Increasing car sales and optimising every available channel to deliver more leads has never been more vital. There can be no doubt that car dealers now operate in a 24/7 market against competitors spread as far and wide as a certain pandemic. It’s no longer just dealerships within a few miles you have to keep up with. Fast, efficient, nationwide delivery services mean you have to be relevant to a far larger audience if you want to sell more cars. Here are our top tips on how to increase car sales and see better engagement with your audience, wherever they may be.
97% of car buyers start along their path to purchase online. Dealers need to ensure they are grabbing the attention of customers right at the beginning of the path to purchase – by appearing at the top of search results. Having a website is not enough. You need to have a website that performs and earns its keep.
Whilst other search engines are available, the top of the Google search engine results pages (SERPs) is where you want your dealership to appear. Ask yourself how often you scroll to the bottom of a results page. Rest assured, it’s the same for everybody else. If you don’t appear in the top-level results, you are handicapping your ability to increase car sales from the offset. There are a few “must dos” that can help you achieve this. Any car dealer will have heard the old adage “you need to spend money to make money”, often in the context of print and other traditional advertising. But it’s just as true when it comes to digital channels. Perhaps the most simple and hardest working asset you can have in your digital marketing mix is a Google Ads strategy. Not only will it enable you to focus on the potential car buyers who are searching for the cars and services you offer, it will enable you to utilise the platform to best effect. For instance, you can introduce negative keywords to block out irrelevant searches. And by continually refining your parameters, you will capture more relevant leads, as those seeking what you offer are sent directly to your website. You can also use ad extensions to deliver more key information in one go. There are multiple tools within the platform that can give you an edge over your competitors when it comes to being seen.
There are also lots of other aspects you can incorporate into your website for free that will make it more attractive to search engines too. Pay attention to your descriptions and how you use keywords. In particular, keep keywords tightly related to your Google Ads text if you’re utilising them. Avoid using the same terms and text over multiple pages too.
Content is also of vital importance. Make sure your pages include internal and external links. Incorporate HD imagery and graphics where appropriate. And above all else, include video content. SnapCell is the perfect platform for generating all manner of video content, from high quality walkarounds to technical ‘how to’ showcases. What’s more, SnapCell content integrates seamlessly with your CRM, providing you with the data you need to show what works, what needs improvement, and what content is generating the most leads on your website. We have a sneaky feeling you’ll probably find that it’s video!
When they say trust is earned, they mean it! Buyers are more wary and better informed than they’ve ever been. And car dealers still have some headway to make in improving their reputation over days of old, when perhaps tactics were a little too direct. Don’t get us wrong – there’s still room for good old-fashioned, honest selling. But being transparent and upfront are key. One way of doing this is to be impartial – let a third party do the selling for you, like your satisfied customers.
By including reviews in your content marketing, you offer your potential customers the reassurance that they are making the right choice – not just when it comes to a particular make, model, or service, but with you as well. A review from someone who has made the same choices they are facing and is happy with the results, goes a long way to helping them make an informed decision.
SnapCell offers you a quick and easy way to create HD videos from any smart device at the touch of a button. With intuitive editing tools built in, you can craft the perfect review video with the ease of a simple video call.
Offering incentives can be a powerful persuasion tool that can increase car sales too. But offering the right incentive is key. Throwing in a free oil change has become so commonplace that most buyers now expect it to be included as part of a standard sale package. You can add real value to a sale by including paint or alloy wheel protection, tyre cover, or a service plan. Something less obvious, like a gift certificate or reconditioning services can also really make you stand out. Remember, one size does not fit all, so tailor your offering to different customers – right down to individual level if you can. You will instantly raise your game, and raise your appeal over that of your competitors.
Be unique in how you present your brand and business online too. Good content cannot be produced via copy and paste. Each webpage needs to be different from the next, made up of good, original, and above all, relevant content. Try to avoid keyword dumping, and instead, integrate them naturally into the content. Every page on your website should serve a purpose, look good, and look different.
Work Smarter not Harder
Implementing digital processes into your sales machine is one of the easiest ways to improve efficiencies and increase car sales. And by using software and platforms that are already hardwired to serve automotive businesses, you gain a further edge.
Overall, reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a sale has many advantages. It of course gives you more time to sell more cars, but it can also help increase customer retention by streamlining your daily routine and improving your availability.
Good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software should enable you to keep track of all your marketing activity, but it should also enable you to keep selling on the go via a mobile platform. SnapCell offers easy integration into almost all dealer CRMs, and all of our tools and resources are available via the app – making your sales team contactable and connected to your CRM wherever they go. Any activity using the app is added to your data, making your processes more efficient and enabling your sales team to concentrate on selling rather than reporting back.
Increase your Availability
Nobody wants to work around the clock, but you do need to work around your customers. Offering extended hours can have a significant positive impact on the amount of footfall you see. Car buyers are looking for convenience and if you close just after they get out of work, or only open just before they start, you’re limiting the window of opportunity. If you can be open seven days a week and offer extended hours, you will benefit from it.
You can also be more available by having your sales teams use a mobile platform as we’ve already mentioned. If your customers can’t get to a showroom, take it to them with live streaming or a personalised video. For the most part, people buy from people – so even if they’re not in the showroom, your team can still be there for your customers to talk to when they need them – and with two-way chat built in, SnapCell offers all of this and more as standard.
Compare the Market
Car comparison websites aren’t just useful tools for consumers. They can provide just as much insight for dealers, and can be a great way to keep track of your local competitors as well as buying trends. They can be especially useful for price checking your inventory. You can gauge where your dealership ranks and make adjustments as necessary. Most of your prospects make a decision to visit a dealership online, based on price. In fact, over 56%* of car buyers don’t contact a dealership before visiting. If your stock looks expensive compared to everyone else, you could be scaring off over half of your potential leads before you even knew they were there.
And, as important as pricing is, if your stock is still standing on the forecourt after sixty days on a regular basis, then it might simply be a case of not offering what your buyers want. It’s important to make informed buying choices as a dealer, just as much as it is for a consumer. Monitor your enquiries and look at what’s selling on competitor lots. Basically, keep it simple and give your customers what they want, not what you think they need.
If you’re looking to increase car sales, not much can beat doing the graft. Did you know the odds of contacting a lead is over 100 times greater* if you follow up within five minutes compared to half an hour? The good news is that more buyers are visiting dealers, whilst fewer are making trips to multiple dealerships as part of their car buying journey**. That means if you can get them in the door, you’ve done most of the hard work already.
The rule of ten is a good goal for most salespeople to aim for; ten emails, ten texts, and ten phone calls per day. By varying how you contact your audience, you increase the likelihood of finding your customer’s preferred channel. Emails work best overall, accounting for up to 39% of lead generation†. But over 90%† of consumers want to use SMS messaging to interact with a business.
As with most of our tips in this article, if you find what works for your customers, they’ll be much more likely to buy through you. If you’d like to know more about how SnapCell can help you increase car sales, get in touch with a member of the team today.
** Cox Automotive, 2018 Car Buying Study
† JD Power Survey, 2018