Your Guide to Ending 2020 Strong

December 15, 2020

To say this past year has been unexpected is an understatement. As a country, we have endured a lot. As an industry, automotive retailers have experienced a rollercoaster of events. From shortages, unpredictability, and even unexpected excess of used car sales, dealerships across the US had to prepare for the unknown. Now, as we venture into the new year, it is important that you end 2020 strong. Set yourself up for success in 2021 by putting the right pieces in place today.

Start by asking yourself what changes can you make today in order to create a more profitable tomorrow. You probably already have a selection of tools in place that you are comfortable with. You understand how they work, and they operate at a price point you can afford. It’s likely that you may be apprehensive about making a switch or deploying a new solution this late in the year. But that is the wrong mentality. You should be focusing on the sales trends in the industry and following the ebbs and flow of the seasons. After all, everything has changed.

Investing in your store is an investment in yourself. Think about it like this. Your lot is an evolving entity. You get new inventory on a daily basis. You move vehicles quickly. Every aspect of your lot is critical to overall operations. Not giving your store the opportunity to properly grow and expand will not only stifle sales and provide a poor customer experience, but will also prevent you from achieving maximum gross on every transaction. To put it simply, you are going to be losing money on every deal. Compound that across days, weeks, and months, and your losses are quite severe. Can you afford to lose millions of dollars?

Typically speaking, the beginning of the year brings many fresh deals. Consumers will be ready to transition into the new year with a new or used car. But if you are incapable of meeting demand, and your staff can’t meet customer expectations, then your store is going to suffer. Implementing a strategy that examines your dealership and identifies points of possibilities for improvement will set the tone for the new year. It offers a sense of urgency for your staff, and illustrates how your store is forward-thinking.

As it stands, there is an overabundance of information available to help you make informed decisions about merchandising your inventory. You need to be capturing that data and putting it to work. That may seem like a basic piece of advice, but it is powerful. There exists advanced solutions capable of enhancing the way you buy and sell cars. Because, at the end of the day, you need to remember that things are not the same anymore. You can’t sell the way you used to. You need to be proactive with the solutions you deploy and enact new ways to leverage the available data to push your dealership forward into a leadership position in 2021.

These solutions need to be advanced enough to meet the ever-changing needs of the modern consumer. Because these needs are continuing to change, the way you merchandise needs to be more purpose-driven. You need to supply harmony between online and offline properties. Your showroom needs to be paired with a digital solution that provides a new layer for your customers to shop from their phone, computer, or even their couch. A digital showroom is a surefire way for sales enablement at the end of the year. By leveraging data to provide all the information necessary to sell a vehicle, you empower your staff to work smarter while exceeding all of your customer’s expectations. This is a great opportunity for your store to grow leaps and bounds over your competition.

But what if you are already a market leader? Perhaps the past twelve months were very prosperous for you. If this is the case, then end the year strong by prioritizing your data with an upgrade to your inventory management tool. As you can imagine, there have been great advances in inventory management over the last year alone. And because things are changing so rapidly, take this moment to reevaluate what you are using. Identify the deficiencies in your system and upgrade to something better. Whether you are trying to get more bang for your buck or aggressively attempting to hold more gross per deal, inventory management is your ally.  

On that note, if your goal is to hold more gross, then you need to consider a tool for trade-in and appraisal. You can’t let this be a guessing game anymore. You need to provide your customer with the transparency that they deserve. Instill a sense of honesty and trust through your staff by allowing your customer an inside look at how you are valuing their vehicle. There is a science that goes into the final number you are presenting. So why not share. Let them walk the vehicle with you and point out the areas where the car lacks while also highlighting the aspects of the vehicle that adds value. With a solution for this process, you can share comparables in real-time and provide depth and insights as to why the car is worth what you are offering. It is providing an experience that the customer deserves.

Simply put, being successful isn’t necessarily about selling more vehicles. Being successful is also defined by providing next-level customer service. The experience the customer encounters will be inline with your overall goals and aligned with your brand’s messaging. You are putting the right person in the right vehicle at the right price. This ensures that the money stays on the table. Multiply that across the many sales opportunities you will have, and you can spell out the value with dollar signs.

No matter your goal for the end of 2020, you need to act now to end strong and set yourself up for a successful 2021. Don’t be indecisive. Invest in the solutions that will set you apart from your competition, rightsize your lot, and help you hold more gross. As things continue to rapidly change in the world around us, you need to be vigilant with the solutions you utilize on your lot. Do your research and discover what is working for other dealerships. Take the dive today and transform your store into a powerhouse. Schedule your free demo today and uncover ways to help your dealership end the year strong.