We are in the midst of an enormous change in the automotive world. Dealerships all over the nation are rethinking advertising, experimenting with social media, and shifting into the new digital age.
Articles encouraging dealers to take more digital action are sprouting up in nearly every automotive publication. As we make this massive transition, there are a couple strategies we need to recognize that did work, that we should not leave behind entirely.
The Personalized Greeting
Old World Strategy: Joe Girard, who is renowned for selling more vehicles than anyone in the world, claims his secret weapon was a handwritten card. The simple act of sending regular greeting cards aroused a sense of loyalty in his clients. Customers felt he was a man who cared enough to recognize and honor their birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
New World Translation: Interact personally with customers by encouraging employees to hand write thank you cards and make calls to sold customers just to say “hello.” In the digital age, this type of effort stands out more than ever before.
When using technology, do not confuse “personal” for “convenient.” Do not replace a follow-up call with a Facebook post or e-newsletter. Do not opt for less personal mass-communication like generic, template e-mails and letters.
To maintain a personal, thoughtful touch, look for companies like Imperial Press Direct, who are still incredibly convenient, while maintaining a Girard-type personalization by facilitating personalized videos in e-mails and sending out handwritten-type mailers.
Whatever we do, we have to make sure this personal connection is not lost as we move into the digital age.
The Importance of Process
Old World Strategy: From goal setting to activity action plans, Joe Verde mastered process. His rigid processes encourage sales people to track every customer, review goals daily, and even identify a particular place on the test drive to begin closing.
New World Translation: A new world process may look like a pre-planned, consistent digital posting schedule. We could dedicate entire calendars or planners to organize the week’s online schedule for each medium. This type of preparation encourages consistency, which we know is key to increasing favorability for search engines and keeping a dealer top-of-mind to followers.
We can further translate Verde’s strict processes to create goals for everything related to the social media realm: the amount of videos and posts to put out each week, engagement and follower goals, etc… Since Verde is famous for tracking everything in auto sales, we can transition this to digital strategy utilizing tools to monitor engagement and influence on all types of social platforms.
Forming these types of processes will make us organized and effective in our digital transition.
This shift is an opportunity to reevaluate our strategies and create new, stronger relationships with our customers. As we make this transition, we cannot forget the things the greats taught us which has helped the automotive world become such a powerful, influential industry.