Lionel Richie crooned his way to success looking for, well, someone in his famous song 'Hello.' Just like his song, you message is looking for customers, however is your message getting lost in the message?
Every so often I meet a dealer or general manager that has decided that direct mail doesn’t work or their market is saturated. They went out and spent a ton of money on some direct mail event only to not have a customer come in from it and they become soured to direct mail for awhile. Although I agree that not every media is right for every dealership, it’s usually not the media that’s causing the bad results. It’s how it was used. Often, it can have something to do with the marketing message sent through the media. I will ask them to see the last few pieces they have run to see what could have caused the lack of response. Sure enough, 9 times out of ten, I spot mistakes in their message that they send out. Most of these mistakes revolve around them running “business card style ads.”
It goes something like this… here is our pretty logo, our name rank and serial number, some car specials and a basic call to action. That basically tells it’s reader, “Hey we are really great, come buy from us.”
The problem with this type of marketing message is that it does nothing to actually convince someone to buy from you right now. Let alone, convince them you are the best option to buy from all of the other available dealerships right down the street. There is no solid offer, enticing call to action, incentive or reason to buy from your company. There’s nothing to position or set your dealership apart from the competition. It also does nothing to get into the mind and emotions of a prospective customer.
If you want big results with your marketing and advertising, you need to think differently. I advise my dealer clients to think about their marketing this way: With any kind of advertising that you do, no matter whether it’s T.V., radio, direct mail, internet marketing or whatever, you must think of it like the message a salesman would say to a prospective customer. The information you put in your advertisements is the only information your prospective customers will see in your ads, therefore that’s all of the information that you are arming your salesman with. If all the information you provided to a salesman for prospective buyers was your name and contact information, how successful would THAT sales presentation be? They would quickly go broke, be poor and starving.
So what do you do?
Arm your salesman with as many tools and tactics as you can to help them sell to a prospective buyer. It takes a whole lot more than just a list car specials, a logo and your contact information to convince someone to leave their world and make a purchase from you. We are busy creatures where the Walking Dead is ready to watch on the DVR, the kids are pulling at their pant legs and they have soccer games to attend and your dealership is not on the top of their mindset at that very moment. So with every kind of marketing or advertisement that you do, think of them like your “salesman.” Ask yourself: “If I were to give the information in my ads to a salesman to sell with, would it be enough to get a purchase from a customer?
David M. Bustle