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Category Archive: Marketing

Jody DeVere

Surprising Facts About Selling Luxury Vehicles to Women

Young Woman on Phone

Luxury car dealers, do you know your audience? If you’re like most that I’ve spoken to, you may be selling cars with the wool over your eyes, assuming that the affluent male is your crème de la crème, and some wealthy widows, female executives, and women entrepreneurs rounds out your market. But a recent study seems to show that just isn’t the case, and as the CEO of AskPatty.com, a website dedicated to providing automotive resources to women and helping auto dealers like yourself attract and retain more women customers, it surprised me, too!

The Shullman Luxury, Affluence and Wealth Pulse, Autumn 2014, has revealed some very intriguing findings on who is actually buying in the luxury market. First of all, it’s not all affluent people. In fact, 61% of buyers with a household income of $250,000 or more don’t own a luxury car! Interestingly, it seems that the Millennial generation of women are driving more luxury vehicles than one might assume. While most of us are targeting the older crowd, it seems that millennials are more interested in a luxury lifestyle than boomers or generation X members!

According to the study:

“The $75,000-249,999 affluent segment is the primary buyer of all the luxuries consumer spending , including luxury vehicles. The second-largest buying segment for all luxuries was mass-market America (those with less than $75,000 in household income). The very high-income buyers (those with $250,000+ incomes), although fewer in number, typically spend the most on average for each luxury bought and tend to buy more luxuries per adult than the other two income segment. … The number one luxury buying generation today, according to this survey, is the Millennial generation (18-34 years of age in 2014) who constitute 45% of luxury buyers.”

So, let’s take a moment to consider our target – the new target: the millennial woman!

Facts About the 18-34 Segment of Women Today

So, if we’re going to be selling to millennial women, we need to understand how they operate. They’re not baby boomers, and they’re not Generation X, so those approaches are going to ring false with this group. It’s also worth noting that in my experience at least, these are women who are actively working in advertising much of the time, so the trite marketing methods are going to fall flat. They know all those tricks!

Today’s millennial women are a technologically connected, diverse, and educated. They prefer the speed and convenience of smart phones and email to telephone conversations or walk-in business. In terms of work, they tend to have more job market equality than previous generations, and are earning four year degrees at a higher rate than male counterparts. This higher income translates to higher overall household income for their families, and it also means a new kind of family – one where the mother is the sole breadwinner.

Millennial women share some things in common with boomers and Gen-X-ers. They are also brand influencers who quick to share their opinions with friends, family and their online communities. A majority of social media outlets are predominantly female users, and they use them to speak their minds! Millennial women want to be included in the conversation, rather than being told what to do or what to purchase. They value inspirational messages, important causes, and most of all, they support brands who support them.

Marketing to the Meme Generation

When it comes to advertising to millennials, remember that this is the generation of the “meme.” That means that iconic, engaging visual marketing plays an important role in what resonates with them. Don’t shy away from humor, and focus on making your messaging instantly accessible and simple. Ever looked at Pinterest? It’s just a wall of photos, but to the millennial women, it’s a wall of ideas, conversations, and opportunities to do something amazing. Consider this: 58% look to Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration for everything from meals to makeup to home décor. Most of all, these women are “social shoppers,” social media users who value the opinions of their social media peers more than anonymous reviews or snappy slogans.

Cause-related marketing also works with millennial women, as long as you take care to ensure that your cause means something. They’re quick to spot practices like “pink-washing” (that is, coloring a product pink for breast cancer awareness month but not actually providing any meaningful support for the cause), so choose your charities wisely and remember that transparency is key! When you commit to a cause, it should embrace your entire company. For example, consider TOMS Shoes. Their message is clear, simple, cause-driven, and instantly accessible: for every pair of TOMS Shoes you buy, they will donate a pair to a child in need. This clear, concise message, coupled with transparency and accountability, has made the company absolutely huge with millennial women. To date, they have provided shoes to over 10 million children.

