Step 2 → Build
Mastering your market isn’t an overnight process. It requires hard work and dedication. As we navigate through this series, you’ve already recognized the problem areas within your dealership and have worked to identify where solutions play a transformative role. Now, my friends, it’s time for construction. If 1989’s classic film Field of Dreams has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t expect to make a difference without putting in the effort. After all, if you build it…
But, when it comes to the automotive retail industry, implementation needs to be carefully thought out and prepared for. Building towards market mastery starts with processes. Even in the face of fluctuations, you’ll need to have a game plan for correcting the past’s mistakes to put you on the path to success in the future.
Integrate the steps needed to acquire the right vehicles, because let’s face it, your job depends on it. Sourcing cars from consumers is critical to achieving your goals. Open your mind to new and valuable marketing strategies, and put them into practice. Don’t just conceptualize. Empower your lot with the people needed to secure inventory. Be rigorous yet proactive. You’ve already examined your processes, so bring on a team that can acquire the cars you need.
Another fundamental skill that you will need to implement is inventory management. You’ve scoured the community for the cars, and explored where your deficiencies are…now it’s time to elevate your processes to new levels. The thing about an inventory management system is that they are not all created equally. The market will continue to fluctuate. EVs will disrupt consumer patterns. And the future is not yet written.
For inventory management, this means that you need to bake in a system that is flexible to your needs while anticipating the curves ahead. Implementing a system that can manage inventory while utilizing data that is predictive and intuitive is crucial to your trajectory. Forge a partnership with a vendor that has your best interest in mind. You are dedicated to your people and the community, and therefore deserve a solution that is capable of helping you grow. Tackle the basics of mastering your lot’s inventory by incorporating a system that anticipates and translates complex data into an actionable to-do list.
Finally, bring in a training methodology that is capable of elevating your team. The blocking and tackling make a difference. All too often, modern organizations make assumptions about their teams and their consumers. It’s time to dig into the foundation and build a program that delivers information that exceeds customer expectations. You know cars, you know consumers. Launch your dealership into the next generation by putting information about packages, makes, and models directly into the hands of your employees. Let them enlighten and educate like never before.
When you can anticipate the needs of customers by allowing your employees to answer questions before they are asked, you improve the overall experience on your lot. Make your dealership the kind of place you want to buy a car. You don’t need a time machine to get back to the glory days of shopping for automobiles. The basics of a dealership worth celebrating are waiting for you.
At the end of the day, you’ll build your digital presence by having digital vehicle listings that are SEO-friendly, answers that are easily accessible, and photos that are intriguing and illustrative of the car’s unique features. You’ll be able to manage and grow your reputation while expanding your reach into new markets. Don’t discount the power of social media. Engage with your audience by creating content that resonates and reaches new areas.
Building and integrating processes into your dealership is an important step to your success. Don’t just audit or identify problems. Talk is cheap. Come up with solutions and implement them in your store. There are plenty of vendors available to bring new systems for inventory management, acquisition, appraising, training, and selling. Do your research to find which ones are best for your lot and build the steps needed to launch your store to new heights. Practice what you preach and you will see a dramatic increase in your success.
The next step in the process is to execute these new fundamentals. Stay tuned for part 3 of how to master your market with the basics for the used auto industry in 2023.