Most dealers would agree that increasing quality traffic is one of their top two biggest challenges in selling more cars. It raises questions like, “Where should we focus most of our ad budget?” or “What’s working and what isn’t?” or “What months should we increase and what months should we decrease?” The reality is, if all a dealer has to do is spend more ad dollars to increase their traffic, they would all do it.
The real question everyone should be asking is “Why?”
Why is it such a challenge to increase traffic? When we ask better questions, we get better answers. There are several things that contribute to the “increasing traffic challenge” that plagues most dealers. Let’s address those first because you can’t out market competitors without solving the root cause to the problem.
Your Prospects Don’t Care About You
The Internet has changed the car buying journey and car buyers no longer rely on dealers for any information regarding discounts, interest rates, trade-in value, or any product information about the vehicles. They choose to get all the information they need online (usually on third party sites). Yet dealers continue to focus most of their advertising efforts on the exact offers their prospects now ignore. Those old school offers appealed more to buyers when the dealer was the first point of contact for all shopping and research information. The days of buyers driving store to store shopping and negotiating are over.
The “customer’s experience” is not being judged or compared against competing dealers. The world’s best marketers and retailers are teaching all of us what to expect with our online shopping experience. Think about how you use technology in other industries, like Amazon, Uber, and Netflix. These companies are shaping and teaching all of us what to expect online. Consumers expect and demand information easier and quicker.
To win today, you must have a strategy that aligns with how customers actually buy and gives them all the information they want, instantly and at their convenience - not yours.
Dealers Are All the Same
Third party sites are saturated with commoditized inventory and pricing. This creates an environment of razor thin profit margins and makes it much more difficult for dealers to differentiate themselves from competitors. If you want to stand out and rise above the noise, the task is clear – you must give consumers information they can’t get everywhere else.
By doing this, it allows you to make unique advertising/marketing offers that other dealers and third party sites can’t make.
Only 1 Out of Every 5 Dealerships Will Sell More Cars in January
Most dealers will make the mistake of pulling back on ad dollars in January. For some in cold weather climates, they justify the pull back because of weather. Most dealers pull back because they believe consumers are saturated in November and December with year-end savings events.
The fact is, it is always easier to grab the prospect’s attention – to rise above the noise – when competitors pull back. This gives dealers who maintain their ad budget a huge competitive advantage. But, you can’t come to the table with the same offers that car buyers now ignore. Your offer must be unique and align with what car buyers want in today’s market.
Innovative dealers are increasing their lead count over traditional methods as much as 300% by making this adjustment. They pull prospects into their sales funnel before they hit the third party sites. They influence decisions at key moments in the buying journey.
The average prospect only spends three minutes on a dealer’s website. Research shows when dealers provide more information, make it easier to shop, and are closer to the “Amazon” customer experience, prospects will engage with the site up to four times longer! This happens because these dealers provide more value to the buyer.
How to Make Offers Other Dealers Can’t Make and Turn Your Slow January into a Strong Month
Time is everyone’s most valuable asset. Dealers who CONSISTENTLY save consumers time are winning the highest percentage of market share. So, save them time, effort, and money!
If you want to take a typical slow month and build a January sales number you can be proud of, take advantage of everyone’s mistake of pulling back and make offers that nobody else can make.
Imagine strong January traffic and loving every minute of it! People do most of their research on line and cutting edge dealers embrace this market force and turn it into an advantage.
Dealers who do this will produce a steady stream of leads. What would happen if you made this offer to your customers all month long?
Dealerships who are more transparent, make the buying process easier, and give consumers what they want will get more Internet and showroom traffic. This separates you from everyone else by creating a better user experience and more persuasive offers.
Here's One More Quick Way to Help Your January
Start now. You’re just a couple weeks away from the holidays. By the time you return and start focusing on January, you’ll only be able to impact half of it. The biggest mistake dealers make with January is waiting to get started. It represents 1/12 of your year, yet most don’t get serious about it until after the New Year. Or worse, they accept a slow month.
I know, it’s December and you’re worried about closing out the year – right now you’re probably not thinking about what you need to do in January. But, don’t let your 2019 start off slow. That won’t build much moral with your sales staff. Get 2019 off to the type of start you want and need.