Car sales is a huge industry and market, meaning earning the leads you need for success is not always easy. Whether part of a brand-new car dealership or heading up your own well-established company, leads are everything, and you need to understand how you can get them effectively.
Are you looking how to get more car sales leads?
Without good leads, car sales become much more difficult. More leads mean more car buyers, and more car buyers mean higher profits and a greater level of expansion for your business. Unfortunately, getting leads is not always as easy as it sounds.
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What are Leads?
Leads are the connection you have with potential customers you manage to draw to your business.
Generating car sales leads means finding visitors or potential clients in your niche and pointing them toward your business.
Why Focus on Leads?
Without a good source of leads, car dealerships have to rely on organic traffic and visitors, which is not usually sustainable. Even if you can draw in customers just fine, competitors will be trying to generate leads to take more of your business away from you, meaning that you need to respond with your own lead-generation efforts.
Without proper lead-gathering methods, it becomes increasingly difficult for a car dealership to sell cars at a sustainable and profitable rate.
Most car buyers only buy a single car every few years, so you need a consistent source of new customers to turn a profit.
How to Generate Car Sales Leads for your Car Dealership
Lead generation for car dealerships is similar to most other businesses, but that does not mean you can copy lead generation tips straight from another company. Even individual car dealerships are drastically different in their target audiences and the cars they offer, meaning that you need to construct your own lead strategies from scratch.
Paid Search Advertising
Search ads are among the most direct ways to generate sales leads. Platforms like Google Ads provide a lot of potential for new lead generation techniques, allowing you to target countless internet leads – while also drawing in more website visitors that may become new car buyers.
Dealership websites are a major part of how modern car dealerships operate, meaning that you want your dealership website to be found. Even if you only want website visitors there to learn about your in-person car dealership property, that is still a marketing method worth pursuing.
Any leads generated through online searches can be valuable, and putting paid ads on search engines allows you to tailor them to a specific target audience. This means you can gain leads for car sales within a specific market niche, only targeting potential car buyers relevant to your business.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO can be an invaluable part of your lead generation strategies, allowing you to tailor your website to attract the right website visitors more often. Good SEO pushes up your ranking position for select keywords on search engines, so you can target each audience with something they are likely to search for.
SEO like this can be incredibly complex, effectively relying on inbound leads and forcing you to optimize yourself around your audience. However, if done well, it can be much cheaper than any conventional online marketing tool while generating leads more effectively.
The hardest part of using SEO is that it covers so many different bases: you need to understand various techniques and factors to generate leads through SEO.
Keywords are vital to any SEO work and are paid to advertise. The keywords you choose dictate the terms your site will rank for, meaning that you need to choose carefully if you want the best possible results from your car sales leads efforts. Good lead-generation ideas can be stifled by bad keyword choices from car dealers.
Picking out the best automotive lead generation options means looking at keywords your intended car sales leads would be looking up.
While each car buyer is a different person, potential buyers there are still going to be certain keywords that receive a lot of traffic and search volume – and choosing these keywords can allow your dealership website to appear when potential buyers look them up.
Site Loading Speeds
The slower your site loads, the lower it will rank. There is also a likely chance that many potential customers will turn around and leave when your sire refuses to load quickly, something that can doom even the best car sales landing pages. You need to ensure that your site functions as expected with minimal issues.
If you want more car sales leads, you need to refine your website and make it more suitable for its intended purpose. This means spending a lot of time looking at how your site performs and finding ways to smooth it out, even if this requires you to rewrite some code or replace images with more optimized alternatives.
The metadata you use on your website can be extremely relevant to how it performs in terms of SEO. Poor (or no) metadata will seriously hurt your site’s SEO performance and potentially put you at risk of not hitting your target audience correctly, something that will only snowball into a worse situation the longer it goes unchecked.
It is important to spend some time looking at your site’s metadata. Make sure every page has a title and description and that you use the right keywords in each place. You want to do as much as possible to ensure that you are getting a higher traffic volume, which means using metadata to your advantage whenever you can.
Email marketing from car dealerships can be more difficult since most internet users will delete promotions emails as spam – if they even notice them. This forces your sales team to approach it carefully, gathering customer or user information and figuring out who they can target effectively.
Email is not only suitable for bulk promotions but is also completely free unless you use any specialized software, making this a very affordable option. Of course, there is always a chance that sending too many emails could turn potential clients away from your business and towards a competitor.
Direct Mail Advertising
Direct mail is more effective than email marketing in almost all situations but comes with a price tag that can make it more of a financial risk. Most people expect email marketing to be spam, so direct mail often provides higher success rates for car sales leads, but only if the mail is effective at marketing your car sales options or services.
