I recently had the pleasure to sit in on a workshop Joe Webb presented at the Chicago PCG Pit Stop
conference. Joe gave attendees a number of solid processes to help increase the effectiveness of responding to email prospects.
One of the tips Joe gave attendees was how to reverse engineer lead data and how to research a customer online BEFORE responding. I like Joe's comment that taking ONE extra minute to do some simple research would NOT impact the opportunity measurably.
I could not agree more since research will create a more intelligent and more engaging response.
In the past month, I've been exploring new ways to reach out and connect with "prospects" which in my case is car dealers. As I travel around the country speaking at conferences and 20 Group I normally meet dealers who need assistance with their online reputation, SEO, SEM, or social media strategy.
But what has been a challenge recently is contacting dealers in a specific local market and inviting them to attend one of the regional PCG Pit Stop events. This is where I have been testing new contact methodologies since email, cold calls, and direct mail really are weak.
Leverage LinkedIn For Your Dealership
One marketing tool that I have found effective is LinkedIn. There are a number of effective ways to leverage your existing customers, friends, and business associates to create a targeted marketing list to sell more cars. If your sales team is not leveraging LinkedIn, they should be.
With email delivery rates dropping, LinkedIn has very impressive email delivery rates that are many times higher than normal email. Also, keep in mind that your customers change email addresses on a regular basis but will update their LinkedIn profile with their current contact information. This means you can stay connected with your customers much longer than your current DMS will allow.
I know that there is high turnover in car sales but seasoned sales professionals that use LinkedIn properly will be way ahead of their peers. In just 60 days, I have added over 500 targeted dealership employees to my network.
Imagine what your sales professionals could do with developing lists that include local teachers, doctors, lawyers, business owners which all can be created off their EXISTING customers. LinkedIn has rules that "govern" how fast you can build your network, but adding 20 people a day is very reasonable.
Once sales professionals build their lists, LinkedIn can allow them to "tag" the contacts with keywords that can be used to create targeted email messages or tips each month. So people who purchase a Honda Civic can be tagged with keywords like "Honda", "2011 New Car Buyer", "Family With Kids", etc.
Sales professionals can search these tags to create targeted email lists or invitations to special events.
Developing a Digital Networking Strategy
I will be adding a workshop on leveraging digital networking tools for automotive sales professionals at the upcoming PCG Pit Stop Conferences .
Paul Potratz and I have been brainstorming on this type of workshop which I think car sales professionals will love.
LinkedIn email is not the only method that is working. LinkedIn Groups also shows great promise along with Facebook which many members have already discussed on this forum.
I have also been very pleased on the ROI of creating better quality promotional videos for PCG events and services. Video marketing for sales professionals is an green field opportunity for progressive dealerships.
So any sales professionals that would like a workshop of digital branding and network strategies should check out the upcoming schedule of conferences at http://www.pcgpitstop.com and Paul Potratz and I will show you the ropes!
P.S. Please join me on LinkedIn! I would love to connect with you.