How to Generate Referrals for Your Auto Dealership

A lot of the many car dealers in operation all over the country work hard every day to keep their lots in good shape and meet customers coming in, but some of these shops have a lot more success than others when it comes to maintaining a loyal customer base, getting new customers, and generally experiencing a better flow of traffic on their lots.

So how do auto dealers succeed? How does a dealership get referrals and good word-of-mouth, and benefit from a steady amount of traffic in and out of their physical retail locations?

There are a number of fundamental ways that auto sales businesses can build up their marketing practices, and generally take advantage of best practices to draw in customers and build a more stable business model. Here are some of the major pieces of advice that lots of experts have to offer about getting referrals and increasing a customer base.

“Careful” Work in the Community

One top-level idea for improving an auto dealership’s visibility and customer base is related to how dealers treat customers. Some of the most poorly run dealerships simply pressure-sell low quality vehicles, and then work aggressively to collect money from the vehicle’s new owners.

Lots of marketing experts suggest that this practice has got to go if a dealership is going to be successful in the long run. Recommendations for turning this equation around include the following:

Sell good cars—take the time to inspect each vehicle and sell on its merits, rather than trying to offload inventory in aggressive or unethical ways

Work with customers—instead of trying to motivate customers to make car payments through fear, some of those who have worked in the industry for a long time recommend approaching late-paying customers in a more involved manner, working with them to arrange appropriate payment plans

Get involved in the community—using community events can help boost the visibility of a dealership and improve its reputation in a local area

Using IT and Digital Media

Another main component of an auto dealership’s success strategy involves the ways that car dealerships and other businesses market in a digitally connected world. Experts might recommend putting vehicles on YouTube to show customers a better online review of inventory. There are also many ways to use social media and email for keeping in touch with customers and getting more information that can help decision-makers to chart a course for the future.

Stay Organized

In addition, auto dealerships can use various organizational tools and software to make sure they know what’s going on at any given time. Better organizational tools can help staff at every level understand what kind of inventory is on the lot, how sales are progressing, and much more about the business, its revenues and its expenses.

All of the above can help on the dealerships to work more efficiently and achieve more success. Does your dealership have a social media plan? Are your sales people involved in helping customers with tough decisions? Think about how these important philosophies and steps can contribute to a more vibrant business model in the auto sales industry.

Courtney Gordner

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