Tale of Two Dealerships

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How many sales does your staff lose because of inaction? It might be more than you'd care to know.

Our office manager just purchased a certified-used Ford Escape from Imlay City Ford Lincoln Mercury here in Michigan. She began her search the other day on AutoTrader.com and Cars.com. She settled on two dealerships -- the one in Imlay City which is more than an hour from her house, and the other (which I will call Dealership B to protect the guilty just a few minutes drive from her home.

Imlay City Ford included several pictures of the Escape on its AutoTrader.com listing and did a nice job marketing the vehicle online. Dealership B failed to post any pictures of its Escape. But our office manager liked the price and the mileage, both of which were better than Imlay City Ford's Escape.

She sent an email to both dealerships, asking for payment information and letting them know she had excellent credit. Tina Williams, Imlay City's Internet manager, called her within 15 minutes and provided our office manager with all of the information she requested.

Dealership B? Well, she's still waiting to hear from them more than a day later.

Sometimes, this isn't rocket science. If you do your job, the results will take care of themselves. Here was a great opportunity wasted. It's not only the sale it lost, but possibly all of the service revenue also. Of course, Imlay won't get the service because of the distance, but Dealership B lost out simply because it did not respond to an Internet lead. I doubt the dealership is so flooded with leads it can't respond to all of them. All they had to do was pick up the phone and call.

By the way, I wonder how much Dealership B paid for that AutoTrader listing?

Meanwhile, kudos to Tina Williams and the team at Imlay City Ford Lincoln Mercury. You guys have your act together.

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