Car Dealership Reviews Lead to More Quality Appointments

By Ryan Leslie

Accord­ing to J.D. Pow­er; 88% of all in-mar­ket con­sumers con­duct research on the Inter­net before walk­ing into a deal­er­ship and a 2011 Cone Study found that 89% of car buy­ers go online to ver­i­fy rec­om­men­da­tions before pur­chas­ing a vehi­cle. With almost 90% of poten­tial car buy­ers check­ing out online car deal­er­ship reviews, online rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment should now be an inte­gral part of any mar­ket­ing plan – give these online shop­pers a rea­son to choose you!

You’ll Need a Proof Man­u­al

Some­times referred to as an evi­dence man­u­al, takes a lit­tle bit of ener­gy to pre­pare. But, it pays big div­i­dends in build­ing cred­i­bil­i­ty and clos­ing more sales. Your sales strat­e­gy needs to include one.

Some deal­er­ships used it at one point, but no longer. If you are using one, well done; they are a great way for sales peo­ple to sep­a­rate them­selves from the com­pe­ti­tion.  And these man­u­als should be built both on and offline; for use when the cus­tomer is first research­ing the deal­er­ship and also to help build rap­port dur­ing the sales process in the deal­er­ship.

Print off your online reviews and place them in an evi­dence man­u­al for your prospects to read at this time.  This can be a pow­er­ful sales tool.

Recent Case Stud­ies Prove the Point

Jim McGinn, Client Advi­sor at Ger­main BMW of Naples, FL, had the fol­low­ing to say; “When I first start­ed in the busi­ness, before we got much involved with online reviews, peo­ple would see my evi­dence man­u­al on my desk and pick it up and go through it. But I found that I didn’t update it as fre­quent­ly as I should – there were maybe some let­ters that I got from peo­ple that were a lit­tle bit dat­ed. One of the things I like about online reviews is that it is real­ly very time­ly.”

McGinn also has his cus­tomers go online and Google his name and deal­er­ship: “Jim McGinn Ger­main BMW”. The first URL to come up is Jim’s pro­file on Deal­er­Rater. “Do your best to lever­age as many ways of get­ting out there from an online stand­point. I peri­od­i­cal­ly will Google myself and just see what pop­u­lates; many of my online reviews pop­u­late so hav­ing a very pos­i­tive online pres­ence is real­ly impor­tant,” McGinn added.

Anoth­er deal­er­ship employ­ee, Megan Bar­to E-Com­merce Direc­tor at Cioc­ca Hon­da feels very strong­ly about the pow­er of reviews and an online evi­dence man­u­al:

“Even if the cus­tomer is just look­ing they’ll think: ‘Hey I saw that Sam had 24 reviews; I’d like to deal with him. We’ve actu­al­ly had that hap­pen. We’ve had a cus­tomer come in and say ‘is Sam avail­able? I was shop­ping for a local car and I saw that he had the most pos­i­tive reviews. That shows me that he takes care of his cus­tomers, I’m not just going to be a num­ber to him.”

Start build­ing your online evi­dence man­u­al

Third-par­ty online reviews at the employ­ee-lev­el have con­sid­er­able influ­ence on your prospects.   Employ­ee-spe­cif­ic reviews can serve as a pow­er­ful tool in per­suad­ing cus­tomers to vis­it your store while pass­ing up oth­er local deal­ers. Remem­ber: Com­pe­ti­tion + Recog­ni­tion = More Qual­i­ty Appoint­ments.

Ryan Leslie, Direc­tor of Deal­er Rep­u­ta­tion Strat­e­gy at Deal­er­Rater, can be reach at




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