The automotive retail industry has gone through a lot of ups and downs in recent years. As a result, many dealers have noticed that the way consumers shop has evolved. No longer can we simply stand idly by and be reactive. Instead, it’s critical to level up your dealership in four key areas: Acquiring, pricing, merchandising, and selling. One strategy to successfully launch your dealership to new heights is by sharpening the fundamentals. Blocking and tackling will always be core to your success. So, what’s your dealership doing today to ensure that business essentials are continually followed?

Start by concentrating on how you acquire inventory. Now is the time to scoop up as many vehicles as possible. While that may not seem to be an easy task, focusing on the fundamentals will help you create a clear vision of the marketplace. Lean on your service lane. Encourage your customers. And build a buying center that creates opportunities to purchase more cars. Your team will play a pivotal role in acquiring inventory. Empower them to start important conversations on your lot about customer vehicles. There are many tools available for your dealership to succeed. Remember the basics and stick to some tried and true methods.

The next step after acquiring inventory is to get it priced competitively. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. In the past, we have seen dealers race to the bottom in an attempt to get customers onto their lot. But that way of doing business has to stop. Your dealership needs to learn how to be different. And in this day and age, going back to the basics is a great place to start. Focus on the value of the vehicle and the customer experience. Put a price that is best for the consumer and your dealership. Apply honest and transparent methods for doing business, and you’ll see a positive reaction to your pricing.

If you really want to be different and stand out from the pack, then you need to focus on the nuts and bolts of your inventory. You have the car and you’ve priced it correctly. Now, you need to get it out to the public. Merchandising truly makes a difference. When done correctly, merchandising will cast a wider net because you will be writing better descriptions, putting a focus on the highlights of the vehicle, and be drawing attention to the competitive differences at your dealership. When playing in the digital space, your ads need to speak directly to the consumer. Make the car the star with high-quality photos that accent highly descriptive ad copy. Don’t get bogged down by overthinking the process. You know what your customers want…so give it to them.  

At the end of the day, all of this sets you up to do what you do best. Sell. The automotive retail industry is built on the notion that a dealership has the inventory to sell to consumers. You’ve done the heavy lifting of acquiring, pricing, and merchandising. Keep in mind that your customer’s time is valuable by emphasizing their experience. Eliminate gaps in your sales process by providing straightforward, honest communication. The old school methods for selling belong where we left them. But the basics of establishing an authentic relationship between salesperson and customer will never die. Empower your staff to be instant experts in order to reduce friction. And remember to always meet consumers where they are.

All in all, the automotive retail industry continues to evolve and expand. Some may have experienced growing pains, while others may have encountered prosperity. The point is that while the market ebbs and flows, dealers need to keep track of what is working and what is not. Illuminate dark corners where you can improve. Sharpen your skills to be better in every area. The fundamentals will never go out of style. When evaluating your lot, consider the different parts of the process. Break them down, identify pros and cons, and develop a roadmap for your success. It all starts with the basics.

Dealerships across the country have access to many solutions designed to assist them in a competitive marketplace. MAX Digital has helped countless dealers in their journey to stand out from the crowd. From inventory management to sales enablement, MAX Digital’s robust solution stack was created with your lot in mind. If you want to acquire more vehicles, learn how to price them the best, merchandise them like a pro, and sell them like a champ, then you need MAX Digital. Schedule a free consultation today.