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Five Rock-Star Ways to Brand Your Dealer's Internet Sales Department

Do you brand your Internet sales department so that every customer feels compelled to ask for you when they arrive at your dealer?


There's nothing more frustrating then looking across the showroom floor only to see YOUR customer sitting at another sales persons desk signing the paperwork for their new vehicle. This is the same customer you had been corresponding via email and phone over the last several days. Why are they buying from that guy? Why didn’t they ask for you? This happens every day, and many times results into a heated conversation between the salesperson, sales manager and the Internet sales department.

Walk the higher road and let the sales floor have the deal. Take responsibility for the customer not asking for you, and instead find ways of branding yourself so when one of your next potential customers arrives at the dealer, they want nothing more than to work with you and your the Internet sales department. Here are five proven ways that are quick, easy and will help brand your Internet sales department like no other:

1. Sharpen your Image with Great Photos

Potential customers are initially on your site for one reason: Inventory. When the customer finds the vehicle they are looking for, the first thing they gravitate to are the photos. Use this opportunity to grab their attention and start branding your department.

Slide a photo of your Internet sales team members in the line of vehicle photos between the exterior and interior shots. Be sure your team photo radiates professionalism while also portraying that you’re easy-going and fun to work with. Don’t forget your glamour smile on the day of the photo shoot.

2. Leverage the Dealer-Rating Websites

A strong WBFM (“Why Buy From Me”) message can give you the competitive edge. Your customers love you — you hear it all the time about how great of an experience they had. Why not get them to share their positive experience for everyone else to read?

Condition yourself to ask every one of your customers to share their experience on one or several of the consumer or dealer-rating Web sites, such as dealerrater.com and insiderpages.com. As you build enough positive customer comments, you will now have a tremendously strong WBFM message that you can talk up to all of your potential customers.

3. Be Fearless and Build Transparency With Video

Video is yet another way of gaining the competitive edge, since most people shy away from the camera. Nothing builds transparency quicker then a few short videos of you and your team. Commit to filming several videos that distinguish the difference between you and the competition. Let your customers know you and your team are the solution to their vehicle-buying needs. Consumers are looking for the right car, just as they’re looking for the right dealer and the right person with whom to do business.

Video is easier then ever. You can certainly go high-end, but a simple Flip video recorder from your local electronic store will do the trick. Check out videospin. com for free and easy-to-use video editing software that works great with the Flip camera.

Take your filming to next level and get your positive customer testimonials on video, as well.

4. Master your “About Us” Page

What is the real value of your dealers “About Us” page anyways?

When a customer clicks on your “About Us” page, they are looking for a reason to do business with your dealership. For lazy reasons, most dealers ignore this page or use the default text provided by the Web site vendor.

Take advantage of this page and brand your Internet sales department to another level while cementing a relationship between you and your potential customer. Let customers see a more human side of your dealership. Remember, just because the page is labeled “About Us” doesn’t mean you get to talk the “Me, Me, Me” message. The key to great marketing is not what you say about yourself, but what your customers say about you. This is a great place to display those customer testimonial videos.

5. Don’t Forget Your Sensational Signature

This might seem like a no-brainer, but believe me, many sales people overlook this effective element for branding themselves. Every e-mail you send is yet another opportunity to brand yourself and your Internet sales department. Before you hit “send” one more time, make sure your signature line says all it needs to about you and your Internet sales department. Your signature line should include your name, job title, the name of your dealership, your direct phone line along with your cell phone number and your Web site URL. These are, of course, the obvious elements — but why not take it a mstep further? Include a photo of yourself, a dynamic tag line and/or a P.S. note linking the customer to your consumer ratings profile page or your new “About Us” page.

Many Internet sales managers are left to believe that you need special “Internet pricing,” a “Benefits Package” or a “Free Give Away” in order to get the customer to ask for you. Instead, sell something larger than the price of your vehicle. Sell your brand, sell your image and sell your customer what they are truly looking for. Be the rock star you are — take full ownership of your Internet sales department and find every opportunity to brand it to the max.

Follow DealerRefresh on Twitter or visit the new DealerRefresh.com

Ralph, sorry I don't get to post more in the site. Thanks for a great resource!!

Don't be laughing at my wannabe a Rockstar photo!

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Comment by Tim Jennings on November 15, 2008 at 4:13pm
Thanks Matt

Your right Stan

simple is better
Comment by Matt Watson on November 15, 2008 at 7:04am
Tim you could do it a couple different ways.

If your CRM supports it, like VinSolutions does, you could just upload the video to the CRM and point and click insert it in to an email. What really happens is it insert a picture in to the email and a link to the video.

So, if your CRM can't natively simplify this for you, you can do it your self by grabbing a picture of the first frame of the video and putting that in your email manually and then linking the video to somewhere that will host it for, you like YouTube.

From our software it would look something like this in the email and if you clicked on it, it would open the video in a new window and play it.

Comment by Tim Jennings on November 15, 2008 at 6:51am
Stan Is how do you put a video in email. Dose the crm have to be set up to do that?
Comment by Matt Watson on November 15, 2008 at 6:36am
Stan, along that idea.. why not record a video introduction and send that to your customer from your CRM automatically?
Comment by Matt Watson on November 11, 2008 at 6:06pm
Great suggestions!
Comment by Bryan Armstrong on November 11, 2008 at 3:02pm
Great info, thanks as always!
Comment by Tim Jennings on November 11, 2008 at 1:52pm
great stuff!

Who Is The real Digital God?
Comment by Rob Melone on November 1, 2008 at 2:05pm
Great ideas Jeff. This shows how we can do some "Little Things" that don't cost us any money but can have a "Big Impact" on our sales. I agree with Stanley that we are missing the boat!
Comment by Jeff Kershner on November 1, 2008 at 1:46pm
Thanks Ralph. I'll be attending the KBB brunch. See you there.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 1, 2008 at 1:43pm
Jeff,

Thanks for the great contribution! I think we all need to be reminded of the things we can do to sell more cars without spending more money.

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