Category Archives: Automotive

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Same Car, Same Specs: Incentivizing Customers to Choose You Over the Competition

By | Automotive, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Powerful Closing Tools, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn

If you’re an auto dealer, then no doubt you already know who your competitors are. After all, knowing who you’re up against allows you to work on standing out from them. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, and you’re still left with that question: “How do I stand out from my competition?”

That’s exactly what I’ll be answering here by focusing on three key areas:

1. Knowing your competitors
2. How incentives give you a competitive edge
3. Marketing for the highest returns

Knowing Your Competitors

Competition offers consumers more and more choice. And while this is fantastic for the customer, it does mean that you need to spend time ensuring you actually understand your competitors.

But what exactly does understanding them mean? Consider the following when getting started:

Where they’re located: the closer they are, the easier it is for a prospective customer to check out their offers – but even if they’re a town or two over, don’t underestimate a customer’s drive to get the most bang for their buck

What they sell: naturally, your biggest perceived competitors will be those that sell the same vehicles as you do

What payment options they offer: outright purchases, monthly installments, interest-free for X number of months/years, etc.

Perks: what do customers get from your competitors when buying from them? A year of free fuel, complimentary check-ups, extended warranties, cash-back, etc.

How they market themselves: is their marketing better than yours? Are they more active on social and most digital channels, or they more traditional with print, TV, radio, etc.?

With location, you owe it to yourself do a quick Google search of your competition. Let’s say you’re a Kia dealership located near Cleveland, Ohio. When you do a quick Google search of competitors within that space, Google Maps returns the following results:

kia-competitor-analysis

As you can see from the top 5 results alone, all of the dealerships have great customer ratings, and all of them are within reasonable proximity of one another. Across some of these dealerships within the region, they offer monthly payments such as:

• $223 per month (36 months) for the 2017 Kia Sorento LX
• $184 per month (36 months) for the 2017 Kia Sorento LX
• $179 per month (36 months) for the 2017 Kia Sorento LX
• $229 per month (36 months) for the 2018 Kia Sorento LX

You get the picture. Point being, all offers are within a $50 difference per month, with the 2018 model being the most expensive.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO STAND OUT?

What if you’re that dealer offering the 2017 model at $184 per month and your prospective customer is seriously considering the $179 per month deal? What makes your slightly more expensive offer more appealing than your competitors? Same monthly payment option, same model, same color…

With the right perk, you can turn the tide in your favor.

Now, what would make a customer want your offer?

Travel Incentives! An Auto Dealer’s Competitive Edge

Okay, so you have $184 per month vs. $179 per month. The former, over a 36-month period, is an additional $180. That extra $180 the customer is putting into that dealership can be completely accounted for with a travel incentive.

Image the dealership with a slightly higher monthly repayment rate handed their customer a travel certificate that allowed them and their partner to go on a 5-day cruise with food, beverages (save the alcoholic variety), and entertainment all included.

What is $5 per month compared to a cruise that will offset that slight price increase by thousands?

The customer buys a vehicle, and then they get a cruise. And if a couple is buying the Kia Sorento LX, chances are good they’re parents. It’s often how the vehicle is marketed.

Gifting the parents with a relaxing cruise where they can spend five romantic and rejuvenating days together certainly beats saving $180 over three years. This is a great approach to incentivizing customers to go with you.

Marketing for the Highest Return

When it comes to actually marketing your incentive offer so that it will help you stand above the rest, you need to have full buy-in. After all, travel incentives are designed to help make it easier for your dealership to close more sales.

The list below shows some of the essential points to remember for the best marketing performance:

• Make sure you and your management team are all onboard with the effort (the aforementioned full buy-in);

• Ensure your sales staff are jazzed about the campaign and offer the trips at the point of sale (read here to learn more about getting your sales team behind an incentive initiative);

• Make sure you have put up all marketing materials in the showroom – posters, balloons, window decals, etc.;

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• Market the incentive on your website, social accounts, email, and other digital channels;

• Work any advertisements of the campaign into your current budget – do not go beyond it;

• Boosted posts on Facebook are a great way to promote the campaign for little money. $25 per week is more than enough for good exposure; and

• Again, offer the travel certificates at the point of sale – do not wait for customers to ask, because most rarely will. You want people to know the offer is still ongoing, and this will create a bigger buzz and bring in more customers.

Along with the above points, take some time to consider how you’d like to implement these incentives into your sales efforts. Will they be used purely as closing tools or will they be part of a larger promotion or contest?

We have even more great advice here on how to get the most out of travel incentives across various applications.

Let’s Talk

Ready to best your competitors? Fill out the form belowcontact us online, or give us a call on 1-866-883-2968.

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How to Get Your Sales Team Behind a Travel Incentive Initiative

By | Automotive, Motivating Sales Team / Staff, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments

Energize Your Sales Team

When implementing travel certificates as an incentive to bring in more customers and increase sales, you may encounter a situation where your sales team are somewhat resistant to them – and the question you’ll likely ask in response is, “Why?”

Oftentimes, we find that it comes down to a concern that implementing such a strategy will require a substantial amount of additional effort on their behalf. In other words, it’ll be even more work for your salespeople. So what can you do to assure them that the travel certificates are easy to implement and will only serve to help make their sales efforts more effective?

Understanding Your Sales Team

Now, it’s important to state from the start that energizing your sales staff is not a one-size-fits-all situation. And just as there are salespeople who are always energetic and up for new challenges, there are also salespeople who may find it hard to become enthused and get behind new initiatives.

When you stop and think about how tough of a gig sales can be, it’s easy to begin empathizing. Many sales staff have to deal with difficult and, sometimes, downright arrogant and disrespectful people. Add to that the experience of trying to just lock down one sale can often feel like a mental marathon.

