A strange thing happened last week. I began to send a quick video clip to each internet lead (like this video intro) immediately after emailing a quote. I was certain that after one week I’d be writing an article about how successful my video clips were – how they were the secret ingredient to my deals. But that’s not the article I’m writing. Because something else happened.
In nearly every response to my email, these prospective customers mentioned how they’d read about me on Yelp or through Google reviews. That’s because just before I started sending videos, I also happened to pick up two new Yelp reviews and one Google review in a single day. They were all 5-star reviews. Plus, one or two previous prospects I’d quoted a few weeks ago suddenly re-initiated contact with me. One said that even though she found a lower price, she hoped I could match it because she’d read so many positive reviews of the dealership where I worked.
Since I’ve only been working at this new dealership for a month, I’m probably more in tune with each and every lead. If someone calls or emails me back, my curiosity factor is a little higher. I want to know exactly what I’m doing right so I can repeat it. Plus, I want answers so I can write about them.
What I’ve found is that shoppers actively utilize dealer reviews early in their decision-making process – more than I would have ever imagined (because I came from a 2-star rated dealer). These dealer reviews seemed influential much earlier in their shopping process than I’d have thought necessary, too – often before the quote has even reached their inbox. I’m not saying the reviews make the deals, but they do assist them with increased response rates. This also leads me to conclude: if you have a low star rating, your reviews are negatively (and just as actively) impacting your response rates, too.
What Keeps Dealer Reviews Low?
If you’re a GM or GSM at a dealer with a low star rating and your Internet Manager complains he or she can’t make deals because your prices are too high, perhaps it’s time to re-think the strategy of using extremely low pricing to generate responses.
If this same Internet Manager complains that the leads are low-quality or there simply aren’t enough, perhaps it’s time to question this, too.
If that Internet Manager, in an effort to make a living, has even resorted to low-balling customers and ends up hauling in even more negative reviews, perhaps it’s time to think about another Internet Manager.
Because it’s pretty easy to see where this Internet Manager is leading you.
As for me, I’m still dead-set on writing an article on how video increased my response rate – so be on the lookout for it.
And if you’re a 1- or 2-star rated dealer and want to turn things around, don’t worry. Part 2 of this article will include an easy 6-Step Action Plan.