The disconcerting truth of a mystery research in Belgium about automotive leads

Research from shows that there is still a lot to be gained for dealers


Recently, in association with, we organized a #DCDW- Digital Car Dealer Workshop in Brussels for Belgian car companies. For a full audience, Christophe Grosjean presented a research on lead follow-up on behalf of How do professional car companies in Belgium deal with the opportunities in 2017? Dozens of companies were researched, based on the advertisements that were placed on

The researcher acted as an interested party and asked all kinds of questions based on these advertisements. Not just any questions, along the lines of I offer you half the price, but qualitative questions that could be of interest to an interested customer. Subsequently, it was examined how long the process was followed to keep in touch with the customer, despite the fact that the customer did not respond to the first reaction. The results are shocking, at least, especially when you consider that every car company advertises something. And if someone logs in then you might expect the company to do everything, really everything, to sell its product. After all, a lead, also an online lead, is the starting point of a dialogue that is set up by the customer and that the car company must follow up in a qualitative way.

The results!

29 companies were examined. They were divided into three regions: Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia. All e-mails were sent with a account, at normal working hours and with a number of qualitative questions.

  • • 51% of the companies responded within the same day, of which only 6 within the hour
  • • 34% of the companies never responded
  • • 65% of the answers were dramatic
  • • Only seven companies answered all questions
  • • Four companies responded, but did not answer anything..

Now, I hear you thinking: “Yes, but that is Belgium, it is probably much better with us.” The question is whether this is true. Do you really have the lead process in order and do you get the most out of the potential? In Belgium the standard is within six hours, we should already have the norm to follow up 100% of the leads within a 24-hour window from 09:00 to 21:00 hours.

And what I would like, very much, to emphasize is that only seven companies answered all questions… The customer asks good substantive questions and they only manage to answer these questions in seven cases. Whoever looks at the answers will, like me, conclude that there is still a lot of room for improvement. You are not an answering machine, but a sales device. Now, too many customers make too much of an effort to buy the car because dealers believe that the price is the most important. The price is not the most important, let that be clear. We get enough opportunities, hidden in applications, without a telephone number, or with call leads who ask for information, but we do not consistently convert those opportunities into concrete appointments. The way I see it, buyers are much busier with buying a car than sellers are busy with selling their cars. And what do we do? We look at it and say: “We still sell cars, right? What are you nagging about?” With the right process, the right method, you can sell more cars – and faster – at better prices.

View the presentation of the passionate Christophe Grosjean on the #DCDW below! For the research, click here.

About Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marketplace) after selling to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at:

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