Associate Member Contribution from Tim Parsons of HBK CPAs & Consultants
What differentiates your dealership from the dealership down the street? Do you know? Maybe you do, and then again, maybe you don’t care.
If you don’t care, STOP reading and go about the rest of your day. But if you do care, PLEASE continue reading.
Help customers find your dealership online.
Is it easy for customers to find your dealership online?
There’s a simply way to find out. Look for yourself!
It’s hard to argue that the Internet has created a more educated customer. Sy Simms was a clothier in NJ whose advertising slogan was…”an educated consumer is our best customer.”
The Internet has launched many proven ways to engage, attract, and retain customers like never before. Exploring ways customers find and select a dealership, and ways to enhance the probability that they’ll select yours, is a great place to start.
Your website is your new store front, and there’s a science behind website customer conversions. By using the right techniques, and crafting the right message, will help you capture more customers.
Helping people find your dealership is crucial. Website “Awareness Ads” bring attention to where your dealership is located by giving the viewer relevant call-to-actions like “Get Directions” or “Call Now.”
Publish customer testimonials on your website.
What is a customer testimonial on a website? Customer testimonials are recommendations and positive reviews from satisfied users about your dealership. They’re a way of telling website visitors that your dealership has value and that your customers are happy. These testimonials can result in a significant boost in sales and service, turning customers into dealership ambassadors.
Focus on your “Why Buy Here”. Why should a potential customer buy from YOU? Anyone shopping for a new or pre-owned unit knows the number of choices there are to pick from. These choices get even tougher when it comes to choosing which dealership to buy from.
Why is your dealership better than all the other powersports dealerships in the area? Do you know?
Does your staff know? If you and your staff don’t know, how do you expect potential customers to know? If you do know, don’t keep it to yourself. Brag about your dealership. If you don’t brag, don’t expect others to do it for you.
Your Value Proposition.
Constructing your dealership’s unique value proposition is crucial to accomplishing your marketing goals. It’s not enough to say “We sell brand X or brand Y.” While offering a highly desirable brand should absolutely be included, alone it’s not enough of a differentiator. However, if you offer an impressively large selection of new and pre-owned makes and models and sell them at discounted prices, we might be onto something.
Is your dealership conveniently located? Great! Do you offer any value-added packages, like free oil changes or complimentary service loaners? Awesome! What about your staff? Are they “Chick-fil-A employee-level” awesome or just average? When Mr. and Mrs. Customer enter your showroom, does it look nice and feel nice?
Are the desks free of clutter, the staff professionally dressed, and their faces beaming with friendly smiles?
Does your staff enthusiastically greet visitors with a welcoming phrase like, “Welcome to ABC powersports. I’m Tim, how may I assist you today?”
Little extras, including things you might take for granted, go a long way. Is your customer lounge clean and supplied with free coffee and other goodies? Do you have wi-fi? Is there a children’s play area? Are your bathrooms clean, like sparkling clean? It matters.
Often, as we begin to dive into what we can “sell” about the dealership, we uncover opportunities for operational improvement along the way. If you don’t feel confident declaring your dealership is a friendly, welcoming, stress- free environment, perhaps a bit of customer service training is in order. If you know that your sales process (if you have one) takes too long, it’s time to consider some process and procedure changes.
Evaluate your dealership.
Can a shopper fill out a credit application on your website? Can they get a trade appraisal? Better yet, will a salesperson deliver the unit to their home along with the ability to complete the sale on their time? Could you? Think about it.
Are your pre-owned units inspected and meticulously reconditioned to ensure quality and reliability? Does your dealership hold community outreach events, such as Food Drives for the Homeless, Child I.D. Days, cookouts when the weather is warm, giveaways, contests, promotional events with music, food, and door prizes?
Is your dealership a destination stop? These are all wonderful items to highlight in your why buy message.
The possibilities are endless when you start brainstorming how to move from “just another powersports dealership” to THE BEST PLACE TO BUY A bike, ATV, UTV, watercraft, etc.
“For want of a customer, the sale was lost. For want of a sale, the salesperson was lost. For want of a salesperson, the dealership was lost. For want of a dealership, jobs were lost.”