You know what they say; if you don’t buy a ticket you can’t win the prize. I don’t know who first said those words but they are true, especially in the car business. Doing everything possible to convert enquiries into traffic is what it’s all about, and today, the way things are, it’s unforgivable if there is a lot of showroom traffic but not enough deals being completed as a result.
There are always different marketing ploys available which are designed to try and create enquiries and convert them into leads and a lot of money is spent in doing just that. Unfortunately if there just isn’t the right calibre of sales people to transform those leads into deals then that is money which, in the words of someone at the coal face said, might as well be p***ed up against the wall.
As car dealers look to make cost savings and make their sales teams leaner they need to be confident that what they are left with are capable of treating each lead as something precious (I don’t know like a rare orchid) and not get complacent that the supply of car buyers is a never ending one.
There is absolutely no doubt that creating the balance between showroom footfall, the right amount and calibre of sales execs and good customer service is a delicate one. Unfortunately, as the pennies become inevitably tighter for consumers, the demands for value for money become all the more important and dealers will do well to recognise that getting that balance right may just ensure the long term health of their business. Getting it wrong could at best, take a long time to recover from and at worst mean the business ultimately failing.
Interestingly, in conversation with a friend recently (who isn’t in this business) he told me in his line of work the staff have been told that their jobs are safe and that the company has resigned itself to making less money for a while because the risk of making highly trained and experienced staff redundant is likely to much more costly in the long run than trying to find staff of equal expertise when the economy (eventually) recovers and people again become the key to success.
There is a lot of sense in adopting a policy like that but it may be a luxury few can afford as things get worse before they get better.
It will be interesting to see how long an ethos like that can last as the pressures mount.