Most of the time, a combination of closes will be required for a delivery decision. Remember – the magic number is five! Most professional sales consultants close on the fifth attempt.
It’s not how much you give; it’s how many times you give.
The Magic Number is Five!
Practice putting these closes into your own words:
Assumptive Time Close
“Would you prefer to take delivery of your new vehicle this afternoon or this evening?” “Is 6:00 or 7:00 better?”
Alter or Improve Close
“Before you take delivery of your new vehicle, what would you like to enhance the enjoyment and add to the convenience (protection, safety, or resale value) of your new vehicle?”
Assumptive Title Close
“Would you like your new vehicle titled in your name, your spouse’s name or both (or business)?”
Assumptive Final Close
“Would there be anything else that we need to consider before we go ahead and finalize the agreement?”
Spouse (third party) Close
“Now that everything is agreeable, let’s write it up and get that much out of the way. Then you and your spouse can decide on what is best for delivery date. Fair enough?”
If “No”—“What would she say no to, the vehicle or the money?”
If “Money”—“Price – trade – difference – down payment – monthly payment?”
“Before you take your new vehicle home today, allow me to get binding coverage to make sure you are protected. What’s your insurance agent’s name? What’s the number there?”
“It’s obvious you know how to shop for the best deal and it’s also obvious you understand all the facts after seeing the fairness of the figures and the benefits our dealership can provide. Knowing all that, I’m sure you would advise Mr. Stevens to finalize the agreement, wouldn’t you?”
Financial Advisor Close
“I know you are here to advise Mr. Stevens on the fairness of the figures, isn’t that right? (wait) Just to clarify my thinking, will you be helping Mr. Stevens with the down payment, monthly payments or both?”
“None”—“So you are here to advise but not going to get financially involved, is that right?”
“Yes”—“Allow me to provide you both with figures that you can agree to, feel good about and say yes to. Fair enough?”
Assumptive Approval Close
“Now that we are in agreement on the vehicle and the terms I need your approval right here, here and here.” (Hand customer the pen)
Hidden Objection Close
“Assuming the vehicle is right, the equipment is right, the price is right, the down payment is right, the difference is right and we pay you enough for your car, would you own the vehicle?”
“Yes”—“Then please share with me which one of these is not right.”
“Forgive me for asking: are you looking for a reason to own or not to own?”
“I want to own!”
“Great. Please share with me what some of those reasons might be.” (Wait, listen and write them down)
Buyer’s Remorse Close
“Congratulations on your decision to own one of our fine products. It was a very wise decision on your part.
“Now from time to time my customers leave so happily with the decision that they have made, they can’t wait to share that decision with friends, relatives or both. These people, not knowing all the facts, or even being a bit jealous sometimes try to talk them out of going ahead with the transaction.
Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, if you think for any reason that anyone could change your decision to own, would you tell me now?”
Puppy dog close / Re-demonstrate
“Before you make your final decision, I want you to take the vehicle for one more test ride. I want you to see what a wise investment you are about to make for you and your family.”
Validation Close / Evidence Manual
You must prove with third-party evidence that people purchase from you. The customer will believe others before believing you.
Reduction to the Ridiculous Close
Reduce the amount you are negotiating to yearly, monthly, daily; then compare the daily cost with the cost of something the buyer can do, or give up doing for that daily amount.
Time and Money Close
The customer says they want to hold off for a while. Ask how long they would like to wait and offer more time.
“Remember that while you are waiting it will cost you more, not less.”
“New vehicles go up 1 to 2% without notice.”
“Factory incentives may be discontinued.”
“You will still have to make payments on your present vehicle.”
“You could incur costly repairs and maintenance.”
“Your vehicle will depreciate in that amount of time.”
“You will lose the sales (or use) tax credit.”
Take the total monthly cost of these items, add it to the present payment and compare it to the payment or cost of the new vehicle.
Lost Sale Close
“Forgive me, Mr. and Mrs. Stevens. Before you leave, I have to apologize for not doing my job. You see, if I had said and done all the right things today, you would have seen the value in my product and my offer. Because I didn’t convince you of that value, you have to go home without the new vehicle. That means you and your family won’t be enjoying the comfort, convenience and safety of the new vehicle. For that I am truly sorry.
“I make my living by getting people like you happily involved in my product and yes, that’s how I support my family. So that I don’t make the same mistake again, would you be kind enough to take a moment and tell me what I did or what I said wrong?”
Down to the penny close
“We are within seventy-eight dollars and sixty-two cents of you enjoying your new vehicle.” (Be quiet and wait for the customer to react).
Managing images of a dealership can have a significant impact on the quality of content users find when researching travel online. It is possible to add or remove photos from your account at any time. There are also ways to flag inappropriate images added by other users.
Adding Images of your Dealership
Data from Google shows that dealerships with high-quality, relevant images receive higher levels of engagement from users and are more likely to be visited by consumers who have viewed that dealership’s listing online.
