Make Your Phones Drive Dealership Traffic

February 11, 2010

Put Some People Behind Your Phones!

I spend a lot of time at up-your-ups sharing ideas and thoughts on driving dealership traffic.  

An idea about phone calls came across my desk several months ago and now I think it’s time to share it with you. 

Marketing and advertising are designed to drive dealership traffic.  But the end goal is not traffic for traffic sake but traffic that makes the cash register ring. 

If you want your calls to drive more traffic and profit here is something you should look into.

It’s a new tool called Tele Pulse.  It’s the brain child of Dr. John from PCS Global.

In these economic times every dealership has less resources.  Tele Pulse listens to the recording of calls overnight and sends a comprehensive report to you in the morning.

The key to these reports are they simply state  the facts of the call.  They’re not designed to evaluate  the call  handler.  A brief description is given of each call.  Based on this description the calls are grouped and identified into four area’s by Tele Pulse:

1) No Action Needed

2) Needs Follow Up                                                

3) Elevated To Manager Action

4) Save A Deal

The call report as loaded with other useful information including who handled the call, what department etc.   This is a 1o minute read for the General Manager.  It truly gives you the pulse of the days activity.

I know a few dealerships on this new program and they’ve really liked it.  Have your automotive ad agency check it out it’s not expensive and it really delivers results.

If you’d like your marketing and advertising dollars to pay off with adding dollars to your budgets try Tele Pulse.  If your concerned with CSI this is a good place to start as well.

Let me know if you have tried this program or something like it?


Will Your Dealership Traffic Increase With Orphan Customers?

December 24, 2009

Sharon Silke Carty of USA Today  wrote this interesting article on Orphan customers.  

If they’re not on your mind they should be. Here’s an excerpt from her article.

Auto sales are expected to rise slightly in 2010, up to around 11 million, compared with fewer than 10 million sold in 2009. But dealers are still expected to close at a faster rate than usual, because GM isn’t done closing outlets.

GM is killing the Pontiac, Saab and Saturn brands. Its Hummer brand will likely be sold to a Chinese company. That leaves Pontiac, Saab and Saturn customers needing a new place to service their cars.

If GM can’t hang on to these customers, it risks losing sales to other brands.

“GM desperately needs those sales and that market share,” says Michelle Krebs, senior analyst and editor at consumer website’s AutoObserver publication.

via Car dealers want to keep buyers of dying brands –

Whether your a GM dealer or not these customers are in play.  Never before have we had so many orphan customers.   Get your automotive ad agency on this right away.

Here are several ideas on how you can drive some of  this traffic to your dealership!

1) Plan a monthly email to Saturn and Pontiac owners.  It’s an inexpensive way to stay in front of these orphans.  Remember, to be in the right place at the right time you have to be there all the time.  These lists can now be filter to product specific owners.

2) Offer additional trade-in value to any Saturn or Pontiac customer.  A special finance package is also a good idea.

3) On your blog you need to start talking about the challenges these owners will have and what their options are.  Warranty work, trade value, lease returns etc.

4) Have a special invitation sale for Pontiac and Saturn owners.  Offer an oil change as an event gift.

5) Place a generic post on Craig’s list offering additional trade-in value for Pontiac’s and Saturn’s.

6) Put a special button on your web site for information on what to do if  you own a brand that has gone out of business.  Have it linked to a special landing page that walks through the options these owners have.

7) Get your team together and build a plan of attack.  Put your stake into the ground that this opportunity is important to you.

These orphan customers are great opportunity.   Let me know any ideas you are trying or have tried. 


Driving Dealerships Traffic: To Get the Most Out of Twitter Be a Maverick

November 27, 2009

Don’t just follow the herd. Twitter is evolving. Maximize it’s potential around your dealership’s new business objectives.

