CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
Gas prices are on the rise. We hear about the turmoil in the Middle East, the political fighting in the US, and the prices at the pump going up. Gas is trending and dealers should be helping their customers prepare for the changes through their websites and social media.
Instead of going over generalities, I'm going to paint a hypothetical of what I would be doing if I were running a dealership right now.
Step 1: Highlight the Challenge on the Homepage of My Site
Many dealers have banners on their homepage that can be changed very easily. The first banner I would present would ask a question, "How many MPGs does your vehicle get?"
Below the question, I would highlight the MPGs of three of my vehicles that get good gas mileage (or two that get good mileage and one EV if you have any available). It would simply be 3 pictures of vehicles with the MPGs listed next to them.
Step 2: Build an MPG Page
If your website vendor has an easy-to-use content management system, this shouldn't take much time at all. Create a page with an image and a paragraph for all of your highest MPG vehicles. The image should link to either the inventory for that vehicle, as should a link at the end of the paragraph.
There's no selling, here. If they have landed on this page, you have their attention. They know they want better gas mileage. Now they want to look at their options. Show them.
Step 3: Social Media Scare Tactics
This isn't as diabolical as it sounds. All you're doing is posting a fact or a tidbit of information about the potentially dramatic rise in gas prices and then linking to your new MPG page on your website. The fact should be informative; no need to say, "Gas prices are on the rise!"
Instead, it should say something like this:
"This headline just hit the wire: 'Gas prices begin their annual climb earlier than ever." Driving season is around the corner. What's your MPG?" [LINK TO YOUR MPG PAGE]
Step 4: Inform the Sales Team
At JD Rucker Motors, everyone in sales would be trained to ask about commutes and other regular travel that their ups have planned. They should be aware of the rough MPGs of a potential trade as it hits the lot. They would be well-versed on the MPGs of various vehicles that you sell, both small and large.
People make buying decisions based upon perceived value. How your hybrid SUV compares to the 2003 Tahoe that just rolled onto the lot can be a point of value for the customer.
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Gas is just an example. Keep an eye on what's happening around you, both across the world and in the local area. This industry is too competitive to rely on people to come to you because they're in the market for a vehicle. Savvy dealers will bring people into the market even if they don't know they're ready to replace their current vehicle.