Summer is a catch-22 season for car sales. On the one hand, more people buy cars during the summer than any other season. The warm summer weather makes going to car lots inviting, and after the hard wear and tear of fall and winter weather, many start thinking about replacing an older model. Additionally, people tend to have more time and money during the summer, as this is key vacation and bonus time for many workplaces.

However, this influx of customers comes with a caveat: there are more people looking to buy cars, which means competition between dealerships can be brutal. To maximize on the summer sales season, dealerships need to focus on standing out and drawing in customers.

A practical way of doing so is through sponsoring or hosting local community events. Rarely is it a wrong move to partner with the community, and during the summer there are a plethora of events that could use a little backing from you. Consider sponsoring community barbecues, pool hours and children’s activities. Attaching your name to these will further your dealership’s name recognition, while at the same time firmly establishing an identity as a community supporter and supplier. You’ll find your dealership tapping into client bases you’d otherwise miss by only advertising along traditional streams.

Similarly, consider hosting in-house events. People want to get out in the summer, so why not have them come to you for some fun? Warm summer days are perfect for hosting car washes and cook-ins. Depending on the type of activities that interest your town, the possibilities are endless. You can partner with the restaurant next door for a hot dog eating contest. You can have customers come for a car lot scavenger hunt. Brainstorm ways to use the weather, area and resources to bring people in. Once they come in for fun, you’ll be surprised how many stay to shop.

Speaking of resources, one of the greatest summer resources for a dealership is college graduates. Every year hundreds of students graduate from high school, college and university. These graduates are often in the market for their first car, and usually, they have enough saved or gifted to them to make a down payment. Make sure to market to this sector starting towards the end of spring. Consider deals like a free gas card if they bring in their diploma or a discount of some sort.

Finally, whether tapping into the graduate buyer base or any other sector these days, remember to use social media. Facebook and Instagram are quickly replacing radios and newspapers as key advertising sources. Set up a page on a social media platform and use it to engage in potential customers. Make sure you’re easy to access online and that your website—which you should have!—is clear and up to date.

Again, summer is ripe with car sale opportunity. Use the above strategies to ensure that you and your dealership are making the most of this time in the sun.

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