Article

East Coast Honda Targets in-Equity Customers

May 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Bryan Anderson - Also by this author

Results in Best Sales Months


Kirk Cahill of East Coast Honda in South Myrtle Beach, S.C., had long embraced the value of targeting in-equity customers to drive incremental sales. He had been doing it for years. Working with yet another vendor, however, presented its own set of challenges. “We saw a great deal of business opportunity with in-equity customers, but we needed to work within our CRM, not apart from it,” commented Cahill. East Coast Honda needed a solution that consistently and accurately identified quality equity leads and, most importantly, did so within their CRM.

East Coast Honda discovered that they in fact had the ability to do this within their CRM. They are now able to compile daily lists of customers who, with little to no money down, can get into a newer vehicle at a lower monthly payment. Special notifications are placed on upcoming service appointments to provide awareness when such customers are in the store. This prompts an immediate interaction with the customer that has a high probability to lead to a sale.

Cahill pointed out, “We were able to keep loyal customers because the information is factual. Customers see that this isn’t a gimmick.” East Coast Honda customizes the profit structure for their leads as well as the design of their equity campaigns each month to best fit their store. Cahill stated, “We have flexibility now that we never had before. That is important. We should be in control, not the product.” And with such control, their daily, monthly and annual goals are quickly becoming a reality.

In just four months of targeting in-equity customers, East Coast Honda has averaged 22 sales per month from this endeavor alone. Recently, they sold 71 vehicles from a single campaign. Subsequently, they increased the quality and quantity of their pre-owned inventory through trade-ins from in-equity customers, paving the way toward even more sales in the near future.

Cahill and his team change their campaigns little by little each month to ensure the right messaging is going to the selected group of equity customers. “We send out digital marketing campaigns through the campaign management tool of our CRM. We see everything real-time. The tracking and ROI are incredible,” said Cahill.

“This year (2010) has been one of our best ever,” stated Cahill. At the rate East Coast Honda is going, next year will prove to be record-breaking.


Vol. 8, Issue 2 

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