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Automotive Recession Exercises

Automotive Intelligence – “Automotive Recession Exercises”

While the market is showing some signs of optimism for import dealers, gas is starting to make the $2 creep. You better set some parameters on how you manage your business. I had someone in a dealership explain to me today that I was an ‘administrator’ and that I didn’t understand what happened to a salesperson’s morale when the doors got flooded with traffic that was upside down or had wretched credit. I had never dealt with 10 customers in a row that couldn’t buy, only to get frustrated. My answer to this was, “I may be an ‘administrator,’ but I’m the only one you will ever meet that can make the phone ring 1400 times a month in New Jersey / or give you 101 sales off 20,000 pieces of mail.” In this market you are going to have to wade through a sea of lifeless credit customers and that is what a salesperson does. Salespeople are there to sell cars and make money. If they want to make money and make the dealership money, they will and will stay to collect a 6-figure income; the ones who can’t will end up selling cell phones or office furniture. Managers are the ones holding the key to kingdom and how they manage the salespeople will determine for the most part how successful that sales person will be.

The following is my top 10 list of  “Automotive Recession Exercises”, or “ARE’s”. 

  1. Are daily advertising plans being printed daily for the sales staff?
  2. Are managers reviewing the advertising plan with each individual salesperson?
  3. Are the people in your BDC ready to handle call and lead volume and not be distracted with live ups?
  4. Are all associates required to set a number of daily appointments?
  5. Are managers confirming each and every appointment?
  6. Are all maturing customers being contacted with latest news regarding Owner Loyalty?
  7. Are Orphan Owners assigned to someone at the store?
  8. Are Salespeople working the Service Drive Daily for Sales Opportunities?
  9. Are incoming sales calls being handled by mangers?
  10. Are all people on the front-end of your business keenly aware of what is involved to manage the blocking-and-tackling that this market demands?

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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