Increasing foot traffic to your dealership is a major part of selling cars. By making your dealership a destination for prospective buyers rather than a mere “stop”, your dealership will see an increase in new sales and repeat business. Here are 6 ideas that will pack your dealership with consumers:
- Perform Community Service– Serving the local community is a great way to show your appreciation of their patronage. Here is one simple service any dealership can do to get involved. Volunteer to host a blood drive at your dealership. Local hospitals and the Red Cross are always in need of blood and are looking for businesses and organizations to help them promote blood drives. Ask the local radio station to advertise the blood drive at your dealership (and be sure they call it a ‘community service event’). Although those coming in to donate blood won’t be buying cars during the blood drive, they will still see your inventory and have the opportunity to talk with sales personnel (especially while they wait for their turn to donate!). Hosting a blood drive also promotes your dealership as a contributor to the community, as a business interested in helping others. Building your name in the community will encourage both the blood donors and others to come to your dealership when they are looking to buy a car.
- Partner Up– Join hands with other non-competing businesses to promote each other’s services. For example, if your dealership sells trucks, partner with an RV dealer or boat dealer. Have the RV dealer come to your dealership, or vice versa, to demonstrate and teach prospective buyers how easy it is to connect a truck to an RV.
- Go Where your Consumers Are– Set up window displays for your dealership throughout the city and surrounding areas. Display your dealership ads at heavily frequented places such as your local mall or sporting goods store. Know your customers and where they shop. According to dealermarketing.com, an Audi dealer in Topanga, Louisiana reached 14 million people every month by opening up his dealership inside the mall across from one of the big department stores. Inventory was stored in the parking garage for the mall.
- Team up with Schools– Team up with the Driver’s Education program of your local schools and educate the high school classes about vehicle maintenance – a subject that is often ignored in Driver’s Ed class. These teenagers will need a car soon, so hand out brochures with inventory pictured, or even offer a discount on a pre-owned (or new) vehicle to these teens. Parents will appreciate it!
- Sponsor Events– Become the preferred dealer in town by sponsoring university athletic events, rodeos, marathons or any other big event in your city. You do not have to spend a lot of money, but your support of these events will create goodwill for your dealership.
- Build Relationships– Keep in touch with current consumers and build relationships. Social media makes it easy to connect with consumers and interact with them. Offer advice or special offers to your social media followers. Your customers will keep coming back and telling their network of family and friends about you!
These six strategies help spread your brand name, establish you as a community leader, and enhance your reputation in the community. These strategies may not be directly tied to selling cars, but by hosting and sponsoring events, you get your dealership name ‘out there’ and develop a positive image for your dealership. Both will increase awareness and consumer traffic, which in turn will increase sales.