K.I.S.S is an acronym that has become a little passé of late, much the same as ‘we are not re-inventing the wheel’ however in the motor trade I occasionally wonder if some people are actually listening.
As I tour around dealerships in my day job and especially when business is tough, I always hear people announcing what imitative they will put in place to try and attract more customers and mostly they are just plain barmy. Despite the opinion of some, customers aren’t stupid and the fact that there is almost certainly a sales promotion or special offer which appears to be constantly activated will not necessarily bring those customers out. By having the correct culture and the right kind of motivated passionate staff, alongside embracing current technology in terms of how we reach out to prospective buyers, is how I believe a good car business should be run.
For example we now know that prospective buyers will almost certainly use the web to compare and contrast, and that wherever they start their search for a car, whether on Autotrader or a manufacturer’s site, they are first looking for something that informs and is pleasing to the eye. We know that, for example, if a car advert has less than 3 quality images a large selection of customers will not even bother to look at the advert at all but those which have multiple images, an accurate description demonstrating all the features benefits and extra spec will almost certainly appeal to a prospective buyer and therefore give the dealer a chance to turn a “look” into a genuine prospect.
This however is not really that much different to how it used to be except you change the web to a newspaper or motoring publication and the descriptions were hand written and then typed up ready for publishing, the concept of projecting that car ad and maximising its profit potential remain the same its the technology and to be fair the cost of advertising that car that’s changed and dealers need to acknowledge this.
As dealers we can also tell how many ‘hits’ each car is getting so we can gauge its popularity and pricing point against its competitors at the click of a mouse, whereas in the old days we had to rely on asking where a customer saw the car advertised to gauge whether it was worth continuing to spend the money on it.
Again the principles of marketing and getting the pricing competitive have not changed at all it’s just a whole lot easier now. So when we try and re-invent the wheel and think of different ways of getting customers to buy our cars, we just need to remember to use the tools we have around us to make the cars as attractive as we can, with good quality images and descriptions which ensure that if a customer wants to take their enquiry further it’s because we have made it compelling to do so based on how we have presented and priced the car.
In other words keep it simple stupid!