We all know that just having a website, no matter how great, is not enough to make sales in the automotive industry. LEARN MORE
Does your car dealership target B2B sales? Do you have a separate marketing strategy to target B2B clients? If not, you could be missing a crucial pie of the annual car sales. Consider car rental companies, chauffeur driven cars owned by large multi-national companies and hotels. These are essentially B2B purchases and are worth much more than regular car sales.
Why? Because the return on investment is much higher on these purchases. According to a report published on Auto Rental News, there were nearly 1.76 million rental cars in the US as of 2012. An average car rental agency has a fleet of between 4-8 cars. In a majority of the cases, these cars are homogenous in terms of model, manufacturer and in-car facilities. Given these factors, the rental agency owners are likely to make most of their new car purchases from the same dealership. For instance, Uber recently announced that their drivers will be getting exclusive financing deals for cars made by General Motors. By targeting these business owners separately, your dealership can ensure that you get multiple car sales done through a single customer.
How do you get started? The first and foremost step in developing a marketing plan is to look at the pain points of a customer and devising a way to solve this. I talked to Jay Barnett, the founder of Priority Pickup, a Perth-based passenger services business. According to Jay, “both passenger services companies and car dealerships share one thing in common. If you can demonstrate integrity and customer service as your true core values, then your customers will respond”.
As fellow business owners, small business owners looking at car purchases are aware of the common marketing gimmicks that businesses deploy to bait customers. Consequently, these gimmicks that are often received positively in a retail car sales are often seen negatively in a B2B setup. It is important to be honest and transparent in your process while pitching your cars to the business buyers.
Besides this, one of the other pain points that business car buyers face is in negotiating a bulk buy. Naturally, buyers looking at a purchase of 3-4 cars in one transaction expect a royal deal in exchange for the business they give your dealership. However, from a dealership perspective, this is a golden opportunity to make more commissions per customer. So how do you arrive at a middle point?
If your dealership offers other services like car servicing, repairs, etc., you could look at offering a combo “lifetime package” to your customer in exchange for the price. This could mean something like a lifetime 15% discount on all car servicing. Small businesses, especially those like rental agencies, spend a lot of money every year on car servicing. A deal on this front could not only sweeten your deal to them, but can also help you hook the customer for life; thus ensuring they would come back to you for more purchases in the future.
It is important that your business has a dedicated marketing team for B2B buyers. Unlike a traditional commodity, in car dealerships, the lifetime value of a customer is more or less equal to the value they bring with the first transaction. It is only in the case of B2B purchases that there is a chance to increase the lifetime value. This is an opportunity that dealerships should never miss out on.