15 years. That’s how long I’ve spent in the automotive industry. In those 15 years I’ve spent time working up through from a car jockey to a service manager and through everything in between. The one common theme in every position I held? If you don’t know what you are doing, make very sure you look like you do!
There is little training provided. The hours are long. It’s a grind to earn every dollar whether on commission or not. And you’re only making money when you are busy. It always seems like the guy to the left of you got the only good lead of the day and who knows if he will even close them? After all, he’s only been selling cars for a week! So we go home to our Kraft dinner and hotdog water soup and try again tomorrow. If only there were more quality leads coming through the door!
You’re only ever as good as your last month. In the service department, sales department, F&I, parts department, autobody and every other department, every month starts out at $0 sales. It’s a fact of life in any retail environment. We need to generate the right kinds of traffic so the customers coming through the door are consistently high-calibre. If the loss-leader you advertise isn’t getting converted, do you switch strategies? Maybe try focussing on a specialized niche, something your team excels at. If there are no warm bodies coming through the door, do you introduce a loss-leader? Are you undercutting your value to make sales instead of promoting your product or image better to keep more gross? What are you going to do to build your sales from $0 this month?
You look like you know what you’re doing, sure. Is that half the battle? Maybe more. But take a look and see if you can optimize your marketing. It can be the difference between a T-bone and hotdog water soup next month.