Getting leads can be a total grind in the age of online car shopping.
Between competing with countless car dealerships and customers doing 50% of research before they even step foot on a lot, scoring leads to meet monthly targets feels tougher by the year.
I won’t sugarcoat it — relying on a few random walk-ins or the occasional cold calling no longer seems to cut it.
So, whether you just started in car sales or want to level up your dealership’s lead gen, I will let you in on my secrets.
With the right social media strategy, optimized web presence, some local networking, and more, you can start pulling in qualified buyers in no time.
Let's just say generating leads in 2024 requires some new-school techniques.
But implementing these battle-tested tactics of mine and hitting your monthly targets will feel like taking candy from a baby.
What Does Lead Generation Look Like For Car Salesmen?
Remember when getting leads just meant waiting for someone to wander onto your lot to gawk at the latest models, then working your sales magic once they seemed interested?
Yeah, those days are long gone, my friend.
Now that everybody and their grandma does their research online first, buyers walk in with way more knowledge.
They’ve already scoured endless reviews between makes and models, compared specs and prices...you name it.
So, if you want to connect with high-quality leads, you have to catch their attention long before they set foot on the lot.
I’m talking about popping up in their searches when they first start Googling vehicles that fit their lifestyles and budgets.
Whether it’s optimizing your website to rank high or running smart social ads targeted locally, that initial digital first impression is critical.
Get it right, nurture leads across channels, and you’ll have an inbound pipeline that keeps you busy selling instead of chasing.
The game has undoubtedly changed, but embracing new school techniques isn’t impossible.
We have to meet car buyers where and when they’re at in the sales process.
How To Get Leads As A Car Salesman: The Solutions
Alright, enough bellyaching over the challenges of modern lead gen for car salespeople.
You came here for solutions, not complaints. So, how can you, an automotive sales professional, adapt your approach to connect with more quality leads in the digital age?
These proven strategies will allow you to engage prospective customers during every stage of their buying journey - whether they’ve just started considering a new car or are ready to pull the trigger on a test drive.
Here we go!
Social Media For Lead Generation
TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn are excellent resources to pull in targeted leads.
You just need to be creative about it.
Simply posting a generic car ad most likely won't cut it.
Instead, try incorporating a little humor into your marketing strategy.
For example, my good friend Alan always includes a GIF or a meme that captures his potential customer's attention.
He has literally built a brand around himself as the go-to car salesman in my local area.
If I buy a car, guess who I'm buying from?
He doesn't just stop pushing his "funny memes" on one social platform, either.
Alan is posting his ads across all his social channels to reach as many people in his target audience as possible.
The best part about this strategy is that it's completely free!
You can jump on Giphy or imgflip and create these within a few minutes.
To make visitors stay on your website longer and gather contact information from leads with ease, think about creating interactive content like this:
Make different forms, quizzes, and surveys for your website.
For instance, you can create a quiz to help someone find the right car within their budget and then ask for people's email before showing them the final results. They will get a recommendation and you will get their contact information.
Using involve.me's form builder, you can do all of this without coding. Look at the customizable templates or start a new project from scratch.
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Just paste your URL & click generate
SEO: Using Google For All It's Worth
Have you ever gone onto Google and typed "car dealership near me?"
If you've ever bought a car, you probably have!
This is local SEO in a nutshell.
While individual salespeople may not control the website or SEO, we can still recognize the value of search engine optimization in the car dealer industry.
With studies showing over 50% of car buyers starting their research on Google, making sure your dealership ranks well for relevant local search engine results is crucial.
For example, salespeople could suggest to their boss that they optimize website copy, titles, images, metadata, etc., around specific vehicle models, features, and price ranges to draw shoppers in.
Integrating zip codes for the areas your lot services can also help boost visibility for hyperlocal searches.
Listing inventory pages with detailed specs, strong calls-to-action, and lead intake options are also useful.
Additionally, encouraging leadership to monitor search query data through Google Analytics allows dealerships to continuously improve ranking for the terms and questions buyers use most during the research phase.
There are also great opportunities around crafting blog content and updating your GMB that can capture leads and draw them to your dealership.
While the sales team may not directly oversee SEO, paying attention to what's working and voicing creative ideas shows initiative toward the customer experience.
Recommending smart search optimization strategies ultimately translates into higher-quality leads for the dealership as a whole.
