It’s no secret December is the one month most of us can count on to carry us through the slow months. We use this month to pay for January and February, hoping it carries us well into the thrust month, March. But what if we didn’t have to solely rely on the success of December to carry us? Just think of all the deals that didn’t get booked in December and the leftover inventory from the current year that becomes the “hot special” we’re pushing – in some cases – well into February. Here are two key areas to focus on now to help get through the next few months ahead without having to use your year-end profits! 

Plan Ahead. Budget. How Many of Us “Have” A Budget, But Only Use it as a Guide? 

In a perfect world, we’d have a 2021 budget planned and ready to go. A budget that includes all the necessary tools: the most important being training! But in most cases, while there’s a budget, how often do we actually follow the budget, how do we actually use it?

To make matters worse, most of the “cuts” in the budget are training & ad spend, which in hindsight are arguably the two most important line items in the budget. Even if your dealer cuts ad spend to save money but does not offer training, you now have even fewer opportunities to work with untrained Sales Consultants & BD Agents. Does that sound like a winning plan? It’s not! To avoid this, plan ahead, and make sure training is a line item in your budget. Chances are, if you went through your current vendor list, there are duplications in services you either don’t use or could easily cut. That alone could pay for training. Or here’s a novel idea, spend more! It doesn’t take an advanced degree in business to know that most pretend “sitting in the chair” means being cheap. Or even worse, that’s honestly what most perceive their job as GM to be…. You’ll never cut your way to a profit. Especially with an untrained team under you! 

Is Training in Your Budget? Make the Investment Now! Use The Two Slower Months to Train Your Staff Without Cutting Your Ad Spend. 

Think about it, January & February tend to be the two slowest months of the year. The OEM’s specials tend not to be as aggressive, and most dealers are left with unsold models that need to go! For those who make December count (and training is not a line item in the budget), use a portion of the proceeds to invest in quality training for your Sales Consultants & BD Agents. Using the two slower months – that tend to have lower lead volume – to get your team’s phone and lead management skills refined will pay off when it comes to your first thrust month, March. You have to start somewhere, so why not when it’s the slow time? 

Not only will you increase your dealer’s profitability with increased sales, but you’ll also realize a stronger ROI for your current ad-spend. Imagine not having to necessarily increase your ad-spend for the first thrust month because your Sales Consultants & BD Agents are crushing the previous year’s numbers in booked and sold appointments! Answering the leads with quality responses. All while you’ve wound up spending less money. Sounds almost too good to be true, but the fact is you can do more with less. It just depends on how you do it. And it’s done by investing in effective, quality training. 

When it comes to ad spend for the slower months, we tend to cut it. Or, in some cases, actually spend more to try and get every sale we can. And we all know that Google Ads (PPC Campaigns) live in its own reality. We also know that simply cutting ad-spend or even “increasing” our ad-spend doesn’t mean it will translate into results (especially with an untrained staff). So, while it’s our go-to knee-jerk reaction to cut ad spend, there are other ways to combat not getting results. And that’s training. If we can train our Sales Consultants & BD Agents – refining their skills – you can get more results with fewer leads. Instead of cutting ad spend or increasing it to get more results, you can keep the spend the same, train, and realize more results. Remember, the Active Coaching model is crucial to ongoing development, keeping those skills sharp and establishing and maintaining a solid foundation that’s consistent among your team. 

Are you going to invest in training for your teams in January?