Is your dealership in the rearview mirror?
Every day I get a little wiser. I would like to think it’s because of my insatiable appetite for knowledge, but when I think about it, it’s my instinct to survive. You see, I need to get smarter – we all do. Each day we’re getting a little older, and the world gets a heckuva lot faster. If we don’t stay ahead of the pack, Kansas said it best: “all we are is dust in the wind.”
Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t always this adaptable. When my kids – like so many who have been raised with tech – began to message their friends in the SAME ROOM, I barely saw their faces some days. I’m old school. I’d rather spend my time speaking with clients face-to-face on a sales floor – not a chat room.
Then it happened, I caved. My kids enticed me to use Facebook, and according to them, I “couldn’t live without it” (little do they know, there was a time before social media). At first, I started using social media as an attempt at being the “cool dad” by trying to relate to them, since they no longer enjoyed the simple pleasure of going for a car ride in this place they used to go called: outside.
Then, slowly but surely, I discovered social media was far more than mindlessly sharing emojis. I connected with businesses, prospective clients, and even took advantage of its marketing & promotional potential. My kids were right, but I’ll be damned if I let them know – I’d never hear the end of it! I knew right away: time to stop being stubborn or else my career would be the dust Kansas sang about.
The BIG shift
Flash-forward. I’m social media’s biggest advocate and prominent practitioner and no longer refer to Mark Zuckerberg as “the crazy coding guy with the curly hair.” I based my entire career on embracing, innovating, and strategizing with it across several industries. But none gets me more pumped up than the automotive industry.
As VP of Sales for Vicimus (and automotive aficionado), I understand the day-to-day and long-term struggles a dealership faces. I truly enjoy the experience of speaking to dealers about the positive impact our products will have in their business and lives, especially those second and third generation dealers operating the same way they did when they first opened – handwritten ledgers, file cabinets, and all.
I’m not saying they’re destined to fail as they are, but what I am saying, is instead of asking yourself, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” ask, “If it ain’t broke, how can I make it better?” The bottom line: if you’re a general manager and you’re not asking yourself that, you aren’t doing your job. Period.
What I learned working in, and with, dealerships, is that most follow the path of least resistance by focusing primarily on the 30-day sales acquisition cycle, putting retention efforts and the other departments (F&I, Service, and Parts) in the back seat – pun intended.
When conducting a private sale and spamming a generic, Don’t-Miss-Out-Spring-Campaign, targeting the 3,000-6,000 leads in your database, you’re essentially blindfolded and throwing darts until you hit a bullseye. As you know, anyone on the sales floor who’s forcing a customer to buy a car without first assessing if it fits their needs, they’d be sent packing. So, why do this to customers in your database? With springtime fast approaching, consider springing-forward with a new approach for your dealership.
It’s crucial now more than ever to strategically nurture your database with extreme precision, doing so gives you the best chance to convert quality opportunities into sales and increase your ROI. Our Bumper Direct Marketing Platform segments your leads across all departments and does what’s called, micromarketing.
Micromarketing is a sniper-like approach of filtering your database and targeting clients with a personalized and timely message. Think of Bumper as your online salesperson who creates an instant report with prospective clients and caters to their needs. That whole shooting darts in the dark thing, Bumper tracks a lead’s engagement pattern in real-time, so you can get them offline and driving to your dealership – again, pun intended.
Vicimus is ready and demoing at NADA!
As we kick off another NADA in Las Vegas this year I can’t wait to join the rest of team Vicimus, talk shop with fellow gear-heads, and learn about their business. And to those dealers who are like the me of years ago, stuck in the past and reluctant to give into the tech-age of today, don’t fear change, embrace it! It changed my life and without a doubt will change yours too. I always say, “if it doesn’t scare the crap out of you, it’s not worth doing.” Everyone thinks they fear change, but what they really fear, is the unknown.
If you are at NADA this year make sure you visit us at booth 2170C, learn more and see our newest product demos and don’t be shy to bend my ear either, as we want to ensure your business is shifting in the right direction – that’s the last pun, I swear. I’d love to meet you.
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