Birthday Cards for Car Dealers
If you want to have a customer for life you need to make a friend for life, and you do that by celebrating their life on their special day. #HowToSellMoreCars
Birthday Cards The Easy Way.
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Terry Lancaster speaking at the Nashville Association of Sales Professionals online networking meeting.
Listen on the How To Sell More Cars Podcast
Terry Lancaster 0:03
Well, part of what Jim has said is true. I was actually invited me a bodybuilder out of the body by Budweiser. So, but haven't had a drink in 10 years. My name is on the Stanley keg and Ford Ice Center because I play with with a bunch of old guys out there. So Stanley Stanley. Hey, I can see where you were. Where are you getting mixed up? Thanks, Jeff. And thanks for everyone. For Robinette. what Jim said was correct, though. I did sell some radio advertising and started when I came out after college I was in I was in. I was in Cookeville. Tennessee over tech and I was a disc jockey on top of a mountain in Monterey Tennessee at the Medea jet one of seven and I found out early on that the disc jockeys unless you are the superstar disc jockey, you're not going to make any money and the radio business is more about the advertising business than the music business. So after college, I went into radio sales. That's how I got into the sales industry. And I moved 200 Miles 300 Miles away from anyone I knew. I moved to Tupelo, Mississippi. Tupelo, Mississippi, new 100,000 Watts station kz 103. And we did not have a training budget and kz What are three but they didn't have lots of airtime. And if you're not if you haven't been in the radio business, then in the broadcast business, you know that anyway, no, no, no, this the airtime is like let's radio waves and produce at the grocery store. If you don't use them they go back. You know they there's no shield. 60 seconds is over. It's gone. So we had a trade budget where we could sell trade. We could trade we could trade advertising that everybody traded on at the local watering hole or the local restaurant and we had lots of trades on I ended up working out a trade arrangement with Dale Carnegie. This was in 1987 in Tupelo, Mississippi the first time the very first time that I took the Dale Carnegie course I've taken it four times since then targeted a couple of times to and Dale Carnegie has been a major factor in my life but so we're gonna we're gonna talk about one of the Dale Carnegie's strategies today. But first, when I was in Tupelo on every Tuesday night, I would take my entire sales team and we would take it over there and there were a few insurance salespeople and a couple of real estate agents and you know, some mortgage people same type of people I worked with today. And they were all they're trying to improve themselves. So we had this. We had this instructor named Sims Reeves that was the guy's name Symetrix and he was six foot five he was a former Marine drill instructor. And he took this Dale Carnegie stuff seriously. And we would go in we would go in there and he had this one way that he started all the meetings so I'm gonna start today's meeting in honor of I'm honored since roots in that party the exact same way we started these meetings in 1987 Sims Welcome to the first room and he would repeat one of the Dell party principles, act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiastic so everyone unmute yourself for me. And and we were all seated. We're not in the same room, but I need you to repeat after me. Act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiastic
Unknown Speaker 3:07
Terry Lancaster 3:10
One more time a little louder. Now Oh, Jim's want to come in from the roots and what the heck is going on? Everybody asked enthusiastic. Alright, yeah, yay, tea. So I'm here today we're going to talk about the single most important marketing day and I'm gonna tie that back into dev marketing. In just a second. But we got a lot of marketing folks in here. And some of you might look like you might have had a couple a couple of miles down the road. What, what, what is the single most important marketing day there's one day of the year on a calendar this is the most important marketing day in terms of marketing in terms of sales in terms of the the customer experience and the relationship that you have with them. Why would you say that is you can you can unmute yourself and pop right in here. I want to hear what you guys think.
Unknown Speaker 4:08
Anybody? My Friday,
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Terry Lancaster 4:10
Black Friday Black Friday is a huge day in almost every retail industry even even in the car business. Black Friday is huge. It's a huge market, huge marketing day, because there's lots of going on. And when I'm selling radio advertising, one of my biggest customers was a jewelry store and this is the oddest thing jewelry stores 50% of their revenue occurs between Black Friday and and the year that's they there, they make all of their money around that Christmas period of time. So that's huge, but that's not the one I'm talking about anybody else.
Unknown Speaker 4:40
I'm gonna say September 3
Terry Lancaster 4:43
Unknown Speaker 4:46
Right before quarter four,
Unknown Speaker 4:47
everybody's like, gotta get everything in right now.
