ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers
After recently watching the film Now You See Me, I realized magicians have some really good advice for auto dealers. The following tips can help you better captivate your audience, help you stay ahead in the Information Age, and sell more cars just like a magician sells tickets!
1. Put on a good show
Branding and marketing are about how you appear to others. You have to get people to perceive your dealership as worthy of their time and attention. What makes you stand out from all the others out there? What do offer that others don’t?
After shoppers know you and what you have to offer, you have to give them the kind of show they are expecting. For the magicians in Now You See Me, they had to create an experience where the audience was both mystified and impressed - performance after performance. For a dealership, constantly impressing your audience is really the only way to stay afloat.
How do dealers impress their audience? Well, one way is customer service. Outstanding customer service has never been more important, and is one of the best ways to build customer retention and to keep the audience coming back for more.
Make sure your customer service meets your shopper’s expectations, and then exceed them! How?
Add live chat to your website for their convenience
Listen to all their needs and address them
Send them a coupon for an oil change with their reminder
Include videos in follow-up emails and/or personalize them
There are plenty of ways to show a little extra effort, and your customers will notice the difference! Build loyalty by asking for feedback from your happy and not-so-happy customers. Take that feedback and turn your dealership into one that everybody wants to work with or for - and not only to purchase a vehicle, but also to get their vehicle serviced by professionals who care and know how to treat their customers right.
2. Meticulous plans executed over time can be successful
This was the grandest message I received after watching Now You See Me. (Spoiler Alert!) Dylan Rhodes, the son of Lionel Shrike (a magician who drowned years ago), makes a brilliant plan to get back at the companies who were responsible for his father’s death, and every detail was executed flawlessly to the very end. This is what magicians have to do to ensure their tricks go over well, and dealerships should learn this attention to detail and apply it in the execution of their marketing plans.
Rhodes, an FBI agent and secret magician, had to pay attention for the right time and the right moment to ensure his plan would work. He found the right people - the four horsemen magicians (just like you do with selecting your employees or vendors), and he made his plan successful.
Dealerships can profit from looking at trends for opportunities to present the right message at the right time with the right people to the right audience.
Some examples of tactics to keep in mind:
Geo-targeting ads to bring in local shoppers
Behaviorally targeted live chat invitations or special incentives to encourage serious buyers into a conversation
Web analytics to help you adjust your marketing approach to particular buyer personas
Execute your marketing plan with the skill of a magician and you can go far, but you also have to be ahead of the game.
3. Always be the smartest person in the room.
“We will always be one step, three steps, seven steps ahead of you."
Dealers need to be forward-thinking in order to flourish in the future. Consumers are getting even more relentless about their research, and it would do dealerships a lot of good to keep up with the information anyone can learn about their products and services. You have to know where shoppers have looked in the past, where they are looking now, and where they may look in the future.
One way to do this is to use data tracking to see where shoppers are looking on your website.Get ahead of them. Get the information they need first, and if you are just as knowledgeable as they are - you can meet them in the middle and blow their mind with your excellent customer service skills. You’ll also be able to handle any questions they throw at you (whether in a live chat conversation or on your dealership’s lot), even about things like, “How is your dealership being socially responsible?”
Make sure your Sales team is well-versed on vehicle knowledge and specifics, and has the resources to discuss their products with the customer. Also, if your staff in using an in-house chat service to answer questions for your online shoppers, make sure it comes with detailed analytics and other tools to help them provide the best responses.
4. You cannot account for everything
Try as you might, you won’t always be 100% efficient. In the film Now You See Me, Rhodes couldn't account for Alma Dray, his alluring partner from Paris’ Interpol detective agency, coming onto the scene. She was the one thing he hadn't planned for, and she could have destroyed him. Luckily enough for him, she didn't. However in other cases, you might not be as lucky. Do your best to account for everything and be as meticulous as possible, but there’s a lesson here to be learned about flexibility. Your dealership has to learn to adapt to the curve ball. Everything in the market might change, and you have to accommodate for that. Don’t get stuck in a hard place because you didn't know how to react to the unexpected surprise.
One curve ball dealerships still need to adapt to is the mobile transition. Dealers are accustomed to doing business on the lot, have slowly worked on improving their main websites, however they need to continue keeping up with the technology that is changing the way vehicles are researched and sold. More shoppers are using mobile devices now more than ever before during the buying process. Make sure you have a mobile-ready site and check out this eBook for more tips to stay ahead of this new change in consumer behavior.
5. Misdirection works
Look here! Getting your customer to focus on one aspect of your product to distract them from another is a form of misdirection used a lot in auto dealer marketing, and magic. For example, instead of focusing the attention on the fact that the customer will have to invest big money in their purchase of a vehicle, you can show them what they are looking to get out of the experience with the product, and therefore you distract them from the price. Once they are emotionally in love with the product, most often, they won’t be able to refuse the cost.
This is why test drives are so important for car buying purchases, because the shopper gets to imagine owning it while sitting inside the vehicle. However, misdirection doesn't start in the driver’s seat, it starts with your brand’s marketing to get them thinking about owning that car and contacting a dealer in their area.
Is your customer buying a Jeep Wrangler, or are they buying a way for their family to go on adventures? Use your knowledge about buyer personas and vehicle reputation to get your customer excited about what the vehicle can do for them, instead of how much it is going to cost. You can exercise this information even before they come into the dealership’s lot in the conversations your shoppers have during a live chat on your website, or you can incorporate messages directed specifically toward your buyer personas in your content on your social media sites too!
If you’re successful in executing a detailed marketing plan, if you pay attention to the changing market and accommodate for it, if you use the tools available to you to stay knowledgeable about your industry, if you deliver the best customer service, and market your products by selling the experience - more shoppers will be lining up for your show in no time!
Is your dealership full of master magicians? Let us know how you put on a good show for your customers in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the ActivEngage Blog for more tips on auto dealer marketing and how to bring in more business to your digital and physical showrooms.