Thank You For Almost Buying A Car From Me, Part 1

“Usually when someone asks for a quote and then ignores my follow up emails, I assume they bought a car from another Internet Manager. Naturally, I take it like a pro and move on (after I send another dozen emails, of course).

“So when you responded to my survey (my 8th email to you), it gave me some much needed closure I didn’t know I craved. In fact, it made me feel much closer to you than most strokes,* and I felt like I could open up and share my side of the experience of our short but impactful business relationship.

“After all, you were brutally honest when you said I not only “played games” but also “ducked and dodged” when you asked for an Out-The-Door price**.  (The reason I “dodged” that one: I’m just really bad at math.)

“You said some other things that were a little more personal (regarding my picture: hey, the camera adds thirty pounds. Car sales can be very stressful).

“Sure, it’s been said that “the trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” But I embrace it. I know it’s good for me, like fiber. Mm-mm.

“In fact, let me return the favor and criticize you as a customer in return…”

(Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Thank You For Almost Buying A Car From Me”)

* A favorable term meaning “it’s been a great experience bending over backward to serve you”

** SalesCatcher has an OTD price option

Are Online Shoppers Making Faces At You?

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You can’t see their face when they’re shopping you, but you can imagine it:
 
Skepticism.
 
It ain’t pretty.
 

Luckily, there’s a cure:

Transparency.

Let them see through you and your process and you’ll reap the rewards.

As the best informed-consumers of the modern era, they’re already doing it to you anyway.

You Are Welcome

I’ve noticed an uptick in subscribers who are not in the automotive sales industry, so I thought I’d write this post for them, explaining what we do:

Like this blog, SalesCatcher is a software tool that aids those folks at dealerships – usually called Internet Sales Managers (ISMs)– who respond to your request for a quote on the car you’re shopping for (nowadays, 90% of us go online first before buying).

How does SalesCatcher help you buy a car from them?

It allows the ISM to quickly find the lowest price on the car you want – complete with the picture, color and equipment you requested – and provide you a quote that clearly breaks down the pricing and dealer discounts so you can make an informed decision (as opposed to those robo-quotes with all the asterisks and little mention of the specific color or options you requested).

The bonus: SalesCatcher allows ISMs to do this by also searching other dealerships’ inventory and transmit that to you in seconds (we’re proud of this).

You’ve probably learned that not all dealerships are the same; that some seem to be more transparent in a way that helps you feel the trust you need to move forward.

We’re a bridge between you and them that makes the car buying process easier and less stressful… and now you know.

If Spam Filters Bought Cars, You’d Be Rich

Spam filters are like lethal gas: you don’t know it’s killing you until it’s too late.

The biggest culprit?

Pixels.

As in, too many of them in your fancy photos.

Here’s the commercial: quoting with SalesCatcher fixes this problem with On-The-Fly Photo Resizing so your quote gets through to the prospect.

If you need to explain this to someone who doesn’t understand why inboxes reject too many pixels…

…tell them to try eating 300 hot dogs for lunch today. Guaranteed, their stomach will reject a few.

Moral of the story: don’t make your prospect’s inbox lose its lunch – right-size your pictures and increase your lead response.

If You Build It (Trust) They Will Come

It’s not out of left field to say that ISMs who sell the most cars run locates.

Why?

Because you won’t even be in the running if you can’t offer online buyers the least expensive version of the car they want…

…especially if the one you have in stock adds options that increases the price.

Will this be the car the shopper ultimately buys?

It doesn’t matter, because these first few minutes of your relationship are about trust, speed, and transparency.

They’re buying from somebody in the next 48 hours. Someone they trust.

Make it you.

Do Your Online Customers Think They’re Cool?

Many of our dealers use Cars.com, among other third party online lead sources.

One of the reasons they’re successful is they’ve figured out the online shopper (see photo).

Notice the “air of invincibility” and the “cool determination.”

They’re “savvy” and they have “swagger,” with “plenty of backbone.”

But is all of that really true?

It doesn’t matter: they want to be recognized as having those things and dealt with accordingly.

If you don’t, they will “disappear you” from their inbox before you can say “Sorry, I underestimated your need to be treated with resp-“

Just In Case The Internet Goes Away

What would we do with no electricity, and therefore no internet?

There’s a new TV program that shows an America that takes place 15 years after the lights went out. This means no internet, and no internet shoppers buying electric cars.

Consider how that would affect the car business. In this reality, the old school car guys would rise to power as the alpha dogs on the car lot once again, as long as the looters and zombies don’t get them first.

They wouldn’t have time to B.S. on the point about the good old days of going belly-to-belly with low-information tire kickers, because in the apocalypse the balance of power will be tipped in their favor.

They’ll be busy with “End of the World Blowout Special” events and “These Really Are The Last Cars on Earth” tent sales (although I don’t really see too many festive balloons in these scenarios).

As for those of us who learned to sell cars on the internet, the first stop for most car buyers these days?

Have no fear – it’s been said that Google has a plush, utopian underground cavern far beneath their headquarters in Northern California, a special refuge built just for their internet brethren. For those of you reading this, the password is: “Do no evil… we’re serious this time.”

But for the next ten years at least, the internet will rule, along with those of us who use it to sell cars.

Remember: if you must buy an electric car, make sure it’s a hybrid so the zombies can’t catch you.