While July often brings record-breaking temperatures to Albuquerque, it also brought record-breaking sales to Melloy Nissan, which celebrated its best sales month ever since the dealership went into business 44 years ago. Sales at Melloy Nissan soared 310 percent in July, enabling them to outsell competing dealerships in their district by more than double the units sold; this, during one of the toughest economies that dealers have ever seen.
To ensure continued growth, it was essential for Melloy Nissan to implement a new cost-efficient sales and service strategy that would attract, sell, service, and retain customers, adding to the profits of the dealership’s new, used, finance, service and parts departments. Just one year after implementing said strategy, Melloy has written more than 1,400 ROs for the same period last year, and has climbed to Nissan’s top 20 dealerships nationally.
Step one was to perform in-depth market research that included a comprehensive study of customer trends via the analysis of Melloy’s sales and service transactions. Next, they included comparisons of the local market to leading third-party industry data and market trends as a means of identifying consumer patterns, such as those most likely to purchase a Nissan or service with the dealership. “Rather than overspending on advertising to reach everyone in our region, we are now able to identify and target ready Nissan buyers on a consistent, month-to-month basis for less money,” said Roy Benson, General Manager at Melloy Nissan. “Since implementing this strategy in January, we have witnessed a significant difference in how consumers are responding, while sales rise anywhere from 82 percent to 219 percent every month.”
With less money spent on traditional media, Melloy has had more to invest in targeted communications that further capitalize on the results of their research. Customers are able to receive custom messaging relevant to the service status of their vehicle, in other words, their exact needs. Offers, for example, are customized depending on the customer; a customer who services regularly with Melloy would receive an offer for $34.95 oil and filter change, while a customer who doesn’t receive regular service would receive the same offer for $19.95 as a means of persuading them to return to Melloy for service. The program has been very effective, resulting in a 22 percent increase in total units serviced.
Budd Blackburn, owner of www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com, the targeted marketing company employed by Melloy Nissan, assures that combining sales and service messaging can prevent the dealership from sending irrelevant coupons and offers to customers, thus saving the dealership money. “Post sale, Melloy does a phenomenal job at staying in touch with customers throughout the 60 months of ownership that proceed,” said Blackburn. “Melloy uses welcome messaging for recent buyers, maintenance reminders for vehicles eligible for scheduled maintenance, and ongoing mail and email communications to customers.”
Melloy Nissan also implements unique ad campaigns that include the New Start Program, designed for credit-challenged consumers. “Through the program, Melloy Nissan partners with local banks and lenders to create opportunities for car buyers who may not have the adequate Tier-1credit to purchase a vehicle,” explains Benson. “The program has been successful in helping these customers achieve their goal to purchase.”
Meanwhile, Melloy is creating opportunities for visiting customers via vibrant, in-store point of sale merchandising that draws attention to the dealership’s current campaigns. “From mail offers to our in-store advertising, we want to make sure to deliver a clear, consistent message to the customer by distributing materials that have a cohesive look and feel,” says Benson, who also assures that the dealership’s entire sales team is knowledgeable of the month’s current campaign. “The goal is to continually build brand recognition and credibility.”
In addition to delivering the right message, Melloy Nissan is making it a point to closely monitor inbound calls so that customers are handled properly and in a timely manner. To do so, Melloy uses toll-free 800 numbers on all advertising in order to monitor and track inbound calls, a cost-efficient strategy versus the average $150 that dealers spend per lead. By closely monitoring calls, Melloy has improved appointment ratios, bringing more and more customers into the dealership. Benson says, “The goal thereafter is to make each customer a customer for life.”
“Years ago I realized the value of having our calls monitored to ensure excellent customer service, plus it’s a great training tool for our staff. The phone is a great asset if you handle it right, said Benson.”
“Rather than overspending on advertising to reach everyone in our region, we are now able to identify and target ready Nissan buyers on a consistent, month-to-month basis for less money.” -Roy Benson, general manager
The Bottom Line
Melloy Nissan sets record as sales soar by 310%, moving into Nissan’s Top 20 Nationally
What They Do:
1. Conduct in-depth market research to identify customer trends and establish their ideal market.
2. Communicate consistently to customers with messages that are tailored to vehicle service status and needs.
3. Target owners driving off-brand vehicles with tendency to switch to Nissan.
4. Display consistent messaging and point of sales advertising in all profit-yielding departments of the dealership to attract, sell, service and retain more customers for less cost.
5. Monitor inbound calls to ensure customers are handled properly so marketing strategy provides results.
Resources They Use:
1. DMS: Reynolds & Reynolds
2. Targeted Marketing Company:
3. Call Monitoring: handled by internal monitoring/BDC
1. Conduct research and analysis of customer database along with leading industry data and trends to define ideal market.
2. Communicate consistently with customers throughout life cycle of their vehicle and provide offers that are appropriate based on customer needs.
3. Identify and target customers and prospects that have the highest statistical probability of doing business (buying/ servicing) with your dealership now and in the future.
4. Implement a marketing strategy that affects all profit centers with combination messaging to attract, sell, service, and retain more customers profitably for less cost.
5. Monitor all inbound calls to guarantee customers are handled with exceptional service and professionalism and that inbound leads are handled properly so your investment yields results.
“Every campaign promotes every profit center, new, used, finance, service and parts, which makes the rate of return dramatically better.”
David Boice, president of www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com, the targeted marketing company used by Melloy Nissan.