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Be the Cristiano Ronaldo of Dealerships

News about the World Cup and its rockstar soccer players have been making headlines lately. One of the hottest players of the moment is Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s not only an exceptional player but a major brand ambassador for big hitters like Nike. So, how can you rep your dealership brand like Ronaldo?

Have an Alter Ego

According to Nike, Ronaldo is known as two people: the superstar soccer player and the human being. On the field, he is CR7 – a lean, mean, playing-machine, which is why he is the team captain for Portugal. Off the court, he’s just a guy connecting with other people in different ways like fashion and music, but always shows his love for soccer.

Dealers, your team needs to be both things too! Be the salespeople interested in the monetary wins, leads, and shoppers. Then also be the friendly face shoppers look to when they need car servicing or when they’re unsure whether to lease or buy their first car. Your shoppers want to both trust and depend on you, and that takes both skills AND personality!

Have Well-Rounded Appeal

Cristiano Ronaldo is it. He’s the one girls want to date and the guy other men want to be. Sports aficionados admire his unearthly skills in soccer, and no one can deny his killer physique. Bottom line: there’s a little Ronaldo for everyone.

Your dealership’s perspective should be as well-rounded as Ronaldo’s is. Don’t assume that men are the only decision-makers in the house or that selling should be mainly tailored to men. While you do want to make sure you’re targeting a specific audience, you don’t want to leave out important players in the buying process!

Have a Social Media Presence

He may well be one of the most popular athletes on social media today. With more Facebook likes than Coca-Cola, and a bigger Twitter following than Lebron James, Ronaldo is taking the Internet by storm. He’s even launched his own social media sharing site for his fans called Viva Ronaldo…a bit much, but you get the gist of it.

If your dealership has incorporated content marketing as part of your internet strategy, you need to commit to it! Don’t be one of those businesses that have a Twitter account, but hasn’t logged in since the last World Cup in 2010! Your shoppers might be posting and tweeting compliments or concerns about your dealership and you should be there to respond!

According to recent studies, businesses have determined that it’s not about how many Facebook friends and Twitter followers you have. You can build your dealership brand on social media with quality content – but only if you stick to it and become a part of the conversation. So, be like Ronaldo: give the people what they want.

Brand it Like Beckham

We’ve all seen at least one David Beckham ad somewhere in the world. Even after retirement, the guy has his own perfumes and still does half-naked ads for brands like H&M.

Well, Cristiano Ronaldo is Beckham’s predecessor when it comes to success in marketability and brand image. Following in Beckham’s footsteps by branching out, Ronaldo’s face is everywhere, especially during such a big year for soccer. He’s in the new Galaxy S5 commercial, Castrol oil print ads, and an ambassador for the likes of Emirates Airline to name a few. He even has his own underwear line for Pete’s sake.

So, how can you brand yourself like Beckham and Ronaldo? Well, Dealers – get your face out there! Set yourself apart from the competition and make a name for yourself online. Your website is usually the first place potential customers go to find out if you’re “the one”, so make sure it’s drawing in customers.

The Takeaway…

If you’re going to use the web to reel in shoppers, make your social media and website an extension of your image. Also, be a part of the conversation in every outlet your shoppers are in like Ronaldo is with his fans. Be those two personas consistently throughout your marketing strategy so people will understand and remember your dealership brand. Set yourself apart in a positive light and connect with your customers through engaging conversations. They might not be pouring into your dealership immediately, but they will remember you when they’re ready to purchase.

Car Dealership volunteer

3 Reasons Community Involvement Benefits Your Dealership

I’m just not sold on the whole volunteering thing” – Said no dealership, ever

In case you were wondering, community involvement is a no-brainer. The answer should be YES, do it. Companies today are becoming more involved in giving back because the outcome is always the same: win-win. Like in your school days, volunteering looks good on the company resume, it benefits others, and you just feel darn good doing it!

But how, does volunteering benefit your dealership?

Company Culture

In the past, companies were admired for volunteering and giving back to the community; now society expects it of them. If you look through company pages and read core values, many times you see the words community involvement somewhere in there.

Put on your PR hat for a moment. Why is community involvement so important to company culture? Well, because businesses and communities depend on each other – so it’s only natural that they work together!

