Digital Advertising Resource for
RV Dealers and RV Industry

The Sale BEFORE The Sale …

Posted by Shawn Friesen on Jul 10, 2013

You’ve got lots of RV classified ads “out there” floating around in cyberspace.  Frequently … innocent, unsuspecting RV consumers find your ads.  They click on them.  They carefully examine and look your ads over with a fine-toothed comb, hoping they might have found the perfect RV for their family …

So, what is the job of your online RV classified ad?

In other words, if your classified ad is going to be deemed a “success,” what would that ad accomplish?

You want ads that compel the RV shopper to either …

  • Call you.
  • Email you, or
  • Walk into your dealership.

Yes, it is calls, emails and walk-ins that gauge the effectiveness of your ads.

Set your mind that nothing less than strong lead generating ads will do.  Inspire the staff responsible for creating ads at your dealership that “generating response” is the new standard – ads that pull are your “new normal.”

Your “Sale BEFORE The Sale.”  Making the sale before the sale

Let’s look at some ways you might be able to build successful RV classified ads.

Email Leads – How to Get More …

If you want email leads from your online ads, the simple brass tacks is – you have to ask people to email you.  Super simple, but here’s why it makes sense.

Do your current ads ASK folks to email you?

Yes or no?

WISDOM SAYS:  “You have not because you ask not.”

Points you might include:

1.  Some folks actually prefer email.  Let them know you’re quick & easy to deal with via email.

2.  Make some easy-going, low pressure (but still) compelling suggestions that communicating with you via email is a great option.

2.  Mention you’ll be sure to fully answer any questions they email you.

  • Why say this in your ads?
  • Because we’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when we inquire about a product via email and we do NOT get our questions answered.
  • Don’t be that guy!
  • Tell RV shoppers you’re not that guy!
  • Getting burned by having Sales Reps NOT answer questions you email them is a classic “barrier to response.”
  • If you state you will answer all their questions, you’re removing a barrier and encouraging response.

CAUTION:  Make sure you DO answer.

How To Get More Phone-In Leads:

1.  Add your phone number into the description of your ads.  (Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  But giving your phone number is just one more CTA – Call-To-Action – It speaks out that it’s easy to “connect” with you.)

2.  State your open hours.  (1 dealer I know has a “24/7 Customer Concierge” for phone-ins.  They now state this in each of their classified ads.  Smart.  Makes the ad-reading RV buyer WANT to pick up the phone, feel special, feel well taken care of – even after hours.)

NOTE:  “After normal business hours” is when the number of pageviews to your ads (VDP views) is high and the time spent on your ads (time on VDPs) is high as well.  2 crucial sales-indicating metrics.

It works to tell buyers – in your ads – about all the great initiatives you are doing – like a 24/7 Customer Concierge as one example.

3.  If you’re low pressure, easy going, state that too.  Clearly state everything you can within the body of your ad that reduces our innate, human, instinctual, aversion to talking to a Sales Rep!

  • You’re easy to get in touch with.
  • You have friendly, expert staff available for telephone (or walk-in) consultations.
  • Lots of helpful, additional information is available, give us a quick call.

How To Get More Walk-Ins:

1.  In the wording of the description of your ad, lean into “assuming” they are going to come and visit rather than “pleading” that they drop by.

  • NOT:  (And, believe me, we see this:)  “PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!!!!  YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THIS!!  WON’T LAST!!  HURRY DOWN!!!!”
  • More Like This:  “When you pop in for a quick visit, make sure you ask about …”
  • Or, This:  “We should probably have a quick look at your tow vehicle and go over your towing specifics with you as related to this gorgeous 2010 Jayco Jay Flight 29BHS G2.”

2.  Other walk-in stimulating ad ideas:

If you want folks to pop by your dealership, describe what they can expect when they do …

  •  What’s so great about your dealership?
  • Why should I stop in?  What can I expect?
  • “Pop by for a demonstration today.  We’ll show you how all the functions on the unit work.”
  • “Bring along your iPhone or mp3 player with your favorite camping tunes so you can try out the amazing audio system!”
  • “With 2 big slides, when you’re here having a look, sit back in the leather recliner and just feel the spaciousness of this deluxe interior.”
  • “Stop in this week and we’ll show you all the ins & outs of this beautiful 2014 Heartland Bighorn 3010RE.”

Key Action Item:

Your Sales Reps use these types of statements on the phone when they’re creating appointments.  The action item here is to “bring forward” some statements into the body of your classified ads.  See if you can increase your walk-in, phone-in and Internet lead volumes.

Where You Come In …

This list is by no means exhaustive (or perfect.)  It’s meant to help you think about the consumer who is browsing RV ads and what can be done – in your ads – to start a relationship with a would-be customer as opposed to simply presenting a huge, extensive list of cold features and believing that’s “good enough.”

Is it easy?  Is is free?  No.  In fact, to get ahead of your competition and create killer ads that win stronger levels of consumer inquiry, it will require “corporate will” and probably some top-down culture-shaping prowess as well.

Can you share an example of an RV ad you’ve seen pull lots of leads?  Let’s discuss.

Author: Shawn Friesen

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