Digital Advertising Resource for
RV Dealers and RV Industry

RV Shoppers “Tell All” About How Dealers Follow Up Online Inquiries …

Posted by Shawn Friesen on Sep 04, 2013

Recently we started to survey RV shoppers 48 hours after they submit a lead through … And, I have to tell you, it’s been an eye-opening experience!

It reveals a lot about the general state of Lead Management in the RV sector.

Here’s what we send out to all Internet leads …


The Silver Lining …

For some, who are NOT effectively “in touch” with their leads, their lack of follow up can prove costly.

But, for many dealers, who value and care for their potential customers, they will meet with a fantastic and ripe opportunity to dramatically grow sales.

The comments we are receiving from consumers are both gut-wrenching and yet amazingly helpful at the same time.

Let’s examine some actual RV shopper comments, from the past month:

“As far as I’m concerned they can forget it. They must not need the business.”

RV shoppers in this Internet age, demand service.  Quickly.  Many have the money and are ready to buy.  They are willing to inquire on a unit, based on info found on your ads but often still have questions – see how to create more informative ads here and also here.   If you don’t give them what they’re looking for, they’re only one click away from someone who will.

WARNING!  DO NOT Try This At a Successful RV Dealership!

“Poor responses!! Sent credit application and inquired about several models they had and have got nothing in return for several days.”

Here’s a lead who is far enough down the sales funnel that they are actually sending in a credit app and – unfortunately – they didn’t get any kind of response!


Or …

Perfect!  (If that’s your competitor who is not following up!)

Here’s a comment that is instructive which we can all benefit from:

“Hi there, do you have any inside photos of the 2003 Winnebago 24 Minnie?  Would like to see the inside.  Thanks and have a great day.”

Photographs help you sell RVs.  Use 30.  No exceptions.  It gives people a better all around feel for the unit.  (Also, use video.)   The data are clear.  More photos (and video) mean you will have more leads to – ahem – follow up which means you’ll move more inventory.

Another fairly typical response from RV shoppers 48 hrs. after inquiring:

“Asked specific question on the RV listed and just received a form letter that did not even mention this RV.”


“I received an email asking if I had any questions on the information they sent me.  I replied to their email twice telling them I never received any information on the motorhome.  I also asked them to please resend the information.  I never heard from them.”

Answer the buyers’ questions.

Imminent Sales:  biz-guy-flattened

“Someone called then he said he would call back in 10 minutes with the price and he never called.”

“We spoke with the sales representative and he was going to forward a contract for us to sign, which we never received. We agreed on a price and would like to close this transaction.”

“we did not hear from the seller and have already made a purchase elsewhere.”

“Sorry we didn’t get a response and bought this exact same model at another RV dealer.”

Seriously?!  My case in point.  Hurry up and get on those leads!

“Doing the Math” On Lost Opportunity …

One of the “lost sale” units above retails for $36,700.

Assuming a (rough) Gross Margin of 15%, 20% or 25%, unfortunately, this dealer lost …

  • $5,505
  • $7,140 or
  • $9,105 in Gross Margin.

Thousands of dollars.  Gone.  For a simple lack of effective lead follow up.

Doing It Right!

“Yes the seller did respond, not only quickly but with a very nice and informative email. It was very much appreciated.”

Or, how about this …

“Wayne the sales rep there is a great person.  He is bending over backwards trying to get me into this unit.  I can’t say enough good things about him and the company.  He has been patient and VERY helpful. I would recommend Wayne and this company to anyone in the market for an RV.”

THIS is the kind of feedback we LOVE to see.  The respondent is thrilled with the service, the professionalism and the work their sales person is doing on their behalf.  They are likely to refer many customers due to their positive experience.

“The seller was in touch with me very quickly and has been extremely helpful with all of my questions. We have been exchanging emails and his have had the interior pic’s I requested.  He has provided me with all kinds of information.”

Another positive experience which will inevitably lead to a sale.  My point with all of this is simple:

If You Want to Make More Sales, Follow Up Your Leads.  

Pay attention to what they’re asking for and SEND THEM WHAT THEY WANT.  It’s one more way you’ll enjoy an increase in your online advertising ROI.

Author: Shawn Friesen


  1. Kymee Martinak

    Hey Chris,
    This is great I hope many sales people and dealership owners read this, it is so spot on.

    God bless

  2. Terry Gibson


    Great information and you are 100% correct, we find the same thing world wide and as a consultant I always ask the dealer why would you not treat your online customer like you would has if they were standing in your showroom.

    Once a dealership takes this approach it turns quickly into success.

    Terry Gibson
    Regional Vice President of Sales

  3. Rex Gambill

    Wanted to print this to share it with our sales manager but your website doesn’t seem to be “print-friendly.” It wants to print out on 8 pages, with display ads and such interspersed in the text.
    Great article, however.

  4. Chris Mapson

    Rex: I’ll email you a .pdf file. 😉 Thank you, Chris

  5. Dan Davia

    From my Experience in Both Retail as well as Wholesale, The Dealer Principals, Do not have knowledge about the lack of Follow-up in regard to these Advertisements, It is a Shame, Most Customers if they do not receive a Response within 24 hrs, purchase elsewhere or move on to another dealership .. in this new fast paced world of “E” Commerce Speed , and accessibility is Key ….

  6. Chris Mapson

    I hear you, Dan.

    So, you’re thinking DP’s just don’t know there is a lack of follow up. Interesting … Probably a real good thing then that we just implemented a cool new report dealers can access when they login to their RVT accounts.

    This report tabulates all the surveys we send out to dealer leads and shows the DP (or SM or Internet Sales person) how many of their leads got followed up in more – or less than – 48 hrs. Helpful for them to see, keep tabs on, for sure.

    And yes, I totally agree that people move on (and buy elsewhere) quickly if they get no response or if dealers do not answer questions that buyers are asking – quickly.

    I cringe when I see emails from buyers saying they didn’t hear anything from the dealer, so they bought elsewhere. Yikes, that hurts! And sadly, it happens far too often.

    Thanks for your perspectives Dan.


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