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Creating a Connection With Your Hispanic Consumer

When it comes to winning favor with your Hispanic consumer—no matter what products or services you may be selling—everything hinges on the quality of the relationships you develop. You may offer the best products in the world, the most dependable vehicles, the most fuel-efficient family cars, but if you don’t take the time to build quality relationships with your consumers before you go for a sale, you won’t gain any ground within the Hispanic marketplace. Why? Because Hispanic consumers are a reflection of their culture, and as such, they appreciate the time and effort it takes when businesses go out of their way to build a personal connection with them before going directly for their wallets.

Just as with every shopper who visits your dealership, you’ll want to take the time to find out specifics regarding what Hispanic shoppers need when they step onto your lot or showroom floor. Are they looking for convenience, fuel efficiency, a family vehicle, a heavy-duty work vehicle? What driving forces are behind the trip to your dealership, and in turn, how can you as a professional help provide them with the best service? Many things go into making the decision to purchase a vehicle, and the more you are able to learn about the individuals making the decision, the better equipped you will be to help throughout the process.

The Importance of Hispanic Shoppers

You probably already know Hispanic consumers are a tremendously important market segment for your business. With a U.S. population that has doubled in the past 20 years to an estimated 54 million people, that number is expected to double again by 2050. Anticipated to lead growth for the automotive industry for the next 20 to 30 years, the Hispanic population is not only leading in population increases, but it is also challenging automakers and dealerships to find new ways of engaging today’s consumer market.

Many dealerships shy away from getting to know their Hispanic consumers because it seems too complicated or they simply don’t know where to start. Although there are many ideas and opinions about how to reach consumers in the right way, there’s one thing everyone seems to agree on: the Hispanic market encompasses an extremely vast array of individuals, all with varying histories, backgrounds, language preferences and capabilities, and age ranges. And that’s only the beginning. To state it simply, it’s complicated.

However, it’s also uncomplicated in the fact that your Hispanic customers simply want to feel like the valued shoppers they are when it comes to your business. According to Pat Pineda of the Hispanic Business Strategy Group, “We’re seeing that many Hispanics don’t want to be categorized. They’re saying ‘Think of me because I like cars, but don’t come at me because I’m Hispanic.’”

How to Start

Even in business settings, Hispanic consumers tend to interact and view things on a personal level, and when your dealership takes the time to make shoppers feel comfortable and appreciated in their surroundings, it will go a long way toward gaining their trust when the time comes to invest in a vehicle. There are several ways to recognize and celebrate the significant role Hispanic shoppers play in the success of your dealership, so we’ve come up with some great ideas for you to get started, especially if you’re starting from the beginning:

  • Know the market in your area. Hispanic shoppers come from many different places around the globe, and depending on their countries of origin, you’ll want to pay special attention to different holidays, idioms, and even sports preferences. For example, it’s a false assumption to assume all Hispanic individuals like soccer. When you do your homework, you’ll learn that many people from Puerto Rico prefer baseball. These sorts of tips will help you as you plan dealership events for the community.
  • Employ Spanish-speaking professionals. Although Spanish isn’t the preferred language of all Hispanic shoppers, you’ll be prepared and ready to help every customer who sets foot on your lot if you’ve got professionals on-hand who can speak in either Spanish or English, depending on customer preference.
  • It’s about “we” and not about “you.” Although you are broadening the scope of your marketing to be more inclusive of other cultures, it’s important you remember you aren’t separating yourself from others. Instead, you are creating a way to unify and forge relationships, so remember to use inclusive language and avoid making consumers feel disconnected via your choice of language.
  • Mobile is muy bueno. Hispanic shoppers are power users when it comes to mobile devices, so when that means your dealership needs to be all about mobile, too. The bonus comes when you add video to the mix, as Hispanic consumers spend almost 8 hours every month watching video. That’s over 90 minutes more than the U.S. average!
  • Connect emotionally. Hispanic consumers want to know you understand them as shoppers and as individuals, so it’s important to find new ways to reach out and make them part of your dealership’s conversation. Get them involved on Facebook, Twitter, and your other social media platforms, and be sure to interact when they express opinions online.
  • Understand connections. Remember your Hispanic shoppers are part of a larger whole and will often shop with extended family, children, and friends. Family and connections are number one, and when it comes to traditions and values, your Hispanic consumers will place them above all else. In order for your dealership to succeed with these shoppers, you’ll need to get to know them and help them make purchases that reinforce their values.
  • Be a presence in the community. As your dealership participates and gives back to the community for various events throughout the year, be sure to include the Hispanic community in your planning. Consider events like festivals and community outreach that directly impact your Hispanic shoppers.

These are just a few ideas to get you started as you branch out and get to know your community. The important thing to remember is you are creating connections that will grow and last over time, and by becoming familiar with your Hispanic shoppers’ culture, viewpoints, and values, you’ll be many steps closer to gaining trust for your dealership. Trust, however, must be earned, and the only way to do that is by showing a willingness and a desire to embrace the driving forces behind the cultural consumer behaviors of your Hispanic audience. By truly taking the time to get to know Hispanic consumers and engaging them in a meaningful way, you’ll end up improving the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and, ultimately, broadening your customer base.

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