I don’t gauge my performance on the percentage of accounts I open, I gauge it on the accounts I didn’t open. When I attended the Digital Dealer Conference in Orlando earlier this month (the first conference which I enjoyed by the way) I wasn’t prepared for all the number tossing. 55.4% of the 62% of used car sales in 2012 were sub prime, 60% of vehicles sold in 2012 were from drive in traffic. Mail companies were boasting 7% – 9% response rates, internet lead providers exclaimed 7% – 12% closing rates. While these are great closing numbers, is it wrong or pessimistic to feel under par for the percentages of unsold deals especially since it’s the greater number on the spectrum? Hey, we are an industry that gets excited over a 1% response rate on a saturated mail campaign.
In a recent survey of 184 dealers, roughly 20% – 40% of their sold deals were generated from the internet. But what happened with the other 60% – 80%? Believe it or not ladies and gentleman there are some folks that do not have the desire to enter their personal information into cyber world.
Take my 65+ year old Aunt for example, after several pleas I begged her to only text if it was a short message. Imagine my frustration reading a text when 6-8 more were coming right behind it. I told Auntie, if it’s a long thought just email me and that’s when she started! “People will steal your information, the government is watching, extra terrestrials will have access to our personal emails, the KGB will somehow get involved.” Her anti-internet list goes on and on. The two funny things about her situation are 1. She found the information on the conspiracy theories online. 2. No one in the family has the heart to tell her that her smart phone (through which she makes multiple purchases) is actually a computer.
My heart and prayers go out to the people of Oklahoma. I was watching CNN the day after the tragedy listening to a survivor’s story. The young mother of one stated that her husband didn’t know she left the house when the winds started to pick up. Wolf asked, “Did you have your cell phone?” After explaining her mad dash out of the door before she could call her husband on their land line, she ended with “…we don’t even own cell phones because we’ve decided not to catch up with modern age.”
My Aunt as well as the Oklahoma tornado survivor are perfect examples of an ignored demographic. People who aren’t comfortable entering their personal information online should be afforded the same opportunities to take advantage of those great deals you guys are offering just as much as the person who has contacted you through their PC, laptop, notebook, Ipad, Ipad mini, tablet, Kindle, smart watch, Ipen etc. Let’s give those non cyber world prospects an option as well. What better way to do that? VOISYS Loan-By-Phone Credit Hotline.
What it is: VOISYS Loan-By-Phone service is an inexpensive supplement to your current advertising. Just direct prospects to your assigned 800 number and our system will conduct an automated interview retrieving information needed by your dealership to secure financing. Once we capture the information we send it to you in lead format. One of the many benefits is the service is available 24/7 and can easily handle a high volume of responses.
Protection: VOISYS applications are GLB compliant. As an extra precaution to keep our dealer partners protected, your lead comes attached with a wave file that has the live recording of the customer’s name & address via VOISYS Online, our online web management tool. I call it CYA. Cover your A$%!
Scripts: You can determine what information you want to gather by the questions that are posed to the prospects. If you have a catchy slogan, use it in your opening and closing. I have seen openings range from short & simple to long & detailed. The opening & closing is going to depend on what fits best for your dealership and where and how you plan on advertising the number. We have a professional voice-tress that puts a great spin on the finished product or you have the flexibility of pre-recording your own personal greeting/closing using a simple call in procedure. Go here and click on demo line to hear a sample script.
Vanity #’s: If you are you considering doing print advertising, a radio or TV commercial, an in-house direct letter program, mail campaign, big sale event, or even if you have a sign in front of the dealership, a vanity number would work great for you! Just like a good domain name a good vanity number creates instant prestige. Again, if you have a slogan what better branding then to have a vanity number to go with it? It’s also not a bad idea to make the number accessible on your website, internet listings and social media avenues to cater to those who would rather make a phone call then fill out an application. We currently have several hundred vanity numbers available to choose from.
We also have vanity numbers, repeating numbers and an array of 800 numbers available for outright purchase! A good vanity number can make your company appear larger and more established. They are also much easier to remember (14 times easier in fact) than numerics.
Benefits: Besides the fact VOISYS is the originator of the IVR system our low costs allows dealers to reap a large ROI. A lot of our dealer partners have been utilizing the service for 10 years plus. The partners having the most success take the time to determine their target market and cultivate a strategy to incorporate proper advertising. They’re positioning commercial and radio spots at key times, they’re using specified wording in print advertisements and ensuring those ads are placed in proper areas to maximize response. Shout outs to Gulfgate Dodge in Houston and to Eric Plock of US Auto Resources/Everything on Wheels in Indiana!
VOISYS Loan-By-Phone program is flexible enough to fit each dealer partner’s needs. The service can be formatted to transfer calls to the dealership during business hours if you opt to handle incoming calls during specified times. Even with this set up, overflow calls will automatically kick over to the IVR, resulting in you not missing any opportunities!
A few other great benefits are we offer a Spanish feature free of charge and to track advertising we offer extensive online reporting through VOISYS Online. We can email, fax and/or send the lead to your CRM as well as send a text alert once a lead has been sent. VOISYS also offers no long term contracts, quick set up time and easy access customer service.
For those of you who feel credit hotlines are a thing of the past or aren’t sure if the program would work for you, we have devised the “Toe in the Water” Plan! For only $100 a month you can take advantage of the full service to see if it’s a good fit for your Dealership. Give me a call and I’ll be happy to let you know what vanity numbers are available in your area. By the way, if you run into my Aunt in San Antonio don’t spill the beans and tell that her phone is actually a computer…Good Selling!
About the author
Erika Hoffler has been in the Auto Industry for over 15 years. She currently is a Sales Manager for VOISYS where she has been for the last 6 years. She has a strong background in BDC and Appointment setting and is always willing to share her insight. She can be contacted at 800-999-1880 or firstname.lastname@example.org