Archive for October, 2012

Many companies that offer automotive direct mail marketing have never even been in the automotive business.  It has not always been like that and it is unfortunate.  So today, call it a throwback, but we are going to get back to our roots, yes back to the salespeople!
You do a 10,000 piece mailer and get 75 -125 ups. Now what?  They are going to just grab their $10 Wal-Mart Gift Card, eat a hot dog, drink a soda, and leave!

-Here are three steps to increase your closing ratio starting this weekend-
1)    Ask for the invitation: This is so important. Customers will drive down to your dealership and they will put their invitation in the glove box, pocket, purse, somewhere, but they will bring it. Why? Because most invitations say “bring this letter for admittance”, right?  However, in the customers mind, they don’t think what you’re doing is real. They are doubtful and pessimistic. So when your salesperson greet them and don’t ask for the invitation, everything is confirmed in their mind (false, just another car dealer hoax, deceivers). So, remind your salespeople: “Welcome to ABC Motors, did you receive your invitation? I need to see that please!”

2)    Get Behind This Event:  Your salespeople look up to you. You influence them in ways you may sometimes forget.  If the boss is willing to invest in a mailer but is skeptical, uncertain, and doubtful, then the salespeople will follow. Your salespeople will NOT SELL CARS if they are skeptical.  Even if you have to fake it, be excited about this event. Talk about it all week. Get involved. If you normally don’t attend sales meetings, attend one.  If you have spiffs on a normal weekend, do something over and beyond your normal spiffs, specifically for this event.

Who do you think sells more cars during a direct mail event, the experienced salesperson or a green pea?  If you said green pea, you would be correct.  Why? Because Traffic + Excitement = $ales. So, GET PUMPED UP MAN, GO NUTS, HAVE FUN AND LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!  Someone buys a car? Get on the paging system and congratulate them! Let them pop a balloon with special little gifts inside. Hit the GONG! Do something over and beyond!

Your people will follow and you will sell more cars than ever before!  (Are you thinking “that stuff doesn’t work anymore”? Keep on doing what you been doing, keep on getting what you always gotten!

3)    Collect that data:   We live in an instant (microwave) society.  We want it now.  Wipe that out, slow it down, and gather as much info as you can from EVERY BODY that attends. We have more technology in our CRM software these days than we know what to do with. If a prospect attends your event, they are fair game. If they park, get a $10 Target card (or whatever you’re giving away) and eat a hot dog, drink a soda, then they are fair game. GET THEIR EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER, VEHICLE, and if they are not in the market today, when will they be in the market?  Do they know anyone who might be in the market for a vehicle?

Unless they arrived via taxi, horse, or bicycle, they have a car. So eventually they will be ready to buy a car. You invested $5,000 to $10,000 or more on that 10,000 piece mailer so get your money’s worth.  We are conditioned to sell cars during the event, grab the low hanging fruit, and then move on.  Your managers need to hold your salespeople accountable for proper follow up on all attendees to the event.  Proper follow up is an insurance policy that covers your investment for a year of returns, not just one weekend.


As the originator of the famous “Butterball Bonanza”, it is important to remember that there is a right way and a wrong way to execute this event. 16 years, a million turkeys, and over 100,000 vehicles sold, you learn a lot! We keep many proprietary steps close but here are three steps you can take to increase your end results.

1) Don’t make the turkey the focal point of the event. Make selling cars the focal point and use the Turkey as you would any other hook.

2) Don’t offer a Turkey to anyone that has a mailbox. Target prospects that would most likely purchase your product. By cutting back on the size of your mailer, you can put more into the hook (the size of the turkey) and the quality of the mailer itself.  By offering more to the prospects that qualify, you will increase not just traffic, but the right traffic. That is what will increase actual deliveries.

3) Add digital (such as a mini-site, PURL, social media) to your direct mail and you add an entire generation of car buyers (Millennials). And as you have heard, Millennials are buying cars right now (and they don’t want to drive what their parents drive).

Direct Mail + Turkeys = Results

Suggested Weekends To Run Turkeys:

  • October 29th, 2012 Weekend
  • November 3rd, 2012 Weekend
  • November 17th, 2012 Weekend

Set it up now. The last Saturday of October can be your best day of the year. If you present it to your people that way and follow three important steps, you can and will make it happen:

1) Run the event one day only. Yes there are many reasons (some valid) to run over two, three, even five days. It is a FACT, when you present an offer for limited time, response increases tremendously. (People “in the market” will come early, and stay late no matter what). Add a Personal URL to your mailer and sell enough cars to pay for the event before it even starts!

2) Don’t pick zip codes. Take your home zip (with address) and run a radius around your store going out far enough to get enough prospects to give you three solid events over three months. Then feather your list to give it three well well-adjusted selections for consistency and balance.

3) Bring customers in based on your salespeople’s experience level. If you have 8 salespeople and five are green peas, don’t go do a huge high traffic builder! Start off with an event that is targeted and brings people in based on information about buying car, not so much “something for nothing”. Once you have some events under the belt, then do a big traffic builder that is going to bring in 150 people. You will be ready for it and know what to do.