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:
- 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:
** 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.