I would love quite a number of things for our dealership this year. Read on to find out what – and if you’re in the same boat, let’s try to get buy-off from our General Managers. I’ll also include a few ideas on how to help convert a tough GM to think your way.
1. Dealer Mobile Site: I attended a conference recently. When the speakers brought up mobile websites, I slid down in my chair. I was mortified I’d be called on, because I didn’t want to talk about it. Why? Because everything they were saying was true. The mobile web is experiencing huge growth right now. When I look at my own dealer’s Google analytics compared to last year, we’ve had a 73.73% growth in mobile visits. Currently, we don’t have a site specifically to serve those visitors.
2. Live Chat on our Dealer Website: This technology has been out for years now, yet it’s still not on our site. It’s impossible to know how many chat requests we would’ve received this year on sales, parts and service, and there’s no telling how much this represents in lost opportunities. But the more I study our Real-Time Google Analytics and the more I watch the behavior of visitors, the more I can’t help but wonder if some of those visitors would’ve used chat rather than navigating away from our site. We work hard to get website visitors, so we should do more to convert them.
3. Better Dealership Reputation Online: I wish every sales rep and service advisor at my dealership would suggest that their customers give us a review. In fact, our dealership personnel should send their customers a link to the popular review sites. For example, our dealership’s Yelp page received around 150 visitors every month at this time last year. Now it receives well over 350 visitors per month. I can’t help but wonder: If our reputation was greatly increased, how many more appointments would show? How many more shoppers would reach out to us over our competitors?
4. Improved VDP: I’m starting to love Vehicle Description Pages. For new cars, I love seeing actual pictures of our new cars. For used cars, I love including a unique and compelling comment for each car, besides “CARFAX title history,” “Hard-to-find Model,” etc. We must give site visitors something to fall in love with. Something they can cling to and make their own. If you were on a dating site, would you message someone who had no pictures or used terms like “Only Divorced Once!” or “A True Gem”?
5. Banishment of Negative Attitudes: As I write this article, two salespeople and one finance manager have already plopped down at my desk to let out massive sighs and complain about how slow sales are. Sure, maybe we’ve only done one rewrite today, but complaining about it and sighing about it reminds me of the quote by Jack Kerouac: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center-light pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”
Why can’t a mad one sit down at my desk instead of one of these achy complainers? Oh, because he or she is probably with a customer right now.
Now for those ideas on converting your GM:
- Start a Private Facebook Group Page and invite all key and knowledgeable dealership staff to participate. Through this private discussion forum, you can all work toward implementing an improved dealership.
- Next time there’s a local industry event with topics you’d like your dealership to explore, reach out to the event sponsors and ask them if you can reserve a free pass for your GM.
- Create a weekly email to your GM that summarizes great articles or discussion boards of interest, and provide links your sources.
- Hold a Google+ Hangout or Facebook messaging thread among key industry contacts (and your GM, if possible) who specialize in the areas you want to implement.
What else would you add to your list? If your dealership has implemented online chat or any of my other wishlist items, please comment below. I’d love to hear more.