Facebook Messenger Bots offer a cheap, easy, and reliable way to automate the lead-qualification process. - Photo courtesy Facebook Inc.

Facebook Messenger Bots offer a cheap, easy, and reliable way to automate the lead-qualification process.

Photo courtesy Facebook Inc.

Dealers devote an incredible number of hours and manpower to sifting through leads, trying to catch the right people at the right time in a sea of window shoppers. If this is you, chances are you are probably rolling your eyes right now at the thought of following up with new leads or calling past clients. Fortunately, there is a way to automate this process for Facebook users. It’s called a Facebook Messenger Bot.

A Facebook Messenger Bot is an automated sequence of messages and replies that interact with car buyers on your behalf. They have the ability to understand what is typed, answer questions, qualify leads, set appointments, notify you of good leads, and much more.

Here’s how to build and operate your own in four steps:

1. Get the Software.

You will need software to build your Facebook Messenger Bot. Be sure to pick a brand that is approved by Facebook. Popular options include ManyChat, Chatfuel, and ChatterOn. Be sure to do your research and review the pros and cons of each platform. The cost usually ranges from zero for a basic toolkit to around $20/month for full capabilities and integration.

The main functionality you want is a program that can collect information and notify you. That way you can create a system that’s going to be the most useful to you and deliver the best results.

2. Write Your Questions and Answers.

You want your bot to be personal and easy to follow. For that reason, use qualifying questions that you normally ask to deter a bad lead — credit, budget, reason for purchase, and whom the car is for. The best leads for your business are leads that have looked through your inventory, answered specific questions, and expressed explicit interest in purchasing a car to the chatbot.

3. Set Your Notifications.

Once a motivated car buyer completes all the steps, you can set the chatbot to notify anyone in the dealership who handles online sales. They will find the leads are of higher quality than most, and they aren’t fighting with your competitors for the sale.

Anyone who doesn’t meet the qualifications can be put on an automated sequence that builds rapport with that person on behalf of your dealership and does an occasional pitch every now and then to see if they’ll bite.

4. Prepare for Higher-Quality Leads.

Once you create your chatbot funnel, lead generation is set on autopilot. Chatbots require less management than your average employee, they don’t get lazy, and they don’t ignore or forget prospects. Leads generated through Facebook chatbot funnels are also much better-quality leads because the leads are exposed to your brand and dealership early on in the buying process. This means they are more likely to do business with you, refer friends and family, and leave positive reviews.

As you can imagine, with all the functionality of chatbots and automated messages you can have something for your business that goes far beyond just answering questions. You can basically create a miniature salesperson and secretary that works 24/7.

I strongly urge you to check out more information on chatbot and automated messages. Incorporating one in your car dealership is only going to save you and your team time and money.

Devin Morris is the founder of Connected Funnels and has expertise in creating automated programs and online lead-generation systems.