Article for Digital Dealer MagazineCraig Criswell, President – Internet Certified Dealer
Working Active and InActive Leads
Internet leads come at you from a wide variety of sources. With such a wide rangenow comes an even wider range of lead quality. How do you come up with a process tosift through all those leads and cull out the real buyers but yet make sure you do not missan opportunity? The problem as I see it is to keep focused on what you can sell to impactthe next paycheck but not arbitrarily dismiss leads to go after that “low hanging fruit”.We have a very defined process that allows us to make sure we handle every leadadequately while keeping the Internet executive focused on what he should be doing – selling cars!The focus is to have the Internet executive keep an Active lead count at a setlevel. It must be attainable! Ours is 35. They must be organized and have a well-defined process to handle leads every day – new and existing Active leads. And we strive to getthem four to five new leads each day. Thus, the logic of this system dictates they have amethod to get four to five leads each day moved to the InActive status.When working Active leads, we want the Internet executive focused on gettingenough information to and from the customer to get them into the showroom. It is allabout the appointment and not trying to sell the car via email or phone. A key part of thatis to find out what the customer’s buying timeframe is. By focusing on what can be soldto impact the next paycheck, the Internet executive will keep Active the leads they feelcan do that.However, the real component to our success with Internet leads, in my opinion, isto not neglect the leads made InActive. When the Internet executive makes a leadInActive, he must designate a reason. We use “No Response” as our trigger. If any other reason is indicated, the lead will not have any further follow-up – such as bad leads, badcontact information, spam, etc. When the lead gets put into “No Response” the Internetexecutive is done with it – until such time as we resurrect the lead from the dead! It isout of mind and they know it is being worked by another sales professional.We have an automated system that follows up with the customer over the next 90-day period but interspersed in that timeframe are several phone calls from our support person. If and when the customer is ready to buy, come in for a test drive or in some wayindicates their status has changed, the lead is made active and the original Internetexecutive is contacted by phone with the customer information. They now know theyhave another Active lead they are working to close soon.