Direct mail marketing is a powerful tool in your arsenal, but the cost balances it out. This means that car salesmen can’t just advertise the same car purchase options to everybody – you need to think about how you could start capturing leads in specific ways, and which groups of prospective customers would be easiest to target.
Cold calling is another risky option, but when it works, you can quickly secure car sales leads and dealership sales. Cold calling potential customers require that you have their information, so it is often paired with forms, newsletters, or even customers who have left the sales process halfway through.
Advertising car sales in this way require a lot of planning since cold calling will not always produce more leads. You need to be smart about your lead options: for example, people with cars will not always want to buy more cars from your car salesman who is cold calling them, but they may be interested in the other services your auto dealership can provide.
Marketing communications often involve a lot of content, and you can use carefully planned content to receive a huge boost to your inbound leads if done correctly. There are countless ways to advertise through content alone: video content about car accessories, reviews of luxury vehicles you have for sale, or even social media posts about new car sales.
You want content that will either draw a website visitor in. Whether local content on your own site or paid content on another, your marketing department can use anything from luxury vehicles to new cars seen around your local community as fodder for brand-new content. The only issue is making sure that it is worthwhile.
One of the best lead generation tips to follow is to create a blog. Blogs can earn more leads than any other marketing option while also providing valuable website content, leading to a huge boost to your automotive lead generation with very few downsides. You can even cross-post to social media for twice the benefit.
Blog posts could be almost anything – articles from your car salesmen, the journey of new salespeople getting used to their position, posts about dream car projects, or even an overview of your business’s recent car sales.
All these can attract a certain type of audience, and it costs nothing to regularly update a blog on your site.
Guest posts on other sites can be a good way to enhance your own lead-generation process. Through guest posts, you can get the SEO benefits of being on another site while also engaging with their audience, allowing you to target a group you might not have originally been able to reach.
This requires careful research and planning to do. Not only do you want to know the blog’s target audiences and actual audiences, but also whether or not they will take guest posts.
Even if they do, they might have strict rules on how the content is made, so you need to keep that in mind when looking for ways to build leads for car dealership promotions.
Videos are incredibly difficult to get, but they can also spread quite quickly if you create the right content. While it might sound unlikely for a car sales promotional video to go viral, there are always ways to spread your advertising media or other content.
The important thing is to not make the video an obvious ad that everybody will skip over. You want to create something engaging and creative that still ties back to your company. This will take a lot of trial and error and will not always be successful, but it can still be an unlikely yet proven way of earning a lot of website visitor traffic and new customers.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the best ways for car salesmen to engage with customers beyond the dealership website. Regardless of where all the leads your business earns are coming from, you can rely on social media as an important communication and promotional tool that complements your existing strategy.
Posting on social media allows you to spread awareness of your business much further and can even help a new business get its first big wave of customers.
While using a third-party site might seem risky at first, social media platforms are some of the best ways for a salesperson to contact a user who has expressed interest in your services or purchase options.
Social Media Posts
Creating typical social media content can be more effective than you might think. Social media platforms are all about sharing posts, meaning that you can gain quite a few new customers by simply sharing posts with a call-to-action in the text or image.
Putting content on a third-party site is always a great way to promote your business, so keeping a consistent and regularly updated social media presence can hugely impact how well your marketing campaign goes. Potential buyers who stumble across your social media accounts first will be given an easy way to get in touch or visit your normal site for themselves.
Social Media Advertising
Advertising yourself on social media using post-promotion services can be quite powerful, too. These sites often double as ad platforms, giving you an easy way to promote your business directly to people within your target market – along with a call-to-action and your social media account itself.
While this will not result in sales calls for every single person who sees it, it also means that you quickly build awareness of your brand. It can also lead to more social media followers, allowing your content to begin snowballing as more and more people start to share it. This takes a lot of luck, but it can allow you to dominate certain markets and audiences.
Other Lead Generation Tips for Car Dealerships
Lead gathering is not easy. Even the best sales manager can struggle to make certain lead generation ideas work, and there is not a single perfect lead generation tool that can provide you with the best results every time. Figuring out how to market your own business well is incredibly hard.
The best option is to rely on niche or unexpected tricks instead of copying the obvious options from other companies. The more unique your company can be, the easier it becomes to find target audiences that none of your competitors has managed to claim. If you can do that, then you can get easy access to a whole host of different leads that might be worth your time.
Push for Positive Reviews
Positive reviews make a huge difference to your business’ marketing, giving you more traffic and helping you sell more cars. As such, you want as many as possible, and that often means nudging customers into leaving them after a sale or transaction is complete.
Good reviews are hard to earn, but once you start getting them, it is important to keep the momentum going. The more positive reviews you have, the better your company will appear to new visitors and users, meaning that you should always put review scores first whenever possible. Be sure to poke previous customers about leaving a review through automated emails if you can.
