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A December To Remember? For A Lot Of Reasons

No matter how tightly or loosely your association with the automotive industry, this is a month of reckoning for so many reasons. But most are still in 'wait and see mode'. That just flat out can't be comfortable and it's not right, so why is it done? If you'd had the proverbial crystal ball, what would you have done months ago (if not years)?

It is interesting to hear about some level of negative consumer sentiment or backlash about the Toyota 0% advertising. When was the last time the public's voice rallied against dealers communicating with them too much or trying to sell them cars they didn't want?

Not to rip off Lexus and their annual end-of-the-year ad blitz, but will this be a December to remember? Some stores are talking about a small lift in their traffic, some about people buying again and some are just happy to get clients responding via email. How do you keep the water flowing?

These are constants in what IM@CS teaches daily:

1. Put everything in the customers' terms
2. Ask questions
3. Validate the customer (while talking less)
4. Answer their questions and ask a new one (yes, keep the conversation going)
5. Demonstrate a real reason to buy
6. Promote value, advantages and benefits

Then ask yourself what your marketing says and remember that if you keep doing the same things, don't expect different results. In a meeting with a dealer service provider Tuesday, their entire (refreshing) approach was to understand their clients' needs better. Almost everything we talked about related to engagement. So...what are you doing every day to think about how you communicate and relate to your clients?

Don't pay more attention than your precious time allows to think about the economy, bailouts, cut backs, fewer units sales, etc. Nothing affects you more than the leads you're not responding to, the terse or lacking responses and messages you leave, the appointments you don't confirm and the time you don't spend learning how to do things better.

Find every reason to make this a December to remember for your own reasons, get out there and be great!

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

Views: 30

Tags: IM@CS, advise, autos, bailout, best, better, cars, coaching, consulting, dealership, More…december, economy, interactive, internet, marketing, mentoring, practices, process, remember, sales, to, web, website

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Comment by Ray McGowan on December 8, 2008 at 8:35pm
I'm calling Suburban tomorrow and telling that guy he's on target and thank you for writing it. Bravo, I say!!!!! That's a salesman and "car guy!" No stone unturned, work your ass off and get the job done. No negatives just "GET IT DONE!" I love the guy and I'm going to call him and tell him so.
Comment by Gary May on December 8, 2008 at 2:35pm
Cheers! There's no reason not to...
Comment by Dwayne Shirley on December 8, 2008 at 2:34pm
Not only should we let them know "it's ok to buy", but there has never been a better time to buy! If we could all get excited about it, maybe it would rub off on people. I don't know about you, but I have had more than enough doom and gloom lately. LET'S GET EXCITED ABOUT THE CAR BUSINESS AGAIN!!
Comment by Chris Hanson on December 8, 2008 at 2:05pm
"Today the news media is pumping bad weather into
everybody's living room and it is raining bad news. Today I want to be a
salesperson again standing in the showroom waiting for the customer who
is going to walk in
despite everything they have heard because they are
looking for someone to say, "its OK to buy," and I would be there in my
tie with a warm handshake and a smile ready to make it OK to part with a
few thousand dollars...and I would make it fun too."

Awesome, email, well put. Thanks for sharing it Dwayne.
Comment by Dwayne Shirley on December 8, 2008 at 12:05pm
I hate to plagerize, but I have to share this email I got:
Compliments of John Gerrard - Financial Services Manager Suburban Volvo Troy


Subject: Have to read this... Says it all...



If I hear one more person give another reason why they
can't sell cars I am going to scream.

"The banks aren't buying" - Yes they are, just not
like they were, so change what you are doing.

"There are less customers looking" - So get out of your
office and work the ones you have harder.

"The deals aren't as good" - Says who? Cars have always
been expensive and they have always cost more than the customer told you
they wanted to pay...so now you are going to start believing the
customer?

"We can’t lease anymore" - yes you can...there
just aren't giveaways.

Guess what... We sold cars when interest rates were
18%... We sold cars when they would blow up...we sold cars that flipped
over...we sold cars in recessions...we sold cars that were uglier than a
monkey's armpit and broke down on delivery...we sold cars from empty
showrooms...we sold Yugo's, and Daewoos, and Pinto's, and K-cars for
Pete’s sake, and Suburbans when gas was $4 a gallon.

How? Because we SOLD them. We inquired about our
customers needs and wants, their budget, their family, their jobs, their
travel habits. We made friends and sold the value out of the right
vehicle that met all of their needs. We didn't sell the deal, we made
the deal sell. We didn't believe them when they told them the car was
too much...because we selected a vehicle that wasn't too much; and, when
they chose a more expensive model...we told them it was more expensive
and they would pay more. We sold them on the idea of putting money down
so they wouldn't be buried with debt so that cash down wasn't a burden
but a benefit - and they always found more money for the car we made
them want...because we made them want it...we made them need it...and
they loved us for it.

We didn't lie or cheat, we didn't fudge the numbers, and
trick them into paying more...we sold the sizzle...and we made money
doing it and our customers loved us when we were done. And they told
their friends how great we were to do business with.

When I was a salesperson I loved the rain. I loved it
because the other salespeople would hide in their office convinced that
they were not going to sell anything because nobody was going to come
out in the rain. So I stood on the lot under my umbrella and waited,
'cause I knew that if somebody did show up...they were there to buy
something.

Today the news media is pumping bad weather into
everybody's living room and it is raining bad news. Today I want to be a
salesperson again standing in the showroom waiting for the customer who
is going to walk in despite everything they have heard because they are
looking for someone to say, "its OK to buy," and I would be there in my
tie with a warm handshake and a smile ready to make it OK to part with a
few thousand dollars...and I would make it fun too.

Yes, it is true that dealers will close. Banks will go
under. The car business is changing. This is the time when we will
undergo an economic housecleaning. We will see the weak salespeople leave the business.
We will see the sales managers who forgot
how to sell, and who never knew how to motivate and train professionals,
move on to the career change they have
"talked" about for so long.

Good riddance. This business is not for the weak or
feint of heart. Here only the strong survive. When all is said and done
only the best will be left standing. We will be sipping our coffee, and
cashing our big checks, and rolling steel.

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