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This year’s Black Friday chaos and record-breaking Cyber Monday sales created quite the stir around the Potratz lunch table. Sharing pictures of our weekend steals and comparing our shopping lists, my co-workers and I discussed 2013’s hottest items over our cups of soup and sandwiches. Remembering the Tickle Me Elmo craze and iPod madness of holiday’s past, we each pointed out our favorite “must haves,” but were sure to mention that the best gifts were the ones we didn’t even think to ask for. There will always be big-ticket items to market each holiday season, but retailers and dealers need to remember that those forgotten wants will also sell. For dealers, this means promoting service.
When creating incentives for this upcoming holiday season, it’s important to focus both on sales and service. You might not find a mother looking to buy three new vehicles for her sons, but she could go home with Oil Change certificates as stocking stuffers. Promoting both vehicle specials and service specials provides gift options for all price-points. This season, take the time to create a menu of services that your dealership would be willing to offer for gift-hungry customers, bonus points go for creativity. Bundle together a fuel injection and throttle service for the ultimate Gas Saver or “Holiday Brake” Special for college students home on break. From snow tire deals to a detailing package, busy holiday shoppers will understand the value of these needed gifts, especially if they are being offered at a discounted rate.
When it comes to planning these specials, be sure to keep your customer’s schedule in mind. For example, the day after Christmas finds many scheduling the “to do” items that they never have time for. Why not offer a free state inspection for those who need to get their vehicles renewed? Doing a little extra work in tailoring your specials will stand out in a sea of flashy “hot item” advertisements and it adds value to your dealership. As we’ve discussed in past blogs, service is what builds customer loyalty. Maybe when that lucky gift recipient brings in her oil change coupon, she realizes she’d like to browse the New Year models or get her tires rotated. Service allows customers to interact directly with your sales team and technicians and opens up opportunities for future sales or services. Like a perfectly knotted bow, those small service specials can create lifelong customers and make the holidays merrier for dealers and customers alike.