Sell More Cars with ‘Referral’ Based Radio Campaigns

If you could, wouldn’t you grow your business from referrals? What if you could combine the effectiveness of referral-based selling with your next radio campaign and get instant, credible, and direct response results?
Well, you can, by utilizing referral-based radio campaigns. It’s the most cost effective and credible way to grow your dealership and it can’t be duplicated by the competition on that radio station. Positive word of mouth and a strong referral trumps thousands of dollars in advertising any day.
For over 15 years, I have successfully used this approach with radio advertising to help dealers around the country sell more cars and gain market share. Properly set up and executed, it will deliver immediate and measurable results and you will never buy radio the same way again.
Select the right radio station and the right DJ
First, you must select the radio station that best reaches your target demographic. Then you need to identify the DJ on the station that best connects with the listeners. This is usually the morning drive DJ, but depending on the station could also be the mid-day or afternoon DJ.
Next, you need to meet with the DJ and ‘sell them the dream’ of why you offer a better product, better selection, better service, better pricing, etc. You want to really showcase the dealership and have the DJ become a product knowledge specialist on your vehicles. It may take several meetings to create the right relationship and may even involve having the DJ ‘test drive’ your cars during the campaign.
‘Live’ radio—not recorded
Once the relationship has been established with the DJ, you need to build a schedule based on ‘live’ radio spots, not recorded rotators. ‘Live’ radio commercials blend with the DJ’s editorial. This allows them to ebb and flow with the programming of the day, and many times, you will receive longer than the 60 seconds you purchased. I recommend one to two ‘live’ radio spots each day in the DJ’s day part or show. You don’t necessarily need to buy the station vertically or have a high frequency. Consistency in the day part is what works here and gives the DJ credibility with the listeners over the days, weeks, and months.
Do not write a script and force words into the DJ’s mouth. Provide ‘talking points’ for the DJ to reference during each ‘live’ commercial. The real creative comes from the DJ and their experience with the dealership, the people that work there and driving the cars. The DJ has become a product knowledge specialist and knows your dealership as well as your best salesman. If done correctly, he or she will say “I drive their cars and you should too” or “I do business with ABC Dealership and you should too”. That referral will immediately separate your dealership from all the other ones advertising on that station, giving you instant and positive credibility and direct response results.
Thomas Hensey is the managing partner at Rhino Marketing, a full service automotive advertising agency. Telephone 713-681-6711, e-mail, or visit: for more information.



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