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Does Facebook Marketing Really Boost a Dealership’s Sales?

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 by credit

Volkswagen’s Little Darth Vader and Ford’s Ryan Seacrest are automotive advertisement icons which made the two car makers’ promotion viral in and through the social media. These show that car makers and dealerships have been using social media to promote their brand and are expecting a rise in their sales through it.

It does not need statistics to tell that Facebook has been a popular marketing tool in the automotive industry. Obviously, more and more dealers realize its potential and efficiency in helping their business grow. However, social media experts and Facebook itself have a different view about the social networking site as a marketing tool.

In a report, the manager of Facebook’s global marketing solutions, Doug Simpson, said that Facebook should only be used as a branding tool rather than for retailing. Facebook is an effective tool for engaging customers which would result in word of mouth and recommendations which other forms of advertising cannot achieve, according to Simpson.

Moreover, he also said that Facebook is a useful source of data for dealers because through it, they would know about consumers’ behavior in the said social networking site. This will allow them to produce more relevant and effective content in their pages. However, Facebook isn’t also sure if using the social networking site for dealership marketing and sales efforts will indeed bring more sales to dealerships.

Meanwhile, the report also includes a Ford dealer’s opinion about Facebook as a marketing tool. For him, it is simply a place where “vehicle owners and friends can be heard.” Car dealers may be indeed successful in attracting prospects but turning them into auto dealer leads and then into sales, eventually, appears to be the greater challenge.

However, a recent report from Ad Age showed that a large number of car makers in 2011 have turned to newer forms of advertising, including social media. It shows that car dealers haven’t pulled out their sales tactics in social networking sites such as Facebook, despite others’ opinions on how it should be used in marketing, as they continue to see its sales potential.

Dealers use features of Facebook such as fan pages, ads, and wall posts to promote their brand, products, and services. Social networking sites are effective in establishing connections and building relationships with auto dealer leads. These are also places where dealers can build an image of trust and credibility for themselves.

In the final analysis, there exist two obvious facts: (1) Not all users who would like a dealership Facebook page will purchase from it and, (2) there are quite a good number of dealership stories where a social media campaign triggered an influx of sales. Facebook has indeed been a popular and effective marketing tool across industries. However, its role in increasing a dealership’s sales perhaps still needs to be looked at.

Why You Should Buy Approved Auto Leads

Posted on: July 2nd, 2012 by credit

Unlike before when only few techniques were available to generate leads, it is easier for car dealers today to acquire auto leads. The Internet, as well as the rise of lead generation companies like Approved Auto Leads, was proven to be a very effective tool for lead generation.

Because of this development, car dealers would not have to sweat their brows anymore in having to find and close leads and meet their sales quota with the little time that they have. With lead generation companies, they can entrust to a third party the task of finding and generating leads. However, despite the obvious benefits that lead generation companies bring car dealerships, some car dealers do not still buy the idea. These dealers ask the question: “Why should we buy auto leads?”

There are several points to answer that question. One is auto leads generated by lead providers undergo a screening process. This process involves information verification and pre-qualification. In Approved Auto Leads, an approved auto lead is automatically screened through a proprietary system which approves or denies it. A good lead provider must have this kind of system in ensuring that they only provide quality leads to their clients.

Another point is buying leads will save dealers a lot of time, effort, and money on having to qualify leads one by one. With a lead provider’s screening process, car dealers can expect that the leads they will be receiving are of good quality. Moreover, they can more effectively allocate their time to important tasks. For example, they can focus more on converting auto leads into sales rather than on spending too much time on finding them.

An approved auto lead is also more likely to be converted into a sale. In other words, leads generated through lead providers could have higher conversion rate. This is because as leads went through the screening process, lead providers also checked if they meet the requirements of their client. That is also why dealers would not have to qualify them one by one.

To take advantage of these benefits, car dealers should make sure that they choose the best lead generation company. Their choice is crucial in boosting their sales. In choosing the right company, dealers should check the track record of their prospective provider. They can check out the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online database for a list of registered and accredited lead providers in the country. They should also ask the lead provider about how they carry out lead generation techniques as their methods affect the quality of the leads they generate.

The Internet’s Role in Generating New Car Sales Leads

Posted on: June 29th, 2012 by credit

 

Car dealers should realize that as the automotive industry recovers, the market for new vehicles remains lively. A recent study done by J.D. Power showed that 77% of new car buyers use the Internet to help them in the car shopping process. The Internet has been a great contributing factor in making the competition in the industry livelier and tighter. Thus, car dealers need to be more aggressive in catching new car sales leads.

Based on the study, some of the factors that affect the generation of new car leads in the Internet are the age of the car shopper and customer loyalty. The study found that the likeliness of a car shopper to use the Internet to shop for cars decreases as the age increases. Car shoppers who are in their 30s and 40s are most likely to use the Internet to shop for cars while those who are aged above 70 years are unlikely to use the Internet to shop for cars. In terms of submitting an online request or turning into new car sales leads, the same age groups who are most likely to use the Internet for car shopping are also the ones who are most likely to submit an online request. Interestingly, car shoppers aged more than 70 years, together with those who are under 30 years old, are the groups who are unlikely to submit an online request.

