Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Author's Note: "Hello ADM community. Happy to be here. I just signed up last week and can tell I am with my kind. I've enjoyed reading so far. Listed below is my first blog here in the ADM community. Hope you enjoy. Even if you don't, thanks for reading anyway. :)"
Gold is valuable! (“Thanks Jeff for the heads up there…”) Which is precisely why you want to avoid Pyrite. This iron sulfide mineral, which is still in use for manufacturing, has earned the nickname “Fools Gold” because of its close resemblance to the real thing. I think you’d agree with me, it would be a shame to pay a Gold price for Pyrite.
Vendors can be just like this.
Some are worth their weight in gold, others can make you look like a fool. We all need vendors. There are many consultants and vendors out there that do a great job in serving the automotive retail community. And others that don’t. Or, some that do a great job that you may not be ready for just yet…..
So why is it that so many vendor partnerships fail?
It’s so easy to blame Autotrader for low sales and missed expectations, (and cancel the service) even though we checked the reports for the first time in three months today. (Aaaand forgot to see if the pictures and comments were being polled properly) That display/retargeting campaign? Must not be working! Did I check it? I sure did, the day I signed the agreement! Have I checked it since? Aw shucks……
There might be a legitimate problem with a vendor service, but if we as managers and decision makers do not step up and hold ourselves accountable for how we choose the vendor and how to manage the vendor service, or carefully consider whether we need it at all, we are going to be throwing money away. Additionally, we could also compound an error by getting rid of a potentially profitable partnership simply because we haven’t looked in the mirror first. And back we go into the vicious cycle of “next shiny new vendor up!” syndrome.
One of the best little 3 step programs for choosing vendors (or for making any business decision really) is: 1. Clarify 2. Simplify 3. Execute. Like all programs, you have to do it, not just read it, and your mileage may vary. I can tell you one thing, this works! Here it is (with apologies to Brian Tracy and whomever he borrowed this off of)
This isn’t rocket science, but then again, common sense isn’t common practice. It’s what we do, not our good intentions, which ultimately matter.
Every vendor partnership you have should be considered an investment moving you forward toward your business goals. Avoid the cowboy attitude of “I got a vendor so I don’t have to think about that.” Inspect what you expect. You don’t have to spend a lot of time monitoring vendors. However, weekly reports and monthly meetings (at a minimum) to go review benchmarks and progress is huge and can cause you to reap significant benefits. You simply cannot afford to use “hope” as a strategy.
Regardless of the current state of your vendor relationships, if you Clarify, Simplify, and most importantly, EXECUTE on what you agree to do, you will be able to find out pretty quickly if your vendors are worth their weight in gold, instead of wasting your precious time mining for shiny rocks that are best used as fossil fuel.