It is officially summertime. Typically, this means more sunlight, vacations, time spent outside and the opportunity to do more activities with your friends, family and even your employees. Regardless of whether or not your dealership sees a large sales increase during certain seasons, it is worth asking yourself, “Are we in need of a refresh on some of our efforts?” If the answer is yes, summer is a great time to consider your dealership’s needs and where you hope to see growth for the rest of the year.
Re-evaluate the Practice of “Cold Calling”
Every person that I’ve ever met who works in the sales department of a dealership always tells me that sales is by far the hardest department to work in at their dealership. With the stigma of “the car salesman,” the growing trend of researching and purchasing things online, as well as social media, the practice of cold calling has gotten a little buried in the shuffle. So, what do you do when people aren’t calling your dealership, or answering the phone when you reach out to them yourself?
I think understanding that different sales techniques work for some people and dealerships and not all is the first step to re-evaluating your sales department. Cold calling can still be highly effective for some businesses and people who have been working in sales for the majority of their lives. However, if you’re finding that there has been a steady decline in cold calling potential leads and customers, isn’t it time to change it up? This could be as simple as switching to email in addition to leaving them a voicemail, or perhaps you start taking more advantage of your professional presence on social media by reaching out to people on LinkedIn or Facebook.
If you’re also finding yourself feeling bogged down with phone calls and how to effectively organize who you’re contacting on a regular basis, it may be time to invest in a new CRM system or any other organization software for your dealership.
I know when I have a list of people to contact in a day or a week, I try to keep my notes about our conversations and what my or my colleagues’ next steps should be in our internal CRM system so everyone is able to view it should they need to. Find whatever best fits the needs of your employees and dealership as a whole and continue to track the progress of that effort as the year continues.
Partner With Outside Companies
A common misconception amongst dealerships is that your team can absolutely do it all —sales, marketing, service, repairs, graphic design, social media and much more! While you more than likely have a well-rounded group of employees, are there tasks and specialties you feel may be outside of what your team is capable of? Being able to recognize where certain departments need help should be something you are capable and willing to do as your dealership grows and evolves.
If your sales department is having a difficult time following up with leads, whether they be what you consider “dead leads” or “hot leads,” perhaps you should look into partnering with a professional company that helps you organize and generate better leads. Or, if your dealership is hoping to generate more traffic to your website to help with sales, consider hiring a company to help with your online advertising and SEO word content.
Consider a Marketing Rebrand
When you consider all the different departments your dealership has, do you think of them all separately, or as one big hub feeding into one another? Each department has different functions and objectives, but you should be looking at all of your departments constantly working in tandem with one another.
You may think doing a complete marketing rebrand has nothing to do with your sales department but think about how customers view your dealership from a brand perspective. If you were to ask any person about a giant corporation such as McDonalds or Starbucks, they would likely be able to identify their logos from memory, and something off the menu without having to look it up beforehand. Because of their strong and consistent branding, customers know exactly what to expect when visiting these companies, which in turn helps their sales.
Undergoing a marketing rebrand is a great way for your dealership to stay relevant, revisit your core values and goals, as well as help to increase your sales. Our company is celebrating our 30th year in business this year, and to honor the occasion we had a new logo and website designed. We’ve seen a huge increase in website visitors, including new leads and interest in our services on a weekly basis. When you’re able to create new changes that will directly influence and affect more than one of your departments, you are helping to bring fresh ideas to your sales techniques, as well as marketing and service departments.
Summer can be a great time to sit down and re-evaluate the things your dealership has accomplished, and perhaps some things you haven’t been able to achieve yet and why. When you consider a marketing rebrand, partner with outside companies and strive to take a closer look at the age-old art of cold calling, you are sure to see strong results within your business. Don’t let summer pass you by without taking a close look at your dealership’s sales techniques and how you can help improve them.