Terry Lancaster 4:50
Yeah, gotta gotta gotta walk. You gotta go onto that fourth quarter budget and all those meals you'll see here. I've got the Grinch. I've got a group sitting back on because I honestly hated Christmas forever. Not necessarily hate Christmas, but Christmas was so wrapped up in work for me with the marketing budgets everything else. It just Chris was never felt like a holiday because it was all about work and getting getting stuff ended. So so fourth quarter is a huge deal. But I'm going to talk about we're not gonna we're talking about your party, and I got a call here. I was trying to trying to get some screen set a I was trying to get some slides made up and I didn't get them made up in time. So I don't have this but I got a screen here that says the Dale Carnegie principle that says to make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely. And so most of you may know Sherman Moore's you might raise your hand if you know Sherman Moore here in Nashville, Sherman. Sherman. Sir. Everybody knows Sherman Sherman, spoken at the National Association of sales professionals. He was on my podcast. He's been he's been around Nashville. For years. And he said one thing one, one time to be that has stuck with me for years and he said find your people and lift them up. Find your people and lift them up, make the other person feel important and do it sincerely find your tribe and put them on a pedestal and do we want to because all people, every single person, no matter who they are, what I how important they are, no matter how big and rich and successful and all of these things they are. They want to feel appreciated and noticed and I jokingly said I've coached a lot of the top top salespeople in the automotive industry. I've coached a lot of them, but I've talked to every single one of them. I've got a buddy named Ollie read that he said he sells Cadillacs in. He sells Chevrolet's and Cadillacs and get more Michigan and if you don't know Michigan Dearborn, Michigan is the home of the Ford Motor Company. Ali Rita works at a Chevrolet dealership that backs up against the Henry Ford Motor Museum. So he's gonna He's he's in a company town, but he's working for the wrong company. And he's the number one go to salespeople in the United States of America. He sells close to 2000 vehicles each and every year with the average average car service salesperson sales about 100 vehicles a year so he's he's outperforming the typical salesperson by 20 times. The record that he broke he broke the record as Guinness Book of World Records for most automobiles sold in a year was held by Joe Girard. Joe Girard held that record for 43 years until all agreed or broken in 2018. And when I interviewed Ali Rita on my podcast, he said that the most important thing that you can offer your customer the most important thing to them is understanding that there's never anyone anywhere more important than the person sitting right in front of you. This person if you can make them feel important. If you can make them feel noticed. You can make them feel loved. If you can make them feel appreciated. Everything else is going to fall into place if you've got a good product, if you can actually help and if you can actually save them money or make them money or do whatever your promise is, if you can take that first step to make them feel important. Make them feel nervous, make them to love make them feel appreciated, everything else will fall into place. So the one single day that I want to tell you that is the most important marketing day because it is the one day that you can make everyone on your list everyone in your database feel important. Notice feel loved, build reciate it is the first step is your customers birthday. You know when we're little when we're little, it's great because you're six years old, everybody wants a pony. You didn't get a pony, but you got a birthday cake and that's the next best thing to a pony. So you get a birthday cake. You go to class and you're surrounded by all these people who already know like and appreciate and love you and they're giving you cards and the teacher points out that your birthday and it's and you feel good. You go home with a smile you look the world my favorite movie, my favorite movie producers is John Hughes. predict that
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Car dealer marketing ideas, strategies & success stories from the pages of Dealer Marketing Magazine and Expert Panel member Terry Lancaster Dealer Marketing Magazine For the past two decades, I've been a contributor and Dealer Marketing Expert Panel member for
produced all the 80s movies and Breakfast Club and pretty and fake and other one called 16 Candles about the girls 16th birthday and it was it was the worst day of her life because everybody forgot her birthday. So if you want to make it your customers best day of their lives, I want you to remember their birthdays and it because once we get to be my age, nobody cares about your birthday. If you get a birthday card it came from your mom or your sister a female relative to your female female relatives and I sent you a birthday card and you might get one from your dentist. You get a little a little a little card that you did essentially that you may use here and now you're going to get inundated with with emails because you're in people's CRMs you're gonna get intimate inundated if you're on if you're on Facebook, especially with Facebook and LinkedIn. You're going to get all these messages on there and typically I get several 100 messages on my birthday because I have several 1000 connections on Facebook, but they're all impersonal and irrelevant to my life because someone saw on Facebook that oh today's date of birth Terry's birthday and they don't even bother to say Happy Birthday chariots HB that's that's the message I get on HB. Yes, I now feel the court that love you take you to use it seven seconds out of your life. It's five HB on my Facebook wall when Facebook gives reminded you as my birthday and you're pretty good about 20 minutes like so. So what I want you to do is think about ways that you can make your customers feel important on their birthday. And we'll give you three ways to do that here real quick. So three ways. Number one is you got to have a plan. Now social media is amazing. I love social media. I love Facebook is the gorilla of social media. I love LinkedIn. It's the 750 pound gorilla specifically for business people so it works out pretty good for me. And the greatest thing about both of those is there the world's best customer relationships managers. And one of the things they do is they let me know when your birthday is. I've got a buddy named Fred Taylor. He's, he sold about he was selling about 50 cars a month about 600 a year so he was doing okay when he was selling cars back in the 80s I thank you so cars and he's been an automotive sales trainer since since then. And he he has everyone that he trains to this. He has what he calls the birthday box system. He's old school, he doesn't believe in spreadsheets. He doesn't believe in social media. He you know, he has literally a box way back in the day we call these stupid files you have a file with every month in it and you put the Buddha you need to be in touch with and that month in there so you could reach out to her and remind them he keeps a free ism he has a box with 365 folders in it. And every day of the year there's there's whose birthday it is so about two weeks ahead of time he reaches out and he says to my car, so I don't care if you're if you're using Facebook. If you're using LinkedIn, if you have a spreadsheet or if you're going to old school and you got a box or a legal pad, whatever you do, I want you to plan ahead and find out for and in order to plan ahead. You got to find out who your people are. You can't be connected with everyone. You can't send a birthday card everyone you can't you get three gentlemen, but I want you to make a concerted effort to figure out who you want to be in touch with who your people are so that you can lift them up. So build a system or find a system that works at what you already have. There's a million ways to do it so that you know who's got a birthday coming up so that you're not surprised that eight o'clock on Tuesday morning when you're drinking coffee and sitting there and you bathrobe at the kitchen table and sending everyone HHV Jim HV, Wendy HB, Bob. So plan ahead. So a couple of weeks ahead of time, you can do step two, which sits up on a car and you know, I am a huge believer in birthday cards over the last three or four or five years and specifically through the pandemic. I don't know why. But specifically through the pandemic. I always try to keep track of what my marketing what my marketing success is. I do a lot of things and talk to a lot of people and had a lot of a lot of balls in the air but I wanted to I want to try to figure out what's actually working what's bringing the business and consistently for the last handful of years. My number one generator of revenue is me sending birthday cards to people. And I'm not saying that the 616 year old. I'm not saying that the 16 year old girls I'm not sending them to to
fruit frivolous people. I'm not I'm not I'm not saying that people who are who get all excited, you know, so social media influencers. I work with toughest negotiators in the history of depth negotiators. The hardest people there are to deal with and that's car dealers. These are the people that I'm trying to make it feel important. And I send them birthday cards and invariably, I get I get messages back I get phone calls. Hey Jerry. Thanks for the birthday card. Hey, that reminds me. We need to get a radio spot down. Hey Terry, thanks for the birthday card. Oh, that reminds me. We need to we need to have you down for another sales training session. So it's not it's not generating new revenue. These are people that I have relationships with, but those are my gold customers anyway, we spend way too much time chasing new customers and not nearly enough time trying to keep the customers that we got. So I sent every single person a birthday card every single person who's I'm not I have a spreadsheet now I do it. That's my plan. I have a spreadsheet that I go through that scattered was birthday listed on it and then you know, a matter of fact today, August 15 Today I'm going to go into my system and look at the birthdays for the month of September. So I'm going to go into the system get everything set up so that I can send the birthday cards through the month of September so that people are getting them on their birthday, which means you need to drop them in the mail. 789 days ahead of time depending on how slow the US Postal Service's is working that that particular way, but it has to be something physical, because what they meant when I was teaching my daughters to read, we did this because everything fires a different neuron in the brain trying to learn a new word, you know, trying to teach my dogs no cat. You look at it. There's Can you say it out loud. You say can you write it down? You say cat and every different action fires off different neuron connections in the brain. So when you said something physical, we shouldn't have a birthday card around. It doesn't work. Look for a birthday confusion sitting up happy birthday cards like this one, or a happy birthday like this when you sit down a physical card that that people can look at people can test people can feel I'm having nothing smelling wounds yet but if you're sending out through some records that fires different neurons in the brain and more importantly, it goes up on the refrigerator or it goes on a pile on the desk and you're going to be there for for a long time. I was talking to a general manager last week and it wasn't a birthday card. I said it but I sent him a card. He bought a new store. He bought a bought at the dealership seven years ago and I was talking to him last week. And the congratulations card I said to him when he opened that new store seven years ago. It's been on his bulletin board across from his desk with my name on it every single day for the last seven years. You can't buy that those kinds of impressions that's always there. And it's not and it's definitely a different neuron because it's always there by Dale Carnegie said it's sincere. If I sent him a birthday card with a 25% off coupon on you know, whatever I was selling, then that's the sales pitch. But if I send someone a birthday card and I just say happy birthday as me making them feel important with sincerity. So make your plan, find a way to develop your system and then plan ahead so seven to 10 days earlier. You're dropping a physical card in the mail so that they've got it when it's when it's on their birthday and then step three on their birthday on their birthday when everyone else is just waking you up and you're going through typing, typing the happy birthday thing. Take it just one step further taking one step further than just writing something on the wall because you know, if anyone is socially connected there, you're going to get lost and you're going to get lost in the avalanche. So if you take it take them once a wish them birthday electronically, but instead of just writing it on Facebook, take the time to send them a message take the time to send them a text. My favorite thing to do is to send a personal video and Facebook Facebook has a video component of messenger LinkedIn has a video component of of their of their messaging system where you can go right on I'm going to send a we see we got here so when they send your question Wendy a message this is exactly how long this takes. So there's Wendy Navarro. She popped up on my Facebook where I can send you a message so you didn't know today was going to be a birthday.
