Leverage These Strategies to Prepare Your Car Dealership for Tax Season
Tax season is just around the corner, and with it comes an ideal opportunity for car dealerships to increase their sales. In fact, by showing off your financing, low-interest offers, leasing specials, and trade deals in new and exciting ways during tax season, your dealership can experience its best profits all year long.
Indeed, studies show that after the post-holiday lull, vehicle sales spike once more right around the time Americans receive their tax refunds. And according to an eBay Motors survey, 34 percent of current vehicle owners expecting tax refunds plan on spending part of their refund check on a new or used vehicle.
With all of this in mind, it’s time to start strategizing about how your dealership will increase its sales this upcoming tax season. Read on to discover our list of tips to help you turn tax season into down-payment season.
- Launch a Tax Season–Specific Sales Event
Consumers are more likely to make pricier purchases if they feel they are getting a special deal. When you combine this fact with the time of year when Americans are receiving refund checks, you can clearly see why running a sales event during tax season is a great idea. Not only will your dealership create excitement around limited-time offers, but you will motivate consumers to spend their returns on car-related purchases.
The ideal promotion should be focused on tax refunds. One popular incentive is to offer to double a customer’s tax return for a down payment. For instance, if the customer can put their $1,200 tax return down, your dealership will match it. Of course, you will want to set limits to this promotion in the fine print.
Another idea is to promote a 30-day guarantee for tax-season car buyers. Such an offer reassures customers who may feel leery about spending their refund on their new or used vehicle.
Finally, encourage your customers to tag you on social media. Offer a free license plate frame if customers post their new vehicle on their social pages and tag your dealership and tax-return promotion. It’s fun for customers and great exposure for your dealership!
Above all, be sure to spotlight your tax-season incentives with ads across your website and on search, display, social, and video. Consumers are looking for deals this time of year, so make sure that your dealership’s offerings are seen.
- Ensure Your Marketing Is Noticed by the Correct Audience
This brings us to our second tip: Make sure your marketing efforts are not only noticed, but noticed by the right audience.
According to a survey run by AutoList, the young demographic is the most likely to purchase a car with their tax return, with 59 percent of respondents ages 18–28 saying they planned to use all or some of their refund to get a new or used vehicle. To compare, only 26 percent of older shoppers said they planned to do the same.
Fortunately, it is relatively simple to market to this specific audience, as this younger age group has a heavy presence on social media. Be sure to run your tax-season ads on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, and to include copy that promotes your financing options, credit-score leniency, and low-interest offers.
- Make Visiting Your Website a Positive Experience
The secret is out that most modern consumers begin their car-buying journey online. In fact, 7 out of 10 buyers say they are more likely to buy from a dealership if they can start the process online.
With this in mind, your website could unknowingly turn would-be tax-season customers away if it doesn't make their experience easy and enjoyable.
To ensure your website gives visitors exactly what they’re looking for, offer an easy search option that displays inventory results specific to the customer’s car-buying criteria. Another trend is to provide an “online chat” option so visitors can ask your staff questions quickly without ever having to dial the phone.
Don’t know where to start? Consider first making sure that your website is mobile friendly, as the majority of searches begin on those devices.
- Make Customers Feel Good with Excellent Service
Once you’ve hooked your prospect and gotten them through your doors, you want to make sure your staff is not only well-versed in the tax-season promotions you are running, but that they are equipped to handle the possible increase in traffic those promotions might bring in.
To ensure your customer receives the best service possible, train your dealership staff to follow these basic rules:
- Greet the customer within 15 seconds of entering.
- Ask the customer what they are looking for, and offer to show them the vehicles you have in your inventory that meet their criteria.
- Remind the customer of the tax-season promotion you are running.
To really up your game, consider offering free Wi-Fi, beverages, and snacks in your showroom. Such simple amenities will lead to more customer satisfaction, and thus more sales.
- Plan Your Inventory ASAP
Finally, it is in your dealership’s best interest to go ahead and start planning your tax-promotion inventory as soon as possible. Since tax season usually sees an increase in dealership foot traffic, you want to ensure your lot has enough inventory to meet demand—especially if you are running a popular tax-season promotion. We think it goes without saying that you should avoid the worst-case scenario of having to buy inventory off your competitor’s lot to meet your customers’ demands!
Ultimately, tax season presents car dealerships with the ideal opportunity to not only increase sales, but to provide customers with excellent savings on the vehicles they need.
To make this tax season your dealership’s best yet, reach out to us at Edifice. We’d love to chat about your dealership’s specific needs and help you develop the marketing plan you need for 2021.