Selling cars today means a very quick reality check on current prospecting (marketing) strategies and tactics. No longer is lot traffic and showroom walks are the main prospecting strategies.
Dealerships need to be far more creative in how they attract attention.
Years ago television commercials, radio spots and newspaper advertisements comprised the basic ways to prospect for customers. This model worked well because it kept a certain percentage of sales force on the physical ground and the dealership did not have to pay for other prospecting tactics (actions).
With the Internet, a more crowded marketplace due to the increased automobile manufacturers (no longer the major 3 domestic products) and consumers being much better educated with it comes to resale value, features and overall pricing, those who sell cars for a living need to change their prospecting actions while remembering this critical point:
The need for private transportation is still very much in evidence.
Now more than ever before, vehicle dealerships and individuals car salesmen and women must understand how to sell more cars begins with their own written marketing action plan that looks to these six critical growth areas:
- Internet – Website – Social Media
- Networking – Tradeshows – Speaking
- Direct Mail
- Paid Advertising
- Promotional Items
- Professional Development
Additionally, keeping a dashboard of critical measurements or what some call key performance indicators (KPI) is also very beneficial. These might include the number of:
- Phone calls received
- Phone calls placed
- Hits to the website
- Postings to social media sites (micro-blogging)
- Viable and qualified leads secured
- Earned sales
These KPI are measured on a weekly basis.
Any executable marketing action (tactic) must first be constructed as a strategy (pre-determined thought process). These strategies need to be in alignment with the overall strategic action plan along with several other sub-plans including:
- Customer Loyalty
- Growth & Innovation
What I have observed in within this industry, is the continued cry for more leads, more potential customers (a.k.a. prospects) and more car sales, but management still requires butts in the seat at their dealership. Selling cars requires sales people to be out and about within the community not sitting near the showroom floor or walking the lot with all those parked for sale cars, SUVs and trucks.
By attending Chamber luncheons, ribbon cuttings, formal networking meetings, association meetings and even speaking at civic events such as Rotary all are opportunities to attract attention and begin to build those critical relationships. Sales Training Coaching Tip: The car industry now more than ever is engaged in relationship selling.
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” Until car dealerships and those who earn their living selling vehicles change their fundamental beliefs about prospecting, they will continue to reap less than stellar sales. By redirecting current marketing strategies (thinking) and tactics (actions) to reflect market place trends, then and only then will they be able to embrace how to sell more cars and stop the bleeding.