Salespeople who work over-the-phone or go door-to-door know plenty about what it’s like to have someone tell them to go away – though the actual words used are often a little less family-friendly. Even salespeople on a showroom floor or at a retail store can be subject to dismissive customers. Many times, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to them or they’re coming to you – some customers are just difficult.

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This is important to remember because not every initiative is being put forward by a salesperson or head of sales. More often than not, that great new promotion idea is coming from someone in marketing; and while they may know marketing, they don’t necessarily understand why a sales team may be hesitant to try and “sell another thing” to customers.

You’re Not Selling Something Else. You’re Giving a Customer a Bonus

Education is important. When you tell the sales team that they’ll now be giving customers a travel certificate when they buy a certain product, you need to make it clear that the travel certificate is not something else they have to sell. Instead, you need to show them how this certificate is actually something they can add to their sales arsenal.

So when a customer is umming and ahhing, and one of your salespeople is thinking to themselves, Oh, here comes another loss, that travel certificate is the ace up their sleeve. As the customer debates the overall value of the purchase, that travel certificate brings them over the line. They’re not just going to get a great product – they’re going to get a gift that allows them to fly to Vegas or go on a cruise or spend 7 nights at a resort.

The Conference Call

This is why Odenza strongly encourages all new clients to partake in a conference call with us. It’s not just for the person at the company who ordered the travel certificates, but every single staff member who will serve an integral role in making them a success – sales team included.

During this conference call, they can ask any questions or voice any concerns they have, and we can provide them with advice and information that will make it far easier for them to understand and appreciate how the certificates will help them, not hinder them.

conference-call

As I said, the sales gig is already a tough one, and it’s understandable that salespeople can be hesitant about having to account for yet another thing. So you need to get everyone together, talk about the new initiative, and have a conference call with us.

Don’t Overwhelm Your Team

There are people who work well under pressure, but there are far more people who don’t. In the end, there is a difference between introducing an exciting new challenge and introducing a new process that only serves to overwhelm everyone. Most of the time, however, it’s not about what you introduce as it is how you introduce it. For the below hypothetical, let’s look at how the travel certificate strategy could be introduced to an auto dealer’s sales team.

First, imagine you say the following:

“We’re going to be using travel certificates to get more sales because, to be honest, our numbers have been way down. We expect you to use them whenever possible, and we expect an increase in numbers ASAP.”

How do you think your sales team will react? They won’t feel excited or invested. If anything, they’ll likely feel uneasy and not care for you that much.

Imagine, however, you said this instead:

“Hey everyone. For next month, we’re going to be trying out a new sales strategy where we’ll give a travel certificate to every customer who buys a car from us. We’ll start off with 25 certificates and want you to let every single potential customer who’s thinking of buying a car from us know about the offer. Let’s all sit down tomorrow morning and brainstorm ideas on how to best promote and tell customers about these certs. I think this is going to be a great success!”

A new promotion or incentive idea shouldn’t be proposed as some do-or-die challenge to your sales team. People are not inspired by fear-mongering; nor will they feel any true need to do well by you. Instead, position the new idea as something that is going to yield great results and encourage everyone to get involved in the brainstorming process. Also, don’t forget to remind them that this new initiative will come with plenty of complimentary marketing material to utilize.

Build a Cohesive Strategy

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In the continuing theme of getting everyone involved, be sure to remind your sales team that they’re not doing this alone. The most successful promotions are those that integrate various elements into a cohesive whole. This includes advertising and marketing; store signage and decorations; imagery and branding on- and offline; social media postings, emails/e-blasts, website updates to reflect the promotion; and, of course, your sales team.

When everything is brought together and made to work in harmony with one another, your sales team will no longer feel as though the success of a promotion or new sales strategy is entirely dependent on them. In addition to this cohesive strategy, remember to maintain an open dialogue with your staff – and if any of them have questions or are unsure of themselves, take the time to sit down and chat with them. Even five minutes of your time can mean the world to a salesperson who is still unclear on some of the finer details.

The Takeaway

How invested and excited your sales team feels about any new initiative depends on how invested you are in them. Show them how an incentive such as a travel certificate is not another thing to sell, but a tool for them to utilize to increase their likelihood of closing sales. And before making any assumptions about why they could feel hesitant, actually ask them and address those issues together.

An incentive-related initiative should be an exciting and inspiring time for everyone in your company, so present it as such. No doom-and-gloom, no unrealistic expectations, and absolutely no placing the responsibility on the sales team alone. Working together makes it easier for excitement to spread throughout the company, which is then passed onto your customers.

Also remember that even if everything is done correctly, external factors beyond anyone’s control can sometimes affect success. So don’t go placing blame if things fall short and you know everyone did their very best. Accept that there were things you could not control and try again. Perseverance, communication, and cooperation across the board are essential keys to success.

To find out more about our products and how we can help you go above and beyond your competitors, fill out the form below, contact us online, or give us a call on 1-866-883-2968.

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How to Make Your Dealership Stand Out

By | Automotive, Outstanding Marketing, Powerful Closing Tools, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

You have a dealership full of fantastic vehicles for sale, but across from you is another dealer that also offers great vehicles. To your right is another dealership, and to their right there’s yet another. It’s a common scenario that most auto dealers face across the country.

For you, it creates one simple challenge: how on earth do you make your dealership stand out from the rest? For anyone seriously considering a new vehicle, or just a random passer-by, they have so many to choose from. Beyond the vehicles’ manufacturer logos, it can be a bit tough to differentiate. So either you hope they really love the lineup of vehicles you’re selling, or you find a way to command their attention so they give more than a passing gaze.

Know Your Customers and Competition

Your Customers

One of the first essential steps to standing out is getting to know everything you can about your customers and your competitors. First of all, where is your dealership located? Is it in a high-class suburban city area surrounded by neighborhoods comprising mansions? Or is it in a working class part of suburbia where many people earn an average wage?

