How many times have you been told by a vendor that your current efforts aren’t cutting it? If you don’t sign up for their product, you’re not going to get the same results. To then go with their product — having been sold a bag of goods only to be left with a mess putting you in a worse position you were previously. Not to mention, don’t you think some vendors have been conditioned to our tactics of saying, “well, what are other (your OEM) dealers doing”? To which they, in most cases, respond with the tell-all, offering that they are just so happening to do what they’re selling? It’s magic, right?
Not so much. Instead of asking what other dealers are doing, ask the tough questions to ensure the vendor’s product is right for your dealership. The problem is that many of us – whether we admit it or not – do not know which questions to ask the vendor. How many times have we been on a demo, not paying full attention, to push them to show us the “results” of other dealers without actually asking how they got the dealership those magical results?
Most vendors love it when you push them to just get to the “results” phase of the demo. You look at the results, thinking that if it worked for that dealership and got them those strong results, it will surely work for me. But have we even taken the time to review those “results?” More importantly, did we ask how the dealer got those results? In most cases, no. We look at the numbers as they’re telling us we can only get that pricing today. So, what happens next? Well, the service gets off on a rocky start, to which we tend to have it out with the sales consultant. Whereas had we done our homework – not just looking at the “results,” we might have avoided the very predicament you’re facing at the moment.
You see, just like the vendor, we’re in sales too, so how can we get duped so easily? Well, the hard reality is that many of us want that golden ticket solution. We want to fast-track the results. The ironic part in all of this is that we’re willing to shell out thousands of dollars for the next fad trend – anyone remember all of the “video” walk-around tools that came out five or so years ago that just didn’t work – wasting thousands of dollars to only question why our Sales Consultants or BD Agents didn’t use the product? In most cases, the product just didn’t work.
More importantly, before you sign up for the latest and greatest tool or marketing trend, let’s focus on training. And no, not the clubhouse, fist-pumping “we’re going to fix your dealership in two weeks training,” either. Fixing the root cause of your dealership’s breakpoints doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it get fixed by the fist-pumping, adrenaline-fueled clubhouse trainer that doesn’t have any dealer experience, either.
It takes time. Time spent working with the dealership, understanding what the actual breakpoints are, which can’t always be “fixed” by reading a report. It’s also about ensuring that your dealerships managers are fully trained. So, they understand how to hold their teams accountable. Simply buying a tool because the vendor said it’s going to “fix” the breakpoint does not work.
Bottom Line: don’t get duped into training or a “fad” trend by the vendor that pushed their product harder than a model pushed those new “gotta have” sunglasses on a home shopping network that you could have bought for a fraction of the price at a big-box retailer. Instead, start with quality training. At which point, you can look at new solutions that will enhance your dealership’s performance.
Lastly, beware of the dealer employee “pitchmen” that seem to be advertising for vendors more than they advertise for their own stores. Nobody in their right mind wants stronger competition, better competition or their competition having access to their “secret weapon.” So, why are they pitching on behalf of vendors? Simple, it’s one of three reasons, 1. Ego, 2. They’re bought and paid for, 3. They use the service for free.