The study also compared the likeliness of existing or loyal dealership customers to turn into new car sales leads with that of new customers. It would be easy to assume that those who have an existing relationship with a dealership would not be interested anymore to look at other options. However, the results showed that there is a considerable number of loyal customers who are still using the Internet for car shopping, although they are still less likely to submit an online request.

Car dealers should consider these trends well in automotive consumer behavior. To keep pace, they should use all available and possible online marketing strategies to generate more new car sales leads. Moreover, the study implies that car dealers need to take care of their existing customers as customer loyalty plays an important role in keeping a dealership alive. According to the study, the common reasons why new car buyers purchase from a certain dealership are their prior experience with it, recommended by friends, and the information they got from the Internet, which appears to be the most influential reason outside dealership experience.

Subprime Auto Leads: From Precarious To Profitable

Posted on: June 28th, 2012 by credit

As the economy grew more unstable, not only to consumers and buyers but to businesses and companies too, car dealerships also started losing opportunities as the demand for cars sharply declined due to various factors such as high gas prices and costs of car maintenance. Financial glitches in individuals have a parallel effect in the car dealership market and this is the reason why dealers started to look at the concept of subprime auto leads in a different light. What used to be a risky investment now turns out to be a profitable solution.

In a perfect world, car dealers will not be in favor of subprime auto leads because offering car loans to people with bad credit is a gamble. However, this thinking has been gradually losing its hold due to the rising number of individuals who are in a financially compromising status. This situation left car dealers thinking of another way to gain profit and found the answer by focusing on a new target market—people with bad credit. More often than not, these poor credit holders are ignored by financial institutions and car dealers because of their bad credit history. However, they are still capable of making payments and were once good credit holders. These leads are not as advantageous as normal leads but in a time where normal leads are difficult to come by, you need to be practical and convert subprime leads into sales. In addition, generating subprime auto leads are easier to manage now because of innovations in technology. You can effortlessly keep track and record all of your borrowers as well.

According to statistics, there are more people hitting a financial hiccup than people who are financially stable. This means that you have the power to tap into a greater target market by focusing your energy and services to the larger half of the fraction. By doing this, you will have more sales coming in through subprime auto leads than from normal leads which usually come from people with good credit records.

As a dealer, you have to consistently find ways and opportunities to gain profit even amid financial problems that may arise, be it an economic crisis or an increasing number of credit-challenged people. Think out of the box and come up with ideas that will turn what used to be uncertain investments into profitable alternatives such as generating special finance leads. Remember that a sale is always possible as long as you do not stop pursuing it. Moreover, big dealerships are still alive today despite the crisis mainly because of special finance leads.

Excellent Dealer Response: Key Element to Satisfy New Car Leads

Posted on: June 27th, 2012 by credit

One of the most important aspects in converting internet new car leads is your response to them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist anymore to figure out that your response must be quick. Here are some facts to give you more concrete reasons why you should take your internet-generated leads seriously.

Response Time

Customer satisfaction is a vital element in keeping your leads and having consistent growth in sales. One way to achieve that is to have excellent responses to each query.

Based on a J.D. Power study, customers love receiving responses within an hour or less. In a 10-point scale, an 8.6 satisfaction rating was given by car shoppers to such response time. So far, dealers have been doing a great job responding to online queries almost all the time. The study also noted that car shoppers most likely buy from dealerships who responded to their queries.

Sufficient Information

Aside from being quick, satisfy your leads by giving them the information they have requested. In the study, a small percentage of the respondents said that some dealerships do respond but only answer with limited information. Apparently, this kind of response pushes customer satisfaction rating down. The study noted that some dealers only give limited information because they prefer disclosing more information when the new car lead visits their dealership.

According to the study, the information that leads often request for are the car price and the availability, features and specifications of a car model. Among these, the car price is the most requested information. It is therefore important to respond to your leads by providing them with the information they have requested for to win their satisfaction.

Other Contributing Factors

The study also showed that internet leads must be contacted immediately. The sales process or the lead conversion process does not start when the new car lead has visited your dealership. It starts at your first contact with them. This is also where you have the opportunity to establish good relationships with your prospects. In addition, sending the same sales staff to help a customer until the end of the purchase boosts customer satisfaction rating.

Customer Satisfaction

Why is customer satisfaction a big deal? You could only produce loyal customers when they are satisfied with you, your service, and your dealership. Loyal customers would keep coming back to you for future vehicle purchase, your services, and even recommend you to their network of influence. Moreover, satisfied and loyal customers would not turn to other options, giving you guaranteed sales. Keep in mind that good dealership and vehicle experience will result in customer loyalty. Thus, take care of new car leads well and always strive to meet their expectations.

 
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