They say people buy with their emotions. However, what actually happens is a mix between influential information and emotional cues.
MarketingProfs provides some great insight about the different degrees of emotion and logic in the buying process. In this article, they discuss how the beginning and aftermarket stages of the buying cycle are the most emotionally-driven; once shoppers get closer to the sale, they start to become more logical and transactional.
Shoppers need a a combination of getting the information they need to make a decision, as well as a positive experience at every touchpoint of their research.
So, how does your dealership effectively deliver both information and emotion to shoppers throughout their research process, buying cycle, and your aftermarket communications?
How to Balance Informational and Emotional Selling:
Review your video advertising campaigns. Does your advertising give people the warm and fuzzies? Does it make them laugh? Or is it purely informational? You want a mix to draw the most shoppers to your website and your store.
Oak Lawn Toyota’s viral video, which could be slightly more informational, definitely hits on emotional selling – and it also answers three questions for shoppers:
“Whose advertising is it?” (Oak Lawn Toyota).
“What can I do there?” (Buy a car for someone special for the holiday season).
“Why should I do it?” (Because research says Toyota is top-notch, because I like parody videos that make me smile better than standard commercials, and the people at Oak Lawn Toyota are probably awesome to work with).
Check your social media personality. What kind of information are you providing? Are you including both fun and informational details? Remember that people will interact with your social site at any point in the relationship with your store. You need to have content that’s relevant, helpful, and emotionally stimulating for both shoppers and current customers alike.
As a good example, check out Longo Toyota’s Facebook Page!
Assess your website’s design. Is your site easy to navigate and find information? Having a unified layout with clear call-to-actions and directional cues can be very helpful for the logical shopper to locate the information they need.
Also, what kind of colors are you using? Color and website clutter can have an emotional impact on the shopper. Pay attention to how you setup the aesthetics of your site to ensure you deliver a positive emotional selling message.
Personalize your staff page. Your website’s staff page is a place where you can start showing the different personalities of your team. You can make it fun while still professional, and start to connect emotionally with your shoppers by discussing your team’s interests and what makes them each unique to work with.
For an example of an excellent staff page, check out Hagerstown Honda. When you move your mouse over the staff images, they reveal something personal about each team member!
Use an expert live chat service on your website. Live chat can provide the emotional support that someone is “there for me” on your site, while also being helpful by answering the questions a shopper needs quickly.
*Note: Be careful about who you choose to represent your dealership on your website. If your live chat reps don’t have the emotional selling know-how, your sales could suffer rather than grow.
Get personal with your emails. People love when you relate to them on a personal level, and it’s emotionally positive to get a personalized email. It shows you took the time to make someone feel special, while also ensuring they get the information they need.
Train your staff about the importance of tone. The tone of your emails, phone calls, and conversations in person affects the emotional impact you have on your shoppers.
Emotional and Informational Needs Are Not 50/50
It’s also important to realize that every customer is different. Some shoppers are more emotionally-driven, and others are more logical when it comes to their purchase. You have to pay attention to what they say and how they interact in your communications.
For shoppers who talk a lot and give you their life story about: why they need a new car (for their ten kids, two dogs, and all their ski gear) or what exactly happened to their bumper (and how sad they are that their life long partner-on-wheels is injured), you’re going to appeal more to their emotions.
Encourage their decision on a new vehicle. Sympathize with shoppers about the bumper and assure them that their vehicle is in good hands. Tell them more about who you are and about your certified staff, and relate to them on a personal level in your communications.
For the shoppers who just want the facts, get that information to them as quickly as possible. Don’t waste time with any extraneous details! Be as “to the point” as they are, and you’re sure to win their favor.
When you have the right balance between emotion and information in your automotive marketing and sales process, shoppers will love buying from you. And they’ll refer more friends and family to your store!