How do you generate leads when you’re selling cars?
If you want to make money selling cars, then you absolutely must have a pipeline of solid leads that are always coming in.
If you don’t then you’re going to be fighting with the greenhorns for every up that pulls on to your lot and doing your best to hold any gross that’s there on any deal you make.
There has to be a better way, right?
And that’s what we’re talking about today.
If you’re asking the question: “how can I generate leads so I can sell more cars” then buckle in – we’re going to get you up to speed so you can start selling like crazy and have your customers love you.
To generate more leads so you can sell more cars here’s what you need to do:
- Define your dream customer
- Find where they’re already hanging out online
- Start creating content that answers your dream customer’s questions
- Show your audience you know what you’re talking about
- Position yourself as an advocate for your customer
- Start building an email list
- Nurture your list by delivering TONS of value
- Create a value ladder
- Identify buyers by creating premium resources for your dream customer
If you want to be successful selling cars, whether you’re a dealership or an individual salesman, you have to figure out how to stand out from the crowd and that’s exactly what we’re going to cover.
How To Generate Leads For Car Sales Online
Here’s the honest truth:
Selling cars is hard freaking work. I know – I’ve been there and done it myself.
And if you’re ever going to make any decent money doing it, then you have to separate yourself from the crowd.
You’ve got to get creative.
When I say you have to stand out from the crowd I mean you have to be the bright light in a dark room.
You might be thinking, “this is impossible – there’s no way I can do that!”
It’s actually easier than you think.
And it all starts by figuring out who your dream customer is. Sure, you can just take any up that finds their way onto your lot, but that’s not the way to make real money.
Figuring out who your ideal customer is crucial.
Next up, you’re going to start creating content online.
I don’t care if you’ve never done anything more than rant about politics on Facebook, or celebrate your team’s victory over the weekend, we need to shift all of that and start creating content that’s focused on speaking directly to your dream customer.
You need to show these people that you know what you’re talking about. And you do this by serving them with the information they need to know when they’re just beginning to think about buying a new car – you want to be the first thing they encounter online.
You’re going to position yourself as the expert and the go-to resource that everyone needs to reach out to when they’re looking for a new car.
And even better – you’re going to make money while you’re doing this by providing value in your value ladder (we’ll talk more about that in a minute) and build a community of raving fans.
Yep – it’s not only possible, but essential to build a community online of people who are looking for the inside scoop on how to buy their next car.
Ultimately, I want you to become the Zappos of car sales and decommoditize the sale by heaping on so much value to the deal that anyone who didn’t buy from you would be certifiably nuts!
Let’s talk more about this dream customer.
Define your dream customer
The key is building your network and your audience.
That’s nothing new, and nothing you’ve not heard before.
However, this IS different, and my bet is that virtually none of your competitors or fellow salespeople have even thought about this at all.
When you figure out exactly who your dream customer is, you’ve defined who it is that you most enjoy working with.
You need to get to know them better than then know themselves.
You do this by figuring out:
- Who is this person? What’s their name? Where are they from? How much do they earn per year?
- When it comes to buying their next car, what are they most worried about?
- What kind of car are they interested in?
- What happened with their last car-buying experience?
- What are they struggling with?
- This is called a buyer persona, or what we call in the digital marketing world our “dream customer”.
Create one for men, and another for women.
Be as detailed as you can be – detail is important, because when it comes to creating content that we’re going to talk about in a minute, you’ll want to know the answers to these questions so you know what content to create, and how you can help.
I can hear you saying, “that’s great for the internet, but I work at a local dealership.”
Think about it this way:
Buyers don’t have to be local any longer – you can basically sell to anyone anywhere in the country as long as you can ship their car to them!
So your network should not only be your local connections, but also online.
And you’re going to want to build your audience online because you can turn the leads we’re talking about creating into revenue streams for yourself that don’t involve selling a car.
You read that right.
Sounds cool, right?
I’ll tell you more about that in a minute, but first let’s finish talking about your dream customer.
Find where they’re hanging out online
As you know, people are gathering online in all kinds of groups and congregations.
Whether it’s on Reddit (hello Wall Street Bets!) or in a Facebook group, your dream customers are out there.
Your job is to find out which groups they’re hanging out in, and which subreddits they’re part of and then go connect with them.
Answer their questions.
Present yourself as the trusted authority and you’ll start to gather people to you.
As they click through on your user profile you’ll have a link back to your website or your OWN group where they can learn more about you and what you do.
Facebook is where virtually everyone on earth has an account so you can rest assured that your dream customer is there.
Same thing goes for TikTok.
In fact, it was someone on TikTok that was the inspiration for this post. She’s killing it with her content on TikTok!
A short one minute video with a quick tip or pointer will help you gather people into your world and from there, you can take the conversation with your potential customers even deeper.
Show your audience you know what you’re talking about
The goal here is to elevate yourself in their eyes by overdelivering value in all that you do.
One of the ways that you do that is by answering their questions before they even know they have them.
And you do this by creating content and publishing something every single day.
