Take a look around you. I mean a really good look. Are things the same as they were yesterday? Last week? Even last year? Let’s be honest. The answer is no. If operations at your dealership are the same now as they were ten years ago, then please reach out to me because I want to know what you are doing. You may have a recipe for success that nobody else is using in our industry. But, I would bet that very few of you would respond with that answer.  

The brutal truth is there are so many disruptors that auto dealers endure that force quick change. From an unexpected pandemic to global supply chain shortages, we have to take a step back and examine the landscape. Just because things are bright does not mean that there won’t be a new disruptor. And when that happens, we have to be ready. How do we do that? Through a rigorous pattern of curiosity.  

You see, our industry needs to be fueled by concrete decisions based on data. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t gaps. These gaps are motivated by disruptors. Some are good. Some are bad. Either way, every so often, something comes along to change the way the game is played. To best prepare for these alterations, you need to put on your detective hat, get a little curious, and ask some questions.

Data is your friend, so don’t be afraid of technology. Utilize your systems to inspire curiosity. Once you establish this level of inquisitive behavior, you’ll see that your staff will also get on board. This is perfect for improving the customer experience. You can’t sell cars the way that you used to, nor should you. Empower your team to be lifelong learners and to be as curious as possible.

In adopting this mindset, you’ll be better equipped to tackle challenges as they come. For the automotive industry, it’s these disruptions that define not only success, but the longevity of your dealership. Be proactive about it and deploy solutions that capitalize on what you are doing right while fixing what’s going wrong. If you just leave your store to fend for itself, you risk isolating your team, turning off customers, and tanking your business.

True, your goals are probably the same as they were 10 years ago. But to achieve them, you need to change the way you think about selling cars and holding gross. Gone are the days of slick used car salespeople. As a result of the direction the automotive industry has gone, we need to adopt a fresh approach to achieving operational goals. When you are analyzing your successes or shortcomings, do so with curiosity.

Invest in smart data and get as much information about your inventory, your customers, and industry trends as possible. Then, study it. Ask questions. Dig into the data and you will discover where your dealership has been and where it is going. This mindset is contagious, and when applied to your staff, will increase their ability to succeed at their jobs. Do the work today to generate momentum for tomorrow. The times are changing, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t capitalize on the positives.