>Faith-Based Dealerships?

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Too many dealerships seem to practice as “faith-based” businesses—not faith in a higher religious power (which might actually help!), but faith that their GM, GSMs, salespeople, marketing, etc. will work as they always have.  That they can somehow resist modern business changes from sales to processes because they have magical faith both in people who don’t even know that they need modernized thinking and in processes that are breaking every day

The Internet is relentless now, and there’s no going back to the Stone Age of Car Sales where people waited for the UP Bus and dealers only had to have good ad-cars in the local newspaper.  If you maintain operating under that history today, you will soon be history
And the processes in place to convert visitors into sales, from the showroom to the service drive, are more important than ever.  I’m reminded of what my friend, Scott Falcone of World Hyundai and Presto Reviews, says about reputation:  Fundamentally, you have to consistently deliver great sales and service or no one can help you with it.  I’ll add that excellent sales results still ultimately come from people and processes that deliver excellence to the customer.
I only have my own observations, but it seems to be 10% of the dealer body “gets it”, and about 40% of the remaining dealer body will follow as much of what the top 10% are doing as they can afford.  Or stand, really, as oftentimes it’s a “fear factor” that holds them back, not really understanding what they are doing and not wanting to change.  And do their processes still stand in the way of their success, even with all the help from the modern marketing items?
Yes!  Internet marketing efforts, social media, reputation management, QR codes, data mining, email blasts, targeted direct mail—dealerships must modernize around these items, but none of them will overcome the losses from bad processes.  That is the challenge, to modernize and then meet the success of modern marketing with modern sales processes.
Faith will always have its place in human culture, but at dealerships it is no replacement for actions that are necessary for good business.
So, which will really make you successful:  Chanting magic over a newspaper ad in the service drive at midnight, or embracing and implementing modern marketing combined with modern sales processes?
If your answer could involve a stone altar, you need to change.  And soon.

By Keith Shetterly, keithshetterly@gmail.com
www.keithshetterly.com

Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

P.S. If you are looking for help, consider attending Brian Pasch’s Automotive Marketing Bootcamp just before Digital Dealer 10 in April.  I’ll be teaching a session there there, as will other great folks.  Come learn! 

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About keithshetterly

Independent Automotive Consultant. Former eCommerce Director for large dealer group, BDC Director, and Internet Sales manager. Marketing, BDC, Internet, Phone, SEO, PPC, Reputation. Everything from a small business background to Fortune 100 experience. keithshetterly@gmail.com
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