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From the NCM Institute Blog: Does Your Dealership Department Have a USP?

Most of the articles I write are directed toward dealership senior managers or toward managers within specific departments. My content today is directed at all dealership department managers…or, rather, to those department managers who have a major sales responsibility. And guess what? Once again I’m going to talk about what’s not happening that should be happening in your department.

I am surprised by how few dealership departments have developed a “unique selling proposition (USP)” to market their products or services! And I’m alarmed by the puzzled looks that I get from managers when I ask, “Do you have a USP for your department, and if so, what is it?” Many dealership managers have never heard of a USP and certainly don’t know what it is.

Let’s start by defining USP. A unique selling proposition is any aspect (or set of aspects) that differentiates your business from similar businesses. Your USP should tell the prospect, “buy this product or service from us, and you will receive this specific benefit.” The proposition should be perceived to be “unique”…one that the competition cannot offer, does not offer (or offers but doesn’t talk about). Your USP statement(s) must be easy to communicate and to understand. Let’s look at a few examples:

New Vehicles: “We will not knowingly be undersold!”

Mechanical Service: “Factory trained technicians, factory authorized parts, fast and convenient service, and competitive prices. We care about you and your vehicle!”

Used Vehicles:  “At XYZ Motors, Peace of Mind is Standard Equipment on every pre-owned vehicle we sell!

  • Rigorous 75-Point Inspection and Reconditioning Process

  • Free CarFax inspection report

  • 3-Day ‘no questions asked’ return policy

  • 30-Day unconditional exchange policy

  • Everyday low True Market prices”

The key is to identify what is UNIQUE about your dealership department. Define what separates your store from the next one; tell the story – what are you projecting to the buying public? Let them know why they should be choosing to do business with you. 

So how do you tell people what your USP is? Any way you can!

  • Web-based information

  • Point-of-sale materials

  • “Why buy here?” evidence jackets

  • USP Included in all advertising formats

  • Train your sales staff to sell the USP – not just the product or service

Do you have a strong departmental USP that you’re willing to share? Do you have an effective method of communicating your USP? If so, please leave a comment below.

USP development, together with other marketing strategies and tactics, is addressed within many of the management training courses conducted by the NCM Institute Center for Automotive Retail Excellence. We also offer a course specifically for general managers, GM candidates and dealership executives who need a fuller understanding of integrated marketing concepts titled, "How to Advertise in a Complex Marketplace." For more information on these courses, click here, or call Brandiss, Kara, or Cassie at 866.756.2620.

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Tags: Data, Management


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