Would New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning – the most valuable player in Super Bowl XLII — be as successful on the field without head coach Tom Coughlin? What about Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan and his coach, Phil Jackson? These famous duos achieved results with a collaborative approach, and the same can work in your internet department. David Kain, of Kain Automotive, recommends that internet personnel and sales management team up to drive more sales.

You’ve diligently followed up on your internet inquiries, but when your efforts to connect with a prospect aren’t paying off, perhaps it’s time to take Kain’s advice.“Bring in your sales manager to keep the conversation alive.”

An ideal time, he suggests, is on the third or fifth day of not hearing back from the customer. “Just as you’re getting tired of working the lead, it’s wonderful for your sales manager to swoop in and resurrect the conversation with the customer.”

In reaching out to shoppers – whether via email or on the telephone – Kain advises managers to hit on one or two key points. The objective is to serve as a “second voice” that underscores the dealership’s interest in working with shoppers and meeting their needs.

  • See the Sale Through the Customer’s Eyes. For a routine transaction, Kain says managers should position themselves as a buyers’ advocate who wants to ensure they’re getting the attention and information they need. As managers, they can “cut through the clutter and get right down to the deal-making.”
  • Focus on the Details. If a trade-in is involved, Kain encourages managers to stress the store’s interest in the vehicle and commitment to offering a fair price.

“When the manager makes that communication,” Kain said, “it puts in a level of credibility and energy that causes the customer to respond.”

Kain notes that over time, this approach bears fruit in multiple ways. Midlevel sales managers become more engaged in internet operations, and ISMs learn from their colleagues with more time in the trenches. “The more you’re willing to show the internet salesperson that you’re a good sales manager, the less you’re probably going to have to intervene on their behalf,” Kain said. “They start honing their skills, and they utilize your coaching to get better and better.”

Accordingly, Kain said, neither the salesperson nor the sales manager should be apprehensive about closer collaboration.

“Every good football team has a good coach. Some of your best runners, some of your best athletes have someone standing beside them, helping them,” Kain said. “It motivates sales team members to work harder on their earlier interactions, but it also gives them the confidence to know that if they can’t get it done, the manager’s going to back them up.

“Typically,” he added, “your sales manager has been raised in an environment where they’ve learned all the things to say, and they’ve got the final authority in so many situations. If they really are good managers, their sales team is thrilled to get them involved.”

Additional Resources

Looking for additional tips you can implement in your store today to drive more traffic with your online advertising and desk more deals with your internet sales processes? Check out Cars.com’s DealerCenter. Here, you can read previous editions of our DealerADvantage newsletter or listen to archived recordings of our DealerADvantage Live webinar series.