Cashing In On The Season Of Christmas
The holidays bring out the best in people – a time for seeing loved ones, eating delicious food, and most important – a time for spending lots and lots of money. Believe it or not, the holidays are a great time of year for a used car dealership to make money. Think about all of the parents who promised a car to their children for Christmas if they made good grades this semester? Or the person who took on extra shifts to save for a down payment on a car that could very well be in your lot? Whether you believe in the magic of Santa or just feel like being by yourself and having a day off, never let your dealership reflect the energy of Scrooge during this time of year.
Dealerships can use multiple tactics to intrigue customers to return to their lot, whether they have the intent to purchase or not. Here are some tips of how to take advantage of the biggest spending season of the year to help your dealership potentially close more deals, move more standing inventory, and make more money.
1. When You Give, The Customer Gives… – There are so many local charities who are in need this time of year. Why not market to your current customers that you are taking donations for those local establishments – whether it’s the Salvation Army, Toys For Tots, Angel Tree, or any of the multiple food banks and homeless shelters in your area, marketing that you’re giving back will always ring a bell in people’s hearts. What costs you practically pennies and a tax write off could potentially turn into multiple sales. A person walking in with two grocery bags of canned goods might stay and test drive a car and you walk away with another sale. Spread the word on your Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter, posts fliers around your area, run local ads, because nothing is more humbling than a car dealership with a heart.
2. Decorations, Decorations, Decorations – Our senses trigger particular emotions for a reason. Certain items that we see like snowflakes could bring a smile to a child but make a customer think about what vehicle they’re driving down the street and whether or not they should purchase something with all-wheel drive. The smell of pine around Christmas time might bring a smile to a customer’s face, and to remind them of the experience you gave them as they hang pine scented air fresheners in their new car. You don’t have to be deep into the holidays to make your dealership feel welcoming like you’re home for the holidays. Wreaths and Snowmen are great decorations for your business to show excitement for this time of year, and that will reflect with the customer in more positive ways than negative. If you do choose to put up a Christmas tree maybe put a train set around the tree skirt for the kids to watch while their parents sign the paperwork for their new minivan. Also, if the budget allows, put a big red bow on the vehicles that you value the most on your lot. And if your budget really allows it, put a big red bow on every vehicle in your lot. Trust me. It works. Like a charm.
3. Small Gifts Go A Long Way – Now most used car dealerships aren’t able to give away thousands of dollars in cash back when a vehicle is purchased, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t able to participate in the season of giving. Including a small gift with every purchase of a new car would attract more buyers because during this time of year even though the dealership is receiving the sale, a customer still wants to feel like they were given a gift. During these chilly winter months why not give away gift cards to coffee shops to help them keep warm as they drive away in their new car? People will be doing a lot of cooking so a gift card to some of your major grocery chains might cover the cost of the Christmas Ham or Prime Rib? Maybe that potential customer needs a car for all of the traveling they will be doing up and down the road to go visit family members far away, so a gas gift card never hurts. You could even get the kids involved by giving gift cards to major toy stores in your area? If you position your dealership as the place that cares about giving more than receiving your business will close more deals every time.
4. Spread Some Holiday Cheer – Their really is a meaning behind “attitude is everything”. Even if you don’t believe or celebrate the holidays it’s more than likely that your current and potential customers do. At the end of the day, business is business, so do it for them. Make sure there’s fresh coffee and hot apple cider at the table while they’re waiting to negotiate financing options. Have every employee wear a Santa or Elf hat while at work. Your employees facing should hurt by the end of their shift from all the smiles they are giving to customers.
Happy Holidays From Everyone At MotorLot!