Prepping for the Holidays

Lauren Moses
With the Holidays fast approaching, what do you and your dealerships do to prep? Hire extra staff? Host sales events? Do special appreciation for customers? Anything that only happens during the holidays to help boost sales.
Jillian Marchewka
We offer discounted service/parts giftcards (i.e. $35 for a $50 card, etc.) We order some OEM "giftable" merchandise to have on hand to sell (i.e. Chevy hats, dog collars, etc.) Also, we have an employee Christmas party at a nice local restaurant with good food and free booze... It tends to keep morale up during the holidays when the long hours get to everyone (because they would rather be at home with family.)
Lauren Moses
Jillian, Love the "giftable" options. Of course, I would much rather a "giftable" car but hey....hats work too! I know that here they do a Christmas party of sorts where our GM makes deer chili (SO amazing fyi), and everyone kinda just brings food. I'm not sure if they do gifts and all that. But I was honestly thinking about getting the owner to "host" a family for Christmas. We have several organizations around here (The Angel Tree, Big Brothers Big Sisters, CASA) that all let you "adopt" a child. But I would like to look on a grander scale and do a family. Provide Christmas dinner, gifts, maybe even some decorations to make it actually FEEL like Christmas, and not just someone handing out a bunch of stuff that they asked for.
Keith Wilkerson
We do a Toys for Tots campaign with the local fire department. If a customer brings in a packaged toy worth at least $20, they get their oil change for free. (ASMs then try to upsell other services.) We usually fill up the bed of a Tundra 2 or 3 times over before the promotion ends. It's always a good idea to partner with local organizations to do Secret Santa gifts for poor families, too. I don't have children myself, so I do enjoy shopping for a child to make someone's Christmas better.
Lauren Moses
Keith, great Idea for toys for tots. We have that around here too. Our local Chamber of Commerce has an angel tree every year so I was thinking about looking into that. But filling up the bed of trucks with toys is a great idea.
Linda Loepker
We do Toys for Tots, a Food Drive for the local food pantry, and have a huge Santa event. Lots of fun. The owner's wife puts up a beautiful Christmas Village (50+ hand-painted-by-her houses). She uses most of our tables for it - it's beautiful. Santa comes in for 2 days, lots of kids and families in. It's really fairly inexpensive. The owner fills in for Santa, we have cookies and milk - would love to add hot chocolate to that! We host a coloring contest with great prizes, broken down into age groups. Popcorn. Christmas music. In the past, our food drive was a "stuff the truck" event. We pulled a Silverado in and filled the bed. Much better PR with that - great pictures, etc. Can't put a $$ amount on all of the free press releases - especially in our area, lots of smalltown newspapers that people still read. Plus, it's great on Facebook and the website! Ho-Ho-Ho! Oh - it's less than 100 days until Christmas, BTW!!!!!

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