You need to understand the financial status of your customers, as well as what they consider important in life, to narrow down what and how you should be selling. Chances are a husband and wife who both work full-time and have three kids aren’t going to be taken by a luxury sports car. They want a safe vehicle that can do good mileage on a single tank of gas, has modern amenities with plenty of cargo space, and is built for the long-run.

By knowing who your local – and therefore most frequent – customer base is, it will allow you to refine all other aspects of your dealership, too.

Your Competitors

Naturally, you want to know your competitors. No one ever won a sales war by just “winging it.” What do your competitors do to make their dealerships stand out? Look at things such as signage, which cars they have displayed prominently out front, how their dealers dress, how their dealership is laid out, the promotions they run – even go in and assess how they greet you. What words and accompanying mannerisms do they use?

auto-competition-concept

Knowing your competitors goes far beyond the physical location, of course. What does their website look like? If they’re on social media, what voice do they employ? Be sure to check their vehicle listings and the language used there. Also of critical importance, and relating to the above point about your customers, how do they treat their customers both in-person and online? If they have great relationships with their customers, you want to find out why.

All of the above matters, because it’s essential to the next point…

Define Your Image and Brand

It’s hard to tell you exactly what to do here, because every dealership differs. But, suffice to say, a luxury brand dealership wouldn’t want to have untidy dealers with dirt on the floors, or horrendously unkempt restrooms.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter whether you sell Ferraris or Fords, all dealerships should look clean and professional – that’s a given; but differences will naturally exist. For example, Fords are typically family vehicles whereas a Ferrari is more of a one or two-person luxury vehicle. So while having standalone chairs for customers to sit on could make sense in a Ferrari dealership, you may want to have couches at a Ford dealership so that mom, dad, and their two kids can all comfortably rest.

Beyond these basics, however, your image and branding can reflect the emotions and mental associations you want your customers to experience. Blue has been tied to feelings of security of safety – why do you think Facebook, a social network that handles billions of users’ personal data, settled on blue as its dominant color?

The colors you choose for your particular dealership and how they fit into your branding outside of the manufacturer logos can greatly inform the emotional association people form of you. For such emotional links to be effective, those very same feelings must be elicited through your products, customer service, and all other customer-based experiences.

Marketing

We know a lot about automotive marketing here at Odenza: 70% of our clients are in the auto industry. Along with a unique travel promotion being a fantastic way to stand out from the other dealerships around you, you need to have an ongoing and defined marketing strategy.

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This marketing, whether executed through more traditional mediums or newer digital channels, is how you push your dealership beyond the confines of its physical location. In many ways, it’s how you can take your image and your brand and give it that definitive presence it both needs and deserves.

If your target market is the typical family earning an average wage, then drive your entire presence to that. Create images and branding of smiling families going on adventures in your vehicles – the manufacturers you’re working with may have such images for you to utilize. But what about writing blogs about fantastic local road trips, getaways, or festivals that are perfect for families to enjoy?

Do you host a family day at your dealership? It could be something worth considering. If you do, just remember to keep their priorities in mind.

Of course, we understand that there are always parameters when you’re a dealer – there are things you can or can’t do depending on the vehicles you sell. However, parameters are never a barrier to creativity. Once you know your customer base and what your competitors are or are not doing, you can start to build a brand and marketing strategy that appeals to your customers and excels where your competitors are dragging along.

The best way to market is to embrace all channels. You can utilize the traditional avenues when you want to promote something to your local base on a broader level. Digital channels, be they social media, email, blogging, or video-sharing, are a great way to maintain a consistent presence and to build a relationship with your ideal base. Digital marketing also allows for impressively specific micro-targeting.

This way, you maintain an ongoing presence that keeps your dealership front-of-mind so that when you do run a promotion, be it a travel offer or otherwise, those local customers – or even customers one or two towns over – will have a higher likelihood of being driven in. Remember that a promotion still needs to make a real impression. If there isn’t anything of actual value on offer in the eyes of your target market, then you’ll find the ROI significantly lacking.

Want to Stand Out? Get in Touch

For the past 20 years, Odenza has helped auto dealers across North America stand out and succeed through the utilization of travel incentives. With a wide range of incentives to choose from and the ability to help dealers build their presence on and offline, Odenza Marketing Group is committed to helping businesses of all sizes make a mark and, most importantly, succeed.

If you’d like to find out more, be sure to contact us online, fill out the form below, or call us on 1-866-883-2968.

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Incentive Packages: What They Are & How to Use Them

By | Automotive, Eye-Catching Showrooms, General Retail, Jewelry Stores, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments

When it comes to advertising and marketing, there are so many products and services out there nowadays that it can be hard to fully understand what they do. As Odenza has specialized in the incentive travel market for 20 years, we know that explaining what our packages do is fundamental to clients knowing how they should use them and why they’re so valuable.

In this article, I want to provide you with an overview of what incentive packages are, how they can be used, and provide you with a couple of success stories along the way.

What are Incentive Packages?

As the name suggests, an incentive package – particularly travel incentives, in our case – is a product you can utilize to incentivize prospective customers toward a sale, inspire customer loyalty, and to motivate your team to strive for better results.

Say, for example, you run an auto dealership. You want to up your sales for the month, but you know that more run-of-the-mill offers such as cashback or free fuel for a year don’t bring in as much business as you’d like – and that’s because your local competitors are doing the exact same thing. If you were to throw in a unique incentive such as a 2-night trip to Vegas for two or a 7-day cruise with a vehicle purchase, this can command more people’s attention.

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This is the basic premise of travel incentives and, by extension, incentive packages. They’re a value-added perk for those customers who buy something from you. If you’re looking to motivate your sales team to reach higher benchmarks, then you could use a trip to Vegas as the incentive for the highest achieving team member.

How You Should Use Them

To give you an idea of how these types of incentives should be used, it’s worth talking about one of our myriad success stories: Sutherlin Nissan in Florida, which is headed by GM Lance Lopez. They have been using our travel incentives for years, and this is thanks to the notable success they have had with them. Along with a random prize wheel that allows customers to win a cruise, the same cruise incentive has been used as an effective closing tool.

