It's Time to Pull Out an Old Page from Your Automotive Playbook

December 7, 2022

There are many factors in the automotive industry that can agitate business functions. True, many of these disruptors have paved the way for record grosses in the past year. But they have also led to some uncertainty and overall volatility that plays into the general direction of the market. As a community, we must rely on one another to rightsize processes and create opportunities. We can learn from one another, and that's an important lesson to put into practice.Automotive retail doesn't have to be a battle. The consumers are there and they will continue to need reliable transportation for the foreseeable future. Whether that vehicle need is an EV, hybrid, or gas, it is up to your dealership to provide the options a consumer is on the hunt for. The products may be changing, but the way we operate and need to treat customers isn't. As we prepare for the new year, it is important to realize that we don't have to race to the bottom in 2023. Yes, the industry has been drunk on grosses. But things will always be in flux. Instead, to prepare for economical change, consider getting back to the basics. The fundamentals will always be crucial. How you source, sell, and manage should not be altered. The principles on which you've built your success are important. So flip back through that playbook and get your processes in line for the end of the year.First, when it comes to how you source, keep the customer experience in mind. This is a big deal for them. As a result, you need to have the right elements in place to help acquire and streamline the trade-in process. When appraising, but honest and paint a picture of what their vehicle is actually worth. This provides comfort during the exchange while reducing friction points that traditionally might rub the consumer the wrong way. Beyond that, get back to the basics of marketing, but do so in a new light. Outreach is critical to attracting new consumers for purchases or trade-ins. Specifically for acquisition, think outside the box and use your playbook to mix traditional practices with emerging technologies. Consumers are in more places than ever before. If you aren't meeting them where they are, you are missing out on opportunities to secure valuable inventory. Next, flip your playbook to your pages on selling. There, you will likely see a number of tried and true methods for sealing the deal with a customer. Buried deep in those interactions are several nuggets of information that apply to customer service yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Always remember to provide trust and transparency in conversations. Be forward with pricing. Present the shopper with all of the options on the vehicle. Even more, make sure you are writing your ads in a way that attracts and informs. There is no more bait and switch. On top of that, customers demand respect during the sales process, and you know what? They deserve it. Take charge and provide touchpoints that educate and illuminate all the great aspects of your inventory. Bring your showroom into the digital age and allow consumers to interact with your vehicles on a higher level. Specifically, a digital showroom empowers your staff to be instant product experts. This will reduce the stress of shopping and provide customers with the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions.Finally, focus on how you manage all of your operations and inventory. The automotive retail industry has come a long way from manual operations. Take the lessons you have learned in becoming successful in the past and apply them to new processes. For inventory management, this means getting clear insights into your lot and being able to run reports that help you win day in and day out. Beyond that, with a proper solution for inventory management, you gain clarity into how to stock, what to stock, and how to get the best turn possible without racing to the bottom. At the end of the day, you'll need to leverage your experience in conjunction with a tool that understands your unique lot and community. You'll get a concrete grasp on where you are today and how to achieve your aspirational goals in the future.A lot is going on in the world around us. Now, more than ever, it is important that you stick to your playbook. Don't be afraid to integrate new solutions. But, be confident in relying on the methods that have helped you sustain success over the years and throughout the volatility of our current market. Stay the course and get back to the basics. How you source, sell, and manage will make a difference as we transition into the new year. Challenge yourself to identify the portions of your process that are working while correcting the ones that aren't. Your tactics for success don't have to exist in a vacuum. That's why partnerships are so important for automotive retail. MAX Digital understands the industry and can help guide you through picking the right plays to make at your dealership. Schedule your free consultation today and learn more about how MAX Digital is capable of ushering you into a successful 2023.