Game Planning into 2023 Will Be the Key to Your Success
Consistent winning (almost) never happens by accident. While there have certainly been challenges thrust upon the automotive industry, from the early days of COVID to the subsequent inventory shortage, record dealer profitability has been nearly universal. Long lines of consumers flush with cash, and cheap-and-easy credit made market adjustments not only palatable but even welcomed by car buyers happy just to get the car they wanted. Most of you have set profit records month after month, a testament to your skill and perseverance during uncertain times.
But OK … I’ll say it. There have been a lot of dealers who have won by accident. Dealers won for no reason other than the simple fact that they showed up to play.
But like I said, winning consistently never happens by accident, and the game has changed.
I would have to guess that since you’re reading this article, you aren’t the type of person who wins by accident. Here you are deep in the pages of AutoSuccess in search of context and solutions for the problems we are all seeing. Consumers now have less cash and less confidence, credit is no longer cheap and another truck just showed up at the dealership with all the “wrong” options on it.
While you may be the guy or gal who takes winning seriously, you are now competing with a bunch of dealers who will soon be in desperation mode, and they’ll be coming at you with everything they’ve got. So, it’s time to focus on the fundamentals and get your game plan in order.
The Three Components of a Winning Game Plan
1: Measure What Matters
“Organic search results get 85% of the clicks from Google search, yet most dealers are pouring money into the paid results, with only 15% of the opportunity,” says Zach Billings, VP of client success at Wikimotive. “When many dealers don’t rank five miles from their store, competitive dealers need to be looking harder at their organic rankings at distance.”
2: Hold Your Process Accountable
Angus Fox, CIO and lead analyst for ThinkBetter, hits the nail on the head when asked what he sees most dealers miss: “Mimicking what you see or what you read at conferences or online isn’t a universal fix for every dealer. You need a framework to evaluate your vendors, in your market, with your inventory. Don’t follow blind advice; build a repeatable, measurable system to evaluate success.”
3: You’re Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link
Your team — consisting of both your internal employees and vendor partners — needs to be aligned with your goals, driving uniformly in that direction. An employee who hasn’t bought into your internal team is one who’s holding back the entire group, and a vendor who’s not delivering value … well, that’s not an actual partner. Eliminate the weak links in your lineup, and not only will you have a more driven team, but you’ll have built a team that’s ready to win.