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For many dealers, business falls off after the first of the year as shoppers are essentially in a ‘holiday hangover’. Businesses and many buyers had to make vehicle purchases before the end of the year for tax reasons, and others have overspent or filled up credit cards. In any case, there are fewer people on the lot or shopping on dealership websites.

Here are three things a dealership can do to generate additional sales opportunities during this sales slump:

  1. HIT THE PHONES – Now is the perfect time to wish sold and unsold customers a Happy New Year and perhaps invite them for a winter or cold weather inspection
  2. SHARPEN PROCESSES – Strengthen your sales team with training that helps them make the most of your processes and convert more visits to sales
  3. ADD / UPGRADE  LIVE CHAT – Now is the worst time to ignore the potential of having a top-rated live chat option on your website, that can greet every shopper and initiate the sales process while they are still on your website

While there may be less showroom traffic during January, that doesn’t mean car dealers have to lay down and suffer through it. A few proactive measures can help boost sales.


Tom LaPointe CarChat24 CHAT EXPERT 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Hosted or In-House Options – FREE web chat software 727-638-0195

Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with more than 15 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He began working with the internet building websites at Johns Hopkins University in the 90's, and has been a performance leader in nearly every dealer role, from sales and service, to web development and viral marketing.

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Tags: car sales, chat, chat software, live chat, managed chat


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Comment by Brian Bennington on January 6, 2015 at 6:46pm

Ok Big Tom, I'm sold.  Except I've got a buddy who says no Marine is a "former" Marine.  He says "Marines are Marines for the rest of their lives," much like R. Lee Ermey proclaimed in Full Metal Jacket.  (He's one of my favorites, especially in the movie "Siege of Firebase Gloria.")

You're both a racer and a performing musician?  What kind of racing and what kind of music?  What's your instrument?  The only racing I did was on the streets of the town I grew up in, as the music I played allowed me to indulge in a new muscle or pony car about every 8 to 10 months, starting with a GTO in 1964.

The music for me began in 1960 when I was 13 and my Mom bought me a used Fender Telecaster.  Can you believe my parents let me play "lead guitar" in the house band at an out-of-state "hardcore" road house with an Elvis impersonator & a group of country boys in their 20s every weekend for my entire junior year of HS?  (I actually celebrated my 16th birthday there halfway thru the booking.)  As a senior, I formed a band with fellow students popular enough that 250 or so local girls had a fan club for us.  We broke up when college started, but during the first Thanksgiving home-from-school get-together, sitting around our favorite restaurant, we all decided to drop out of college to play again, which we did for the next seven years.  I could go on and on, but the fun, the camaraderie, the excitement, the music, the young honeys, etc., etc. that goes with traveling with your best friends in a working R&R band in the 60s...well, it's hard to put into words.

Sorry to go off on that tangent....  Unfortunately, I won't be attending "DD" in Tampa so the handshake will have to wait.  But, as I'm sure we'll both be attending the "Hereafter" (me, long before you), we can do it then.  And my flattery, if anything, was understated!

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on January 3, 2015 at 5:29pm

Thanks Brian - your flattery is appreciated and epically inaccurate. I'm humbled by your compliments. As for 'big', it matches moniker I have used for racing and as a performing musician. Oh, and it IS accurate, as I am a 6'6", 280-lb former Marine that rivals defensive ends in stature. I hope to shake your hand in DD Tampa :)


Comment by Brian Bennington on December 29, 2014 at 9:25am

Wishing you the best of the New Year Tom.  I did notice you now refer to yourself as "Big Tom LaPointe."  Why stop there?  Why not "Gigantic" or "Enormous"?  (Hey, just kidding!)  However, thinking about it, "Terrific Tom LaPointe" has a nice ring to it.  Or, like one of my favorite shows, you might turn it around and be "Tom Terrific" LaPointe.  Now, I really apologize for it!

But, even you must admit that your bio goes far beyond most mortal men, and that I say with complete sincerity.  Compared to you, my 20 years of selling and 20 years of relationship centered marketing appears mighty insignificant.  But, somebody's got to be out in front, and I'd say you earned it!  Keep up the good work!   


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