Having the photography that includes the exterior and interior of your dealership as well as photos of models and the service department will be beneficial to attracting customers.
To add an image or images, simply log into your Google My Business account and select the “Photos” tab from the menu bar on the left side of the screen. From this section, you’ll be able to add and manage images, including selecting the cover image, identifying specific subjects (such as vehicle photos from your inventory) and other actions. You can add photos from your device or from Google Photos.
How to Remove an Image From Your Listing
Removing an Image Added to Your Account
Sign into your Google My Business account and choose the listing you’d like to manage. Select “Photos” from the menu on the left. Click the image you want to remove and then click the trash can icon in the top-right corner. This will delete the image from your listing.
Flagging Images from Other Users for Removal
To flag an image from another user for removal, navigate to your location’s photo gallery in Google Maps. Click on a photo to pull up the photo gallery image panel, and click on the three-dot menu icon in the top left corner.
Select “Report a Problem.” Complete the information on the form about why the photo should be flagged for your dealership and then click “Submit.”
A photo must be in violation of Google’s photo policy in order to be removed from the Google My Business. Sometimes it is necessary to flag an image a second time if it is not removed after an initial period of 7-14 days from the profile.
Photo Best Practices
Orientation is important for photo selection, and it’s best to keep this in mind when photographing a location. Horizontal images are preferred. Vertical images are acceptable if they have sufficient resolution to be cropped horizontally. Avoid using extreme angles or tight crops on images.
For example, when photographing the dealership’s exterior, try to find a direct shot that includes as much of the façade as possible. When shooting vehicles or service department photos, it may be more practical to use an overhead angle or a close crop shot.
The dealership location should be the focal point of the photo. Users should be able to easily recognize what they are seeing when quickly looking at the pictures.
Photos should be sharply focused and without any blurriness. Images should look real and be high-quality without being heavily doctored.
You want to add images that showcase the focal point in the best manner possible, including quality lighting. It’s generally a best practice to capture things during the day unless you are highlighting a location specifically known for its nightlife. Subtle differences in lighting quality can make notable differences in the visibility of photos within Google products.
Choose images that have bright, vibrant colors because these often generate better visibility and more engagement for your Google My Business profile. Your image may be competing against hundreds of other photos of a given location for a user’s attention. While photos should not be heavily doctored, modestly boosting the saturation of images may be beneficial in some cases.
As much as possible, images should be relevant year-round. This means avoiding seasonal photos (for example – Holiday decorations or colorful Halloween shots).
Photo Rights and Watermarks
When adding photos, you want to avoid intellectual property violations. Make sure the photos you are uploading belong to only you. Try to add a variety of unique images rather than uploading the same images repeatedly.
If your photos have a watermark, it should be small and limited to one corner to avoid distracting from the overall image. Photos should obviously never include inappropriate or dangerous content and obviously no personal or confidential information. Photos should focus on the dealership – so include the building, service, vehicles and limited team members photos from the dealership.
As a manager, you will want to use word tracks that work and practice using them with your team.
For example, at this early phase of the sale, the salesperson’s success will depend on moving the customer out of their perhaps negative expectations and into the retail sales process.
“Welcome to ABC Dealership. How may I assist you?”
“I just want your best price!”
Surrender and Comply Technique
“No problem. I would be happy to provide you with our best price! In addition to price, I will also provide you with all the information necessary for you to make an informed decision, such as down payments, monthly payments and figures on your present car.”
“If those figures are not agreeable or affordable, we wouldn’t expect you to do business with us. Fair enough?”
Hard Sell Technique
Benefits to addressing price in this way with the customer:
It is simple and honest
It is direct and to the point
You become unique in the marketplace
Develops trust and confidence
Demonstrates a willingness to work with the customer
“Mr. Stevens, if I am unable to provide you with the proper price, I wouldn’t expect you to do business with us here today. (Move to Fact-Finding). May I provide you with figures on your present vehicle?”
“Not only will I be happy to work up a price for you, but I am also going to provide you with figures you can agree to as well. Sound fair? Have you already settled on the vehicles you want pricing on?”
“I will be more than happy to work up a price for you. Mr. Stevens, would there be any other information you would want, such as the miles, the warranty, the previous owner, and the condition of the vehicle?” (pause) “Are you driving one of our products now?”
“Not only will I work up a price for you, but I will also provide you with estimates on the down payment, monthly payments, and figures on your present car. If any of those are not agreeable and affordable we wouldn’t expect you to do business with us today.” (pause) “Are you driving one of our products now?”
“Let me assure you that money will not get in the way of you and I doing business. Let’s determine what it is that you want and we will be more than happy to work up prices for you. Sound reasonable? (pause) Are you driving one of our products now?”
These Have Worked
Tools to successfully addressing price:
Be prepared to address the matter of price upfront.
Offer the customer more than he or she asks for.
Move immediately to fact-finding.