Direct Mail To Drive Customers Into The Car Dealership
Check it out - I know we're all about digital everything nowadays when attracting customers. And I'm 100% on board with getting our online game right so we rank for searches and run smart social campaigns.
But sometimes, going old school can set you apart these days.
According to a study done by postcardmania, customers are more likely to read direct mail compared to that of an email.
You should use email as part of your overall marketing strategy, but it does shed some light on the effectiveness of “going old school.”
When tackling this strategy, ensure you send mail campaigns to previous buyers when it's getting close to trade-in time.
Make sure Mr. Johnson gets an exclusive pre-approved offer for upgrading his beloved CRV around three years of ownership.
Time these things right, and they eat it up!
Instead of flooding every inbox, we get creative with our mailing strategy - tying special financing rates to upcoming adventures our customers dream about.
The key is making it feel personal and well-timed. QR codes to custom AR videos revealing new vehicle models could also seal the deal.
When you combine digital and snail mail magic, you get this 1-2 punch that keeps your brand top-of-mind with buyers right as they’re getting the new car itch again.
Tracking the impact can prove mail still works wonders with the proper targeting.
Cold Calling and Making Inbound Sales Calls
I know personally that cold-calling random strangers or working through dead-end leads sounds as fun as getting a massage from Edward Scissorhands.
Let's face it: customers are already disgruntled from getting those lovely "extended warranty" calls.
However, according to recent study, even if cold calling appears unappealing, stats speak to the contrary.
While cold calling is one option, an even better method is making phone calls to qualified leads at the correct times can seal deals that browsing alone cannot.
We're talking about people who requested info on a specific model or past buyers due for an upgrade.
Warm leads prime for conversion.
Instead of pushing a sales pitch immediately, I suggest leading with irresistible offers tied to what brought them your way initially.
Give that recent website visitor who admired the new Rav4 a compelling reason to drop by through a 24-hour exclusive complimentary test drive.
No obligations attached, just an opportunity for first-hand experience in the driver's seat.
Time it right following their initial research online, and you've got a hot lead walking through your doors.
Calls allow you to connect personally in minutes, answer lingering questions, and position your dealership as a resource first and foremost.
Even in the digital age, there's something about a timely call conveying authentic helpfulness, not aggression, that earns trust and sales.
Just be sure to track your lead sources closely to measure online/offline crossover success.
Join a Local Networking Group
You can never underestimate the power of networking!
Joining a local networking group can do wonders for generating quality leads.
This is also an excellent way to establish trust with potential buyers. People generally prefer to buy from people they know, like, and trust.
Building a relationship with these individuals will provide you with more leads, and these leads will be qualified.
The more qualified the lead, the easier the sale is.
Make it a point to find as many local events and groups you can join as possible to build your network continuously.
The benefits are twofold because, number one, you will get better at your shorter sales pitch. Typically, networking groups do a 30-second or a one-minute commercial.
The second main reason is to attract more potential buyers.
As the old saying goes, your network is your net worth.
Final Thoughts On Generating Car Sales Leads
Standing around waiting for leads to come your way is one way to make car sales. (If you ask me, it's not a very good strategy.)
A more sound strategy involves various techniques, from phone follow-ups to a solid social media presence.
However, it's crucial to capture your leads effectively.
Involve.me carries one of the leading inbound lead-capturing forms available.
With engaging landing pages, interactive pop-ups, and AI-powered data analytics, it's an essential tool to add to your arsenal.
Whether you're planning to integrate involve.me with your current CRM or want an effective way to capture leads, they've got you covered.
Start your free trial today.
What Are the Best Auto Dealer Lead Generation Ideas to Get Leads?
Optimize your site for buyers. Run social ads targeted locally. Ask happy customers for referrals.
How Can Car Salespeople Collect Leads Through Their Dealership Website?
Add forms everywhere to capture visitor info instantly. Follow up on every single lead.
Why is It Important for Car Salespeople to Get Leads from Both New and Previous Customers?
New customers help grow. Past buyers could provide repeat sales and valuable referrals.
How Can Car Salespeople Use the Power of Online Content to Attract Buyers and Generate Leads?
Post advice around FAQs and buying considerations. Local test drive videos build trust. Attract visitors earlier in the research process.