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10 Best Practices to stay competitive in today’s market

1. Manage your stores Online Reputation. In todays market more than ever customers decide if they want to come to your store before you even know it. Get in front of your reviews not behind them. Ask for reviews.

2. Inventory display. Change up the layout of your lot moving new and used vehicles around. Make it clean and organized. Sales people need a routine. Twice a month make this part of their job to display your profit maker properly.

3. Ad sources. Getting your team to find out where their customer came to you from lets you know if your advertising dollar is being spent in the right place. The less we waste on bad advertising lets us concentrate on the right advertising.

4. Training regimen. Implement a 2 or 3 day a week training schedule to train on the new basics. Sharpen the sales staff’s saws. If you train on the process it becomes one. Train on weaknesses and make it a mandatory team building exercise.

5.  Everyone’s a greeter in the store. Advise all staff members to say Hello and make every customer feel welcome. Sales or Service customer. Any time a customer makes eye contact or is alone on the lot or on the showroom go the extra mile to make them welcome.

 

6. Maximize your showroom exposure. Cars on the showroom floor, organized desk, merchandising displays, banners and balloons. Is there music on your showroom floor? That certainly helps people feel comfortable. Overall make the staff accountable for their common areas and their offices.

7. Implement a dress code. No one is asking the staff to resort to shirt and tie. Though most of us were brought up that way. If you have company shirts make sure the staff wears them. If it’s jacket weather they need name tags. Sales is a profession and the staff needs to look professional. They represent the reason the store is open. Selling cars, trucks and SUV’s. Rules and regulations helps in ensuring that the inmates do not run the asylum.

 

8. Key’s belong in the sales office. Sales people are known for hiding or keeping keys. Make them accountable. Those cars are there for everyone to sell. No money in house on a car means it is for sale unless approved by management. How many lost set of keys have been replaced? That adds up.

 

9.  Cleanliness of restrooms. Believe it or not this one is huge. How do you judge and establishment with un-tidy restrooms? Do you go back? Ensure the staff knows the expectation and make it everyone’s responsibility to keep it up.

 

10.  Sales Contest. Got units that need to go away? Spiffs for Daily Doubles and Hat Tricks? Sell a car and go home for the day? Be creative get your staff involved and engaged. Competition brings out the best in our business. Use it to your advantage.

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Comment by Holly Pagán on January 15, 2013 at 1:57am
Emil, even though my attire in my profile pic suggests otherwise (Xmas sweater party...) this couldn't be more true! Not only is it impressionable on your clients, but the saying"look good feel good"always holds true! Even in my 2year old daughter! Put a sparkly tutu on her and she's dancing around-happy as can be!
And I definitely would agree with the music. Must be upbeat and happy, subconciously I think it puts you in yes mode-to some it could even be considered a sign to buy because"their favorite song" played! You never know or fail to be amazed at buying triggers. Totally psychological!
Comment by Pat Kirley on January 11, 2013 at 7:36pm
Emil
Agree with you back to basics. The dress code is more important than
many realise. Why do we all like nice restaurants, hotels and men's/women's store, the staff are dressed immaculately and you know you will be treated well.
Nowadays unless you go into a prestige dealership, you probably will only find the owner or GM dressed properly. It's the front line troops that should be well groomed. Smart casual is ok Saturday/Sunday. A few years ago in Santa Monica I was amazed at the dress code in the showroom in a VW dealership, white tieless shirts with black pants, even a bartender in a cheap bar would be sent home if he showed up like these guys.
Ten years ago a dealership I worked in, put €1,500 credit in a top men's shop in Dublin for all the salesmen.
This was a GM Opel dealership.
Comment by Patty Van Dyke on January 11, 2013 at 1:29pm

Well said ... it's the BASE of simple basics that create the bigger better things!  Thanks  :)

Comment by Jim Boldebook on January 11, 2013 at 12:56pm

all good thoughts.  I like it. Its a shame we have to post basics like this as SOP isnt it.

Comment by Glen Black on January 11, 2013 at 12:20pm

Emil, agree completely with the #1 item you listed.  We tell our clients in all business verticals...Your reputation is King!  The problem is employing the resources to monitor over 375 social websites where you good reputation could be destroyed.  That's why we urge the use of our Reputation Management Dashboard

•a tool that lets business owners track and manage their online visibility and reputation. 

•the tool pulls in information and content from across the web into an online dashboard that displays graphs, charts, and consumer content related to your business and offers ways to manage and improve visibility and reputation.
•the tool also pushes basic listing information, as well as enhanced content, across the web – making it a one-stop marketing solution.
Everyone's too busy doing the business of everyday business to monitor what's being said about your company on the web so this dashboard simplifies the process and keeps the dealer leadership up to date!

  

Comment by Bill Gasson on January 11, 2013 at 12:11pm

Emil, You are correct. Thank you

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