Showing that you put community first, will humanize your dealership and prove that your team is about more than making a profit. Serving others will build trust and respect, both key components to building strong relationships.

Employees

More and more, employees are taking company values into consideration when deciding whether a job is right for them. According to a 2014 Deloitte survey, millennials are looking for careers with purpose. And I’m not talking about putting a foosball table in the break room – they want to be a part of a company that means something.

Plus, giving back is good for your team’s health! According to a recent study by UnitedHealth Group, volunteering does great things for your employees’ well-being. Not only does it reduce stress levels and improve their mood, it also makes them feel more engaged at work. Not to mention it strengthens core skills like time management and teamwork that are important to you and your dealership. By giving your employees the opportunity to be a part of something that matters, you’re winning too!

Your Customers

Giving back is a great way to get your dealership recognized and respected by the community. Not only will you be able to voice your company’s values to others, but you’ll also encourage them to follow your brand.

Give yourself some props, too – share your volunteering experiences via social media! Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build a following based on charitable work. Plus, now customers can look through your social media efforts without ever leaving your webpage!

You want your stakeholders’ sentiment because not only will they respect you, they’ll also share your story. Plus, when potential customers are ready to purchase a vehicle or get their oil changed, they’ll remember you in the best way.

Finding Volunteering Opportunities

If you’re looking to start your community involvement program, here’s a few places you might want to check out:

  • LinkedIn: It has great volunteer groups that constantly post volunteering opportunities to small companies.

  • VolunteerMatch: It has everything from non-profit organizations near you to the dates of upcoming community events.

  • Your local school or non-profit: They’re usually in need of extra hands and they’re gung-ho about receiving the extra help!

Don't use these words at the showroom

Dealer Terminology You Should Never Use Around Your Customers

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say, ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” ― I, Robot

Have you ever tried to look at your nose? You can’t because there’s a blind spot where your vision doesn’t reach. And that’s exactly what is happening with language when your staff uses dealership terminology around your customers. Your nose is the words you are using, words that aren’t apparent to you but stand out to others. You don’t see your nose, but your customers do.

What is Jargon?

jar·gon

ˈjärgən/

noun

  1. special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.

Jargon is the words and expressions you use every day on your website, in your chats, in your emails, in your phone calls, in your face-to-face conversations…that your customers really don’t understand, but you assume they do. Your staff is so acquainted with the meaning of these words that they do not realize that your customers, and people outside of your business, aren’t as familiar with the terms.

So, what dealership terminology do you use often that might be confusing to your customers?

 

Examples of Dealer Jargon That Should Be Avoided

Quick Lane vs. Express Service

“Quick Lane” is an obscure term. A “lane” could be anything, from a bowling lane to a street lane, and a “lane” isn’t something normally associated with the Service Department of a dealership by the customer.

“Express Service”, on the other hand, is much more direct. It mentions “service” which is what your department is all about, and it still uses a word that implies it is a faster-than-normal experience.

You want the terms you use to be in plain language so that no one has to guess what it means.

 

RO, APR, MSRP and Other Acronyms

RO, or Repair Order. APR or Annual Percentage Rate. MSRP, or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Customers aren’t always up-to-speed on what these acronyms mean – and you never know when it’s someone’s first time encountering an acronym until you’ve confused them! Therefore, it’s best not to use acronyms in conversation. Instead, use the full term with explanations (when needed) so that the customer knows exactly what you are talking about.

Let’s opt out of the “Lol, idk, my bff, Jill” kind of conversations. Use full words to communicate effectively and professionally.

 

ePrice vs. Internet Price

Using two words that mean exactly the same thing on the same page of your website should be a sin! DON’T do it! As a consumer, I have no idea if the Internet price is the ePrice, or if I’m going to get an entirely different price when I press that button. But either way – I’M CONFUSED! And that’s never good when your aim is to get your shoppers to do something on your site.

Don’t be indecisive with your words. Pick ONE!

If you absolutely have to use the tactic of giving one price and then making shoppers click to possibly get a better one – then use Price vs. Internet Price. Better yet, just give them the price and use a button like “Schedule a Test Drive”.

 

Dealers, only you can end the madness and create clarity for your customers using plain language. Stop using dealer jargon today!