Make Your GM Care About Your Digital Marketing Sales Process
Imagine you’re out on the golf course with your boss. You watch him tee up, settle into his stance, and take a deep breath, his gaze pinned to the ball.
Now, just as he pulls back for the swing, imagine you step forward, saying, “Actually, there’s a better way to do that now!”
Think he’d be pleased? Neither do I.
In the same way, if you’re going to convince your dealership’s owner or general manager (GM) that you can improve the marketing sales process for your store, it’s going to take some finesse.
Here’s our advice on winning support for your new strategies.
Get Your GM Up to Date on Digital Marketing
Your marketing sales process refers to your entire approach of gathering and working leads.
Getting somebody else to see things your way is already a challenge, but trying to convince them to change the tactics they’ve used for years and years requires another level of persuasion.
Even if you already know that your dealership would benefit from an overhaul to its marketing sales process, the tough part is convincing your general manager. You need to find the right approach to help them understand the world of online marketing — or at least, understand it enough for them to give the green light.
When you bring your GM a new marketing idea, here are four main things to keep in mind.
1. Stay on Message
First off, keep the conversation in scale with what you want to accomplish.
If you want a larger budget for Facebook ads, you don’t need to teach your GM how they’re built. You just need to convey why spending more dollars on the social network would be good for the dealership.
Don’t get too “in the weeds” on anything. Your GM doesn’t need to know everything to understand the marketing sales process you’re hoping to implement. Focus on the main objective, and make sure everything feeds back to that.
For instance, if you suggest that your store starts a blog, your GM might ask, “Why do we need to blog?”
. . . To which you might respond, “Blogs allow us to rank for keywords, show up in searches, and go in-depth on a topic to move readers toward the decision to purchase a vehicle.”
Even that could be more information than your GM really needs. Can you condense it?
2. Steer Toward Solutions
You probably wouldn’t suggest your boss change up his golf swing, but it would make no sense to do it if he is shooting a lower score than you.
Make the conversation about how implementing a new approach or hiring an agency will improve the store.
Think about it from your GM’s perspective, and highlight the problems that a new approach will solve. Listen to what they are most concerned about. Then, be specific about the results you can attain with a fresh approach to digital marketing — like the results detailed in our latest State of Automotive Marketing report.
3. Show While You Tell
Describe how the creative and effective automotive inbound marketing strategy you want to take on will work in real-life context. Let them visualize a college graduate looking for their first new car or a couple wondering which vehicle will be best for transporting their newborn twins.
Crafting a narrative for your plan will make it real. You can tailor the details to your dealership’s current concerns.
Can you prepare any sample content? If you offer your GM a blueprint of how the revitalized approach will work, it might be easier for them to see the value. Plus, it will instill confidence that you know what you’re doing, so the GM won’t need to micromanage your efforts.
4. Seek Allies
Get some co-workers on board before running up the chain of command. There’s strength in numbers, and a marketing plan that has more than the marketing team excited will drive a harder bargain.
Talk to your service manager about how you could be doing more to follow up with folks who declined new tires even though their treads are getting low. Find out from your sales manager where they are struggling to move leads through the digital sales funnel, and brainstorm with them about how your online content can help.
If you’re struggling to get anybody else on board with your plan, listen to what’s holding them back. Are you explaining everything correctly?
If nobody else at your dealership can see the benefits of your new marketing sales process, chances are high that you’ll struggle to get a thumbs-up from your manager.
Arm Yourself with Real Results
Be understanding as you work with your GM and the rest of your team to determine the best approach forward for your dealership. And definitely make sure you draw on the insight of the automotive market at large.
Just like making changes to your golf swing, introducing new marketing strategies for your dealership will need to prove its worth.
Armed with our findings on return on investment (ROI), marketing automation, and other industry trends, you’ll have a clear argument for why your dealership needs to go digital.