Hi, my name is Sean Cassy, and I am happy that you’re joining us today for a brand new episode of our podcast 30 Days To Sell Cars.
I’m glad Episode #1 is finally out of the way. I feel this huge pressure off my shoulders. Now I don’t ever have to talk about myself again. We can focus on “the good stuff” and zoom-in on the strategies that will help you sell more cars and move more metal today.
If this is your first time joining us, and you’re a little curious to know more about who this guy with the funny French accent is, and why you should listen to him, make sure to check out our first episode. You’ll learn a few things about me and why I think I can be a great ally in your corner, but most importantly you’ll learn a core principal that we’re going to talk over and over again on this podcast, which is why you should focus on people who are not in the market to buy a vehicle if you want to grow your sales from conquest customers.
This week I want to give you one of the most important elements to conquest success: Framing!
If this is your first time hearing about Frames, pre-frames or framing, let me give you a little background information to set the stage. The idea of framing comes from a field of study called NLP, short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming and it’s one of its most useful techniques
At its core, the concept of framing is based on the idea that the meaning or perception you have of any event, thing or person depends on how you frame it. If you change the frame, you change the meaning or the perception you have of the event, thing or person and with it, the way you respond.
To illustrate with an obvious example, let’s imagine you are introduced to a guest at a party by a common friend. The guest is an electrician. Your friend precedes the introduction by telling you how much of an awful electrician the guest you’re about to meet is, and that he always overcharge for his work. Your friend has just framed your mind negatively towards the electrician. Not only will the person have an uphill battle to gain your favor as an electrician, but your behavior towards them at the party might also be affected.
In the same example, if the person introducing you had spent a few minutes telling you how much of an incredible electrician the person you’re about to meet with is and that they did a spectacular job and gave them a good price just last week; you would have been framed positively, and your behavior would be totally different with the person.
Framing is everywhere. You find it in humor when the stand-up comedian carefully frames your mind in a certain direction until they create a shift and send the punch line in the opposite direction. You find it in movies, like in the Sixth Sense with Bruce Willis or more recently in Collateral Beauty with Will Smith where the frame is so well constructed that you can’t see the obvious until the last few minutes of the movie.
Now you can frame the content, and you can frame the context. Someone in a zombie costume is going to have a different impact at a Halloween party than at a funeral, or somebody slipping on ice is different when you are the observer versus the victim!
You probably use framing yourself all the time on your spouse or your kids when you want to get them to think positively about a request or suggestion you want to make. I’ll tell my wife how pretty she is and how much I appreciate all the work she does around the house before telling her I want to spend more money on tools I want for the studio. Or I’ll dangle in front of my kids the idea of getting something they really want before asking them for a request I know they are going to fight me on.
I’m sure you get the idea by now. Framing is something that we intuitively experience and use all the time in our daily lives, but surprisingly, it’s also something that most car dealers fail to include when they market to conquest customers. Why?
I see it all the time. Dealers will target off-make vehicle shoppers using the latest targeting tactic and immediately hit them with price, payments, and incentives on their models without providing a bridge for the prospect to transition from the make they were originally interested in, to the make the dealer sell.
I see dealers spend thousands of dollars on direct-mail campaigns or print ads and fail to weave in the copy of the flyer or add even a few sentences or images to pre-frame the prospect's mind. Why?
Why is something so obvious in our daily lives so foreign when we think of marketing vehicles?
I’ll tell you the results of my testing over the years: I’ve never seen any campaign that didn’t include framing work with conquest vehicle shoppers or non-intenders. That’s it. Not one.
Now you might get lucky, during the hot buying season, to create marketing without framing and reach enough people at the tail end of their shopping cycle and already interested by the models of the brand you sell to make it work; but there’s no science behind these sporadical successes. Luck is not the repeatable and sustainable strategy I’m looking for to produce winning campaigns month after month for my dealers.
