5 Things We Learned From Listening To 100+ Inbound Craigslist Calls

Aug 1, 2016 | Sales and BDC

To gain some insight into setting appointments, our team listened to over 100 inbound phone calls made to dealerships via Craigslist ads. From those inbound opportunities, we were able to put together 5 ways you can get the most out of your Craigslist calls and turn every lead into an appointment.

1. Don’t Waste Time—Ask For The Stock Number

One of the most time consuming aspects of a Craigslist inbound call? The customer trying to explain what vehicle they’re looking at to the sales rep!

Instead of having them use descriptions like make, model and color, cut to the chase and ask them for the stock number!

In your Craigslist ads, be sure to ask users to keep the stock number of the vehicle handy before they call in.

Most callers will be looking at the ad on their screen when they call you and will be able to pull it for you right away and cut the extra 30 seconds it takes to get on the same page.

2. When Setting The Appointment, Don’t Be Too Precise, And Don’t Be Too Vague

The sweet spot

Most callers do not have an exact time in their schedule to come check out your listing.

The majority of callers want to schedule an appointment about ½-1 ½ days from the time they call…this can go from checking the car out “this afternoon” to as far as “tomorrow evening.” Offer flexible windows of time, but make sure they commit to the appointment before ending the call.

Want more tips to setting appointments? READ: The Secret to Setting Appointments That Show

A little urgency

If a lead says they will come in next week to check out the car, let them know that you’ve already had a few interested buyers, and judging by the way your lot turns, their car will most likely be sold by then. Urge them to come through the dealership doors sooner!

3. Provide Incentives

VIP appointments

Make ‘em feel special! Set an exact appointment time and ensure the lead that you will have the car is prepped, pulled up and ready for the buyer to test drive at that time.

Gift cards

Gift cards can be great incentives for people who have to drive out of their way to come check out your inventory.

Ask where your lead is coming from and note their travel distance: the greater the distance, the greater the cash value. Giving callers the option of free lunch and gas for their trip makes them much more likely to set an appointment at your store, and is actually scientifically proven to make them more willing to buy a vehicle.

4. Offer Other Vehicles If A Lead Isn’t A Great Match With Their First Choice Vehicle

If the lead isn’t a good fit, offer a substitute option for them to test drive. In nearly every call we monitored where a sales rep offered a substitute vehicle on their lot, the lead still set an appointment.

On the other hand, failing to offer another option for callers resulted in disappointed and dissatisfied leads who most likely were driven to a different dealership for what they were in search of.

Offering financing options was a popular trend across the calls we listened to, but most leads are not ready to pursue that conversation on the initial call. Focus on getting them interested in the metal, and talk money later.

Most leads are not ready to pursue conversations about financing options on the initial call. Focus on getting them interested in the metal, and talk money later.”

5. Don’t Forget The Trade-In

The appeal of getting the asking price of the listing lower always helps in getting a lead to make the appointment. By simply asking your potential buyer if they want their current car appraised for a trade-in, you’ll increase the likelihood of setting the appointment.

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.


Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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