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Does this sound familiar?
Boss: “Okay, so we have to generate some floor traffic, let’s advertise a big sale…”
Lackey: “Good idea boss, but how are we going to make it work? When we did that last week we didn’t get much traffic.”
Boss: “That’s because the guys down the street had a big sale last week.”
Lackey: “I think they have one this week too…”
Boss: “But this week we’ll use louder voices in our radio spots, and bigger starbursts in the newspaper…”
Lackey: “What if they put balloons on the cars?”
Boss: “We’ll use MORE balloons, BIGGER balloons! Nothing says “good place to buy a car” like grown men putting bunches of balloons everywhere…”
Okay, so I may have let my personal hatred of balloons get the better of me there at the end, but you get the idea. Now I’m guessing that these “Boss” and “Lackey” types aren’t too common in most of your stores. If you are a member of DrivingSales you are closer to the cutting edge and probably beyond this type of nonsense. (Although substitute Facebook page for newspaper in the above example and think about it again just to be sure…)
So what can we do to make our big sale a success without yelling louder or dropping the price more?
Have a REASON to have the sale.
Your customers (or potential customers) aren’t stupid. (Well most of them…) They know you can’t possibly have the lowest prices in history, every week, on everything, all of the time. Eventually your vehicles would all have to be free. They also know that most of the time when they PAY less, you make less, and you aren’t super motivated to make less money. Because the customer knows this, they will usually just tune out your attempts at advertising, putting up imaginary “air quotes” every time you use the word SALE.
However, if you can come up with a reason to be having a sale (a real reason, not something made up) or a story behind why you are having a sale, you automatically improve the customer’s ability to believe you are actually having a sale. And just like when you are face to face with them on the lot, they have to BELIEVE you before they will buy.
For example, have you ever sold out of a few colors of vehicles and ended up with a checkerboard looking lot of black and white? Instead of getting grumpy about it and trying to make it look like you’ve got some color out there, why not advertise it? Have a make some room for color sale, special deals on black or white vehicles. Customers can drive by and see the mess on your lot, so they are more likely to believe it.
Now before you ask, yes the above example may be excluding people looking for a vehicle that isn’t black or white. But when you try to advertise to everybody, you end up getting nobody. Wouldn’t it be better to have 10 prospects that want one of those vehicles show up on your lot, rather than have 100 people see or hear your ad and ignore it?
Plus, it gives you the opportunity to tell a story, people like stories so they will pay attention. What are some other reasons you can think of to have a sale?