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I recently added this into a forum post comment and realized that some more people might be wondering about this. Where is the best place to ask for a referral? It used to be simple, after they purchase - ask for a referral or maybe give them a call a few weeks later and ask. Definitely YES, those two options are prime time referral asking opportunities but now that we live in a digital era, there are A LOT more opportunities to connect and engage with your customer. Meaning there are a lot more opportunities to ask for a referral. 

I like to refer to all the best places to "ask for a referral" as touch points and I will preface this with my STRONG, STRONG opinion that a referral program is great, it's awesome, but without an offer of some kind.... some of these ideas can just fall flat... why? People are busy. The offer is the stickiness that you need to go above the competition and stay at the top of your customer's mind. PS: People prefer MOOLAH, according to a recent survey," 77% of Americans identify money as their reward of choice."

I know some dealers are hesitant/wary about the effective on ROI when combined with the reward amount but it's such an inaccurate/outdated way of thinking about it.  I love showing stats and blowing dealer's minds about ROI on referrals. Just look at PayPal: "By directly paying people to sign up and then paying them more to refer friends, we achieved extraordinary growth. This strategy cost us $20 per customer, but it also led to 7% daily growth, which meant that our base nearly doubled every 10 days." - Peter Thiel - Co-founder. And not only is it cost effective, it improves your overall branding and marketing efforts, according to MarketShare, "Word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%."

My biggest tip to gain the most traction in the following scenarios is that you ensure your referral offer/request gets to your customers QUICKLY and it is EASY for them to refer. Below are a few top touch points for a dealership/salesperson, GM or really any employee to ask for a referral.

Top Touch Points:

The most common and effective touch is point is immediately after purchase, but as we all know, our salespeople are usually a little too stoked about closing the deal to handle this.. so here are some other just as effective and awesome places to ask for a referral or promote your referral program:

  1. In-Store Marketing - while they wait for F&I create some flyers that highlight the referral program + $OFFER, your customer is at their most elated point right now, they just bought a car but now they're stuck waiting. They also know they've just spent a pretty penny and the option to help a friend and earn is extremely appealing at this point. We've had some customers submit 4+ referral leads while they've waited for F&I!
  2.  
  3. F&I - your F&I manager is an ideal candidate to quickly explain the benefits of your referral program AKA earning money, while they are also discussing added benefits of new features AKA customer's spending money. a nice ying and yang for the customer to think about.
  4.  
  5. Automated Emails - if you have a follow up email to thank your customer for their purchase - add a referral button or banner that leads to a form to submit referrals. It's easy and efficient.  Your salesperson should also be following up with an email or call (mentioned below) but if they forget or won't, these automated emails and inclusive offers will ensure it gets to your customer!
  6.  
  7. Salesperson Follow up - 1-2 weeks after purchase. A simple check in to see how the car is doing can lead to a LOT of useful information, like if anything is wrong and the salesperson can help remedy this -- Major brownie points and once resolved, it's the perfect time to ask.
  8.  
  9. REVIEWS! If you get a good review, comment back and give them a link to a landing page/form where they can submit referrals!  The lack of action on positive reviews sometimes saddens me, they are a GOLD MINE for referrals... and even the bad one's offer up so much learning experience --- a goodwill offer can help a ton here too.
  10.  
  11. Social Media - It's where you have a lot of loyal fans (as long as you didn't pay for them J ) You can post about referral offers a TON here, it's something that actually won’t get old because you're offering up a reward. You can also tag your most loyal customers and invite them to join. Gamifying this is also really cool, whoever submits the most referrals this month gets 3 free oil changes. (it doesn't always have to be money offers, it's just what the people prefer.)
  12.  
  13. Your Website - PLEASE!!! do not stuff it into one of your million and billions of tabs and sub tabs. Nobody really looks in those. Make it a nice attractive button that highlights the offer amount "$100 Referral Credit" $100 Reward Credit". Something to catch their eye. 

