Keeping a positive mental attitude as we face the “New Market” in the automotive industry will ultimately determine how you survive these times and what type of operation you come out on the back side of these times with.
Revised numbers are leading us to believe a 2009 Sales forecast just south of 10 Million. Floor traffic, Internet leads and phone ups are now worth their weight in gold, because ad dollars are more critical than they have ever been.
In dealing with Traffic in such a vital time, everyone needs to review and possibly revise his or her procedures for dealership follow-up. Some dealers are having managers call every customer who came in and didn’t buy. Unsold follow-up calls are becoming the “norm” when they use to be the “exception” for many dealers.
With that said, some dealers are running into resistance when asking high level managers to get back down in the trenches and do the day to day “grind” that has not occupied their work schedules in years.
Remember you need to be positive. You need to be proactive. You need to organize these types of efforts in order to maximize the greatest return from your advertising dollars and the traffic that you are getting.
Install the principle of “Smiling and Dialing” with your sales staff and managers. Outbound phone calls to all unsold customers. Outbound phone calls to all service customers, both as follow-up and for past due maintenance. Having your receptionist answer the phone saying, thanks for calling ABC Motors are your calling about our VIP sale?
The Smiling and Dialing program will work, but needs to be worked on a daily basis every day, every week and every month.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising.