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As a car dealer, you can admit there’s a feeling of satisfaction you might have then you hear of a competitor dealership shutting down or having reputation management issues. From bad bookkeeping to swindling customers to financial or internal problems, there are many things that can adversely affect a dealership’s business. When you’re not the one with the difficulties, new opportunities can be created from the customers who won’t be buying from your competitors.

If a competitor dealership is going out of business, losing stock or experiencing reputation management issues, you may be tempted to immediately jump on the bandwagon and take that dealership’s customers away by any means necessary. This is especially true if you sell the same car brand as the dealership in trouble.

Stay Classy

Obviously when a competitor dealership is going out of business, you might see an opportunity to move in – and you should! This could be a great time to leverage an automotive direct mail campaign running a special promotion or giveaway at your dealership.

The first rule of thumb when it comes to running a competitor-directed advertising campaign is to keep quiet about the competitor. This is difficult, as you might well imagine. But you could actually turn off customers if you approach the competition that way.

Strengthen Your Value Proposition

Instead, hone in on the competitor’s weak points without ever mentioning their dealership. Are they closing down? Then make sure your advertising copy mentions that you will ALWAYS be open and ready for customers. Does their service department get negative feedback? Make sure to emphasize your ultimate value as the best service department in the area, and have customer testimonials ready. The adage, “You can kill more flies with sugar” is certainly true in this case. It’s not about trashing your competitor – it’s about making your dealership look like the better value.

After you’ve determined your point of value, cleverly weave your web copy into automotive direct mail pieces that explain why YOUare the best option for customers. Simply concentrate on getting your brand in front of your customers. When it comes time for your target audience to go car shopping, members of this group will know you’re the best value around if you tell them succinctly.