Twitter itself created the conditions that has allowed users to innovate.  No one in the beginning envisioned that:

  • People would want to follow strangers
  • Celebrities would use Twitter to provide updates to fans of their activities
  • Businesses would use Twitter to promote discounts, launch new products and services
  • Twitter would be used in so many different ways by broadcasters, educators, politicians, doctors, lawyers, ministers and so many others you can’t keep up with them all

There are not many who use Twitter the way that we do. Other than sending personal Direct Messages, we do not send many personal Tweets to others. Our point-of-view is  that most of our followers do not care about specific conversations that I’m having with others.  What our Twitter followers have come to expect from us are helpful resources for dealership new business and driving dealership traffic.

For our own Twitter formula …  80 to 90 percent of our Tweets are made up of resourceful articles and posts.  Our Tweets usually include just the article/post titles and URL links.

Many of these articles/posts come from my online reading using Google Reader. When I find a good post that I want to share, I click on (a tool to shorten, share and track your links) in my browser bar, configure the information about the post and publish it to my Twitter account.  If I’m finding lots of good material, I may post them through Social Oomph (Tweetlater) to be able to spread the posts over a period of time.

I also add posts from my blog.  I have written a number of posts, the vast majority written as a resource for driving dealership traffic.  Most of these are not time sensitive and continue to be a helpful resource for my readers.  I know that because of the traffic each generates to my blog.

I have a number of reasons for re-purposing blog content in this way:

  • Readers do not read my blog chronologically.  People are so busy they don’t have time.  I usually write and post at least once a day, Monday through Friday, but the majority of my readers are not reading my content on a daily basis.
  • Even my most ardent readers will read posts through many different channels such as RSS Feed, email newsletter, SEO, Twitter and from mirroring blog post content through my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
  • Even with a large number of followers, an article that I post at 11 am on a Thursday is going to be missed by 99% of my readers.
  • I use post titles that are crystal clear regarding the content that will be found. This may be dull and bland for copywriters but it is much appreciated by my readership.  They can find relevant material through my post titles through search and as these posts appear through Twitter.
  • I provide links to similar articles that would possibly be of interest to my readers and try to spare them having to search for them on their own.
  • There are often posts that I discover that I know would be of interest to my readers.  So, I will “bridge-the-gap” by specifying how this post/article relates to them.  Materials and tools that aren’t specific to my audience, I can make it specific to them.  It then becomes a resource for ad agency new business.

If you aren’t generating traffic, it’s a sign of a lack of appeal.  Metrics keeps everything on track and focused.  I check my blog analytics multiple times a day along with other metrics tools from, socialtoo and Twittergrader.


Brand Your Dealership With The Silent Salesman To Drive Dealership Traffic

November 24, 2009

If you’re trying to brand your dealership the single most important step you can take when launching is implementation of the silent salesman.  This step talks to the two most important groups of people you can ever want to communicate with.  These two groups are your employees and your customers.

As you make the investment into media, interactive, social and other tools you want to be sure the traffic you are driving to the dealership is getting the first impression you  promised in your branding.  

The most effective way to do this is with the silent salesman.  You may know it by other names such as point of sale or collateral materials.  They may include but are certainly not limited to mirror hangers, banners, stand up graphics, roof tops, posters, flat screen televisions, buttons and desk top flyers to name just a few.

You want your customers to be able to read and see quickly and easily  the promise they were moved to investigate.  It is your job to  reinforce at the dealership this promise.

The second group we need to be concerned with is your employees.  If  you want them to walk the talk they have to know what that talk is.  As we all know just having a meeting or two and expecting our message to have staying power is very  foolish.  This is maybe the biggest reason to invest in the silent salesman.  You need to continually reinforce the dealership message to your people.  If your message is in front of them on a daily basis it only makes sense to think they will retain and act upon it at a far greater success rate.

If you spend any money in driving traffic to your dealership you need to stop and invest in the silent salesman.  Let the silent salesman carry your torch to your employees and to your customers.  If your customers can’t see it and  your people can’t repeat it you haven’t branded anything.


What Do I Need To Say To Drive Traffic

November 23, 2009

Say you are responsible to drive traffic to your dealership and it is your choice alone.  You know customers have more access to you than ever before.  So, where do you start.  Do you go back to old tried and true methods?  But you ask  yourself how true are they any longer?  Your choices now go on forever:  traditional marketing, online & interactive, gaming, mobile, social media, etc.

