How to Create Magic in Your Used Car Marketing

What makes one magician wildly more popular than another?

Is it the tricks he performs? If you answered “no” you are correct.

It’s the marketing behind the magic. David Copperfield has been doing magic for years.

Why do people come back year after year to see him perform? It’s the grand spector of it all. You are promised, for your $50+ ticket, to see a show like you’ve never seen before. Be dazzled by the illusion.

That’s what his marketing promises and that’s what the show delivers.

Now your used car dealership is not a magic show, but there are some things you can learn from David Copperfield.

He uses strategy to put into place a marketing machine that drives audiences around the world crazy. He knows that the magic alone won’t bring in the people. It takes more than that.

It is estimated that Copperfield grosses around 57 million dollars per year and he has sustained his popularity for decades. How can he continue to give his target market the same thing year after year and still make money doing it? What is his secret?

In this article we will unveil what we believe are his best kept marketing secrets. No smoke or mirrors – just the hard core facts.

You see, you don’t have to look at businesses that are just like yours to get the best kept used car marketing secrets. Take a hard look at any successful business and pull apart their marketing efforts. Then take those that can be applied to your used car dealership and utilize them.

So now...without further a’do...we present to you the seven secrets behind the magic of customer attraction and used car marketing.

1. It’s a Show

David Copperfield puts on a deeply refined show and so should you. People love to be entertained.

The show is everything. His audience would not pay his ticket price if they thought some kid with tape in the middle of his glasses was going to do no more than pull a stuffed bunny out of some black felt hat with a false bottom. You can find a magician like that in your local yellow pages.

The customers that walk into your used car dealership are paying for more than a car on your lot. They are buying the whole experience you provide to them. The better the experience the more they will be willing to pay and tell their friends about. Do you have an exact set of steps each new prospect goes through when they enter your doors?

Without a doubt David Copperfield has everything under control. He has his audience where he wants them, when he wants them there, what he wants them to see and feel. Everything runs like clockwork. No clutter or mess ... just a fantastic show. He makes certain there are no disruptions or distractions. That would take away from the illusion.

Have you ever been back stage of a play or concert? Generally it’s a total mess. Props and costumes are everywhere. It’s a totally different scene in front of the curtain. Everything is clean and shiny. That’s what you want your customers to see... the front of the curtain. Don’t let them see the clutter behind.

2. Prepare Prepare Prepare

Copperfield makes it look easy. There is not a flaw in the show. He is consistently coming up with new tricks and illusions, but to the audience it appears that he’s done the trick his entire life. Every trick goes off without fail. He makes it look easy with lots of preparation.

Copperfield may spend months and months preparing just one trick. He may even build the entire show around that one trick.

Why would he go to such lengths for one illusion?

Because the experience he gives his audience is so important. It’s about more than just the trick. It’s about the showmanship surrounding the illusion. All of his hard work and months of preparation pays off when the crowd goes wild. He’s made it look so easy.

Do you spend any amount of time refining your show?

Most used car dealership owners we talk to don’t even spend one hour a month preparing their business.

How can they expect to make things look easy if there is no preparation?

You need to set aside some time each week to think about your used car dealership, your show, the experience each customer gets when they walk into your showroom.

Put systems in place that will create a specific chain of events each customer experiences. When everyone gets the same experience you can begin to measure the results accurately. Then and only then can you fine tune your show to give the ultimate experience.

Like David Copperfield it’s more important what you take the time to do behind the stage than what you do on stage. When the right steps are put into place to begin with, the rest will fall into place.

3. The Realty is What You Create

Your story is so important. Why? Because people’s perceptions are already formed before they ever walk on your lot. Their perceptions are formed by the story you’ve marketed. People want to believe what they want to be true. You can literally program them to believe your story through your marketing.

People create illusions in their minds about your used car dealership before they ever even set foot on the lot. The illusion is more powerful than the actual reality of their experience.

Anticipation is the better part of consumption. In other words, if your story is compelling enough, the consumer will make his experience live up to his/her perception of what they believe it to be... even if it’s not.

People don’t like change and uncertainty so they have the perception of the experience in their mind before they actually experience it. This takes away their vulnerability.

Copperfield plays on this emotion and it has a big pay-off. It’s all in the set up that creates the perception before the trick is ever performed. By the time he actually pulls off the big illusion the audiences mind is just where he wants it to be. They are so captivated by the perception he’s hand fed them they don’t see the truth behind the trick.

What has this accomplished for David Copperfield?

