Many car dealers have been duped into believing that the only way to attract more customers and grow their business is by competing on price. But we know that there’s a better way. There is a way you can start attracting more customers today, and these customers are less price sensitive and only want to do business with you.
These tips and techniques will show you how to create a rush of interested, qualified customers by mobilizing people in your market who want a new car but aren’t currently shopping. These are incremental sales that don’t come at the expense of other dealers, a vast pool of prospects who are being completely ignored by all the other dealerships in your market.
So how do you find them? Here’s your how-to:
1. Stand Out To Sell More—Differentiate Your Dealership
The first secret to breaking through the clutter and start attracting this new breed of customers is to differentiate yourself from all the other dealerships in your market. But how do you break the mold? How can you do something totally unique?
Figuring out the answer to this question will allow you to tell your customers why they should choose you when they could have their pick from any dealership out there.
So let me ask you: Would you say you provide pretty good customer service? What about selection? Would you say you typically stock high-quality vehicles at reasonable (or even low) prices? Yes? Good.
But if I went down the street to your competitor, what do you think their answers to those same questions would be? Can we agree that pretty much everyone would say they have good customer service and selection?
After all, have you ever seen a dealership offer poor selection, bad service, and awful location? Neither have we. And that’s the problem, if everyone is saying those things, then that is not your key to standing out. You must find something that differentiates you from the rest of the dealerships in your area. After all, SAME IS LAME®. And lame, according to the dictionary, means “pathetically lacking in force and effectiveness.” You don’t want to lack force and effectiveness, which means that you need to stand out. You need to be unique.
But if you aren’t going to talk about service or selection, then what should you talk about? Price? NOPE! Sure, everyone is interested in price to some degree, but by and large, most people only focus on price when there is no buying preference. If all options look and sound the same, people will choose the cheaper option. But if you create a real buying preference, you create an unfair advantage for your dealership that allows you to escape the price-based, profit-slashing cycle.
There are several ways to create a buying preference without competing on price, including offering solutions, expertise, special offers, celebrity and trust. And by differentiating yourself from your competitors in this way, you’ll escape the price game and end up making a high profit on every transaction.
Plus, you’ll attract a non-stop stream of new customers because you are the only obvious choice in the market.
2. Stop Selling Cars. Start Selling Solutions.
The next step to differentiating your dealership and attracting this new kind of customer is to get out of the commodity game.
Commoditization has wreaked havoc on the retail car business and dealers like you. How? Because there are countless websites devoted to helping consumers negotiate purchasing a car for the lowest possible price. On top of that, it’s become so hard to differentiate one dealership from the next that we have trained customers to rely only on price in order to find a buying preference.
But competing on price is the fast track to the bottom because it’s nearly impossible to constantly deliver the lowest price, especially if you’re hoping to keep your business afloat. That’s why competing on price is no longer a competitive advantage.
However, many people need more than just a cheap car. They’re looking for answers; they’re looking for help; they’re looking for solutions. And that’s your ticket to breaking out of the downward low-price spiral and standing out in the marketplace.
You can offer solutions in many ways. In fact, most customers looking to purchase a car are facing one of a finite set of problems. Some need help assessing their current situation and choosing a vehicle that makes sense for them. Others are looking for options to stop driving a car they hate. And some might be worried they can’t get approved.
When you stop selling cars and start selling solutions to these everyday problems, you start offering potential customers real, tangible value that no other dealership is offering. That means you’ll stand out and attract customers even in the most crowded market.
3. Attract More Customers With Compelling Offers
Look, we all know that you need to start selling more cars now (and later), but not just later. The first part of this post shows you how to reach a whole new pool of customers with your marketing. But you need to go one step further. The next thing you have to do is get them to act…NOW!
The best way to do this is by creating compelling offers.
A great offer will drive your prospects into the market right now because let’s face it, you need to sell cars now (and later), not just later.
An offer that will magnetically pull people to your dealership TODAY will have three characteristics.
To create scarcity in your ads, you must limit the number of people who can take advantage of the offer you’re making. Or limit the number of cars that can qualify for the offer.
Next, you must include a sense of urgency.
Urgency is when there is a limited amount of time to take advantage of the offer. By creating a deadline, you will motivate buyers to take action not next week, not tomorrow, but today.
And finally, your offers must be believable.
