When I talk with dealers these days about how they generate leads and fill the top of their sales funnel, most say they do some form of advertising and pay for leads from one of the well-known providers. We call this “outbound marketing“, where dealers push their message to the masses hoping it will land where they want it to. Trouble is, everyone else has the same idea and it’s a race to see who can spend the most to get customers on the lot.
Outbound marketing has lost it’s effectiveness. Your potential customer is inundated daily with marketing messages and they’ve figured out creative ways to ignore those “interruptions”. Caller ID, DVR’s, Satellite Radio, Spam Filters–they’re all designed to block outbound marketing. To be successful today, your store has to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.
You can do this by adopting the technique of inbound marketing. The backbone of inbound marketing is creating valuable content to attract visitors to your website and converting them into leads and customers. It’s using Social Media to share content that’s relevant to your audience. Inbound marketing is also called “permission marketing”. It’s the act of attracting people so they “opt in” and give you permission to market to them!
I know what you’re saying, “But how do I get people interested in my dealership?” You do it by telling your story. As a company, your store has DNA. It’s the story of how you got to where you are: Your team, your plan, your struggles, your triumphs…everything that made your store what it is today. Every day there’s a story to be told. It’s your customers, your employees and how they come together with your plan and create something unique.
Start here: does your website have an About Us page? I can’t tell how many dealership sites I see where that page is something generic. Is that what you want your customers to think about you–generic? Having been in the car business all my life, I’ll bet that every dealer has a unique story to tell. It’s essential to get something special out about who you are. Start with your About Us page, then take your “Company History” on the road. Integrate your story with your Facebook page and start blogging about your store’s DNA. People will connect with you on a deeper level making your marketing much more effective.
People want to learn who you are and what you stand for. Tell your story, make it come alive. When your enthusiasm is obvious, your customers will notice and they’ll want to be part of it. They’ll share it with their network, widening your circle of influence. When it’s time for them to buy, they’ll remember you because of your story.