How to Get Buyers to Visit Your Dealership between Purchases


Repeat buyers are the basis of success for any auto dealership. You spend a lot of advertising dollars to attract new buyers to your dealership, but the real secret lies in retaining those buyers and getting them to come back again and again.

The key to customer retention lies in relationships. You must build trust and develop a relationship with your buyers. This concept of building trust is an integral part of the sales process, but often we can forget about building trust after the sale. In order to convert a first-time buyer into a repeat-buyer, you must continue to build that relationship.

So how do you get buyers to visit your dealership between purchases? Here are some ideas that will get buyers back in your door and give you more opportunities to build relationships:

Service Department

Converting vehicle customers to service customers should be a natural transition. If they trust you enough to buy from your dealership, it should be a natural progression that they will trust you enough for routine maintenance and repairs to their vehicle.

Buyers sometimes need an invitation, or encouragement to visit you for service. Service coupons, special offers, and other VIP type treatment for recent buyers is a great place to start. If they buy the vehicle from you and they service the vehicle with you, they are much more likely to buy their next vehicle from you.

Owner’s Clinics

Buying a new vehicle (or a pre-owned vehicle that is new to your buyer) can be a little overwhelming. This is especially true with the rapid advancement of technology. As a courtesy to your buyers, consider offering a new owners clinic at your dealership. This is an opportunity to further connect with your buyer and cement your relationship with them while helping them feel more comfortable with their new purchase.

An owners’ clinic could include any of the following components: (1) Tutorials on how to operate features and options on their vehicle, (2) Further explanation about what makes their vehicle unique and worth the money they spent, (3) Overview of service and maintenance schedules as well as an introduction to your service staff, (4) Catered food for attendees, and/or (5) Gift bags, service coupons, or other tokens of appreciation for attending

Depending on how many attendees are expected, you could hold the event once per month, or you could do it more often as needed. Focus on making it fun, and advertise it well. Personal invitations and reminders the day before will go a long way toward boosting attendance. If your owners’ clinic is well attended, it will generate more excitement than if only one or two buyers show up, so do what you can to attract a good turnout.

Community Events

Your dealership is an important part of your community. Your city/town/county appreciates you for the taxes you provide. The citizens appreciate you for the jobs you provide and the services you offer. With this in mind, consider that your dealership has the ability to bring community together.

Hosting a community event at your dealership is a great way to get buyers back in the door between purchases, and even attract those who have never purchased from you. Some ideas for events include: (1) Pet adoptions, (2) Food/clothing/toy drives for needy families or humanitarian aid, (3) Holiday celebrations such as 4th of July breakfast, Veterans Day celebration honoring veterans, or Thanksgiving dinner for the lonely or needy.

Social Media Promotions

Social media has become extremely powerful for driving traffic. With social media, your main goal should not be to sell. Your goal should be to engage and interact. You should have a very active presence on social media with a good mix of informative, fun and advertising posts, but this is only the foundation. Simply posting on social media does not get buyers back in your dealership. You must give them an incentive to come back in.

There are many ways to engage and drive your social media followers back to your dealership such as contests, check-ins, and more. One example is to have a scavenger hunt. Consider hiding objects around town and putting clues on your social media pages as to what these items are and where they can be found. You could even collaborate with other businesses. Consider offering a prize for finding the items and require that they come to your dealership to get their prize. You could even host a party for the participants when it’s all over.

The suggestions in this article are only a start. Think outside the box. If your dealership really is a great place to be and not just a great place to buy a car, then buyers will want to come back often to check in.