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Steady as She Goes Part 1

I often hear dealer principals and managers say, “It’s a roller-coaster ride!” when describing the ups and downs of the sales cycle. I always remind them that this isn’t their first rodeo. Obviously, the fast start for sales in the first quarter followed by a slowing April and May has led to the question, “Do we need to change up the plan?”

In earlier blogs we discussed the potential for June to be the biggest selling month of the year. I also addressed the necessity of reviewing your marketing plan’s effectiveness through the first half of the year in terms of generating traffic for your dealership.  If – and this is a big if – you have operated with due diligence up to this point, now is not the time to fall victim to knee-jerk reactions. Now is the time to trust the plan you and your team designed based on the history of your dealership and the potential for the year. I firmly believe right now is a lull before what should be a very solid summer.

So, what’s working in regards to the various elements you have to present to your market?  Here is my list as a three part series of key areas that have generated traffic.

Direct Contact


I have previously described the importance of having due diligence in managing your team to effectively contact customers. Your sales team should already be reaching out to customers with both sales and service mail. Both are working individually but are especially effective when done hand-in-hand. We have seen a trade-now message touting the equity value of current vehicles produce traffic. Used car values are at an all-time high, and with factory incentives heating up as summer unfolds, you can present a solid case to buy and trade now!

You can reach out to service customers with a message featuring timely service specials for this time of year. With vacation season at its height, and airline fares through the roof, service mail is turning increased ROs. Even more importantly, craft your message to combat the price-perception issue that the corner franchise store is cheaper. The real upside to service contact is achieved when the sales staff is put in the loop when a service customer brings in an aged vehicle.

Tomorrow, Part 2: Short-Term Success

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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