Don’t you wish November and December lasted longer? Weather aside, the holiday season seems to turn many of us into more cheerful versions of ourselves—even while we hunt for great deals. Obviously, not everyone buys vehicles as gifts. But there are things you can do to stick in people’s minds as the place to go if (or when) they are in the market.
Several Contact At Once! dealers shared how they grab attention and connect with customers in these months. Reading through may spark a few new ideas of your own for the future!
Have Fun with Themed Deals
If your dealership is trying to move inventory or encourage more service visits, it doesn’t hurt to put a holiday theme to your specials. Courtesy Ford, for example, offers “12 Days of Christmas” Service Specials. “Each day has a different special, from super low-priced oil changes to paintless dent removal,” explains Douglas Davis, their Director of Internet Marketing.
And when it comes to selling vehicles, you can have more than Black Friday in your pocket to convince buyers now is the time. Jennifer Griffith, Internet Marketing Coordinator of Tom Ahl Family of Dealerships, says they run a “Final 5” sale during the last five days of the year. “All of our vehicles are marked down super low, and we pack our inventory for this sale.”
Throw a Party
Another dealer rep suggested having a holiday party that customers can take part in. This can be a good way to show appreciation, and you can treat employees at the same time! Just make sure to hold it at a time that’s not inconvenient for customers—even though it’s a free party, people may choose not come in the evening or during a weekday (they have other priorities). Maybe a Saturday lunch buffet isn’t your idea of a holiday party, but it could be just the right touch and time to get people in your doors one more time.
Build Goodwill with Community Involvement
The last two months of the year is also the perfect time to get your dealership involved in the community. As Don Murray, BDC Manager at Ressler Motors Bozeman, says, “This doesn’t always lead to direct sales in the month of December, but it builds such goodwill that it’s worth it all year long!”
For instance, Don’s company promoted a pay-it-forward challenge last year. They gave service customers a $20 gift card (cash) and challenged them to do something good for another person with it. “The response was overwhelming, and word of mouth spread quickly. Our customers were blown away, and so were the people they picked to bless with the $20. Plus, it was fun for all of the departments involved! A real win.”
You can also generate goodwill and attention by joining established community programs. Hendrick’s Chevrolet often hosts boxes for Toys For Tots, says Melissa Dominguez, Business Development Manager.
Want to help a local shelter? Consider pulling a truck into your showroom and asking customers to bring in food donations to help you fill it up, like Josh Hoke, Internet Sales Manager, remembers doing at Laird Noller Dealerships of Lawrence. Brown’s Sales & Leasing does something similar, says their own Internet Manager Angela Reed. They run a Christmas Drive for the local Shepherd of the Hills, collecting toys, clothes and pillows. And with every donation or test drive, the dealership makes a donation as well!
Whatever you decide to do, the holidays can help you increase your “stickiness” with customers: current and prospective. How will you get involved this year?