5 Dealership event ideas

Running events at car dealerships is old news but coming up with new dealership event ideas can be tricky. The idea of dealership events is to get a select audience into your dealership who have a mutual interest in what you’re doing. You’re likely to sell off the back of it.

The trick is to cover all the bases with your events. It’s all very well presenting the flagship model launch. However the likelihood is that the majority of your business comes from a far wider spread of customers with varying vehicle needs.

Dealership event ideas – Launch Event

The new model has just launched. There’s been tons of coverage by the manufacturer on TV and in the press. The vehicle’s been placed well in media, TV and film. You’ve already achieved the ‘awareness’ stage of the sales cycle. So all you need to do is let people know it’s arrived. Make sure there’s something that’s going to make this event memorable.

Launching any new product is an exciting time. Getting it right so that you’re remembered for the correct reasons is the real challenge. First you must decide whether you’re going to have an ‘unveil’. Is the event going to be invite only or a public event. Consider what you’re going to do to make people want to take part. It’s all very well creating a brilliant event but if no one shows, it can be an incredibly expensive exercise.

Think very carefully about your target audience. Who does this vehicle fit? How many people in your database fit the right criteria? How easily can you extract that information and put it to use? What’s their preferred method of communication? How much time have you got to play with?

There’s a raft of questions that need to be asked and worked through in order to get your launch event right. Do you use a personalised approach and select the right audience for whom the vehicle is relevant. With this in mind it’s more than likely that when you run a launch day, you’re going to sell vehicles.

Case Study: Motorcycle launch arranged and fully booked in 48 hours without a single phone call being made.

Dealership event ideas – Demo day

One of the best ways to sell vehicles is to get your potential customer to drive the car in question. The problem is that many customers are also aware of this. Many will only normally arrange a test drive if they’re in the market for a new car. The same applies for walking into a showroom. Consumers are aware of the message they’re giving out and that they’re likely to get pounced on when the enter the showroom.

A demo day is a fantastic way to give customers a sense of security. By being among others, they may get away with test driving a car without getting the sales pitch. There’s also a high likelihood that you’ll attract other potential customers to a demo day who aren’t consciously in the market for a new car.

The administration of setting up a demo day can be quite daunting if you set about it in the traditional method. You know how you want it to work but organising that may seem like an intense uphill challenge. With the technology of today it’s actually quite straightforward to communicate with all your potential invitees. Get their demos booked in and simply make sure you and your team are there to sell on the day, without lifting a finger or a telephone hand set in advance.

Case Study: Motorcycle launch arranged and fully booked in 48 hours without a single phone call being made.

Dealership event ideas – Owners club events

Most makes and marques have a strong club and historic following. So what? Why does this make any difference to you? The thing is that owner clubs demonstrate heritage and enthusiasm. Owner clubs are brimming with people who already love your brand and want to help protect the heritage and values it stands for.

These people can actually be used to extend your sales team at your dealership. How you may ask?
No matter what the brand or marque, there are people who advocate it. If you can get a group of them to your dealership site, they not only feel a link between them and the official brand but it also generates public interest. Some of the most successful luxury car brands use this kind of technique in their marketing. People like heritage and nostalgia, it gives them a sense of security. (This is actually the same reason you see re-runs of old ads in tough times and why fashion goes full circle)

Organise an owner’s club event at your dealership. Not only will you have 2 organisations promoting it, you’ll also have potential customers within the owner club members. As such you’ll also have fantastic leverage to bring potential customers on site without them feeling like it is a sales event.

Dealership event ideas – Discount days

Discounting is a technique used in sales and marketing every minute of every day. Sales and special offers are a standard part of every shopping experience. The reason it works is that it is human nature to want to ‘get a deal’. Therefore using time limited offers can create a sense of urgency that may have otherwise been absent.

How this can work for automotive dealerships is multi-faceted. Not only do manufacturers regularly run offers but dealerships can also introduce value for customers by creating deals. Examples of the types of deals that are used include fixed price servicing, bundled servicing and value upsells.

The real trick to making discounts and offers work is how and when they’re communicated. In any leading dealership you tend to find a collection of these types of deals and offers that can be rolled out at any time. The reason they do this is to keep the cost of promotion down and to enable tactical response to business performance. How often do you think a fixed price servicing offer is rolled out at a time when the workshop doesn’t look too busy in the forthcoming weeks?

