What are some of the problems being faced by every pre-owned auto dealership? Whether your business is a successful and profitable car dealership or a new car dealership struggling to generate enough revenue, almost all car dealerships face a common set of challenges that will need to be tackled by a savvy dealership owner. Howard Wilner, as always, took some time to provide some of his tips to resolving these problems. Some of these challenges will have to be addressed prior to setting up your new dealership.
Setting up a new pre-owned auto dealership and buying a franchised dealership each have their own unique set of challenges, hence a shrewd businessman will make a well informed decision as to whether he needs to invest the capital in setting up a brand new pre-owned car dealership, or consider buying a franchised dealership from a reputable brand owner.
Investing capital into building a brand new pre-owned dealership has a lot of challenges that will need to be considered before making the big decision. For instance, Howard Wilner feels that researching the location of the dealership is the key to differentiating between a fruitful investment versus a failed one. Why would you need to research the location of the dealership? Every business that depends on the revenue generated through sales needs to ascertain the most convenient location in terms of interested buyers. For example, an expensive luxury manufacturer auto dealership will be situated in a location with a majority of middle-aged, white collar executives. An opposing example would be a pre-owned dealership selling minimum standard of quality vehicles in a location with a majority of college students and blue-collar professionals still advancing their careers. What would happen if you were to set up the dealership in an unsuitable location? The answer is quite simple according to Howard Wilner: you would not be receiving a desirable profit-margin. In a more unfortunate scenario, the dealership would be operating on a loss.
Another important challenge being faced by almost all car dealers include the fact that the sales representatives do not provide the right kind of customer service to interested buyers. Although it is true that in the car sales business, customers have already made up their mind when they approach a dealership to browse for a vehicle, a poor quality of customer service will be almost certain to offset even a highly interested customer. What quality of customer service is required then, for a smooth facilitation of a successful sale?
Howard Wilner supports training a sales team on enthusiastic friendliness and hospitality. There is nothing that makes a browsing customer feel more special than a sales representative that looks to please and make the customer feel welcome. This could mean a simple smile, maintaining a very friendly and customer-centred conversation, as well as offering a simple beverage or snack. Every car-owner can list various scenarios in which they have walked out of negotiations or visits to the dealership, simply because of an uninterested sales or reception team. When a dealership does not take the time to make the customer feel special and wanted, the customer will deem it unnecessary to give the dealership the benefit of their business.
Another very important aspect of customer service involves the stressful but necessary negotiations that take place between the sales department and the interested customer. It might be probable that customers will get visibly and audibly stressed during some part of the negotiations process. In such cases, it is highly imperative that the sales team remain calm, composed and friendly while they rebut the customer’s quote.
Howard Wilner believes that there is a way most dealers will be able to achieve a sustainable margin of profit while still guaranteeing that the customer will be happy with the final quote provided to the customer. It is important to consider that every listing price of a vehicle in an auto dealership should be a little higher than the profit margin already decided upon for the vehicle. Hence this provides the customer with some room for negotiation, and the sales representative will be notified to ensure that the final price never drops below the original profit margin for the vehicle. This serves to both generate profit for the dealership while also ensuring that customers feel that they have received the best possible price for the vehicle.
Another widely reported challenge that auto dealers face is the low conversion rates of leads into potentials. Since auto dealers operate their businesses in a very competitive market, it can be quite challenging to generate the maximum potential of profit while also ensuring that potential customers are being attracted to the dealership and not being enticed by other dealerships with much more inexpensive options. In such cases, Howard Wilner feels that it is crucial to ensure the pre-owned auto market is being inundated with your dealership’s promotional and advertising material, which would result in a higher conversion rate of leads.
It is not easy have a successful operation of promotional activities, but one of the most successful advertising options being advocated for by many successful auto dealers such as Howard Wilner for instance, is radio commercials. Research has proven that the large majority of car drivers are tuned in to their favourite radio stations while they are on the roads. This is a perfect marketing avenue since all of the promotional material will be reaching a demographic that includes individuals who are in the auto market. It is also important to note that some dealerships will have a more impactful advert compared to those of other dealers, and it is crucial that your dealership puts in the effort and capital to ensure that the commercial being produced is an impactful one.
Howard Wilner is an established executive who is in charge of New England AutoMax Inc., as well as the AutoMax Service Center. He is majorly influential in the incredibly high rate of sales that was generated in his dealerships, and maintains a high quality of customer service at all of his dealerships. Howard Wilner is always happy to fill in on tips and information about achieving high sales and having impeccable customer service.