Google Business Profiles for Car Dealers
How to sell more cars, retain more customers, and boost your dealership's service revenue with Google Business Profiles for car dealers.
If Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla of marketing for car dealers, Google Business Profiles are the zoo. #HowToSellMoreCars @MiketheCarGuy1
A while back, Mike Correra from FUSE, Eric Hall from Classic Chevrolet, and I had a chance to sit down and talk about using Google business profiles for car dealers.
Here's the transcript
So here we go this is the how sell more cars mastermind group my buddy Mike The Car Guy career is our is our is our very first guest. So when I started my podcast, my last podcast I started to get some rich radio show I think Mike was the second guest I ever had on there because he is my go to guy when it comes to stuff and in terms of what a lot of social selling and social media stuff and building your personal brand and how he's been on the forefront of that he's had every every time I think you could have been a DD he's done it all and now we're traveling all the way up to San Diego to Santa Maria
rather DMS so we'll start there. So you're traveling now you're out in the dealerships three or four days a week. What are you seeing how how are things functioning right now? So weird time for everybody? Weird I think is a key word. You know, I've been doing this for 35 years. And 87 sort of turning wrenches. I got into sales right after that. It went downhill from there, but I've never seen anything like it. I've seen more blackouts in the last six eight months than I've ever seen in my life. I never realized dealerships had that much property until all of a sudden open. And I saw you see some pretty substantial dealerships that I worked with here in Southern California, some of the biggest in the nation. There were many cars very quickly running out of new cars, housing, the used cars, suddenly there's a minute to define some use cars ain't cheap, but they're getting but they're selling them for all the money too. So you know, yes, the inventory is hard to get but banks are not afraid to spend money. I mean, they're going along with this artificial inflation of values, you know, book on these cars is going up and going down. And the banks are loaning on it just as just like it is any other time so there's less cars but I don't know a single dealership that I work with. That isn't making more money making fewer have making more money with less force. I had this conversation last week with with Ryan Gerardo. I was doing a conversation with him. We were they were at that. And this is, you know this everything that's happened in the last year and a half is really kind of it's kind of solidified some changes that you and I have been talking about. Making, it's making a physical location in the dealership really ancillary because the actual business is taking place where we are
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taking this as he clicks over and over and over and over Jack, everything else is good. There's got to be a physical component to it. But all that all that property that you're talking about that's becoming less and less important, and I think people are noticing that when they got these into lots of there's so many going on. Yeah, and consumers now. It's not as much we're trying to allow the consumers with of a digital experience. Their expectation has surpassed our willingness to do it in the industry. We see there's still a lot of folks in this business. I think it is kind of a wow factor. Oh, we offer customers the ability to text or FaceTime or whatever, that we're going to surprise them but you know what, I can get a mortgage on my phone in less than five minutes. I can order a pizza, order anything on Amazon and get the same day so consumers are just used to doing it. It's no longer a wow factor. They're kind of wondering why the car business hadn't caught up to that type of expectation. So the ones that are doing it out there and meeting the customers in the atmosphere that they're already in are the ones that have the event we used to say 10 years ago and you and I first started to connect and our friendship started we say you can meet the customer online where they already are spending their time or you can bring them online when they come into that they connected with online and you just kind of go back and wait for your turn. It's not an option anymore, but the guys that are doing well are making money. The competition isn't the car dealership down the street. It's every other person that they're doing business with in every other business entities. It's all happening happening digitally,
or at least a huge percentage of that is happening digitally.
