Street Toyota salesman Nick Schuman has found a way to catch Pokemon and customers at the same time.
While Schuman was on the Street Toyota lot tracking down the fictional creatures on a Sunday afternoon in late July during the store’s first Pokemon Go event, he crossed paths with fellow players who soon became clients. Schuman couldn’t make sales or discuss pricing on a Sunday for legal reasons, but the rapport he built with consumers while playing the wildly popular augmented-reality game was instrumental in closing two deals in the following days.
The Amarillo, Texas, store ended up selling three used vehicles to people who attended the event. The buyers had never done business with Street Toyota before.
The get-together, which drew around 50 people, was so successful that Street Toyota is planning another gathering on Sunday, Aug. 28. During that event, the store plans to have a tent while giving out water and Pokemon cookies.
“People come to the lot with a barrier,” Schuman, 25, told Automotive News. “When you find common ground immediately, it just makes the process so much easier. I guess if you’re playing Pokemon, you’re not the stereotypical, extremely pushy car salesman. You’re kind of a nerd.”
Since its July release, Pokemon Go has sent players to random locations around their cities — including two daredevils who fell off a California cliff — in quests to catch Pokemon through their smartphones. Instead of brushing off the Pokemon Go craze as another fad, Street Toyota is capitalizing on the hype in an effort to reach new buyers.
The dealership spent $25 to promote its Pokemon Go gathering on Facebook and Instagram. It dropped another $20 on “lures,” which are purchased in the game to attract more Pokemon to a location.
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