What a Used Car Salesman Can Teach You About Growing Your Email List

Is your email subscriber list lagging?

Does it seem like your website visitors aren’t sticking around?

You may have a little bit of traffic and people seem to like what you have to say. Maybe they even share your content on social media and comment on your blog posts. But for some reason, they just aren’t converting into subscribers.

Like it or not, getting visitors to subscribe to your email list has a lot to do with maximizing your marketing efforts than anything else.

As much as you would probably like to believe you aren’t in sales – the truth is – if your traffic isn’t staying, you have to convince them they want to.

It’s time to learn how to close the deal!

Love them or hate them, used car salesmen seem to have the market cornered on brazenly stepping out of their comfort zones to close the deal. Think about the last time you bought a car.

Did the salesman wander over and say, “I’ll be in the back. Let me know if you need anything.”


He followed you around with suggestions and comments on every car you glanced at. He stayed one step behind you as if his livelihood depended on getting you to commit. Because it did. His sales are what put food on the table for his family, or paid for the striped polyester suit he was wearing.

Did he convince you to buy the car? If he was good, he did.

Let’s take a look at his tactics.

Tactic #1: He Greeted You at the Door

Seems simple, doesn’t it? But does it really make that much difference?

Think about it this way…if you had walked into the dealership and no one spoke to you, would you have gone out of your way to find a salesman? Or would you have maybe looked around a bit and gone to another lot?

Probably the latter.

How you can use this tactic:

While you don’t have polyester-clad salesmen lurking around to pounce on your website visitors, you can set up something to “greet” them virtually.

According to SumoMe, some bloggers experienced a 200% increase in their sign-ups when they used a Welcome Mat to give their readers a clear call to action. Here’s an example from Andrew Lock of HelpMyBusiness.

Sumo Me Welcome Mat

It’s a full-screen signup form that prompts a user to either opt-in or keep on scrolling. While most people usually think of popovers as a nuisance, you can’t argue with results!

Discover all the options when it comes to optin forms, popups, welcome mats and more – in this insanely comprehensive optin post.

Tactic #2: He Made the Interaction About You, Not About Him

The used car salesman asked you questions about your family and your lifestyle. He found out what you wanted and then set out to show you how he could help you get it.

How you can use this tactic:

This is the easiest way to find out what your readers want – ask them.

There are several ways to accomplish this, but the easiest is social media. Post a question daily that asks for specific information from your followers. And then respond!

Dre Baltrami of The Branded Solopreneur does a great job at posting questions throughout the week to engage her followers. She also makes sure to answer anyone’s branding or business questions.

Branded Solopreneur - Answer Questions

People love talking about themselves. Making your posts all about them is the best way to get them involved.

Once you know what your readers want, it’s so much easier to get them to become a part of your community because you are speaking their language.

People love talking about themselves. Making your posts all about them is the best way to get them involved.Click To Tweet

Tactic #3: He Created a Sense of Urgency

Joe Girard holds the Guinness Book of World Record’s spot for “World’s #1 Retail Salesman.” He sold 13,001 cars in a 15-year span. Creating a sense of urgency was one of his top sales tactics.

Joe Girard Car Salesman

He claims that if you can’t make a customer feel as if they must buy the car today, they will walk away and probably never return.

How you can use this tactic:

Creating a sense of urgency for subscribers takes a bit of ingenuity on your part.

Is there something you can offer your visitors for free that might increase in price at a later date? Is there content you can offer that will help them solve a problem right away?

For example, Bryan Harris of VideoFruit has an enticing lead magnet that any small business wants right away: to get more customers.

Bryan Harris Videofruit Offer

Another tactic is to play around with color. Up to 85% of customers place color as the main reason for why they bought a product.

Use red to evoke a sense of urgency in your lead magnet, content upgrade or Welcome Mat.

With a little creativity, you should be able to come up with a way to pique a reader’s interest.

Tactic #4: He Knew You Needed a Car (That You Could Get from Any Other Salesman)

As a used car salesman, he needed to convince a potential buyer that his dealership was where they were going to purchase a car.

If you weren’t at least slightly interested in buying a car, you wouldn’t have wandered into the dealership, right?

Knowing this information automatically gave the salesman the upper hand. A potential buyer wanted something the car salesman had to offer. All the car salesman had to do was figure out how to make you want to buy it from him – and not from his competitors.

How you can use this tactic:

You’ve chosen a niche you feel people are interested in.

That alone should give you the confidence to know that what you have to offer is just as good as anyone else. The trick is to make your readers want to get it from you instead of someone else’s site, and the fastest way to do that is by building relationships.

If your best friend is selling the same thing as the person you barely know down the street, who are you going to buy it from?

An easy way to build trust with your audience is by being transparent. Pat Flynn has built a huge following, and his income reports are probably one of the reasons why he has a huge following.


Patt Flynn Income Reports

Another way to show transparency is by hosting live shows on Periscope or Google Hangouts on Air.

Above all, be sincere and helpful.

Make friends with your readers and social media followers.

Build loyalty and community, and watch your audience grow.

Build loyalty and community, and watch your audience grow #bloggingtipsClick To Tweet

Tactic #5: He Asked for the Sale

Did you ever walk away from a dealership and think, “Hmm, I would have bought that car if only he’d asked me to?”

Probably not!

All salesman are well-versed in the art of asking for the sale. They do it in many ways, such as, “Should we go ahead and get that paperwork started?” or “How will you be making your down payment today?”

They make you feel as if you already said yes.

How you can use this tactic:

The best place to ask for subscribers is social media.

Over 70% of people use social media on a daily basis. For many businesses, these users are your target audience. To take advantage of this, make your signup form simple to use and easy to find.

To get started, you can integrate a signup form from your mailing list provider, like MailChimp, into your Facebook fan page.

Elna Cain Signup Form

Give it a try. You will probably be surprised by the response!

Wrapping it Up

If you’re looking to grow your subscriber list, don’t always rely on conventional methods.

Instead, harness your inner car salesman and circle in for the kill…ahem, I mean the opt-in.

Over to you. Is there a sales tactic you’ve found useful in growing your list? Or, have you tried one of these and had success?

About the Author Elna Cain

Elna Cain is a freelance writer who offers ghostwriting, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing useful and engaging content that gains social media attention and Google likeability. Check out her new free email course for freelancers, Get Paid to Write Online.

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