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Win the Sale with Online Chat


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More than ever, successful dealerships are using online chat tools to engage internet shoppers. Chat offers a new way to identify prospects and start a dialogue with customers beyond the traditional email and phone lead path. This webinar will cover the road to sales success with online chat and offer practical advice you can implement immediately to drive results. For the full audiovisual presentation, visit

Published in: Automotive, Business, Technology
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Win the Sale with Online Chat

  1. 1. Welcome to Today’s Webinar We will begin promptly at noon ETTo hear the audio portion for today’s session, please turn up your computer speakers or use a pair of headphones.
  2. 2. Win the Sale With Online Chat
  3. 3. Welcome • Have a question? Need our attention? • Enter your question or comment by clicking on the question mark in the lower right corner of the WebEx browser • Tweeting today’s call? Use #dalive. • Want a recording of today’s presentation? • Visit on Monday3
  4. 4. Webinar Audio • To hear the audio portion for today’s webinar: • Turn up your computer speakers • Use a pair of headphones • Having audio problems? • Request a toll-free dial-in number for the WebEx teleconference4
  5. 5. Today’s Moderator Kathy Kimmel  Director of training,  15+ years experience in automotive retail  Featured speaker at industry conferences  Connect with Kathy:
  6. 6. Today’s Panelist Jim Flint  Corporate director of internet sales and marketing  John Eagle Family of Dealerships  Houston, Texas  12 years automotive retail industry experience  Connect with Jim:
  7. 7. Today’s Panelist Ed Parkinson  Vice president  ContactAtOnce!  Helps dealers implement online chat with their websites and integrate it with their internet sales processes  24 years in the automotive industry7
  8. 8. Today’s Objectives In today’s call, we’ll discuss how to:  Incorporate chat into your internet sales process.  Obtain the prospect’s name, phone number or email address.  Leverage chat alongside the phone to open your inventory and make the sale.  Integrate chat sessions with your CRM tool for lead management and follow-up.8
  9. 9. Look Who’s Chatting
  10. 10. Connect With Online Buyers Chat creates a fifth contact channel with your third-party listings • Clicks to your website • Email • Telephone • Walk-in visits • Chat10
  11. 11. Reach New Buyers With Chat Some shoppers prefer chat • Provides quick access to the information they want (e.g., availability, condition, price) • Protects their anonymity • One in four adults sends more instant messages than email1 • 90 percent of people use IM at home; 20 percent from work211 1 AP/AOL Instant Messaging Survey, 2007 2 AOL/Opinion Research, 2007
  12. 12. Build, Follow a Sales Process
  13. 13. Prepare for Chat Success • Create steps to a sale similar to your email, phone and in-store processes • Identify key points to address in every conversation • Minimize use of cut-and-paste sentences • Buyers want to know they’re chatting with a person • Shoppers will contact you about: • Specific listings • Service, parts and accessories • Finance • Assign, train salespeople to manage chat requests13
  14. 14. Staff for Chat Success Have enough people available so you can quickly respond • Acknowledge shoppers within 15 seconds • Would you: • Ignore a ringing Car buyer chat requests are most common between noon and 4 p.m. during the week, when shoppers are at work and can’t use the phone or phone? company email system. • Let shoppers roam your store without a greeting?14 Source: ContactAtOnce! LLC, February 2007
  15. 15. Define the Steps to a Sale • Greet the customer • Conduct a needs analysis • Open your inventory • Demonstrate the vehicle • Build dealership value • Sell the appointment15
  16. 16. Greet the Customer • Begin with an introduction • “Hello, my name is (First) (Last). May I ask yours?” • This approach helps you to: • Obtain the shopper’s name; • Offer your first and last name to encourage the shopper to respond in kind • Build rapport and create dialogue • Personalize your “voice” for the shopper16
  17. 17. Conduct a Needs Analysis • Earn shoppers’ trust by offering to answer their questions about the vehicle • Expand the conversation by asking about the shoppers’ needs • “To ensure I’m providing you with the information you need, can you tell me how you’ll use the vehicle?” • “Will you be the primary driver?” • “Do you have a vehicle to trade?” • “When do you plan to make a purchase?” • “What do you like about your current vehicle? What features are most important with the new one?”17
  18. 18. Open Your Inventory • Present cars from your inventory that may better meet the shopper’s needs (e.g., new, used, CPO) • Ask: “Are you considering other makes/models?” • Use this conversation as an opportunity to ask for the shopper’s phone number • Add value • “Would it be easier for you if I called you?” • Avoid old-school rush to get the shopper’s number • Keep the chat window open to send links to your listings18
  19. 19. Demonstrate the Vehicle • Create excitement about the vehicle by: • Calling out features that meet the shopper’s needs • Validating its condition • One-owner • Nonsmoker • Vehicle history report • Focus on the car and the dialogue, not a sales pitch • Create a reason for the shopper to take action • Time-sensitive specials or finance and lease options19
  20. 20. Build Dealership Value • Offer reasons for the shopper to buy from you • Provide links to testimonials from satisfied customers or dealer rating sites • Emphasize your strengths: • Large selection • Convenient location • Service after the sale • Industry awards • Community reputation20
  21. 21. Sell the Appointment • Encourage the shopper to visit the store • “When can we schedule a test drive for you?” • “Have you had an opportunity to drive the vehicle in your preferred color and with the features you want?” • Schedule and confirm the appointment • Use the appointment as an opportunity to obtain the shopper’s phone number • “My phone number is _____. If you’re running late or need to reschedule, please call. If you give me your number and anything comes up on my end, I’ll do the same. Fair enough?”21
  22. 22. Leverage Chat Opportunities • Share the chat transcript with the shopper • Provides the buyer with your name, contact information • Creates a record of the cars you discussed • Enter customer, session information into your CRM system for follow-up • Review chat logs to identify: • Sales opportunities • Areas for improvement • Were requests left unanswered? • Was the sales process followed?22
  23. 23. Review • Chat creates a new contact channel to engage in-market buyers • Develop a sales process for chat to ensure consistent use • Be prepared to respond quickly with the properly trained staff • Engage the shopper: Get information by giving it • Monitor program results to improve performance23
  24. 24. Resources for Online Success • gives you the tools and resources to drive online success and fully merchandise your inventory: ( • Your local sales representative – Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you as well as answer any questions you might have • Local training – Attend one of’s local training workshops for a hands-on educational experience • DealerADvantage blog– Get tips and techniques to maximize your online investment ( • DealerADvantage LIVE – Tune in to our free monthly webinars, packed with advice from expert trainers and the best dealers in the industry (
  25. 25. Questions & Answers
  26. 26. Thank You & Good Luck