This could be a blog post.
Or it could be an email that you send out to your email contact list (we’ll cover that more in a minute).
Or it could be something like what I do, which is going live on Facebook every weekday.
The point here is to build top of mind awareness and name recognition as the authority in your space.
Enter into the conversations they’re already having in their mind
Everyone has questions when they’re beginning to think about buying a new car. As a car salesperson your job is to know what those questions and concerns are.
And even more importantly, know how to address those questions and concerns.
But how do you get your message out to the masses? After all, your dream customers don’t have to be just the people that can drive to your dealership.
It can be anyone anywhere.
Publish every single day on social media
The most successful salespeople today are maximizing their reach by being active on social media.
Social media drives traffic.
Traffic means people looking at your content
People looking at your content means prospective buyers.
Get enough prospective buyers then you’re winning at the numbers game.
Position yourself as the expert and go-to authority
You need to be showing up in the places where your dream customers are hanging out online and answering their questions.
The great thing about social media is that you can reach your dream customer wherever they are.
But you don’t control those spaces, so you want to direct your prospective customers and clients to your own website where you can serve them better and get them onto your email list.
Start building an email list
Speaking of email lists…
As you’re engaging and interacting with your potential customers online and they’re starting to follow you, you want to have something for them when they click the link on your bio.
The link in your bio will go to a specially built landing page where they can take the initiative to take your relationship with them to the next level, and they can do that by opting in to a lead magnet that you’ve created for them.
You’re going to create a guide for them that contains some highly valuable info they can only get by opting into your list by giving you their email address.
Once you have their email address you can continue to nurture your relationship with them by sending an email sequence that’s specifically designed to increase their desire to work with you because you’re delivering so much valuable information.
When it comes to doing business online, there are few things that are more important than your email list.
In the offline world, it’s your network.
The point is the same – you have to have a rich, and valuable list of people who are your dream customers.
Nurture your list by constantly delivering value
You nurture your list by building a relationship with them. And you’re not asking for anything from them off the bat.
You are delivering valuable insight and wisdom to your audience, focused on equipping them.
You’re also building yourself up as their guide – the one who can help them get the result they’re looking for.
Position yourself as an advocate for the buyer
You also have to position yourself as someone who can be trusted.
Most people don’t trust car sales people because they think they’re going to get ripped off, so they’re always on the defense.
You do this by providing your customers with the things they need to know that they don’t already know so that their next buying experience, they’ll feel like they got a great deal.
By positioning yourself as the expert who’s showing the behind-the-scenes info, you’re going to build “know, like, & trust” with your dream customer.
As you build your credibility with them you can then start to introduce them to your paid products.
Yes – paid products.
You’re going to create some resources for your dream customer that will serve them in a deeper way.
As an example, if your lead magnet is a checklist that buyers need to go through before they ever go to the dealership, then the next step is to figure out what the NEXT THING they need is.
And this is going to be something that’s going to go a little deeper in covering the subject of your lead magnet, and give them the next thing they need that will make the car buying experience faster, easier and less of a hassle.
But this time you’re going to charge for this new resource.
We’ll get to that more in just a minute, but I want to introduce you to a concept that may not be familiar to you if you’re not familiar with online marketing.
Create a value ladder
The ups and downs that are part of car sales are tough. In fact, they can be brutal.
The digital marketing world has been employing the concept of a value ladder to overcome this challenge with much success, and it can work just as easily in the automotive sales world too.
A value ladder is a tool used in by all kinds of businesses as a way to plan and map out ways you can deliver increasing levels of value to your clients at a variety of different price points.
As someone who’s selling cars, the car itself is the ultimate goal.
But as we both know rare are those who are just going to come in to the dealership and stroke a check for the full asking price of any car on the lot.
So, instead of always banking of closing every single person who comes onto the lot, we’re going to sell resources to our dream customer because we know what questions they have, what their problems are and why the car buying experience is a painful one for them.
So we’re going to create a ramp of value.
At the bottom is our free lead magnet.
At the next step is our $7 guide that we’ve created on the inside secrets that all car buyers need to know before they step onto the lot.
Next up we’re going to create a slightly more expensive product that will take them deeper and give them the tools they need to have the best buying experience possible.
Does that make sense?
Stay with me – here’s what I mean by all this.
Passive income for car sales
There are two sides of the value ladder – the demand side, and the supply side. On the supply side you’re teaching your dream customers how to do things for themselves.
And if I was still selling cars today this is exactly what i would do:
Create a low ticket offer
This would be something that would be a concise guide on how to buy your next car. The price point on this would be around $7.
It would be a downloadable PDF guide or video that would contain my top 10 tips for things to be on the lookout for when it comes to buying your next car – something SUPER valuable to the customer, but easy for me to produce.
Create an expanded guide
One of the parts of the value ladder is that you’re ascending your dream customer with resources that are more and more valuable as the price goes up.
So the next step would be something more in depth.
I’d create a guide that would be the “next thing” that my dream customer would need.