Respond quickly and naturally.
When a customer speaks, he or she communicates a special meaning behind each word. Psychologists know that each nuance and word can be reflected back by you, to help sell the prospect customer.
We are in an era that requires an immediate and educated response to both factual and emotional needs.
How would you respond to the following questions?
“Do you want to drive the vehicle first?”
“Do you have a trade-in?”
“How much do you want to put down?”
“What can you afford to pay monthly?”
“How much would you give us for this vehicle?”
“Will you buy the car today if the price is right?”
These questions are much too direct and threatening, and cause the customer to take a defensive position.
If you were the sales manager, which selling situation would you prefer?
The customer has $1000 to put down.
They have budgeted $400 per month.
The customer owes $15,000 on a vehicle with an ACV of $12,000.
They are not ready to purchase; they’re just looking today.
The customer is driving a 2019 Nissan Maxima.
They purchased the vehicle new in 2019. The MSRP was $28,500.
Their next payment is due in ten days and is $425 per month.
They put down $8,500 on this purchase to finance $20,000.
Likes most – gas mileage.
Likes least – ride and roominess.
Most important – ride and roominess.
You need to conduct fact-finding with your customers and the dealership salespeople.
Here are some simple questions you can ask during a meeting with the sales team:
Tell me about your customer.
What have you done so far?
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest), how excited are they?
How many miles do they drive annually?
What’s the most important thing to them? Vehicle? Financing?
When customers ask, “What’s your best price?” predictably, this is what they hear:
“Our best price is what you’re willing to pay.”
“Our best price comes from the boss.”
“Our best price is on the sticker.”
“You have to drive the car first before I can give you a price.”
“Make me an offer.”
“Would you buy the car if the price is right?”
Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment and ask yourself: If you were a customer shopping for a car, and the sales consultant replied with any of the above comments, how would YOU respond?
Retail Action Guide
Don’t be predictable. Be different than anyone else. Don’t give the customer the same act.
When you are predictable, the customer will see you as no different than anyone else, and then make his or her decision on money and money only. Be bold enough to be different. You must obtain control without confrontation and reduce the customer’s need to shop.
Your first few minutes with a customer can cause lasting impressions. To help break preoccupation with the price and bring down defensive barriers, practice these action guidelines.
Tune the world out. Focus on the customer.
Put the customer at ease and make them feel important and comfortable (no pressure).
Ask non-threatening questions and get them talking about their wants.
Hold appropriate eye-to-eye contact.
Give your name / get their names.
Ask permission to write and use their names.
Smile and compliment.
Find common ground.
Mirror and match.
Here are some strategic ways to enhance the current greetings you may be using, put the customer at ease, and gain effective control in the selling situation:
“Welcome to the dealership. My name is ___________. My role is to answer all of your questions and concerns, and then provide you with all of the information necessary that will help you in selecting a vehicle that fits your needs, wants, and budget. Will you allow me to do that for you?”
“Good morning. Welcome to the dealership. My name is __________. My role as a sales consultant is to help you find the vehicle you want and make it both agreeable and affordable for you to own, will that be fair enough?”
(Customer is just looking) “That’s great! You’ll be pleased to know that we have an excellent selection of vehicles for you to look at. Will you be considering larger or smaller than you’re driving now?”
Effective Greetings Require That Sales Consultants
Know exactly what to say at their first contact with the customer.
Take a direct approach that is “to the point.”
Trust that common ground will surface in due time.
Demonstrate a sincere appreciation for the customer’s presence.
What Greetings do your top Sales Consultants presently use? What other greetings are used at your dealership? Who’s using them? Why not everyone?
Seize this Cornoavirus opportunity and re-define what constitutes sales excellence: People, process, product, and self. It’s more than a number.
High expectations are the key to developing an elite sales team. The best sales managers are those who expect the best from their people.
To increase sales, you must prepare for success by:
Identifying the result you expect.
Identify the behaviors and activities necessary to achieve these results.
Measure each person on your team against these objectives and coach them accordingly.
Everyone, you, your customer, your organization, and dealership benefit from a manager who is “Prepared for Success.”
What happens to all of these benefits when you are unprepared?
The best management and coaching strategy is to prepare to build a lifelong relationship with your customer!
“Remember, the customer doesn’t care how much you know—until they know how much you care!” – Jackie B. Cooper
Most people in life today have become a “wandering generality.” Instead, you need to become a “meaningful specific”. To do that, you need goals.
Steps to setting goals:
Identify the goal. You must have an intense desire to achieve it.
Set a deadline, be specific, and write it down.
List the obstacles you need to overcome to achieve it.
Identify the people, organizations, and groups that can help you succeed.
List the skills and knowledge needed to accomplish the goal.
Develop a plan of action. Get a clear mental picture of yourself already accomplishing the goal.
What will the benefit to you be?
Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”
Whenever you see anything worthwhile being done anywhere, it is because someone is behind it with a passion, a belief, and a goal. When it comes to your personal life and your business, goal setting makes the difference between mediocrity and excellence and accomplishment.
Managing Your Strengths and Resources
Most sales teams typically consist of a few leaders and lots of followers. So does a ranch, where a herd of cattle follows along behind the one lead cow with a bell around its neck.
Often salespeople, especially those with less experience, will emulate the example of your team’s bell cow.
Savvy managers know how to gain maximum advantage from each of their bell cows.
Approach your top performer and persuade him/her to step up and adopt the role of “team player” and share his/her talents and energy with other members of the team.
Discuss W.I.I.F.M. – The Bell Cow
The example of work ethic and attitude that your bell cow displays for the team is, perhaps, even more important than the example the sales manager sets for them.
Talk to them about performing the role of a mentor to one or more less experienced salespeople.
Determine your strategy and goals
Establish a mentoring process
How do you coach communication?
It is well-known that once an individual has agreed to a small, incremental decision, he or she is much more likely to agree to major commitment.
It’s also well-known that an individual may be moved to make a decision less by logic than by emotion. You must move the customer from left-brain to the right-brain.
This is the key to whether they say “yes” or “no.” A customer’s feelings are controlled by:
You can’t build rapport without presenting the logical information that establishes your professional credibility. At the same time, you can’t expect a customer to make a decision to purchase without communicating to their emotional side.
Coaching your Team
Where will you hold training meetings? In the conference room? In the sales office? On the showroom floor? On the lot?
The role of the manager is unique in that it takes on several priorities in the coaching and development of the staff.
These priorities are:
Have a participant read the following out loud to the group:
Here’s how some of these activities might look:
Hold regular training meetings with sales consultants.
Conduct one-on-one role-plays. The manager must lead by example and know the process better than the salespeople.
Make sure only qualified staff handle the critical profit areas (i.e. phone appointments, meeting and greeting, etc.) Customer service is a privilege – not a right.
Test by letting the staff know you are going to call the sales department yourself. They will be mystery shopped!
Sit, listen, and critique the salespeople in action. By the way, how are you at taking criticism and implementing personal changes?
Work with sales consultants who are having challenges (names, numbers, appointments, appointment no-shows) and role-play potential customer scenarios.
Listen to actual calls coming in (use the speakerphone).
Manage the Telephone Log for each consultant. Know how many calls came in—who received them, and what was done with them—by the hour, by the day, by the week.
Sit with sales consultants every day to prioritize their daily activities. Business Plan.
Personally follow up with customers—set the standard!
All managers must learn to coach! Set up a regular schedule. Training Meetings must have a clear purpose and be:
Important: Otherwise, don’t have them, just to have them!
The Sale Manager’s Role
Must teach the sales staff by modeling and coaching, not just telling them.
Lead by example
Know the programs better than the salespeople.
Provide real-world situations
Answer real needs – practice – practice – practice – practice
Role-play, evaluate, get feedback (positive and negative)
Inspire salespeople to reach for more (success examples, modeling)
Plan meetings in advance
Know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it
The automotive industry was already impacted by an unprecedented disruption before the coronavirus. We’ve seen shared mobility, driverless cars, and electric vehicles shake up the industry, so understanding how to adapt during difficult times is not a new challenge.
However, over the last couple of months, there has been a change in priority for people across Canada. According to Google people in early March were showing interest on dealerships – focusing on where to get cars, shopping for vehicles and checking out inventory.
Then around the 13th of March that all changed – quickly. For six weeks their main focus has been on basic necessities for everyday life – for example groceries. Where to go, how busy the stores are, and who has pick-up options.
Grocery Stores – Car Dealers Comparison – Canada
But as we adjust to things now – the interest level in dealerships has begun to grow again, while people are more familiar with grocery stores and the affect they have on every day.
Even though things are starting to focus on automotive – that doesn’t mean visiting the dealership. The new way of doing business will include virtual showrooms, online inventory, booking appointments and visiting customers. Digital is going to play a big part in the everyday for dealerhsips – understanding customer expectations, as well as the new ways people shop and buy, will be critical to success.
Over 1.8 billion people use Facebook on a regular basis. Allow that to sink in for a few seconds.
For retail automotive dealerships, more users mean more page likes and potential / current customers eyeballs. But with more users comes more competition at the same time. Now because of regular Facebook algorithm updates, dealership marketers need to be savvier than ever to compete with others.
Automotive dealers need to pull out all the stops to make sure their Facebook business page is very helpful, easy to find on the site, provides good value, and represents their dealership in the best way possible on the platform. In the market where everything is done online, anything less is lost revenue and customer acquisition opportunities.
Based on my experience with automotive dealers, I have come up with a comprehensive checklist the best Facebook Dealership Page tips, tricks, and optimization ideas. I suggest going through each one and checking each off the list. At the end of it all you will have a page worthy of your next Facebook page super fan.
Let’s get into it now with some thought-starters!