Unknown Speaker 18:42
Exactly far off. It's the 31st of July so I'll take belated birthday messages.
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Unknown Speaker 18:48
There you go.
Terry Lancaster 18:49
Except for some reason yours doesn't work because you because you're an influencer that's it yeah followers and you have to do that. That's weird. I've never seen that. Normally when I hit message, it pops up and there's a little button there where I can add a I can add a video but the you don't have to look into that. So let's say Dave Castro de Castro's got it all I got to do is go in, click on the out on the message box hit video. Just like that. Hold the button down for 20 seconds. Dave Castro Happy Birthday. To you brother. Hope you have a fantastic day. Boom. Now he's got a video message on his birthday. I guarantee he's not going to get another video message on his birthday. So send them something, something that's going to be a little more memorable than just having HB on their friends love it when I say that I have some people and here's here's here's a crazy thought this is absolutely crazy into the phone and call someone on their birthday. How wild is that? Pick up the actual phone and have an actual conversation on the birthday. Ask them how they are ask them how they did ask them what's the best thing that's happened to them since the last time you talk to them go out of your way to make them feel important. So when I'm when I'm doing sales, so those are our three steps. Those are our three steps you go to the when people begin to make a plan you gotta find your people and find a way to lift them up. You just spreadsheet get your box, get it on social media, whatever, make a plan, send them something physically a physical car on their birthday, and then follow up on the actual day of their birthday with with with a personal message either on the messenger a video message or a text message. I got a buddy who sells cars in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has this thing it's the craziest thing. He works with American Greetings, American Greetings I think and I think he pays like $30 a year for this but for $30 a year you can go on and if it's Dave Castro's birthday, you pick out your electronic card and E card or de Castro except instead of getting a PDF or a JPEG or something that is just directly it's a video last year on my birthday. Mike Smith he sent me a video message from William Shatner, Captain Kirk saying happy birthday Terry. I don't know how this even happens, but it's amazing thing for 30 bucks or 30 bucks. I got a birthday wish from Captain Kirk. How crazy is that? So follow up with something electronic on the day of the birthday. For a jailer who was telling you about just a second ago he sends a birthday card everyone on in the house. And when he when he sends a birthday when he settled when he sold it for you to get the husband saying the watch then the husband's birthday, the wife's birthday and all the kids birthday and he would send birthday cards to little Suzy and this is a little weird. Maybe we can't get a day or whatever it is in today's day and age. But on Susie's birthday he would send a birthday card to Little Susie with a pony and a cake on it. And the whole thing on the date of the birthday, he would call them Hi, this is Ryan Taylor from Bob's auto Mart and last week with little Suzy and he was the wish Little Susie a birthday and that little Susan has got a wide eyed handle going back to her mom and and they're you know Moms always thought that was the coolest thing in the world that he went out of the way to make the child feel important. And you make the kid feel important. You will make the mom feel important make the mom feel important. checkbooks gonna loosen up so so so go out of your way to make them feel for it and stay at that and I'm going to do this what I'm doing sales training. One of the things I do is I tell everyone that knowledge without action is just entertainment. So I hope I've been entertaining here for the last 10 minutes but that's not reason I'm here. I'm here to get you to actually take action. So we're going to take exactly one minute, one minute everyone put you put yourselves on mute and then take out your phone, go to Facebook, find somebody whose birthday it is and then send them a message. Send him a quick phone call. Send him a video message and you can do it. Do something right now on someone someone that you can make feel important on their birthday and I will see you in exactly one minute
right all right, I got mine in there we go one minute. There we go. So you made someone feel important. You made someone feel appreciated. You made someone feel loved and noticed and that's that's a big step along the road. Who's got who's got some questions who wants to talk about this something to add?