Source : http://www.drivingsales.com/kristen-tepper/blog/when-and-where-should-you-be-asking-for-referrals-here-are-your-top-7-spots?utm_campaign=CUNL&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=35183361&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_gYbnkYh53LztIhwz_IkoF59qN7NHEXBN7NBp1GUgeSdIxYyNP4W-y_B_bdgFLYL3DiNrCb3idG9d-iHHAzuGv6YZjwA&_hsmi=35183361

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http://www.automotivedigitaltraining.com 856-546-2440 

http://www.dealersynergy.com ;

Car Salesman "Ups" A Waitress & Sells 2 Different People Cars & Sets 4 Additional Appointments For Future Car Sales!

Sean V. Bradley, CEO of Dealer synergy recently conducted a training session at Roswell Honda in New Mexico and inspired a fledgling Automotive Sales Professional to try some of the Dealer Synergy Prospecting strategies… And the VERY FIRST time, Dexter hit a grand slam home run! Congrats Dex! 

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Use LinkedIn To Sell More Cars...

This is a great article I first read a few months ago about how LinkedIn is the best tool used by top sales reps to gain great leads. 

I recently interviewed 54 top salespeople about how they use LinkedIn to research accounts, prospect for leads, and generate sales. All of the study participants sell technology-based products to the IT departments of mid to large size companies.

The study included three types of salespeople: 33% were inside salespeople who sell exclusively over the phone, 41% were outside field reps responsible for acquiring new accounts, and 26% were outside field reps who managed existing client account.

The results suggest there are four basic LinkedIn user classifications:

Enthusiasts: Twenty-five percent of the study participants would be classified as “Enthusiast” LinkedIn users. Enthusiasts have fully developed LinkedIn accounts and use LinkedIn continuously during the day. They believe it is an important tool for generating product interest and promoting their company to potential customers. Enthusiasts were more likely to be outside salespeople responsible for acquiring new accounts. The average Enthusiast has around 700 contacts, and one had over 1200. Half of Enthusiasts have paid for an upgraded LinkedIn subscription at their own expense.

Casual: Forty percent of participants would be classified as “Casual” LinkedIn users who access their account on a regular basis. They consider LinkedIn a useful tool to research and learn more about prospective clients. Casual users have about 250 contacts on average, and all use a free LinkedIn subscription.

Personal: Fifteen percent of participants would be classified as “Personal” LinkedIn users. Their LinkedIn accounts have ample information about their job history and past accomplishments. Their main purpose for having a LinkedIn account is for job-related networking and they rarely, if ever, use LinkedIn for work-related purposes. Personal users averaged around 300 contacts.

Non-Participants: Twenty percent of the salespeople were “Non-Participants.” Non-Participants don’t have a LinkedIn account or their profile contains very little personal information and fewer than 20 contacts. They don’t consider LinkedIn a priority and seldom log-in to their account. These people were more likely to be older than Enthusiasts, and the majority worked in the same position or at the same company for many years.

Here’s how data from the first two groups breaks down:

How Salespeople Use LinkedIn

Contact Types

The composition of contacts varied greatly between Enthusiasts and Casuals. About 30% of Enthusiasts’ contacts were with existing clients, compared to only 5% for Casuals. Over 85% of Enthusiasts indicated they use their LinkedIn account to engage prospective customers during the sales process, while only 20% of Casuals did. Twenty percent of Enthusiasts contacts were prospective customers, on average, whereas it was less than 4% for Casuals. Partners (resellers, consultants, industry influencers, etc.) who affect customer purchasing decisions account for about 28% of contacts for Enthusiasts and roughly 17% of Casuals.

