Why First Party Leads Matter
Something I find myself talking about with dealers constantly these days is the importance of shifting as much of their lead flow as possible away from third party leads. It always ends up a complicated conversation:
"We got 600 leads from the third party sites last month! We can't change that!"
Normally we end up talking about the 2-3% closing rate they have on those leads or the terrible margins they had in the cars that generated the leads or the thousands of dollars they spent to get them. Today, however, a light bulb went off.
I'm an Amazon junkie. I place 5-7 orders a week. It is a problem. So today, I was searching for a new quesadilla maker (because the only reason I haven't ever used my old quesadilla maker is it isn't a new quesadilla maker, clearly...don't judge).
There I was, in quesadilla maker heaven. Round ones, square ones...25 bucks to 80 bucks...so much variety. Now, what did I consider when making my choice? Picture. Price. Maybe manufacturer or features. Did I ever consider the seller? Not even for a second.
Welcome to third party leads. You are a price and a picture, little more. The reputation you've built, the community good will, the things that make your dealership special aren't at all in play.
Now, I imagine what would have happened if some local store that I like and trust would have shown me a quesadilla maker in my news feed on Facebook or in an Instagram story a week ago. I wouldn't be staring at a smorgasbord of options from vendors I know nothing about and buying a quesadilla maker from some random company like "Success Deals USA".
I'm not saying fire all your third party providers, I'm saying dealers need to start measuring the difference, identifying the opportunities to generate more first party leads, and then consider reducing what you're spending to be a picture and a price.