Summary: The dark before the dawn – the Internet Manager has a mental breakdown.
It was May 1st, and the General Manager was wiping clean last month’s stats off our sales board in his office. All my late-night, hard-won battles vanished in his big swipes. Sales always look so clean and easy when they’re just numbers. And the eraser glides so easily over them. But, we all know there’s a story behind every number on the board.
“April 3rd 1 Used”: I worked until midnight to make that deal, but I was too pumped up to go home right away. So I stood by my car for an extra 10 minutes, gazing at the lot and the moths crowded around the big lights before leaving, halfway hoping someone would pull in before F&I went home.
“April 7th .5 New”: This time, the car my customer wanted was buried five cars deep (just my luck). After moving four cars, I found the car’s battery was dead. When I excused myself to get the jumper-box, the customer informed me they were visiting from out of town and had to leave. They didn’t even wait for me to put the four cars back into the tidy arrangement I’d found them in. After arriving back at the dealership, someone was already working with my appointment and that’s how I ended up with that half-deal.
There’s another number – an altogether different kind of number – that I’ve cursed since the day I saw it on an infographic from CarWoo! It was 61%. That’s the percentage of my local Internet customers I should be closing. But I wasn’t. I had to know what I could do to achieve this number, and figuring it out has been a daily obsession for the past two weeks. I had no choice. It was only a matter of time before the General Manager wiping the board would see this infographic too.
Digging Deeper into the CarWoo! Infographic
As an online marketplace, CarWoo! is in a unique position to analyze car deals. For this infographic, they analyzed over 7,000 of them. CarWoo! doesn’t just know they sent “X” number of leads to “Y” dealerships. They have the tools to analyze in greater depth: Basic stuff like “where the customer is located” and “which dealers are in the mix.” I found the deeper dive so compelling. CarWoo! can look into the dynamics of each engagement. They’re able to determine exactly what happened to make the deal, and just as importantly, what didn’t happen.
The end result of this study, besides an eye-opening differential between dealer and customer peak hours of activity, were the closing ratios between helpful and unhelpful dealers. Stunningly, even when they are the closest dealership and the lowest price, unhelpful dealers closed only 6% of their prospects, whereas helpful dealers closed 61%. That’s a 10X difference, simply by being helpful!
So, just how did CarWoo! determine helpful and unhelpful dealers? The answer lies in their unique dealer-rating tool that measures multiple levels of dealer responsiveness, customer reviews, customer interest, and a few other things I haven’t signed the right NDA to be trusted with. All in all, the dealer rating score is something that each and every CarWoo! dealer earns based on their behavior.
You’re probably thinking, “Dave, enough already. Just tell me how to increase my close rates by 10X before my GM catches wind of this infographic, too!”
Don’t worry – you’ll find out it in Part 2.