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Dealer Marketing Learning Center
Taking control at hello PDF Print E-mail

Customer on phoneI struggled for a long time on the phone with price and mileage objections, until I finally figured it out. One slight change in the pitch eliminated 95% of my issues with overcoming those objections. The solution was so simple, don’t let them ask!



Typically when a customer calls you, the first thing they say is “Hello, I am calling about so and so vehicle…” or “I saw your ad for so and so vehicle ….” Pause “…what is the price / mileage on that?” 99% of people make that slight pause before carrying on to the second half of their question, that’s your que! “Oh that is a great vehicle we have been getting a ton of calls on it. Were you looking to do our buy here pay here program to rebuild your credit (or “is credit an issue with you” if your dealership doesn’t report)?”. By interjecting the moment they make that pause you take them right off their train of thought and back to what matters the fact that you can help them with their credit situation.



80% of people will answer you and give you that control, 10% will say no I just want to pay cash, and the remaining 10% will say I just want to know the price.




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Thousands of talking billboards and all it costs is a smile PDF Print E-mail

When I was younger I did web marketing for a guy who sold speakers. His business model was to import, the cheapest OEM speakers he could find, and resell them for a huge profit under his private label. We spent a lot of time and marketing dollars chasing new customers there. He had horrible customer satisfaction and less then 2% of his customers reordered. Eventually he went out of business and I lost my job, but I did learn a great lesson in product value.  If he had spent just a little more money on building a better product, he would have retained more of his customer base, and would probably still be in business today.happy

At the Leedom conference in Las Vegas Chuck Bonanno said something that really made me think about those days. He said “It’s all about building a better product, but in the Buy Here Pay Here industry your product is your customer experience not the vehicle.”  There is tremendous value in capturing that customer loyalty and best part is the only “investment” needed is a little time and attention.

By focusing on these areas you can really maximize your repeat and referral business:

1.) Give them something to talk about. Yes cold hard referral cash is a good motivator but the real key is having a staff committed to providing a great customer experience. You can wave all the money you want at your customers, but if they have had one bad experience you can kiss any hope of them ever referring someone goodbye. Having a cashier that has a bad attitude or a salesman that ignores customer problems can get expensive real quick. Make sure you pay attention and address those kinds of personnel issues. Employing a customer complaint hotline and satisfaction surveys are a good way to monitor how your employees are treating your customers. Overall it’s the little things that create a good experience. Do you have magazines and coloring books in your waiting areas? Or set out goodies for the holidays? Do your employees tell your customers on a regular basis they appreciate their business?   If your dealership is anything like ours you probably bend over backwards everyday for your customers. When a customer gets a special treatment do you make it clear you went above and beyond? Or do you leave them to just expect it the next time? It never hurts to make someone feel like you did something special for them, even if you really didn’t go that far above the norm. Train your staff to utilize power phrases like “Typically they don’t do this, but since you’re one of our best customers” or “I really went to bat for you” or “This isn’t going to be easy, but I will work my hardest” or “I am so excited I was able to get this exception, you really deserve it”

2.) Ask for the referral. That may sound like a “duh” statement, but are your employees really asking for referrals?  I’m not just talking about the salesman at the close of a sale either. When you collector makes a payment arrangement with a hard up customer, do they remind them how they could make a few extra bucks by referring a friend? When your service manager fixes something that you normally wouldn’t cover, does he/she ask for a referral? Catching your customers when they feel more obligated to return a favor is a good way to get them signed on to a give and take relationship. Create a company culture where customers who refer friends and family are highly regarded and even given special treatment. Don’t be shy about letting your customers know why they got that special treatment and encourage them to continue the behavior. On the same token, gently remind customers who have not yet referred anyone that they have yet to reach this “exclusive status”.

3.) Back it up in writing. If you’re not touting “Refer a friend and get $100 cash” on every piece of marketing material you have, then you are seriously missing the boat. Referrals aren’t just limited to current customers either; prospects make good referral foot soldiers too. Is the phrase “refer a friend” on your business cards? Your follow-up mail? Your website? Is it on your Christmas and birthday cards? Your Print ads? Your hold music? Is it on every email that your employees send out? Is it hanging in nice little frames at every sales desk, in the finance office, and by the payment window? Maximize your repeat and referral opportunities and you will increase your business without spending one more dollar in advertising.



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If you could watch only one video this year ... this is the one. PDF Print E-mail


Once in century a video comes along that changes the course of history as we know it. This is that video. Not only is this video a filmography masterpiece, it's subject mater is just breath taking!

Well what are you waiting for?  






Umm until I figure out why my embeded video isn't working the link to view this amazing video is here:


The Germans love David Hasselhoff .........................The Sweds love ..... well watch the video.

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Google Adwords the next PDF Print E-mail
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google adwordsSo here’s something I was thinking about the other day for the retail dealer, and if anyone tries this and it works great I’ll take a 2% royalty fee for the idea!  I’ve never heard or seen anyone doing this yet so there might be a reason for it, like Google constricting you maybe... or it just might be the next hottest marketing technique.

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6 ways you can use text messaging to boost sales! PDF Print E-mail

6 ways you can use text messaging to boost sales!


We all know Texting is huge in the United States, as a car dealer you can cash in big by staying ahead of the curve on this marketing gold mine.


Have you ever seen a message “text Coupon to 12346 for a free coupon” on an advertisement? If you are not familiar with how it works, it is very simple. Basically the consumer sends the word coupon in a text message to the 5 digit key code. The message gets sent to a software program that records that customers “opt-in”, then a text message reply of your choice is sent. It can be anything from a coupon, to directions, to a url. Once the customer is “opted in” it is now legal for you to send them additional messages, like notifying them about the big sale or a contest. If they get tired of your messages they just opt out by replying “stop”.


            There are quite a few great companies out there that offer text programs designed just for dealer marketing. It is not that expensive, you can plan on spending around $250 a month for the service with texting. If you’re having a hard time finding one that works for you let us know, we can point you in the right direction.


Once you have the capability here are 6 ways you can supercharge the results

Text for coupon and directions.

Leverage all your other advertising by adding a “Text Drive to 55555” message. This will not only help you to quantify the results, but also give you contact info to call your customers.


Capture the Sunday shopper.

Put the text code on your window stickers.


Send a text message appointment confirmations.

Customers are more likely to respond to a text message, plus you can include directions!


Send text blasts of a contest or promotion that involves them brining in a secret code

Combine with twitter and social networking to create a nice weekend buzz


Promote your service center

Confirm service appointments, notify customer of parts, and send coupons



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