We have all seen the tightrope walker crossing hundreds of feet above ground between two skyscrapers. There is a lesson in their skill. They keep their balance by sharply focusing their eyes on what is ahead.
Two departments at every dealership need to be alerted to looking forward with sharper focus because change is coming, and many of you already see it.
The Used Car Department needs to be super sharp in keeping the pre-owned inventory in balance. With the number of off-lease vehicles that will be appearing in the next 24 months, you don’t want to be caught heavy when “increasing supply/eroding demand” describes your market catching you upside-down.
The Internet department will see change coming like a freight train. The amount of information regarding emerging online technology, as well as refinements in analyzing current customer tendencies in visiting a site, is a task requiring constant attention and evaluation. Cross-shopping your competition’s digital presentation must be a regular practice, even a necessity if you want to stay ahead.
John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising.
With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.