So let me ask you again, luxury car dealers: do you know your audience? Are you shifting your practices away from the older executives and widows to encompass the generation of Pinterest projects and Tumblr blogs? If you’re not approaching your marketing plans with the goal of making instant accessibility the core of your brand, then you could be missing out on the number one buying segment of luxury vehicles today.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/08/marketing-to-the-meme-generation-surprising-facts-about-selling-luxury-vehicles-to-women/

Laura Madison

A Personal Brand: Why Automotive Salespeople Should Go For It

Personal Brand

A personal brand is an incredibly powerful tool for salespeople to increase visibility with prospective clients and increase sales, so why aren’t more salespeople taking action? Perhaps because automotive salespeople do not realize how creating and maximizing a personal brand can solve two important challenges they face. Here are two problems having a strong personal brand can solve:

Challenge #1 – Leads

A common complaint among car salespeople is there are too few leads to keep them busy. A number of factors can be blamed for this complaint; slow phone traffic, a quiet season, or minimal walk-in showroom traffic.

How a personal brand can solve this challenge:

A personal brand is an opportunity for salespeople to come out of obscurity. Salespeople can use social media sites like Facebook and YouTube to promote themselves and their role selling cars to begin to gain local visibility. Participating on social platforms allows salespeople to connect with prospective customers and ultimately motivate them through the front door. Social media is also a phenomenal way for salespeople to build and maintain relationships with previous customers, so they’ll never forget who to refer and work with on the next purchase.

Challenge #2 – Differentiation

Differentiation may be the largest problem a salesperson faces. Whether the challenge is an inability to differentiate their Toyota store from the one down the street, or the Toyota Camry from the Honda, or differentiate themselves from other salespeople on staff, differentiation is an enormous salesman struggle.

How a personal brand can solve this challenge:

By creating and using a personal brand salespeople are building value in themselves. They are introducing themselves to prospective buyers and utilizing a platform to speak with customers genuinely, on a human-to-human level. An opportunity for an automotive salesperson to speak with prospects about what differentiates himself, his store, and the product is invaluable.

A personal brand puts a salesperson’s face in front of a prospect and begins building trust and relationship. By the time that customer comes into the dealership, he will know how to ask for and recognize his automotive professional and online connection. Creating a quick video, for example, to follow up an incoming internet lead can be an extremely powerful differentiator. If the customer submitted leads to five stores, the salesperson maximizing personal branding will likely be the only who has used something like video to communicate, and begin to build trust with, this customer. Building this type of value can not only earn a sale, but also make a customer fiercely loyal in the future.

In summary, a personal brand can help salespeople create a pipeline outside the walls of the dealership and build value in themselves, their dealership, and their product. That should be enough motivation to begin encouraging salespeople to create a strong personal brand on social media, so get to it!

UV Training

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/07/a-personal-brand-why-automotive-salespeople-should-go-for-it/

Laura Madison

Humanize Your Online Presence

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The use of social media is becoming mandatory for dealerships. Prospective clients are looking for local dealers’ Facebook pages; they’re searching YouTube for product comparisons and even asking friends across social platforms for recommendations. The problem in the automotive world is: the vast majority of dealerships and individual salespeople are using social incorrectly. Simply being active on a platform does not mean that platform is being effectively used. The key to an effective social media presence is creating human connection.

To illustrate the importance of human connection, have a look at how people in Japan buy and sell cars. Japanese salespeople go door-to-door trying to sell vehicles, rather than waiting at the dealership for the next ‘up’.  Once they find a prospective buyer, face-to-face meetings continue in their home with few Japanese car buyers ever even setting foot in a showroom. Paperwork is drawn up and signed in clients’ living rooms. When the sale is complete, a relationship has been formed that will last far beyond the delivery of the new vehicle; salespeople maintain constant contact with sold clients by calling, writing handwritten cards, even taking their clients to dinner.

What this demonstrates, I believe, and what the Japanese have remembered and we have forgotten is that commerce has always been personal. It has always been about people doing business with other people. This is where we have run into trouble in the digital world. We spend so much money on well-organized websites and so much time attempting to sell using social media but what we’re missing is connection. We’re missing the most critical element of relationships.

Consider for a moment what keeps a customer loyal, it’s not an oil change punch card or a fancy website; it’s relationship. It’s human-to-human connection.

Real connection is key to winning business.

There is some science behind the power of human connection in persuasion. Humans are born with a special part of the brain whose sole purpose is to recognize faces.  It is called the fusiform area and is located near the brain’s emotional center. The fusiform area makes us hard wired to use the human face as a centralized point for information and believability. So, in the case of faces: seeing is believing. In other words, an image of a salesperson’s face posted on social media is infinitely more powerful than a stock image of a new truck.

