Are you ready to attain a higher level of success?
Do you know that your store could be closing more deals each month than you currently are?
Do you know that your store could be closing more deals each month than you currently are? Are you currently spending more time than you want to at the dealership trying to make that dream a reality? Are you taking as much money home from the dealership as you want to? As you expected to?
As you know, this business has endless possibilities as far as income goes. But the rut most dealers and general managers we talk to is that they think in order to get more business, in order to be more successful, they have to work harder. They have to put in more hours. But that is absolutely incorrect.
In fact, we’ve put together this quick guide that will show you how to leapfrog the competition, so you can experience radical growth and profit acceleration without working longer hours.
1. You Need A Plan—A NEW Plan
Many people in many industries hit a plateau once they achieve a measure of success.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the same in the car business. Dealers across the country have been able to grow their businesses and increase sales to a point, but inevitably those increases stall.
Soon, you find yourself aiming for the same, small increase in sales month after month. “We’ll grow sales by 10 units this month to hit 60. Then next month we can figure out how to get 70.” You say.
But after several months of aiming for 60 and missing the target, the ultimate goal of growing to 100 can seem unrealistic and unattainable, like a mirage glimmering in the distance.
What we’ve found is that most dealers who find themselves in this situation have one BIG thing that’s holding them back from hitting that next goal…They are still using the same strategies that made them a 50 car store in hopes that it will get them to 100.
Here’s the truth: if you want to double your monthly sales, you’re going to have to try something different than what got you to where you are now.
After All, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
That doesn’t mean you have to abandon everything that got you to this point, but it does mean that you need to be strategic about how you go about getting to the next high-water mark.
We’ve found that the one thing that can have the biggest impact on your ability to double your sales is increasing the quantity and/or quality of the traffic you’re currently getting.
You see, most dealers are severely limiting their pool of potential customers because they’re only marketing to the people who are currently in the market for a vehicle.
But at any given time, only about 2% of the population is actively shopping for a car. And yet, almost all dealership marketing is focused on attracting a portion of that 2%. By competing with all the other dealers in your area over this tiny pool of prospects, you’ll get what you’re used to—a small sliver of the pie (ie. your average monthly units).
This makes growth incredibly hard because any incremental growth has to come at the expense of another dealer in the market.
The result is a bloodbath where you and your competitors do battle every month trying to win an additional couple of deals.
And yet many dealers continue to fight this uphill battle. It’s insane, really, because they keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Check it out and look it up in the dictionary. That’s the definition of insanity.
But there’s a secret strategy at play in the car business that can let you break free from this craziness.
The secret is that many people in the remaining 98% of the population could be motivated to buy a car sooner rather than later. In many cases, as soon as today. The key is using messaging that moves them into the market right now.
Tweaking your messaging in this way can result in a significant increase in traffic because you are able to pull customers from a much larger pool.
If you truly want to scale up your sales on a reliable basis, we recommend you employ a dual market strategy.
First, continue what you’ve been doing to attract those people who are already in the market for a vehicle. Then, as you’re ready to grow, scale up the marketing to the people who are dreaming of upgrading their vehicle even though they haven’t yet entered the market.
2. You Need To Have A Realistic Advertising Budget
There’s a lot of “wisdom” out there when it comes to how to establish an ad budget in the car business.
We’ve read articles that say you should just pick a number you feel comfortable with and go with it, like it’s a number in a vacuum. It’s an option, but not a very good one, in our opinion.
Other schools of thought say that it should be a set percentage of your variable selling gross. At least this number is based on something, but it still doesn’t quite make sense. Let’s take a look at why…
Let’s say last month you spent $30,000 on advertising and sold 60 units at an average gross of $2,000, that’s $120,000 gross. That’s $90,000 in variable selling gross. Then the “expert” proponents of the 12.5% rule would tell you that your ad budget for this month should be $11,000. But if you spent $30,000 last month and sold 60 cars, do you think you’ll sell more cars this month with less than half the budget?
It’s not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely. If you’re marketing is actually responsible for those sales and not just the natural flow of traffic and business, then you’re not going to sell more cars by spending less.
Similarly, if you spent $30,000 to sell 60 units, it would be a herculean feat to suddenly sell 100 units off the same (or actually slightly less) ad spend.
Typically, when we see dealers focus on lowering through advertising cost per car, they are able to squeeze a little more juice out of the fruit, optimizing systems to get an additional couple of deals.
This could be a sound approach if you’re looking to improve efficiencies, but if you’re truly looking to scale up and double your business, this approach is unlikely to get you where you want to go.
You see, like any reliable machine, when you put raw materials in the top of your marketing funnel, you should get a predictable output on the other end. So if investing $30,000 means you sell 60 cars, then your cost per delivery is $500. That means for every $500 you invest in your marketing machine, you should, reliably, sell a car.
