A potential car purchaser will make the basic necessary decisions such as price and desired options. They would then do their research, look at different car options, usually by price first, then a brand name or desired options, depending on the buyer. They will look into financing and make sure they know all of the costs entailed such as insurance and maintenance. After this preparation, they go and find the ideal car to match their needs and wants.
Let’s back up a bit. After the initial thought “I need (or want) to buy a car”, one of the first questions on a potential car buyer’s mind may be whether to buy a new car or a used car. Most people would love to buy a new car – everything will be custom chosen, brand new, it will run well for a long time (as long as it’s not a lemon) and it’ll be covered by a warranty.
But after seeing the large purchase price of a new car and the thought of the huge depreciation while driving it off the lot, reality sets in. As a used car seller, you have an advantage here – most car buyers will now be more likely to buy a used car instead.
The next buyer’s step is research, and here’s where you come in – how do you herd them in your direction to make the sale, so you don’t end up stuck with that car, needing to schedule a junk car pick up?
Where Do People Look to Buy A Car These Days?
Some car buyers go right to a dealership, especially if they have bought a car there before with good results. But even aside from the current COVID-19 situation, who wants to go to a dealership to be hassled by a salesman and ultimately being talked into a vehicle that costs more than they were planning? The buyer then has to learn how to get over buyers remorse car. That can be a big headache after making such a major purchase.
These days, most people will go to the internet to do their research, since it’s a much wider pool to explore. But even though there’s little physical foot work involved, the internet can still be overwhelming – so many websites and platforms to search. So in order to sell cars, you need to find a way to draw the buyers to you.
What should I do to find new car buyers/leads?
Most popular answer: an internet search engine. Google, by far the top search engine in the world, will find just about anything you’re looking for. So you definitely want to have a presence there. But it’s not just people typing in words-SEO or Search Engine Optimization will pull people to you with just the right words they’re looking for.
Once those well-placed keywords and links draw the seekers are drawn to your website, it's important that they find a user-friendly experience with a speed faster than it takes for an impatient looker to jump to another site.
Social media is also a great place to go to target the buyers you’re looking for. Since Facebook is such a widely used platform with capabilities to be used on computers or phones, you’ll have a huge audience to start with. And Facebook has an engine specially made for targeting buyers called Audience Finder – you can customize your desired target. Audience Finder even pulls in other apps that people would generally use to search for a car, like Cars.com and CarMax.
You know the details of your car but write them down so you are familiar with everything – year, make, model, color, and specifications such as power windows. Then be sure to include other features of the car, like sun or moon roof, rear camera, and stereo features. The more details you include about the car, the more possible hits you can get on those details.
Then you need to think about other things people will be using to narrow their search, like the range of distance they will go to purchase a car. And something you may not consider – your car may be desirable to specific groups, such as a vehicle that would be more likely to be purchased by a female. And then there are cars that are popular in certain areas, like pick-up trucks in Texas.
A younger audience with less money would be looking at an older car, whereas newer cars may be more likely to sell to an older generation that has more disposable cash. When you take all of this information and criteria and input it into a targeting database like the Facebook Audience Finder, you will have an engine that will put you on a faster path to a bill of sale.
Within the last several years, websites have developed algorithms that see you searching for car parts on Amazon, for example, and then the next time you’re scrolling on Facebook, you’ll see ads pop up for auto parts stores, and yes, even car dealerships. It’s almost like you can look into someone’s mind and see their wants and desires – and that propels the sale.