Fewer people are setting foot in dealership showrooms in 2015 than ever before, which provides a bit of a disadvantage in trying to create relationships. Social media, however, can fill this void by giving us a way to still create human-to-human connection with potential clients who already do all their research and shopping online.

Use this information to begin to dominate with a social media presence. Before your next social media post, consider human connection. Instead of touting an upcoming sale or a low, incentivized lease payment, introduce your followers to one of your salespeople. Keep personal relationships and human connection in mind with your dealership’s social presence—and always remember the power of the face.


Want to learn more from Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions?

We’re hosting Management by Fire in August. Watch this video or call 866.756.2620 for details.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/06/humanize-your-online-presence/

Laura Madison

4 Reasons Why Video is Your Fiercest Weapon

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Today, we can find social media participation in nearly every corner of the automotive industry; dealerships are active on Facebook, automakers are sharing images on Instagram, even salespeople have joined the movement tweeting and posting trying to win more business. It seems to be clear: social is not optional. However, even with all this progression in the social realm, the automotive industry is still missing one key component in social presence: video. Video has the most incredible opportunity for visibility, creating connection and building trust, but it remains the least utilized medium by our industry.

Think about yourself for a moment. How many videos have you watched this week alone? Chances are, at least a couple. Have you seen the video of the Nascar driver dressing in disguise and scaring the used car salesman on a test drive? Video is a powerful medium that people simply enjoy engaging with and sharing. For these reasons, video has the potential to become your fiercest marketing weapon, creating visibility and leads for your dealership. To be successful on social you must work video into your master (marketing) plan.

So why is video your fiercest weapon?

1) Our customers prefer it. IT’S EXCITING!! It’s visually stimulating and interesting. Video is engaging and easy to tune into. Our brain also processes video far better than audio alone or simple text. People remember 50% of what they watch compared to only 10% of what they read.

2) Video gives you the opportunity to communicate your message clearly. The visual element of video allows you to communicate non-verbally with things like facial expressions and tone. It was Tom Hopkins who said, “selling is the transfer of enthusiasm supported by conviction.” Video is the perfect medium to transfer enthusiasm with so many verbal and non-verbal elements at work: tone, body language, facial expression, and volume. Combine this clear and effective communication with how much people like to consume video, and you have pure marketing gold.

3) The Internet’s heavy players recognize the importance of video and favor it as a type of content. YouTube has Google behind it, making it an extremely strong tool for organic search engine optimization. This will aid in appearing towards the top of any relevant automotive keyword search in your area. Another heavy player in the social world, Facebook, favors video over other types of posts meaning a video uploaded straight into Facebook will be more visible to your audience than a simple text or picture post. More visibility allows you to make more impressions and connections on this social giant.

4) Video is your fiercest weapon also because video is do-able. It’s more do-able than you think. We don’t need fancy or expensive production with commercial quality. We need to create genuine connection and that can absolutely be accomplished quite simply using the camera on your smartphone. There’s a simple app called the YouTube Capture app that will allow you to film video, move clips around, edit out the beginning where you set the camera on the dash and the end where you hit the button to stop recording, and upload it straight to YouTube with a title, keywords, and a description. If you can use e-mail, you’ll be able to use this free app to create simple videos. Apps like this and simple tools like a smartphone make video absolutely do-able.

So, in review: consumers love watching videos, video allows you to communicate a message clearly, there are huge visibility advantages to video, and creating a video even off a cellphone is simple and do-able. You can use simple video to connect, differentiate your dealership, build relationships with clients, and win more business. Video is your fiercest weapon. Now get started.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/06/4-reasons-why-video-is-your-fiercest-weapon/

Ali Mendiola

40 Percent or More of Your Website Traffic Comes from Mobile. Are You Ready?

mobilesite

You build a website thinking that customers will take the time to go to a computer and do their research. After all, they’re going to spend thousands of dollars on a new or pre-owned vehicle, so you want the experience they have on your website to be scalable, colorful and rich in content and tools.

And you’d be right. Your website must offer lots of brilliant content in a design that makes your cars shine, and with digital retailing tools you must connect the online world with your in-store shopping experience. Your website must be a digital conversion machine.