Dealership event ideas – Open / Motorsport day

Open days can take all forms but some of the best are those that highlight the brand’s sporting heritage or links to charities. A charity car wash for example can do a huge amount for footfall. Technology and sustainability improve constantly. As a result it’s worth considering links with local colleges and enterprises to make your event more attractive to your potential customers.

There are a number of key dates throughout the year that can be used to greater advantage than others. The better your organisation and advance planning, the more likely it is that you can capitalise on these pre-determined events to make them more rewarding for your dealership. If, for example, your brand is sponsoring a major sporting event such as a golf tournament, why not invite the local pro in, arrange some ‘free lessons’ and broadcast footage around the dealership? You can use the opportunity to open conversations with your potential customers around subjects they’re comfortable with. This makes the sales process easier to begin.

Need help making your dealership events more lucrative?
Your first port of call should be speaking with a marketing company that has direct experience of what you’re trying to achieve. Direct experience of organising successful events at motor dealerships will help you to avoid costly mistakes and improve the performance of the whole event.

As specialists in marketing and automation, we not only put all the creative together for our customers. This includes writing text messages and producing event materials such as banners and email templates. We also handle the whole promotion process and attendee administration with our rmcom system. rmcom is a marketing automation software system already used by many motor groups in the UK and further afield..

By Ryan Mullins

How Email Marketing Automation can streamline your sales process

What is email marketing automation?

Email marketing automation is a valuable marketing tool which enables you to build customer relationships. By automating your email campaigns you can build a profile of your prospects and customers so that you only contact them with information they are likely to be interested in. This is based on their previous interactions, meaning you don’t overload people with information that is of no interest to them.

An example of a simple Email Automation Campaign

A car dealer sends out an introduction email to its database detailing their latest offers on their new models. Our email automation software (rmcom) will automatically record which link each email record clicks on. Based on this information, a second email will automatically be sent giving more information on the model of the car/s they (have previously clicked on) are interested in.

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Number of email accounts in the world = 3.2 billion
91% of email users check their account daily[/typography]

Read on to discover the many benefits of Email Automation and how it can help your business increase sales.

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Develop Prospects[/typography]
Email is a tried and tested way of engaging prospects and existing customers alike. With automated email campaigns you filter your marketing campaigns so that you only send relevant messages to your prospects. The more you can relate to people with engaging relevant information, the more likely they are to interact with you and ultimately become a customer.

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Timing is everything[/typography]
You can programme rmcom to automatically contact records at timely intervals. This can be based around key buying dates (contract renewal dates) or you can send emails  one day, one week or one month after a previous email has been opened- Anything is possible!

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Personalised Communication[/typography]
One of the most basic functions of rmcom is that you can personalise your email campaigns effortlessly.

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]A personalised subject line can increase your open rates by over 35%[/typography]

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Unopened email still gets your brand gets promoted[/typography]
Every time emails are sent you increase your brand awareness, just by appearing in their inbox. Remember 93% of emails are checked daily, so even if your email is not opened the odds are high that your company name has been seen just by landing in their inbox.
[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Every communication will (eventually) be read[/typography]
If your email isn’t read within a specified time scale, rmcom can be programmed so that your communication will automatically re-send, again and again until it is opened.
[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Work your hot sales leads[/typography]

By automating your email campaigns, you free up your sales team’s time to focus on the hot sales leads your campaigns produce.
Every time someone interacts with your email a notification can be sent to your sales team so that they can follow this up….in real time if required!
[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Ongoing Promotion of your Business[/typography]
Email automation continuously keeps in contact with your customers. The more frequently your name appears in someone’s inbox, the more likely they are to recognise your company name, remember it, and buy from you when the time is right.

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Reach customers on mobile[/typography]
People check emails on their smart phones. Reaching your customer on their mobile gets your email read, clicked-through and converted. We can also set up campaigns to reach your customers via SMS campaigns.

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]You will increase your website traffic through email automation.[/typography]

[typography font=”Quattrocento Sans” size=”18″ size_format=”px”]Drive traffic to your website and record it[/typography]
Email gets people who are interested in your brand to click-through to your website. rmcom will record the pages they click through to and even what time of day they are likely to read your email. All this makes targeted marketing campaigns much easier and extremley cost effective.

