What I’ve learned as a vendor: About Products (part 4)

Nicole Marcellino

Having the right products – tools and resources – on the dealer level can have a meaningful impact. But for every good product available there’s one that just doesn’t cut it. We’ve all at one point or another been pitched a lousy product peddled by our vendors, right? And some of us have even bought the lousy product just to cancel it a few months later because we’d never even logged into the platform. 

Well, the same can be said for a great product. How many times have you canceled a great product because no one used it? But the reason it was canceled was that “it didn’t work,” “it was too complicated,” or “we couldn’t get buy-in…”

Instead of getting caught up in the next, latest, and greatest peddled product – here’s what I’ve learned as a Vendor, About Products: 

  • Reality, most aren’t necessary nor do they work as intended. 
  • Reality, the ones that do work are likely outdated.
  • Reality, “consultants” are more outdated than most products.
  • Reality, most decision-makers don’t know how to use them but should.
  • Reality, without buy-in at the top, even the great ones won’t work.
  • Reality, here are the necessary products for a store today:
    • DMS
    • CRM
    • Inventory Valuation Tool
    • Ongoing Training Tool
    • Desking Solution
    • Website

The bottom line: There are core products that every successful dealership should be using. Once your teams are using the core products and they’ve been correctly implemented on the dealer level – sure, go for that additional product that can assist your teams. But let’s not add a product for the sake of it. Especially considering that many products offered either don’t work as they were intended to, or one of the products you’re currently using actually offers that product’s function. And most importantly, if you don’t have the support on the dealer level to manage the product it’s not going to do you any favors, and you’ll just wind up canceling it.

Last but not least, “we couldn’t get buy-in” is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I didn’t realize YOUR business was a democracy. Sure, you want buy-in, but at the end of the day, he who steers the ship also sets the course. If you’re doing your job at the top and identify a need, it’s up to the rank and file to pick up their tools and run in the direction you’re pointing. 

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