Claim your Facebook URL
This may seem like a basic point to cover, but once your dealership page has just 25 Likes, you can claim your vanity URL. Meaning you can direct fans to a URL like “facebook.com/YourDealershipName”.
This helps visitors to find your page on Facebook easier and makes it easier for you to promote your page on other marketing materials outside the dealership. It also ensures that users can easily search for you when on the site or mobile application.
Double Down on Past Posting Successes
Doubling down, recycling, or reposting past successful related content is a strategy often underutilized by most dealerships.
Everyday thoughts might lead you to create original content each and every time but that doesn’t always have to be the case for sharing content. To save you needed time and energy, try reposting or recycling content that has performed well in the past as well. For example if you did a retro vehicle post a year ago and it got some engagement – no harm in sharing it again with your followers.
Update Facebook Cover Photo
Your Facebook cover photo is an often overlooked area for most dealership promotions. If you’re holding a dealership contest or giveaway, your Facebook cover photo can act like a promotional billboard. Show off the monthly incentives, one of a kind vehicles or something that highlights the customer experience.
Pin a post
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to pin a post to the top of your Facebook page feed. After publishing a new blog post, launching a new giveaway, or announcing a new vehicle, pin it to the top of your feed so that it’s the first post your visitors see when they visit the dealership page.
Complete Your About Us Page
You’d be surprised at how many dealerships about sections are left barren. Completing the about page of your business page is crucial. Your Facebook dealer business page can often be the first place your visitors head to after a Google search. Make sure all of your information is in order including your dealer website, social links, hours and contact information.
Include Like buttons on your Website and Blog
Having Facebook Like buttons on your own website and dealership blog can direct traffic from these channels to your Facebook Page, turning blog readers, and even customers into social media fans.
Entice them into liking your Page with a Call to Action – for example, “Like our page to stay up to date with the latest vehicles and dealership promotions!”
Question and Answers
Facebook media comes in all shapes and formats making it a perfect way to hold a Q&A session with your dealership followers. Post a start date and time for questions about vehicles or services offered. Some dealers are doing a lot more live videos now due to the Coronavirus on a regular basis to highlight the dealership, vehicles, and service.
Then post an update to request questions from your followers. Answer those questions live, pre-record a video, or just simply write in some replies. The choice is up to you on how to provide the content.
Promote your Dealership in your Email Signature
Putting a small button or link to your Facebook Dealership Page in your email signature can direct some traffic from the people you communicate with to your Facebook Page, which has the potential to help you gather a few Likes, while also showing your dealer to these people.
Promote your Page to your Email List
Give your dealership email subscribers a good reason to become your Facebook fans as well. Exclusive deals, content, or promotions will get your email subscribers to follow the content you post on Facebook dealership page.
Social media channels offer a great opportunity for businesses to connect further with the folks who love their brand. By increasing the level of transparency of your posts your building and strengthening the relationship you’re developing. People want to get to know you, your story, and why you’re in business. Give them an inside look and you’ll be rewarded with long term business.
Promote your Dealership with Facebook Ads
Facebook’s advertising tools have come a long way. For only a few dollars, you can get your Facebook page in front of potential customers who would be most interested in what you have to offer. Promote your page with Facebook ads and reach the people you’re trying to reach — only much quicker.
Run a Facebook Contest
Quite often a Facebook contest is the perfect opportunity to engage with and have fun with your customers and followers. A fantastic prize and fun entry rules will ensure that your content is shared amongst your fans and their friends as well.
Some dealers like to do a “share and like” contest to give away gift cards, to gain engagement with followers and those outside of the page to grow exposure.
Use Custom Facebook Tabs
Did you know that you could create custom landing pages right on your Facebook page? A custom Facebook tab allows anyone to create a custom landing page for almost any purpose. Get more email list subscribers, run a Facebook photo contest or direct people to a set up a test drive on the page. A custom Facebook tab has endless opportunities for a dealership.
Video is set to become a majority of the content on Facebook in the near future. With video production tools and cameras inside every cell phone, just about anyone can easily produce video. Video performs especially well with Facebook because it’s quick, entertaining, and easily sharable. Experiment with video for your audience, it could be the boost your content has been looking for. Start off with a video of used vehicles, as that can tell a story about a particular one on the lot. Then do videos on staff profiles, the service department and ultimately video on new models to share with the world.
Broadcasting to the world is no longer a function capable of only large media companies. Anyone can now jump onto Facebook and with a click of a button, broadcast to their automotive fans live. There are many creative ways to use live video. Use it for events, inside looks, Q&As, etc.
Experiment with Facebook Live and start interacting with your audience in real-time.
Post When your Fans are Online
Pay special attention to your Facebook insights to see when the majority of your fans are browsing through Facebook. It is easy to check your tracking to see what day and time your followers are most likely on Facebook. Obviously it can fluctuate based on a number of factors but gives a guideline to work with on a weekly basis for planning posts.
