Sell More Cars At Your Dealership: A Simple 3-Step Roadmap To Double Your Monthly Sales in 63 days.
If you own, manage or work in the sales department of a dealership, you’re probably spending between 50-60 hours a week trying to sell some cars because your income is directly proportionate to the number of vehicles you or your team puts on the board.
That’s a huge chunk of your life every week!
Do you make the most of it? Are you selling enough cars to generate the revenue you need and live the life you want?
If you’re not satisfied with your current situation and your dealership or personal sales performance, I want to offer you a simple 3-step roadmap to help you double your monthly sales in the next 63 days.
Growing Your Sales Is Like Climbing Mount Everest
Everybody talks about increasing your car sales like it’s easy. It’s not. It’s simple, but not easy.
Think about the journey ahead like climbing Mount Everest.
You don’t just wake up one morning deciding to reach the top. You need to be prepared, have the right tools and equipment, have an experienced guide with a plan, and climb by stages so you can adapt at each level.
Using this climbing analogy, let’s lay out the roadmap you will need to double your automotive monthly sales in 63 days. First, we will establish our base camp, where we will get our mindset right for the journey ahead. We will then explore the three critical stages or “camps” you will need to ascent to before finally achieving your summit aspirations.
With the right components in place, you will confidently be able to reach for the top and enjoy one of life’s most rewarding experience!
Basecamp: Replacing A Losing Strategy For A Winning Tactic.
During a real mountain ascent, some time at base camp is required to help your body acclimate to the new altitude. Same goes for reaching new sales levels. Since we’re about to climb to levels you might not have been before; it’s also important that you prepare your mindset.
The thinking that got you where you are now is probably not the one that can get you where you haven’t been yet.
Let’s examine a few fundamentals.
It’s no secret that if you want to grow your sales, you’re going to need to talk to more prospects; or in other words, generate more leads. No wonder it’s the highest priority of most dealerships.
So the question is, who are the people you’re trying to have a conversation with so you can sell them a vehicle? If you don’t know who they are, you’re chance of striking a relevant conversation that will lead to a sale are slim to none.
So let’s lift the veil of mystery off these potential buyers, and let’s get a better understanding of who we’re dealing with here.
Statistically, people invest 14:44 hours over 15.7 weeks (for Baby Boomers) and 16.9 weeks (for Millennials) in the actual buying process conducting activities like researching car prices (71%), finding vehicles for sale (68%) comparing models (64%), and figuring out what their current vehicle is worth (63%).
According to a great article from V12 on how consumers shop for cars, here are the four basic stages of the customer journey and the timing for each specific milestones:
1-3 months before purchasing => Develop an initial list of vehicle brands
4-7 weeks before purchasing => Glean the shortlist
2-4 weeks before purchasing => Test drive vehicles
1-3 weeks before purchasing => Finalize vehicle choice
Keeping this information in mind, let me ask you a question:
If prospects have invested 16 weeks of their lives into researching their next vehicle, have already made a brand selection, have culled their shortlist to a few models, and are in the process of making test drives to finalise their vehicle choice; do you think that advertising rebates and payments on vehicles they are no longer considering can change their buying decision?
I hope you can see how futile this old-school strategy would be.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what most dealerships are doing to win sales at the bottom of the funnel.
From a long-term point of view, a better solution would be to have a quality automotive content marketing strategy to position yourself and your dealership as the automotive authority in your area so you can catch prospects much earlier in the shopping cycle before they develop their initial brand list.
But since this is a roadmap to double your monthly sales in 63 days, we’re not going to focus on long-term approaches and focus instead of a way to help you win vehicle shoppers in the final stages of their shopping process, even if you haven’t made the shortlist.
The way we will do this will be to focus our efforts on the one activity vehicle shoppers are conducting that has nothing to do with the models on their shortlist; which is figuring out what their current vehicle is worth – aka the trade-in value.
This tactic will allow you to talk to 63% of vehicle shoppers around your dealership regardless of the model they are about to buy.