What else is changing what else what else is happening that the dealerships are already seeing and noticing in just this year? I think you know the the idea of doing everything online, still is just an idea. I have a group that's a six door group here in Southern California last month in August, the combined number of sales is sort of over 400 and how that 400 There's a small group of a highline dealers only six of those sales were done completely online, whereas everything all the contracts were you know, since she would devise the customer signed on the device. Everything was done. That salesperson just had to deliver the vehicle and go over the features at the customer's house or hopefully in place of work. So six out of 400 so a small percentage and I really think when you look at the numbers across the nation, that's even a inflated percentage because of the areas that is a highlight vehicle. But if you look at the number of cars that are being sold right now the percentage that are completely online, where they don't have any physical interaction to the dealership is still so as to focus so much of your attention and your business model to that that really really small number is a little bit scary. They will still need to drive the car they still want to build a car they still they still want to get to know somebody again. This is a people business always has been it's always going to be the one that does the best job developing that relationship whether it's through pictures that you post or you know, interesting posts where the customer feels like oh, I kind of have an idea of who this person is and I'm going to do business with whatever it is that your customer how good you are at texting. You know, I was talking to the salesperson, Monday, Monday afternoon and he was asking me some questions because when I'm at the store and then we'll be talking about other things. Performance, sales, sales, you know, people are saying hey, what's the dealership down the road doing? What are some good practices out there that you're seeing and I was looking at a CRM with a customer or salesperson, and he's got a good conversation going with the customer. And he showed me as an example like what what am I doing wrong here? And he got to a point where the customer was pretty much saying I'm ready to come in. So he put his phone number in the textbox fantastic. Give me a call and I'll set up an appointment. And I looked at him I go, you really need me to explain what's what's missing here. Because the customer just kind of goes into that. I was like, you're in a medium that the customer says I'm comfortable chatting with you. They're typing back and forth. He got like 20 messages back and forth. They're comfortable there and you want to take us out of there into something that you're comfortable with. And that's the problem always having to try to come in. You got to come into the dealership didn't that face what you did with giving them your own number. If you wanted your phone number to call you in the first place, because that chat box is on your website. And what's also your website, your phone number. You could call it save himself that effort but he's comfortable doing the texting. So you should have said right now this afternoon three o'clock tomorrow morning. You should begin a couple options to come in right there when we felt like he was ready to come in. And it's sort of the dawn on him that you know, that's just the way I've always been. I've always you know tried to get him on the phone but the clothes that women you have talking you don't need to necessarily have them on the phone you know so that the idea of doing everything online is still kind of scary to some people but you just got to step back and realize how much was on the line and how much you know the customers still want to do sure there's no shortage of people wanting to buy cars right now as we've seen. There's openings out the door you know and consumer really, they're walking into the dealership thinking hey buyers, when they find they got to jump on it right now. It's really a good time to be a salesperson in the car business. But we still need to pay attention to the way the customers want to communicate. So, so much of that is we have processes all people in process and we have these processes to say Okay, step two, get them on the phone, you know, so that's, you know, that's the reason that we get stuck at that point. So how much of that the fact that only one and a half percent and you're staring at one and a half percent of people buying cars from that group actually completed the transaction online. How much of that is is the fact that our process is leaving them to a physical thing and how much of it is their desires to detention field and, and actually show up at the store?
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I believe honestly that there's still there's still a lot of impulse in carbine. There's still a lot of touch feel that you know, all the research they want. And how many customers have you been back in the day when I was on the line? They thought they had their car picked out they wanted to Thunderbird you know it was ports open for for many, many years. And they said Oh man, I've done the research and looked at Consumer Reports and all the information that they had back in the late 80s, early 90s. And then they got down there and it's sad and it's just not comfortable. It's not what I thought it was going to be
research that maybe it doesn't get them the way they do they're shorter person or taller person or really cupholders. I mean, I'd love to be able to recoverable there's so you never know what the consumer is going to experience and what's really driving them and doing it all online. So it's important that you make sure that before they get the car after them, let them dry. There are a lot of us that are doing
a couple of miles to the store but in their garage. There's no limit to how creative anybody and the ones that are being created that are capturing the deals, puppy dog clothes. So you you and I have been talking about you. You've been doing you've been selling cars socially. I mean, we've talked about the first car you sold off the LinkedIn years and years ago and you've sold cars on LinkedIn and Instagram and on on Facebook and everything else. But one of the one of the things that we wanted to talk to you about today was Google Business profiles for car dealers I know in addition to the work that you're doing with dealers for the DNS work do you work with some other businesses a lot improved their social profiles, their social democratic and Google Business profiles for car dealers so so let's let's get into Google Business profiles for car dealers compared I tell everyone in terms of social media since I talk a lot about social media Facebook is 800 pound gorilla because it's it's it is social media. But Google is Google isn't the 800 pound gorilla. There's the zoo, right. So so what is Google Business profiles for car dealers and dealers use it to sell more cars. Google is the internet these days. I was on a friend of mine. I'm sure you know. I kind of gave it to her. In addition, when I was in like sixth or seventh grade, I was the TA for my diploma classes. And I had teachers that would always be copies and stuff me but she would always say Do me a favor, run down the office and give me a xerox of this. And one day because I'm smart as I looked at her I said you realize it's not a Xerox machine. It's a Canon copier. So do you want me to make you a candidate this? And she looked at me she goes, they'll be smart.
You know, and I can say it today. You know, if I need a copy, I can have someone that Xerox this and they know that I need a copy. They know that Xerox is the actual copy machine is in the process of making a copy. But that name that brand has become synonymous with making copies, right? How many times a day does someone say, Hey, do you know the answer to this question, and somebody else goes, Did you Google it? No one says did you bring it? Did you Yahoo it? Google is is the internet for all intents and purposes. So in my opinion, and I'm not the smartest guy in the world. But in my opinion, we know that everyone's on Google. That's the place to really focus my attention. And the benefit of Google Business profiles for car dealers pages isn't straight. There's no cost to it. It's kind of like a Yellow Pages online, if you will, yes, there's a yellow pages online. There's all these businesses, but Google does it better than anybody else. 60% of all searches on Google are for something local to whoever's doing that local search, right? And most of those are courts of business. of some type, whether you're searching for a nice company or a dry cleaner, or a car dealership. 65% of the time, people are searching something on Google, it's for a local business and 90% of those searches show a Google Business profiles for car dealers listing and the Google Business profiles for car dealers listening to the folks that are watching that don't understand it. When you search something on Google you search car dealership near me or for dealership near me, most of the time, you're gonna get a bar on the on the right side of the screen that has a business listing. It looks kind of like Yellow Pages, and there'll be a picture of the dealership, the phone number hours, link to the website, that kind of thing. That's your Google Business profiles for car dealers page. That's that's the business owner that basically they should go claim it, update it, fill it out with everything that you can services products. The whole spiel. If you're a car dealership, you need to have all your models of vehicles listed in there. With pictures. You need to have all the services you offer. Some businesses I'm sure Eric can attest, some businesses will create departments for your parts. Quickly, your fleet service department, your pie shop, there's no limit and more information you have there, the less likely the customer is going to need to click out of that Google page and go someplace else. They're just looking for your number, your phone number, they're looking for your hours if they're looking, you want to keep them captive to your dealership so the more you can fulfill that, the better or the the higher your chances that they're going to do business with you. We know that people are visual creatures, right? Instagrams, a very popular application, why? People like to look at pictures. So if there's interest in there for your dealership that show something you need, whether it's the dealership frontage or some vehicles on the lot, maybe you know crazy. There's a sunset behind the dealership, but the blank wave is there's no limit to how creative you can get those pictures. Maybe you're looking at a picture of your dealership and chances are they're gonna remember it and come to see you and it all ties in together. It's all circular doesn't. It's not brain surgery, and I'm not the first person to promote it. I just happen to focus a lot of attention on it. i A long time ago with Google. Back when Google Plus was a thing. You know, I was a beta user with Google Plus before they opened it out to the world. I started taking pictures of everything I do everywhere I go, I take pictures, and then I go to either the Google Business profiles for car dealers or the Google Maps listing for that. And I upload those pictures and I share those. That's me. This is what I like to do. It's kind of a fun thing that I enjoy doing. The images that I've shared on the Google
