Some dealers set up a dealership Web site and think that is all they need to do to reach online customers. Creating an interactive environment to support the site brings a much greater return for the investment.
Corresponding with potential customers via e-mail is important, but the key is for dealers to translate what they do for showroom customers to their online prospects.
Online customers are serious about purchasing and respond positively to personalized outreach from dealers - from information on options to price negotiation. Dealers' e-mails should focus on customers' buying profile and specific inquiries.
Dealers should send regular e-mails that include add-on options, price quotes and even a photo of a salesperson. Those steps can have a serious impact on a prospect's likelihood to respond positively.
As some dealers have learned, sporadic outreach via the Internet is not enough. Coordinating online communications with more traditional outreach works. Dealers should follow up e-mail with phone calls to get a prospect's attention. This may require more than eight attempts. Dealers should equip their staff with phone scripts to help the process.