Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Every salesperson is really in two businesses: the people business and the marketing business. If you are great with people but don’t have any customers to demonstrate this quality to, you’re in trouble. Marketing must become the No. 1 function of any business, including sales. Marketing precedes sales.
Begin to think in terms of leads, not sales. You need marketing that will generate leads. Most salespeople think only in terms of advertising. Salespeople either wait for their business to advertise, or take a blind “stab-in-the dark” approach to advertising. Usually, the results are minimal to non-existent.
One-stage advertising asks people to buy now. For most salespeople, this technique is too expensive and will lead to too few results. A better technique is two-stage marketing. Two-stage marketing is designed to get interested parties to raise their hands, so to speak. You just want to create leads from qualified potential customers. Lead generation = dollar creation.
There are several techniques to get leads. One way is to create a special report. For example, this report may have a title of “Ten Things Every Car Buyer Must Know.” It’s always best to create a simple report that walks customers through the process. Paint a picture of the “do’s and don’ts” of car buying. Be an advocate to the buyer in order to create trust. When you write the report, follow some important, time honored advice: “Enter into the conversation the customer currently has in their mind.” In other words, TLC — think like a customer.
Next, think of how you can get the potential customer to learn about your report. Where do your customers hang out? Where do they live? What do they do? Where do they go? Where do they belong? You may pass out the reports. Run an ad in the local newspaper publishing an “800 hotline” number for people to receive the report. Create an alliance with other businesses to give reports out to benefit their customers. Always think of ways to benefit other businesses as well, so they will want to give out your report.
Cross-promote between businesses such as restaurants, body shops, car washes and insurance agents. You promote their business and they give out a coupon for yours. Make the coupon a two-stage mechanism by providing something of value, such as information or a free gift, rather than a discount or special deal.
Go to the reference desk at your public library and study the SRDS: Standard Rate and Data Service Guide. You will find endless streams of information and ideas on how to access lists and groups of potential customers. You may buy subscriber lists from magazines that appeal to your potential customers.
Create a “Be-Back” CD and give it to every person who does not buy from you. In the CD, give them the reasons to do business with you and create a hook. Get a list of inactive or orphan owners from your business and begin to send a three-stage mailing sequence trying to get them back into the fold.
When you create a river of leads, your pipeline of sales never dries up.