Ask any successful dealership and they’ll tell you that it’s not just sales that drive success. Rather, their connection with the local community and the passion projects they take on all translate over to a successful business.
When you put people over profits, the benefits are endless. Not only will you continue to see sales, but brand recognition, growth, and trust with your local community are all elements that will follow. It’s really that simple; increase car sales by connecting with your community.
Benefits of Car Dealerships Connecting With the Community
Besides the obvious effort to increase revenue, there are so many great benefits of connecting with your local community. Before we get into the details of how to connect with your community, let’s talk a bit about why it’s so important.
Networking is key to finding new clients
Community engagement allows you to put your dealership in front of the eyes of your community members
Create a low stake environment for meeting new clients
Not only will you build brand awareness, but you will build loyalty, trust, and friendship with local residents, key factors that translate into sales.
How Do Dealerships Connect with Their Community?
The beauty of building community ties between your car dealership and the community you serve is that there are so many ways to do it. There’s not a one size fits all model and it really depends on the locality your customers are located in.
When you understand the needs of the community, you can then understand how to fill that need. Doing so gets your dealership’s name in front of the community and allows locals to trust you during their times of need.
So how exactly do dealerships connect with their local community? Let’s take a look at some tried and true methods that are broad enough to be implemented in your own dealership, no matter the community you serve.
The Power of Philanthropic Endeavors
Most community connections will be done through philanthropic events. Putting on charities, or hosting donation drives benefit more than just the community you’re in. Not only will it give your dealership the opportunity to connect with the community, but your team will also feel the effect.
Philanthropic events, especially ones that your employees and other team members have a connection to or are invested in, are a great way to build team morale within the dealership. When team morale is high, employees feel empowered to help push the mission and vision of the dealership even more.
Host Charities and Drives
Philanthropic events put on by dealerships can take on so many different forms. For example, White Bear Mitsubishi partners with Newgate School to help with the Wheels for Women project. Events like this allow local residents to interact with dealerships in a way that is empowering and valuable. Both participants and the dealership benefit from this symbiotic relationship.
Sponsor or Host a Scholarship Fund
Scholarship funds in honor of a community member are another great way to connect with your community. Scholarship funds that allow students in the community to have access to higher education are one of the most popular events dealerships put on. These causes are also a great way to bring in new customers who may have otherwise not visited your dealership.
For example, at Greg Lair, sponsoring a local scholarship and memorial foundation like the John Michael Morrison Memorial is a great way to give back to the community. Sponsorships like this help promote a good cause and help you connect with the community in the ways that matter most.
Sponsoring toy drives like the Toys for Tots program for your local community is another one of the easiest ways to give back to your local residents. Whether it’s actually purchasing the toys or serving as a donation location for toys to be dropped off, events like this really take minimal effort but result in maximum reward, both for the community and for the dealership.
Back to School Drive
At the start of every school year, hosting a back-to-school drive is another one of the easiest ways to help connect with your local community. Much like a toy drive, serving as a donation center for school supplies to be dropped off can help get new customers into your doors.
This is a great way to have prospective customers interact with your dealership in a low-stakes fashion. When their need for purchasing a vehicle pops up in the future, they’re more likely to feel a connection and familiarity with your dealership.
Put on a Community Clean-Up Event
Community events such as a park clean-up give your dealership the opportunity to really interact with your community members one-on-one. Because an event like this is philanthropic in nature and is likely to be approved by your town’s board, it’s a great way to get out some free advertising for your car dealership. It’s certainly another one of those ventures that offer a win-win for both the community and your dealership.
Donate a Vehicle to a Good Cause
If you really want to make an impact in your community, why not donate a vehicle to an organization or individual in need. Donating a vehicle is one of the easiest ways to put your dealership on the map. It’s also a great way to facilitate networking between you and prominent organizations within your community. This level of networking has potential ripple effects that will continue to benefit you years down the road.
Put Your Dealership on the Map and Increase Sales With Community Engagement
Connecting your dealership with your local community is easier than ever these days. As with any marketing tactic, authenticity is key. Community engagement and philanthropic events designed to serve the needs of your community will undoubtedly translate into sales over time.
Implementing any one of these tactics, even on a small scale, will help to bring more brand awareness to your dealership. Best of all, it’s a great way to build trust, relationships, and rapport with the local residents; elements of a successful business that simply can’t be bought.
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