Attracting customers is one of the main tasks that dealerships need to concentrate on. New and used lots alike. Customer traffic means sales. Sales mean profits. Profits mean another month staying in business. Commissions allow families to eat for another couple of weeks. Owners of small used lots will be able to pay the mortgage one more month. The question is, with the shift towards online shopping, how to get foot traffic in the lots. Market. Market. Market some more.
- Online-Having an online presence is no longer a luxury that dealerships have the option to ignore. Many shoppers go online to check for prices, and availability, before they consider looking at it in person. The dealer must have a professional, functional website built. Blogs, articles, and informative pages need to be added. The sites need to be easy to navigate on. They must be connected to social media platforms, and posts on those platforms must be done daily. Many people are outsourcing this work to freelancers working from home. It benefits the dealers by not having to hire a person in the store to carry out the tasks.
- Incentives-Dealers need to offer incentives to get foot traffic. Not just the average incentive, such as a free cup of coffee. Marketing needs to be stepped up. Incentives should be something outside of the box. For instance, a dealer can offer free photos with Santa Claus for every person that comes down to the location. Another great way to attract people to the used car dealership is to offer referral payments to people that send a buyer to them. The people do not even have to be past customers. Simply people that advertise for them. Once foot traffic is present, the employees can work their magic.
- Trends-One of the most important things that a dealer can do is to stay ahead of the current, and future, trends. For instance, the shift towards electric cars requires the sales team to learn new concepts and terminology. The National Auto Dealership Association (NADA) has stated that they will work with Chargeway, which is a company that will offer training to any dealerships that are members of NADA.
- Sales Team-Dealership owners need to step back and realize how they make money. Sales are the bread and butter. The team that works the floor is the main reason that profits are made. Dealers need to invest in their sales team members. Training, advancement opportunities, health and retirement benefits, and everything else that matters to people in the workforce today. The longer that companies can hold onto good employees, the better the return will be. The sales team can be considered as an investment for the owners. Good salespeople can deliver results, while new employees will falter and must take the time to learn better sales practices.
- Local-Salespeople, owners, and every other person involved with the dealership needs to put themselves out into the local community. They need to attend community events and make some local partnerships. Talk to some of the local bankers and work with them to get financing for the customers. Offer customers a free check at a local mechanic shop to help ease their mind. It will also show that the vehicles are backed by the dealer.
Attracting customers can be a task that makes hair grow grey, or it can be as easy as clicking a few buttons and letting the internet do the work. Almost every person in the nation has some type of smart device that they use for everything. This includes checking out automobiles. Used and new dealers need to move into the future and embrace the fact that the technology age has taken over.
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