Between the explosion of the internet and social media, vehicle acquisition has been turned on its head. Add into the equation the complications of a worldwide pandemic, and there is a whole new paradigm for used vehicle sales.
Thanks to VAN’s help, use of text notifications and social media, Trey Miller, VAN customer, and acquisition specialist with Bo Bueckman Ford in St. Louis, MO, Miller estimated he is approaching approximately 15-20 viable new prospects a day, and generating between 80 and 100 texts daily.
The best way to approach social media is “to be human” and transparent, he says in a recent VAN University webinar.
"Communications and breaking down the process for potential customers is key to putting them at ease about the process, and eliminating the possibility for any surprises once they enter the dealership," he explains.
VAN’s processes “made it a lot easier to reach out to a customer,” Miller said.
On Facebook Marketplace as a Source
Facebook Marketplace also has become increasingly popular since the platform’s inception, especially with the widespread use of mobile phones and Marketplace’s compatibility.
Miller admitted the dealership has “ramped up” the sales platform’s usage within the past year because of its growing popularity. Potential customers view Miller’s personal profile, without realizing his affiliation with the Beuckman dealership.
This personal association allows him to be perceived as more “human.”
Miller said the process is easier with VAN than for scrolling through listings, and soliciting answers from buyers with questions that other interested parties would pose, such as: “Is your vehicle still available? What kind of shape is it in?,” etc.
Facebook Marketplace is an easily accessible tool for dealerships, he said, because it works “on the go.” Miller estimated that with the marketplace's growth in the last six months, an astonishing 10-20% of his leads come from this platform.
Contrast with Craigslist and other Sources
Miller credits VAN with helping him understand FBM and what specific customers the dealership should be targeting. It's a different audience from other sources.
When asked how FBM compares and contrasts with other sources such as Craigslist, he explains that there are still plenty of great cars being listed on Craigslist and AutoTrader.com as well.
Much of the time it's the older generations listing on Craigslist because that's what they are familiar with. "Not everybody is on Facebook Marketplace," he says.
VAN Learning Center
The ideas and talking points presented in this article come from this VAN University Best Practices webinar held in December 2020.
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