How to run effective car dealership sales events

It’s true to say that car dealership sales events are often an integral feature in the average dealership’s marketing plans. Whether they are run over a weekend or are week-long events, the aim is to pull traffic into the dealership and sell lots of cars.

For car dealership sales events to be successful the customer needs to believe what they are being told.  Continually running the same events leaves customers less receptive to them and therefore less likely to attend, choosing instead to wait until they are ready to change their car or until they see what they believe to be a real sale.

So, what does a successful sales event look like?

Car dealership sales events can be extremely successful if they are planned, timed and executed properly and are supported with the correct marketing.

Regardless of whether the event is for current customers or for prospecting new customers, the successful sales event will drive attendance by convincing them that this event is an opportunity for a great deal that should not be missed.

Crucially, every sales event needs to be backed up with genuinely great car sales offers. ‘Massive Sales Event’ messages that fail to meet customer expectations can damage the credibility of the dealer, switch customers off to future event marketing, and will ultimately lead to poor sales.

What you can do to get the best results

Make no mistake, running a successful event is a huge commitment of time and resource for the dealership. It is worth considering employing the services of an events company to take the administrative burden away from dealership staff. Whatever your decision, there are several things you can do to get the best ROI from your event.

– Targeting your customers most likely to be in-market at the time of the event will give you the best mailer to appointment conversion rates. It will also help avoid database burn, save you money from your marketing budget and ensure a better cost per sale.

– Having identified the right customers, you need to get your event message directly to them, via direct mail, email and telephone wherever possible, in order to get the best results. Success will be increased if it is supported by prospecting calls from your sales team.

– If you don’t have your own in-house call centre think about outsourcing this for prospecting and answering incoming customer calls, especially if you expect to generate huge demand. This ensures calls are handled professionally, and avoids phones ringing in the showroom, clogging up the reception desk, or worse still, calls going unanswered.

– Make sure you designate someone to take on the role of event coordinator, even if you are using an events company to administer the event on your behalf. This person should liaise with the events company and communicate internally with your staff.

– Make sure everyone, not just your Sales Managers and sales staff, are aware of the event, how it works and what is expected of them while the event is on.

– Customers are more likely to buy if they believe the event offers genuine value and are more likely to believe this if dealership staff are enthusiastic about the event. Again, make sure there are genuine offers to be had and get everyone’s buy-in and enthusiasm!

– Ensure any offers are time-bound to the event dates. This will help create the urgency for the customer to buy now or miss out.

– A good closing tool will also help to close the deal and ensure sales conversions are improved. With the QR Code Event, the customer is asked to press a red or green button; green to accept the deal, or red, to release the funds back into the pot for other customers.

– For events that are intended to bring new customers into the showroom, make the most of social media both before and during the event. While pre-event marketing is essential, posting content while the event is running will also spread the word and encourage others to attend.

The car sales event is an important tool in the dealership armoury that will help you to achieve those all-important sales targets. If you are considering running an event, make sure you do everything you can to really maximise the ROI of both time and money that an event will inevitably require. And remember, to really improve the effectiveness of your next sales event make sure they are not run too often!

If you need help making the most of your next sales event, speak to us.

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