When one of Sutherlin Nissan’s customers is not 100% sure about buying a vehicle, Lance Lopez notes, “We’ll say, ‘What if we throw in a cruise for two?’ 90 per cent of the time, they say yes.” Hitting such a high closing rate is significant, and a fundamental aspect of this success depends on how you sell these incentives to your customers. So a lazy, half-hearted approach is obviously going to fail. If you don’t care about the incentive, why would your customers?

Be sure to keep these other tips in mind:

Promote your incentive across the board: Whatever marketing or ad channels you make use of on a regular basis, ensure you’re promoting your latest incentive on those channels.

Use collateral in-store: if your business has a brick-and-mortar location, make sure marketing collateral about the incentive is there – table talkers, posters, balloons; Odenza can provide this collateral for you. If your business is purely operated online, then make sure you have banners, CTAs, and other digital collateral/graphics that promote the incentive

Social media: don’t be afraid to regularly remind your customers about your latest incentive promotions across all social platforms you use – and remember that they are powerful marketing channels nowadays

Train staff: Make sure your team is well-versed on the ins and outs of the incentives you’re offering so that they can confidently and enthusiastically explain to customers what the exact perks and parameters of the incentives are.

Is There a Magical Formula to Success?

No, of course not. The best approach will always depend on your business, where you’re located, how many local competitors you have, who your target market is, and much more. But one constant is those tips I mentioned above. If you fail to embrace any of them, it can have a notable impact on the ultimate ROI you get. While it may come off as a cliché, being 100% behind any incentive promotion is the best way of moving toward success.

For example, another Nissan dealership we worked with in Toronto (PDF download), Ontario, hit numbers that were 176% over their sales targets. And part of the reason why this happened is because they had something unique to offer (the incentive itself – a trip for two to Las Vegas), marketing collateral about the incentive was everywhere throughout the dealership, and every salesperson enthusiastically brought the offer to customers’ attention. It was such a success that they extended the promotion for another month and a half. And, similarly to Sutherlin Nissan in Florida, they found the incentives to be a fantastic closing tool for sales.

So while you may need to take time to consider the best approach for your business, whether you run an auto dealership or have your own jewelry store, ensuring this promotion is kept front-of-mind for customers and your staff is one guaranteed, integral constant.

If you want to utilize an incentive to inspire your own staff or sales team (e.g. you’ll be giving a trip or cruise away as a reward), then chances are that value proposition is going to be easier to sell to them. A travel incentive has a longer-lasting, positive effect on morale and productivity. It is certainly going to command more attention and happiness than a small cash bonus, which has a comparatively limited sense of worth – once it’s spent its perceived value vanishes. But with a trip, your staff has the excitement of the trip’s impending occurrence, the joy of the trip itself, the memories and photos and stories to share after the fact… There is a profound longevity to the reward and the experience it offers.

Getting Started

No matter what your business specializes in or whether you want to incentivize customers or motivate your team, travel incentives and other incentive packages are great solutions. To find out more, fill out the form below, contact us online, or call us on 1-866-883-2968.

chevy-dealership-storefront

Small-Town Chevy Dealer Sells Big with Exclusive Escapes

By | Automotive, Cruise Packages, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Hotel / Resort Packages, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments

Dalhousie, New Brunsick: A Small Town with a Successful Chevy Dealer

In the province of New Brunswick, Canada, there is a small town called Dalhousie. This town has a population of around 3,500 people and rests near the border of Quebec, divided by the Restigouche River. Suffice to say, small towns can always be tough for businesses, and auto dealers are no exception.

While a smaller local population is an understandable concern for any business, it is by no means a barrier to success. With the right offer and approach to promoting it, smaller businesses can experience great success. And this is where the town of Dalhousie comes into play – or, more specifically, an auto dealer in that town.

Small Town, Big Returns

It was only a couple of months ago when a Chevrolet auto dealer called us to enquire about our travel incentive packages and what we could to help them increase their monthly sales numbers – they were averaging between 20 to 25 cars per month. We proposed our Exclusive Escapes product, which allows customers to choose from one of three vacation options upon redemption:

1. A 7-night resort stay (with 3,000 resorts to choose from);
2. A 5-day Carnival Cruise; or
3. A 2-night hotel stay in Las Vegas (including airfare)

The dealer was happy with this package, ordered 30 to start off with, and they got the promotion up and running around the second week of July. For their first, shorter running month of July, they managed to increase their sales numbers to 43 cars; close to a 100% increase on average monthly numbers.

As of writing, they have purchased a total of 114 travel certificates from us, which shows the immense influence these travel incentives have had on buyer behavior. With this success in mind, it reiterates an important point for all businesses, whether they’re involved in the automotive industry or another industry: the size your business does not matter – success is always possible.

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2. The Keys to Success

Regardless of what size your business is, success is typically about hitting higher targets. If you sell 20 cars one month, then perhaps your goal for the succeeding month will be 25, then 30, and so on. Or perhaps success is about maintaining a certain number of sales per month while being able to bolster sales during the typically slower months.

When we started working with this Chevrolet dealership in New Brunswick, their aim was simple: take what they were selling at the time and increase these monthly sales enough to increase profits while also accounting for any expenses associated with the travel promotion.

While there can often be a persistent narrative that success is equal to X number of sales and anything less is below the measure of success, that is simply not true. Chances are your smaller dealership in a town of 3,000 is never going to hit the same sales numbers a major automall in New York is going to.

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It’s imperative that when you’re striving for success you actually know what your measure of success is. As I said, the Chevy dealership wanted to increase sales; and with our travel incentives, they managed to sell almost double the inventory than they usually did. And the amount of money they made from extra sales easily covered any of the costs associated with the incentives and marketing.