Customer Research

Every Enthusiast and nearly half of Casuals use LinkedIn to find out who they should contact in order to secure customer meetings. Over 90% of Enthusiasts and 65% of Casuals use LinkedIn prior to customer meetings to find out more about the people they will meet. Specifically, they are interested in where they have worked in the past and who they might know in common. Both groups also use LinkedIn extensively to verify a person’s title. About 55% of Enthusiasts and 10% of Casuals use LinkedIn to research their competition. In addition, Enthusiasts mentioned they will monitor a prospective customer’s connections to find out which competitors and salespeople are working on the account. Overall, LinkedIn was rated as a research tool (on a scale of one to five with five being highest) by Enthusiasts at 4.1 and 2.5 by Casuals.

Account Prospecting

Less than 15% of Enthusiasts and none of the Casuals ever reported making an unsolicited initial customer contact directly through a LinkedIn invitation. Nearly all salespeople commented they were fearful this would be perceived negatively by the prospective client. Instead, over 85% of Enthusiasts and 50% of Casuals indicated they would use LinkedIn to ensure they were contacting the right person but make first contact via email. The majority of both Enthusiasts and Casuals indicated their companies supplied better prospecting tools than LinkedIn. Overall, LinkedIn was rated as a prospecting tool by Enthusiasts at 3.8 and 2.1 by Casuals.

Use of Groups

On average, Enthusiasts belong to 12 groups and Casuals to four. Both Enthusiasts and Casuals indicated their main purposes for joining groups was to keep in touch with colleagues they worked with in the past, follow companies of interest, and to improve industry related knowledge or sales-skills. About 40% of Enthusiasts and less than 20% of Casuals responded that they belonged to groups that their prospective customers were part of. No one indicated they had generated an initial customer meeting based upon a group membership.

Existing Client Communication

Seventy percent of Enthusiasts and 18% of Casuals reported they had used LinkedIn to keep existing customers informed about their company’s offerings. Those who did used LinkedIn to send short messages that contained links to press releases, white papers, analyst reports, product announcements, and company produced videos. However, both groups overwhelmingly preferred to use e-mail to stay in touch with existing clients. LinkedIn was rated as an existing client communication by Enthusiasts at 2.1 and 1.5 by Casuals.

LinkedIn Generated Revenue

Over 40 percent of Enthusiasts indicated they have successfully generated revenue based upon LinkedIn-related efforts. Conversely, less than 20 percent of Casuals successfully generated revenue directly attribute to LinkedIn.

Overall, 18% of all survey respondents indicated they have generated additional sales as a direct result of their LinkedIn activities. However, this number is deceiving. In order to truly measure LinkedIn’s effectiveness you must take into account how many salespeople are Enthusiasts, Casuals, Personals, or Non-Participants.

SOURCE: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/04/top-salespeople-use-linked/

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http://www.dealersynergy.com 856-546-2440
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The Evolution and Natural Selection of Automotive Sales - WEBINAR - Advanced Showroom Sales

Advanced Showroom Sales / Car Sales Training - How To Sell 30+ Units Per Month

Sean V. Bradley, CEO of Dealer Synergy just conducted a POWERFUL 1 hour webinar on "How To Sell More Cars"

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Prospecting Advice From A 30-Car Guy

 

Last year I wrote an article that I received literally HUNDREDS & HUNDREDS of emails, calls, social media messages from OEM reps, Dealer Principals, GMs, Sales Consultants, Automotive Professionals from all over the country.  The article was so popular that I created a webinar that over 500 dealers signed up for. I then uploaded that webinar to www.automotiveinternetsales.com  (Via YouTube) and that has almost 6,000 views. Because of the huge success of the article and the webinar I decided to create a curriculum for Associations such as the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) And the Greater New York Auto Dealers Association (GNYADA).  Here is part two of that article. I am going to go deeper on ideas of prospecting in 2013, 2014 and beyond.  

 

Remember the saying “Car Sales is like owning your own business”…? Then act like it! It is NOT 1983, its 2013. Don’t prospect like you did 30 years ago, like you did 20 years ago or even like you did 10 years ago! You need to get with the times and prospect with resources and strategies of this Millennium! 

