Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

What are your competitors saying about you?

By Ron Henson on Jan 2, 2013

Here is an interesting question; What are your competitors saying about your dealership to potential customers?

Herbert Hoover was quoted as saying, "Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress."

So here's the challenge.  Whether you are a Dealer, a GM, a Sales Manager or a Sales Consultant, take the time to walk into your competitive facing dealerships and mystery shop them.  Find out what they do well and what areas need improvement.  Pay attention to things like:

* Initial Greeting

* First Impression

* What questions are asked to discover your needs

* Product Knowledge

* Professionalism of the Demonstration

* Pushiness

* And finally, and perhaps the most important, ask them why you should buy from them and why they work at that dealership rather than the one down the street. (Your dealership!)

This exercise will be beneficial regardless of the answers you get or how well the "other guys" perform during your experience.  If the sales consultant does an outstanding job and really performs at a level rarely seen at your dealership, HIRE THEM IMMEDIATELY!  If they decline, use the experience as a launch pad to make your people better.

If the sales consultant doesn't perform so well during your experience and you can't imagine why anyone ever buys from this clown, use that

 

 as a launch pad to tell your staff how good they are and point out where the competition struggles.  Turn their weaknesses into your strengths and the consumers will notice.

Half of the battle is just showing up.  Show up in your competitors showrooms and you'll be amazed at the wealth of valuable information you will obtain that can help you improve your dealership.

That's my 2 cents for the day.  Move some metal!

Comments

"Turn their weaknesses into your strengths and the consumers will notice." Brilliant, Ron!

Jan 3, 2013

Thanks Lindsey!

Jan 3, 2013

When Shaun Raines and I were traveling around the nation on behalf of Chrysler Group LLC, I would always ask the assembled group of dealer owners, operators and managers a simple question in the morning. "What separates your dealership from your competitors?" (Or "why choose you over the next one down the street?")
The greater majority of their answers involved the phrase "well, it's because of the customer service we provide." I have a quintessential problem with this so I would follow up with,
"Do you hug your customers?" or "Are your handshakes warmer and more friendly?"
You hit the nail on the head, Ron. The same antiquated "road to the sale" is on display at almost every dealership and few have a means of standing out above the crowd. It comes down to the professionalism and knowledge of the people, but I know very few dealers who would tell you their sales team really blows any other sales team out of the water. Too many are too similar.

It is important for dealers to start recognizing that they're being compared to the dealership down the street AND they are doing very little to separate themselves. What is being said about you, as a dealership, cannot be controlled, but the brand messages you deliver to the public can have a profound impact of how others view you in the first place.

Jan 8, 2013

Great points Joe! I think it would be fantastic is Dealers and GM's went out to their competitors and actually experienced the process. Many stores pay companies to mystery shop their own stores but to have them get down in the trenches and really strive for improvement would build major value. Their teams would be blown away as well! Can you imagine a DP getting up in sales meeting and reporting the findings that he had from from shopping the guy down the street! Thanks for your comments Joe.

Jan 8, 2013

Comments 1 - 4 of 4

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Ron Henson's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Business development center requirements

     We puchased a Chevrolet store last August. We have just put a Bdc department together for that store. We have had a bdc department for 4 yhears in our hyundai store which is located one hour away from the Chevrolet store. We will have all of the bdc reps for both stores located at the Hyundai store. We are trying top get ready for our first audit from General motors. We have developed scripts for every type of sales call. we also have documented processes on how to handle that. we are trying to get a concierge board in the showroom for sales appointments as well. We also have a service bdc person for this store and have all of the above things for them as well. we do still have to document a few of the processes for this team. I have a few questions for the Gm dealers in the community 1. Have you experienced this audit? 2. Is the score based on sales and service? 3. Is it ok for my chevy bdc reps to be working in a call center off site? ...Read post

  • Navigating SEO: How a Simple Content Strategy Can Save Your Website

      Over the past three weeks, I've dropped a lot of SEO knowledge on dealers. The ultimate goal with this series is to take SEO and make it easy for car guys and gals to digest.   Most companies hide behind a vale of secrecy when it comes to SEO, leading businesses to believe that there's some kind of secret sauce that marketing companies have hidden away.   Well, if that were true, I'm about to give away my recipe.   Here's how to create your own content strategy from the ground up.   Aligning Content and Goals   The problem with most dealership content is that it doesn't really align with the goals of the dealership. What are the goals of every dealership?   Sell more cars!   Which car could you be selling better? What's the most in-demand car in your area? The answers to these questions will help you focus on the topics that will impact your dealership the most.   Now, you know which cars are selling well and which could be selling better. The big quest...Read post

