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You Can’t Fight Santa Claus


Well here it is – the week that people talk about all year long. The week before Christmas is one where a lot of sales people and even their managers quit fighting and working as hard as normal. There’s a perception that you cannot fight Santa Claus this week, and people are more interested in buying things other than cars.

I think this line of thinking falls in the category of “Stinking Thinking.” Anyone who says these words or takes their foot off the gas this week is going to lose share and business. Whether or not you are advertising this week is irrelevant. Everything you’ve done, all the momentum that has been built throughout the year will carry you even if you are holding your budget to run between Christmas and New Year’s. The people who think this week will be lousy will probably be right because as we know most things in life are a function of attitude and this will most likely be a self-fulfilling prophecy for them.

This can be a great week. Based on some of our stores tracking data we have seen it be good time and time again. The best run stores will focus on the following things this week:

  • Calling unsold customers from the last 90 days
  • Calling customers whose lease matures in the first quarter (get them to start thinking about it).
  • Review all deals from the first 15 days of December and work on deals that couldn’t be closed or financed.
  • Start setting appointments for the week after Christmas.
  • Working the service drive for any customers who could possibly trade up.
  • Make a list of “great customers” who have bought numerous cars from your dealership and call them just to see if they are in the market.
  • Make a list of any business accounts that you have sold to in the past and call them to see if they need to buy anything before the end of the year.
  • Start marking down aged units that you want sold before the end of the year – these cars need to be on the site while people are off this weekend so they can narrow their selection.
  • Send out an email blast with a hook and your sale hours this week and weekend – the way the calendar falls, this could be a monster weekend since people have time off before the actual holiday.
  • Be positive and create energy on the showroom floor – people mimic your actions and if you are crying the blues they will too – so you have to be a constant source of energy.

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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