There’s only one catch: That picture is changing, and fast. Today, according to comScore and Mobile Metrix, around 80 percent of people in the U.S. own smartphones. So when it comes to car shoppers, it makes sense that many are actually using a smartphone, or tablet, to visit your site, search inventory and conduct those all-important first purchase steps. In fact, according to traffic on the Dealer.com network, more than 40 percent of visits to dealership websites come from mobile devices.

That’s four out of ten potential buyers looking at your inventory on a screen that could be as small as a business card.

That’s not a trend. It’s a fact. Mobile shopping behavior will and is continuing to gain momentum, to the point that your sales and marketing solution must accommodate the differences. Check out this interesting article from Dealer.com on the most important differences between Responsive, Adaptive and Seamless mobile design. Part of that design approach must also include retail tools that help ease the process of conversion from shopper to buyer.

It’s not enough to have a search-and-user friendly mobile experience; the same digital steps that dealers count on to help speed car buyers through the initial purchase steps of a website should do the same on the mobile equivalent. From searching inventory to calculating payment, checking realistic finance offers and trade-in values, these types of efficient digital tools – when designed correctly – are more valuable because they’re available when and how consumers want to shop, and when they want to buy. That sort of on-demand and mobile-first approach to digital retail is a significant difference maker.

It’s critical that dealers provide consistency across their sites and apps, no matter what device is being used to access the information. That’s not only about the look, feel, and information displayed on a site, but also when it comes to providing an online shopping environment. Too often, in fact, talk of a mobile experience ends at the research phase when what dealers need is a complete package which includes mobile and tablet-ready Digital Retailing tools. From trade-in to finance, those tools empower shoppers to find the perfect vehicle, serve up pricing and payment solutions in line with your dealership criteria, and even provide trade-in offers based on your inventory needs.

The reason? Convenience amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. The reality is that people want to complete more of shopping transaction wherever and whenever they can – sitting in the carpool line before the school bell rings, between meetings, or waiting at the doctor’s office. Those spare 10 minutes are valuable opportunities to get shopping and research done via whichever type of device consumers wish to use. Dealers and their staff, as a result, have to be ready. Those that are ready will improve sales and the overall buyer’s experience.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/03/40-percent-or-more-of-your-website-traffic-comes-from-mobile-are-you-ready/

Jonathan Dawson

The Five Ingredients of a Personal Brand

Personal Brand

You should know by now that you need to brand yourself. (If not, then read my last article!) For a salesperson, branding simply means doing a few things to separate yourself from all the other sales people in your field, and even at your store. But how do you start developing a personal brand? There are five basic brand elements or “ingredients” you should consider implementing:

The first ingredient is a nickname.

I know we all like to think our name is memorable, but the sad truth is that people forget names all the time. Common names, unique names, short names, long names – Your customers WILL forget your name unless you give them something else to remember.

Consider using a nickname instead of your name. My student Nate Allen goes by the nickname of the “Official Singing Salesman.” As you’ve probably guessed, he likes music and enjoys performing custom made songs for his customers at the dealership. Just think about it. If someone told you to go in and ask for the Official Singing Salesman, how likely are you to forget it?

The second ingredient is a slogan.

A salesman in Atlanta uses the slogan “You will get the royal treatment.” The slogan goes with his nickname, ”King Stinson.” Imagine customers telling their friends, “Go see King Stinson and he will give you the royal treatment!” This is unique and is not something customers will easily forget.

The third ingredient is a logo or imagery.

Creating unique business cards, key chains, bracelets, or buttons that have your brand image on them is a fantastic way to become unforgettable. My student Monti Hansard uses pigs with purple wings as her brand image. She has them on her custom business cards, her personal vehicle, and on her desk. Everyone knows to come in and ask for the lady who loves pigs.

The fourth ingredient is having your own website.

For example, check out KevinTheJeepGuy.com. You’ll see that Kevin uses this website to share his story, customer testimonials, and contact information. Having your own personal website means you have a central place where customers can learn about you, your brand, and your product.

The fifth ingredient is color.

Bill Stout from Wichita uses gold and black as his brand colors. He’s a fan of the Wichita State University basketball team and uses their colors for his brand. He will only wear gold and black and uses these colors for his website and business cards. He calls his desk a “shrine to WSU.”