That means that your customer must believe the offer is true, that it’s the real deal. This one is a little bit tricky because even when you are telling the truth, and we know you are, it doesn’t mean that customers will believe you. Believability happens at the crossroads of truth and explanation. First, the offer you are making must be true, but that truth transforms into believability when you take the time to explain the reason why the offer is being made.
Now you might be saying to yourself, “Of course I know I have to have promotions. That’s why we paid for that staffed ‘March Madness’ event and a ‘Turkey Sale’ for Thanksgiving!” But the problem is that none of these promotions have a sense of believability. They’re cliché because everyone does them, and for that same reason, no one believes them.
But when you come up with a real REASON WHY, people will believe you and they’ll start lining up to buy cars from you today.
4. Build Trust With Your Customers
Between every buyer and every purchase is a wall. It’s a Wall Of Mistrust. And it’s born out of the fact that most consumers have felt like they’ve been cheated out of their money at one time or another. Perhaps they felt mislead by an advertisement or oversold by an aggressive salesperson. Whatever the reason, they’re skeptical.
And their skepticism grows with the cost of the purchase.
For many people, a car will be the most expensive purchase they make in their lives, so you can imagine how tall that Wall Of Mistrust can be when they’re looking for a car—pretty mighty.
Add to that pop culture’s depiction of a “typical” used car dealer and the wall soars even higher. But there is something you can do about it.
You see, breaking down the wall is possible. The secret is to become a trusted advisor instead of a product pusher. Stop making your advertising about prices and payments. Stop uploading your inventory to listing sites. Stop running the same old, lame old advertising that all the other dealerships in town are running. All of those things make you a product pusher.
But when you focus on helping people solve their problems. When you are an active supporter of your community. And when you provide valuable information that allows your customers to make smart decisions, then you are a trusted advisor.
And when you are a trusted advisor, the Mighty Wall Of Mistrust melts away.
5. Be Human. Create a Relationship With Your Customers Even Before They Enter The Showroom.
In the last section, we touched on the problem with what most automotive marketing does. But the problems go deeper. First, it all looks the same. Second, and more importantly, none of it is relatable. People don’t relate to beautiful spokesmodels or loud voiceovers or pictures of cars.
What people do relate to is other people. And you can increase the results of your marketing simply by using a real person in your advertising. And we recommend that person be you.
Why? Because no one else will deliver your WHY as well as you can.
And on top of not wasting money on expensive models or voiceovers, you’ll actually be gaining value by investing in your personal brand. If you construct compelling offers with a powerful reason to choose you, you can break through the static and start building a magnetic personal brand that will literally draw customers to you.
Not only that, but personal brands build trust and loyalty, talk about becoming a trusted advisor. Soon you’ll notice that customers are showing up just to meet the “celebrity” they saw on TV or heard on the radio. They’ll be begging you to sell to them.
In sum, by using these techniques, you’ll tap into a whole new pool of customers. You see, right now about 2% of the population is actively shopping for a vehicle. We call these people Active Shoppers. These are the people you’ll find on AutoTrader and Cars.com, the ones who have visited 20 different websites and the ones who will haggle with you over price until you’re both blue in the face. Not only that but these are also the people that every dealership in town is fighting over.
But the miracle of the car business is that everyone would like to drive a better car than the one they’re driving right now, which means that the remainder of the population, 98% of people living in your market, could be motivated to buy a car sooner rather than later. By incorporating these methods into your marketing, you’ll tap into this untouched pool of customers, driving more traffic and more sales without spending more on advertising. The best part? These customers are not only newer; they’re also nicer and less price sensitive because you’ve shown them a way to get what they always wanted but thought they couldn’t have.
By incorporating these techniques into your marketing plan, you escape the mercy of the market. You no longer have to sacrifice profit just to survive. You no longer have to be a victim. In us, you have found the solution.
Bottom line, we’ve got a formula for doing all this, and we can do it for you and make it very easy. Or you can do it yourself using the methods we’ve laid out here.
If you feel like you’re the kind of person who would benefit from being connected with us and with other like-minded dealers, this is the time to get involved.
Every member starts with a complimentary Traffic Scale Report, which compares the quality and quantity of your traffic with your competitors and shows you just how big the opportunity for growth is in your market. To get started, request your FREE Traffic Scale Report here.