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AUTO DEALERS WASTE MILLIONS TO BRAG

 

“We’re the tri-state area’s Number One sales leader”

I’m very happy for you.  Now how does that benefit me?

”No one sells more Toyotas than we do!”

Again, please stop chest-thumping and tell me why I should care.

“We won’t stop until we’re Number One in sales!

So you’re telling me I’m not going to have a very pleasant experience with your pushy sales staff.

Sustaining a testosterone-laced mindset from past decades, most auto dealers advertising on radio can’t let 60 seconds go by without telling you that they’re the #1 sales leader in their region or that they’re working to become the #1 sales leader.  As.  If.  I.  Care.

Waving a giant #1 foam finger is little more than “Ha ha, we’re bigger than you!” bragging aimed at rival dealers.  It’s a mindless, macho mindset that wastes every second spent chest-thumping when the message should be focused on telling potential car buyers why they should visit their showroom.

Today, virtually every new and used car buyer has done their homework on the Web.  They know what their chosen car ought to cost and what profit margins to expect.  With a few mouse clicks they can solicit offers from a half-dozen dealerships and compare available inventory and pricing.  So why would a car dealer go out of their way to alienate shoppers about to make a five-figure buying decision?

Because that’s the way it’s always been done.

Because it feels good to brag about what a great job you’re doing.

Because if the other guys shout louder than they do, they fear their message won’t be heard.

Sadly, no one has explained to these troglodytes that another dealer’s 60-seconds of air time has nothing to do with their 60 seconds of air time.  Today’s consumers are infinitely better informed and better prepared to make an intelligent buying decision unfazed by irrelevant factors such as which dealership sells the most cars.

So it all comes down to two things:

  1. How can you get a prospective buyer into the showroom? and
  2. What can you avoid doing that might keep said buyer out of your showroom?

Shouting “We’re Number One!” on the radio doesn’t satisfy either of those criteria.  Yet, the next car ad you hear will contain overmodulated boasts that stroke the dealer’s ego rather than address the customer’s needs.

There are countless ways to do it better and smarter.  Who’s got the courage to step up and break the cycle?

MLJune2014bMark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com