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Cars.com testing VDP lead form featuring dealer sales people

Discussion in '3rd Party Leads and Automotive Classifieds Sites' started by Jeff Kershner, May 3, 2017.

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  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Today Cars.com announced a possible HUGE CHANGE to their VDP.

    IF you're signed up with DealerRater's "Connections" feature, your Cars.com VDP is in for a possible HUGE change!!

    Take a look...

    Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.59.45 PM.png

    This is what I call... a "Ballsy" move.

    And DAMN I LIKE IT!! Being a proponent of online reviews, reputation and word of mouth, this really takes it to another level. This is either a real game changer or a complete mess.

    Knowing Alex Vetter, and speaking with him after the Cars.com acquisition of DealerRater - I have a really good understanding of his vision and I completely understand the visionary behind this. Therefore this possible huge change in the Cars.com VDP doesn't surprise me.

    Are we ready for this?



    The full message from Cars.com...

    This week, we're kicking off a 2-week test on a percentage of our traffic. As a DealerRater Connections customer you may see that some of your VDPs on Cars.com feature one of your top rated salespeople from DealerRater.com.

    Check the comments in your leads!
    We'll still send out the same lead emails from Cars.com that you receive today. However, to ensure the lead is directed to the right salesperson, please consult the 'comments' section of the lead, which is where the specific employee name will be populated.

    Why are we doing this?
    Our data shows that consumers want to connect with a salesperson prior to visiting the dealership. Similarly, we've heard from dealers like you that promoting top salespeople and rewarding them for providing a great customer experience leads to more sales and a faster close.

    It's Still a Work in Progress
    This is only a brief test to learn from. We'll continue to adjust prior to a broader launch to ensure that you're receiving the highest quality leads directed towards the right salespeople at your dealership.
     
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  3. BenAdler

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    I'm quite interested in this. This is the idea behind the sales scheduling plugin I've been developing based on a discussion in another thread. I wrote an article about it not too long ago https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-build-trust-smart-appointment-scheduling-ben-adler
     
  4. Jeff Kershner

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    Ben, not sure if it's my connection or what but your link isn't coming up.

    Interesting statement - I'm not sure if I'm supposed to talk about this, but DealerRater is kicking around the idea of plug-in that would allow you to host a lead form on your own website that would allow the shopper to choose a "DealerRater Certified" sales professional that you want to work with. I like the idea.

    I have a few reservations, but I like the potential applied gamification that could be applied
     
    #3 Jeff Kershner, May 4, 2017
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  5. Harry Kasparian

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    LOVE LOVE LOVE the personalization aspect of this feature. I know TexasAuto ran something similar on their vdp's before they redesigned (or still do on their eBay listings).

    The question remains "WILL IT CONVERT!?!"
     
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  6. metacort3x

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    Hello, Jeff! I'm glad you found our test variation interesting. Be prepared for more bold moves in coming months as we focus on upping the game in many areas, including connecting shopper-people and sales-people. =D

    Very curious to hear your thoughts.
     
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  7. Alexandra Joseph

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    Ben,
    I just read your article. It's an interesting idea. I'm wondering if you've done any testing on it. Specifically, I'm wondering if there are some significant downsides--consider what might make a shopper choose one agent over the other (I'm thinking of subconscious psychological things like glasses/no glasses, quality of photo, male/female, etc). I'd be concerned that it would make scheduling extremely complicated or unfair in situations where shoppers request one agent disproportionately over the others, just based on a picture. Thoughts?
     
    #6 Alexandra Joseph, May 8, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  8. higherturnover

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    Interesting to run across this thread Jeff. I'm definitely interested in their findings. As you probably recall from the last time we were in touch, we've created a robust system for salespeople to take an active role in the dealership's marketing while limiting the liability to the dealer. It's much more than a contact widget or personally-branded call-to-action, although I'm glad we're no longer the only ones who see such value in the relationships to sell more cars. The testing being done by Cars.com/DealerRater will be interesting to see...we've learned a lot of lessons over the past 12 years. What they're doing is different than what we're doing but certainly some overlap in concept. We're gearing up to work with some of the OEM's directly with our service but if you want to put someone at DealerRater corporate in touch with me I'd be happy to have a discussion with them and share some of the things we've learned along the way.
     
  9. BenAdler

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    That's a possibility that one rep might be more attractive than other reps and be picked more often. If this becomes an "issue", there could be algorithms to help "level" the playing field behind the scenes (show or hide reps based on a number of factors).
     
  10. Jeff Kershner

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    They frequent DR so I'm sure someone, if interested, will reach out.
     
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  11. Jeff Kershner

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    What factors? ...and wouldn't that work against lead volume - exactly what they're being paid to offer up! Hence my remark "This is either a real game changer or a complete mess."

    If this takes off, I'm starting a new business - *DealerGlamour Shots - and if anyone steals my idea, I'm coming after you!! :nono:

    low-budget-glamour212.jpg
     
    #10 Jeff Kershner, May 8, 2017
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
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