We want your Dealership to perform exceptionally well this tax season. We’re fully aware that it has already begun, but there may be a couple things you haven’t done yet or fine-tuned. Check out the list below to make sure your dealership is running at it’s optimum potential this tax season.
- Have Understanding Sales/Finance Reps
It’s widely known that tax season is the biggest time of sales for dealerships nationwide simply because people now have tax return money and they’re eager to cash it out on a new ride. This is great because the dealerships have a greater opportunity to push inventory off the lot, but this of course comes with one main stipulation: credit issues.
Although buyers may have a large down payment, they may not necessarily have the money to withstand multiple months of payments on a new Vehicle. This is where you utilize great sales skills to try and push a used or cheaper new vehicle. By doing this you may be losing a little up front due to the lower MSRP, however, in the long run you’ve increased your chances of the buyer NOT faulting on payments. Once your buyer is satisfied with the car that the salesperson has helped guide them to, have an understanding rep make sure that the buyer understands the credit situation in it’s entirety to get the buyer approved. With a solid plan in place, you’ll have a happy buyer eager to tell their friends where they purchased their new vehicle.
- How Much Inventory is Needed
This is a rare problem, a good problem, but nevertheless, still a problem. A dealership may have an amazing selling period, so much so that they completely sellout of inventory. The obvious upside is that you’ve accomplished an unprecedented goal by having a deal so enticing the community literally bought you out. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, there was money to be made that was left on the table because your dealership was not prepared for the tax season demand.
There is no exact number to how much inventory should be on retainer at your dealership. Being that this is the time of the year where you sell the most cars and depending on how much marketing was put in place, you may want to have additional vehicles on the lot to match these efforts. You don’t want to be stuck in a place where you’re buying inventory off a competing dealership to meet customer demands.
- Boost your Marketing Efforts
Out of sight, out of mind. This concept directly correlates to how your marketing efforts will affect sales. We’ve tested this with a dealership, and saw that with very minimal TV advertising, the dealership experienced an over 30% dip in sales. It’s imperative that your marketing efforts are at full potential during tax season, so this doesn’t occur at your dealership.
Because competition is fierce during this time, we’ve seen that dealerships who’ve capitalized on marketing performed significantly better. Your prospects don’t know exactly where to go, but if your dealership name is continuously buzzing in their head, you’ve just gained another sale.
- Deals, Deals, & Deals
To keep your dealership in the front of your prospect’s mind, you’ve got to Offer a deal so enticing they’d be crazy not to at least stop in. Now we understand that manufacturers usually offer the main deals, but it may be in your best interest to add on to this deal to differentiate from dealerships that sale the same manufacture.
Manufacturers also offer incentives to dealerships to push inventory off the lot. Some incentives can have you paying no money in marketing and just generating strictly profit. This alone should be able to entice you and the rest of the marketing/finance staff to come up with a great offer. It’s also imperative that you follow up on the offer once a prospect comes in or direct them to a vehicle that would work with their budget and have them paying somewhere near the offer price.
- Customer Service is the Icing on the Cake
From the initial walk through the door to driving off the lot, your customers will remember how they felt at every part of the transaction. This may seem obvious, but every little thing counts. Let’s break down just a few extra things you can do to make that customer feel that much more special at your dealership.
To make the experience enjoyable, your prospect should be greeted within 15 seconds of entering. Sit them down, show them the vehicles you have that meet their criteria in your database, and offer a beverage or snack for the walk immediately after. Another trend of the time is social media. Get them to post their new ride on their social media, and in return they get a free tag cover (which you already would’ve put on the car for exposure). Further down the line, have drinks, food, charging stations, and even free Wi-Fi in your waiting room for all fixed operations things like service on their vehicle. Offering these simple amenities will equate to more money and lead to more sales in the future.
If you wanted to be more innovative, you could create a financial system that’s more interactive than the usual finance manager sitting behind the computer and crunching numbers in secrecy. Showing the customers the numbers on a large and interactive touch screen gives them a sense of comfort and eases the mood when they’re the ones actually making the numbers change.
I hope this short list can help you look deeper into your current dealership processes to make a couple of changes if needed. This tax season, you should be able to sell more cars than you ever anticipated. Let’s make sure your dealership is doing everything in it’s power to achieve these goals. If you think you’ll need a little extra help this tax season or want to get better prepared for the year ahead, give us a call!