Jason Girdner here, CEO of TECOBI and partner at Carlson Chevrolet. I'd like to have an important conversation about our costs in the ever-evolving auto industry. With the data and experience I've gathered, it's clear that generating our own leads via social media platforms isn't just efficient, it's exceptionally cost-effective.
The report below shows our CarGuru leads at Carlson Chevrolet for the last 45 days. We spent about $7500 generating the 198 leads in this report and we ended up selling only 8 cars. We did see good engagement and overall the customers were in the market for a vehicle. But with an average Cost Per Car Sold of $937.50, these sold units came at premium.
The conversion rate to a sale on these leads is highly dependent on the pricing we set our vehicles at. These customers are very price driven and if we don't give away the vehicle and pray to make the money on the backend in finance, the conversion goes down on CarGuru leads.
In stark contrast, our lead generation efforts on Facebook and Instagram at Carlson Chevrolet paint a more favorable picture in terms of financial metrics.
Over a similar 45-day period, our expenditure on these platforms amounted to around $2,438, generating an impressive 865 leads. Out of these, we successfully sold 22 cars. This brings our average Cost Per Car Sold down to a mere $111, a drastic reduction when compared to the CarGuru results.
So, why such a disparity in costs? One might argue about the quality of leads, but the numbers don’t lie. The volume of leads from social media, combined with the rapid and efficient follow-up system we have implemented with TECOBI, has made all the difference. Text messaging, with its immediacy and personal touch, accelerates the conversion process.
With our TECOBI system in place, we could engage with hundreds of these leads simultaneously. An example of our follow-up can be seen here:
Following up with over a thousand leads from our pipeline took merely 20 minutes, leading to a 22% response rate and 25 appointments set in just the subsequent few hours. This type of follow up in a traditional CRM would take days, if not weeks, considering the average BDC or Sales representative can only follow up with about 100 prospects per day in a traditional CRM.
With TECOBI, we can follow up with thousands of customers at the push of a button and with 22% response rates, there is nothing else that even comes close to this level of efficiency. This follow up process has made the lead volume/quality a moot point because it doesn't require additional staff to work.
This is the future of dealership communication and the future of lead generation for the auto industry. As we transition into a digital age, the success of a dealership isn't solely about the cars on the lot but about the innovation and strategies behind the curtain. Dealerships must recognize the power of modern tools, such as social media platforms and communication software like TECOBI, that can significantly reduce operational costs while optimizing lead conversions.
Third-party platforms like CarGuru, while still having their place, are becoming a costly channel when compared to the benefits of generating our own leads. By doing so, we have the control, the narrative, and the relationship-building capability from the very beginning. It's about cutting through the noise and connecting directly with potential customers.
In addition to cost-efficiency, there's also a profound shift in the type of clientele. Whereas CarGuru leads are predominantly price-driven, Facebook and Instagram advertising allows us to tap into a broader demographic, individuals not just looking for a car but for an experience, a relationship, and a brand they can trust. It's no longer a purely transactional approach; it's about building a community.
To my fellow dealers, it's time to pivot and adapt. If you're still shelling out significant amounts on third-party lead sources, take a moment to reassess. Are you genuinely getting value for money? Or are you missing out on a more cost-effective and efficient way to drive sales?
With tools like TECOBI at our disposal, we can ensure rapid, efficient, and effective communication with potential customers, driving our costs down and our conversions up. This isn't just a strategy; it's a revolution in how we approach sales in the automotive industry.
In conclusion, the numbers and results speak for themselves. Harness the potential of social media lead generation and combine it with efficient communication tools. The future of the auto industry is here, and it's digital. Are you on board?