By Boyd Warner
It took a ripe apple dropping on Sir Isaac Newton’s head for gravity to shoot to stardom. Sales to existing customers are waiting to drop on your head, if you’ll simply look up, maybe propelling you to stardom yourself.
In every dealer’s existing customer database are bushels of ripe apples ready for picking, if you can present them with the right offer at the right time. Will you pick them -- or will they fall under another dealer’s tree? I want them to fall under yours.
Today this ripened fruit is perhaps better described as opportunity discoveries. The idea is to be the first dealer to present the right opportunities to the right customer with the right offer at the right time.
Here are five kinds of opportunity discoveries ripe for picking by your dealership:
Owners of in-demand models: These are customers owning or leasing the kinds of high-quality vehicles very much in demand in your market – those you sold and serviced and that will make great candidates for certified pre-owned models. Source customers whose vehicle equity, mileage, model type or year might let you move them into a newer model; you sell them again and get theirs in trade
Owners facing lease- or finance-end: These are customers who you want to start calling sooner than later, depending on their term end, to start showcasing how you might move them into a new model for similar rates and terms. By calling these customers earlier than the finance companies, banks or other dealers typically do can help you retain their business.
Owners risking high-mileage penalties: Here’s an idea – call these customers to help them avoid costly overage penalties; they’ll appreciate the heads up. You gain their trust and an opportunity to move them into another leased or finance vehicle to avoid those penalties
Owners of nickel-and-dimers: These customers own vehicles having high mileage and you’re seeing them in your service department more and more frequently. Identify those vehicles that fit certain customer-pay metrics and offer to help them avoid those costs in the future by offering re-purchase opportunities
Owners of vehicles nearing warranty end: Identify warranty-end customers and invite them to extend their peace of mind through a service contract through your dealership.
Selling to customers using unique opportunity discover marketing breaks the resistance consumers have to car dealer calls and instead pleasantly startles them into wanting to hear you long enough for you to slide the bushel basket their way.
Boyd Warner is CEO of AutoAlert®, Inc. (www.autoalert.com).