Is your team capable of marketing and growing your business? Marketing is a key for sustainable growth, and the best marketers should be your team. What sets you apart from all the rest, and how is that conveyed?
Building a solid business in any economic climate, good or bad, fails or succeeds with the practices that have been implemented that your team follows. Not sometimes, but all the time. The most grandiose or the most simplistic plan has about the same chance of succeeding, or not, depending on the consistency of your business practices.
Marketing and advertising are not the same, and unfortunately, they are often lumped together. You advertise to drive products, to communicate interest. You market to specific needs. Marketing will grow business and retain business in ways that advertising never will. It is immune to budget cuts, and unlike advertising, it can be free.
Does your team, do your individual leaders, take the time to find out what those clients coming through your doors every day want and need? Not just at the moment, but in the future? Is it tracked? Do you follow up?
Imagine that along with your customer’s current purchase your counter associate asked about future purchases. If, for example, there will be “a helmet purchase in the next couple of months,“ you find out what type and brand. Get the pertinent information on the client and log it in.
You call the client in three or four weeks and express the desire to help them with their purchase on that helmet. You have now shown their value to your business and addressed their specific needs. Imagine all your departments working this way and working with each other to build all departments. Remember: one for all and all for one! Maybe that counter associate is told about a service issue that is going to be done or tires installed down the road. Get the information to the service department so they can follow up. It could be three weeks down the road or three months, but you have to market yourselves to get that business.
Just like your F&I department, offer all services, all the time, with every sale. All departments, marketing themselves with every sale.
As with anything, you must have proper training and a good foundation to start with, as well as a willingness to try new ways of doing things. There are ways to track the information you need to get anything done these days, as well how to get it to who needs it. And remember to take the time to talk to your clients; they will appreciate it more.
I know there is never enough time in a day, but don’t put this off until tomorrow. Get the team doing this, and you will see the difference that marketing can make: increased sales, word of mouth advertising that you couldn’t buy if you wanted to and customers that will keep coming back.
“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice” Anton Chekov
Mark Mooney is a 35-year veteran of the motorsports industry. He is the principal of Mohala Motorsports Consulting, which offers mentoring and training for dealer principals and their staffs, improving profitability while inspiring a positive workplace. Mark is the former owner of a multi-line metric OEM dealership in California.