When I first started selling cars, I quickly came to the conclusion I wasn’t going to depend just on the dealerships customer traffic; I was going to create my own.
I was going to become a master marketer.
In today’s, marketplace, there are so many ways car sales professionals can market themselves like pros in their communities.
When a car salesperson starts marketing and generating leads, they will quickly see that the traffic they generate themselves closes at a much higher ratio and also they will pay top dollar for your product and service. Like for reals!
If you are in car sales, and you are ready to kick the “Up Bus” to the curb, you are going to love this…
13 Lead Generating Marketing Ideas For Car Sales Professionals
1.Create Valuable Content
Creating search engine friendly content for a specific audience/demographic of a marketplace (probably how you found this post and my blog) on a consistent basis is a powerful way to generate qualified car shopper leads.
With so much of your prospects info gathering process now happening on the web, not in the showroom, leaves you a with a great opportunity to get in front of, and service prospective prospects in their early research stages.
Creating valuable content for the web will help prospects in your market get to know who you are, build trust with them and eventually a relationship which of course leads to names on buyer contracts. Enough said, right?
To get the full effect of content marketing into your career selling cars, you will need a personal website to deploy your content greatness into your marketplace.
Probably wondering to yourself what kind of content to create? Don’t sweat it. That’s the easy part.
Create content that answers the questions and solve the problems your target prospect is searching the web for every day. Just like that.
To help get your content creating creative juices pumping, here are a few examples of content you can create to attract prospects:
- How-to content (how to change wiper blades)
- Vehicle reviews (The top 3 all new features on the 2017 Honda Accord)
- Local news/updates/tips (The 5 streets in Any Town, Any State you want to avoid this winter)
- Frequently asked questions (5 tips to get more money for your vehicle trade)
Here is some more killer content on creating killer content. Click below:
Online video not only creates superstars, but it also drives car buyer leads.
Video marketing, specifically YouTube, was a constant source of qualified car buyer leads for me, and this is circa 2011 era so today it is even more of a lead driver.
Creating and uploading quality videos that your target prospects are searching the web for is one of the best and easiest ways to position yourself the right way, in front of the right people.
Every video you deploy to the web, optimized for search, becomes almost like a salesperson working exclusively for you around the clock 24/7.
Online video, builds awareness, trust, and relationships faster than any other tool at a car salespersons disposal.
Want to create quality videos on the fly? Check out the video below:
3.Write For Local Publications
Local magazines, newspapers, newsletters and local blogs are all opportunities for you to market and build your brand.
Some of these local publications may not have the audience size they once did, but they still help to position your brand as a credible expert in your space. That right there is the name of the game; you know what I’m saying?
Reach out to these publications like the sales superstar you are and show them how you can compel, educate and bring huge value to the publication’s audience.
Just make sure you are bringing content to the table that helps or educates your local community and is not obviously a commercial that is only self-serving to you.
Keep in mind, you close deals that people either invest or go into debt twenty, thirty, forty G’s and even more, so don’t tell me you can’t close a local radio show on letting you come on and bring value to the audience.
4.Launch A Professional Referral Network
A professional referral network (PRN) is made up of other professionals or local businesses operating outside the auto business that caters to prospects whom could also benefit from your services.
Your PRN should consist of other local professional service providers or business owners that your customers would benefit and see value in their services and same goes for their clients and your services.
Once I got my PRN up and running with a plan and strategy, it was a melting pot for qualified car buyer leads.
Aim for 3-5 solid referral partners and watch as your businesses grow together, and both your partner and your clients will be smiling ear to ear.
Marketing is awesome, but having other people marketing for you is even more awesome!
In a nutshell, that is what a professional referral network will do for you.
Check out the video below and learn more about building your professional referral network:
5.Create A High-Quality Personal Brochure
When I was grinding it out and hustling the blacktops and showroom floors, my main focus was to stand out from all the other car salesmen in my marketplace.
From the big things to the small things, I always wanted to make and leave a big impact on any prospect I came into contact with via any medium or channel. My business card included.
