Having A Strong Sales Strategy Gives Your Dealership a Competitive Advantage
Your dealership’s marketing cannot be truly effective if it isn’t based on a sound strategy. Sales strategy is looking at the big picture to develop goals and choose the best-targeted methods to reach those goals, along with the talking points (messaging) that will resonate most clearly with your key prospects.
With a well-considered sales strategy in place, you can identify sales tactics — the things you will do to execute your strategy. Creating personas – a fleshed-out stereotype for each key audience segment – guides your selection of tactics. Together, your strategy, tactics and personas give your dealership a distinct competitive advantage. Your marketing is well-focused – on the right audience.
How does that focus make you more competitive?
- Knowing your personas enables you to increase your closing ratio.
- Understanding your personas’ individual needs enables you to build stronger relationships and lasting loyalty.
- Attracting higher qualified leads can shorten your sales cycle, perhaps significantly.
- By giving prospects and customers exactly what they want, you establish your dealership as a trusted resource, not just a place to buy trucks or equipment and get it serviced.
Three ways to gain greater insight about your personas.
Successful marketers know that guessing or making assumptions about what prospects want is not a good plan. No matter how experienced you are in your business, you cannot know everything that’s important to customers or what’s top-of-mind with them unless you do some homework. Ask and listen.
- You probably belong to the same trade association as your targets, whether that’s the ATA, OOIDA, AGC, ABC or other groups. What is each organization talking about in terms of industry news and concerns? What kind of help do they offer members? How can your dealership help resolve or address these issues?
- Get friendly with non-competitive businesses that sell to your customers. What do they know that could help you? Are there ways you can coordinate your marketing efforts or cross-promote one another to reach a broader yet very relevant audience?
- Talk to your existing customers about their biggest business concerns or desires. Ask them straight out how your dealership could do more to help their business grow and prosper. People are flattered when you ask their opinion, and it demonstrates you truly care about being a worthwhile working partner for them.
Putting it to use.
Here’s an example of how an accounting firm used this three-part insight-boosting strategy to improve their sales strategy and sales tactics.
The firm identified independent truck drivers as a target audience. Although they weren’t a member, they talked with a truck driver association and learned that members were concerned about new vehicle financing – something the accounting firm could relate to. They then spoke with truck dealers, learning that truck drivers were always required to provide financial statements to obtain financing – again something the accounting firm could relate to.
Upon further investigation, they learned that their competitors required truck drivers to visit their offices, at the firm’s convenience, to get their financial statements. Drivers were frustrated, because this scenario just didn’t work for them.
The accounting firm used this intelligence to create an entirely different strategy and tactics – offering to visit truck drivers at home, on their schedule, to help prepare documents for vehicle financing. They marketed this special offer through the trade association and suppliers.
Your dealership is different from an accounting firm, but you get the idea. How can you implement these ideas for your own marketing, to give yourself a substantial competitive advantage?