Archive for the ‘Car Dealer eMarketing’ Category
Presented at AutoCon 2014 – “Zero to Hero in 200 Days: Robbins Nissan Extreme Digital Advertising Makeover”
Based on a case study completed in August 2014 by our account management team for Robbins Automall, Christian Salazar, National Director of Sales here at DealerFire, recently sat down personally with Chelsea Robbins, Marketing Director for Robbins Nissan and Robbins Chevrolet near Houston, Tx. to get her take on the results.
They proved phenomenal. (more…)
The point to this flashback is, I believe passion sets the great salesman apart from the salesman that struggles to make numbers each month. However, some will argue that a great car salesman doesn’t have to be passionate about cars at all. Some would say a good work ethic and ability to be good with people is the only requirement. One thing is for sure, if you are not following up with your leads, you aren’t selling anything.
I grew up with my father teaching me a strong work ethic and independency that I am grateful for to this day. As soon as I was able and upon his urging, I gained a work permit and began summer employment at a Fortune 500 retailer while the rest of my friends planted themselves at the community pool.
This company taught me to call shoppers “guests” instead of “customers.” It was a different way of thinking back then, but is in line with exactly how it should be. People on your lot, on your website or in your showroom should not only be called guests, but also valued as guests; as if they were guests in your home and not only your dealership, you should be fulfilling their wants and needs.
Fast Forward: Now fast forward, I combined my retail experience and my life interest and turned to…CARS! I brought youth, high energy, a need to succeed to the dealership. I went to work early to make coffee and stock the fridges with beverages for guests and most importantly, called or emailed website leads from the night before.
I asked an older, cowboy boot wearing salesman I looked up to, “Why don’t the other guys fight to call these website leads each morning?” I’ll never forget his reply. He told me, “If you have the energy to entertain those tire-kickers instead of selling cars, then go ahead.”
Soon after doing my morning routine, I found myself moving up the whiteboard grid on my sales manager’s office wall and other salesmen noticed more and more guests come into the showroom asking for me from conversations that all started from website leads.
Today: Now, years later, you can’t ignore an internet lead. If you are in a dealership and get first-party leads directly from your own site or your paying to get your leads from third-party vendors, it’s honestly the new “name of the game” to selling cars!
And we all know that the first-party leads that come right from your own website have a higher chance of closing and are easier to close, but the point is that they are ALL important, right?
I pose this question based on my own recent experience that have me pondering if Internet Sales Managers, General Managers and even Dealer Principals know what’s going on in their own dealerships.
It started when I began my hunt for a new vehicle. Still being in the auto industry, I knew exactly what I wanted out of my next new car, but needed to find the dealership who had it on their lot. Finding new, used and Certified Pre-Owned versions of the perfect vehicle wasn’t hard, so I narrowed it down to price and submitted my personal information through the website, willingly giving my email, cell and work phone numbers.
Each morning I would check my email inbox and spam folder (just in case) and look for voicemails or missed calls, but was let down. I moved on and submitted a new lead to the next dealership, providing my email, cell and work number once again. The cycle repeated itself and I found it to be more effort on my part than that of the dealer. I was shocked to realize that dealers throw money to lead providers, hire people at dealership level for the sole purpose of gaining leads and invest in lead converting websites to have me on their doorsteps knocking waiting for no answer.
What Happened Next: In three weeks, I submitted eight leads to eight different dealerships of which one emailed me back to let me know that they were sold out of 2014s and 2015 models would arrive in late July; however, never asking further interest questions nor any effort in inviting me to the lot for a different option.
I did have two automotive CRM auto-responders send the generic “Thank you for your interest, a sales rep will be contacting you shortly.” But the contact never happened.
Only one dealership actually called and emailed me and asked to learn more about me, invite me into the showroom to drive the vehicle and and follow up to answer questions I might have.
- Four dealerships never did anything with my lead information
- Two dealerships that failed to follow up on a CRM auto response
- One dealership that didn’t care to sell me anything
- One (and only one!) dealership that did it right.
After this personal experience, I thought about the automotive industry and all of those in it who talk and write books on this very subject and then remembered a quote from the great, Zig Ziglar who said “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.” I think that quote fits this perfectly to what is going on here.
Not only is this a training opportunity, but wouldn’t you call this a profit leak? I knew what I wanted, what I could afford and was willing to give someone my business, but I was the one putting in all the work. To me, any incoming lead, sounds like an easy conversion and an easy payday, so why wasn’t selling me, the guest, a car made a priority?
The Solution: So how do we fix this? If you’re an internet sales manager, a new car manager, used car manager, general manager, vice-president, part owner or dealer principal, you need to be aware of how your leads are handled in your own dealership!
Ask yourself things like:
- Is my team calling leads?
- Do they introduce themselves and the dealership?
- Are my salesmen using my marketing dollars to convert online traffic into car sales?
One way to gain answers and accountabiility is by digging into your CRM and read the notes, assuming those notes are transparent and entered correctly.
The best way, however – the most honest way to answer your concerns and to gauge if this is a profit leak for your dealership – is to test it. Create an email address set-up via MSN, Google, Yahoo or another and submit a lead and grade the response, if any, in terms of your own key performance indicators for time, friendliness, quality and thoroughness.
Takeaways: By treating your shoppers as guests, understand they have needs and wants and by having a team on the other end of that lead ready and willing to follow up with any guest who takes the time to share their contact information, you can then plug this profit leak, make many more contacts, build or repair the dealership’s reputation and most importantly – MOVE MORE UNITS!
In order to produce great online content, a solid knowledge of the subject matter must be obtained. With this in mind, the content creation specialists from DealerFire recently visited the Chicago Auto Show. There, the crew had the chance to check out the new vehicle lineup hitting dealerships all over the country. The knowledge they obtained helped further their expertise in the automotive industry to assure they are the experts their clients need them to be in the world of auto marketing.
Above are some pictures that the team took at the show. Read on below to see the thoughts of some team members attending the show. (more…)
Make Your Content Marketing Strategy Excel
Content marketing is evolving, and the automotive world is not immune to this. All over the map, car dealerships are beginning to understand that content marketing is an essential part of an online marketing strategy. But just because they realize it doesn’t mean they are doing it the correct way.
With more and more dealerships starting their own blogs and overall content marketing strategy, the internet is naturally getting more and more crowded with vehicle knowledge. The problem is, much of what is being put out there isn’t of great value to the reader and is written by someone without a background in writing or marketing. While it is content in the most basic sense, it isn’t valuable content. (more…)
Make Content Marketing Work For You
If there was a quick, easy and even fun way to earn visitors to your site for weeks, months and years to come, would you do it? I believe that many people would answer this with a different question; how many visitors? The answer to that depends, but the idea is the same: one piece of content that can continue to drive traffic for an extended period of time. (more…)
Invigorate your inventory with custom vehicle descriptions
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A team is only as good as its worst player. These oft-used phrases, while popular in offices and team sports, can ring true in the world of the car dealer as well.
For anyone that’s had experience in the used car industry, you can already picture it: that one clunker that doesn’t get much attention on the lot. Whether it has modifications that are only appealing to the 17-year-old that originally installed them or it has sat in the sun every day of its life and is faded beyond recognition, there’s no debating it – this is your worst car. (more…)
Gaining More Search Engine Results on Page One with Press Releases
Generating headlines, this is a phrase that public relations professionals have been using for decades. The ability to generate news and headlines is what keeps companies or people relevant. Think about it, if Kim Kardashian didn’t keep throwing herself in public situations with famous men, would we still talk about her? The same goes for businesses and while companies can’t constantly be on the news, they can promote their business through press releases and their online community. (more…)