It seems like every article about dealership marketing ideas have the same vague and boring lists. Email marketing. Responsive websites. Social media. These are all well and good, but they aren’t new ideas, they’re the standard (or what should be the standard). We’ve gotten sick of seeing page after page of the same old, so we put together seven absolutely brilliant and different home-run car dealership marketing ideas. Not every dealership can accomplish all these ideas, but any dealership can be inspired by them.
I was a Marine for 4 years, so integrity and honesty was a big deal for me. It was often at odds with the nature of the job, but I found a way to make it work for me, because it made me unique. Most of my sales were from referrals and repeat business.
This is what motivates the salesman. Hunger. This is what makes us put up with the long hours and the obstacles and the delays the average customer throws our way. We don’t eat — or get paid– unless you buy.
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In the first week I discovered a tire was slowly leaking and wanted it relplaced. They replaced the tire with one that didn’t match the others, and I requested a matching tire. I had them fix the AC. (I bought it on a cold day, and discovered a few days later on a hot day that it didn’t work) The “pop the trunk” button didn’t work and I called them on it. I had them seal a wind shield crack that I didn’t notice until the sun shone at a certain angle. I think I’m forgetting something else too. It must have been 5 or so visits in the first couple weeks.
One thing we can do is look at behavior. Sidekick is a tool that tracks who’s opening your email. So if I’m a sales rep and I send out a personal email to someone who filled out a form, maybe someone who was a walk-in but didn’t purchase, I can actually see when they open that email. Now, the moment they open that email is probably the best time to call them. If you want to get them on the phone and they’re opening an email, they’re either on their phone, reading their email, (which is about 70% of people now), or they’re at their desktop at their office. So using Sidekick allows your sales reps to know who to call and when they’ll have the best chance of getting them on the phone.
During this online research phase, prospects experience several “micro moments” – mini moments in the buying cycle – that are important for every car dealership to understand in order to take advantage of.
Share platforms and manufacturing. When the goal is to improve efficiency in capital outlays, a good place to start is with platform (or chassis) and powertrain investments. Now that each auto maker is designing and building its own engines, transmissions, and related equipment, the amount of duplication within the industry is extraordinary. This is especially wasteful because consumers rarely buy cars for the platform — instead, they focus on such attributes as styling, quality, and reliability. Many OEMs, of course, already “repurpose” platforms across brands and models. However, platform sharing among OEMs is rare. One of the few examples is Nissan’s deal with Daimler to jointly develop the MFA platform, which is used on Nissan’s Infiniti QX30 model and Mercedes’ CLA and GLA models. In the U.S., GM and Ford are jointly designing a new 10-speed transmission (their second generation of transmission collaboration). In both cases, the companies expect cost savings, particularly in R&D and materials procurement.
Many exotic car salesmen are standard salesmen who worked their way up the ranks at smaller dealerships. Basically, you start with Kia, then go to Nissan, then Infiniti, then BMW, then Porsche, and then up to the big guns. However, just because a cars MSRP is high doesn’t mean that the amount of money to be made monthly is any higher.
You’re doing everything right, please don’t stop. You’re what we call an “educated consumer” and your deals are the easiest. Just be aware that with used cars, things change very quickly and there is no standard of care from one car to the other. It’s hit or miss, but the odds are definitely in your favor.
Fact: The average website converts 2%. If only 1 in 50 people that walked onto you lot purchased, how effective would you say your sales people are? Customers don’t want sites that overload them with multiple calls to action, flashing images with pricing, multiple forms to fill out, etc. They want to search, click and find what they are looking for. Don’t make it difficult for your customer, they are only a click away from your competitor! Send them to the pages that are relevant to the message that drove them to the site. Otherwise, you have completely missed the point of a great user experience. Conversion rates don’t lie.
18. Shut up and listen. You have two ears and one mouth so listen twice as much as you talk and learn when to shut up. See Shut-up a Car Salesman Tip the post. The power of knowing when to talk and when to shut up can make a huge difference in your car sales commission. There is a saying in the car business when negotiating that the first one to speak loses after a proposal.
Buying a vehicle is an emotional process, and pictures are the most direct connection to that emotion. Consumers want real pictures of the vehicle that they are actually considering, not stock photography. Use a proper staging area, quality equipment, and take lots and lots of shots.
We often tout the importance of providing value, and while a new car is certainly valuable, using social media to empower and motivate your entire workforce so that they can help your customers out has a much bigger effect.
Mr. Gaille is the host of one of the most downloaded marketing podcasts in the world (go here to subscribe and listen to The Blog Millionaire podcast). Last month, more than 2.25 million people visited Brandon’s blog. Read his inspiring comeback story, “From Brain Tumor to 1 Million Monthly Visitors.” Feel free to send Brandon a message here.
This leads to our third trend: Diversified Content. We are often told as automotive marketers that we need to create blog posts, post on social media, get reviews and use many more platforms. It can feel very overwhelming.
Another way your dealership can be relatable is to make consumers feel as much like they’re in control as possible. You want to answer consumer questions or inquiries before they even think to ask them.
On the first road trip, he discovered that he couldn’t sit comfortably in the passenger seat because it didn’t have the same power seat adjustments the driver seat had. By the time he learned this, the car already had a few thousand miles on it, and he would have taken a sizable loss on trading it in.
Sean Epstein is Head of the SAP Private Equity team in EMEA and runs global merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction programs at SAP. His team develops strategic partnerships with private equity funds, institutional investors, and family offices and helps drive customer success during M&A. Prior to SAP, Sean was an executive advisor and general manager at CEB and has held a variety roles in merchant banking, strategy consulting, and venture capital in San Francisco, New York, and London. He is frequent speaker, guest lecturer, and ad hoc writer covering topics such as technology innovation, M&A, and private equity. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. He and his wife have three children and reside in Arlington, Virginia.
Fact: Collecting your past customers’ data is crucial to the development of successful automobile marketing strategies. This is true because past customer data will allow you to build a profile of your ideal prospect.
Then buy a car from a dealership that is 2-5 years old. You avoid the first 2 years where the guy who bought it ate $5-10,000 dollars in depreciation just to drive it around with the new car smell. You get a car that is just as good and you’ll never look back.
I can somehow let the customer stayed on the phone for couple of minutes however when they hear they will pay £4.99 or even just £3.00 extra from what they are paying the still hold back even I tried to do fact finding or giving out the My stats are bit not good for the past 2 months due to these struggles.