This trade-in focused strategy will also allow you to appeal to the 90%+ of non-intenders nobody else is talking too.
Our time at base camp is now done. Let’s ascend to the first stage.
Camp #1: Giving Vehicle Shoppers A Reason To Connect With You or Your Dealership.
Now that the idea of advertising incentives and rebates to people who don’t care is out of the way; let’s make sure you are credibly approaching prospects with your ability to pay aggressively for trades.
Keep in mind that if you’re a Ford dealer, the “perception” in the marketplace is that you buy & sell Ford vehicles. If you’re a Toyota store, you buy & sell Toyota’s. If you’re a BMW dealership, you buy & sell beemers, and if you’re an independent pre-owned dealer in a specific niche, you buy and sell used cars for that niche.
I insisted on the word “perception” because, as insiders within the car business, we know that any dealer can use a plethora of auction services to buy & sell any make or model or buy trades from any customers.
Unfortunately, prospects don’t always connect the dots for us, and most vehicle shoppers will bring their trade to the store where they intend to buy their next vehicle or the one where they purchased it in the first place.
That’s the trend we’re trying to break.
To do that, we need to get prospects to associate you or your dealership as the trade-in centre in town.
The same way many dealers have built a separate credit brand to market their ability to get special finance customers approved, you need to build a trade-in brand to appeal to people who want to sell their trade so they can upgrade their transportation.
You can see an example of one of the trade-in brands we created for many of our dealers here.
Once your brand is developed with a nice logo and a great domain name, you want to create a powerful video that will help you communicate your ability to pay aggressively for trades of all makes or model, regardless of where prospects intend to buy their next vehicle.
Why video? Because using a video on your new brand’s micro-site will increase traffic by 55% and conversion will shoot up by 80%. With a well-articulated message, your video will do most of the heavy lifting to spread the opportunity.
All you need now to complete your initial setup is a lead capture form and a thank you page so you can track conversions. Keep the required fields on the form to a minimum and use a lead nurturing video on the thank you page to educate leads about the next steps required to get a trade appraisal
Make sure also to tell people in your lead nurturing video you won’t be giving “ballpark prices” over the phone, or you or your sales team will be fighting that objection on every single call when following up.
Once your trade-in micro-site is ready, you should email, text message and tell all your current customers about your new trade-in brand. You don’t want to go to market with your new offering without telling your existing customers, or they won’t be able to provide validation in the marketplace when conquest prospects ask them questions about your marketing.
Great News! Your time at camp #1 is now completed. If you've done your homework correctly, you’ve probably already sold an extra 12-15 units on top of your normal sales.
Now, let’s tell the rest of the world about your new trade-in brand and reach stage #2 of our ascent!
Camp #2: Dominate The Marketplace With YouTube in-Stream Ads
During this second stage of our climb, we will focus on reaching the vast majority of vehicle shoppers in your market at the lowest cost possible.
Once you launch your new trade-in brand, you will see a ton of other “mee-too” offers and people and dealerships trying to imitate your communication efforts. We want to make sure you are the Dominator, and they remain the Imitators.
To achieve this marketing domination, we will be using YouTube video ads.
As you’re most likely aware, online ad prices are auction based. The more people are ready to bid for certain keywords, placements or audiences; the more price goes up.
That’s why you’re probably paying between $5 to $20 per clicks for keywords on search campaigns, because every other manufacturer, dealer, portal, and automotive publication is bidding against you to win the auctions.
Stop the madness, save your hard earned money, and move your budget to YouTube video ads. You’ll be able to target in-market vehicle shoppers based on intent for pennies per views; literally
The reason why the ads are so cheap is simple. There is very little competition bidding against you.
Why? Probably because salespeople and dealerships are still intimidated by video production and find it easier to write a few lines of text for search ads.
Don’t fall in that costly trap.
Instead, take advantage of video as one of the most affordable advertising opportunity. The rewards are instantaneous. According to Google, “69% of people who used YouTube while buying a car were influenced by it – more than TV, newspaper, or magazines.”