If you’re a new business, your first goal of success may be to break even within two to three years (a common aim for many); whereas your goals may shift to X amount of money generated per month later down the line. No two businesses are the same, and depending on your target audience, your local prospects, your competitors, and a wealth of other factors, success needs to be defined and benchmarked in varying ways.

This was very much the case for our Chevy dealership. They were located in a small town, with a population of around 3,500 people, and they wanted to find a way to boost sales beyond their average. With the right incentive and associated strategy, they achieved great results.

Pulling in a Wider Audience

One reason for their success was the pull that their offer had. If you were going to score a trip with a car purchase, it’s the kind of thing that undoubtedly has the power to pique your interest. As a result, this small dealership was able to pull in customers from other areas, including those living on the other side of the New Brunswick-Quebec border.

Their reach expanded from their small town to other towns thanks to the promotion, and the value of the promotion brought a wider customer-base in. Being able to expand your reach and appeal to more people is always a plus, and it can greatly complement your benchmarks for success.

Depending on what your business is and where it is located, you may not have to rely on customers from nearby towns or cities to come in, but there’s no harm in keeping them in mind. Even if you do decide to keep your target audience within your own town or city, having some type of incentive or reward that really adds true value to your product or service offerings will certainly draw in more people, regardless.

Want to talk right now? Call us on 1-866-883-2968 or fill out the form below.

Image sources:

• Main Image (Chevy Dealer) courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr, used under Creative Commons 2.0
• Photo of Dalhousie, NB, sourced from www.marinas.com
• Success concept image courtesy of Max Pixel; Creative Commons Public Domain

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3 Ways an NY Dealership Wins with Travel Incentives

By | Automotive, Cruise Packages, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Generating More Referrals, Hotel / Resort Packages, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Inspiring Customer Loyalty, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments

See How this NY Dealership Yields Great Results with Travel Incentives

It goes without saying that New York state is full of competitive auto dealers and auto malls that are slugging it out to win customers business. If you type in “auto dealers in new york state” into Google, unsurprisingly you get hundreds and hundreds of results – and many of these results show dealerships with ratings of 4 stars and higher.

In such a saturated market of well-regarded dealerships, you need to make a good first impression. We’ve spoken about this in the past, such as with Sutherlin Nissan in Florida, but the ways in which travel incentives can be utilized to give your dealership that much desired edge are never a one-size-fits-all affair.

In this blog, the focus is going to be on Driver’s Village in Syracuse, New York – particularly, a client who runs a Kia, Fiat, and Mazda dealership within Driver’s Village.

1. A Competitive Edge

No doubt having a competitive edge over your direct competitors is something you want. But what you may not have otherwise considered are those less obvious competitors – those other companies offering a completely different product/service that your customer is also taking into consideration. In the event your prospective customer opts to invest in that product or service, they may no longer have enough money to invest in buying a new vehicle from your dealership.

Travel incentives provide you with a solid competitive edge. Say, for example, that other product/service a potential customer is considering is a vacation. If buying a car from you meant they could still go on a vacation, but for much less, don’t you think that would give you a competitive edge? And not just against your direct competitors, but the very vacation your customers were otherwise in the midst of funding.

General Manager Willis Amica uses the power of these vacation offers to his advantage, candidly stating, “One thing I alway say is, ‘Hey, you’re gonna buy a car, anyway; you might as well take a vacation.’” It’s simple, but powerful; because suddenly you’re not just a car dealership, but you’re also a place of business that can offer customers an emotionally rejuvenating experience. From time to time, everyone needs a vacation – that invaluable experience of simply letting everything from their day-to-day life go.

2. Postcards

Another approach Willis likes to take is to have customers who end up going on a vacation to send through postcards and/or photos of their trip. Not only does it show him that his customers make use of the provided travel certificates, but it also allows him to show these postcards to other prospective customers. Instead of having generic stock imagery, he has real-world examples of prior customers who had amazing experiences thanks to his dealerships. These authentic examples make new customers feel more confident about the travel offers he and his sales team put forward.

Another important aspect of this practice is that it helps reinforce the positive association customers form with the dealership. If you encourage your customers to send through a postcard or photo of their vacation once they return home, it reminds them of the fact that you’re the reason they were able to go on it in the first place – those fond memories mix with an even stronger fondness and appreciation of your dealership.

3. An Undeniable Perk

Touching on the competitive edge offered by incentives again, another key perk is how travel incentives deviate from the more typical customer rewards such as cashback offers, gas cards, tablet devices, etc. Many of these rewards have become so commonplace and short-lived in terms of the positive affect they have on consumers, that they can hold little perceived value in the long run.

For vacations, however, this perceived value increases substantially. As Willis notes, given travel incentives are infrequently offered when compared to other rewards (such as those mentioned above), they will set you apart. At Odenza, we offer local exclusivity to our clients, which means they don’t have to worry about a nearby competitor being able to offer the same travel product or incentive. This will undoubtedly help your business maintain its competitive edge.

To learn more about our travel incentive products and marketing services, get in touch with us online, fill out the below form, or call 1-866-883-2968.

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Here’s How Sutherlin Nissan Triumphs with Their Travel Incentives

By | Automotive, Cruise Packages, Eye-Catching Showrooms, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Motivating Sales Team / Staff, Outstanding Marketing, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments

Florida’s Sutherlin Nissan: A Travel Incentive Success Story

“A lot of times when we’re close to making a deal, and the customer’s just not too sure about doing the deal or not, we’ll say, ‘What if we throw in a cruise for two?’ 90 per cent of the time, they say yes.”

Sutherlin Nissan is just one of many dealerships throughout the US that has made use of Odenza’s travel incentives. We’ve said in the past that how effective an incentive is depends on how well it is utilized, and Sutherlin Nissan is a shining example of this.

There are two key ways in which they have used our incentives over the years, and they’re both worth taking into consideration for your business – it doesn’t matter whether you manage a dealership or business in the heart of Florida or not. Great ideas transcend industries, as well as locations.