Get in touch with Renew Marketing if you would like to understand more about how rmcom can streamline your sales process and generate additional sales using email marketing automation.

By Lorraine Mullins

Sales Performance: 5 Ways to reduce sales costs & improve performance

Where can you cut the costs of sales and improve sales performance?

Improving the performance of your sales people is business critical. Reducing the costs associated with sales is a good place to start in improving performance as it has a direct influence on your bottom line. It is vitally important however to make sure you trim back in the right areas so you have a positive influence on sales performance rather than the alternative.

1. Motivate your sales people

Sales people are the touchpoint with your customers and prospects that turn conversations, presentations, effort and costs into profit. They are often the most highly rewarded people because they impinge so dramatically on the bottom line of your business. Very often in fact, companies recruit sales people because of their motivation for earning money. I’ve worked in a number of different companies and there is often an issue with maintaining the motivation of sales people. When times are good and the money is accumulating, sales people are easier to keep motivated.

Although many sales people are apparently driven by money, is it this simple? I would be the first to say ‘No’, this simply isn’t the case. When motivated, sales people work hard. The best sales people are going the extra mile. They’ll meet prospects outside of working hours, they’ll jump through hoops to win deals. This is the sales hunger, the desire to do better. However, making hard cash isn’t necessarily the driver.

I would like to offer another explanation. It’s not my explanation either, it’s Herzberg’s theory. In basic terms there are positive and negative motivators, Herzberg refers to them as hygiene factors. Positive motivators are the aspirational drivers that make people want to achieve. Negative motivators are the things that drag peoples motivation down.

2. Engage prospects

How people make purchasing decisions has adapted. The availability of information and insight has driven consumers and businesses to form opinions of products and brands much earlier in the buying process. Successful brands and products are managing these opinions and the available knowledge through media channels that their prospects engage with. These channels will fairly obviously vary dependent on your target audience.

The thing you need to keep at the forefront of your activity is that if you don’t control the knowledge, information and opinion of your products and brands, other people will. The trick to engaging customers and prospects is to keep costs minimal, or should I say reflective of the value the activity commands. That equation will be determined by a number of factors, both qualitative and quantitative. If it’s something you’re unsure of, you should consider taking advice from professionals.

3. Increase order/customer value

If each customer spends more with you, the cost of sale naturally decreases. There are many ways to increase order value and/or customer value. The most traditional is the upsell. What else would your customer buy from you if presented to them at the right time? What else do they need? What are they buying from elsewhere that you could sell them?

It may be that you can’t increase an order value at the point of purchase. On the other hand, by statying in contact with your customer, thanking them for their business and providing them information that relates to their purchase and their circumstance, you are more likely to drive loyalty and recommendation. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a happy repeat customer is worth more to you than a single non-loyal order.

Your business and sales strategy needs to encompass loyalty initiatives and the harvesting of existing customers to increase their value to you. Consider how you can gain the maximum value from every order you gain such as upselling, driving repeat purchases, using referral schemes and providing loyalty programmes. These things work and need not cost you a fortune. If you need any reassurance that these are worthwhile uses of your resources, take a snapshot of the leading ten businesses you deal with and ask yourself what they do to make you come back for more.

4. Work the inbound funnel

Inbound Marketing FunnelThe three preceding points aren’t really anything new in their theory. In reality they are basic principles adopted by most if not all successful businesses. Whether this is a pro-active effort or accidental, the theory still applies.

The inbound funnel however is something that point two refers to. How people make their decisions about you has changed. With over 50% of mobile internet traffic being the use of facebook, your strategy should include how to harness this. Many companies will pay for Search Engine Optimisation, a slick website and possibly some type of pay per click advertising strategy, all of which I would whole heartedly condone. The number of organisations who are applying similar budgets to their social activity is far fewer.

Let’s be honest, not all businesses will see value in being heavily involved in facebook but facebook is not the only social channel. Youtubeis the second largest search engine but do you use video? This article may help you see the value: 5 reasons to include video in your communication strategy.

