hold message for a car dealershipby Robert Anthony, Spectrio Creative Consultant


The tradition of the hyperventilating, screaming, chain-smoking, ethically-challenged car salesman has, thankfully, given way to a more measured approach to this changing industry.

The rise of no-haggle pricing and web media, as well as a shift to accountability, mean a different experience for the vehicle shopper than the bad old days.

Yes, writing a hold message for a car dealership could be in third place behind politics and sports for a game of ‘Count the Cliches,’ but one’s writing chops definitely sharpen when writing about ‘America’s Next Great Car/Truck/SUV.’

And there are more variations on vehicles than ever! Many models offer multiple engines; hybrid, biofuel, electric in addition to the traditional gasoline-powered engine. Technology is king—yes, cars do talk now, and they will brake, swerve to avoid collisions, and park for you now. You can have all of your music, your apps, navigation, Bluetooth and more in your car—now if it would only make coffee…

What may be surprising is that auto dealerships generally prefer a very straightforward, low-key approach to on-hold messaging. They often promote a relaxing atmosphere with amenities such as a lounge, beverages, baked goods, television and wi-fi.

Service is as important as sales in the messages, with the idea being that the dealer’s relationship with customers is a continuous one, and that keeping your car in top shape pays off with regular service, and even a better trade-in when that time comes. Leasing is also presented as an alternative to ownership—but not as a replacement.

Rollouts of new vehicles happen year-round these days, and the specials that dealerships promote generally mirror those of the brand’s national advertising, so regular visits to the different automakers’ websites are necessary. Ahhh…Websites—you can never over-promote a dealer’s online offerings.

The vast majority of car purchases begin with extensive research and log-ins to local dealerships, many specials can be accessed via the dealer’s site, and nearly every dealership has a social media presence—perhaps THE major reason they have had to change their approach to sales and service.

Many auto dealerships want little more than their location, hours of operation, a bit of information about the company, and, of course, invitations to visit the website or to come test-drive a vehicle. Others switch out monthly to reflect special deals on vehicles or service, or the arrival of new models.

Sometimes last-minute changes take place, mostly due to changing interest rates or incentives. The writer can get away with less-than-perfect sentence structure, because, as we know, all those initials, fancy-sounding techno-geekery and car slang sound really, really impressive.

Auto dealers are sometimes less than responsive, or copy has to be looked over by several people, so be prepared for a fair amount of waiting. As with any customer, it pays off to build good communication with an auto dealership, as they can be quite easy to deal with when you do…And you’ll learn A LOT about cars!

Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net