Every independent car dealership knows how difficult it can be to compete with the big chains. They have more money, more resources, and more customers. And while it may seem like there is no way to level the playing field, there are a few things that independent dealerships can do to improve their business. You will just have to be a little smarter and a little tougher. So whether you are just starting or you have been in the business for a while, here are six that will help you improve your dealership and give you the edge you need to succeed:
Invest in Good Marketing
Another way to improve your dealership is to invest in good marketing. This includes both traditional and digital marketing. Traditional marketing methods, such as print ads and TV commercials, can still be effective in reaching a wide audience. But if you want to reach potential customers where they are spending most of their time, you need to focus on digital marketing. You may also consider hiring a marketing company that specializes in the automotive industry. They will create a customized plan to generate both subprime auto leads and in-market car buyers that are more likely to visit your dealership and make a purchase. Just make sure that you are getting a good return on your investment by tracking your results and monitoring your sales.
Offer a Better Customer Experience
When it comes to the customer experience, independent dealerships have a few advantages. First, they are more likely to be personal and interactive with their customers. They also have more flexibility when it comes to pricing and special offers. And finally, they can focus on customer service and making sure that each customer is happy. All of these factors can add up to a better customer experience, which is something that the big chains can’t always offer. So if you want to attract more customers and set yourself apart from the competition, focus on providing a great customer experience.
Specialize in a Certain Type of Car
One way to attract customers to your dealership is to specialize in a certain type of car. This could be a certain make or model that you are known for, or it could be a certain type of customer. For example, you could focus on selling luxury cars or sports cars. Or you could focus on selling to first-time buyers or families. By specializing in a certain type of car or customer, you can make your dealership more appealing to a specific group of people. And by focusing on quality instead of quantity, you can attract higher-end customers who will appreciate your expertise.
Keep Up with Technology
In today’s world, technology is constantly changing, and car dealerships have to change with it. Independent dealerships are often at a disadvantage when it comes to keeping up with technology since they don’t have the same resources as the big chains. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t stay ahead of the curve. There are a few things that independent dealerships can do to keep up with technology. One solution is investing in new software and systems that will help you run your business more efficiently. And by staying up-to-date on the latest industry news you will know what changes are happening and how they can adapt to them effectively.
Offer Financing Options
As an independent dealership, you may not have the same resources as the big chains when it comes to financing. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t offer financing options to your customers. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your customers can get the financing they need. One option is to partner with a local bank or credit union. It will take some time to set up, but this can be a great way to offer to finance to your customers. Another option is to offer in-house financing. This can be a bit riskier, but if you have good relationships with your customers, it can be a great way to help them finance their purchases.
Focus on Customer Service
Finally, one of the best ways to improve your dealership is to focus on customer service. This includes everything from the way you greet customers to the way you handle sales and service. Independent dealerships have an advantage when it comes to customer service since they are often more personal and interactive with their customers. You should also utilize technology to your advantage by offering online appointment scheduling, online bill pay, and online chat. By focusing on customer service, you will be able to create a better experience for your customers and stand out from the competition. Just remember that customer service is important at every stage of the process, from the initial contact to after the sale.
As you can see, even though independent dealerships may have some disadvantages, there are still plenty of ways that they can improve their business. By focusing on a few key areas, such as specialization, technology, marketing, financing, and customer service, you can make your dealership more successful. So don’t be discouraged if you’re not part of a big chain. With the right strategies in place, you can still compete with the big guys.