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Do you cherry-pick your customers or do you want them all?

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Sales people often judge a customer the minute the customer walks in the door.  We all know the cherry-picker who walks in the other direction when someone comes in that doesn’t meet their expectations of a good customer.

Internet representatives and BDC people often do the same based on an inquiry.

Managers and trainers have discouraged this bad habit for years because they know that some of the best customers don’t look or act like great customers.  It is simply a well acknowledge bad habit and bad practice.

The same holds true for customers from your website and different inventory listing providers.

Many dealers, GMs, and internet directors judge customers from these varying sites as having different characteristics.  This may be true, but which “buyers” do you want or NOT want?  If you say you want them ALL, then read on.  If not, then you may just be a cherry-picker.

Your best conversion rates may come from your own website visitors – no surprise.  If they made it to your site after all their other research, there is a high likelihood that they are interested in buying from you.

Other studies have shown that the average visitor to large well-known advertising sites such as AutoTrader and Cars.com earn over $50,000 per year.  That sounds like a qualified customer, doesn’t it? And they get millions of visitors to their sites.  A dealer only needs to decide if the ROI works for them.

Now comes what many dealers consider a different tier of customer sites and their customers.  These are sites such as TrueCar, Craigslist, and eBay.  The impression many dealers have of these sites and their customer are that they are looking for a low, low price.  In other words they’re cheap.

Truly, that is cherry-picking at its best.  Nearly all customers want to believe they are getting the best price… the lowest price possible.  And not only do these sites get millions of visitors but Craigslist Auto, for example, has an average customer income of over $50,000 – same as the large auto sites.

Using Craigslist as an example, the real reason dealers may be uncomfortable with using them are:

  1. The perceived difficulty of listing with them
  2. The lack of strategy in dealing with pricing and negotiation

That’s where a company such as LotVantage can help.  They can not only automate the listings for a dealer but also strategically place those listings in the channels best suited to convert.  They can simplify your workload and assist you with strategy.

When sale staff cherry-pick, it shows either their poor judgement or their inability to deal with various types of customers.  Dealers do not and should not have that difficulty.  By putting the right strategy together and reaching out to customers, without prejudging them, dealers can expand their presence and control of the marketplace.

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