Automotive Marketing: Dealership Strategies to Increase Showroom Walk-Ins and Car Sales

How Can I Drive More Traffic To My Dealership?

Competition is fierce. It can also be expensive if you are using the wrong marketing strategies to spearhead your efforts to bring in customers to your dealership. If your automotive marketers are not putting together a strategic plan to bring new leads to your dealership or they are neglecting your existing customers, you could be wasting your advertising budget on second-rate tactics.

Make Your Business Stand Out Against Other Local Dealerships

Every dealership, including your competitors, wants to bring in more foot traffic into the showroom to get consumers to talk to a member of your sales team in person rather than through email, phone calls or even online chat. Once they are in the door, the chances of you selling them a vehicle is much more likely because you are now dealing with them face to face.

So how do you do it when everyone else is also doing it? Be different. Be creative. Be unique.


Tips For Improving Dealer Walk-Ins From Our Automotive Advertising Group

Our automotive marketing agency offers these helpful tips to make your dealership stand-out against your competitors. We provide some traditional tactics as well as some new strategy ideas your competitors are not using so you can gain potential buyers to your dealership.

Offer Value To Get Customers To Come To Your Dealership

Everyone loves to get “free” stuff. They just do even if its something they don’t need or really want. This is why its a great tactic to offer incentives to get potential car buyers to come to your dealership. The offer has to be something they want, something of value. A free pen is not going to get them to drive to your dealership but these offers will.

In exchange for coming into your showroom to take a test drive, offer them:

  • Free car wash and a quick vacuum of the interior.
  • Certificate for a free oil change to be used within 2 weeks of the date given.
  • Free check engine light inspection using a reader to look up codes.
  • Tire wear, thread and pressure inspection. Add air to tires.

Change Your Email Marketing To Educate More And Not Sell All The Time

Every dealership uses the same email format, even yours, to sell cars. Its filled with the latest deals on new cars but offers zero value to the person receiving it. Just buy me, buy me, buy me content which will get you low open and click through rates.

Instead you should engage consumers by being an authority on the vehicles you sell.

  • Educate the consumer by only featuring one vehicle model by telling them about the features and why its better than similar vehicles made by other manufacturers.
  • Provide tips and information on preventative car maintenance and care. Use these as retention emails to get consumers back to your dealership to visit your service and parts department.
  • Skip the promotions all together every few weeks and tell the subscribers about an event you are having or what your dealership has been doing to help the community. Let them know you care about the local area.

Have a Community Event – NOT a Sales Specific Event

The standard sales event is so boring and predicable. Consumers know your main goal during your “tent sale” or “holiday sales event” is to sell as many cars as possible and its a huge turnoff to the general public. During these typical sales events, sure you get foot traffic to your dealership but its people are are looking for a deal or the price hagglers who know your dealership has too many cars on the lot and they need to go before you send them to auction.

One of the best ways for a dealership, or any local business, is to connect with the local community. This gives your sales team an opportunity to meet people who didn’t even know they were in the market to buy a new vehicle because they came to your no strings attached event. They are there to visit your dealership, not to buy a car. It gives them a chance to look around, get to know your business and maybe, just maybe, make an impulse purchase because they love a vehicle they spotted on your lot during the event.

Event Ideas For Dealerships To Bring In New Customers

  • Connect with a local charity or organization. Help raise money for veterans, have an animal adoption event, bring awareness about child adoption.
  • Plan a family day event. Bring in a bounce-house, pony rides, balloon artists and a costumed characters for picture opportunities.
  • Start a monthly food truck event. Invite the best local food trucks to come to your dealership to sell their delicacies.
  • Throw a concert featuring a local cover bands with a following. Set up a small stage and an area where people can sit in their lawn chairs to listen to the music.
  • Have a craft fair day. Set up tables so local artists and vendors can sell their stuff.

Fix Your Dealership’s Online Reputation

You could have the best dealership in the local area that provides stellar service and competitive pricing but that doesn’t mean anything if your online reputation is bad. Let’s be honest, majority of online reviews and testimonials are typically written by the disgruntled consumer or those who have a chip on their shoulder. They are the ones who will gladly write a bad review about your dealership to warn others about their experience whether it was really as bad as they say it was.

You need to address the bad reviews. If you ignore them or wait too long to respond, this can damage your dealership’s reputation even future. Since most consumers search online to find an auto dealer, make sure your online reputation is not the reason why people won’t come into your showroom.

We offer tons of advice regarding managing online reputations in another blog post.

You can check it out here: Automotive Online Reputation Management Advice

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