That means if you want to sell more cars, then you need to figure out your cost per car and multiply that number by your goal. That number should be your ad budget.
3. You Need A Scalable Marketing System
The biggest frustration most dealers have when they’re trying to scale is bringing in customers and having enough leads on their lot to hit their goals.
And yet frequently when we talk to dealers about what they’re doing for marketing and how they’re attracting customers, they give us a laundry list of sources.
They’re taking their budget and spreading it around and hoping that one of the sources generates some traffic for them, but they can rarely explain where there traffic and sales are actually coming from because the “attribution models” of these sources all claim that they were responsible for the sales.
What we mean is this: have you ever added up all of the sales these sites say you should have closed at the end of the month only to discover that apparently, unbeknownst to you, you actually sold 60 or 70 cars instead of the 50 you have on record.
And moving money around between these various sources doesn’t do much to alleviate the problem because there’s no plan, no method, no system that will reliably generate sales based on your investment.
No wonder dealers across the country are hesitant to add any additional budget for marketing. If you can’t tell if it works, we wouldn’t want to pour more money into something like that either.
That’s why we believe before you invest another cent in advertising you need to have a verifiable system that guarantees results.
A system, by definition, is something that happens automatically. It’s created around a predefined outcome that should happen routinely, without you having to lift a finger.
Marketing, like anything else is and should be viewed as a system.
Think about it like this…When you go to the auction, you have a system, you have a routine.
When the guys in F&I are walking the customer through the paperwork process, they have a system. They have an order that they go through the paperwork. They have basically a script they say to promote different features.
When a good salesman is making his presentation, he or she has a system.
And the same should be true for your marketing. You need a system. It should work like a machine where you put raw materials in the top (budget) and out comes a final product at the end (sales). And when you increase the input, the output should increase at the same rate.
This system should allow you to create more traffic, more deal flow, more profits and more business at will.
As you develop systems for marketing that automatically create a flow of new business and a flow of returning customers or referral business, deal flow increases.
As deal flow increases, you don’t have to work so hard on every single deal.
And you don’t have to spend time trying to magically create additional customers out of thin air.
A system like this allows you to stop working harder to grow your business and start working smarter and enjoying your business more.
After developing marketing systems for dealers in large markets and small throughout the U.S. and Canada, we’ve developed a plug-and-play method that can help you dramatically increase the traffic, leads and sales your dealership is seeing overnight.
Many of our members say it’s like turning on a light switch.
Part of our expertise lies in activating those people who aren’t yet shopping for a vehicle, but are dreaming of driving a nicer car, a newer car than the one they have right now. This is a foolproof system that we’ve implemented with franchise and used car dealers all with the same astounding results.
Part of the reason it works so well is it is because it’s the complete opposite of what most dealers are doing. That means it helps you stand out and sell more without spending more on advertising because it puts you in a category all your own.
Another reason it works so well is because we’ve created a network of likeminded dealers who are all invested in helping one another.
It’s a completely open forum, unfiltered and unplugged, where you can get direct input on any aspect of your business. It’s the answer to any question you’ve ever had available at your fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plus, each quarter, 100+ of the sharpest dealers in the country gather together to learn and share. Imagine all these minds working on your business with you.
If being a part of this group and having access to this system sounds like it might be of interest to you, click here to sign up for a free demo.
4. You Need Support
And no, we’re not talking about support staff, like more BDRs, sales and F&I people, etc.
Although, you will need more of those people, too, once you start selling more cars.
But first and foremost, you need to find other dealers to advise you. You need to connect with dealers who have been where you are and have gotten to where you want to go.
Noncompeting business connections that are willing to openly share information, tips, techniques and advice can have a HUGE impact when you’re trying to bust through a plateau and hit your next growth goal. These relationships are priceless.
More than that, we highly suggest getting an executive coach, advisor or mentor. This was hugely impactful for us in growing our own business and can make a big difference if you want to grow quickly.
In fact, many of the world’s top CEOs credit their executive coaches for the role they played in their enormous success.
The old maxim is that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with rings true in many cases, but even more so in business.
If you want to be successful, then you need to surround yourself with a network of successful dealers and expert coaches.
The goal should be to share and support each other. Celebrate successes and help overcome setbacks, to create an environment where everyone spills all their secrets about what’s working for them right now.
There are a lot of 20 groups and other dealer forums out there. The most important thing to keep in mind as you choose one is the focus of the group. Is it based on competition? Is there secrecy about what’s working now? Do the members openly share and encourage one another—unedited and with no hidden motivations?
One of the biggest components to engineering your continued success and future growth is to build and/or be a part of a support system like this.