Fix Negative Reviews
Negative reviews will naturally negatively impact your business, so you need to clear them up as soon as you can. While you can’t delete a review simply because you do not agree with it, you can try to reach a compromise with the person who left it.
If you have their contact information or any way of replying to them, reach out and see if you can find a way to resolve their issue in exchange for them updating or taking down the review. Even if you have to give away free services or issue partial refunds, the cost is usually still worth it since it helps you avoid a negative perception online.
Understand Your Audience
Spend as much time as possible getting to grips with your audiences and what they are looking for. The more you know about the audiences you are trying to target, the more cars you can sell through carefully prepared marketing material. If you do not understand them, you will struggle to market towards them in a way that gets results, let alone turns a profit.
Your audiences are the heart of your marketing, and you need to ensure that you are marketing to them efficiently. Even if your current methods work, you may be spending far more time and effort than necessary just keeping them invested, and it is always a good idea to keep refining your marketing processes if you suspect that there are more customers out there you have not drawn in yet.
Remember that marketing is never a one-and-done task, either. You will want to keep a close eye on your chosen target markets and adapt to how they change over time. Your audience may go from liking a specific style of car to preferring a completely different option, and you need to be prepared to adapt to that change in preference or your marketing will fall behind.
A large part of marketing is experimentation; taking small risks can be good.
Experimenting with some new keywords could allow you to build a new personalized inbound marketing model, whereas trying out a weekly blog from a particular car salesperson might open up more doors for creating relevant content that increases your site’s traffic.
Remember that not all experiments are successful, though. A car salesman blog could wither out and die after a few posts, or you might find that some of your new keywords are not as good as you expected. Even so, it gives you useful insights into what works and what does not, and you can always adapt your marketing back to how it originally was for the best results.
Always put planning ahead of your overall marketing work, especially as a new company. While it might be tempting to jump into targeting whatever keywords and marketing opportunities are the most popular, you will struggle to get the results that you are looking for without a decent plan backing it all up.
Planning ahead is important for ensuring that all parts of your marketing will work together smoothly. There are countless combinations of lead generation strategies that you could create, but you want to be certain that nothing is going to overlap or get in the way of another piece of your lead plan. If you are not careful, you can damage your marketing efforts without even realizing it.
Use Previous Car Buyers
Drawing on past customer experiences or using previous clients as a point of reference is always a valid option. Not every new addition to your lead generation efforts needs to be brand new. Getting more site traffic and vehicle purchases is possible by simply re-using old ideas with a fresh set of keywords and marketing materials.
Looking at past successes can give you an idea of how you might want to target your current audiences. Even if they only provide the absolute most basic insights into your current audience, that is still information that could prove useful and might even guide you towards new marketing options you did not consider.
The important thing is to never settle on your current marketing strategy. While it might seem easy to set up a lead generation system that provides great results, that will only last as long as that entire method is relevant. Looking at previous trends can give you a better idea of how your marketing will change and what options allowed you to keep pace with your audiences’ changing habits in the past.
Update Your Website
It is always important to keep your company website up-to-date whenever possible. Older websites are not just worse in terms of functionality, but they often have issues with being mobile-responsive: many features may not work on a modern mobile device. Beyond that, their visual design can be dated, and a dated website can often turn visitors away before they even look at your products or services.
Improving your site is a major priority. Ensure you are improving the website enough to retain visitors without spending too much time and money on unnecessary additions. Cleaning up code and adding metadata are vital, but adding extra images to the staff page might not be as important in most situations.
Lead Generation for Car Sales
Car sellers are in a tough situation. They need to market something that most people will only ever buy a few times in their lives, and rental or lease options can be tough to work with, depending on which audiences you are targeting. In other cases, there might even be certain car brands with no real market in your local area.
Generating leads is an important part of getting your marketing off the ground, and to do that, you need to be prepared for whatever plans you choose. Take your time and think carefully about how you would need to market your business, especially if you have never focused on lead generation before and are still getting to grips with the concept.
Getting your lead generation options into a state where they can “run themselves” for a while takes a while. Until then, keep an eye on how your marketing methods are working, and be ready to step in if something goes wrong. Marketing is about maintaining an online presence, so you can’t always guarantee that a single ad campaign will work for multiple years in a row.
Whatever you choose, keep looking for ways to improve your marketing in the near future. The better your lead generation options are, the more effective they will be at keeping your business supplied with a flood of new clients. Do not waste your opportunity to improve those strategies even further if something new could help.
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Kasra Dash is a Scottish entrepreneur, Kasra Primarily focuses on SEO & digital marketing for companies in the UK he enjoys brining positive ROI’s for business owners with his marketing expertise.
Kasra is also an investor in Searcharoo.