Start the Year Strong: Brilliant Ideas & Best Practices Part II

In Part One of this series, we discussed some of the marketing tactics that could be used to enhance your dealership’s image and avoid the post-holiday blues. In this part, we’ll dive head first into ways you can further engage with your customers.

Create Events
Anything done for a good cause is usually going to be positive. Your dealership can take advantage of this slower time of year to sponsor charity-driven marketing efforts, both on and off site. For example, you could create a test-driving event. Invite the public to your dealership to try out one of your newest models. Agree to donate a dollar amount based on each test drive to a local charity or cause. You can promote the event with traditional advertising locally, via social media, and even invite local media to share the story or broadcast live. It’s optimum exposure for your dealership in terms of brand recognition. It can also bring crowds of new-to-you customers. Doing good deeds and properly marketing those efforts can increase brand awareness and promote your social responsibility as an organization.

But creating an event doesn’t always have to be charity either. Consider hosting a drawing for a large, substantial item. Having a television giveaway, for example, particularly a week before a significant sporting event, can be a great way to get folks in your dealership. Enter them with test drives. Create a live video of the drawing to promote on social media.

Getting Folks in the Door
Just because your business is slow this time of year doesn’t mean someone else is as well. Offering appointments outside of normal hours to service professionals that are busy this time of year will help create a positive, thoughtful image of your dealership. How likely is an accountant to bring their dollars to you when they know you’re staying open just for them? How likely will they be to recommend you to other accountants or clients?

Now is an excellent time of year to reach out to former customers. You can initiate calls and emails thanking them for their past purchases. Perhaps offer loyalty incentives and perks to prompt them to return and trade up.

If you have past customers, or maybe relationships with former ‘tire-kickers’ and ‘be-back bus’ riders, now is an ideal time to reach out. A call to check in and verify they’re still driving their old vehicles – along with an offer to get them back to the dealership – can be the personal touch needed to increase sales. It’s a numbers game. So while your sales staff may each make ten calls, only a handful will respond. But not making those calls at all means zero extra sales too.

Generating revenue for the dealership isn’t all about vehicle sales. Consider promoting seasonal maintenance reminders and offers. Consumers can be prompted for new tires, routine tune-ups and oil changes before winter, but they’re more likely to wait until something actually goes wrong with their car or the weather goes really south