The two approaches Sutherlin Nissan has often embraced are:

1. As a reward on a spin-the-wheel random prize draw; and
2. As a closing tool

1. Random Prize Draw

If you’ve ever had an issue with getting people into your store, then no doubt you’ve asked yourself this question: “What can I do to make people want to come in?” A big ad campaign may not always be an option given the costs it can bring. In light of this, sometimes the determining factor is the experience you can offer a customer over your competitor – whether they’re next door, a couple of blocks away, or even a town over.

For Sutherlin Nissan, as with most dealerships, their competition is very close by. To create a sense of excitement for customers who came to their dealership, they had a prize wheel. Being able to spin the wheel didn’t necessarily require a prospective customer to even buy anything. There was the chance of a great reward just for stepping foot inside the dealership.

The random prize draw was a great success. Sutherlin Nissan’s General Manager, Lance Lopez, says, “[People] see other customers spinning the wheel, and it creates a lot of excitement. They want to be a part of that.”

Bringing Your Customers In

Now, while you may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t mean it’d work for me,” you have to consider why a random prize wheel was beneficial for Sutherlin Nissan – it brought more people in and got more eyes on their vehicles.

In general, I know I have walked past plenty of great stores in my life but never set foot in them purely because there was no additional incentive to do so. After all, if there are three shops that all do basically the same thing, I’ll probably be drawn to the one that is putting in a real effort to differentiate itself – lower prices, better return policies, superior customer service, and/or high-quality incentives.

There would be two key factors that would cause me to stop at a dealership. These would be 1)is anything on sale? and 2)what can this dealership offer me that the one across the road can’t? If I saw a sign out front of the dealership that read, “RANDOM PRIZE DRAW! SPIN THE WHEEL AND WIN, GUARANTEED!” then that’s going to pique my interest.

It’s this ability to bring a prospective customer in that can significantly turn the tide for you. Even if the customer in question isn’t actively looking to buy a product you sell, you still have an opportunity to guide them in that direction. You can never underestimate the value of increased foot traffic.

Don’t forget that an additional incentive or random prize also influences the opinion people form about your business. Prize draws and rewards offered for purchases build a strong, positive association between the consumer and your brand. This association is fundamental, because it can lead to any number of positive outcomes:

1. They become a repeat customer;
2. They go out of their way to write a positive review about your business;
3. They tell their friends and family about your business (word-of-mouth marketing); and
4. They become a brand evangelist for your business – someone who never has anything but positive things to say about your business and what you do

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2. Closing Tool

Using a cruise incentive as a closing tool has been a highly successful strategy for Sutherlin Nissan. For Lance Lopez, the experience he has had with our incentive packages over the years have led to a closing rate of about 90%. That means whenever a cruise for two has been offered up to sweeten the car-buying deal, 90% of customers have made the purchase.

Industry averages for auto dealers can differ depending on who you ask, but often you’ll be looking at a closing rate of between 15 to 30%, give or take a couple of percentage points on both ends of that scale. So taking Nissan Sutherlin’s percentage into account, they have a closing rate at least 3 times higher than industry averages.

What Makes it Work

Offering people a cruise is going to sweeten the deal of any sale, but it also comes down to execution. The success at Sutherlin Nissan is also thanks to the fact that Lance and the entire team of dealers were involved in the effort. They took the time to learn about the incentive product they were selling.

With that understanding came the ability to effectively integrate it into their marketing and sales efforts. If you had a dealer fumbling over the details of a cruise or vacation offer, then you’re not going to feel that confident about this value-added incentive.But if a dealer can say, “This is how it works,” and lists the key details of the cruise or the vacation succinctly and without fumbling over themselves, then your response will logically be different.

This is what Sutherlin Nissan have done successfully time and time again over the years – and it’s their ability to sell their cars and these cruise incentives, as well as their enthusiasm, that has led to such exceptional closing rates. Enthusiasm and excitement are infectious – if you and your staff convey that, then your customers will, too.

If you want to find out more about Sutherlin Nissan’s success story or how our products can help your business greatly increase sales, then be sure to check out the YouTube video we embedded earlier of our interview with Sutherlin Nissan, or you can access it below along with a couple more important links.

Want to talk right now? Call us on 1-866-883-2968. Alternatively, you can fill out the form at the bottom of this page and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Additional Links

Interview with Lance Lopez of Sutherlin Nissan
Odenza Reviews – what our travel customers have to say
Odenza Vacations Partners
o WestJet Vacations, Las Vegas Conventions Visitors Authority, Air Canada Vacations,
Carnival Cruise Lines
Contact us online

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Wolfe Chevrolet Boosts Sales with Travel Incentives

By | Automotive, Cruise Packages, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins | No Comments

Everyone needs a car. True, you can get around in life without one, but it’s no lie that it’s a lot easier to have a car than to not.

Sometimes, however, car dealerships need a little extra help in selling the cars on their lot. This is because there are many different models of cars out there, so it’s tough sometimes for people to decide which car model or make they want.

This is why Wolfe Chevrolet of British Columbia, Canada, decided to partner with the Odenza Marketing Group and offer a travel incentive to every customer that bought a car from their lot. This car dealership promotion gave Wolfe Chevrolet’s customers something extra for their money and helped to dramatically boost Wolfe Chevrolet’s sales.

Why Offer a Travel Incentive?

A travel incentive is a complimentary vacation that any business can reward their customers with for choosing them over the competition. It’s a unique gift and rare opportunity for anyone. After all, it’s not every day that people get to go on a vacation, especially a complimentary one. So, as a business owner, you’re not only impressing your customers with your amazing product, you’re also rewarding them with a unique gift that they’ll really enjoy.

Furthermore, this prize is worth more than cash or gift cards, which are quickly spent and forgotten about. When you send your customers on a complimentary vacation, you’re giving them the opportunity to make memories with their loved ones that they’ll have for years to come. That’s happiness that money can’t buy.

