Do you want to increase your close rate on new-car leads? Chances are, when consumers email you about a new car, you respond only with information about the car they requested. By offering the shopper more options — even suggesting a used car — you can up your close rates and your profits.

Dealers with the highest close rates tell us they respond to new-car lead senders with information on three vehicles — two new and one used — from their inventory. Provide options that help shoppers locate an appropriate car at your store and allow you to make a sale with a higher gross.

In your initial email or phone response, be sure to inform shoppers about:

1. The new car for which they submitted the lead

2. A similar, lower-priced new car

3. A similar, late-model used or certified vehicle

Lead Leaders Tip
During our October DealerADvantage LIVE training session, Ontario (California) Volvo’s Kate Shaver told us that she finds that new-car lead senders are open to a used car alternative, especially if it will save them money. Customers may not be aware of the full cost of buying new, or they may be shopping payment. Either way, customers typically award their business to the dealer they “like” and trust; the one that helped them find the right car at the right price.

If the customer opts for the used car, it’s a win-win scenario. The car buyer found the desired car, and your store sold a car at a higher gross.

Offering car shoppers a choice also creates an opportunity to continue talking with them and to build a relationship. Rather than waiting for the shopper to respond, follow-up to determine if the prospect wants to test drive one of the alternatives you suggested or would like to see additional used cars at your store.

American car buyers each year purchase approximately 45 million used vehicles, including an estimated 1.6 million certified vehicles. Follow these tips and techniques, and more than your fair share of those sales could be yours.