Community Involvement

Steve Tuschen
Is everyone out their acknowledging the things you do in the community on your home page. We received a letter from a customer last year that said they weren't going to buy anymore from us because we didn't participate. We contacted the customer with a list of the things that we do in the community to show. What is going to far and do you want to keep some things quiet for your community involvement?
Denim Simkins
@steve sometimes it never is enough for some people. @chris laid out great points but our customers expect that. One of the reasons we steered away from posting our relationships is the possibility of it being a negative to some. Also run the risk of whoever you endorse going rogue or having negative spotlight, Im sure there is a dealer in Spokane that is taking down his endorsement of a group right now in light of the current events. In item that had incredible feedback was from a group that I was with paid 1 day of VTO time (volunteer time off) to do whatever you wanted to volunteer your time. This could be going on a field trip with your kid, volunteering at the shelter, school etc. When employees would do this we would have them fill out a form and explain the event. We would post these in plain view in the lounge and received great feedback. We should have put them on our site!!
Clint Jones
Great post, and something I have been thinking about a great deal lately.Along these lines, does this community involvement REALLY make a difference in who buys what vehicles? How many people really show up in your showroom BECAUSE you gave a donation or supported a cause? For us, we contribute back to our actual customers. If someone comes in and requests a donation, we give it to them if they are a customer. If they are not, then we don't. Nothing rubs me wrong as much as someone parking in front of my store with temporary tags on a vehicle they bought from a competitor...and asking me for a donation.
Steve Tuschen
@Clint. I couldn't agree with you more and we do that as well and we are vocal on the safe involvements, Educare which is for the public schools, Red Cross blood drives, youth sports, etc. and we don't post everything as you do have to be careful especially on the smaller things. Just love the insight and knowledge that we are heading in the right direction.
Tony Wood
We've donated to the local high school for their new football field. We have numerous individuals active in various groups in the community and we provide assistance to a number of programs. We believe making your mark in the community isn't just a good business tactic, but it's part of our responsibility as we live here and there's no reason not to give back. With that said, I can assure you that we have definitely made sales strictly because we're so active in the community. As a matter of fact, I'm just taking about a 10 minute break from running around like a chicken with my head cut off because tomorrow is our 2nd annual celebration event. We're going to have a live band on our patio with the portal. We're having a BBQ competition (over 20 signups!). We're giving away a REALLY nice grill with each car purchase tomorrow. We'll have tons of kids games and we've received NUMEROUS donations from the community for giveaway prizes. In fact, we had so many donations that we bundled them together and still have enough to give away two prizes every 15 minutes. From things as small as a free sub from Jimmy John's to a $70 toolbox with a nice socket set and electric drill. We're giving away a 2yr lease on a brand new Camry SE. A couple radio stations will be on site. We'll have karaoke a clown that does balloon animals, etc. A photo booth with tons of props. We have caterers providing food. There are special discounts for that day only in parts and service. We'll have sky busters all over the light posts. While the day is literally completely focused on the customer, we end up getting TONS of sales during this event each year and service/parts is so slammed they can barely breathe. It's definitely an all hands on deck situation and it is freaking awesome! I'd highly recommend it.
Steve Tuschen
@Tony. I agree completely that community involvement is the right thing to do and your event sounds like a wonderful event.

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