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Wolfe Chevrolet’s Car Dealership Promotion

Steve Woodcock, the general manager at Wolfe Chevrolet, partnered with the Odenza Marketing Group to plan this special car dealership promotion. Referred to in their advertisements as U-Pick Vacations, this special offer gave customers the opportunity to choose between a 4-day/3-night Carnival Cruise, or a 3-day/2-night stay in Las Vegas with roundtrip airfare.

Wolfe Chevrolet offered this special promotion during the months of January and February, which are notoriously slow months for them. This special promotion added value to the offer, resulting in higher-than-average sales numbers.

Employees even enjoyed offering the travel incentive as it really helped to close sales, making their jobs easier. It’s no secret that if your employees are happy, your customers are happy. Therefore, the car dealership promotion was a win-win as it made it a lot easier for employees and Woodcock to finalize sales – and customers not only enjoyed their new cars, but a complimentary vacation. Odenza helped Wolfe Chevrolet, and they can help your business, as well.

The Best Travel Incentives Company

The Odenza Marketing Group is the number one travel incentives company, according to a study conducted by Concordia University. They make travel incentives affordable and easy to add to any business strategy. One reason for their success is how many travel destinations they have to choose from. These include a Carnival Cruise and trips to Las Vegas, Disney World, Hawaii, and many more beloved holiday destinations. No matter what, you’re sure to find something that fits your budget and business strategy.

Odenza’s success is also accomplished through their experienced travel agents, who work directly with your customers to plan their vacations. All you have to do is tell them about the offer and hand them their travel certificate, then Odenza handles the rest.

Finally, Odenza’s 3-time award-winning marketing and sales teams are also at your disposal. Recognized by the likes of Carnival Cruise Lines and International Association of Printing House Craftsmen, Odenza’s marketing and sales teams offer you free marketing materials, copyright services, promotional support, and so much more.

So the next time considering an incentive-driven promotion, choose Odenza to help you plan your special offer to your customers. Wolfe Chevrolet in BC, Canada, took advantage of this effective and unique opportunity and you can, too.

With a free consultation, there’s no pressure to decide right away, and you’ll get all the information you need to make an informed decision. However, if you do decide to work with the Odenza Marketing Group, planning this unique offer will be easy and you’ll reward your customers with a unique and special prize they’ll thoroughly enjoy.

But don’t just take our word for it, check out the wide range of amazing vacation stories our previous travel customers have shared over at Odenza Reviews.

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Drive More Auto Sales with Odenza Travel Incentives

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Automotive, Eye-Catching Showrooms, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Outstanding Marketing, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments
When it comes to selling cars, sometimes it can be a real challenge to get customers to reach that final decision you’re hoping for. Unlike a lot of other goods and services out there, the purchase of a car is a huge investment that will set most people back thousands at the very least. There are plenty of approaches worth considering when it comes to boosting auto sales, but one truly powerful option comes in the form of travel incentives.

Incentives that Speak to a Key Desire

Odenza specializes in helping auto dealers boost sales through travel incentives, and we know a lot about why they work so well. One reason is that travel incentives are comparatively unique to many of the run-of-the-mill incentives auto dealers try to utilize.

Things such as fuel vouchers or cash back offers are commonplace, but often too commonplace to the point that they become a detriment. If a particular incentive program rolls around like clockwork each year, then savvy consumers can safely surmise that the “limited cash back offer” will be back once more the same time next year.

Sure, travel incentives can be utilized in a similar cyclical fashion each year, but this brings me to another important point of differentiation between travel incentives and other offers: people desire travel – they want to go on vacation. Not only does a vacation substantially influence an individual’s own happiness, the process of organizing a vacation also does wonders for their well-being.

Research by Dr. Joeroen Nawijn of the Netherlands found that pre-trip planning significantly boosts a person’s happiness, especially any planning that occurs during the 8-week period prior to the trip itself.

This is a key point that really helps define why travel incentives tend to hold an edge over other offers or promotions. People want to go on vacation and get away from their day-to-day stress, and they love the experience from initial thoughts through to the vacation itself. A travel incentive speaks far more effectively to one of our most essential human emotions – joy – and it’s something you can take advantage of to sell more units.

Simple Incentives, Phenomenal Results

To give you an idea of just how effective travel incentives can be, let’s look at how one Texas-based Honda auto dealer used them. With a planned 5-day sale on the horizon, this client wanted to implement a strategy that would help them see substantial sales growth during that period. To gain some edge on their competition for the sale, they invested in Odenza’s Fly Away N’ Play Las Vegas program.

This incentive, as you no doubt guessed, offered prospective customers a trip to Las Vegas if they purchased a vehicle from the dealership during the 5-day sale. The result? They moved an additional 25 units over their projected goal. With such remarkable success, they continued to run the promotion until the end of March for their Truck Month campaign.

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Promotion and Marketing

Achieving such great results does require a little more than having good travel incentives. It also requires a well-defined promotional strategy.

On this front, the client knew that they had to get the message out to as many prospective customers as possible. To do this, they took three primary approaches. Radio and newspaper advertisements made up two of these approaches, with the ads being targeted at those within the Laredo, Texas area. The third approach went beyond mere advertising, and was undoubtedly a seemingly simple, yet very clever, step by the dealership.

The client invested in a direct mail campaign where they sent out postcard invitations to locals. Those who came into the dealership during the 5-day sale and brought their postcard in with them were automatically entered into a random prize draw to win a trip to Vegas. This added that extra edge: you didn’t even have to buy a car to have the chance of going on a trip. As a result, more people made their way to the dealership during that 5-day window.

