This isn’t the old school method of selling cars.
Salesmen are now relying on new tactics to lure prospective buyers to the car dealership beyond the traditional approach of print ads, mailed flyers, and the promise of free coffee. Even those cups of complimentary fresh-popped popcorn isn’t enough to keep customers coming through the front doors.
Dealers are now mastering digital marketing methods to prospect car sales and increase leads.
How to Prospect Car Sales in a Digital Age
Thanks to the marvels of the internet age, information regarding just about everything is readily available within seconds.
Using your cell phone, you can now book a hotel, shop for new clothes, make dinner reservations, and check the weather, all in about the span of a minute.
The same goes for car shopping. Customers have the luxury of researching their vehicles, finding competitive prices, comparing financing options, and checking dealer inventory – all before they ever step foot into a car dealership. While doing research, prospects are making decisions about which sources they trust for information. It’s from those sources that customers are more likely to buy.
The key to car sales prospecting in the digital age is reaching the right people, with the right message, at the right time by utilizing the buyer’s journey.
How to Use the Buyer’s Journey For Car Sales Prospecting
Marketers in all industries rely on the buyer’s journey to determine the audience they wish to reach, and ensure the content and message aligns with what their target would find most beneficial at each specific stage.
For example, buyers in the awareness stage haven’t yet decided they want to purchase a new car. They are just trying to find solutions to a problem they might have, such as ways to repair an older vehicle that’s constantly breaking down.
In the consideration phase, customers know they want to buy a new vehicle, but they might still be undecided about which specific car to purchase. At this stage, they’ll find comparisons and benefits most helpful.
Finally, in the decision stage, a buyer knows which vehicle they want to purchase. Now they need information specific to the deals or incentives you can provide to them.
In order to effectively prospect car sales, you need to understand your buyers will be at all different places in this journey. You’ll need to cater educational and useful information that’s specific to your target audience, so when they are ready to buy, they’ll think of you.
5 Unique Prospecting Ideas for Car Sales That Will Increase Your Leads
Now just because shoppers are discovering everything on the internet doesn’t mean you should just overload your website or Facebook page with promotional material about your dealer stock.
The internet is so full of information that misplaced messages and sales pitches will just be ignored and seen as more white noise in the overcrowded space online. But there are several tactics you can utilize to reach your audience.
Here are five car sales prospecting ideas you can use to generate leads.
1. Start a Blog to Prospect Car Sales
Blogs are a great and simple way to showcase your knowledge about the automotive industry while providing helpful insights and tips that your audience can actually use.
If done correctly and frequently, your blogs will begin to generate traffic to your website from search engine results pages. You’ll begin to reach a larger audience and build trust with your audience – one of the most essential traits customers value from salespeople.
To build your blog, focus first on broader informational topics that deliver value to the reader.
An article about the benefits of a specific make and model of vehicle that you’re trying to sell may only appeal to people that are already considering purchasing that particular car.
Instead, highlight more generic topics, like methods to increase your gas mileage, when is the best time to buy a new car, or ways to save money on your insurance.
Once you create a routine and become comfortable with your blogging and content creation process, add a signup form so people can signup to your email list to capture contact information from prospects that could be used for future email campaigns.
More on that in a bit.
2. Create Infographics to Prospect Car Sales
The content on your blog site doesn’t need to be limited to just text articles.
Infographics are becoming a more popular means to share information because they can be absorbed more quickly and easily compared to traditional articles.
These informational images provide and highlight the most useful information or technical specifications and use images to visualize the message. They are extremely helpful when dealing with boring or very technical content.
Creating an infographic might seem like a challenge, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to make one. There are several free programs you can use to create professional quality infographics, such as easel.ly or Canva. But the best results will come from a professionally designed infographic.
But the best thing about infographics is they generally outperform traditional blogs in terms of shareable, reach, and reader completion.
This means compared to an article, your infographics will be seen by more people, increasing your opportunity for car sales prospecting.
3. Be Active on Social Media to Prospect Car Sales
Social media can be your best friend – and worst enemy – when trying to prospect car sales.
Social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn can increase your exposure to potential customers and allow them to respond directly to your posts, so you need to be cautious about what you’re posting.
A general rule of thumb is to follow the 70/30 Rule – which means 70 percent of your posts should be sharing information that’s not originally your own. This can be articles from industry magazines, retweets from news organizations, or other content that would be relevant to your audience.
The other 30 percent would include articles from your blog or personal insights. In rare cases should you post direct promotions about your vehicles.
Remember, social media is a conversation. No one enjoys being part of a conversation when one person is just talking about themselves.
4. Create Email Campaigns to Prospect Car Sales
This car sales prospecting idea might not be the most original. After all, most car dealerships already run some sort of email campaigns.
You know the ones. They include with generic, canned messages that don’t sound conversational in a poorly designed template with a salesman’s signature at the bottom. More often than not, these emails end up in a prospect’s junk inbox.
To increase your leads your emails need to be relevant to your audience.
For instance, if you have a group of previous customers who purchased trucks, send them an email with quick tips to save on gas money.
Or create another group of former customers who haven’t purchased in more than five years and send them a list of things they can do to get the most miles out of their vehicles.
You don’t need to make a complex email template. Some of the most engaging emails are just plain text with information that your audience wants to read. They look and feel like a message from one person to another individual person. They feel personal as well.
5. Use Videos to Prospect Car Sales
Take a moment and scroll through your Facebook feed.
You probably noticed a handful of videos, either shared by friends or companies that you follow.
Video is becoming more popular among companies to sell promote their products or content. In fact, more than 500 million people are watching Facebook videos each day. And these videos don’t have to be direct sales pitches. Consider short how-to videos that can be easily shared and digested.
Some topics you could consider include how to check your oil, how to clean stains on your seats, or how to prepare your car for a trade in.
If you begin sharing videos that provide useful information, you will gain the trust of your audience, which makes car sales prospecting a little easier.
6. Use Video Emails and Text Messages to Prospect and Follow Up
Digital communication like email and text messaging is faceless for the most part which makes it difficult to stand out.
It doesn’t matter how well your email is written or how much value it provides if it just blends in with the rest of the noise in the inbox.
Adding video into your emails and text messages put’s you back into your digital communication so you can get face-to-face at scale no matter how much distance there is between you and your prospect.
It also gives you a way to stand out from your competition instantly when your up’s see your smiling face in their inbox instead of the same old plain typed-out-text that everyone is sending.
In addition to that, you’ll be able to communicate faster, with less misinterpretation by your recipients.
That means you’ll communicate more effectively, in less time and with less back and forth.
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Car Sales Prospecting Is All About Trust
Despite all the unique methods for car sales prospecting, in the end, closing the deal depends on trust.
If you can provide information that’s consistently useful, potential customers will begin to view you as an expert. They’ll begin to trust your opinion and information as they conduct their research and determine which new vehicle is right for them.
Remember, not everything needs to be a direct sales pitch. If you understand their needs and provide information that’s helpful to them at the time that they need it, you’ll see just how easy it can be to prospect car sales in the age of the internet.