This blog came from a question asked during our LIVE YouTube show in which sparked a great discussion. Watch the video, read the article or both!
Two key objectives: Make more money and (when applicable) make the factory happy.
You want to save money, and often look to advertising and marketing because that goes straight to your bottom line. But often, after signing up for this marketing program or that, it can take 12 months to remember that it’s not working – after paying $1200 a month for it.
I have budgets for over 50 dealerships and the “before and afters” are incredible. In one instance, I cut $40,000 a month off of a Toyota dealer’s budget (most of it was spent on used car listings and ads) and that year they were the #1 Certified (CPO) Toyota Dealership in Texas. All because they cut the “fat” and concentrated on what was working.
What if you don’t know WHAT to cut? What if you don’t know what’s working? Everything you add just feels like ANOTHER thing. Or it’s something your friend at another dealership claims worked for them. Plus, your needs change, and they change often, or at least that’s what you think. The way vendors market themselves to the dealership makes you think you need that new marketing or advertising program, and you need to move quickly or lose out. In reality, the consumer doesn’t actually change that fast. You are being reactive, not proactive.
So, the stage is set. Here are the Top Seven Mistakes that cost dealerships MILLIONS. I really mean that too. It may not be MILLIONS this year, but it will cost you MILLIONS over time.
1. Trying to be like your competitor – it worked for them – or did it?
Obsess about the people right in front of your nose – your customer.
At the end of the day, the only way to win is to focus on the person right in front of you – your customer.. Ask them how you can be of service. What do THEY need? Not what vehicle YOU want to sell to them. You’ll crush it!
**Bonus Tip: Ask this question to one customer a day for 90 days and then compare the 75 or so responses that you get to improve the experience at your dealership. “On a scale from 1-10, 1 being worst and 10 being perfect (and of course no one is perfect), how would you rate your experience purchasing your vehicle at our dealership? (Let’s say they answer a 9 because of course, no one is perfect) Wonderful, glad you had a great experience! What do we need to do to get that to a 9.5 the next time you come in?”
2. Customer Trust Issues
You are dealing with a preconceived notion of what a car dealer stands for. You can tell yourself that “we’re different” as much as you want but the stigma exists at SCALE.
3. Complacent Sales and Lead Nurturing Process
Below is a screenshot of a client’s lead nurturing correlation study.
**Bonus Tip: Check out minute 8:01 in the video above. Follow that sequence with your sales team and watch them go from selling 10 units per month to 15. I challenge you!
Treat your leads as people, not another sale. They are in need and you’re an expert that can provide tremendous value. Don’t sell them anything!
4. Selling the Wrong Units
Here’s an example of a study we did for one of our clients to analyze what vehicles are most valuable to them.
Know your audience. Meet their needs, not yours.
5. Casting a Wide Net with Marketing
The wider the net you cast, the more you dilute your brand. Resist the urge.
6. Leaving out the community (Not genuinely caring)
Here are examples from a client doing great community social posts.
People in the community get to know you, like you, and ultimately trust you, lowering the barrier to entry when they inevitably move into the car buying process.
7. Lack of team buy-in
Show your salespeople why marketing will help them and make them more successful. Show them how it works. Get them bought in!
I’m able to share these 7 mistakes with you because of the experience I’ve had with dealers throughout the country. Every one of these mistakes is based on real-life examples from our clients. Yes, the bottom line is incredibly important, but how you get to that bottom line can often determine how healthy it will be in the long term.
Do these mistakes sound familiar? Are you throwing money at programs that aren’t effective? Now is the time to review what you’re doing and either improve on good programs or find better ways to market to the people who will help you succeed.
Have comments or concerns? Hit me up. I love a good debate!
September 28, 2020 / 7 minutes of reading
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