As an example, if you created a guide on the top 10 behind-the-scenes tips on how to get the best deal on your next purchase, then the next thing they need might be a guide on WHEN to get the best deal.
Or how to find inventory that dealers are trying to get rid of.
And what time of month is the best time to buy. Or the time of year.
Your the expert – with some brainstorming, you can come up with a LOT of ideas about how you can help your dream customer with something easy for you to produce, that’s increasing in value.
The price point on a guide like this would be $27-$47.
These low-priced resources that your dream customer is going to find super valuable is going to fill up your funnel with qualified leads – people you know that are ready to buy.
You can run Facebook ads to promote these guides by running a self-liquidating offer funnel online and fill your funnel!
And here’s the best part:
You can sell these information products to anyone and everyone anywhere who’s looking to buy a car, even if they’re not buying from you!
How cool is that?!?
So what do you do next?
Driving traffic & converting it into sales leads
Next, we need to drive traffic to your online sales funnel
Remember the groups that I mentioned above, where you’re engaging, creating content, and delivering value?
Now you have somewhere to send them!
When we have conversations with people online and you’ve positioned yourself as a trusted authority, you send them to this online sales funnel you’ve created, and start to build your relationship with them.
It’s that easy!
Now at this point, you may be saying, “I don’t have any idea on how to create an online sales funnel!”
Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.
First off – know that you’ve got options.
You can hire a web developer like me to build it out for you. I’d walk you through the whole process and help you bring your online sales funnel to life.
Or you can do it yourself. And doing it yourself you’ll learn a ton.
But get this:
You don’t have to be a tech person to do all this!
One of the things that I would recommend to you if I was doing your custom online sales funnel is a platform called ClickFunnels.
What is ClickFunnels?
ClickFunnels is a web-based website building platform designed specifically for building online sales funnels. It’s used by businesses across the spectrum from online businesses to traditional brick & mortar businesses extending their presence online, and can be used by everyone from beginners to seasoned web pros.
Once you have your online sales funnel up and running, you’ll be filling your lead funnel up in no time at all!
Related questions: What do I do if I have a dealership?
This is the coolest part:
Whether you’re a salesperson or you own a dealership, these same principles apply and can easily be employed to fill your dealership with leads.
In fact, if I owned a dealership I’d make sure that every salesperson on my floor knew how to build their lead funnels this way.
This stuff is a really simple concept. All you’re doing is capitalizing on knowledge you already have to make the buying experience better for your customer.
I’ve mentioned Zappos a couple times for good reason. They took a commodity – even more commoditized than cars – and figured out a way to sell it at a premium by going overboard to take care of their customers in a way no one else was willing to do.
Why can you not do that for your customers at a car dealership? But more on that in a minute…
Related questions: How can I generate leads quickly?
Here’s the deal:
One of the most important principles about generating leads online is this: You need to dig your well before your thirsty. Like most things in life, quality leads are going to take some time.
So if unless you’ve got a huge budget to run ads or to pay for a lead platform of some kind, generating leads is going to take some time.
Now that you have your funnel full of qualified leads, now it’s time to close the sale.
Cars are notoriously commoditized. I remember from my time selling cars that once a lead left the lot it was highly unlikely they’d come back, so there was immense pressure to get the sale closed.
It was hard to make money on those sales as a salesman – it seemed like everyone was making money on the deals except me.
I figured out a way around that though, and once again, it’s employing a tactic that’s been tested and proven in the digital marketing world – one that you can use in your own sales.
Related questions: How do I decommoditize the car sale?
Most customers hate fighting over the price.
But what if you could make your customer’s price objections magically disappear?
It’s entirely possible, you just have to get creative.
Think about it this way: What’s the greatest experience you can give your dream customer?
What could you as the sales person ADD to the deal to make it a no-brainer?
Dan Kennedy points out that “there’s no strategic advantage of being the second lowest price leader in town, but there is a huge strategic advantage in being the most expensive.”
What does that mean?
That means that you add so much value to your offer that customers would be certifiably insane if they didn’t take your offer.
But how do you then add that kind of value?
That’s where your creative thinking comes in.
Maybe you’re personally going to submit their dealer rebates so they don’t have to be bothered with it.
Maybe it’s that you personally are going to come and pick up their car for their scheduled maintenance appointments, and deliver it back to them.
Maybe it’s working out a deal with the service department to make sure that your customers get first priority when they show up.
Whatever it is, you have to figure out a way to take the Zappo’s approach to taking care of your customers. (btw – you’ll notice that Zappos charges the full suggested retail price for their products).
It will take some experimentation and tweaking, but with practice, you’ll get it right, and you’ll have your dream customers drawn to you like a magnet!
If you want help implementing what you’ve learned here, reach out here. I’m glad to help you but my availability is limited, so make sure that you reach out soon.
Have any questions about any of this? Just leave me a comment below.
If you’d like some help implementing what you’ve learned here I want to invite you to join my free Facebook group, Digital Marketing Mastery – would love to have you over there.