Selected by CIO Review as one of the Top 20 Most Promising Automotive Tech Solution Providers in 2014.
By Dave Meyer, Executive VP
Summer’s here. Which means car-shopping customers are out and about — going places, making summer travel plans, and shopping for new cars to get them there. Summer is no time for dealers to take a vacation, though. To get your dealership ready for increased summer sales, here are a few tips and ideas to implement.
First of all, fill your showroom with an eye-catching display of your summer vehicles in vibrant colors and styles. Then be sure your staff knows every detail of these cars, inside and out, so that they can do an excellent job selling them. Make sure your showroom floor is in tip-top shape for summer, too — spic, span and sparkling. Think about creating some fun summer-themed displays — a beach road trip complete with surfboard, for example.
Summer’s a great time to give your website a makeover too. Make sure you’ve added all new products, services, expanded summer business hours, summer ads you’re running, and any new incentives to your site. Keep it current, and keep it fresh.
You might also think about offering some special summer promotions. Maybe a summer-related giveaway — anything from free beach umbrellas to cruise tickets. Summer events at the dealership are usually a hit too. Serve up some barbeque, watermelon and ice cream, bring in a bouncy house, and treat your guests to live music for some fun in the sun. Summer is a time to celebrate, after all.
While you’re cleaning up your floor, summer’s a great time to clean up some of your back-office practices too. Find any opportunities to increase staff productivity, maximize your staff resources, reconcile balances, analyze charge-backs, clear up unpaid warranty claims, correct accounting errors, and get your books in order. Purge the prior year’s files and move them to a storage area or store them digitally to free up some space.
Last but not least, make sure your vehicle inventory is in summer-shape as well. With the number of trade-ins on the rise, as well as the demand for high quality used vehicles, the condition of your pre-owned inventory is paramount to your summer sales success. Take the time to properly recondition your used vehicles to make them sale-ready. Repair any body and paint damage. Fix tears and remove stains in the interior. Make sure all lights are in working order. Repair and replace any cracked, nicked or broken glass. Polish up the wheels and repair any rim damage. Then make sure your vehicles are washed, waxed, shiny and ready to roll right off the lot.