Every month around this time, like clockworks, I get the frantic calls or emails from dealers who desperately need to get a few more deals on the board before month-end.
Maybe you’re looking to hit a performance target to unlock the bonuses of a great month, or you’re at the other end of the spectrum, and your current sales numbers are just so ugly that you can’t resign yourself to finish the month with these numbers in your books.
It doesn’t really matter what’s your motivation or which problem you’re trying to solve, in this article I will share with you my favourite tactics to squeeze an extra dozen deals in a few days, even if you’re working on a shoestring budget.
In a crunch for time? Use this combo…
If time is of the essence, I mean, if we’re talking about days or even hours before your deadline; my personal favourite tactic to help dealers in a crunch is to combine SMS Marketing and Automotive Ringless Voicemails.
Now I’m not going to expand on the high-response rate and speed of SMS broadcasts, or how powerful and non-intrusive ringless voicemails are because I have already reviewed in depth both communications technologies in previous articles.
If you haven’t yet read both of these informative articles, I highly recommend you do it now. They will provide you with everything you need to know so you can add these to your ongoing automotive marketing toolbox and sell more cars every month.
But since you’re in a squeeze for time and you need to get results fast, in this article, I want to focus on how to use SMS and Ringless voicemails together to generate an overwhelming response from prospects so you can achieve your sales goals.
Step #1: Identify a specific audience within your database and a relevant, unique offer…
At this step, don’t think big picture, think small. You’ve probably already communicated your manufacturer's main incentives throughout the month so texting your customers in the final stretch to tell them you have thousands of dollars in rebates or 0% financing available will sound like a sales pitch and will make you sound a bit desperate.
I would look for something smaller, like a $500-$1000 loyalty or pull-ahead offer, and get really personal on the message like this:
“Hey [First_Name], this is Mike at XYZ Motors. I was looking in your file this morning and found $1,000 for you. Can you give me a call at the dealership when you have a minute today? The expiry date is coming fast, and I want to make sure you don’t lose it. I’ll be here until 6 pm. If you call me after that time, just ask for Julie. Chat soon!”
Bottom line: it needs to feel personal, real, and most of all urgent!
If you can’t find a small, unique, and relevant offer within your manufacturer’s incentives, the fallback should be a trade-in offer. Again, it’s important to keep it personal and stay away from the corporate soapbox tone.
I would go for something like this:
“Hey [First_Name], this is Mike at XYZ Motors. I have somebody here looking to buy a [year, make, model] like yours. Can you give me a call at the dealership when you have a minute? They want to know if you’d be interested in selling but need to know today or tomorrow at the latest. I’ll be here until 6 pm. If you call me after that time, just ask for Julie. Chat soon!”
Step #2: Use the right sequence…
Sending an individual SMS or a ringless voicemail with the right message and the right offer will get you some action, but combine them, and you’ll get insane traction!
Here’s how to do it:
First, figure out how many contacts you have on your list because mobile carriers in North America won’t allow you to send more than 200 SMS daily per phone number.
The math works like this: Divide your total amount of contacts by the numbers of days left before your deadline and then divide again by 200. For example, if you want to send an SMS to 2,000 contacts over two days, you will need five different phone numbers to push your broadcast.
(5 x 200 = 1,000) x 2 days = 2,000
You don’t have to worry about this gymnastic when it comes to automotive ringless voicemails. You still have to be careful with your throttle not to get your number blacklisted, but I’ve been able to send over 5,000 ringless voicemails in a day for dealers without any issues.
Quick tip: Make sure you also include landlines in your ringless voicemail broadcast list because many phone companies will now deliver your message to home phones if your contacts are using the company’s online voicemail system.
I found that it’s best to send the SMS first and then reach contacts with the ringless voicemail a few hours later. The SMS will provide an immediate source of leads and conversations, and the ringless voicemail will rekindle the spark of people who might have been interested in your text message but forgot or couldn’t take action immediately on your call for action.
Just make sure that the tone of the ringless voicemail message is personal and feels like a real voicemail or you will ruin the work already done by the SMS.
Step #3: Get the right person or people to answer the phones…
This last step in the sequence might sound obvious, but the best SMS and ringless voicemail campaign will be a fiasco if you don’t have the right person answering and following up on the leads.
Start by making sure that your team is aware of the content of both messages. There’s nothing worse than marketing that cries wolf; you know the type where you can’t experience on the sales side the expectations created by the marketing.
Also, unless you have a superhuman at reception, don’t funnel the calls to your main phone number. Get somebody that will be able to answer the questions of prospects on the spot and schedule appointments with the sales team.
If you have a BDC, great, use them! If you don’t, put your best individual on the task.
Remember, the goal here is to sell a dozen units in a few days so you can’t leave any aspect of the conversation with interested prospects to chance.
Done right, you’ll be swamped with hot leads, and you’ll reach your objective in no time.
If your database needs a break, consider this other options…
If you’re in the same jam but cannot afford to go back to your current customers because they need a bit of time to heal from all your database marketing efforts, consider a conquest email marketing campaign.
You’ll be able to apply everything you know about email marketing while legally targeting in-market buyers and 90-day lease renewal customers around your dealership who are not current customers.
This options will require a few days to put together and to pull the data if it’s your first time, but you’ll fall in love with this option and will most probably add it to your monthly month-end routine.
I had a great time recording a podcast with one of our data partners a few weeks back. Turned out to be a conquest email marketing masterclass you’ll devour if you’re interested by this option. You can listen to it here if you have a few minutes.
I didn’t share with you these tactics so you can take on the hare’s approach to your marketing because you can sprint your way to month-end success; I much prefer the tortoise's attitude which is to start strong and steady from day one. But the truth is if you use these tactics, month-end will never have to be a scary thing again.
If you have the right knowledge, access to the right technologies, and a good understanding of how to combine them, you’ll never be caught off-guard.
And if you do, you know you will always have a partner in your corner when you reach out to me at Turbo Marketing Solutions!
Sean Cassy is the Digital Marketing Specialist and Co-Owner of Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact him by email here or reach him by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office