Saturday, August 4, 2012

Nobody Knows About You

When we search online for something, the majority of the time we use the manufacture or product name, and then the generic term.  For example, Chevy Cars, Colgate Toothpaste, Duracell Batteries, Dell Computers, etc.  In the last year I've been focusing and following the conversion truck market.  One of the problems that I noticed working for a dealership that carried a conversion truck product line.  Was that, the vast majority of inquiries had never heard of the conversion company before.  It is what sparked my solution to the problem of building a platform where these products could be listed, and pushing it to the public.  For those who aren't aware, pretty much all of the main upfitters in the market are owned by families.  They don't have the billion dollar ad budgets that the large manufactures have, i.e. Ford, Chevy.  So they rely on their marketing efforts at shows, and their individual dealers marketing their products.  Most of these companies have been in business for decades, and yet the vast majority of consumers haven't heard of their products.  What the majority of manufactures are focused on are the conversion trucks, commonly referred to as lifted trucks. is a solution to this problem of obscurity, and the image below validates this problem.  Click on the image to enlarge.

You are already doing it!

     It surprises me when a  dealer say no to coming on board with my service.  What I believe the dealers forget, is that they are already doing what I'm asking them to do.  Because I'm targeting a small part of their inventory, I don't have feeds set up to receive their inventory.  It would be pointless to receive information for 300 units, when I'm only interested in a handful.  The majority of franchise dealers use some third party for their website.  All these third party company's offer to feed the dealers inventory to many different classifieds sites. 
     I remember when I was an Internet Manager for a start-up boat dealership.  The website provider we used sent me a list of all the websites that they feed our listings to.  95% of the sites I had never heard of before.  I had them send feeds to all the free one's, and provided our information for the sites we were paying to list on.  Why?  Because the internet is like building a fire, and if you want a big fire you have to have many "logs on the fire".
     This week I spoke to a person at a dealership that handles their specialty vehicles.  The phone number on their site goes to his cell phone.  His objection to why they wouldn't be interested was because his competitors would be their also.  Really!  Two issues that I see with his comment, one is that I would bet his dealership is already present on the large listings sites.  Yes, your dealership and all your competitors are there.  The other issue is that, obviously your handling all the inquiries into these specialty vehicles.  That tells me that the size of your paycheck is dependent on you selling those vehicles.  Seriously, saying no to potentially increasing leads for YOU, which may generate YOU more sales?  Your competitors that come on board thank you for not being in the space.