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

  • Adult Social Media Usage 2015

    A recent article by Pew Research Center* has shed some light on current social media usage among adults.  Overall, more than 50% of adults are on social media daily, and increasingly on multiple platforms.  While Facebook remains the reigning champion, other platforms are making strides, and if one is to market on these channels, an understanding of demographics can help make advertising more fruitful. Facebook is still the king when it comes to overall adult social media usage.  While it hasn't grown membership at the same rates as other platforms, it still has twice the overall usage of other platforms and has increasing engagement thanks to more precise algorithms being used and more relevant ad targeting. Twitter has seen gains and now boasts about a quarter of adults on social media.  By contrast, Instagram seems to get its social media usage primarily from a younger audience, although more and more adults are catching on and adopting the platform.  Pinterest is still in hi...Read post

  • eLEND Solutions™ Wins Dealer Marketing Magazine’s 2015 Technology Leadership Award

    eLEND Solutions named highest rated in Auto Finance category     Mission Viejo, CA – April 20, 2015 – eLEND Solutions™, the leader in next-generation consumer finance for the auto industry, today announced that it is the winner of Dealer Marketing Magazine’s 2015 Technology Leadership Awards in the Auto Finance category.   “This award is really special to us because our dealer customers nominated us and the review panel that made the final decision is made up of a group of people who truly understand automotive retailing,” said Pete MacInnis, CEO of eLEND Solutions. “I hope that this recognition introduces our connected car buying experience platform to more dealers who are looking to improve the finance process for today’s online consumer - financing no longer needs to be arranged exclusively as an in-store activity.”   eLEND Solutions is behind the charge to reduce the lengthy car-selling process from hours to minutes. The company’s legacy interactive o...Read post

  • Gubagoo’s Latest Release Includes Responsive Web Platform, Chat-to-Text Functionality and Customizable User Interface

    Enhancement to popular “smart” chat platform includes Google Adwords integration for better ROI optimization and an improved mobile experience   West Palm Beach, FL - April 20, 2015 – Gubagoo Inc., the fastest growing chat and website engagement provider for automotive dealerships, today announced significant upgrades to its popular “smart” chat platform interface. Key enhancements to the ChatSmart platform include advanced Google Analytics integration and a new responsive platform that supports all devices – desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc. The addition of SMS text-to-chat opens up direct communication on mobile devices and gives customers who are chatting with the dealership the freedom to seamlessly transition from a desktop environment to a mobile device mid-conversation. The new chat platform’s responsive design and customizable interface means it integrates seamlessly within any website – mimicking the site’s look and feel in any environment, encouraging...Read post

  • The Recall Crisis: To a Scared Customer, an Apology can go a Long Way

    Consumers and dealers alike are still reeling from the huge amount of recalls last year. It was in fact an all-time record. In 2014 about 62 million U.S. vehicles were recalled. If you were to look at this in terms of vehicle sales – it’s about four years’ worth of vehicle sales -- or approximately one out of every four cars on the road today. Several recalls made huge headlines, and were very much hyped up by the media -- including those for defective ignition switches in General Motors cars that have been linked to at least 50 deaths, and faulty Takata air bags, installed in Hondas and other brands, said to be responsible for at least five deaths and 64 injuries. This can cause quite an emotional impact with consumers – your customers. While these concerns may not be as dire or present as the customer may perceive, to the customer faced with the concerns, they most certainly are. I am sure many dealerships have experienced phones ringing off the hook shortly after a recall announcement with customers concerned about their personal safety, as well as that of their families. Dealers aren’t crisis hotlines and, for the most part, aren’t trained to assuage fears such as these. However, if you take the time to handle recall repair requests with empathy and understanding, it can go a long way towards earning the trust and loyalty of these customers. Read post

  • Don't Be a Social SPAM Bully

    We know now, in the car business, that what we do—wrong or right—with our customers on Social Media is very important to how they and hundreds of other potential customers see us. Well, what I’ve seen lately on Facebook is a lot of car business people disregarding how very important Social Media is also to how our peers, dealer peers, and dealer clients see us.  Our business can hang by a thread, albeit nowadays it’s hanging by a post and the comment thread. And it can be a doozy. For example, what I’ve witnessed just this week is how common the eternally-obvious and ever-stupid practice of “group add bombing” has become with vendors in the automotive business. You know, overnight (literally) you’re added to groups you don’t recognize, and it turns out it is from a blind bulk group add effort by folks who are unashamed to drag whomever into whatever groups they instantly created for their own purposes. All done that way so that the number of the group members grow, ...Read post

  • Despite Auto Vendors' Promotion of Mobile Tablet Solutions, 80 Percent of Dealers Don't Use Mobile Tablets

    ALBANY, N.Y. – April 20th, 2015 – Auto/Mate Dealership Systems (http://www.automate.com) today announced the results of an informal survey it conducted from November 2014 to April 2015. More than 100 dealership employees responded to questions about mobile usage in the dealership, and it turns out that despite the auto industry's promotion of mobile tablet software solutions, only 20 percent of auto dealerships use mobile tablets in their sales and service departments. Even fewer dealerships have adopted mobile tablets in the F&I department, with only seven percent indicating they use mobile tablets in the F&I process.   "I think we're seeing the classic bell curve in terms of dealers adopting a new technology," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems. "It's only been in the last year or two that we've seen many vendors make their solutions available on mobile tablets, and 20 percent of dealerships are early adopters. I anticipate this perce...Read post

  • DMEa Launches Service Connect with TCi, Tire Centers LLC: Groundbreaking Mobile App Puts Service Information, Savings in Aftermarket Customers Hands

      Offered as part of TCi’s T3 Prime program, Service Connect’s award-winning customizable mobile technology helps Aftermarket retailers retain and engage with today’s “always-on” consumer   Daytona Beach, FL – April 20, 2015 – DMEautomotive today announced that TCi, Tire Centers LLC, one of America’s premier tire distributors, has selected Service Connect, DMEa’s groundbreaking aftermarket-branded mobile app, to help its retailers increase sales, loyalty and retention among today’s “always-on” consumers.  TCi has thousands of customers across the US and services all 50 states.   TCi will offer Service Connect to its independent tire dealer customers nationwide as part of its T3 PrimeTM program, which offers internet marketing and other services. The technology behind Service Connect is proven to increase sales and retention and drive customer loyalty, especially among mobile-hungry Millennials who prefer to do almost everything through the convenience ...Read post

  • Vendor Partnerships and the Importance of Making Ego Begone

    The word "begone" is such a funny word. It has a powerful meaning but is so rarely used outside of board games and exocisms. We're going to use it today, mostly because it fits in nicely with the topic of discussion. As fate would have it, one of our team members was picked for jury duty. While he is fulfilling his civil responsibility as a citizen of this wonderful country, I'm filling in for him on the social side. It's good to roll your sleeves up and get to work sometimes (which is why I believe even general managers should take ups every now and then) just to get a feel for what's happening in the trenches. Facebook is all about momentum, which is why I normally do not like our posts to run over others. Conversely, I don't like other people's posts to run over ours. Collaboration is an important key to a strong social media strategy that takes some thigns from the dealership and some content that we create, so we like to time everything out to maximize things. Today, I had a ...Read post