I don't know people are dealerships that about 5 million views. So that means some of that link to that ad. They click and they look for that dealership. Just to clarify what you're doing here. You're still using dealerships if you go into Joe Bob scores store and Santa Maria, you take a picture of Joe Bob's flag, and you posted about Joe Bob's Google Business profiles for car dealers. Yeah, so So those are happening on the dealers. Yeah, and I can say that added value. I mean, I perform services for them when I'm helping them become more efficient at what they're doing. And those are, some are parts of the counter. But also when I go home, I try to help them because I want to increase their exposure online. I want to get them seen in a positive light. Because sometimes, you know, not all people will those people that are people that maybe had a negative experience with a dealership, and they'll put pictures up there that maybe don't put the dealership in the most positive light. So the more the better, right and I've got some pictures and because I am a Google Local Guide level, a local guy. For whatever reason, Google puts my pictures a little bit ahead of someone that's not posted anything before because they're like, hey, this guy's posted 18,000 pictures, so is his pictures are gonna get kind of placed higher on the rotation. So the chances of seeing a picture that I posted far away exceed the chances of someone that just had one picture that they put on a review of, you know, an oil stain on carpet, that they're just gonna get pushed down to the bottom or my picture of the outside with a nice car. I posted a picture recently of a lifted Bronco at a Ford dealership. Pretty gotten like 18 19,000 views went up there a week. So people have gone to that dealerships, Google Maps or Google Business profiles for car dealers page and they click through Pinterest and they've stopped on that picture. And they look at it so that's a lot of eyeballs that that dealership is getting free at you know just to add value from you being not a question about Google of businesses. Of course Google instead is the Xerox of search engines it started as the search engine. What is the correlation between Google Business profiles for car dealers and Google Search to this day all the effort has been put into Google Business profiles for car dealers doesn't boost your search bit visibility, or is it really a completely separate thing? No, it definitely helps. Keep in mind that the one purpose that Google exists for is to serve up content to the end user that specifically meets their needs. Yes, you can pay for listing, but we know that most of the time people aren't thinking okay, but Google it when you type in Ford dealership near me or Ford dealership in the zip code or new special, whatever you type in Google's purpose is to give you the content specifically for you not only local to your area, but it's closely matched to what you typed in as possible. So those who have business listings need to match what you're trying to find. So the more content that's in there, there's Google posts that you can use, like I said, the product pages, the services, everything in there, the more that matches what the customer is looking for, the higher the chances not only will that Google Business profiles for car dealers listing come up, but other lives, your website, your your Yelp, page, your any reviews. The more that you can put into Google Business profiles for car dealers, the more it's going to associate with other things and you'll get eight or nine listings. I love that first search and that's that's what you love what you want a lot of people promise I can get you on page one of the Google Search well, with what turns in what context that doesn't guarantee anything, but the more content that's out there and interest countless content posts Canada's content. And the last thing about pitchers is it's something like if I was a dealer, GM right now, I would have as many of my employees that are willing to take pitches and most of them to not only my Google Business profiles for car dealers page, but to my Yelp listing, you know, I check in when I add a business on their Yelp page. I'm not big on leaving reviews, but I like to check in because it's just fun. It's something I do. And those pictures will help to those pictures give you so I'm always posting pictures. When I was in GSM. I encourage everybody you know, take picture if you see something that's more on the line, that you would share maybe into your Facebook page. Why not share it to your Google Business profiles for car dealers Why be proud of working here and show off why you went here if you're gonna make an Instagram post that has the dealership in it, make sure that gets built up to my business page as well. I encouraged it. And the dealership that I love that had a really good supportive doing it. They're getting between 350 and 400,000 views in a 28 day span of just their pictures.
