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Making a Great First Impression with Video

To create a compelling video message, you must focus on what your customers want and need. They want a sales representative they trust who will guide them through the sales process.


We only get one shot at making a good first impression. There are no redos. If you are receiving leads via a third-party provider, keep in mind that it’s not just you, it’s a bunch of other dealerships battling to make the best first impression on that very same lead.

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Your goal is to create dialog within the first 12 hours of lead engagement. If you’re unsuccessful within that time frame that “lead” is no more than a distant prospect. There is nothing you can write out in text that can create quite the same impression as a compelling video message. Sending a welcome video message as an initial outreach sets the tone for the experience they can expect when they choose to work with your dealership.

Direct personal video is transforming the automotive industry, specifically the customer-buying experience. According to a Millward Brown Digital survey, consumers are extremely engaged after watching a video. In fact, after watching their personalized video, 61 percent of these consumers search for more information digitally, 49 percent visit a dealership, 37 percent search inventory online, and 33 percent talked to their friends and family about the experience.


Let’s take a look at the “Five Car Freddy” of your dealership. Is Freddy making one phone call or sending one email and expecting leads to flock to the dealership? If they do visit the showroom, is he losing those opportunities when the lead can’t remember who they spoke to or were emailing with? I promise you when a prospect submits an online inquiry they aren’t staring at their phone excited to read 15 emails that are all the same. Something is missing, and video is the answer.

QUICK DISCLAIMER: Video doesn’t sell cars, people do. With that in mind, here is what Freddy needs to do:

  1. Send an introduction video to all leads. This positive first impression keeps Freddy from getting scratched off the list of dealers that the buyer is considering. And when that buyer walks into the showroom they will find him. He’s not just some no-name guy from a generic email. He’s Freddy — the friendly sales rep from the video!
  2. Send a vehicle walkaround video. With a simple point and shoot, Freddy can tell the lead how excited he is for them to come in and test-drive the vehicle. He’s able to show them why this vehicle is the perfect choice for their family.
  3. Once the lead views the video, Freddy will get an email notification signaling him to pick up the phone and call them to set up a test drive. At that moment Freddy is top-of-mind, making it much more likely that they’ll set an appointment with him on the spot.
  4. Now is the part where the client walks into the dealership, recognizes Freddy and he closes the deal. Again, people are still what will ultimately sell cars.
  5. Lastly, Freddy will send a “thank you” video and ask for a review. A simple “thanks for your business” will generally lead to a great review. While asking for a review, he should also ask them to reference him by name. A great experience with “Freddy” is good for the dealership and Freddy. Who knows, Five Car Freddy might soon be 15 Car Freddy.

To create a compelling video message, you must focus on what your customers want and need. They want a sales representative they trust who will guide them through the sales process. Video is the single best way to start building trust and rapport. By using video to communicate, you will improve the quality of information you’re providing. Always keep in mind that your customers will be more confident to talk to someone they can see. Personalized video communication gives you a much better chance of setting the appointment and ultimately selling the car.

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