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  • Sean Cassy

The 3 Mindset Shifts Required To Build Your Automotive Customer Acquisition Machine - The First Ment

Learn how to build a machine that will predictably and consistently turn total strangers into paying customers and raving fans

Today, I want to provide you with a simple system that will allow you to predictably and consistently turn total strangers into paying customers, like clockworks, 24/7, every week, and every month throughout the year; so you can gradually sell as many more cars as you want, without limits.

A Predictable and Consistent System

The two keywords here are consistently and predictably. Meaning the system will work all the time, invariably; and it will behave in a way that you can expect the results, without fail.

This system will work independently of your manufacturer's incentives if you’re a new car dealer or the inventory you have available on the ground if you’re an independent pre-owned dealer.

Think about the system, once in place, as a faucet you will be able to turn on gradually to increase the number of prospects you run through and the number of deals you make at the end.

I call the system the Customer Acquisition Formula; and over the next few weeks, I will be walking you through the different components of the system so you can start implementing it right after the training and build your own customer acquisition “machine” to sell more cars.

I’ll be honest, the Customer Acquisition Formula didn’t appear in my mind after an “a-ha” moment as a gift for all my hard work.

That would be a beautiful story for a movie, but it didn’t happen that way.

The Origin Story of The Customer Acquisition Formula

No, just like you, I was frustrated with the lack of extraordinary results stemming from all my efforts. Every day I would spend 14-16 hours in the office chasing the latest “thing” in the hope one of them would be a game-changer for the dealers and automotive professionals my company seek to serve.

I was plagued with the shiny object syndrome, pulled in too many directions, spread way too thin, trying to do everything, and tired of making tiny one-millimetre progress in a million direction without any chance of making any sizable breakthrough for myself and the dealerships that look to me for help.

I’ll be the first to admit it. These past few years felt like I was chasing unicorns!

Facebook Likes. Videos. No, “live” videos. Podcasts. Instagram. Stories. IGTV. Organic. Paid Ads. Custom Audiences. SEO. SEM. Blogs. Domain Authority. Inbound Links. Geo-Fencing. Retargeting. Email. SMS. Ringless voicemails. Direct Mail. QR-Codes. Content Curation.

I don’t know about you, but this has left me more often than not paralysed with overwhelm, confused, or chasing the next big thing in the hope it might provide me with a silver bullet that would fix all my customer acquisition problems.

Sounds familiar?

The 3 Mental Shift Required To Build Your Own Customer Acquisition Machine

As the co-founder of Turbo Marketing Solutions, I have a responsibility to hundreds of dealers of all brands who trust me every month to help them generate more leads from vehicle shoppers, plus over 20,000 thousands dealers and automotive professionals who follow me on social media in the hope of finding the key to their customer acquisition issues.

Imagine the pressure of having hundreds of dealers counting on you for sales, thousands of automotive professionals counting on you for answers, and having your life, your income, your business and your future hinge on your ability to find a system to turn strangers into paying customers consistently.

As you can see, I had all the required motivation to come up with a solution; and I did. From the insane pressure to find an answer, I was finally able to create the Customer Acquisition Formula.

But it didn’t come out of hard work. It came when I was able to make three mental shifts.

In this three-part series, I would like to share these three mental shifts:

  1. The First Mental Shift – Stop Thinking Like A Car Person

  2. The Second Mental Shift – Stop Chasing Silver Bullets

  3. The Third Mental Shift – Systems Thinking

Without making these shifts, it will be extremely difficult to embrace the new mindset required to build your customer acquisition machine.

In this post, I want to review with you the first one.

The First Mental Shift – Stop Thinking Like A Car Person

The first mental shift required to help you build your customer acquisition system is to step away from your automotive ivory tower and get in the shoes of the customers you’re trying to attract.

In other words, the system shouldn’t be built around you, your reality and your needs; but around the customer's desires, and the way they want to buy a car.

In his book Perfect Dealership, Max Zanan said it best. (I’m paraphrasing) “To win in today’s economy, we need to give customers all the tools they need to shop for their next vehicle the, way they want to do it, and make sure everything at the dealership supports that process.”

That means everything within your customer acquisition system should be designed around the goal of providing the ultimate customer experience.

An Obsession With The Customer Experience

Look, Jeff Bezos has been preaching this shift in mindset for more than two decades and was able to build the largest company in the world and become the richest man on the planet using the customer-centric obsession as the foundation for his success.

What does this mean practically? Let me give you a few examples of the changes in thinking this shift requires:

Most people don’t want to buy a vehicle; they need to solve a transportation problem. Let that sink for a second. If this concept doesn’t fire you up on all cylinders, (PUN intended) let me give you an analogy. People don’t want to buy a lawnmower; they want a nicely cut grass.

People don’t want things; they want the practical and emotional benefits they get from acquiring them. So don’t build a customer acquisition system based on advertising the prices and incentives of your vehicle. Help people solve their automotive problem. That notion should be at the heart of all your communication efforts.

Prospects Don’t Live With Your 30-Day Cycle Mindset

Here’s another one: Customers don’t think from the perspective of a 30-day cycle as new car dealers do because of the reporting required by OEMs. When they start shopping for a car, they don’t “need” to complete the process by month-end.

