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How to Sell Certified Used Cars Today

Posted on: August 15th, 2012 by credit

Are you still generating enough used car leads? Are you even aware of another shift in the behavior of car shoppers today? A study completed by AutoTrader.com and Morpace revealed that car shoppers have a wider range of options when it comes to the type of car that they will buy.

According to the report, 60 percent of the new-car shoppers surveyed say they consider buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle, and nearly 30 percent of this group is considering to buy a CPO vehicle for the first time.

The top reasons cited for considering CPO vehicles are peace of mind and warranty coverage, with nearly 70 percent and more than half of the car shoppers surveyed saying so, respectively. The respondents indicated that since CPO vehicles have warranties from their respective original manufacturers, buying one gives them a peace of mind. Further, a considerable number of car shoppers, almost 70 percent, are willing to spend more on CPO vehicles than on non-certified used cars.

This year, CPO sales was recorded with a 7.7 percent increment from last year’s sales. CPO units sold in March this year likewise increased to more than 174,000 units, increasing by nearly 17 percent from the number of units sold the previous month.

If you have been monitoring car shoppers’ behavior for the last two or three years, you should notice that there have been significant and interesting shifts, same thing that the vice president of automotive insights in AutoTrader Rick Wainschel observed.

With that in mind, you should be taking advantage of the opportunity now by formulating some strategies. The study implies that your sales team can freely offer your used car leads other car options. Of course, there are still several factors, in general, that car shoppers consider when buying a car. Moreover, the likelihood of a car shopper to buy a CPO vehicle does not solely depend on the results of the study but still on several factors. Nonetheless, you already know that it is not far from possible for new-car shoppers to turn into used car leads.

The next strategy is basic: Keep a CPO customer’s loyalty. The reasons are as well basic and obvious. Loyal customers can come back for another CPO car purchase or for service or they can refer your dealership to their family and friends—things that can boost your dealership’s sales with less effort on your part.

Lastly, educate your prospects. Understand that not all car shoppers know what CPO programs are all about. Basically, CPO vehicle buyers get to buy a used car that is almost like new at a used-car price. Pretty good deal, isn’t it? But are your prospects aware of the benefits they can get from your CPO program? Make sure they do because many car shoppers today are either skeptical or have a wrong idea of it.

3 Important Lead Generation Techniques Every Car Dealer Should Use

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by credit

If you have been keeping yourself abreast with the latest trends in the automotive industry, you should notice that trends, such as in car shoppers’ behavior, dealership marketing, car sales, and auto lending, have been shifting more frequently than before. These trends dictate how dealers like you should now generate car leads and convert them into sales. Based also on those trends, the following lead generation strategies now seem necessary for every car dealer to use.


Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website in the world wide web by driving traffic to it using various techniques. Creating a dealership website is the first step to start with SEO dealership marketing. Your dealership website serves as the counterpart of and is equally important as your on-site dealership. The reason why there is a need for dealerships to be online is competitors and potential customers are already online.

One of the important skills in SEO marketing is keyword research. Through the help of a software or online tools, you can find out what keywords relevant to your website are most searched. These are the keywords that you should use in your content so that search engines will detect your content as relevant to the search.

Speaking of content, you also drive traffic to your website through blogs or by providing online car shoppers with helpful content. Some helpful information are car reviews, tips and advice, and news. They create for your dealership an image of trust and credibility.

Social Media

Social media has become a popular lead generation platform as it spreads information rapidly while reaching millions of recipients. However, social media experts have spoken warnings for dealers not to use social media too much to sell their products but to interact with prospects instead. Social networking sites were basically created for interaction and dealers can take advantage of that to reach prospects and foster customer loyalty.

You can generate car leads through social media marketing efforts by regularly posting updates on your page or account. You can start building relationships by simply replying to comments and messages. Share also interesting photos, like photos of happy car buyers in your dealership, and videos.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is gaining popularity now as it seems to be the easiest way to reach potential car buyers because people always carry with them their mobile phones wherever they go. Mobile marketing can be in a form of SMS or text messaging, mobile websites, applications, multimedia messaging or MMS, and quick response or QR codes. Text messaging is cheaper than direct mail marketing. Also, in a recent study, more than 30% prefer offers communicated through text messages. Although this type of marketing is yet to be further studies and developed, surveys have already shown that car shoppers are not just online but also on mobile.

The Role of Social Media in Turning a Car Sales Lead Into a Loyal Customer

Posted on: June 20th, 2012 by credit

The deal went smooth. Your sales staff did well. The customer was happy and it was a good sale. But not many dealers would really care about their post-purchase relationship with their customers. What should happen after the sale?

Social media has gained popularity as a helpful and effective tool in generating leads, promoting dealerships, and establishing relationships with prospects. However, it can also work the same way in promoting customer loyalty. The results of a recent study done by online-based providers of automotive marketing solutions and car information showed that social media, especially Facebook, plays a major role in the car buying process.

There are two major factors that affect the after-purchase response of a customer. They are experience with the dealership and experience with the vehicle. If a customer is happy with the dealership’s service and with the vehicle that he bought, it is most likely that he will continue his relationship with the dealership—avail other services, purchase a new vehicle in the future, or recommend the dealership to others. However, there is also a great effect when customers are not satisfied with their car purchase experience.

In the study, a small percentage of the respondents said that they do post negative reactions and comments on Facebook when they are not satisfied with their car purchase. The fact that such car buyers exist implies that people talk about their car purchase experience in social networking sites—whether good or bad—which could affect your dealership positively or negatively.

What is this to you now? Just like what has been pointed out, people who happily bought a new car would turn to social media to share the good news—or the bad news. This very action of car buyers is an effortless word of mouth marketing on your part. According to the study, more than half post something about their new car on Facebook. Thus, if customers are happy, you get instant promotion for your dealership as your customers talk about you and their new car.

There could be other good things social media and customer loyalty could bring your dealership. But what’s the secret of gaining customer loyalty after a car sales lead turn into a happy sale? The study concluded that it is all about building trust during the purchase phase of the car buying process and immediately after that. Establish lasting relationships with your customers. Remember that if customers are satisfied with your dealership, they wouldn’t feel the need to consider other options. They’ll stick with you. Moreover, having loyal customers brings you repeat purchases. Therefore, it is never a waste to invest time, money, and effort in building a strong relationship with a car sales lead when you know it’ll eventually yield great results.

Selling Used Cars in a City Could Be a Better Idea, Study Shows

Posted on: June 15th, 2012 by credit

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.

Making More Sales Through Your Virtual Showroom

Posted on: June 15th, 2012 by credit

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.


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