Trying to sell more cars but can’t seem to figure it out? It’s time to sell to Baby Boomers with a personalized approach.
Even in an age where technology and social media has changed how we sell cars, there is a market that goes completely against the norm. (Hint: they’re the people you sold cars to before Facebook ever happened.)
That’s right: Baby Boomers. The generation born between 1943 and 1964. But should you focus on these people entering retirement? Shouldn’t you try to sell more cars to Millennials?
According to Ron Volper on American Management Association’s website, there are three big reasons to market to baby boomers:
1. The market for baby boomers is enormous (80 million in the U.S.)
2. They have the most disposable income in the U.S.
3. Baby boomers are living longer than any other generation before them
Selling to Baby Boomers, however, is a little different from today’s standards. Face-to-face relationships sell more cars than keeping a distance.
Ready to sell more cars? These marketing tips are classics – for a classic generation
1. Personalize your approach
Think about selling to Baby Boomers as reconnecting with “old school” techniques. Personalization and face-to-face relationships are vital.
Your Facebook ads and Instagram posts are great for engaging with the younger audience, even Gen Xers, but Boomers are not in that space. You have to put yourself in their shoes and consider how they prefer to receive marketing materials.
Our advice: get back into direct mail letters.
Hire a freelance copywriter to compose a sales letter. Build up the personalization angle by writing in the first-person. It should read as if the dealership owner wrote it specifically for the recipient.
- A strong incentive to act now
- A product offering that matches an older audience’s needs
- A reason to come to the dealership personally
2. Sell yourself before you sell the product
Baby boomers like face-to-face relationships. Just like the younger crowds, they don’t like feeling “sold to” by a salesperson or hearing cliched pitches. But trust is vital to them. So salespeople must be on their A game with an extra personal touch. Boomers like to be taken care of by companies. They care about service style.
So what does that mean for your salespeople? How can they appease Baby Boomers and sell more cars?
- Call the prospect directly to keep her updated. Text messages are too informal. In-person chats and phone calls are the best modes of communication.
- Dress professionally. Informal dress means informal-style service, and that doesn’t work here.
- Be attentive, listen, and empathize. Boomers don’t want salespeople to present a car and talk about features. They want to discuss their needs and wants. Get to know them a little.
3. Give informative presentations
Boomers want to know the facts. They’ve been buying cars for a long time, so they know what’s important and what’s fluff. Buying decisions for them tend to be more rational than emotional.
Salespeople should know all of the basics about the car they’re presenting and prepare for a lot of questions. If they seemed under-prepared—let me ask my manager about that question!—then boomers will feel insecure.
4. Two words you have to say: longevity and quality
Boomers grew up in an era when “Made in America” had significance and prominence. That doesn’t mean they’re all against buying foreign cars (they accept the reality of today’s car business). But they are loyal to brands and care about quality manufacturing.
Boomers are looking for cars that’ll last, so come prepared with strong warranties and information about manufacturing. Awards for quality assurance will help your salespeople sell more cars to this audience.
5. Listen to their needs: Boomers know what they want
Boomers have been buying cars for decades. They know how to shop. They know what questions to ask. They know what they want.
Getting that information out of the customer is the first step. You need to finesse a little. Ask questions that will stir up an “ideal picture” of the car they’re searching for and then match those concerns. Don’t waste their time trying to pitch a lot of options.
Listen, ask questions, build trust, and they’ll tell you exactly how to sell more cars. Just do as they say.