One recent humid summer afternoon, I ventured into a dealer showroom like many I encounter helping folks recruit better customers. This particular showroom exemplified those traits shared by far too many showrooms whose owner or general manager for whatever reason feel it’s a good idea to make a customer feel like they have to scale the castle walls just to enter the dealership.
Ironically, I was visiting a suburban dealership in the Midwest that you’d otherwise expect to have ample parking space amongst the cornfields. Unfortunately, like so many other showrooms, this dealership had perhaps three or four guest parking spots. Surrounding the lot and the street like so many random sentries were large red signs that read “don’t park here”.
Nowhere to be found was a lone green sign saying park here, or perhaps some white arrows pointing to overflow parking. Other frustrated folks had already taken parked in the turn lanes in the middle of the street like so many alligators in a moat. I eventually parked a good distance away and started that hot afternoon hike to the showroom, all the while wondering if I was going to be asked to move my vehicle when I arrived at the dealership.
Theirs was the worst of showrooms.
During another recent humid summer afternoon, I ventured into another Midwest showroom located in the heart of the city. You might expect this showroom to have crowded parking, confusing turns, etc. nestled as it was among so many other businesses. Fortunately, these folks knew that a few arrows on the ground was well worth the reward of working with happy guests.
Better yet, this simple technique protected their cars from accidental dings by a customer lost in their maze of cars. These folks also made sure I was routed to the right person quickly. I was treated as superbly as a client even though I was visiting as a new vendor.
Theirs was the best of showrooms.
P.S. This story is one of many examples we’ve encountered helping owners and general managers market their dealership. Bottom line, make sure guests feel welcome when visiting your showroom.
Dr. Chris Augeri runs a startup accelerator, ThoughtPuzzle LLC. He also manages the operations of autostickz.com, their business unit which provides marketing and aftermarket products to the auto industry. You can contact Chris on Twitter as @sendbits or Team AutoStickzTM as @autostickz.