Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Sometimes I have to look for verification on a calendar that it is actually 2012 and not 1992, and while it shouldn’t still surprise me it continues to do just that when I am confronted with the extreme disconnect that still exists between the evolution of the car business as a whole and the dinosaurs that continue to populate most managerial roles at the dealership level. It seem like the manufacturers get where the business has adapted to, hell most car companies have dedicated staff handling social media and customer interaction and fully encourage dealerships to as well.
Many large dealer groups I have had experience with have some real forward thinkers on their boards and provide goals and guidelines about how to get into and manage online communities and their importance but when it comes to the application there are just so many out and out failures at so many dealerships due to lack of understanding and or unwillingness to even consider something that isn’t part of the way its always been, the way they have always done things… Believe it or not conversation’s like the following happen every day, yes in 2012!
GM: I just got an email from corporate; we need to set up a page on this plus Google thing. Its free and they want each dealer to get it done, you need to get on it.
Me: Uh, well… our page was up on Nov. 7th, the first day that Google + open up business pages actually. Would you like to see it?
GM: Is it gonna sell me a freakin car? No, I don’t need to see it, just make sure if I go and tell corporate its done that it is, don’t make me look stupid…
GM: Hey, we need to get some videos of our customers and post ‘em on that FaceTube crap pronto. Corporate is all hot about video so get on it so I can tell ‘em we did it and then we can get back to selling cars…
Me: Actually, we have well over 40 customer delivery videos already and they are posted continually on both our company Facebook page and our YouTube channel. Would you like to see them?
GM: Facebook, YouTube, Face Tube… whatta you making fun of me? Just get it done so I can get these guys off my back, and since your so on top of things smart ass how come you aren’t sellin more cars now??
GM: Hey, I just finished my projections and to hit my goals I need you and your team to increase sales up to 75 new cars per month so you need to hire more people cause you cant get it done with what you got now.
Me: Well, with our current closing ratios as strong as they are all that really needs to be done would be a combination of a strong PPC plan and perhaps increasing our lead volume from our best lead provider and we could certainly get to your numbers. I have emailed you each of the last three months with my recommendations on increasing volume.
GM: That’s sounds expensive so no. Just hire more people and if the ones you got want to keep their jobs and not see a drop in pay they will figure out how to sell more cars, more people always means more sales, dumbass…
Its so incredibly frustrating to sit through presentations from amazing folks like Ralph Paglia, read the wisdom and insights of folks like Brian Pasch, Kathi Kruse and the members of all the forums I pour through and then be inspired by incredible motivators like Renee Stuart only to be told to stop wasting time with my nose in a screen and get my guys out on the floor to ‘grab an up and sell a damn car’…
Out there, somewhere is a Dealer Principal or GM that gets it. Understands the value of a positive atmosphere in which employees strengths are praised and employees are valued as vital aspects of the overall success of the dealer ship and not easily replaced lackeys who should be able to consistently ‘man up’, take the chew out and go sell something. The possibilities of what could happen if the shackles of what worked in the past aren’t restraining us from moving forward are incredibly exciting, evolution needs to speed up and the dinosaurs that yet still hold tenaciously on to the GM chairs across the land need to fall into the tar pits and go away!
I’m just sayin…
Thanks for listening... :)