Nothing lasts forever…except maybe sales events

With the Easter break behind us car dealers are looking forward to a positive summer and will be looking at yet more innovative ways of generating customers. We can expect sales events and promotions to be running almost nonstop throughout the year, and many in the trade believe that in order to constantly engage with potential buyers there always needs to be a hook or an offer which will appeal.

In the world of “reasonably priced” home furniture DFS is the undoubted King and they always seem to have a sale on. Of course they can’t really have a perpetual sale because firstly, legally a sale must have an end date and secondly it would defy the laws of thermodynamics which state that nothing in the universe can be perpetual. That said you would feel yourself pretty unlucky if you decided to buy a sofa from them and just happened to turn up at one of their stores when there wasn’t a sale on.

Any experienced practitioner will tell you there are three magic words in sales promotion: save, win and free. They either save customers money, offer them the chance to win something or give them something for free and all sales campaigns are fundamentally designed to influence purchasing behaviour and, ultimately, increase sales.

Well what we will call The “DFS effect” is well and truly taking hold in the motor trade. Although at first glance it would appear to dilute the message, it really is important that dealers convey the point that there is always a deal to be taken advantage of, or a special offer on either a model, a finance backed promotion or some sort of value added service.

It is quite a removal from traditional car dealer marketing in that there were always specific times of the year when a major sales event took place and involved a major advertising campaign and big savings on certain models. However with completion for market share perhaps more fierce than its ever been and emerging players from the far east coming to the market in the UK, as a customer there will surely always be a great deal or special promotion somewhere in the country at any given time.

At the end of the day I’m not sure the poor sales guys will retain the enthusiasm for being involved in a seemingly perpetual sale as they are used to the big push in sales promotions.

Maybe the time has come to do them in shifts.

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