The automotive industry is rebounding from the recession in 2008 and 2009. According to National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) data, the total dealership sales in 2011 increased by almost $4 million, with the increase in new vehicle sales making up more than half of it. This is certainly good news for car dealers. Moreover, recent studies show that gas prices are falling and automotive lending is loosening up, which make an environment for car dealers that is conducive for making more sales. However, if you don’t see your dealership generating much dealership leads despite the improvements in the industry, perhaps you haven’t done away with the dealership mistakes during the years of recession.
At the onset of the crisis in the automotive industry, dealers have been taking for granted operational and process gaps in their dealerships. There was lack of accountability between departments and systems. For instance, dealers had failed to supervise and monitor their sales team and lead generation and conversion processes, respectively.
Dealers were also into new marketing and lead generation strategies but had been using them wrongly and some, abusively. Each marketing strategy has its purpose and proper usage. Keep in mind that how you use these techniques affect the quality of leads that you’ll generate. For example, many car dealers then didn’t know how to use social media as a marketing tool for their dealership. Social media is more of a word-of-mouth marketing tool than for selling. Many dealers have been so aggressive online, being too focused on making their prospects online turn into sales.
There were also several dealers who have lagged behind in using new and effective lead generation and marketing strategies. While they work with the old tricks, more competitive dealerships have already been reaping their harvest from using the newer techniques, simply because they know where their customers are. Today, customers are online. That is why, you should keep up with the competition among other dealerships who are also online. However, know also that car shoppers access the internet and shop for cars online through their mobile devices. This tells you something about how you should provide your prospects information considering their lifestyle and needs.
As a dealer, it is not just enough that you know how to run a dealership. Read and study about the newest trends like what consumers are looking for nowadays, the fuel economy, what type of cars sell more these days and why, and the like. Make sure that you are updated so you know what you should do to generate more dealership leads in a now recovering automotive industry.
Social media is a new platform and tool for businesses to advertise and carry out marketing efforts. Your lead provider should not miss out on this marketing tool which has become important for businesses, including automotive dealerships, in keeping up with the competition. Here is how important social media is in automotive lead generation.
Spreads the Word
Post a blog entry on your website. For people to notice and read it, you have to work your way for it and your website to gain traffic. That will definitely take time, unless your website has already been established in the high ranks of search engine results pages. Try posting the same content in social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn and it will get noticed by thousands of audiences in just a matter of minutes. Try it. Post an interesting car ad on your dealership’s Facebook account and wait to see it acquire likes and comments in less than an hour. It could even perhaps be shared by some users. Social media can make an information viral as it spreads quickly across a vast span of audiences across the globe. Thus, social media helps not only in promoting your dealership but also in driving traffic to your dealership website.
Finds the Leads For You
Technology has indeed developed in a very awesome way. You and your lead provider do not really have to work so hard now just to find leads. Social media had, in a way, transformed how automotive lead generation is done. By using social networking sites to find leads, you can simply use search tools and key in relevant keywords that could lead you to your prospects. You can even set an alert for every new query that comes in. An example of this amazing tool is the Twitter Advanced Search tool. It allows you to narrow down your search to tweets containing relevant queries for your dealership that came from a specified distance from your location. Although not a social networking site, the concept of Google Alerts also greatly helps in finding leads.
Helps You Build Relationships
Social media, from the name itself, is all about interactionâ€”relationship. Since building relationships in doing business is important, that makes social media an important tool for automotive lead generation. Just like a typical teen who is active in various social networking sites, be active also in posting comments, answering questions, reacting to comments, and relating with other users. It is not even far from possible to turn leads into sales right there and then. Don’t waste this opportunity and make sure that your lead provider is maximizing social media platforms to generate leads for you.
Have you not been generating enough automotive dealership leads lately? Ever wondered why? There are many reasons why a dealership does not meet the necessary number of automotive dealership leads they are supposed to generate. One of these reasons is simply being the dealership that does not have what car shoppers are currently looking for.
The recent reports on fuel gauge published by the American Automobile Association (AAA) show that the national average gasoline price per gallon continues to fall this year. Typically, gas prices influence the purchase decision of car buyers. A research associate in the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said that a decrease in gasoline prices and a decrease in the unemployment rate would most of the time result in more purchases of larger vehicles. In simpler terms, people buy SUVs, pick up trucks, and the like when they don’t have to spend so much on fuel costs and this could happen if people have jobs.
However, gas prices are fluctuating and this has also an effect on car dealership sales. It appears that when gas prices increase, people tend to drive smaller cars instead. They would also buy car models that are fuel-efficient. Fortunately, auto manufacturers today have been in the business of making more fuel-efficient vehicles.
