McCloskey Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado received recognition from their peers in 2013 earning the NIADA Quality Dealer of the Year Award. McCloskey has been “Best of the Springs” two years in a row, being named “No. 1 Best Used Car Dealer” and “No. 1 Best Military Discounts.” This year, the company is continuing to push the limits of customer service through technology with a new way to reach and communicate with customers. In February, Mike Phillips, the digital marketing executive for McCloskey dealerships, started leveraging the power of Facebook in a new way. Using Facebook lead generation ads, Phillips has been able to generate more leads than any other method at the store’s disposal. “The customers we get from Facebook leads are different from traditional Internet leads,” Phillips said. “They are higher in the funnel and the relationship built from social media carries over into the store. They’re not motivated by only price like most other types of Internet leads.”
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Phillips has had many roles in the McCloskey organization during his 14-year tenure. He describes the dealerships as highly process driven, and this is part of the reason they have been so successful converting Facebook leads into vehicles over the curb burning gas. “As long as the car and the salesperson are consistent with what the customer sees online and they check out, the customers usually just buys the vehicle,” he said. “We have less negotiation with these customers which is good for customer satisfaction and creates a more positive interaction with our staff. They are definitely more relational and less transactional buyers.”
There is more to McCloskey’s success than just leads and sales, and an effective process makes this possible. McCloskey uses a partner to create and manage their Facebook ads. Once a customer submits a lead, they are instantly asked to opt in to receive text messages from the dealership. Once consent is given, text messaging is used to answer customer questions and set an appointment. “We actually use a partner company to work the leads for the first 48 hours,” Phillips said. “If they set an appointment, they put it into our CRM. If they do not, it is automatically transferred to our CRM for our internal BDC to work. This process has worked well for us. In our second month doing this, we sold more than 20 vehicles. Each month, the number goes up due to the customers being higher in the sales funnel and working further down through it. Each month, we carry over leads into the next. We just continue to build momentum. It has been like a snowball rolling downhill. It continues to grow.”
Putting the process in place is critical before starting a new lead generation effort. “It is extremely important to prepare your instore staff to work with social leads,” Phillips said. “The customer expects the relationship from social to continue in the store with the salesperson and management. They want it to be the same as what they saw online and in text when they arrive at the store. At our stores, our people have a heightened awareness of the source of every customer who walks in the door. This keeps our customers comfortable.”
Facebook lead generation ads are bringing customers into the McCloskey dealerships who did not even realize they were in the market for a vehicle. Traditional Internet lead sources miss these customers because they are not shopping; they are simply looking at their news feed and react to an ad. These customers have not shopped every dealership in town and are motivated by offers other than a price so low the dealership loses money. These customers require less negotiation and generally take delivery on their first visit. If you are not using Facebook lead generation ads, your dealership is missing deals to the dealerships that are.
For a free set of sample ads, please email me with “High Funnel Buyers” in the subject line.