 

First and foremost, 92-99 percent of Americans go online BEFORE they ever step foot into a dealership! So, if you were going to go fishing, would you go to the beach and cast your fishing line in the sand? No, of course not! Then why would you do it at the dealership? You need to fish, where the fish are. So, lets start there.

 

 

 

 

Here are the MOST powerful online (Not the ONLY, just the most powerful) places to prospect for an Automotive Sales Professional:

 

  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Online Classifieds
  • Blog Sites

 

It is important to create a strategy for each of these areas and stick with it. It is counter productive to start initiatives in multiple areas without a strategy, without consistency.  In other words, either do it or don’t do it.

 

Lets start with the big (fishing) pond… GOOGLE!

 

If you know that almost every single person goes online BEFORE they step foot into the dealership, then you need to show up NUMEROUS times on the first page of Google. Think of your dealership, your OEM. They must have a Google strategy. So, if they have one and you believe “Car Sales Is Like Owning Your Own Business”. Then you too need to dominate Google.

 

Are you even showing up on Google? I am NOT talking about if someone types in your name into Google, do you show up. I am talking about if someone is searching for:

 

  • New Car Sales
  • Used Car Sales
  • Trade-In information
  • Aftermarket Sales
  • Bad Credit / No Credit Car Loans
  • Service Repairs, Oil Changes etc…
  • Car Buying Tips
  • Car Maintenance Tips
  • Car Reviews
  • Tips, Advice, Secrets
  • “How To Buy A Car”
  • The specific franchises you sell…

 

I can go on all day long but think about it PLEASE! Most people go online to research, find & surf, compared to people who go online to BUY. So, you should be coming up in Google (And other search engines) for the “Point Of Interest” shopper and for the “Point Of Purchase Buyer”.

 

Here are ways / strategies that you NEED to be enveloped in to dominate Google:

 

  • A Professional Website –Yes, that is right I suggest that ALL Sales “Professionals” have their OWN “Professional” website.
  • Search Engine Optimization – That website needs to have BOTH “onsite” and “offsite” SEO strategies. Just because you have build or purchased a professional website does NOT mean that site is optimized. Also,  websites need continuous optimization.
  • Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) -  VIDEO, VIDEO and MORE VIDEO! Sales Consultants can dominate Google with Video SEO. It is EASY and FREE!!
  • Online Reputation – Sales Consultants MUST have a POWERFUL online reputation strategy.  Reviews INDEX on Google! The more reviews that you have online, the more times you and your name can show up on the first page of Google. There are also numerous online reputation sites that you can focus on:
  •  
    • Google Reviews
    • Yelp Reviews
    • Dealer Rater Reviews
    • Yellow Page Reviews
    • Edmunds.com Reviews
    • You can create your own review site or review blog
    • Pictures – Believe it or not but images index very well on Google. They can be straight images or within an image sharing site or engine like:
      • Flickr.com
      • Pinterest.com
      • Photobucket.com

 

** Here is an AWESOME strategy:

 

  • Create an LLC (Legalzoom.com is CHEAP). The LLC can be something like “Philadelphia Car Sales” or “Cherry Hill Used Car Sales”
  • Make sure the “company” name is “Geo” (geographically targeted”)
  • Now that you have an OFFICIAL “LLC” or Corporation… you can create a BUSINESS page on Google!!
  • I would also create BUSINESS Social Media Accounts (rather than personal ones).

 

If you believe that car sales is “like having your own business”. Then you need to act like it! You need to seriously make it your own business. I do suggest that you ask your Dealer’s permission and or advice on anything you see in this article, before you just run and do it. These strategies are powerful and serious. 

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Prospecting For Automotive Sales Professionals With Fran Taylor At The Internet Sales 20 Group

Prospecting For Automotive Sales Professionals With Fran Taylor At The Internet Sales 20 Group from Dealer Synergy on Vimeo.

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