Welcome mat for the Internet customer, part 2

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By Allan Coates
Columnist

Speed impresses the customer, so send a price quote within the hour. This means a real quote and not just an autoresponder. Indeed, your dealership will stand out among competing dealerships just by replying.

You would never ignore a customer who walked into your showroom, so don’t delete any customer who happens to initiate contact via the Internet.

When I was working online sales, I had prices already calculated for the most popular makes and models handy for speedier responses. Obviously, I had to update these prices whenever the manufacturers changed incentives, interest rates, residuals etc., but speed is the main thing and a quick reference guide helped. 

Each one also had a deal number and I had access to electronic brochures that itemized all standard equipment, plus just the specific options selected for that particular deal number. Therefore, when a request arrived, I was able to act quickly.

If the customer request was not for a popular vehicle, I created a new deal number, price and electronic brochure.

The most common questions were price and product availability. Should you fail to answer these key questions, the customer will make three negative assumptions about your dealership: you don’t want Internet customers; your price is too high; and you don’t have the vehicle in question.

Never send a price that is at MSRP;  always send an Internet sale price. The “no hassle, no haggle, no surprises” Internet sale price need not be the lowest price for a successful sale, just make it competitive. The relationship between the sales consultant and customer remains just as important with online customers as it does with traditional customers. 

For the rest of part two, check out the next issue of Canadian AutoWorld