Walk around videos have been around for a few years and are incredibly effective, but the process of creating these videos has been cumbersome, arduous and time-consuming…until now.
We’ve all heard that the Internet has changed everything. And it has, but not in the way you may think. Pretty much every dealership now has a dedicated Internet Sales Department or BDC who’s responsible for either selling vehicles through the Internet or driving those prospects into the dealership.
But just as everyone now believes in the power of the Internet to sell cars, the Internet has actually made it more difficult for dealers to distinguish themselves. From a buyer’s perspective, another dealership is just a click away. Dealers need a way to immediately capture the customer’s attention and differentiate themselves from their competition. Video does that, especially when everyone else is sending the same text-based auto-response emails.
Be different! With more people consuming video, dealers can use this ‘zero moment of truth’ to show each prospect how much they want their business by creating a personalized Walkaround Video just for them. There is no better way for a prospect to feel connected to the vehicle they inquired about than to have a personalized video of it in their inbox.
Mitch Gallant is one of Canada's Brightest
Online Reputation management is something that The Dealer Geek nation is being sold, coached, and frightened into caring about. I thought who better than my main man Mitch Gallant, who works out of the Regina Ford Dealer Capital Ford to do a little Q & A with.
Q: Mitch, can you give our readers an overview of your position at Capital Auto Group?
You bet, my title is Director of Marketing and Communications. Under that umbrella I help our business development centre (BDC), our marketing team and our front end customer service folks do the best job they can each day, and oversee those 3 departments.
Q: How important is a dealer’s online reputation and how long have you been super focused on this for your stores?
I think that reputation in general has to be a priority and trying to divide your online from your offline reputation would be a messy thing, being that they’re one in the same thing. Customers are looking to make a purchase from a dealership they know will stand behind what they sell and make the ownership experience a pleasant one. Your online reputation is the easiest way for customers to get a feel for how their shopping and ownership experience will be and so I think it’s a critical part of dealership operations. For our dealers, we’ve always been focused on reputation but our online strategy has been in place for no more then 2 years.
Don't forget Outbound Calls!
For years, outbound sales efforts have been crucial to the dealership’s complete selling process. Not every shopper buys after their first contact and you can bet the farm these shoppers are sniffing around other dealerships as well. Outbound calling allows you to reignite the conversation, gain clarity on needs, and ideally, steer them back your way with an appointment.
The technology behind this process has come a long way. The old method was simply a blind effort: Check the logs for a shopper’s name/number, dial, cross your fingers, repeat. But then along came a little black box that could track these calls! With this little black box you could see how many calls employees were making, when, and to whom! While an improvement, that’s not enough for such an important piece of the selling cycle. Outbound calling data needs to provide more clarity, be much more actionable, and most importantly, improve your business.
Let’s tell the story of Salesman Steve and Salesman Sam. Both are good employees. They hit the floors hard and are willing to pound the phones equally hard. One day, Steve makes 50 outbound calls to prospects. Not bad right? That same day, Sam makes only 30 calls. All else equal, common sense says Steve did a better job on the phones. But what if we could tap into the true nature of these calls? The good news is now you can:
Use PS to get your customers to commit
If you have been reading The Dealer Geek for any length of time you will know that I am a huge fan of going back to basics when it comes to online marketing. I recently read an article over on DealerRefresh that got my creative juices flowing!!
Malinda Terreri’s article “P.S. This Really Works!” reminded me how I read emails and letters and why using PS (Post script) in your emails can get those clicks that we want so desperately in our emails.
Malinda is an expert in email marketing and she shared some great ideas on how you can use PS for conversions in your emails.
After doing some more reading on the web, it is a fact that most people will scan to the bottom of the email before getting into the meat and potatoes (the body). I honestly don’t remember the last time I used P.S. in a business email. Did I think it was childish? Maybe it sounded too desperate? NO, the real reason is I forgot to go back to basics and think of what excites me in an offer.
Anyone selling a product, service, or themselves should really take another look at their Sales emails and see if they need to a little steroids at the bottom aka PS.
Take yourself outside of the auto industry for a moment.
The coffee shop I go to daily is out of my driving way, but I go there because they provide me with the best service and great tasting coffee. The nail place I get my nails done is not the cheapest place in town or the closest to my house but I go there because they do an excellent job in their services and give me personal attention.
These are small purchases in my daily life.
So imagine spending instead of $2 for a coffee, $15,000 for a car. Or perhaps I am shopping for an SUV, so now I am spending $30,000 on a vehicle. Who would you buy a car from?
As Internet and BDC departments continue to grow with over 85% of buyers now doing research online, it is mandatory we must use this to our advantage.
BRING VALUE to your first impression. Once upon a time, emails were cutting edge. Proper punctuation, maybe a signature at the bottom or company logo would catch the customers attention.
Now, with the CRM companies providing auto responders-many of these emails are close to or nearly the same. An email is nothing more than words on a screen. There is no audio, no tone inflection or any emotion. There is nothing in an email that can excite a customer except for maybe a low ball price. In an email we have the least control and many dealerships are forced under the perception that the only way to win an internet customer is to drop their pants and sell their product below invoice and give away holdback.
I am here to tell you this is a broken method.
The evolution of a customer starts with the first moment of truth. A customer is shopping online for a vehicle. The internet, a chat session or even a phone call will not gain a sale to your dealership. The customer still needs to come to the dealership. 86% of customers end up buying something different than what they originally inquired on, and the only way for a customer to make a purchase is to come to the dealership.
This should be on every salesperson's desk
In a world of “Gurus” and “Consultants” it is sometimes hard to see through the fog and obtain some good solid information. Sure the blogs and forums are out there but sometimes a nice paper book at your desk is what you really need.
Phone Ninjas put out a great 80 page in depth Phone and Internet training manual for car dealers. Jerry was kind enough to send me a copy to review.
After a few nights on the Ipad, I bombed through Jerry Thibeau’s latest manual that should be considered the “Bible for Car Sales”.
I have been following Jerry Thibeau, founder of Phone Up Ninjas since 2009 where we met on the infamous DealerRefresh Forums. Jerry was the kind of guy that would help on any issue even if it had nothing to do with padding his own wallet…my kinda guy.
It was clear from reading some of his articles that he was an amazing trainer and a wealth of information. Jerry was the one that got me hooked on Jing after his article “Turbo charging your Internet responses”. If you want to see firsthand why Jerry Thibeau has a thriving business just take a gander at this thread – “How are your phone skills” (quick answer for most dealerships .. pretty shitty)
Why should dealers care about Phone Training? Its 2012 right? The game has changed it is all about email, text, Website Chat right??
Jerry provided me with some interesting stats that will give your management team a reason to invest in phone training. Check it out.
This is taken from Page.4 of Jerry’s training manual. I had to leak this page to give readers an official State of the Union.
80% of your phone traffic will buy within 3-5 days.
90% will buy within 10 days.
76% of your customers will call before the come in.
85% will visit the internet when shopping for a vehicle.