5. Pre-qualify leads

Pre-qualification is nothing new. The way in which it is done most effectively has moved however. ‘Cold calling is dead’ is an expression I have heard many many times. Admittedly, much of the time this has been uttered by sales people who are struggling with motivation BUT the success of cold calling is limited compared with times of old. There are tons of reasons for this but the most prolific ones being:

You are entitled to unsubscribe from cold calls
Gatekeepers are more savvy than ever
People simply wont give you as much time as they used to

Now this presents a problem for businesses who rely on cold calling as a strategy. Outbound call centres are costly to set up and manage. Event the management of the centres themselves is fraught with challenges, not least of which, motivation referred to above which by design can result in high staff turnovers.

Offshoring this kind of facility has also shown limited successes. People don’t like being disturbed by sales calls, particularly if they can’t understand the person making the call.

So what should a business do?

If we take the lead of the large organisations who sell high ticket value products, they actually have ‘pre-sales’ teams. These are people who work with customers to specify their needs and provide technical information before the ‘closer’ goes in to negotiate the deal. In many businesses this isn’t practical but a valuable lesson can be learned from this practice.

By specifying a customers needs and planning the timing of the purchase, sales peoples’ activity can be more focused, increasing motivation, increasing opportunities to up the order value and ultimately increasing conversion rates. The underlying question is still how to achieve this?

The use of technology enables you to feed information to your customers and prospects that they can access on their terms. What you may not know is that you can be notified of customer interactions even without their knowledge.

Whether you clicked through from an email or simply hit this page from a search engine, we were notified of that action about 5 minutes ago when you started reading this.

How’s that relevant to you? Imagine your top sales people being notified of a customer’s buying signals at the specific time they’ve shown an interest. Would that help the conversion rate?

Improve sales performance and reduce costs by working smarter and harnessing the technology that’s available.

By Ryan Mullins

Why do you need marketing automation? Reduce the cost of communication

Marketing automation is big news in business because it helps reduce costs of communication.

It’s simple, machines do things more efficiently than human beings.

So what’s actually meant by marketing automation?

Communicating can be a costly exercise. When you consider call centres and what it takes to run a call centre. Many businesses have off shored call centres to try to reduce cost. In many businesses this has been criticised as people don’t feel like they get a personal touch.

Personalisation of communication is at the heart of quality information exchange.

Communication has success critical features that, when handled correctly, improve quality, success and efficiency. In turn this reduces cost.

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  • Timing of contact
  • Relevance of content
  • Information Exchange

Reducing the cost of running a call centre and sales operation.

For a business that has 35 teleappointers making outbound sales calls 9-5, 5 days a week. It would also take a sales team of 15 on the road to sit appointments generated by the outbound team.

This business has access to databases of thousands of businesses around the UK. Each teleappointer makes c.100 calls a day generating 2 appointments each. This means 70 appointments a day are being booked. Of these appointments, around 50% drop out and there is a sales conversion of 25% of sat appointments.

With these kinds of stats it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the sales value of wins needs to be 5 figures upwards to satisfy the wages demand, let alone the commissions and operational costs.

This kind of wastage in sales is undesirable but all too common.

The benefits of marketing automation in sales.

So going on the figures above, the outbound sales team are hitting 3500 contacts a day to deliver 70 appointments. One intelligent e-shot with open and click through notifications would provide enough information to determine warm prospects at the time they are most likely to take a call.

Based on an open rate of 25% and a click through rate of 20%, this activity would generate 175 warm leads, requiring 2 teleappointers to work through. This may provide sufficient leads to convert to 70 appointments. Thats would provide a reduction in cost of 90%.

What’s the cost of marketing automation?

There are 3 major considerations when setting up marketing automation.

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  • Data
    If you’ve already got plenty of data, you’re onto a winner. Data can be costly dependent on how targeted your audience.
  • Content
    If you’re already have tons of content and produce tons of content, you’re in a stronger position than those who do not.
  • Complexity
    The simpler your processes, the less they cost to set up. As you add complexity, programming and testing become more arduous.

Where should you start with marketing automation?

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  1. Gain the assistance of providers who done it before.
  2. Set out your objectives.
  3. Determine your budget for phase 1.
  4. Agree Milestones and KPI’s with your team.
  5. Set out a realistic timeline.

Marketing automation is quickly becoming a need of any business that wishes to communicate regularly with any group of recipients. Whether it be new business, existing clients or simply news subscribers, marketing automation is one of the most effective methods of keeping costs of mass communication to a minimum.

By Ryan Mullins