That’s a statistic hard to ignore.
A quick tip when setting up your video campaign: don’t worry about in-display ads.
Just set up the in-stream version, the ones allowing people to skip the ad if not interested. This way, you pay only for people curious by your offer, while getting tons of free-views to help you brand your new trade-in opportunity for free!
Don’t limit views on your ads. I like to make sure every single person that Google has identified as a vehicle shopper around your dealership sees the video multiple times daily throughout the shopping process. This is a dirt-cheap way to keep your dealership’s ability to buy trades top-of-mind right until the moment of truth.
I also like to take 10% of the marketing budget I have for video views and use it to retarget viewers across the Web once they’ve watched the video. This will make sure your dealership is omnipresent everywhere in the digital life of vehicle shoppers.
This simple system alone will get the whole market to talk about your new trade-in brand. You should be feeling the traction big time. And your competitors will be scratching their heads trying to figure out how you do it.
Now is the time to ascend to the third and final stage before shooting for the top.
Camp #3: Automate The Prospecting of Leads From Facebook
If YouTube is the platform to get the market buzzing about your new trade-in brand at the lowest cost possible, Facebook is the place where you will capture leads and ring the bell with fresh sales.
People can say whatever they want about Facebook; it’s still an automotive marketer’s dream. Anybody telling you different is lying to your face.
So let’s leave the naysayers in the foothills and continue our ascent.
One important thing to keep in mind when creating ads for Facebook, or any social media channel, is that users are quite often very reluctant to click on ads that will take them out of the platform to visit an external Website. That’s probably why Facebook launched their Instant Experience ads.
To counter that behaviour, I personally like to use Messenger ads when advertising on Facebook. These ads, when clicked on, will launch the Facebook messaging app and allow you or your chatbot to engage in real-time with the prospect in a much more natural conversation, without taking people away from their community.
Instead of taking them out of Facebook, your communication will be directly in the message feed of the app with the conversation they are already having with friends and family.
Also, instead of trying to collect all the personal and trade-in information from prospects using the Web form on your micro-site, you will be able to collect the trade-in information through a series of short questions and Messenger will provide you with the contact information of the interested prospect.
How cool is that?
This connection with the potential buyers is even better than having the prospects phone or email because you are now connected through Messenger, and you can message them anytime just like you would text a friend through SMS from your mobile phone. Now or in the future!
Because it’s critical that you respond within seconds to inquiries, the most productive way I found to get Facebook and Messenger marketing to come together is to use a Chatbot. That’s the secret sauce.
The Chatbot will work for you 24/7 including holidays – which tend to be some of the most productive time for conquesting leads – and will respond to leads within seconds, never complain, and won’t need a demo vehicle!
You’ll be able to get it to work for approximately $50 to $100 a week in ad costs, and it will generate for you around 100 new leads from conquest vehicle shoppers every month.
At this point in your ascent, the whole town should be talking about your new brand. You are getting closer and closer to the summit, and you should be well underway to doubling your monthly sales.
It’s time to “go for the top” and grab every possible deal away from your competition with custom affinity audiences.
Shoot For The Summit: Target Your Competitor’s Website Traffic.
We’re at the end of our ascent. You are so close to the top. But it’s not time to stop.
We haven’t doubled our sales yet.
Your new trade-in brand is thriving. You’re talking to more people you can handle. You’re selling cars to people you would have never talked to before.
So why leave crumbs on the table for your competitors. Go for the clean sweep!
Ok. I agree. This final tactic might be a little too cutthroat for some, but if you’re going to establish yourself or your dealership as the trade-in authority in town, you shouldn’t leave any stone unturned.
It’s time to shoot for the summit and take advantage of custom affinity audiences.
This targeting method will allow you to provide to Google Ads (formerly Adwords) the list of your competitor’s Websites URL and start advertising to your competitor’s Website traffic and people that fit a similar data profile.