A whole Army of unpaid bill boards walking around. Past audience members will use word of mouth to tell everyone they see about the fantastic show. Copperfield even set up the experience in a way that those audience members will walk around using the exact selling phrases and language he wants them to use.

By using this same technique you create a group of consumers who are motivated to do business with your used car dealership before they’ve even met you. Their pre-disposed perception of your business will shorten your sales cycles and make your closing ratios higher than ever before.

4. Burning Desire

Do people need what David Copperfield has to offer? No, they don’t need it but they do desire it. They may desire to see him perform or they may desire to try and figure out how he pulls off his newest illusion. Either way there is no “need” to what he has to offer.

Most people falsely believe that they must provide their customers with what they need. They have to fill that need in order to make the sale.

In fact, most buying decisions are based off of the desires of people not off what they actually need. You must tap into people’s desires and offer that to them.

Copperfield does this by taking people out of the reality of their every day life and putting them in a place that is magical for an hour. It’s an escape and people are willing to pay for it not because the need it, but because they want it.

So how can you apply this to your dealership?

You first have to figure out what people want from you.

What product or service do you have that they desire most?

Dig into their emotions and they will buy based on that rather than logic. The more emotional the ad the more sales you will make. You can’t talk facts and figures on this one. You have to speak to their heart.

5. Simple Sells

Copperfield’s magic is mystifying and complicated but his messages are not. “I’m going to make this Boeing 747 disappear”. There is no mistaking what is about to take place. He keeps his message short, sweet and to the point.

Your potential customers are very busy. Juggling work, home, kids and bills can make anyone tired. They don’t want to have to figure out an over complicated message.

You will not engage anyone this way. Your average person gets hit with dozens of marketing messages daily. If they have to take the time to figure your message out it will get thrown in the trash bin of their brain never to be seen again.

It’s very easy to over-complicate your message. We see companies do it all the time and it seldom works. You have to take your message down to a kindergarten level. I’ve never heard of a 20/40 percent off sale working. But you give me ½ off that favorite brand of shirt I love and I’m in.

The simpler you can make your message the better it will work. Simple emotional ads work the best.

6. You Can’t Do It Alone

When entrepreneurs start out they often times do everything on their own. Many of us say that if you want it done right you need to do it yourself. With this mindset you may do good things but you’ll never be great. David Copperfield, who is at the top of his game, does not go it alone. On the outside he may look like a one man show but back stage you’ll see a slew of support staff.

Copperfield hires the best consultants on the planet for not only the magical side of the business but also the business side. There are people who assist with the set up of the illusion, those who help to make the show better, prop people, costume people, ticket sales people and advertising people just to name a few. He is far from a one man band.

If you want to take your used car dealership to the next level you have to get the help of others. But there is a catch. You can’t just get anyone off the street to give you help.

Surround yourself with winners. They need to be experts in their area. It’s best if they are better than yourself at what they do. Then and only then will you have a team put together that will take you to the top of your game.

It takes mentors, coaches, consultants, employees and lots of educational resources such as seminars, books and CDs to get the wisdom you need to propel your business beyond even your expectations.

7. Big Is Available

Michael York, a good friend of ours, coined this phrase and it is one of our favorites. A lot of used car dealership owners think small but they need to re-think their size. Big is available for the taking.

Copperfield has used “big is available” his whole career. He’s performed some of the biggest stunts in the industry. He’s made planes, elephants and even the Statue of Liberty disappear.

The media attention from these huge stunts is unparalleled. If he had just made a rabbit disappear do you think it would have drawn the same kind of attention? Of course not.

He could have played it safe and made the small things disappear instead of using the large scale he did, but no one is interested in small and safe.

Safe is boring and forgettable. It doesn’t make the news and it’s sure not worth talking about. It’s easy to play it safe and not get drawn into the public’s eye. When you are in the public’s eye it opens you up to scrutiny from every angle.

Keep this in mind... By getting out of your comfort zone you are creating an image that is unforgettable. The buzz that surrounds a person and business that is willing to take risks spreads like wild fire.

Final Thoughts

Close the curtain – the show is over. You now know the 7 Powerful Marketing Secrets used by the master of all illusionists – David Copperfield.

Just remember

  • It’s A Show
  • Prepare Prepare Prepare
  • The Reality Is What You Create
  • Burning Desire
  • Simple Sells
  • You Can’t Do It Alone
  • Big Is Available

Don’t take this information lightly. Go back and re-read both articles again and take notes. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Step away from your comfort zone and take the leap into the unknown.

For more information on automotive marketing visit RichDealers.com