So there's a broken that's that's, that's my big thing is telling making getting everyone posting more pictures everywhere because you go to Facebook for a reason. It's about it's about putting fake faces on there. But if you're in sales, and you're taking pictures and you're printing on your Instagram and your Facebook, you don't have to be an admin to post them on your on your dealerships. Google Business profiles for car dealers page just like the admin for all 50 of your stores that you're going to use. Anybody can go post those, if you're taking those pictures, here's another opportunity for you to share them in another opportunity for you to get your name out there. So let's do this. We got that we've probably got about five minutes here left. Let's let's pick three things. Three things if you're a dealer, you're an internet manager at a dealership or if you're just a salesperson. What's three things we can do with Google Business profiles for car dealers? How do you start optimizing and using Google Business profiles for car dealers three action steps? Well, that's assuming your payment. You know, and you're not having a third party manager for you. If you're having a third party management party, the most important thing for me that I always recommend is inspect what you expect. Because I've seen and I can share with you dozens of really poorly written posts that use bad grammar that use you can tell when a third party vendor is not familiar with automotive because there's a language that we use, there's a language that the customers use, you know when you when you're just using vanilla terms that don't have urges. Obviously, you don't know anything about the cars that you're talking about. It doesn't help you because then you it. Google's not stupid either, right? Then it becomes who they are by being dumb. Their algorithms know what's you know, advertising speak as opposed to once you know, actual common speak. So when you're writing your posts, don't try to write it for SEO because then you'll it'll it'll get kicked out or it'll just get pressed down to the next you know, it'll get it'll get drowned into oblivion. Right it for the customers that are looking for these things, write it in real language, write it in cars. But if you're going to have somebody to do it for you inspect what you expect and go on to your Google Business profiles for car dealers postings. Look through them. See what's being said about your store on your behalf. If you're not familiar with it, then shame on him. You get what you deserve. And if you're getting poor quality, that's that's on you because there's nothing stopping you from from calling them up. And it's not really relevant. It doesn't help me promote the dealership. It doesn't talk about what makes us unique or special. It doesn't promote what this product is. I've seen for dealerships that had a Jeep Wrangler post, when when I brought it to their attention and they call the company that oh, you know what we were posting for so many dealerships who just lost track and then put him in spraying the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon post on a Ford dealers getting my business page so you know, it can happen. So number one, he can claim it if you have a claim that someone else is claiming it for you inspected, make sure you're getting what you are owed. What what's what's your promise, inspect it regularly, look at it, see what's going on on it, make sure whoever is supposed to be for you is doing what you want them to do. Second thing is make sure it's complete. Make sure you have all the products that you offer. If you're a Honda dealership, make sure you have each model presented on the product page. Make sure you list your services with all the sub sections filled out because you can list everything that you do. The more information the better it is to help you serve, you know, help Google serve you up to people that are looking specifically. And the third thing I would do is encourage everyone to participate. You know, I used to say all the time and if I make my dealership someplace that people are proud to work at when they get up in the morning. They look forward to come into work for me. We're all benefiting from it. And one of the ways that you can do that is is saying hey, our existence is as much up to you as up to me I'm gonna be the GM and I'm chopping the check for the advertising. But then that's stopping you from helping out as well. Jump in both some pitchers put a post up on Facebook, you know, the sunrise or the sunset in the evening looks nice as it's coming to the showroom. I know Jericho somebody if you see a cool bar that's a lot like the way the lights pictured shimmering on the page, there's nothing stopping that together and pretty soon you got you know 500 800,000 pictures on your Google Business profiles for car dealers page and you're getting 300,000 views a month that's gonna translate into sales.
can I connect the dots specifically and say this dealership have 447,000 views of its pictures on a Google Business profiles for car dealers Google Maps page so therefore they've sold this many cars. I can't do that. But I know that some of the 1500 and some phone calls they got in that 28 day period and over 1000 clicks two directions. A person doesn't click for directions unless there's an intent there. That's the best KPI to me click for directions is a KPI. They want to know where your dealerships at for a reason they plan on going there. Yes, there's some people that may say Oh, well it's too far away. I'm not gonna go there. But there's still a reason they're clicking for directions. So phone calls, clicks to the website and the directions are all connected to those photo views. I think you touched on what I think is the most obvious hidden secret in the car business actually wrote about this in digital marketing a couple of months ago, every dealership, their most valuable marketing tool is almost completely underutilized. And every dealership I don't know any dealership is getting full value of their biggest sales tool. And that's their employees. When you can when you can turn every employee into an evangelist because every employee has access to Google, every employee has access and not just the sales team. You know, the receptionist she got from Facebook she has she you know she can she can hit up Google Business profiles for car dealers just like just like anything else. So you had this built in Salesforce? Who has this built in army of people who already know like and trust them, and hardly anyone is using it to its full value. Right. We're too busy trying to compete against a dealership down the street. And we're not making enough of the resources we have available to us. All right, Eric, you got anything to tell you wanted to add or tell us how are you guys using Google Business profiles for car dealers?
