How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 9)
TRANSCRIPT: “Steve, the 61%, they’re more important. Right?”
Okay. There are those who cannot generate leads for you and they say the leads are dead. They say leads are dead, so you should only focus on engagement, only focus on the 61%. Let me tell you something, those guys are idiots or liars or both. Okay? You can and should focus on both, but understand that which channel you use is less important than what you do when you want to drive the 61% into your store. Your strategy for the 61% of buyers who don’t connect, that is the same strategy as you’re going to apply to service customers, by the way. Remember, we’re talking pre-visit here, all right?
When we talk about service customers or the 61%, it comes down to three things, all online. I’m sorry, all the way from the dealership, because messaging could be a TV commercial. It’s messaging, it’s reputation, and it’s pricing. With a blend of all three, that’s what’s best. I want you to understand, one of these three could overpower the other two and you’ll still be effective.
We’re going to look at a dealership that’s extremely effective here in my market. They don’t give you the pricing online. Their reputation, it’s like all dealerships, but their messaging is so strong they’re driving visits into their store. They’re driving the 61%. You can have one of these, reputation be great or pricing be great or messaging, overpower the other two and you can still be effective.
For example, a great messaging or low pricing can overcome a mediocre reputation. Right? You know the dealers out there. They’re dealers with a 1.2 star rating on Google, and they’ve got 500 or more reviews and everybody says bad things about them, and they’re selling 400 cars a month because of their messaging and their pricing. They’re giving away the cars and they’re showing that right up front. That’s how they’re able to overcome that.
Now messaging, that is what you say and how and where you say it. Could be a TV commercial, could be your website, could be a Facebook post or even a print ad. Your messaging should be consistent wherever it is, whether it’s on your website or even a newspaper ad. Local dealers are doing well with newspaper ads, even today, so save the emails. I’ve got dealers that I can prove it to you with.
Your messaging should be consistent. It should be reinforced what the 61% of the service prospect needs to hear. See, our messaging that we’re going to put out there is what they need to hear, the 61%, that’ll drive them to come in here.
DrivingSales taught us that 99% of buyers expect a hassle when they start the car shopping process. Right? Your messaging should address this, things like we’re your no hassle place to buy. Put that on your website, put that in your commercials, wherever.
A similar study, GFK showed us that 67% of consumers avoid using dealers for maintenance, that’s oil changes, because of perceived higher prices. What’s the messaging we need there? Hey, our oil change $24.99, oil change $39.99, whatever it is. Putting that messaging on our website. I know it’s a price message, but the fact is, is we’re overcoming what keeps the connected customer from using us for maintenance.
Your messaging is everywhere, but on your website it’s critical. First because you control it. Okay? That’s why your messaging on your website is the most important. Second though, other than review sites, your website is really the only place consumers can learn about you. The third reason that your website is so important is that dealers say their website is their primary digital channel for service. Think about it. What are you doing online for your service other than your website? Really it’s your website and maybe a couple minor sites.
When you use what we call trust messaging, that reduces customer fears. We talk about website trust messaging, we’re talking about the message and actually things like these badges. These badges work. We want to use these with the 61% in mind. We’ve got to say the things that are going to resonate with them, to get them to drop everything and come down and buy a car from us. Because remember, they already have value and relevancy. If we can show them authenticity on that line, we can get them in the dealership. Badges do matter. You do need stinking badges.
Things like upfront transparent Internet pricing, three day money back guarantee, no questions asked, best price guarantee. We guarantee the best pricing on all of our vehicles or we’ll pay you $500 if we can’t beat whatever. Okay? Saying those things, showing those things in badges, that’s what matters.
Here’s some more trust messaging. Pre-negotiated and the best online pricing, the equal exchange program with three days to love our vehicle. If you don’t love it, we’ll exchange it. All right? A trade in guarantee. We’ll buy your vehicle even if you don’t buy a vehicle from us. Sounds silly. Right? We all do that, don’t we? Don’t all dealers do that? Saying it is what makes the difference. Having a badge that says it makes a difference.
Our service department is staffed with only Honda factory trained technicians. Of course it is. Are we saying that? Are we building that trust? We offer guaranteed Toyota parts backed by a factory warrantee. We need to get them away from the independent and back into our dealership for service, and so we need that trust messaging. We need those trust badges.
Now you can build trust through transparency. Online transparency actually builds more trust. Transparency is about information sharing. Remember, we got to watch this. Now it could be price transparency or it could be process transparency or even just price verification like we have this KBB tool.
Price verification tools like KBB’s price advisor report, these are a good example of adding transparency to your website that builds trust, but make sure that you’re on top of this. Make sure your Internet manager or your digital manager watches things like this, because you want to make sure that what you report fits what message you want to the customer.
For this dealer, they weren’t keeping an eye on it. They had a vehicle that KBB said the fair market price is $5,988 and they had it priced at $9,700 online. Now they had justification for why it should be $9,700, but they needed to get rid of the price advisory report on that vehicle, because now they’re breaking trust through transparency instead of building trust through transparency.
Now service needs transparency too. Okay? For example, customers don’t know anything about you. Do you offer competitive pricing for basic services? You probably do. Do you offer free inspections? Then say this on your website. Okay?
Most consumers just assume you’re more expensive than an independent shop. You know what, these are examples of trust messaging by saying these things, competitive pricing for basic services and putting your competitive pricing for basic services online. Showing that you have free inspections for this or that, free brake inspection, free muffler inspection, whatever it is.