We Weren’t Expecting You

We Were Expecting You Strong

Imagine yourself as an automotive shopper of today: you’ve done hours of online diligence to narrow down the choice of your vehicle, reduced the number of dealerships you will visit to the national average of one point something, even chatted with a dealership internet professional to set up an appointment. Upon arriving at the showroom you’re received with the impression of “we weren’t expecting you.”

It is a problem that can be summarized with the disappointing evaluation of “the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing”. The communication process between the digital side and showroom side of the dealership must connect, direct and inform at a high level, especially given the distinct likes and dislikes of the online shopper. Previously scheduled appointments are gold! Get everyone in the dealership who might possibly be involved with these customers on the same page of knowing how to present themselves and what to do.

Imagine you arrive as a customer and hear, “Welcome, how may we help you?” You inform them that you have an appointment and are immediately directed to an appointment board and see your name. Nothing in the world is better at saying, “We were expecting you.”


About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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