Building 30-90 day campaigns and funnels based on your manufacturer's incentives and throwing everything away once the incentives are gone is a crazy futile pursuit. First, there’s no way you can create the ideal content, launch it, measure conversions throughout the funnel, and optimise your ads and copy to perfection in 30 days.

It can take months to create the ultimate funnel and tweak it to perfection. And once you get a funnel to produce at that level of performance; you want to milk it for years, not a few weeks.

If you step away from the car person mindset, you’ll find the freedom to embrace the long term perspective to build a permanent customer acquisition system.

Don’t Make The Customer Experience Better – Reinvent it!

Here’s another critical one: Most people abhor the dealership experience. In a survey done by AutoTrader, only 17 out of 4000 people interviewed said they enjoyed the dealership sales process. That’s less than 1%.

My advice: Don’t try to build your system around the idea of “improving” your current dealership experience. Reinvent it. Don’t be scared to start from scratch.

Like I mentioned before, take your car person hat off and get in the shoes of the customers you want to attract.

Dan Kennedy, in his book No B.S. Direct Marketing, said: “When you got into whatever business you’re in, you probably looked around at what everybody else in the business was doing and copied it. Gradually, you’re tried to do it better, but not radically different, just better. So you have everybody in an industry standing in a circle looking inward at each other, ignoring anyone and anything outside the circle. It’s incestuous, and it works just like real generational incest: Everybody slowly gets dumber and dumber and dumber.”

For those of you who don’t know who Dan Kenedy is, suffice to say he is a direct-marketing and copywriting legend whose marketing helped sell billions of dollars of goods and services. The book goes on to explain that salvation comes by turning around and looking outside of the circle for answers.

Doesn’t that quote precisely describe exactly what every “car person” is trying to do in the automotive world, which is to try to do things better than our competitors and peers in our performance groups? Nobody is doing things differently, just slightly better. So nobody is experiencing drastically different results, just slight improvements.

Turning Things Upside Down and Inside Up For 900% More Reach

Let me give you an example of how this one single shift in mindset revolutionised my own business and how reversing what you’ve been doing it, stepping away from the “car person” thinking, turning it on its head, upside down, and inside up, to see if there’s an opportunity you had been blind to, can help you sell more cars.

Here It is (but warning, this might shock you):

While every manufacturer, portal, publication, automotive marketing company and the thousands of new and used car dealers in North America are all advertising to the same 7-9% of the population in the market for a vehicle. I like to target people who are NOT in the market for a vehicle.

Think about it. Everybody is fighting for the attention of a small percentage of the pie driving the prices of traditional ads and pay-per-clicks up, while the other 91% of the population is up for grabs.

In Dan Kennedy’s words: Every dealer is looking inside the circle at the 7-9% of vehicle shoppers in the market for a vehicle, trying to be slightly better than the others at capturing their share of the business. While I am looking outside the circle at the 91% of vehicle owners who would change their vehicle but don’t think they can.

This one shift in mindset alone has increased by 900% the size of the pie I can market to, and I am alone talking to these prospects!

Now you might be listening to this and thinking, well if non-intenders are not in the market for a vehicle, why would I try to sell them a car? And you would be right in just about any other industry. If somebody bought a hot tub in the past 12 months, you probably have very little chances to sell him or her a new one; but the car business is very different.

You see, the car business is the most beautiful business in the world because everybody would change their vehicle today for something bigger, better, faster, more fuel-efficient, with more cargo space, or more technology; they just don’t know they can.

What’s keeping prospects thinking they can’t change their vehicle is their misperception of one or more of these five friction points: PRICE, PAYMENT, CASH REQUIRED, CREDIT, and TRADE VALUE.

Non-intenders don’t believe it’s the best time to get the best price. They don’t believe the payment will fit in their budget. They believe too much cash will be required to complete the transaction. They don’t know if they will qualify for credit, and they don’t know if they will get enough for their trade.

But if you can create content that changes non-intenders beliefs regarding these five misperceptions, you will instantly move them into the market as hot buyers, and your dealership will get the first kick at the can.

Can you see now how making this one shift in your mindset, stop thinking like a car person, going in a different, and start focusing your dealership’s efforts on the 91% of non-intenders could dramatically improve your success at automotive conquest?

Can you see how jumping in a blue ocean, full of fish and with little competition can give your dealership an edge over fighting in the red and bloody ocean with all your competitors fighting for the same small 7-9% of people in the market?

That’s the benefit of making the first mental shift.

Call To Action

I decided to create a program where you now have the ability to work with my team and me to build your own customer acquisition machine; one that will predictably and consistently turn total strangers into paying customers and raving fans.

Imagine having not only the blueprint for building your machine, but access to in-depth knowledge about every stages, access to the same technology I use, access to the same copywriters to write your scripts, access to the same video editors to produce your content, and access to the same toolbox of tactics to experiment within your system.

Imagine having access to like-minded individuals from the car business, who are also building and tweaking their own customer acquisition machine. Imagine being able to ask them questions, and compare your metrics with theirs so you can see if and where there is room for improvements.

No more guessing, no more trying to figure it out, but only black and white answers for every question you might have while putting your customer acquisition machine and tweaking it to perfection.

If you would like to have a conversation with me to see if this program might be something you would like to explore and if you would be a good fit for the program, I invite you to schedule a strategy call using this link:


Sean Cassy is the Digital Marketing Specialist and Co-Owner of Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact him by email here or reach him by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office

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