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Part 1: Car Dealership Sales Strategies – How Will You Be Remembered

December 25th, 2011

While this blog post deals with car dealership sales strategies, don’t be mistaken: the concepts and strategies presented here translate to any sales environment.

If, after reading this entire post, you only take away one nugget of useful information I want it to be this: Out of sight, out of mind.

The true car salesmen from days of old who still prowl the showroom floors belong to a long fraternal bloodline. These guys know how to sell big-ticket items. They know how to write deals. They know when a buyer is hot, and when he is shopping.

Above all, they know the importance of building a relationship – a relationship built on trust that will ultimately lead to referrals to family and friends. So what kinds of sales strategies do these wise car salesmen employ that continues to put food on the table, clothes on their back and send the kids off to college?

It all starts and ends with treating people like people. Sounds simple enough, but is it? By the looks of things you would say otherwise. These days the so-called hotshots have abandoned the time-honored principles of human psychology and have chosen to attack prospects like a hyena on raw meat. Unfortunately, these guys are their own worst enemies. They fail to recognize people don’t like to be treated like robots; people only deal with those they like and trust.

Sales Strategy #1: Get the prospect to like you first. Find a connection and work it.

Where are they from? What school did they go to? What is their favorite pro football team? Do they play golf? The list goes on and on. Look for clues (does the bumper sticker on his car say, ‘A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work?’ You get the point.

Sales Strategy #2: Give away a useful promotional product.

Say you had someone interested in a hybrid vehicle. You know right after they leave they will go across the street and test-drive the competition. What if, as a way of saying Thank You for considering the X Car, the salesman gave the prospect a small card advertising the vehicle along with a seeded paper containing a wildflower mix in the shape of that very car?

Seeded cards

With a firm understanding of human psychology by your side, you know this card will be put to the test. The seeded card will be planted in his garden and soon will sprout. Every time Mr. Prospect looks at the flowers he thinks of you. He also thinks about the fact that you were the only salesperson that gave him such an eco-friendly gift, and when it comes time to making a decision…oddly enough that small gesture stands out in his mind. And most likely he told some of his family members or friends about the experience as well.

Promotional Apparel

Now, I’m not saying Mr. Prospect is going to give you his business just because you gave him this eco-friendly promotional product (or nicely packaged chocolate covered almonds or a compressed T-Shirt in the shape of the car or a promotional calendar). What I’m trying to say is you need every edge you can get nowadays, and the last thing you want your potential customers to think of was how you were a pushy car salesman.

Because let’s say you don’t get the deal, and the rival dealership does (for whatever reasons). Wouldn’t you at least like to ask for a referral? Well, now you can feel good about doing so – and it is all due to the power of reciprocity, which is now on your side.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve test-driven cars and all I receive is a business card, and annoying follow-up calls. Sure, there are dealerships out there that get high levels of foot traffic because of a creative advertising agency (you can always promote gift cards just for test driving a vehicle on your radio spot ads). And sure the holiday sales bring ‘em in.

If the whole point is to build relationships (relationships ultimately lead to sales) then doesn’t it make sense to invest a little pocket change on a promotional giveaway? Stay remembered.

The sales cycle isn’t always a quick one. There are many touch points. You need to give people a reason to answer the phone call. Just handing out your business card doesn’t cut it anymore.

For promotional giveaways that will help you stay remembered contact a promotional products specialist at (866) 751-PROMO or click here for other car dealership promos.

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