The automotive industry is evolving quickly, so dealerships have to adapt in order to meet demands from both the sector and customers. Similarly, the car buying process has undergone a drastic change – what worked a couple of years back, won’t necessarily pass muster now. So when it comes to selling used cars at your dealership, it is time to rethink strategies!
Here are a few tips to help you along – take a look:
1. Engage virtual shoppers
A chunk of customers begin the car buying process online, by conducting research regarding preferred makes and models. Having an informative, engaging, easy-to-navigate, and professional-looking website is a must. It is the touchpoint for virtual customers as they check out the used car inventory at your dealership. Your website is a digital showroom that kickstarts their journey as a prospective buyer!
2. Tap into the power of social media
If your dealership isn’t on social media, you are missing out on a great opportunity. It is an excellent way to interact, engage, and ultimately sell to millions of people. For instance, you could upload a virtual test drive video on YouTube. Watch time of test drives increased massively in the last two years, so the video might attract potential buyers this way. Shine the light on your showroom and give social media users a sneak peek as to what you can offer via a video uploads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. It is time to position your dealership as industry experts if people want to buy used cars. You can also use social media to interact with other dealerships and the local community.
3. Target the right audience
Remember, you are in the business of selling used cars. Thus, your marketing strategy has to be different from those of brand new luxury Porshe and BMWs. The prospective groups you are targeting have vastly different concerns, questions, wants, and requirements, as compared to those investing in a new car. They are concerned about how many miles the car has traveled, if warranty can be extended, what parts have to be replaced or repaired, if the vehicle was in an accident, and so on. You have to tailor the marketing campaign accordingly by getting the right message to the right person. It is important to study car buying trends too. There are several unofficial “car-buying holidays”, as per research done by TrueCar.com and U.S. News & World Report. Figure out when things are busy, steady, and slow and then adjust your campaign budget accordingly.
4. Offer incentives
Why not offer the potential customer a great deal on an extended warranty? Or talk to them about flexible payment options? How about offering pocket-friendly financing rates? Outline the benefits that will entice the customer, as people love sales incentives. Tell them how long they have to take advantage of incentives, and let them make the decision without pressure.
5. Create a referral program
Selling used cars can prove to be tricky, but a referral program can boost sales. You just have to tell existing customers that if they refer someone who can buy a vehicle or avail a service at your dealership, they could get a better deal or discount. Some dealerships are using online referral programs with success. You send an email with an invitation to join the rewards program and then offer prizes for vetted referrals from them.
6. Use an automotive CRM
Nowadays, it is all about creating the perfect customer experience, and an automotive CRM software helps to achieve that and much more. It streamlines dealership operations, and makes the task of selling used cars more convenient.
- Leads won’t fall through the cracks again, even when things get busy. Every lead is a potential car sale, and the CRM ensures you build a solid relationship with them. Check when the lead was last contacted, which used cars they are interested in, and other information. Members of your sales team can log notes from calls or emails with customers – everything is recorded.
- Monitor progress via regular reports. Find out what strategies work in your favor, as the CRM lets you collect data about prospects and deals, and generate reports from them. You can see who your customers are, what used cars are selling the most, etc.
- Boost customer satisfaction! When you focus on building meaningful relationships with leads, it lets customers see what type of personalized and unique service you offer. It is something they won’t forget. People want to spend money where they feel appreciated and cared about, and they keep coming back to that place. A CRM will help create a group of loyal, returning customers for your dealership.
7. Don’t underestimate customer reviews
When it comes to automotive marketing, the best way to instill trust is to let your customers speak for you. Reviews can be an extremely effective marketing strategy. Ask former customers to leave reviews and testimonials on prominent platforms like Google, Capterra, social networks, your own website, etc. You can also take things a step further by creating customer success stories and videos with your most valued customers. Create paid social ads, newsletters, and email campaigns with such content.
Keep in mind that while car sales today start online, most of the final deals are closed in person – in the dealership itself. Thus, it is up to you to create a modern-day car buying experience for the customer. You have to perfect the hybrid model – a seamless blend of offline and online marketing to sell more used cars at your dealership.