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Archive for July, 2012

Just Reminding You About Special Finance Conversion Basics

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by credit

Special finance auto leads have been important for dealerships lately. They have been boosting the sales of many dealerships who have observed and believed that there is much profit from auto lending, especially to people with less-than-perfect credit. However, there are also several dealers who are missing the opportunity. Are you one of those dealers who have not yet experienced a significant increase in sales with special finance leads? Perhaps, it’s time for you to go back to the basics of converting special finance auto leads.

Avoid deceptive advertising. It’s simple. If you don’t have it, don’t make it seem like you have it. For example, don’t put up an ad that says you can finance anyone when you don’t even do buy here pay here financing. Many dealers resort to this kind of marketing practice just to get people step into their dealership or earn more cash. Instead, keep your advertisements effective but right and clear. Moreover, complying with dealership advertising rules will also earn your dealership more trust from your customers and prospects.

Contact and work on every lead. A lot of dealers focus too much on generating a lot of leads and spend insufficient time on converting them. Actually, lead conversion weighs heavier in importance than lead generation because it is what generates profit for you. Thus, make sure that your sales team and even you are actively responding to every query that comes in.

Follow up leads. Don’t give up on leads easily. Just because a lead didn’t respond positively to your offer or did not call you back anymore doesn’t mean that he or she is no longer interested. Unless a lead makes a decision, don’t cease to reach out. There are car shoppers who would really think about the deal over and take time looking at other options before finally buying a car from a certain dealership. Moreover, follow-up could make your leads consider your dealership as one of their options.

Make sure that you are getting quality leads. Special finance auto leads need more thorough verification and screening to minimize the risk for lenders and dealers. Lead providers should make sure that they meet the criteria you have set. To make sure that you are getting quality leads, ask your lead provider about the methods they use in generating leads and how they carry these out. The way marketing and lead generation strategies are executed affects the quality of leads they will produce. Make sure they use these appropriately and not abusively.

Dealership Reviews Can Gain You More Sales

Posted on: July 30th, 2012 by credit

Dealership reviews are basically your customers’ opinion about your dealership’s performance. Lately, they seem to play an important role in generating auto sales leads and making more sales for dealerships.

According to Digital Air Strike in their first study on Automotive Dealership Social Media and Online Reputation, nearly 70% of the 275 car buyers they surveyed, who purchased a car in the last 6 months, said that dealership reviews influenced their decision on which dealership to visit. 50% of the car shoppers said that the reviews affirmed their decision to visit a dealership and 18% either changed their initial choice of dealership because of reviews or the reviews were the only reason for visiting a dealership. The top review sites according to the study are Edmunds, Cars.com, Yelp, and Google Reviews in their respective order.

Moreover, 68% said that dealership reviews helped them in their vehicle purchase decision with nearly 30% who said they purchased from the dealership because of the positive reviews they had read about it.

Since car shoppers give importance to dealership reviews when they shop for cars, dealership reviews then can be considered as an important factor in a dealership’s sales generation strategies. If this is the only time you realize this or if you want to improve your campaign for dealership reviews, here are some pieces of advice.

1.) When you have a customer who just bought a car from your dealership or availed of your services for the first time, ask them for feedback. Have them sign a comments/suggestions form or complete a short survey or an evaluation sheet. Make sure to get feedback from your customers so you would also know which aspects of your dealership are performing well or needs improvement.

2.) Solicit reviews. Ask your existing customers to write a review for you by writing about their experience in your dealership or the car model they have purchased from you. If there are customers who are not satisfied with your products or services, address the problem immediately before you let them go and work to improve on that.

3.) Publish the reviews. You can ask your customers to drop their reviews in to popular review sites by providing them the links. Make sure that your dealership website also has a page dedicated for reviews. You can actually show some snippets of each review on the home page. Print them also on your brochures telling your auto sales leads why they should buy from you. You can also include some reviews on your advertising materials.

4.) Publish only genuine opinions. Never fake reviews just for the sake of attracting car shoppers. Keep in mind that being online is about building reputation. You can do that by simply not faking opinions about your dealership.

Shun Deceptive Auto Marketing Practices

Posted on: July 27th, 2012 by credit

Many consumers tend to generalize and believe that all dealers are the same—they are deceptive and too profit-oriented. However, this may not be true for each and every car dealership. It may be true that many dealerships practice deceptive auto marketing techniques, who could have been the main contributors in building an untrustworthy image for dealerships in general. If you want to maintain for your dealership a brand of credibility and trust, you can choose to take the other road and follow the auto marketing or advertising rules. Here are some dealer advertising practices that the New York State Attorney General considers as deceptive.

The Fine Print

The advertising guidelines said that any footnotes or asterisks, which both identify the presence of a fine print in a print ad, that “contradict, confuse, materially modify or unreasonably limit a principal message of the ad” are considered as deceptive.

Moreover, if the font size is too small for the text to be easily read, the ad is considered deceptive. The standard font size that is considered readable for print advertising is at least 10-point type.

