Internet Leads Go Cold Fast – Follow Up Faster

The auto sales industry is notoriously slow when it comes to following up on Internet leads, and that’s something that needs to change. More advertising than ever is directing consumers to dealership websites, and while only 5% of the traffic becomes a lead, salespeople are still dropping the ball when it comes to digital inquiries. There are two problems in this scenario: low traffic-to-lead conversion and slow response times. Fortunately, both of these issues can be solved with a single move.

A live chat application on your website gives you a real-time, instant response – and it’s not automated either. Automated responses never answer a consumer’s question, and consumers don’t have the patience for them. A live chat app supported by a 24/7 call center means that you don’t have to worry about your salespeople being too busy to answer online inquiries.


Superior live chat companies don’t just field questions, they actually track web visitors as they navigate your page and evaluate how close they seem to making a purchase. They can identify a visitor’s preferences in order to persuade them with targeted recommendations and promotions. One company, Gubagoo, calls this Behavioral Live Chat, and it’s designed to maximize the number of test drives they book. Instant online response and targeted intervention not only convert more web traffic, but also open up a relationship. If they don’t book a test drive, you’ve still opened a channel for your sales team to follow up. There’s plenty more you can learn about how live chat works, just look up more info at

The most effective way to turn Internet inquiries into sales is to keep following up. Make sure your sales team isn’t abandoning prospects after just the first try; they need a long-term strategy to stay on a prospect’s mind. According to Entrepreneur, 8 out of 10 times it takes 5-12 follow ups before you can make the sale. Consumers don’t buy cars overnight; they want to take the time to do their research. Make sure that you are part of that process, building a relationship before they decide what kind of vehicle they want and where they’re going to get it.

Here are some quick numbers on the Internet’s role in the auto sales world:

  • Online visitors accounted for 20% of all leads in the United States in 2014 (and that number is only growing)
  • Responding to shoppers within 10 minutes meant they were 3 times more likely to come to the dealership
  • Your deadline: 20 minutes; this study found that there was no difference in the success rate of booking a test drive between a follow up that occurred half an hour after getting the lead and one that occurred 24 hours later.

Studies on sales tactics have found that texting can increase your conversion success by 40%. SMS and mobile-friendly ads are a proven way to build your customer relationships, and companies like Gubagoo specialize in integrating mobile advertising and text message into a dealerships conversion plan. It’s time to stop letting leads slip away and make the most of your online presence.