More than perhaps ever before, automotive vendors are doing what they can to ensure we all come out of this stronger and as a cohesive team. If you have not reached out to your vendor partners yet, pick up the phone now. There are several programs out there, including our own, which offer free marketing campaign creation and support, which can save you a tremendous amount of money.
Here are four ways you can lean on your vendors and third-party providers for support during COVID-19:
1. Reach out to all partners and see how they can help you weather the storm.
There are dozens of examples of vendors helping dealerships reopen. We just recently had the honor of sending cases of hand sanitizer to dealer clients across the nation. Other companies are offering ad and marketing templates or digital image downloads for dealership websites free to help alleviate design costs during this time.
2. Do not reinvent the wheel, borrow one.
Don’t just look to your vendors for extra support. Manufacturers are holding up their end of the bargain as well, with special finance terms, zero interest down offers and additional marketing materials.
Manufacturer marketing departments are making creative campaigns available for not only the buyers, but also their family members. One really cool collaboration is coming from Mercedes-Benz, offering coloring sheets on their websites to help parents manage the load of having children at home for long periods of time.
Celebrity Motors Group is one of the auto groups taking advantage of the cool manufacturer freebie. By taking care of the whole family and offering the coloring books, Celebrity is setting itself up as the go-to store when sales resume. Check out their coloring sheets here.
3. Extend specials to your customers.
Just as you are receiving promotions from partners and third-party providers, your customers should be feeling the love as well. Make a cultural shift in your dealership as you come back to focus on a “how can we make your day” mentality for customers.
One dealership group, Cardinale Group of Companies in California, has a promotion they’re currently running called “Click or Call – We’ll do the Rest.” Basically, if a customer needs anything during this down time, all they have to do is click once, ask for assistance and the dealer group will do what they can to help with the request.
We’re helping our clients share the love by encouraging them to offer our lifetime warranties as a part of all vehicle sales. Dealerships that use lifetime warranties to provide extra peace of mind are showing customers they care about their vehicle for a lifetime, not just today’s sale.
4. Ask the hard questions now.
Vendors are working to show dealership partners the value of their solutions. Use this down time to audit your systems and ask your vendors to provide reports on what is making you money and/or saving you operating costs monthly.
Vendors should be willing and ready to show you direct ways their solution is impacting your bottom line. Now is the time to go through all of your third-party solutions and ensure you are getting the best performance for your money.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I for one could not be happier to see it coming! As stores open back up across the nation, use my four steps above to lean on your partners and set yourself up for success in the second half of 2020.
Email me for more details on the vendors offering these services to dealerships.