False Price Advertising

Many car dealers do auto marketing by advertising a car price falsely, meaning that the advertised price is not the actual price that a buyer gets to pay. According to the guidelines, any price figure that does not represent the actual purchase price is deceptive. Moreover, an advertisement is also deemed the same way if the dealer failed to indicate the fees that are included or excluded in the car price advertised (Registration and title fees and taxes are not really included.), the number of models in stock that are sold at the price they are advertised, and if the car features or accessories in the ad are included in the car price or are optional.

In addition, the term “low prices” or any similar terms that imply that the dealership has cheaper prices than the other dealers must only be used if the dealer has already surveyed his competitors in the area and proved that his prices are truly lower than them or the lowest in the area.

Ambiguous Car Financing Advertisements

A car financing advertisement is deceptive if it does not comply with the terms of disclosures indicated in the Truth in Lending Act. According to law, dealers and lenders must disclose the important details, such as the down payment, loan term or the number of months of payment, and the annual percentage rate or the APR, of the financing program.

Use of terms such as “we finance everyone” and any similar terms that imply that financing is available for everyone regardless of the credit rating are deceptive, unless the advertisement includes a statement of the important terms and conditions for such financing.

Picking the Best Partner in Automotive Advertising

Posted on: July 26th, 2012 by credit

Admit it. You cannot do everything that needs to be done to run your dealership successfully: lead generation, lead management, and automotive dealership marketing. Moreover, you cannot also be the expert in all three aspects. Automotive dealership marketing comprises of various strategies and techniques that need to be carried out across various platforms. This really sounds like laborious. Thus, you would always be needing help from marketing companies or advertising agencies to execute your marketing plans.

However, you should realize that hiring one is going to be a crucial decision. The company that you will be working with will be your partner in pursuing success for your dealership. Moreover, marketing is where all lead generation and management efforts start. Therefore, you need to make a careful and wise selection of your marketing partner. Here are some tips in finding a good one.

Expertise. One of the major factors that could make or break your decision in settling for an ad agency is the expertise. Since you are a dealership, the company must be well-versed in consumer advertising. You should also ask them about what medium are they expert in. If they are still traditional, you can consider looking for more unconventional marketing companies. However, it would be great to choose a company that knows how to work well with both traditional and new marketing strategies.

Experience. Although this does not entirely speak for a company’s performance, it is still better to work with a company with enough experience in automotive dealership marketing, using the medium that you prefer, and working in the kind of marketing style that you want. You can ask around for recommendations or ask for references from the company to learn more about their track record.

Measures. Ask the company how do they carry out their marketing plans for their clients and measure the results for them. Do they have the right meters? Also, ask them about their rates and always try to negotiate for a lower charge. If a company really charges too high for you, do not compromise your budget and look for a more affordable one.

Before you even begin calling up ad agencies, make sure that you are clear about your target market, the message you want to put across, your budget, and objectives. In the process of selecting a company, call up at least 3 companies and compare their prices. As has been pointed out, do not resort in compromising your budget for a marketing service that is beyond your means.

Automotive Mobile Marketing: Where to Start?

Posted on: July 25th, 2012 by credit

You don’t need statistics to know that mobile phones have become necessities for most people now. People bring their mobile phones with them anywhere they go. Some can even access the internet through their smartphones. So, why not reach out to potential car buyers through their mobile phones? If you are planning to start your automotive mobile marketing campaign to acquire more automotive dealer leads, here’s a quick overview.

SMS (Short Message Service)

SMS, or what we refer to as text messaging, is deemed as the easiest way to communicate with prospects. It is also more cost-effective than direct mail marketing. You can also send a message to potential customers worldwide. Through text messages, you can promote your dealership, announce your upcoming sales events and webinars, communicate more calls to action, and inform potential customers about promos and special offers in a quick and brief manner.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)

As the name suggests, MMS does not only include text but also music or sounds, videos, and photos. Dealership messages sent as MMS encourage participation, interaction, and engagement with prospects more. MMS has become more popular since mobile phones with color screens were released in the market. Today, with the popularity of smartphone use, MMS is more possible.

Mobile Websites

As mentioned earlier, many mobile subscribers access the internet through their smartphones. This is a great opportunity for dealers to bring their dealership websites to more potential customers by making them available on mobile phones. However, mobile phones have limitations; like your dealership website might not be compatible for viewing in mobile phones. Therefore, you need to create a mobile version of your website to make it accessible to mobile users. In creating a mobile version, use smaller pages, simpler web page designs, and provide information briefly.

QR Codes

QR codes or quick response codes are 2D bar codes that when scanned by a camera of a smartphone, the user will be taken to a landing page. This is an easy way for dealers to communicate to potential customers and acquire more automotive dealer leads as QR codes can reach both offline and online prospects. QR codes can be attached to business cards, direct mails, posters, web pages, coupons, and the like.

Mobile marketing can be used both for sales and service purposes. Dealers can sell their car models and services through promotions and special offers communicated through one of the mobile marketing forms mentioned above. In the same way, they can also cater to their existing customers by responding to their requests for service and setting appointments through text messaging.

 
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