Sometimes you just want some simple ideas to help drum up sales, not an academic thesis on marketing or a lecture on advertising. Here are five simple things you can do with very little preparation that could produce some sales in the next week or two.
Prospect for Sales Among Your Dealership’s Employees
Everybody drives a car, including the people who work where you work. Among all those people, some might be in the market for a car right now, or have a teenager soon coming of age for their first car, or might know a friend or coworker who is looking for a good deal.
Have a new salesperson stuff his or her pockets with business cards and visit each person at their work station. Don’t leave out the service department, body shop or the detail shop either. Chances are good that somebody will need something soon.
Have Your Sales Staff Call Every Previous Customer
Print a list of every person who bought a car from you within the last five years. Have your sales staff call each one and ask how that purchase worked out for them. It will start some good conversations that could very well lead to some sales or referrals.
Produce an In-house Marketing Video
The last time you went to your doctor did you see helpful and informative videos playing in the waiting room? It is a popular marketing technique among doctors these days. You have to sit there and wait, so they show you things you might want to ask about and perhaps buy. Clever.
You can make simple videos with a smart phone. A cheap laptop to play the videos on costs only $200. Ideas on what to record are endless. You could demonstrate the fancy new child restraints on a certain model car and then place the laptop on the sales floor near that car. If the service manager splits the cost of the laptop with you, then he can make his own videos about proper car maintenance and show them in the service waiting area.
Buy a $5 Per Day Facebook Ad…Seriously
Yes, you can run a Facebook ad for as little as $5 per day. At that small price, it won’t reach many people, but you can target who does receive it with laser accuracy. For example, you could promote the ‘Improved and Safer Child Safety Restraints’ video (from your laptop idea), by having Facebook send it only to people who like (follow) a local maternity store’s page.
A $50 per day budget would probably place that video on the Facebook feeds of every person who likes and follows every daycare and maternity store for miles around your dealership. And it lets you test all your new marketing ideas faster than your competition can react.
Trim 1/3 Off Your Service Department’s Direct Mail Advertising Expense
This last tip will show you where your service manager can get the money for the laptop and Facebook ads. If you know about data mining and the work that data scientists do, that’s great. You understand there are many prior service customers who should NOT receive your oil change coupons.
If you are not familiar with data mining, here’s the short story. A large percentage of customers in your CRM system have already stopped doing business with your dealership, and the data from their entire purchase history can tell that (and many other useful things) to a skilled data scientist. If you can’t identify those lost customers, then omit the oldest 1/3 of your prior clients from the next mailing. If they haven’t been in for service in 3 years they will probably never come back. That’s how it’s done in big businesses that invest heavily in direct mail.