I would...Hire the best people available, train them to Win, train them to Sell, train them to Service and pay them on a Performance Based Plan that rewards them for sustained Performance.
....enhance my "new" new car franchise by sending my team of crack used inventory buyers armed with vAuto on their laptops and hand helds around the country and filling my lot which is located near an interstate and an airport. I would price my inventory to market and list 100% of it on the top level of Autotrader and Ebay. I would have 50 photos taken in my studio and a 3 minute walk-around video of each vehicle. My 10 person sales team would be strapped to their computers aiding the consumer with logistic solutions so that my 750 vehicle one price inventory turns in 20 days.
If this sounds like a crazy dream to anyone, visit one of my heroes at http://www.finishlineford.net . They have been growing leaps and bounds in the last 3-4 years doing something similar.
Perfect Joe...Why do "we" in the business, forget about that customer after we see taillights? I still hear about managers fighting with sales pros about basic followup procedures...Geeesshhhh!
Joe Webb said:
dedicate every effort to retain each and every customer I earned in the first place.
Nancy.. This is easy. First select a great product in an excellent market. Then become a master of the Internet and let go of any prehistoric feelings twords traditional media. Install bullet proof systems excuted by the best managers money can buy. Remember to always keep it simple. This business CAN still be fun and PROFITABLE!!
Not get started down the road of traditional advertising. I would make sure my all of my sales staff focussed on what brings customers in and refine my process to adapt to the way customers shop and buy.
The days of sitting around and waiting for the "up" bus are definitely over...If the dealer has not engaged fully in the internet business and SM, what will become of them a year from now...five years? Thanks Tom...Incredible as always!
Tom Gorham said:
Start with the premise it will be a "Digital Dealership" from top to bottom with a first-class facility and plenty of great product. Shop the competition and hire staff that are digitally "sold and savvy", ambitious and persistent. Hire a knowledgeable and aggressive Internet Marketing Manager. Make customer service the number one priority. I agree with John Fuhrman that "Realtors, stock brokers, insurance people all have one thing in common. Their success will never walk through the door."
Learn from all of the mistakes that I've encountered, and call Nancy Simmons to be my partner in crime so that we could take that dealership to unimaginable places. ;)
I would .....study the market to determine a competitive business model that is missing and needed in that market and decide if I was committed to filling the gap in the market. Without a unique competitive advantage you will have more competitors than necessary or viable.