Post and adjust to those times to hit them at just the right moment.
Create Eye-Catching Images to Go with Your Posts
Strong visuals are a powerful tool in the dealership social media marketer’s toolbox. Visuals have the ability to communicate emotion and meaning in just seconds. Including visuals, each post has been proven time and time again to outperform content without visuals. There are times that a question posed to the community can gain great engagement with just text, but images get more on a consistent basis.
Test out Various Media Types
If your content has hit a roadblock and can’t seem to garner much engagement, maybe it’s not the content, maybe it’s the format. One of the things that makes Facebook such a dynamic platform is the media formats it supports.
Video, audio, written, and soon enough, Virtual Reality. There are many formats to experiment with. If you’re finding your content ignored, it may be time to try out video.
A 3,000-word post on a particular model can be a little dry for most marketers out there. But turn that post into a video with a walk-around and that’s a whole different ball game for the content creator and the viewer of the video.
Include a Call to Action
Many social media marketers will post to Facebook expecting a reaction and scratch their heads when it doesn’t happen from the followers. Maybe it’s just because you didn’t simply ask. Don’t expect your fans to know what you want to accomplish.
State explicitly what you’d like them to do by including a call-to-action. “Like this post, if you agree!”, “Share this if you know someone like this” or “Comment with your thoughts” are all examples of Calls to Action that push your fans to engage with the dealership.
Experiment with Emoticons
Emoticons can be included in the visuals bucket as well. They’re great at getting a mood, feeling, or emotion across quickly. Especially for younger or millennial audiences, emoticons add much more emotion and affect to Facebook updates. This can be fun and add great engagement.
If you’re having trouble finding a balance of content to post to your Facebook page, follow the 60-20-20 rule. Post original valuable and engaging content 60 percent of the time. 20 percent of the timeshare content that your fans would be interested in. Then feel free to be sales focused 20 percent of the time.
Let’s all agree that data or original research can sometimes be a snooze fest. Put a fun spin on the data you’ve collected by turning it into an infographic. For example if you want to highlight features of a vehicle – set up an image and show the information graphically on the layout.
This way it will have a higher chance of being engaged with and shared with users.
Share User-Generated Content (UGC)
Let your fans in on the fun. Loyal followers or die-hard fans are always creating content that incorporates the brands they love. Make them feel included by sharing the content they’ve painstakingly created for you. Not only will it make your fans feel important, but it’ll also lighten your workload in the process.
Partner with Influencers and Companies
It never hurts to ask for a little help for the dealership. Partnering with a popular influencer or companies in your market is a tactic that will really get your brand front and center. Depending on the popularity of the influencer or company you might have to pay or offer free products. Calculate if it’s worth the exposure or the number of leads it is expected to generate.
A great example of this could be a local sports team that you can cross-promote each other. Have them wear your logo or web site, and then have an autograph session at the dealership to bring people in and promote the team and dealership at the same time!
There’s no denying that everyone loves a funny reaction GIF. Like emoticons, GIFs are great at communicating a certain emotion or reaction that millennials really identify with. Experiment with GIFs when you post something fun to see if your content receives more engagement at the same time.
Don’t forget the weekends
Just because we have the weekends off doesn’t mean our fans aren’t on Facebook. Using Facebook’s handy scheduling feature you can post a bit of content on the weekends. It’s all about maintaining consistency.
Experiment with some Humor
Humour can be a powerful tool if used in the right way. Humour creates engagement because it’s so universal. A funny GIF, meme, or update creates an emotional connection between the dealership and the reader. Experiment by adding a bit of humor to your updates and see if it resonates with your dealership followers.
Tag Other Accounts
When it comes to partnerships or simple admiration remember to tag the accounts you’re referring to.
It creates a symbiotic relationship. It sends traffic to the other account and develops your relationship. If you’re trying to build a partnership or get someone to notice your dealership, tag them so that they get a heads up.
For example if you are part of a dealer group and like to cross-promote each other – tag the group page, sister dealerships, and other services offered.
Include your dealership in the popular conversation of the day by joining in on the hashtags. Hashtags include and categorize your updates in the larger global conversation. Remember to keep your hashtags specific to your industry or else your updates will get lost in the fold.
Some dealers make up a hashtag that is specific to their location and use that on other social media platforms.
Test content with ads
A dealership that has yet to get a foothold on it’s a most popular type of content can test things out with advertisements. With a few dollars, run a few blog posts ranging in subjects with Facebook ads. See which performs/converts best and continue on in that direction with your ads. Because Facebook targets based on interests, you’ll be able to see what content does best with your target audience.
Poll with Facebook reactions
The new Facebook reactions are a fun way to poll your audience regarding a certain subject. Figure out what the popular opinion is by creating a Facebook reaction poll. Your fans can vote according to the reactions you’ve assigned to each answer.
