Creating Online Evidence Manuals To Increase Showroom Visits

DME Auto Shopper Data

According to the latest research from DME Automotive, consumers are visiting less showrooms before purchasing a vehicle. Since this is the stark reality for auto dealers, the sale must be first won online. Dealers need to find a way to develop strong bi-directional communication with online shoppers to get them to visit their dealership otherwise they will go to another dealership. According to DME, 42% of new car buyers will only visit one physical dealership.

A recent article on DealerRefresh from Justin Brun and Ben Koller outlined why dealers need to create a “Why Buy From Us” message. Their timely article prompted me to write this companion piece.

Every sales professional in the dealership must have a “Why Buy From Me” message.

In the book “Selling Cars in the Digital Age” there is an entire chapter dedicated to developing a “Why Buy From Us” and “Why Buy From Me” strategies. The chapter includes examples on how to create a “Why Buy From Me” email template and the need to create an online evidence manual. If less consumers are visiting your dealership, you need to create a way to get interested buyers into your dealership first.

Creating An Online Evidence Page

evidence page layouts

Let me speak to automotive sales professionals directly for a minute. An online evidence manual can be used in both your phone and email communication processes; you make have a physical evidence manual on your desk.

A link to your online evidence page can be texted to a customer while you are on the phone. A link to your evidence page can be included in an email message generated by the CRM, but always customize the message if you can.

An example of what this evidence page can look like is shown on the right. In the upper left hand corner should be a professional photo or video of yourself. In the yellow area should be your direct phone number, email address, and the address of the dealership.

In the green area should be a short statement about yourself and your passion to work in our industry. The orange area should be a list of customer reviews that are dynamically generated as they are written. and other platforms have RSS feeds to enable this to happen very easily.

Lastly, on the right you should have at least three customer testimonial videos. They should be from people from all walks of life. Don’t show three videos of just young car buyers; mix it up to appeal to more local car buyers.

Build An Email Template

email template for why buy from meA strong Why Buy From Me email will introduce you to the consumer by sharing some personal information. Think of the email as a starting point in your relationship.

A Why Buy From Me email can answer some of these questions:

  • ♦ How long have you been in the car business?
  • ♦ How long at current dealer?
  • ♦ Why did you come to work for current dealer?
  • ♦ What did you do before the car business?
  • ♦ Where were you born?
  • ♦ Where do you live now?
  • ♦ If married, how long?
  • ♦ Do you have kids/grandkids and if so, how many? Boys? Girls?
  • ♦ What do you enjoy when not at dealership?
  • ♦ Do you do something unique?
  • ♦ Do you have any Pets, and if so, what type and what are their names?

Once you create a strong email template, I suggest that you end the template with something like this.

“I know you have many choices where to purchase your next vehicle. I also know that you may have some reservations about buying a car. Let me assure you that you will have a first class experience with me at (dealership name). But don’t take my word for it! Click on this link (bitly link) to read and hear what other local consumers, just like you, had to say when they bought a car from me.”

The key is to include some statement that allows the consumer to come to their own conclusion about your reliability and professionalism. The link to your personal evidence page will have photos, videos, and written reviews for the potential customer to read. The more professional looking your evidence page is, the more success you will have.

Most website platforms allow for unlimited website pages to be created, so creating a page just for you should be without any hard costs. You will just need to get someone to create the page for you.

Tracking Views

Now, let me switch back to speak to automotive management professionals. By using a link in the email templates, your sales team can see how many people actually click through to their online evidence pages.

If you store all the evidence pages in a sub-directory called “/evidence/” you can easily set a Google Analytics goal when an evidence page is viewed. These simple steps can help you see how your sales team is leveraging this tool and how consumers are engaging with the content.

Get The Book

If you like the ideas shared in this article, be sure to pickup a copy of “Mastering Automotive Digital Marketing” today. There are hundreds of ideas, tips, and strategies that can benefit your dealership today.

brian pasch


Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Consulting


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