Posting Dates:

October 2010
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Why should you respect car dealers for putting out balloons?

The car business has been poked fun at since the days of white belts, cowboy hats and balloons.  What can you learn from them and take away for your own business?  In every city, in every province or state and in just about any country you can always count on the car business to pretty much be the car business.  We all poke fun at the car dealers for their balloons, banners, flags, tent sales, hoods open, neon price signs, goofy advertising, poorly dressed salespeople, finance offers and cars up on ramps.  The car business figured out long ago how to stand up and get noticed – call it tried and true.

Do the balloons really work? Yes, of course they work.  Just about any car dealer will tell you that putting up balloons draws more attention and attention is a large component in the sales process.  At least one big difference between a used car dealer and a full parking lot is the balloons.  The balloons do a whole lot of different things for a car dealer but the biggest thing is that they let everyone know they are open and would like to earn your business.  Many car dealer lots stretch several city blocks and the balloons act as a whole bunch of flashing neon ‘OPEN’ signs across what otherwise looks like a parking lot.  Balloons are very inexpensive way of turning a bunch of parked cars in to car sales and making every day seem like a once a year birthday.

Some say that car dealers need to get with the times and try something new to earn business.  I can pretty much guarantee that if anybody has tried it, it was probably a car dealer.   Most car dealers have flags, banners and balloons to let you know that their full parking lot is filled with cars for sale.  What can you learn from the car dealers that you need to know?

  • Are you trying to grab attention?
  • Does every day seem like a special event?
  • Do you give your customers a reason to return?
  • Do you remind them to return?
  • Do you send them a letter from the President thanking them for doing business with you?
  • Do you stay in touch on a regular basis?
  • Do you have a referral program?

Look at your business from the outside.  Do you grab attention?  Are you highly visible?  Is it impossible to drive by and not know you exist?  You don’t have to hang pendants around your parking lot, put fresh balloons out every day or make everything florescent colours – but you need to stand out from the crowd of businesses that surround you.  Nothing is worse for business than being unknown.

Every day I drive home past a teenager waving a sign in the air telling me that the Little Caesars Pizza behind them has a $5.00 pizza offer.  It may not make me hungry, tell my friends they have the best pizza in town or cause me to slam on the brakes for what must be great pizza.  I do however know that a Little Caesars Pizza place is right there on my way home.  I have awareness of their business.  They aren’t sitting back with their feet up talking about doom and gloom as the pepperoni grows old, they are out there trying to grab my attention and get some people through the door for pizza.  How are you going to do the same?          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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