Instead of using a regular old boring and stale business card, I had a mini-booklet/brochure created that every time I placed it in a prospects hand, they knew instantly I was different, and they were dealing with a professional.
A quality personal brochure alone will not be a deal closing machine for you, (let’s face it brochures don’t close deals) but rest assure it will help build trust, credibility and enhance your relationship with clients.
Here is the pre-print design of what would be the front and back of my personal brochure:
6.Create Compelling Email Campaigns
Email is being slept on like Serta mattress in the car sales industry these days. Correction, quality, and strategic email campaigns are being slept on by car sales pros today.
Crafting quality emails and building short-term and long-term email campaigns allows you to follow-up, stay in front and service your clients/prospects at scale.
The serious you get about email, the bigger results it will deliver for you.
The goal is to create proven, tested and creative email campaigns cocked back ready to fire off into a prospects inbox for every scenario possible.
Here are some examples of separate segments you want to craft email campaigns for:
- In market prospects
- In market be back prospects
- Past sold prospects
- unsold past/present prospects
I was always tweaking and experimenting with my short-term and longterm email campaigns.
All due respect I was not settling for the dealerships email templates which would include my signature at the bottom as my email strategy.
Their emails did not sound like a real person talks and they sure as hell didn’t sound like me, so I created my own. I was not going to let their uncreative, probably came with the CRM emails, make me look like any other car salesman to my prospects.
No way! Not this dude. You shouldn’t either.
Get 5 Tips to help you craft better emails that get better results:
7.Launch Snail Mail Campaign
Snail mail campaigns, like email campaigns, has the potential to deliver killer results if it is creative, unique and concise.
Dropping a boring ass letter here and there is not what I am referring to when I say snail mail campaigns.
To leverage the power of print campaigns, you will need to create compelling copy that gets tweaked and tested to narrow in on what is going to work best.
Once you have an objective, strategy, and the copy/message down, you need to commit to it long term to get the quality of results I know you want.
An individual car sales pro’s snail mail campaign doesn’t work the same as dealers.
A car dealer can blanket an area with a big weekend sale promotion with that stupid fake key attached to it and still till this day and get some traffic and ROI from it. A car pro not so much.
It is not called snail mail because it works fast. Just saying thought.
Take a gander at these snail mail ideas to help inspire you:
Custom postcards (have many different designs for different occasions. Example, send one to everyone you talk to)
Mail the neighbors of new customers (you know how you get those from Realtors announcing someone sold or bought in your neighborhood, why not with cars?)
Here is an example of the only postcard I have done in the past. This one I sent to anyone I spoke to. Check it out:
Nothing you haven’t heard before right? That is because you can never have enough quality customer testimonials.
A good mix of written and video customer reviews is ideal.
You also want to spread them across review different platforms, but your bread and butter and focus should be on Google reviews.
Google is where your customer is going to be searching and researching, so focusing on Google’s review platform makes sense to me. How about you?
Video testimonials published to your YouTube channel will also increase your odds of prospects in your market coming across you during their search and research journey.
Studies have shown customer testimonial videos carry more credibility than plain text reviews. That there should gear you up for more video testimonials.
Check out this video testimonial example I created with a friend a few years back with just an iPhone:
9.Send Personalized Gifts To Clients
Wowing your new, old and future clients with small personal gifts goes a hell of a long way.
Everyone loves to receive gifts, and even more, they love telling people about gifts they receive. See what I am getting at here? Small gifts will put your word of mouth marketing on physical enhancement steroids.
Keep in mind when I say a small gift, I am not referring to a key change with your name and contact info on it. That sucks, I’m sorry.
Think about it for a second. No one wants your dorky keychain with your name and info on it dangling from their keys to their brand new car. Let’s keep it real.
When I say a “personalized gift” it doesn’t mean it needs to have your info on it. I am referring to personalized for the individual. Not necessarily personalized with their name on a flask from a kiosk in the middle of a shopping mall or something like that.
I mean personalized like you picked the gift out just for them. Something small you know will be a hit with your prospects. Am I making sense to you?
