A continuous cycle of inventive auto sales promotions will help keep you top-of-mind in your community.
Coming up with fresh, effective auto sales promotions can be a pain. You know the promotions will bring eager customers into your dealership, but thinking up creative ideas may not be your strong suit.
One of the easiest ways to brainstorm promotion ideas is to pull out a calendar. Going month by month, write down a list of holidays and other important activities people are celebrating or excited about each and every month. This will give you insight into the customer mindset throughout the year and help you tailor promotions to timely events.
Still at a bit of a loss for ideas? Here are 12 auto sales promotions you can use to boost your revenue every single month of the year.
Ideas for auto sales promotions at your dealership
1. Free car wash
This promotion is simple, but effective — offer a free car wash to anyone who brings their vehicle into your service department to have work done. Spring is a great time to offer this promotion because drivers that live in colder climates like to spruce their vehicles up after a long winter.
2. Test drive incentive
You work so hard to motivate prospective customers toward a test drive, but one month, offer an incentive that will do the work for you. Announce that anyone who schedules and completes a test drive at your dealership will have their name entered into a raffle for an attractive prize.
3. Celebrate the cars’ “anniversary”
Every year on the anniversary of a car’s purchase, send the customer an anniversary card to commemorate the occasion. Include a coupon for a free oil change inside as a present.
4. Offer a lowest-price guarantee
If someone buys a car from you during a specific period of time (defined by you) and finds a the same car with similar specs for less at another dealership, make the promise that you will pay them the difference between the two cars.
5. Incentives for referrals
Make an announcement that if someone sends a referral into your dealership and that person buys a car, the referring party will receive a prize, such as two tickets to a sporting event in your area.
6. Host a community cookout
This type of promotion is a nice way to build trust within your community and make local connections. Simply hold a free, no strings attached cookout at your dealership for anyone to attend and eat for free.
7. Hold a car seat safety clinic
Many parents are uninformed when it comes to properly installing car seats in their vehicles. Ask an expert from your area (your fire department or police department will likely help) to come to your dealership and teach parents the basics of car seat safety. Make sure the expert uses one of your top family-friendly vehicles to show the parents about installation.
8. Have a pickup/drop off promotion
To increase business in your service department and create goodwill, offer a promotion where you will pick up someone’s car for a service, bring it to the dealership, fix the vehicle, and drop it back off to them. If your town is small, you may want to offer this to the whole area — if it’s larger, choose a big business or hospital to focus your efforts on.
9. “Free Gas Fridays”
One dealership in Oregon started a “Free Gas Fridays” promotion, and it has become popular with other dealerships as well now. Let your customers know that every Friday, you will be out in town looking for a vehicle that has a license plate frame or tire cover with your dealership’s name on it. When you find someone, give them a $50 gas card and take a picture (or quick video) to post on your website and social media accounts.
10. Create and share a fun video
In your next sales meeting, have your team come up with ideas for a short video (get creative and use your sense of humor!). Post it on Facebook and announce that everyone who shares the video will be entered into a raffle for a great prize.
11. Have a present contest during the holidays
Nicely wrap a bunch of empty boxes, and in one, put a paper that says “WINNER!” Number all of the presents and put them out in your showroom. Every time someone buys a car from you, let them choose a present number and write it down (once a number is picked, it cannot be chosen again). On December 31, the person who chose the “WINNER!” box number can be awarded free oil changes for a year.
12. Make Saturdays “Express Saturdays” in your service department
Many customers work Monday through Friday and finding time to schedule routine maintenance can be difficult. Guarantee service within a (small) window of time to encourage those people to visit you on Saturdays and show them that you value their precious time off.
How to come up with more dealership auto sales promotions
You don’t have to create promotions all on your own — get your entire team in on brainstorming sessions. Encourage them to come up with new and interesting ideas to bring in more customers. You could even offer an internal promotion that rewards the person who had the most successful idea during a quarter. Figure out what works for your dealership and use your imagination!