Bottom line: if you don’t integrate framing to your automotive marketing, you’ll never get any substantial increase in your sales from conquest customers. And if you listened to the last episode of our podcast, and you are preparing to market to non-intenders, you better become a master at pre-frames, or you’ll be wasting your dealership’s money.
Now you might be wondering how framing would work in the context of automotive advertising? Here’s where I start. It’s a technique I learned from Russel Bronson and that you can read about in length in his book DotComSecrets.
First, you need to figure out your traffic temperature. This is what’s going to dictate the pre-frame bridge you will need to build before talking about what you want to sell. Is your traffic Cold, Warm or Hot? Hot traffic being customers who already know you and trust you, and cold traffic being people who are not even aware of your existence.
Cold prospects are completely unaware – unaware of your existence, unaware of the problem they have, the solution you provide or the specific product or service you have to solve their problem. As the prospects get warmer they become problem aware, then become solutions aware, then product aware, then finally they learn about specific dealers who can sell them the product or service they want.
If the prospects you’re targeting are not aware they need a new vehicle, a great pre-frame bridge will point them to potential hidden needs they might have for more cargo space, more fuel efficiency or, for example, more safety if they are expecting parents.
If the prospects you’re targeting are aware of the problem, a great pre-frame bridge could be to talk about solutions before “pitching” the product. A credit challenge customer or somebody who thinks they might be upside down on their trade will be delighted to learn about your ability to get them approve or pay more for their trade. Once pre-framed on your abilities to provide the solution, they are much more likely to be receptive to your incentives and convert into a deal for your dealership.
If they are warm for another dealer and ready to buy a truck from a competitor selling a competing make, a great pre-frame bridge could be a side-by-side video comparison of your truck with the truck they are considering featuring the strengths of your model. Once that first step secured, you could present them with the incentives. Not the other way around.
You get the picture? Once you figured out your traffic’s temperature and where they are on the heat spectrum, you can design the perfect pre-frame bridge to allow them to transition from where they are to a place where they are receptive to your promotional and product messages.
Doing it any other way is like having the cart before the horses, which is what most dealers do today.
Is framing starting to sound like an obvious strategy to you now? Don’t worry if you weren’t doing it before listening to this Podcast. That’s what I’m here for! Just focus on the incredible opportunity for your dealership to create marketing with pre-frame bridges, warm up your prospects, sell tons of vehicle to conquest vehicle shoppers, while all your other competitors are still trying to push incentives and products down the throat of prospects who don’t care.
If you would like to see a few examples of how we use video to “frame” the mind of new prospects and non-intenders, make sure to watch some of the campaigns with pre-frame bridges I have created over the years. They are guaranteed to get your own creative juices flowing! I'm also working on a video for you in Secret Car Marketing Tactics. I’ll show you how to use videos to focus the conversation with prospects on the vehicle they are driving now or the automotive need they are trying to fulfill – instead of the vehicle you want to sell – and how to double your leads and lower your ad cost by 50%.
The video will also provide you with tons of ideas and is guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing!
I’ll make sure to add the link to that video when it's completed in this show’s notes.
We’ll it was a pleasure to have you over. I hope you liked this episode and that you will be back for more. Make sure to subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or Google Play, so you don’t miss the next strategies I want to share with you. Make sure to also leave me comments. I’m making this show for you, and without your input, I can’t improve it!
In the next episode, I want to talk to you about your current Website and why it might be your biggest enemy when it comes to increasing your new car sale’s numbers. You’re not going to want to miss this show I promise. We’re going to talk about automotive sales funnels and how you can use them to double your numbers within 60 days. I hope I catch you on the next Podcast.
Until then, I wish you a great week. Remember that we only have 30 days to sell cars when the month starts, and we probably have less than that now if you look at your calendar! So like I love to say: Let’s sell some cars!
Sean Cassy is co-owner and the automotive digital marketing strategist at Turbo Marketing. You can contact him here by email or reach him from 8am-6pm every weekday at Turbo Marketing Solutions.