The current existing customer base also suddenly became more important and the showroom sellers also paid more attention than ever to the happy calls. Another advantage of this model is that every seller consciously chooses his role and thereby also takes the responsibility to achieve the agreed objectives and results. Do you hate calling, then you can choose only showroom leads, but if you do not get the numbers, then the front door is just the exit.
About Paul de Vries
Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marketplace) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.