My sister needed a car this weekend. My family and friends have always turned to me for assistance. With nearly 30 years in the business, I can work a deal with anybody over the phone. I’ve done it 100’s of times for loved ones who are literally terrified of going into a dealership. Let’s face it, everybody knows someone who’s had a bad experience buying a car…Ok, maybe more than one.
I called her local dealership to see if they wanted to do the deal. After all, it was a slam-dunk – no marketing or selling needed, she was all but delivered. My sister chose this store because it was in her community.
The Fleet Mgr. was willing to do the deal. He explained he had a Slasher Sale going on and he’d work my sister’s deal ASAP . A Slasher Sale is where the dealer offers a chance to buy a car for $88. It’s real car — not some sled — and it does get people into the store. An outside company is usually brought in to conduct the Sale so the sales team can focus on their customers. These companies charge a ton of money and I’ve seen many times when it ends up costing more than if you just had a regular weekend.
Advertising and marketing for dealerships has completely shifted. Traditional print, TV and radio ads just don’t work like they used to. Social media marketing is where it’s at these days. Developing a presence online–make that a credible reputation online–is cost effective and retains a stronger message. On the question of how the public trusts marketing, a recent Polk survey showed that a “Recommendation From Someone You Know” came in 1st….nearly 3 times more trusted than any type of traditional advertising. Posted Online Opinions came in 3rd, just after brand websites. These startling statistics spell a complete overhaul for dealership advertising.
I was unable to find any evidence that the Slasher Sale dealer had any social media marketing. Their rating on Yelp is 1 out of 5 stars, Eeek! If a potential customer is shopping for a dealer and reads those reviews, it won’t matter how many Slasher Sales they have. Always know what your ratings are saying to your potential customers. It’s a few clicks for them to make up their minds.