Millennials, loosely defined, are people born in the 1980s through late 1990s. This audience is an important force in the economy, and in automotive sales, representing about 25% of all buyers. It’s critical that dealerships win over this group, but that can prove easier said than done.
Making strides with discerning Millennial buyers requires a special focus on their particular needs. For starters, Millennials have different priorities than their parents. Many have demonstrated reluctance to buy into the traditional trappings of “growing up.” The Millennial mindset is constantly in flux.
According to a 2014 Automotive Buyer Influence Study conducted by IHS Automotive
Millennials are also more likely to delay major life events, such as getting married and buying an automobile. Dealers are breaking through by changing tactics slightly and appealing to their core values and lifestyle choices. Here are just a few tactics already working for successful dealerships.
Tout the benefits of fuel cells.
According to MSNBC, millennials are environmentally conscious. They recognize the impact people have on the environment. Many believe their actions can improve situations such as global warming and pollution. Dealers attract their interest by advertising a selection of automobiles with hydrogen fuel cells, which are cleaner because of their higher gas mileage.
If the environmental benefits are not enough to excite millennials, potential cost savings should do the trick. Many hybrids have a driving range of 300 to 600 miles or more, which means fewer stops for fuel, and serious savings. Many vehicles boast a high miles-per-gallon rating of about 50.
Don’t just close a sale. Cultivate a relationship.
Millennials are known to make purchases based on relationships they feel they have built. Dealers who focus on relationships and honest communication will likely be rewarded with a visit to the dealership when it’s time for them to purchase a new vehicle.
Smart media choice is one way dealers can meet millennials on their terms. Millennials love texting, using Facebook and Twitter, and sharing information with their friends. Dealers who are present in those channels can become a presence in their daily lives, and may reap the rewards when they are ready to buy.
Make the Process Easy.
Millennials like the process to be easy. The difficulty of the process may be one reason why they postpone buying new automobiles. Dealers can counter that by knowing their wishes and catering to them. A survey by MTV found that most millennials think:
- Buying an automobile takes too long
- Ratings and comparisons are difficult to understand
- The purchase process needs to be more transparent
Don’t Underestimate the Dealership’s Value.
Millennials may prefer an easy process, but they do not skimp on the research. Because of that, the dealership has a key role to play. Millennials are comfortable going online to gather information about their purchases. They will likely arrive at the dealership well informed, but will welcome low-pressure guidance from someone they feel has their best interests in mind.
In addition to cultivating long-term relationships with millennials via social media and a strong online presence, dealers can meet millennials’ needs by having knowledgeable automobile staff and sales reps. Informed personnel can answer potential customers’ questions and offer appealing options such as high-tech safety and connectivity gadgets.
For more articles about how the automobile buyer’s journey is changing and why your marketing should too click here
Living Green Magazine