5 Content Marketing Lessons to Learn from The Agony of an Auto Dealer Showroom Experience

salesman at auto dealership with outreached hand They Don’t Make It Easy to Buy.  They Make You Want to Run for Your Life.

Danger, danger, Will Robinson!!  Car salesmen approaching!! 

I’m guessing that I didn’t even need an evocative photo for each of you to conjure up your own happy showroom memory.

My own recollection is fresh since I’m considering (ugh!) a new car purchase. At a local car dealer, no less than 5 sales guys tried to foist themselves on me.  I was just one salesperson away from hightailing it out of there.

Car dealers and manufacturers spend a fortune getting you in the showroom door. Imagine if they invested equally in delivering a valuable, in-person content marketing experience.  One can dream.

But, because we can learn from the awful as well as the awesome, here are some content marketing lessons to take away from the typically painful automobile showroom encounter.

5 Lessons to Learn from the Agony of Anti-Content Marketing Car Showroom Visits

  1. Don’t make it blindingly obvious that you are desperate to sell a walk-in—read web visitor—prospect anything you can manage to squeeze them into.  Your web visitors want you to make them smarter about possible solutions to their problems so they can make smart buying decisions.
  2. Find a fun, unique way to offer helpful info from the get go.  Don’t replicate the same old, same old kind of greeting that you get in a showroom.  I can’t remember a car salesman ever beginning with a useful offer of information, research, fun factoids that might bring me out of my protective shell. Your website can find a zillion different ways to invite and inform your visitors.
  3. Provide useful, non-salesy takeaway information that isn’t all about you or your company.  Wouldn’t it be great to get some tangible product information in a showroom without having to survive a gauntlet of desperate-seeming sales guys?  Make it easy for your visitors to take away great content via eBooks or whitepapers without an obtrusive request for buying intention or detailed contact information.
  4. Display in-depth knowledge of your products and services in the context of your customers’ concerns. I’ve been astonished by how often a car salesperson is clueless about car information that the dealer or manufacturers should know is top of mind among customers.  Your website is the perfect venue to provide easily accessible, but ultimately in-depth content that answers your visitors most urgent and important questions.
  5. Don’t have a pop-up as your web visitors are about to move on that says the non-automotive equivalent of: “What will it take to put you in a car today?”  Apparently, car sales reps are instilled with the assumed truism that if you let a prospect leave the showroom leave without getting them to make an offer, you’ll never see them again. 
    I’m pretty sure that’s because they hated dealing with you so much that they would rather have root canal without anesthetic than relive the showroom assault. 
    On the other hand, offering your web visitors relevant and compelling content that leads them naturally closer to trusting you will encourage them to return.

I”m probably naive about this but I really believe that smart car dealers could deliver a positive–and mutually rewarding–content marketing experience if they made the buying process all about the customer and his needs.

But, there is one thing I am sure about. When you show that you genuinely care about your online customers by benefiting them from the time they first land on your site, a significant percentage will come back to spend time on your site and to buy.  

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