I know it’s overwhelming to figure out what your brand should be, but the key to developing a brand is to start small. Do not add all five ingredients at the same time. Instead, start with just one idea, such as a nickname. As you get comfortable with one ingredient, start adding more over time.

Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • Is there something interesting or unique about you that people tend to notice or comment on?
  • Which one of these five elements immediately resonated with you?
  • What would be a unique way for your customers to remember you?
  • What could you have fun with?

I believe that spending time and effort on developing a brand will produce better results than begging customers to buy from you.


Upcoming NCM Institute course: Principles of Service Management Mastery, October 28-29 in Kansas. City. Click the banner for details.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/10/the-five-ingredients-of-a-personal-brand/

Jonathan Dawson

Why Should You Brand Yourself?

branding

How memorable are you?

If you learn how to become unforgettable, there is no limit to your success as a salesperson. Branding is one way to make yourself unforgettable. When I bring up the topic of branding, some people ask, “Why do I have to brand myself? I’m not a business.”

Well, my friend, I have news for you that’s good and bad. YOU ARE A BUSINESS! The good news is that the sooner you embrace this, the more successful you’ll become. The bad news is that if you’re not branding yourself, you’re helping your competitors who are.

Have you had any of the following happen to you?

  • A customer came back to the store but didn’t remember your name and bought from another salesperson
  • You call to follow-up with a customer regarding a vehicle they looked at yesterday only to learn they bought from another store
  • You’ve sold about the same number of cars for months, even years

If any of these happened to you, you have a branding problem. Not a traffic problem, a management problem, a weather problem, or a location problem. YOU have a branding problem. Salespeople who have a personal brand do not worry about lot traffic, bad weather, or what the competition is doing.

Personal branding is not a complicated concept. For a salesperson, branding simply means you’re doing things to differentiate yourself from all the other sales people in your field and even at your store. You’re actively doing things to become unforgettable. You’re actively creating a unique experience for the customer.

To put it another way, branding is about getting the customer to remember who you are, what you do, and how you made them feel.

A personal brand will do many things for you:

  1.  Consistency – A good brand will deliver your message consistently. Sales people who don’t deliver a consistent message in their marketplace don’t have a solid brand.
  2.  Uniqueness – A good brand will also confirm your uniqueness in the marketplace. If your brand doesn’t make you stand out, it’s not a very good brand.
  3. Connection – A good brand will help you connect with your target prospects personally. You want to build a brand that is attractive to some people and not particularly attractive to others. You want your brand to be something that people either really like or don’t like. Your brand will attract a certain group or demographic of people and convert them to fans.
  4.  Motivation – Another thing a good brand will achieve is it will motivate lookers and shoppers to consider you seriously. The stronger your brand is, the more it will separate you from all the other sales people a looker may have talked to in a day and will motivate them to do business with you.
  5. Loyalty – A strong brand will also foster loyalty. People like to go for something they’re familiar with, so the stronger your brand is within your customer base and within your community, the more loyal people will become to you.
  6. Better choice – Finally, a strong brand will separate you as the better choice. The stronger your brand is, the more distinct and memorable you will be compared to all the other sales people offering similar products.

Did you know that most businesses fail within the first five years of opening up? Most businesses also do not invest in developing a brand. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. As a salesperson, you ARE a business. If you want to stay in business tomorrow, you must develop a brand TODAY.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/07/why-should-you-brand-yourself/

Jody DeVere

Marketing to Women in the Dealer World: She Loves Her Mobile Device

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Diamonds may have been a girl’s best friend, but today’s women prefer ringtones to rings.

In a recent study, Time, Inc. and Nuance Digital Marketing discovered that women are increasingly attached to their mobile devices. In fact, the study called “Women + Mobile: The Unbreakable Bond,” found that 60% of women say their smartphone is the most important device they own, and 88% of women say their phones give them something to do during their “empty” time every day. What does that mean for you and your dealership? Well, if you’re not fully engaging the mobile space in your marketing to women efforts, you’re missing out.

Text Reminders and Alerts

If you’re not taking steps to go paperless at your dealership, you’re in danger of being left behind by dealers who are. Not only is paper becoming increasingly cost-prohibitive (if you don’t believe us, just take a look at how much you spend each year on printing alone), but women are very responsive to auto dealers who have green practices – and going paperless is a major step in that direction.

Using paperless agreements, email, web, and mobile advertising, online appointment scheduling and finance qualification, and even utilizing text messaging to keep in touch with your customers after the sale are great ways to make sure your dealership remains front-of-mind for your women customers.  Service reminders, 30k, 60k, and 90k maintenance notices, recall information and more can all be transmitted wirelessly straight to the conduit via which she gets all her other important updates: her mobile phone.

The Mobile Web

Of course, you also want to use the mobile space to reach women who aren’t already your customers, and the mobile web is where you do that.  Smartphone and tablet users are threatening to overtake the population of desktop PC users on the web, so if your dealership is still using a website designed for desktop viewing, it’s time to give that site a face-lift and retrofit to fit inside the mobile space. It’ll make your site cleaner, simpler, and easier to navigate from a smaller screen, with some added benefits on the back-end as well: mobile SEO.

Giving your website a mobile makeover is a great time to revisit your SEO practices, ensure your entire website is “crawlable,” that you’re still targeting the right keywords, and most importantly, that you’re capitalizing on SEO geared at the mobile user. Mobile searchers are on the go, which means she’s actively looking for a business like yours if they’re searching for a car dealer on her phone – so if you’re not taking steps to make sure she finds you first, you’re going to miss out on important sales opportunities.

The Pitfalls

When it comes to advertising on the web, mobile or otherwise, most women don’t mind ads as long as they can control the experience. Location-based offers are very effective right now, as 41% of women saying they prefer ads that are relevant to where they’re searching from. While 52% say they prefer ads that are relevant to what they’re currently doing on the web. And the number one negative? Intrusive ads – 91% of women say they hate ads that pop up, take over, or otherwise distract from her browsing experience, so stay away from that! Simply make yourself visible, mobile friendly, and allow your business to become part of her mobile web space, and when she finds herself ready to shop for a new car, she’ll find you!


Jody Devere is the CEO of AskPatty.com and a new guest contributor to the Up To Speed blog.  Through AskPatty.com, Jody provides automotive education to women consumers and certification and training for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women. She is also a featured subject matter expert on NCM OnDemand, NCM Associates’ new virtual training and communications platform.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/06/marketing-to-women-in-the-dealer-world-she-loves-her-mobile-device/

Russell Grant

Why Your Best Conquest Sale Isn’t a New Customer

magnetOver the past 20 years, one of the most common questions I get from dealers is: “What can you do to get me some conquest business?” My response is, “Why is that so important to you?” And they usually respond by saying they need new business to grow their business. Their statement is true, but that approach is also much more expensive per vehicle sold—and the grosses are usually lower. My point is that if a dealer just wants incremental business because they want to grow their business; they’re missing out by not focusing on customers who are lost or inactive.

The Sales Department sells the first car; the Service Department sells vehicles two through ten.

Your lost and inactive customers must become a vital part of any owner marketing strategy or customer retention plan. What is your dealership’s strategy and do you have a plan? Most dealerships have touch points with service customers while they are active, but not with lost customers. And if the dealers do reach out to lost customers, they use techniques similar to those for their active customers. The problem is, you can’t approach lost customers with the same plan you used when they were active customers and expect the same results.

There’s a reason customers are inactive or lost.

Most customers become inactive and defect at the point the warranty expires. They leave because, in most cases, the value proposition from an independent is more appealing to them. This is usually a perception issue, because quite often, dealers have very competitive pricing, are just as convenient, employ factory-trained technicians, and use genuine parts.

Do you have a value proposition?

Dealers need to address the value proposition with customers to make sure they understand the difference between what an independent offers and what the dealership offers. In order to do this, you need a marketing strategy that communicates this effectively using three important techniques:

  1. Identify the best customers to target. Defining an inactive customer will not be effective by just segmenting your data. You can’t just target customers who have not been to your dealership in 12 months. Every customer has different driving habits, so a customer who drives 7,500 miles per year may still be active, while a customer who drives 30,000 miles per year may have become inactive six months ago.
  2. Employ multi-channel marketing. The customers you’re targeting are important—so contact them in multiple ways. Consider social, email, mail, digital and mobile techniques with your offer.
  3. Provide multiple ways to respond. Your marketing strategy must make it easy to respond—building microsites for each customer is an excellent way to do this.

Make it an event.