If for whatever reason you didn’t get to know this particular current customer or future one enough to pick them out a small gift that will wow them, stalk out their Facebook, Instagram or other social profiles and grab some easy to access intel there.
A few minutes on one of their social profiles should do the trick.
10.Create Compelling Newsletter
A newsletter whether it is in digital or print format might sound like a “snoozefest”, but that is just because most businesses/professionals newsletters just suck.
Let’s continue to keep things one hundred and acknowledge that most newsletters from a (personal) brand provide zero value and spark none of my interests unless I am in the market for what they are selling.
That approach is lame and why you probably think creating a digital or print newsletter is just a waste.
The formula for a successful newsletter is simple… Just make it valuable to your audience.
Your newsletter is designed to engage, educate, enlighten or entertain the reader, not to sell them.
For a newsletter to drive the long term results you are looking for, it needs to be valuable its “subscribers”, not for you. It is only valuable for you if it is valuable to them. You feeling me?
Check out this video about newsletters from my boy Greg Rollet who is the man when it comes to driving leads with newsletters:
Infographics are the boss like Springsteen on the web right now.
Whether you like it or not,(some people don’t, so just saying) we are living in a visual world, and we are in the business of getting eyeballs on us, on our business/products. That is kinda the name of the game, right?
People on the web love infographics (this person right here, meaning me is one of them) and that my friend, is just the tip of the iceberg on why infographics are dope and efficient.
Here are just a few reasons why infographics make things happen on the web:
- People on the web love to share them.
- Infographics keep people on your site longer.
- They are great for branding.
- We live in a visual world, and infographics are all visual.
There are several different infographics that you could have created that would be valuable to prospects/clients in your marketplace.
Here are a few examples to help spark your creative juices:
- Make & model infographics
- Maintenance and car care infographics
- How-to infographics (how-to-buy a car, how to save money on gas, etc.)
- Vehicle comparison infographics
When it comes to social media strategies, platforms, and techniques, there is no real one size fits all approach.
The social channels and social strategies vary from each marketplace to marketplace and also from person to person.
Your go-to channels and strategies are going to depend on who your target client is, and which social channel they are spending their time on.
That is exactly how I would do it today. I would put my focus solely on the social networks and channels that my target prospects are on, not the networks that I think I should be on.
Regardless of what network becomes your go-to channel, it can serve as your most powerful relationship building tool hands down.
Just be sure to always bring the value in your posts and your comments on other peoples posts.
Find out what social channel your prospects are using, optimize your profile, hop in the conversation and add some value! That will set you up for success no doubt.
Check out this video Facebook Video vs. YouTube, which one should you be focusing on:
The personal brochure I mentioned above would be considered a branding/prospecting tool, but the brochure is so important it can stand alone. Keep that in mind.
Branding/prospecting tools help not only keep your name out there but also present you to the marketplace as a true, committed professional.
Here are just a few examples of branding/prospecting tools:
- Custom pens (so corny but people love them if it’s a good pen)
- Custom postcards
- Insurance/registration card holder (one of my favs)
- Smartphone screen cloth
If you are going to invest in these tools, make sure they are something people will want to keep and use.
I mean let’s be real, no one wants to keep your cheesy self-promotional key chain on their brand new cars key ring! I mean would you? I know I wouldn’t.
Do your due diligence, and dig in and find what tools would be perfect for your prospects and they would want to keep it around.
Check out the post below for more prospecting and branding tools & ideas:
You Need To Tweak And Adjust Your Marketing
You always need to remember, just because you or someone you know is “doing it” does not mean you/they are “doing it” right.
There is no way you are going to get it all right the first time. Understand changing images or tweaking the copy in any format can make a huge difference.
Just like when you are face to face with someone. Sales are in most cases lost by the wrong words, not the price. Same goes for marketing player!
Hone your craft as a marketer on a regular basis. Study great copywriters and marketers from the past and present. There is plenty out there.
Marketing is all about doing shit that doesn’t work, to find what does work.
What is working for you? Sound off in the comments below!