In a bid to drive showroom traffic dealers need to look at more creative methods of appealing to buyers. Traditional methods such as targeted mail shots and flyers do tend to do what they’ve always done in the car trade and therefore are likely to always achieve the same result. This is OK during the good times but when customers are harder to come by sometimes a little outside the box thinking is required.
Obviously the first – and ironically probably the least expensive – is targeting by e-mail. Unfortunately with many sales execs still not routinely obtaining e-mail addresses it is unlikely that there are enough names on a database to construct a promotion that will reach a viable number of prospects.
Prospecting finance renewals is not a new thing but there are some great systems that enable dealers to establish when the optimum time to contact a customer who might be in the right point of a PCP or HP agreement to be tempted by a new car offer.
Many dealers are turning to training organisations that specialise in lead generation and making appointments which may seem strange as most of us acknowledge that this is one of the traditional roles of a sales exec. However although many of them may be good at selling once a customer is in front of them or great at appointing a lead given to them, the concept of potentially cold calling a new customer, or one that has not been seen by the business for some time, is often a daunting one for many sales execs. Let’s remember many of these sales people in the main have replaced employees who were perhaps only good at prospecting and selling and not so good at the “giving the customers some love” bit.
If you’re someone who has bought a car in the last year to 18 months, whether from a franchised dealer or independent, it is likely that one of these attempts at communicating with you will be made in the short term. It’s also likely that if you go away on holiday for any length of time you may find it difficult to get in the door with all the mail piled up against it.