After identifying which customers to target, invite them to a service clinic that includes a free inspection of their vehicle. The goal isn’t to just get the RO, but to keep the customer coming back. To do that, you need to sell your value proposition to the customer. And if you’re successful, then not only will they keep servicing, but they will buy their next vehicle from you. In fact, customers are six times more likely to replace their vehicle at the same dealership if they’re an active service customer. It’s why I say your best conquest sale isn’t a new customer, it’s the one you’ve already had and lost. And that’s why it’s so important you develop a multi-channel owner marketing strategy to win them back. service_mgmt

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/01/why-your-best-conquest-sale-isnt-a-new-customer/

Alan Ram

Email Causes Fights

emailBasic text email absolutely stinks for many of the applications we typically use it for in the automotive industry. There, I said it! Do I have your attention now?

There’s a reason I’m saying this and I think you’ll agree after hearing me out. The fact of the matter is, text communication causes fights. When is the last time you sent your wife, girlfriend, husband, or boyfriend a text message that was completely taken out of context? For me it’s daily, sometimes, even twice.

Typical text email does the same thing. When you study the way that we as humans communicate, there are three basic areas of communication: Text, which is written word and coincidentally what most e-mails are comprised of; tone and voice inflection, which is what you get when you kick it up to a phone call; and finally there are visual cues, which are our facial expressions and body language. Of all the ways we communicate, text is the most inefficient.

When we communicate via text we’re communicating with 7% efficiency in the way we as humans absorb information. Tone and voice inflection represent 38% communication efficiency, and visual cues and body language represent 55%. So while we think we’ve evolved, we’ve actually regressed dramatically in how we communicate.

Before every house had a computer and every third-grader had an iPhone, people would have to come in to dealerships to gather information. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather deal with somebody face-to-face than over the telephone or Internet. At that point we were actually communicating with people at 93% communication efficiency level (55% + 38%). Then at some point many years ago, telephone technology took over and evolved in such a way that customers started thinking, “We don’t need to go into the dealership, we’ll just call them.”

At this point in time our communication efficiency dropped from 93% to 38%. Then, one day we got really advanced and decided that 38% was too efficient and we started communicating through email. Which left many of you where you’re at today, a whopping 7% communication efficiency level.

Yeah, we’ve definitely come a long way in how we communicate, ALL in the wrong direction! So what’s the answer? How do we reverse the trend? You start using video email!

Don’t think about it, don’t wait to see what happens in five years, do it now! With technology today, it’s so easy to send video utilizing a technology like CoVideo, various cell phone or tablet applications, and whatever other hot device is being churned out today.

When a customer today sends an Internet inquiry to a dealership, here’s what they typically get:

“Dear sir or ma’am, thank you very much for your interest in the new Audi S-4. Your inquiry has been received. We are Northeastern West Virginia’s Audi leader and we look forward to earning your business. A representative will be contacting you between one and forty-eight hours from now. Sincerely, E-commerce Manager.”

I don’t know about you, but that does not speak to me on a personal level. Now, instead of what you just read, imagine that same customer getting a video from you personally, as well as the dealership you are representing. I’m just going to write out what I would say since this is an article, but you’ll get the point:

“Hello Dan! My name is Alan Ram and I’m the Internet Director here at ABC Nissan. First, I wanted to say thank you very much for your interest in the new Altima and for allowing me to assist you. There are a couple of variations in the Altima I would like to discuss with you and I have found that one quick phone call can replace seven or eight emails back and forth. I’ll be giving you a call within the next hour or you can contact me directly at 480-555-0100. I’ll look forward to talking to you shortly and thanks again!”

How much more impactful is that? You think you don’t have the time? Then you don’t have the time to sell cars! It takes about three minutes to film and send out a video e-mail. The difference in conversion rates between text email and video email is vast. Get five years ahead of the real world and at least ten years ahead of the automotive industry by embracing video email. Instead of the boring text e-mail responses that your dealership is currently sending out to customers, why not meet customers on a level that makes them feel more comfortable to do business with you.

Video email capabilities don’t just stop there; you can use it for appointment confirmation, getting service work approved, and hundreds of other applications. The possibilities are endless! So instead of letting your boring basic text emails cause fights, revolutionize your communication efficiency level by embracing the power of video e-mail!

byfire

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2013/12/email-causes-fights/

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