Have you heard the quote by educator and author Charles R. Swindoll, “Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it”? Let’s take a moment and think about how that quote applies to the automotive retail industry. We all know there have been plenty of disruptors going on in the world around us. These interruptions have changed the way we do business. But just because we have had to pivot our methods doesn’t mean that there aren’t lessons to be learned. That’s the difference between how you make it versus how you take it. 

You can’t control what’s going on around you. But you sure can control how you respond to it. Take for example the growing trend of consumers going digital. We all know how Amazon changed the way the game is played. They noticed a gap between where customers were and where they wanted to shop. For dealers, this model is increasingly attractive. Customers want more digital touchpoints to accomplish various aspects of the car buying process. Will they purchase new or used vehicles 100% online? Not quite yet. But they are moving in that direction. So,  what does that mean for your dealership?

Because the customer is shopping your inventory in several different ways, it’s up to you to create next-level experiences that meet consumers where they are. You can’t force them to shop your physical lot. Instead, what you need to do is provide touchpoints that allow the customer to shop your inventory in the way they want. Merchandising and syndication are important tools in your arsenal. Do these correctly and you will bridge the gap between where your customer is and where they want to go. Since there is a want for a hybrid mixture of shopping online and in-store, you need to prepare your inventory to be searchable and shoppable for both. 

Beyond that, it’s time to stop being reactive and put your data to good use. In order to make proper decisions based on facts, you need to capture the right kind of information. Then, it is up to you to make evidence-based choices that reflect positively on your dealership. Be proactive here. Take what you get and use it to transform your lot into a next-generation selling machine. The more data and insights you have, the greater your chances of becoming a better mentor for your team, a superior provider for your customers, and a higher quality cornerstone in your community. All of that comes from taking what you are given and running with it.

Now, all of this is easier said than done. But for the best leaders in the country, being successful is about taking an opportunity and transforming it into something spectacular. What have you been doing with the moments you have been given? If you simply wait around for a perfect storm, you are squandering opportunities to acquire the right vehicle, merchandise it properly, and sell it at the highest possible gross. You need to seize the day and take it by the reins. For the automotive industry, this means taking chances when they are presented. 

At the end of the day, it is up to you to maximize the opportunities you are given. Nothing is written in stone. The automotive industry will continue to see shifts that alter how the game is played. But these disruptive changes don’t signal the end of operations for you. Instead, they are opportunities for your dealership to raise to new heights. Change the way you think about how you make it versus how you take it, and you will see new chances for growth at your store.