Is Your Dealership Ready?
If you already work with me, you know that I’m a pretty positive person. But I am also a data-oriented person, a realist, and someone who has been in the auto industry for a long time. So believe me when I tell you that a storm is coming. We have all been having a great time, selling lots of cars for a lot of money. But that can’t last forever. Eventually, this bubble will burst, and it will get harder for dealerships to sell cars. Will your dealership be ready? I’m going to tell you how your dealership can increase profits during this time of fluctuation through better advertising, social media usage (hello, Tiktok) and better customer communication.
The Current State of the Auto Industry
The auto industry is currently in a state of fluctuation unlike any of us have ever seen. Everyone has made a lot of money recently selling a lot of cars for MSRP — or even higher, in many cases. This is due to a large number of customers who are in the market for cars and a shortage of inventory. However, things can’t stay this way forever. We are going to see it go from more customers than cars to more cars than customers again.
Now is a transitional period, and auto dealers need to pay attention to what’s on the horizon. We’re going to see consumers start to spend less money on optional and large items, like vehicles. (And the high gas prices certainly aren’t going to help.) At the same time, more inventory will become available as manufacturers start pumping out inventory. (We don’t want car dealers to become the next Target with more inventory than they can possibly sell, but it could happen.).
How Dealerships Can Improve Their Recruitment and Retention Strategies
These are my tips for how to increase profits for your dealership not just now, but for the future:
Employ High-Quality Sales Staff
Your dealership is only as good as your resources, and your number one resource (other than TECOBI) is your staff. A lot of success in the future is going to come down to manpower and maximizing the resources that dealerships have. As dealerships start to slow down (as they inevitably will when the economy comes down) it’s going to be important that the people you have on staff are able to be hyper-productive. You need to make sure that your sales team is ready to adapt and make the best use of their time. Luckily, TECOBI requires minimal instruction. It’s easy to use and won’t take a month of learning, like most CRMs do.
Lead Follow-Up is Everything
Lead follow-up is essential. But most dealers don’t have the bandwidth to keep contacting leads for as long as it takes for most to buy a vehicle. These days, you can easily generate an overwhelming amount of leads with social media. TECOBI helps you organize your leads and keep track of them forever, so you never struggle to keep up with your leads.
Change the Sales Process
I wholeheartedly believe that a dealership can sell cars without having to put the customer through some tricky sales process. Customers hate it, and will head to alternatives to traditional dealerships to buy a car, like Carvana, CarMax, or Vroom. Instead of pushing someone who isn’t ready, focus on the clients in your working pipeline who are actually ready to buy a car. It will be a more pleasant experience for the customer and an easier sale for you. And it is entirely possible for consumers to buy a car online without every stepping foot in a car dealership. Car buyers want a hybrid of online and offline shopping, so let’s give it to them.
Fix Auto Advertising
Sorry, but you are probably doing your automotive advertising completely wrong. I have a hot take for you: you don’t need all of those targeting tools and data reports. Treat your social media advertising like a newspaper or TV ad: cast a wide net and see what you can catch. Maybe you will catch the eye of someone who likes the look of a certain vehicle, even if they weren’t necessarily in the market for a new car.
At TECOBI, we have been looking to the future of social media advertising for car dealerships and experimenting with TikTok. Though it might not quite take over Facebook for lead generation yet, we do see leads coming from TikTok and cars being sold from TikTok. If you haven’t, you might want to start utilizing it.
Try Text Message
If you have a sales rep on the phone with a customer, they are only talking to one customer at a time. If you have a rep texting with 100 customers, you’re talking to 100 customers at a time. Text messaging is that much more efficient. Not to mention, calling a lead who isn’t expecting it or who doesn’t want to talk is a complete waste of time. Especially when you have a working pipeline of leads who are ready to buy a car waiting for you in TECOBI.
You might be saying, “Jason, I already use text messaging!” Sure, maybe you have text messaging in your CRM. But with TECOBI, you come in every morning and press a button to send a text message to all the people in your working pipeline. The customers will reply when they’re ready, and that is who your team is focused on texting and calling that day.
A lot of dealerships are afraid of using automation and losing the human touch. I’m here to tell you that you can use automation and your human side as a salesperson to sell more cars. Don’t be afraid to embrace some level of automation for your dealership.
Prepare Your Dealership For the Storm With TECOBI
It comes down to this: we have to make the machines work for us, and not us work for the machines. That is why I created TECOBI. As car dealers, we can’t control exterior factors like the state of the auto industry. What you can control is if you are ready to prepare your dealership for the future, or not. TECOBI is built to thrive in any economy. Now is the perfect time to rethink your automotive marketing strategy. If you like this post, check out my recent conversation on the AutoSuccess Podcast discussing how to increase profits using better marketing.
TECOBI is the Future of Auto Retail
You can win the race to the future of auto retail with TECOBI. TECOBI helps you engage with more customers, set more appointments, and ultimately, sell more vehicles. We help you sell more cars and help put more dreams in driveways. Check out our plans and schedule a demo so you can rev up your dealership’s sales engine now and in the future.