  • Rev Up Your 2015 with a Trusted Local SEO Ranking

    We live in a world where most sentences end with, “Let me Google it.” Information is readily available at our fingertips and consumers are leveraging online research for any major purchase decision. With the help of the internet, consumers are getting smarter and smarter about their vehicle of choice and vehicle services needs including options and price before ever stepping foot into a dealership. In fact, in recent years, these internet-savvy buyers have switched their vehicle research methods to find information through local search, consumer review sites, and social media. These consumers are looking for comments, likes, and reviews about a specific manufacturer’s vehicles and which local dealership to buy from or where to service their vehicle. If they can’t find your dealership through these methods or you have a bad online reputation, they are turning to your competition for their vehicle needs. Today, we are going to focus on local SEO, also known as local search, and h...Read post

  • Auto Dealer Websites - BEHIND The Curve?

    Automotive advertising has always been an integral part of the Dealership business. Spending hundreds of thousands per year to stand out from the dealer down the street. The budget has never been the issue, it seems that taking an innovative leap might be...Read post

  • Aligning Brand with Operational Discipline – Cardinale Auto Group's COO to Address Presidents Club

    We are pleased to announce Erich Gail, COO of the Cardinale Automotive Group, will address Presidents Club attendees with his presentation: A Culture of Courage: Aligning Brand with Operation Discipline to Achieve Exceptional Results. Erich will present key takeaways for automotive retail leaders such as...Read post

  • Best Practice for a Landing Page

    Give the people what they are looking for.  It seems like such a simple concept, yet so many dealerships fail to deliver and lose many potential customers in the process.  A best practice for a landing page is to make sure that once a businesses' message is out there, customers are able to easily find and utilize whatever was stated in that message. Most dealers are running some sort of marketing, and one of the most popular ways to drive business is to advertise a promotion or special sale to bring in clients that are comparison shopping for price and/or value.  The main issue in the digital space is what to do with clients that have clicked on one of the marketing pieces.  The secret is to send them somewhere that will deliver on the promise made in the promotion - this is the best practice that a business can employ for a landing page. Of course, it is now common knowledge that ads shouldn't send clients to the home page of a website.  Instead, shoppers should be sent to a re...Read post

  • How Customer Training Leads To Retention

    With almost everything consumers purchase, there’s an owner’s manual or set of instructions for them to use.  For decades, car manufacturers have included an owner’s manual with new vehicles. Sadly, it is no secret that this tidy three hundred-page booklet is one of the least read publications produced in mass quantity.    Some car dealerships require that their sales people give each vehicle purchaser a thorough presentation of their vehicle at time of delivery.  This slower-paced and personalized walk-around is perhaps more common in days past, than in today’s busier climate. However, it acquaints the car buyer with their vehicle’s key features, inside their vehicle as well as critical components under the hood.  In short, it offers a much-abbreviated version of what is found in the owner’s manual.    Customer training is not a new concept, but in an ever-changing industry, automotive manufacturers and dealerships adapt to the wants and needs of the consumer....Read post

  • A Vendor's Top Priority Should be Helping to Sell More Cars

    "We can't sell the cars for you, but we can help get you more opportunities." I've heard that line dozens of times from many different vendors. I've actually said it myself at times over the last two decades on the vendor side of the automotive industry. Today, I'm here to tell you that it's not true. We really can and should help you sell more cars, and not just in an indirect way. No, I'm not suggesting that a vendor should be flying over to the dealership and taking ups on Saturdays, but here's the reality of modern automotive sales: the sales process starts before they ever hit your lot. The concept that everything leading up to them driving on the lot is "research" and that the sale itself starts when they shake hands with the salesperson is an antiquated notion. We all know that car shoppers buy cars from people and dealerships that they like and trust. Before they call, fill out a lead form, or make the choice to drive to see you, they're already being sold on the deale...Read post