Is Your Dealership Onto The Ever-Changing Market?
If you are intent on making your Dealership successful year in, year out you must always be in tune with the market. Now that sounds commonsensical but you might be surprised how many Dealerships are not in tune with the market, and may even resist advice on how to keep a finger on the pulse of their market. If you refuse to follow market trends, you run the risk of losing your competitive advantage and eventually being beaten in terms of sales by your competitors. But how does one keep in tune with this fluctuating market in the first place?
First of all, learn the nuances of what you are selling. Yes, you are selling vehicles but what kind of vehicles? Knowing that, who would like to buy such vehicles? This may (again) seem commonsensical but some Dealers don’t like to go that far and just say, “A car is a car. What difference does that make?” Here’s the difference: some customers like some vehicles more than other vehicles. Yes, you might be selling some great SUVs but if your client is really looking for something tamer such as a sedan, then you have just lost a sale right there. You really need to bring in customers who want the type of vehicle you are selling because that spells out your business survival.
Second, you must be in tune with the local community because that is your nearest and possibly greatest market. Let’s check this out more closely – if your local community is made up of white collar professionals then they probably want cars that are more high end than a sedan but not as rugged as an SUV. They probably want cars that they can drive to important events in their occupation but can still be used on a daily basis. For white collar professionals, image is a big issue so this market is very conscious about the looks of their preferred vehicles, possibly even more than the way each vehicle functions as a machine.
Third, do you know the range of disposable income of your local community? This is very important because in sales numbers count for everything. If you are serving a community whose members don’t really have much disposable income, then no business strategy in the world will probably work to raise your sales by much. In fact, if your local community is made up of people who are either jobless, in the low-income bracket, or who don’t tend to spend much especially on vehicles then your business might soon be out of business. This is true for any business but especially for Dealerships because vehicles are big ticket items whose purchase prices are very high.
Fourth, what is your competitive advantage they know what you know about that community that you serve? By competitive advantage we don’t necessarily mean selling vehicles that have a lot of gadgets installed in the dashboard or that are as sleek and fast as your top racecar. Actually, in some communities it might be quite the opposite. If the disposable income of the community is not that high, then you might find it easier to sell used cars than brand new cars because used cars might be more within reach of the local population. On the other hand if people in the locality are earning significantly bigger they might be looking for new vehicles that are still within their reach but are of better quality than used cars simply because they are new.
Fifth, learn to raise awareness about your Dealership in the community. This can mean several things. It may mean finding a location within the community where your showroom is easily seen and reached. It may mean creating big ads and posting these in front of your showroom or parking lot so that people see promotions right away. You could take out large ads in the local papers telling people how much they could save by taking advantage of such promotions. If you really want to spend, you might even pay for TV ads too to be aired on local networks. The same holds true for radio ads especially if lots of people in that area like to listen to their radios all the time. And of course you can get local celebrities (or at least popular locals) to endorse your Dealership to the community.
If you try these strategies then hopefully your Dealership sales will go up. But definitely trying these strategies is better than doing nothing because at least you will be taking action in a positive way.
Written By: Daryl Diemer – Founder of Diemer Corp
August 21, 2014