Picking up where we left off in last month’s article, we want to discuss the three remaining techniques to winterize your dealership and grow while everyone else is slow. We already know the importance of continuing your marketing initiatives during this “slow” time and the value of leveraging your existing customers. This article will help you utilize the extra time you may have during these off months in order to slingshot growth and put you ahead when things naturally start to pick up.
Growth key #3: Bolstering the experience.
The winter is a great time to revamp and reinforce the experience you want to create for your customers. In the summer months, it’s really easy to believe that you don’t have time to think about or overhaul the experience, because you’re just trying to keep up with the customers.
Many times people excuse themselves from considering the customer experience during the summer months, because they are so busy. We would say don’t excuse yourself no matter how busy you are, but in the winter, you have no excuse for not focusing on improving and maximizing the customer experience at your dealership. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do differently next year than I did this year to improve customer experience?” If you already have an exceptional customer experience, great! How could you make it even better?
We can tell you that we focus a lot on the customer experience. Our clients are often overjoyed by the experience they have as one of our clients, but that doesn’t keep us from trying to make it better. We continuously ask ourselves every month, every quarter, every year, “What can we do better?”
Growth key #4: Improving processes.
There is no better way to get a sling shot effect for growth right now than improving your processes. No one can predict the future, but you know there are times when you are more likely to be busy and times when you are less likely to be busy. If you’ve waited until the time when you expect to be busy to refine your processes, you’ve missed the mark.
When it’s slow, start by creating a list of all of your important business processes. Then prioritize this list. Which items are the most important to you and your business? After you prioritize the list, examine the most important process first. Try to take a step back. Ask yourself, “How should this work?” and identify the minimum viable activity required to make the biggest impact. Make sure that all the steps of the process are essential and effective. Then move on to the subsequent processes on your list. Don’t get tied up in over-analyzing. Just evaluate where you could be more efficient and make small, incremental moves to get there.
Growth key #5: Turn snow days into grow days.
In most places, it’s inevitable—You will have a day when you get snowed out, and you’ll think to yourself, “Oh no! This is awful. No one is going to come in today. We aren’t going to sell any cars.” But, hanging around, smoking cigarettes, drinking red bull, and eating pizza won’t turn a non-productive day into a productive one.
Instead of giving up, work on training, rehearsing, practicing, and role-playing. If you have a day when you’re completely dead in the water for weather reasons or seasonal/holiday reasons, then it’s your job to realize that there’s a way to save it: training. The day won’t be a waste because training is invaluable. Training is never a waste. We’ve talked about improving customer experience, improving the environment and improving your processes, but the key to all of it will be training your people and using your slow days to reinforce that training.
As things slow down and as the weather turns cold, you can be sure that there’s going to be negativity. You have to anticipate the negativity that’s going to happen both in the store and outside the store. As a leader, you have to anticipate it, and your role has to be to turn that negativity around
In our book Gravitational Marketing we talk a lot about how delivering positivity is a way to attract and engage the people around you. The same idea works here. But here’s the deal: you know that the winter months may be slow and that there may be negativity. You can anticipate this, so how can we take that knowledge and counteract it before it fully develops?
Talking about being positive, establishing training, reexamining your customer experience, and continuing your marketing efforts—all of this is part of winterizing your dealership and setting yourself up for springboard growth in the new year.
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the founders of Rich Dealers®, the nation’s leading experts on attracting customers, and the authors of Gravitational Marketing. Visit www.TrafficScale.com to request a complimentary Traffic Scale Report, which compares the quality of your traffic to other dealerships in your area and helps determine whether or not there’s potential business you’re missing out on. Use coupon code DMM1412.0