Respond to comments ASAP
For quite some time now Facebook has been a go-to place for customer feedback and support. Respond as quickly as you can to comments and reviews on your Facebook page.
By doing so your page will get marked with a “replies quickly” marker so that visitors know that you are active. Thus will be more likely to engage with you.
An amazing way to communicate with customers and leads is through Facebook Messenger. People can easily send a message to your dealer by clicking on “Send Message” – including from ads that are running as well.
Also, Messenger can easily be added to your web site – allowing people to interact using chat right on the site – communicating through Facebook. The best part of that is that it is free and easy to set up.
However, a very important part of Messenger is to make sure that you have a process in place for the dealership to communicate with the customers. This may mean having salespeople connected to the account. But I would suggest that there should be managers involved to oversee and monitor the conversations taking place, jumping in when appropriate on behalf of the dealership.
You can set up automatic replies – more on that coming soon!
Share From Instagram
Have a stellar Instagram account for your dealership? Connect it with your Facebook account and share photos from Instagram to your Facebook feed. This way your Facebook fans can follow you on Instagram and vice versa.
Test optimal post length
You’ll see varying opinions on Facebook post length so it’s always best to test what works best for you. Generally, a short Facebook post performs better because people don’t have the attention spans to read a long post BUT there are exceptions. Test, test, test.
Use the Correct Image Dimensions
A blurry, out of focus image is an unforgivable sin these days. Post your visuals to Facebook in the best resolution possible for your fans. A quick Google search will pull up the most recent optimal image resolutions.
Use a social media management tool
If you’re looking to take your social media efforts to the next level, you should consider using a social media management tool. A social media management tool saves you time and headache by organizing everything into one platform for you to diagnose problems, schedule updates, and listen to what your fans are saying.
As part of your self-promotion strategy show off your past client successes. A captivating story of their rise to success can lead to more clients and more interest in what you have to offer.
Offer Facebook exclusive promotions
Make your Facebook fans feel special. Give your audience a reason to follow you on Facebook by offering Facebook exclusive deals and promotions. “Offer only valid for Facebook followers.”
Go behind the scenes
Much of marketing is building a relationship between the brand and the consumer. Social media offers the perfect opportunity to give your fans an inside look at the inner workings of your dealership. Show them what they’re buying into and what your dealership is all about. Behind the scenes, access makes fans feel special and is a powerful tool for strengthening relationships.
Just like any other review platform, encourage your fans to leave honest reviews about their experience. Positive or negative, it provides feedback for you for improvement. Plus, positive reviews are social proof for those on the fence about giving your dealership a try.
How do I become a car salesperson with no experience?
As we know the automotive industry is a great way to grow an amazing career. No matter where you are in life, one can jump into the industry and fall in love with everything involved while making some money.
Every day new people join the industry and have been long called “green peas” to highlight their rookie status. While there is often an interview process to become a salesperson in the dealership, people from all walks of life can be successful (or not) selling cars.
Speaking from personal experience when selling cars, it is amazing seeing who can make it and who doesn’t work out in a particular dealership. I have seen people with comedy backgrounds who thought would rock it – become shy and have a tough time with people. Some people with technical knowledge find common ground with folks and do amazing. Of course, there have been people that were musicians and waiters that totally rock the sales process.
When it comes to sales in the automotive industry – one thing that I was told always stuck with me. A veteran that had become a finance manager said: “always be the new guy, being naive can get you far”. It seemed to work that way too – when new always asking questions, talking to sales manager, and being “new” helped with the sales process.
There is almost always training available from dealers when it comes to sales techniques. This could be put on by the dealership, manufacturer or online courses.
When choosing a dealership that you want to apply, look for strong management. They will make all the difference in the process. Leadership will ensure that they work with you to become a great salesperson and have a chance to become successful at selling cars.
While I had been around the industry for a while – when selling cars, literally jumped in after a couple of days learning about the dealership. After about a week hit my stride and started selling a few cars – focusing on floor traffic, phone calls before joining the internet team.
That is where real great opportunities being to roll in. Remember to be yourself during the sales process. People buy cars from other people, so do a great job on email, phone calls and text messages. Most people have done research about vehicles online and the purchase decision is based on real-world relationships.
The age-old question has always been “how do we get more appointments?” to just get them to the dealership. There has always been a thought process of just get them into the dealer, test drives a vehicle, and then have a good shot at selling them – with a turnover to the Sales Manager to close the deal. Times have certainly changed with the digital age – not counting on the recent Coronavirus but in the last few years of digital dealerships.
So with that here are six ways that I think we can look at for getting traffic – digital and in-person to your dealership!
#1 Social Media
Some dealers are still not comfortable with using social media to its full potential. Building trust for a dealership is certainly key in bringing folks to the dealership. One of the best and most relevant ways is to share your “story” on social media. This means building excitement and consistency in messages on social media. The platforms include Facebook, Instagram (including Instagram Stories), Twitter, and even the newest one TikTok.
