Over the past few years I have gone through just about everything that I have to say about the automobile dealership business. I think I’ve even repeated myself a few times in the process, although with a different emphasis each time…I hope.
Now that I’ve said that, I do want to put a couple of things in perspective. Dealers who only look at their month over month numbers without looking carefully at how much their market yields each month are making a serious mistake. Your marketing is supposed to help you efficiently improve your market share. It cannot and should not be designed to create sales where none exist. You’re going to buy a car when you’re good and ready to buy one. The same principle has to be applied to your potential customer.
Further, every car that is sold in your market (with the exception of junk and exotics) could have been sold by you. So, that means that every mom and pop lot and every private party out there selling cars IS your competition. Very few people say to themselves “Self, I’m only going to buy from a private party” or “Forget those franchised dealers for a used car, I’m going Independent”.
Look at the entire local market, not just the RDR’s that the manufacturer provides for you. You know the manufacturer, they’re the ones who could care less if you sell another used car even though you know you have to if you want to stay in business and help the manufacturer move their product.
The second point I want to drive home yet again, is that people do research. They usually know more about the cars in which they have interest than do your sales people. Train your sales people to answer questions, not ask them. If you want help with this proven concept, have your guys go to http://www.iwanttothinkitover.com on a regular basis and have them listen tot he audio bits over and over again until they understand how the vast majority of people Want to be sold.