Unknown Speaker 25:01
Hey, man, this is a great idea. It's so simple. And having us do it like that. It just puts it into muscle memory. So yeah you've literally created a new routine for me. Yeah, thank you.
Terry Lancaster 25:16
So glad you fired father. You gotta get those neurons to fire one way, one way, one way two way three ways to get the neurons firing different connections and then you know, then you did the important thing is the important thing. Is like you said muscle memory and what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while. And you keep doing this one day at a time putting one foot in front of the other making one video message after the other until you do it until until you can't not do it until it's just ingrained.
Unknown Speaker 25:48
I honestly I had one person it's rare. It's usually more than one person a day that has a birthday I know that you guys put like I'll have 500 contacts in my Facebook it's it's been mostly personal contacts but anyway, so yeah, easy to make muscle memory the next you know couple days of good stuff. We're gonna do
Unknown Speaker 26:09
all right. current customers I have her address. But like it's also my business is social media Facebook like I don't have a physical address. That's weird like on Facebook like so what's your app? I need your address on a Sunday something like
Terry Lancaster 26:28
that. So it's a little awkward. But here here's another secret for you basketball salespeople ask any joke. So, so just ask that
Unknown Speaker 26:40
they just make me think I'm weird.
Terry Lancaster 26:41
Yeah, well I'm and if so why they think you're weird. They get a birthday card for the things they think you're nice. Here's here's the way I do it. You said you were talking about doing a lot of coffees and one on ones. I have a Calendly link. By the way, if anyone would like to have a conversation with me, Terry lancaster.com forward slash chat. You can set up a time to talk here and if you go there. You you go through you pick a time to talk. You leave a little information and one of the questions is Hey, what's your physical address so I can send the proper Thank you. Now I don't I don't ask for the birthday right there. But if I'm talking to them, I'm probably connected to them on LinkedIn or probably today to do them on on Facebook on Facebook. So I'm get their actual birthday from that but I go in and make a point to ask for their birthday when they're when they're doing that thing they're just gonna do and then I've got them to get their birthday and then what happens is if you start this list and you get this list of birthdays, then you're always on the lookout for ways to fill in the information that you need to the birthday or the physical address. And if you know that you're going to be looking for that then you look for certain opportunities where it just falls. Naturally into the conversation to make the ask. So when he was what is thanks.
Unknown Speaker 28:00
So thanks is an online platform you can go in and you can choose from a number of different products at different price levels, whether it's a gift card or physical product, and then you send the notification to the client or the person and they can accept that that gift and then when they accept it, then they will receive the gift. The one thing that they just answer your question on dominant Have you used it
Unknown Speaker 28:31
guess I don't have to take Yes, I have used it. And it's great. I honestly the physical aspects of the car is is pretty awesome. And FYI. Guys are probably aware that there's ways that you can send a car without actually buying yourself you know, online. Gary may know that
Terry Lancaster 28:58
about Send Out Cards exactly what these are. They're produced by Send Out Cards and you know these I typed that message into my computer, I scan that signature ends and they look like it came from me. And then 10 days ahead of time my robot automatically sends them a birthday card, but they don't necessarily
Unknown Speaker 29:15
have to know that it wasn't a robot right? Yeah, so physical is awesome but like thanks is is great for you know, get online only or sending gifts easily. And people love it and you get the you know, whatever. Data that they looked at it
Terry Lancaster 29:34
oh yeah. All right. 1228 we're about we're about ready to wrap up. We got a couple more minutes. If anyone has anything they'd like to add anything they'd like to talk about. Jim's reminding everyone to save the chat over there so that you know how to get in touch with each other. And I certainly appreciate everyone everyone popping in. So So today actually as soon as August 15. This was our last meeting for August. The first week in September. We're not going to be meeting we're not going to be meeting because it's right after after Labor Day so we'll meet the on the third Monday. Back in back here on Zoom and I've got a good speaker on it. I'm just paragraph got got a couple of really good speakers lined up one coming out and selling on government selling and I don't remember fest last weekend. It's September the first weekend in October. We got we got those and a couple others and a couple of new authors that have jumped in and so we got some good speakers lined up. I appreciate you guys popping in and please, please spread the word around and share the links and invite some other folks we get to get a couple dozen folks in here on a meeting that would be fantastic.
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.