Why is your dealership better than all the other car dealerships? The key to auto dealer marketing is discovering and broadcasting the answer to this complex question.
If your answer is, “It’s not,” then definitely keep reading because marketing shouldn’t be your main focus right now. You need an operational overhaul. Everyone else, think about it. What facet of your business makes you a better place to do business than ALL the other dealerships?
Constructing your dealership’s unique value proposition is crucial to accomplishing your marketing goals. It’s not enough to say, “We sell Toyotas.” While offering a highly desirable auto make should absolutely be included, alone it is not enough of a differentiator for obvious reasons. Now, if you offer an impressively large selection of new and pre-owned Toyotas and sell them at everyday discounted prices… we might be onto something. Is your dealership situated in a convenient location? Great. Do you offer any value-added packages like free oil changes, engines for life, or complimentary service loaners? Awesome. All good stuff.
What about your team? Are they “Chick-fil-A-employee-level” awesome, or just average? When someone drives on your lot, are they greeted with a warm, welcoming smile and wave, or are they hovered over by a scowl in a suit eager to “claim” them? When Mr. and Mrs. Car Shopper enter your showroom, does it smell nice, look nice, feel nice (temperature and mood)? Are the desks free of clutter, the staff professionally attired, and their faces beaming with friendly smiles? Does your receptionist immediately and enthusiastically greet visitors with a welcoming phrase like, “Welcome to XYZ Motors, I’m Amy, how may I assist you today?” Are your bathrooms clean all the time? Like, sparkling clean? It matters.
Often, as we begin to dive into what we can “sell” about the dealership, we uncover opportunities for operational improvement along the way. If you don’t feel confident declaring your dealership is a friendly, welcoming, stress-free environment, perhaps a bit of customer service training/coaching is in order. If you know the sales process takes entirely too long to boast that you offer hassle-free service, it’s time to consider some procedural changes. Make your dealership brag-worthy, to the best of your ability with the resources available, then BRAG!
This pertains as much to service as sales, if not more because of the increased frequency of visits. Little extras, including things you might take for granted, go a long way. For instance, do you serve (relatively) hot, fresh coffee? Is your customer lounge clean and quiet? Do you have wi-fi? Is there a children’s play area? Do you offer shoe shining, manicures, or anything else unusual? Could you? What about a courtesy shuttle or rental department with discounted rates for customers?
In sales, do you accept trade-ins? Most dealers do, but you should never assume that anything is understood. Talk about it all. Can the shopper fill out a credit application on your website? What about a trade appraisal? Will you begin paperwork before they arrive to shorten the length of the visit if the shopper is locked down on a particular vehicle? Better yet, will you deliver the vehicle to their home or office along with a salesman to complete the paperwork on their time? Could you? Talk about it.
Are your pre-owned vehicles inspected and meticulously reconditioned to ensure quality and reliability? Do you offer buy-back, trade-in, or time-bound guarantees on your cars? Would you? Does your dealership hold community outreach events such as Ladies Car Care Clinics, Food Drives for the Homeless, Child I.D. Days, cookouts when the weather is warm, giveaways, contests, promotional events with music, food and door prizes? Is your dealership a fun place to spend time? Should it be??
The possibilities are endless when you start brainstorming how to engage your local customer base, improve customer experience, and move from “just another car dealership” to THE BEST PLACE TO BUY A CAR. Tell us why you’re awesome and let us brag about you with automotive digital marketing practices proven to deliver the message to in-market car shoppers in your area. We’ll make it crystal clear WHY they should shop with you. If you’d like help constructing and/or broadcasting your unique value proposition, please contact Dealer Authority today at (888) 963-9617 or learn more on our website dealerauthority.com.