However, as a dealer, you should still know what car shoppers today are really looking for. You should understand the current trends in automobile demand and the changes in consumer behavior. If gas prices are falling, people would not care of a car’s fuel efficiency. However, if gas is expensive, they would certainly look for fuel-efficient vehicles. Meanwhile, if there is an increase in unemployment rate, people would not still be that inclined to purchase a car although gas prices are falling. Therefore, these examples of shifting trends and others can help you so much in generating automotive dealership leads more effectively.
With the current trends in gasoline prices, car buyers’ consumer behavior, fuel economy, and unemployment rate, employ strategies that will go with these trends so you would still have the automotive dealership leads that you need for the growth of your dealership. Read the graphs. Understand the changes and their effects on the public’s demand for dealership products. Make sure that you always have what car shoppers are looking for. You can also ask help from a lead generation company like Approved Auto Leads to help you generate more leads more effectively.
The competition in the automotive industry is back to being fierce, and perhaps, even fiercer, as it recovers from the recent crisis. A manifestation of this can be observed in used car dealers in the cities who have been working so hard just to get their used car leads buy a car and meet their sales quota. However, there are several factors or reasons why selling used cars could sometimes be easier or more difficult to do. Dealers should be familiar with these factors; one of which is the dealership location.
According to a recent study, dealerships operating in metropolitan areas sell used cars at more competitive prices than those in rural areas. The study says that dealerships within the 50-mile radius from a city’s center sell used cars at an average of $345 off from the prices of used cars sold in suburban dealerships. The highest populated cities like California, New York, and Texas sell used cars more than $500 less than the prices in rural dealerships.
More population in a city means more dealerships; more dealerships means tighter competition, and the tighter the competition, the lower the prices predictably get. In effect, there could be more car shoppers wanting to buy used cars from the dealerships in the cities as they are practically cheaper.
When it comes to the prices of their used cars, dealers outside the cities should then consider, not just their local competitors, but also those that are in the metro. The truth is, people are now turning to the Internet when they shop for cars and it is more likely that people living in the suburbs could come across dealerships in the nearby cities and consider buying a car from one of them.
Although the study has yet to be looked at, it also implies that there could be more chances of finding used car leads in the cities as car shoppers would want to go there for the cheaper prices. To keep up with the competition, dealers outside the 50-mile radius do not have to sell used cars at cheap prices but simply be competitive. It does not also mean that used car dealers should not sell in rural areas. Dealers can still find market in these areas. One is because they can hold their prices as there is not much competition and another is they can be the only store selling the car model that a car shopper is looking for.
Therefore, used car dealers, especially those outside the cities, should all the more do the best they can to rise above the competition, which is fiercer in the cities. While being aware of the more fragmented attention that their target market has, dealers in suburban areas can still do more things to keep up with the competition.
Dealers create dealership websites to reach millions of prospects who are too busy to personally visit dealerships and only have the time to shop online. Dealership websites are online counterparts of on-site dealerships. So, if there is a huge market online, dealers should all the more better their websites as much as they improve their on-site dealerships to attract more prospects and generate more leads.
One of the most important parts of your dealership website that could instantly turn visitors into car sale leads is the inventory page or your virtual showroom. It is one of the places in your website that a car shopper would need to really see. Your inventory page should contain all the car models available in your lot. Having an excellent online showroom in your website will surely draw you more car sale leads. Here are some tips on how to make that happen.
Photos are essential in making your online inventory page effective in making more sales. It is boring and not enough to just tell your visitors how your car lot looks like, what car models are displayed, and why should they buy a certain car from your dealership. Photos are the ones who give life and meaning to your virtual showroom. You have to show them what you’ve got. Moreover, some prospects would go by the photo rather than the description of a vehicle when selecting a car model. Provide at least 3 interior and exterior shots of every car available in your car lot. Remember that photos do attract car sale leads.
Complement the photos with descriptions of each car model. Talk about the car’s features, specifications, warranties, and the like. You can also say something about the promos or perks that go with buying a particular car model. You can also provide links to car reviews or you can even provide your own. Include as much details as you deem important for car shoppers to know about a car model.
Another essential part of your inventory page, which should not be really omitted, are the prices of your cars. Remember that car shoppers turn to various dealership websites as they do some research. Without the car prices, you are not helping them in making a decision. Moreover, it creates a notion that the cars might be too expensive. Do not be afraid to indicate the prices of your cars. However, make sure that your prices are competitive, although they do not necessarily have to be impressively cheap.
Your dealership website is just as important as its on-site counterpart. Therefore, make sure that your virtual showroom is well-created and well-maintained so that it just keeps on serving its function well of converting visitors into car sale leads, and then into sales.