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Last week, the newly appointed host of “The Tonight Show” mentioned on the air that he was in the market for a new truck. Of course, manufacturers couldn’t resist the golden opportunity to try and convince the star to choose theirs.


Ford responded first urging Jimmy to check out the 2015 F-150, within minutes of his proclamation.

Chevrolet came in second, about 11 hours later, with their nudge towards a Silverado:

And while Dodge’s pitch came in last, the day after the show aired, they won the day when they parked a Ram Truck outside the “Tonight Show” studio and tweeted the following:

While this could be seen simply as an opportunistic moment for some free organic marketing on the “Tonight Show,” here are a few additional lessons that I think may get overlooked.


There’s certainly nothing wrong with being first. However, there is something to be said about the quality in which you communicate with your customers. Despite his television-star status, he’s still a potential customer. By actually taking the Ram truck to the studio for him to test drive, Chrysler gave him the opportunity to test-drive the vehicle rather than clicking on links and looking at online brochures. He did, in fact, acknowledge on-air that he knew the truck was out there and sent his MC out to test drive it. You can boil it down to a marketing gimmick. However, think how impressed your customers would be if you were willing to go out of your way for them when they least expect you to. This is all about providing an unforgettable customer experience. If nothing else, I guarantee that Jimmy Fallon gives the Dodge Ram a look when he’s ready to make his purchase.


Then there are the enterprising ones…


This salesperson at a Ford dealership in Regina decided that not only should Jimmy Fallon buy a Ford, but also that he should buy it from him! Take a look at his video:



I don’t know where Jimmy Fallon lives but this enterprising young salesperson took that extra step. There are a few people in our industry that make personalized videos for their customers. The salespeople that do use videos sell a lot of cars. Customers love that the salespeople took the time and energy to personalize their car shopping experience. It makes them feel special and helps build rapport faster. Videos are a wonderful tool in service too. They can be used to help explain needed repairs to the customer in a more visual way. It helps the customer better understand any service recommendations. As in sales, this quickly builds rapport and helps with credibility and trust.


It’s really easy to brush off as commonplace actions such as manufacturers tweeting to customers, making personalized videos for actors and other gestures. However, many think it’s cool. People write articles about it. It’s makes the news. We (the general public) expect things like this to be done for famous people. We don’t always expect it to be done for us, however.


Everything covered in this blog is replicable by any dealership in the country. In fact, the only expense involved is time. There are salespeople and service managers in dealerships doing these things right now. They are proactively reaching out to individuals; not just waiting for them to enter their in-box as a lead, or to walk onto the lot. These employees are leaving a digital footprint that future customers can follow right back to them.


If you don’t have time for your customers, why should they make time for you?

Views: 391

Tags: Chrysler, chevrolet, customer, dodge, experience, fallon, ford, jimmy, rapport, sales, More…show, tonight, video


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Comment by Joe Webb on March 13, 2014 at 8:37pm

You have to credit any organization (and especially sales professional) that jumps at the chance to go viral with their marketing efforts to sway a celebrity purchase.

Comment by Michael Bilson on March 13, 2014 at 8:12am

The Old.."What do I need to do to get you into this car TODAY"...has certainly changed over the last few years.  It's not really what we communicate...but how.  Awesome blog Ralph.

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