If you survey people in your town about the difference between you and one of your competitors, the most common responses will have to do with location, vehicle brands, and length of time in business.
In most cases, the level of differentiation that exists in customers’ minds between one dealership and another is minimal, and not nearly enough to create a buying preference or a reason to choose one over another. This leaves price as the only differentiator. That’s a very bad thing.
One of the biggest reasons for this problem is that most car dealers advertise the same; and that’s what your potential customers see first—the advertising.
If your advertising looks the same as your competitors, people assume that everything else you do is the same too. And since all car dealers are “con artists” (stereotype) you must not be any different.
Of course, this isn’t the case at your store. So if you’re not like those “stereotypical car dealers,” why advertise like them? The same is lame.
The good news is you can fight back—with a vengeance! Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need to market smarter and make a bold and clear statement that you are not that stereotypical car dealer:
Do the opposite
One great way to get more than your fair share of the market is to take Earl Nightingale’s advice, “If you want to be successful, look at what everyone else is doing, and do the opposite.”
What are you doing to be different? Most dealers all have similar backgrounds and experiences in the business. But the opportunity for success and the attention of your prospects is endless.
You must become a risk-taker. Status quo thinking and common sense action delivers status quo and common results. If you are seeking more than average results and success you need to do the opposite.
Doing what’s comfortable is safe for you—but boring for your customers. Boring is invisible and invisible means no sale.
Give value first
At the beginning of every customer/dealer relationship there is a set of emotions like fear, distrust, uncertainty, and lack of knowledge that exists, and they stand between you and the sale. Think of this as “The Mighty Wall Of Mistrust.” In the car business it’s a higher and thicker wall than in any other business. Most dealers and salespeople try to do a standing jump over the wall, only to miss it by a mile. It’s foolish to try to jump the wall in a single bound. The smart thing to do is break the wall down from the bottom, brick by brick.
By providing your customers with valuable information you put yourself on the same side of the table as them. You become a trusted advisor instead of a product pusher. This allows you to chip away at the wall more quickly and ultimately overcome all the emotions that stand in the way of the sale.
Create an irresistible offer
While all of your competitors are screaming price or payment, service or selection, you must create a truly compelling, irresistible offer.
Analyze your dealership and find out what you do that your competitors don’t do (or don’t talk about) that delivers a high return on investment for your customers.
Focus on the value-added services your store provides. Do you offer a unique warranty or satisfaction guarantee? Do you include a maintenance package with your vehicles? Do you give free car washes to your customers for life? Can you help your customers with trade-in problems or credit issues?
This is not about pulling silly marketing stunts like pink gorillas on your roof or talking dogs in your commercials. This is about offering a truly unique and valuable experience and benefit to your customers that effectively removes you from the commodity pricing game.
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the co-authors of Invasion of the Profit Snatchers& founders of Rich Dealers®. Get a free copy of their new book at www.ProfitSnatchersBook.com—use coupon code DMM1206.0