Florida’s Sutherlin Nissan: A Travel Incentive Success Story
“A lot of times when we’re close to making a deal, and the customer’s just not too sure about doing the deal or not, we’ll say, ‘What if we throw in a cruise for two?’ 90 per cent of the time, they say yes.”
Sutherlin Nissan is just one of many dealerships throughout the US that has made use of Odenza’s travel incentives. We’ve said in the past that how effective an incentive is depends on how well it is utilized, and Sutherlin Nissan is a shining example of this.
There are two key ways in which they have used our incentives over the years, and they’re both worth taking into consideration for your business – it doesn’t matter whether you manage a dealership or business in the heart of Florida or not. Great ideas transcend industries, as well as locations.
The two approaches Sutherlin Nissan has often embraced are:
1. As a reward on a spin-the-wheel random prize draw; and
2. As a closing tool
1. Random Prize Draw
If you’ve ever had an issue with getting people into your store, then no doubt you’ve asked yourself this question: “What can I do to make people want to come in?” A big ad campaign may not always be an option given the costs it can bring. In light of this, sometimes the determining factor is the experience you can offer a customer over your competitor – whether they’re next door, a couple of blocks away, or even a town over.
For Sutherlin Nissan, as with most dealerships, their competition is very close by. To create a sense of excitement for customers who came to their dealership, they had a prize wheel. Being able to spin the wheel didn’t necessarily require a prospective customer to even buy anything. There was the chance of a great reward just for stepping foot inside the dealership.
The random prize draw was a great success. Sutherlin Nissan’s General Manager, Lance Lopez, says, “[People] see other customers spinning the wheel, and it creates a lot of excitement. They want to be a part of that.”
Bringing Your Customers In
Now, while you may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t mean it’d work for me,” you have to consider why a random prize wheel was beneficial for Sutherlin Nissan – it brought more people in and got more eyes on their vehicles.
In general, I know I have walked past plenty of great stores in my life but never set foot in them purely because there was no additional incentive to do so. After all, if there are three shops that all do basically the same thing, I’ll probably be drawn to the one that is putting in a real effort to differentiate itself – lower prices, better return policies, superior customer service, and/or high-quality incentives.
There would be two key factors that would cause me to stop at a dealership. These would be 1)is anything on sale? and 2)what can this dealership offer me that the one across the road can’t? If I saw a sign out front of the dealership that read, “RANDOM PRIZE DRAW! SPIN THE WHEEL AND WIN, GUARANTEED!” then that’s going to pique my interest.
It’s this ability to bring a prospective customer in that can significantly turn the tide for you. Even if the customer in question isn’t actively looking to buy a product you sell, you still have an opportunity to guide them in that direction. You can never underestimate the value of increased foot traffic.
Don’t forget that an additional incentive or random prize also influences the opinion people form about your business. Prize draws and rewards offered for purchases build a strong, positive association between the consumer and your brand. This association is fundamental, because it can lead to any number of positive outcomes:
1. They become a repeat customer;
2. They go out of their way to write a positive review about your business;
3. They tell their friends and family about your business (word-of-mouth marketing); and
4. They become a brand evangelist for your business – someone who never has anything but positive things to say about your business and what you do
2. Closing Tool
Using a cruise incentive as a closing tool has been a highly successful strategy for Sutherlin Nissan. For Lance Lopez, the experience he has had with our incentive packages over the years have led to a closing rate of about 90%. That means whenever a cruise for two has been offered up to sweeten the car-buying deal, 90% of customers have made the purchase.
Industry averages for auto dealers can differ depending on who you ask, but often you’ll be looking at a closing rate of between 15 to 30%, give or take a couple of percentage points on both ends of that scale. So taking Nissan Sutherlin’s percentage into account, they have a closing rate at least 3 times higher than industry averages.
What Makes it Work
Offering people a cruise is going to sweeten the deal of any sale, but it also comes down to execution. The success at Sutherlin Nissan is also thanks to the fact that Lance and the entire team of dealers were involved in the effort. They took the time to learn about the incentive product they were selling.
With that understanding came the ability to effectively integrate it into their marketing and sales efforts. If you had a dealer fumbling over the details of a cruise or vacation offer, then you’re not going to feel that confident about this value-added incentive.But if a dealer can say, “This is how it works,” and lists the key details of the cruise or the vacation succinctly and without fumbling over themselves, then your response will logically be different.
This is what Sutherlin Nissan have done successfully time and time again over the years – and it’s their ability to sell their cars and these cruise incentives, as well as their enthusiasm, that has led to such exceptional closing rates. Enthusiasm and excitement are infectious – if you and your staff convey that, then your customers will, too.
If you want to find out more about Sutherlin Nissan’s success story or how our products can help your business greatly increase sales, then be sure to check out the YouTube video we embedded earlier of our interview with Sutherlin Nissan, or you can access it below along with a couple more important links.
Want to talk right now? Call us on 1-866-883-2968.
• Interview with Lance Lopez of Sutherlin Nissan
• Odenza Reviews – what our travel customers have to say
• Odenza Vacations Partners
o WestJet Vacations, Las Vegas Conventions Visitors Authority, Air Canada Vacations,
Carnival Cruise Lines
• Contact us online