I would suggest you start with what your customers want?  If you start with the online shopper you need to ask what should you do when you connect with them?

Look no further! eMarketer Daily has very helpfully published a piece on Lightspeed Research's “Global Web Index.”

What do customers want from the brands they love? Information mostly (well, after a good discount anyway.)  Ultimately, they want value. Most importantly  you just need to ask yourself is my message relevant to them?  If it is they probably want more of it.

Something to think about as you plan your online strategy.

 eMarketer Daily has very helpfully published a piece on Lightspeed Research’s “Global Web Index.”

Actions Brands Can Take that Are Most Relevant to US Internet Users, August-September 2009 (scale of 1-5*)


Keys To Driving Dealership Traffic

November 22, 2009

You need to unlock your competitive advantages in this hyper competitive market place.  The trouble is most dealers lock up their true competitive advantage in a difficult market and this is just the opposite of what you should be doing.  Here are six keys for you to turn on the engine to more dealership traffic.


Don’t stop your conquest marketing efforts.  You must still invest in this process.  With all the tools you have available there is no excuse to abandon conquest sales. So Today start planning how to capture sales from people who HAVE NOT yet considered shopping your dealership.  Effective advertising always targets new customers.

Steal sales from the competition.


1. Get the message to the masses – Target your audience.

2. Provide a valid opportunity to respond – Target your message.

3. Achieve results & sell product – Make it accountable.



1. Attention Getter  3.   Logical Reason

2. Strong Statement  4.   Urgent Call to Action


1. Planning  3.   Continuity

2. Contrast  4.   Believability

Plan your inventory, plan your best days. With good branding you will have continuity in all your customer touches.  Be creative and contrast. Nothing expands an advertising budget like good creative.  Finally  people are more cynical that ever and if your message is not believable your leaving traffic at the door.


1. Intensity        3.   Execution

2. Consistency  4.   Different

If you really want effective creative make sure it has these elements.  I have always found that skimping on production makes no sense.  Why put the entire media budget at risk because you want to save a few hundred dollars on production.


1.   Desirable Inventory

2.   Motivated, Informed and Professional Sales Force

3.   Honest, Ethical and Effective Advertising for Results

If you can’t say yes to these three items you might consider holding off on your campaign until you can yes to all three!


Dealership Traffic Increases With Lifestyle Media

November 17, 2009

Automotive dealerships are finally recognizing that buying media, using the old standard of demographic modeling, is flushing money down the toilet.

Lifestyle media has shown to be 30% more effective than demographic media buying.

Why are dealers only now recognizing the value?  Thats easy, it’s the economy stupid!

When business is good everyone thinks they’re a marketing guru. Right? The economy pulls our pants down and makes an ass out of our marketing expertise.

Lifestyle Media buying is very new.  I have been using it now for just two years.  It isn’t an easy sell to dealers in a good market, but the results speak for itself.

Here is how it works:

  • Your customer base is run through a lifestyle data base that matches each household up with one of 62 lifestyles represented in the United States.
  • From this list we find clones of these customers in your market area.  The result is that you discover a given number of lifestyles represent the majority of your business.  For example, you may find that 18 lifestyles represents 80% of your business.  All of the households in your market area that fall into one of these 18 lifestyles is identified.  Next, the media habits of these households is analyzed using all available resources including diaries, surveys and media research from data companies to name just a few.
  • The end result is a report that shows the media habits by media, daypart, drive time, network, station etc. for your best prospects that look just like the people who have bought from you in the past.  Lets face it, lifestyle of a Honda owner is generally different than that of a Ford owner.  Yes, there is some cross over but there is some difference.

If you’re buying off demographics you’re talking to every possible car buyer in America.  In today’s market you can’t afford to follow the old school buying patterns.  With less money available wouldn’t you like it to work 30% harder! Take the step you’ll be glad  you did.