For example – delivery pictures and having the customer tag themselves when appropriate – get them to share the picture. It is a strong message to have a customer show where they bought a car, what they bought, and by a simple picture of why they purchased from that dealership!
Another idea is to highlight your team members – people buy cars from people…. so doing something to differentiate from other dealerships on why their team should have a chance to earn the customers’ business.
#2 Targeted Email Campaigns
While a lot of dealers conduct mass email blasts to leads that were received or customers that had purchased. But taking it to another level will help drive specific traffic to your web site and in turn dealership. Using email platforms allows you to do custom lists that are generated from the names, interactions, and current status.
A dealership collects leads from various sources, new and used leads, then broken down to specific models.
Using strong email campaigns allows for targeting based on all of these factors. For example, if you have a manufacturer promotion on a particular model then you can target leads that had shown interest in that specific model. Then track the interaction they have with the email – taking it to the next level how they interact with the web site. So put a landing page on a web site with the promotion, a lead form and also track how the viewer goes through the web site – page by page and who they are specifically.
#3 Local Search Engine Optimization
Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimization), sometimes referred to as local search engine marketing, is an incredibly effective way to market your local dealership online. It helps businesses promote their vehicles and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them online in the local market.
This is achieved through a variety of methods, some of which differ greatly from what’s practiced in standard SEO, and some of which are far easier to manage using Local SEO tools and can require specific local Search Engine Optimization services.
Whereas anyone in the world with good enough SEO and authority can rank for a search query like “how to fix a blocked drain”. When the query has much more purchase intent behind it, it becomes “car dealers near me” or “best dealership in [specific location]”.
When building content for the dealership web site focuses on the models sold by the location, along with the local market. That way it helps Google connect that dealership with the models sold in the local market.
#4 Targeted Text Marketing
Text marketing campaigns may seem outdated to some, but they are an invaluable marketing tool for others. Last year, on average 456,000 Twitter tweets were sent every minute of the day. A pretty impressive number, isn’t it?
But it’s a measly looking figure next to the 15.2 million text messages that were sent every minute. And that doesn’t include app to app messaging!
Texting is the most effective direct marketing channel. It has the best engagement rates – and is a lot less annoying than a phone call. The open rate of text messages is as high as 99%, according to some reports. This is much higher than email marketing, which has an average open rate of 32%. Thanks to a lack of spam filter and the fact that people check their phones more obsessively than their email inbox, companies can yield a great return using text marketing campaigns.
One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you segment your audience so you can send them targeted messages. This way your texts are more likely to be welcomed by your customer and lead to a conversion.
#5 Local Citations
Local citations positively impact local search engine rankings for a dealership. The number of citations a dealer accrues, the accuracy of the data they feature, and the quality of the platforms they exist on all influence rankings. Search engines like Google amass data about each business. If what they encounter is accurate, the search engine trusts the validity of the data, which is believed to strengthen the dealerships’ chance of ranking well. However, if the data search engines encounter is inconsistent, this trust is eroded, lessening ranking opportunities.
Local citations either positively or negatively impact consumers. Accurate citations help people discover a local business, which can result in web, phone, and foot traffic, culminating in sales, and more service department customers. Inaccurate citations, however, can misdirect customers, leading to a loss of reputation and revenue.
#5 Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your dealership name, location, and hours; monitoring and replying to customer reviews; adding photos; learning where and how people are searching for you, and more.
Google My Business doesn’t just make it easier for customers to find you physically, but digitally too. It can vastly improve your search visibility in Google.
Not to mention, when prospective customers are looking for local businesses, they are generally ready to make a purchase (or at the very least are highly interested in making a purchase).
Folks don’t Google, “dealerships in Toronto” to read a blog about vehicles… they do so because they’re looking for a vehicle and want to hand over their hard-earned money to whoever has the vehicles they are looking for in Toronto.
Add as much information and media as you can, including a dealership profile photo, the market you serve, your dealership hours, attributes (e.g. “wheelchair accessible,” “free wifi”), the day and year you opened, and a public phone number and obviously website URL.
Dealership reviews not only have the power to influence consumer decisions but can strengthen a company’s credibility. Dealer reviews have the power to gain customer trust, and they encourage people to interact with the sales and service departments. Customer interaction ultimately leads to improved profits for the dealership.
One of the best ways to encourage future customers to leave positive reviews? Respond to current ones. Not only does leaving an appreciate response show the original reviewer you’re thankful for their support. But it also makes that positive review stand out on your listing and influences people to leave their own reviews.
You should also respond to negative dealership reviews to show you take them seriously and placate the unhappy customer. But make sure you’re extremely courteous — attacking them back will only make you look unprofessional and their review more credible in the eyes of the reader.
I hope that this list helps you with some thought starters on how to drive more digital and foot traffic to your dealership. Tackling all of these can be difficult for sure so take it one step at a time. Obviously, if you need help with any of these subjects or ideas – contact me anytime!
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