For the past 40 years I have been putting together one car campaign after another. Some sales have been bigger than others—some have laid a big fat goose egg and some have turned an also-ran dealership into a success story. But one thing is for certain; If you don’t properly invest in advertising, you will fail.
So, here is my prescription for a successful car sales event:
You need a plan. I mean a plan. Not just waking up on Monday morning and making a decision to have a weekend sale. I’m talking about a strategically planned event.
· Pick a date. Look at the calendar and make sure that the date you select doesn’t conflict with any other major local event such as a football game. Also, don’t choose a date during certain non-selling holidays like Easter or Christmas, or any other generally slow months in the car business. Picking a date when buyers are more likely to be shopping will determine success versus failure.
· Have enough inventory to be successful. Give customers plenty of selection and choices.
· Set a goal for your event. How many cars do you want to sell? Be realistic. If you have been selling 30 cars a month, and expect to get to 100, that is a substantial leap. Set a number that makes sense in relation to your current sales team and inventory.
· Set a budget. You must have enough money to be effective in more than just one medium. If you are buying TV or radio, make sure you have enough reach and frequency. How many times will the average person in your demographic see or hear your commercial? I like to have a frequency of close to 17 over a two-week flight to guarantee success. I know that represents a lot of money in bigger markets, but if all potential customers see or hear during your event are your commercials, you can’t miss.
· Decide on a theme for your sale. There needs to be a reason for people to shopat your store now. Price is normally the deciding factor that entices customers to act. Create pricing or give the appearance that you are having a huge event. Let them know that you have many of each of your products to choose from.
· Select the right media. If you have followed my past columns, you know I am an advocate of radio, television and newspaper. Yes, we are moving more of our clients to the internet, but for a big impact, you will need more than just internet. See how far your budget will go and as you find you have reached strong exposure in one medium, add another. I like mail or inserts for big sales. Television is always a must and the addition of radio and newspaper will add that multimedia impact.
Make sure you maintain dominance in all media. If you don’t have enough money to stand out, stay away from that media. Feel free to call me or email me to discuss your own big sale. If you do all of the right things, you will have your best sale ever!