The heyday of traditional advertising is long gone.
Gone are the days of banking on the successes of a well-placed magazine ad or a well-crafted radio spot.
We, as consumers, have evolved. We’ve gotten smarter. We’re more conscientious about what we’re being sold on, and how we’re being sold.
Interruptive marketing, that is marketing that catches our attention by interrupting our behavior (e.g. print advertisements, television commercials, those dreaded robocalls, etc.), no longer work. Consumers don’t want to be sold on anything…...consumers want to be informed.
We live in a time of too much information. What is accurate? What is true? What isn’t? If you can inform someone, you can gain their trust. If someone trusts you, they’re significantly more likely to buy from you. The key is trust.
So, how do we inform people about something? How do we build this trust?
And not just any content…..but good, FREE content that people find value in. Hop on YouTube and you can find countless individuals who have built business empires (earning themselves hefty paychecks in the process) entirely by giving away free content that people find value in consuming. This can be anything from make-up tips to camera reviews.
To help drive home the point, let’s take a look at a local brick-and-mortar store that could use a similar M.O -- a car dealership. What could a car dealership give away, for free, that wouldn’t be a financial burden on the dealership, yet people would find valuable and useful?
License plate frames? Car-shaped stress balls? Hardly.
What about an education? An education on the car buying process. An education on the various car financing options that are available? Let’s say a senior car salesman took 30 minutes of his Saturday shift and offered a simple, in-person class on what the car buying process looks like. The car salesman could educate attendees on what they can expect throughout the process, and what challenges car buyers often face.
The dealership is most certainly sending out flyers on a regular basis, adding a little blurb about upcoming classes within these flyers costs nothing extra. 30 minutes of the salesperson’s time once or twice per month is likely doing little more than cutting into their Facebook time.
What does the consumer get out of it? They will have more confidence when going through the car buying process. They will have an opportunity to get their specific questions answered by an expert in the field (in this case, someone who walks people through the car buying process on a daily basis).
What is the benefit to the dealership? Trust.
Where do you think those class attendees will be shopping first when it comes time for them to buy their next car? In fact, assuming the salesperson chosen to instruct the course is a likeable individual, the chances are high that those attendees would go one step further and ask for that specific salesperson by-name when it comes time to buy their next vehicle.
The average local car dealership sells 10-20 vehicles per week. Even if this instructor only builds trust with one or two potential buyers per week, that can pay huge dividends over the course of weeks and months of ongoing classes. This 30 minute class could potentially boost company sales by 5-10% within a short period of time, at no cost beyond the salesperson’s time (which they would already be spending at the dealership anyways).
Beyond this are all of the intangible benefits that come along with providing a free education to potential buyers -- brand awareness, goodwill amongst the consumer pool, and, again, trust.
As a bonus, this approach to building trust with your potential customers is entirely scaleable. Do you operate multiple dealerships? Offer classes at each of them. Offer classes on different topics that would interest car shoppers. Offer classes at different times on different days.
This one simple action, educating the consumer, has the power to dramatically improve your business.
How could 30 minutes impact your business?