Detroit is unique (in so many ways!)

Larry Schlagheck
I'm from Detroit - well, actually Toledo, OH but I've been in the Detroit area for 18 years. Around here nearly every dealer does 85%+ of his business on "A plan". So, it's different around here. Hell, even the Sunday ads list "A plan" prices because dealers know that's what their customers are looking for. But what can dealers do in the Detroit Metro area to conquest deals?
Jared Hamilton
Well im not from there, nor have I run a dealership there but here is the thought that came to mind when I read your post. Since the price of the car is fixed the deal comes down to inventory, financing, cust. service and TRADE VALUE. Financing is semi a mute point since most the dealers in your area will have access to the same banks and bank programs (however I agree a strong finance manager is still critical) Inventory will be determined by your sales rate to maintain days supply and flooring costs in check... so the large variables are customer service and Trade Value. Cust Serivce: I would be ALL over the internet with services that you do that others dont. (a tires for life program, loaner cars, home delivery, free oil changes or whatever you can get a competitive advantage with.) Remember when dealing with creative ideas, you want to be the one being followed, not the one doing the chasing. IE: dont match another in your area dealer, think outside the box, be brave and try something wild. Wild
Paul Rushing
Make the experience of buying from your store so completely remarkable that it would be crazy for them to consider shopping anywhere else.
Philip Zelinger
In addition to Jared's relationship and support services representing added value as a dealer I suggest that you switch sides - so to speak - and join your customers where they are on the Internet BEFORE they are looking for a vehicle. Consumer social networking sites exist in multiple verticles in addition to the automotive industry. Create an identity as a Detroit citizen and business owner with shared concerns for community issues and civic support groups to make friends before they are looking for a car and they will think of you as a friend when they are. You should still set up and/or join auto clubs etc. for sales as well as parts and service "future" opportunities with sponsored road rallyes, custom conversion show vehicles and even collectors clubs but the shared focus should be on social networking rather than selling. Make friends by helping them do what they need - such as supporting them at their church or community center as a concerned neighbor with no request for pay back - and y
Jared Hamilton
Good call Phil! The stronger relationship you could develop BEFORE they start the buying process would go MILES in helping your business in such a competitive market.

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