For the dealership, having this extra flow of people was a great opportunity to make additional sales. Even if those who came along simply to enter the contest weren’t initially considering a vehicle, they were still prospective customers. As is evident from the increase in sales, the ads and prize giveaway did a great job of bringing people in, which allowed the dealers to use the travel incentives to close more sales

This strategy worked well for this client. Keep in mind, there are plenty of other avenues individual dealerships can make use of with these vacations. Social media is a big one, with the likes of Facebook ads being a fantastic, affordable way of getting the word out for a new promotion or incentive. You can use email marketing, Google Ads, print and billboards, radio, or a TV spot or two. For smaller dealerships worried about their budgets, online advertising is a great way to go when it comes to promoting a sale or travel incentive program.

Choosing the Right Travel Incentive

Finally, take into consideration what kinds of travel incentives your customers would likely be interested in. Ask your sales team for feedback as they are dealing with your customers on a daily basis.

While a sun-soaked getaway may appeal to people in one area, the same may not apply to others elsewhere. If it’s hard to narrow things down, don’t forget you can look into incentives that have options. Maybe it’s Vegas, a cruise, or sports and concert tickets depending on your clientele. In the end, options don’t hurt, especially if they can help you secure a sale.

Drive Your Sales Today

If you want to find out how Odenza can help your dealership increase sales and achieve greater success, contact us today for your free consultation or fill out the form at the bottom of this page. We’d be happy to take you through what we offer and how it works. As the number one travel incentives agency in North America, you’re in good hands.

We understand that customer satisfaction is imperative to all auto dealers, which is why we have the finest travel consultants on staff. They ensure that the customers you gain through any travel incentive program go on to have truly memorable, wonderful trips. It is our mission to make our clients and our clients’ customers smile. You can see the amazing experiences our travel customers have had at Odenza Reviews.

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Hyundai Dealership Increases Sales with Odenza Travel Incentive Promotion

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Automotive, Eye-Catching Showrooms, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins | No Comments

Hyundai Auto Dealership Increased Sales with a Great Travel Incentive Promotion

What’s An Incentive?

An incentive is something that motivates a person to take action. In business, an incentive is a special prize that’s beneficial for both the business owner and his/her customers. There are many reasons why this is true; it provides a company with a great marketing strategy, it shows your customers that you appreciate their business, it helps your business and customer base to grow, etc.

Offering an incentive is a great marketing strategy because, when featured on an advertisement, it can grab some serious attention. This special prize increases curiosity, which further increases traffic into your store. Better yet, if customers have a great experience with the incentive, they’ll be inclined to tell their friends and family.

Incentives help to make customers feel appreciated and valued. These feelings are important because they build customer satisfaction and loyalty. If you get to know your customers, you can offer them something that you know they’ll like, further increasing their happiness and gratification.

Finally, incentives not only help your customers, but they also help your business; they’re that extra push needed to finalize a sale. If your customers are on the fence about buying your product, offer them a complimentary gift and give them something extra for their money. If they like the service you’ve provided and the gift they’ve received, the likelihood that they’ll choose you over the competition increases.

Incentives are a win-win. Your customers are happy that they’ve received something extra for their time and money and you’re securing the sale and their loyalty. Offering a special prize will help your business grow and flourish over time.

Travel Incentive

So, what’s the best incentive to offer your customers? Incentives include special prizes like a gift-with-purchase, “buy two get one free” specials, store credit, etc., but the best incentive to offer customers is a travel incentive. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a complimentary vacation? Going on a vacation is something that people don’t get to do very often day and complimentary ones are especially unique. Your customers can create memories with loved ones they’ll have for years to come. On the flip side, if you offer them something like a gift card or cash these prizes will quickly be spent and forgotten about.

If that’s not enough, according to a survey conducted by USA Today, 93% of customers prefer travel incentives to any other incentive out there. Additionally, studies show that businesses who use these incentives as a marketing strategy see a 30% increase in their sales. Just ask Paul Erickson, the general manager of Eide Hyundai Suzuki in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This dealership generated a special promotion with the help of the Odenza Marketing Group and saw a dramatic increase in their sales when implementing this marketing strategy.
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The Goal of this Special Promotion

One of the reasons Erickson offered his customers a travel incentive is because he wanted a marketing strategy that would help the business stand out from the competition. In an interview, Erickson said, “All the car dealers in town pretty much run the same promotions, but I had never seen a vacation as a reward for purchasing.” There was even a similar special prize offered by one of their competitors, but this was just a raffle. Eide Hyundai Suzuki’s three-week special promotion was a different marketing strategy because they gave this special prize to every customer that bought a car from them.

This special prize was a complimentary trip to Las Vegas and really grabbed some attention when featured in their advertisements. Word-of-mouth, combined with their eye-catching advertising, generated excitement among customers and brought many new ones in. Erickson was so excited about the results of this marketing strategy that they extended the offer for another three weeks (a total of six weeks)! None of this would’ve been possible without the Odenza Marketing Group.

The Odenza Marketing Group

Travel incentives are the best incentive any business can offer their customers. However, implementing one is easier said than done, and that’s where the Odenza Marketing Group comes in! They helped Eide Hyundai Suzuki with their marketing strategy, so, why wouldn’t they be able to help any other business?

According to a study conducted by Concordia University, the Odenza Marketing Group is the number one travel incentives agency out there. They offer free marketing support and materials, employ certified and experienced travel agents, and, best of all, they offer exclusivity in your market to help your special prize REALLY stand out from the competition. See what these GM’s had to say about Odenza.

Additionally, not only are their marketing materials and support free, their Marketing Department has won three prestigious awards from the Gallery of Superb Printing Awards. The Odenza Marketing Group is also a three-time recipient of Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Pinnacle Club” award for sales excellence. Finally, they’re recognized for their superior customer service in dealing with their clients and their client’s customers – and with a free consultation, what have you got to lose?

Paul Erickson had nothing but positive things to say about the Odenza Marketing Group and this special prize. So, if you want a great marketing strategy that helps you stand out from your competitors and increases appreciation and loyalty in your customers, hire the Odenza Marketing Group to help you plan a travel incentive. You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain.