Christmas is a unique time of year in the automotive industry, sales are historically very slow in most markets of the U.S., and Texas in particular.
Most of you know that I travel extensively across Texas, and so far I have found sales to be slow with ONE exception – CASH.
For decades I have known and passed on to my dealers: from late October until mid February CASH cars are king!
I have dealers all across the state still selling 18 – 25 cash cars – EVEN in December.
Depending on your market / advertising / transparency the pricing ranges from $6,500 up to $11,500 with mileage from 110k to 140k – pay ATTENTION to what I just said!
- Target market = knowing to “whom” you are advertising / their pricing point and the particularly “hot” vehicle they are after.
This will greatly affect what you are purchasing and from where you purchase.
This is where recon is KING and having a standard 60 /80/120 point STANDARIZED check list is worth it’s weight in gold!
Having all of your inventory go through the same process of reconditioning only assures MORE customer satisfaction and can be on Hell-Of-A-Closing tool for higher gross profit.
Having a DMS (dealer management software – like Frazer) can be an invaluable tool because of the information with in.
What color car sells the quickest?
Which make of vehicle sits on the lot the longest?
Where are your advertising leads doing their best?
All of this information including zip code analysis and more is available to you right now. Most DMS companies can create custom reports for their clients for a small fee or no fee at all!
Having a CRM (customer relationship management software – like Selly Automotive) allows you to “funnel” all those leads through one place with plenty of “tools” built in for calendaring / email / texting / photo sharing / price quoting / etc.
Having all that in one place, along with reminders for you about followup (which leads to more sales and referrals) allows you more productivity and less “Oh Crap I Forgot to …” !
If you have salespeople, you can watch “how” your lead is being handled and what is being said – not to mention switch prospects between salespeople, should the need arise (vacation/termination/etc.).
- Niche Advertising = knowing where your dollars get their most return – not only in number of leads generated but also in leads closed.
Where is your target market looking first?
Is social media important in your target markets PURCHASING criteria?
If so and you know nothing about social media (Facebook/Twitter etc) then HIRE someone or some company to do it for you!!!
****WARNING**** you had best do 2 things when “contracting out” your advertising
– 1st ask for references and verify that results are worth the money
– 2nd Preview and authorize all verb-age and campaigns BEFORE they are posted
(remember it is YOUR license on the line here if a complaint is lodged).
How much will you spend in advertising in order to garner a sale?
Average advertising dollars that I see being spent out there is $300 per unit.
That being the case the WHY are some of you still only adverting on Craigslist “For Sale By Owner” (besides a lie to the customer – which by-the-way BLOWS your credibility you are limiting yourself to that niche market only) ?
- Transparency = knowing when to “show your hand” and what to show is now a crucial and key part of today’s selling.
When you have certain standards in place (recon check list and procedures) these become major assets to your sales.
Today’s buyer wants to know as much about your vehicle as possible (CarFax / Autocheck/ NADA / Recalls / etc.) BEFORE it becomes their vehicle and the burden is on you for this information.
Now if this is a $2,995 unit – they can spend the money for the CarFax, however if it were me – I would still provide one (procedures – standards in place).
Your reputation is EVERYTHING in this business – that and most dealers out there are STILL conducting their business based off a 100yr old model.
Business has changed and if you are not willing to keep up and make some changes in your business thinking – then do not complain when you are left behind and your sales tank !
If I had a prospect that was curious as to the vehicle’s condition – promise you they would have an overload on their hands. I would gladly show all my pictures (showing any and all imperfections) along with my recon report showing what I did and what I did not do. Then my CarFax, NADA retail sheets and a “Drive Out” price quote. If my unit is more expensive than another one that prospect is looking at – then I am going to use those reports to build value in my unit / my dealership and myself. People pay for quality and value – EVERY TIME. As a matter of fact in most instances once value outstrips price – people buy!
OK, so there you have a successful formula
to “Ride Out” the Holidays.
Create-a-great-future : One day at a time, one client at a time
From all of us at Tom Hampton Agency (Tom/Lety/Ana/Denise/Barbara)
We send our warmest wishes for you and yours – that this season is one of great abundance
(Family, Friends, Love, Health and Happiness)