There was a time when anyone who stayed up late to watch late night television, knew about the local car dealer and his crazy ads. There would inevitably be some guy in a really ugly jacket, smiling at you and telling you he would give you the best deal on a new or used car. While hopefully the days of late night television ads are long gone as a primary way to sell cars, it can sometimes feel like the people at the local dealerships are not that far removed from those days.
But today’s modern world of technology offers new and exciting ways for an auto dealership to reach out to prospective buyers. With a wealth of auto dealership software to help him define his audience, pinpoint what they want and deliver it in the language they want to hear, salesmanship is changing. The tools offered today are a world apart from that late-night guy, and auto dealerships are changing with the times. While some tools work better than others, these three are pretty much in the category of must have for any auto dealership to be successful in today’s competitive world.
Embracing the Web
Since just about every auto purchase done these days begins with the web, to be successful today your dealership needs to be there too. But just having any old website is not enough, it needs to be a website that really takes advantage of everything the web can offer. This means not only beauty shots of all the cars, but access to a wealth of data about those cars. Links to reviews and write-ups in respected automotive magazines and white papers that show why this model is miles ahead of the others are just a start.
A good website should have the personality of the showroom, the knowledge of the best salesman and the ability to deliver pricing and financial packages ready to roll. While other retail businesses struggle to close the sale inside a brick and mortar store – showrooms thrive on it. So, when a customer visits your website, finds everything they need to make a decision to buy and then walk into your showroom, you have already done the work to make the sale. That is what a good website delivers.
Of course, even if you have the best website in the world. It doesn’t help you unless the locals can find it. This is where social media comes into play. The smart dealership owner knows who on his staff is up to date on all the social media sites and puts that person in charge of creating and implementing a social media marketing campaign to reach out to potential customers.
When you add this marketing to your website, along with perhaps a blog or newsletter to stay in touch with past customers, you have a busy showroom. Selling isn’t all done in the lot these days, it is often begun on the web and on that customer’s phone.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you forget all about the local touch. While you are staying on top of having that website upgraded and your Twitter feed sending out updates, don’t forget the local scene. High school kids that raise money for the local team at car washes need your support. They will also remember you when it is time to buy that first car. So keep a hand in all three. Your website, social and local connections will keep that showroom humming.