And Mike's got it pretty well. Pretty well set up. You know, I will kind of expand on what he said about the parts department and service department. You've got any dealerships got five or six separate stores underneath one roof top and Google does allow you to monetize not necessarily monetize it, but departmentalized it so if you really want to go after your local Napa Store or Christian Brothers, elaborate got a body shop for parts department. Your used car. If you have a separate used car department, as long as you've got a they usually have got a mandate. He has a door for that department with a name on Endor for their department. You're you're pretty well able to have a separate store for that and it really doesn't.
You know are used car lot is across the street and you'll see the amount of traffic that both sides get. But yeah, it's it's a huge, huge opportunity.
And yeah, exactly, it's free. I'm just gonna quickly sandal up quickly just for oil changes, and they realized that what I was working out when they realized that but we realized that the competition for the Quick Lane wasn't from any other car dealership. It was from the battling oil change down the street, the Jiffy lubes we started throwing those words in there. You know, we're a proud fighter of Valdez oil change, you know, supplies will get you in and out in a jiffy. And those words started to populate so when people were searching Jiffy Lube, inevitably that's the the Quick Lane for dealership, and they've continued that and they've done really well they because they know who their competition is. Because I guess the air count how many how many? Google business pages do you guys have done?
Total I've got I made seven now I'm sorry eight. We have immediately the services well.
Fantastic, guys. I appreciate you, Mike. Any any closing words of wisdom for Oh, we didn't talk about this. I promised. We're gonna talk about how we get started in social media taking pictures of cars, he runs, he runs a coffee and cars group. They're in Southern California. So he's always taking pictures of that and I promise that we're gonna talk about, about at Scott music I got a new band, the Nivea ska band, how the interrupters I got I've gotten really into it heard this and hear this. The interrupters looking almost almost. They are they are phenomenal. I was I was listening to some 80s Music one day and they popped in and I was like, Alexa who is that? And so I wanted to know so for Hot Rod Scott music and cars that's that's all about Mike The Car Guy. That's my life. I don't have any hobbies I don't Golf I don't fish. But once a month I gather up three or 500 hot rods in Riverside and the rich on Oh center and we have a great morning. I thanks for coming on, Eric. Thanks. Again. I want to post this in the group. You guys comment, share, share, share, share any any. Anything that you pick up later on was trying to keep the conversation going on and Greg, thanks so much, man. Appreciate it. Morning. Morning.
Who the %@#! is Terry Lancaster?
I help car dealers and salespeople sell more cars, make more money, get more reviews, more referrals, and more repeat business by building deeper, stronger, more authentic relationships. I’ve worked with thousands of dealer principals, managers, and salespeople providing proven strategies for making the cash register ring.
Over the years, I've helped thousands of dealers sell millions of cars by putting the right words in the right order to tell the right story. How can I help you tell yours?
My #1 best selling books BETTER! & How To Sell More Cars have received glowing reviews from around the world thanking me for the actionable, life-changing ideas they present.
I’ve been featured in Automotive News & Forbes, spoken at the NADA national convention and from the TedX stage, and came in second place at my Eighth Grade debate championship.
Winner Winner. Chicken Dinner!
In my personal life, I've survived Cancer... twice. I've had a gun held to my head and a knife held to my throat. I've been inside a building that was hit by a tornado, onboard one boat that sank and two planes that I was sure were about to crash.
I lived through three teenage daughters and I've been married over 35 years... in a row!
When I'm not battling for truth, justice and the American Way, I spend most of my free time, like every other middle-aged, overweight, native southerner, at the ice rink playing hockey.