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Dealer Principals & General Managers, When was the last time you…

 

When was the last time you actually went and listened to your Internet Sales Coordinators, BDC reps, appointment setters, sales consultants and sales managers’ phone calls? If you have a call monitoring system, do you log in yourself and listen to the MP3 calls, or do you delegate it to someone else? Do you ever “mystery shop” your employees? Or, if you have hired an outside company (training or consulting) and they conduct call monitoring and/or mystery shopping on your behalf, do you ever read the corresponding reports and assessments?  

 

When was the last time you went through your own website? I am not talking about a quick log on and review of the homepage. I am talking about you actually taking a deep dive into your entire website by clicking on EVERY single link, button, photo and drill down page. Pretend you are a customer. Is your website providing the type of experience you would hope for and expect if you were the shopper? After all, with consumers shopping an average of 5-8 different websites, will your website’s experience be enough to initiate a phone call?

 

When was the last time you reviewed all of your email templates?

 

When was the last time you listened to the way your people leave voice mail messages? Are they leaving the same mundane messages your competitor down the street is leaving, or are they leaving voice messages that will entice the customer to return your phone call and/or distinguish your dealership from the rest. Was a sense of urgency created?

 

When was the last time you reviewed your Social Media Strategy? You should know:

 

  • What are you Facebooking?
  • What are you Tweeting?
  • What are you posting to your Google + account?
  • What pictures are you uploading on Flickr or Pinterest?
  • What videos are you uploading on YouTube?
  • What are you saying to the public?

 

Have you investigated all of your review sites? For example:

 

  • Google Reviews
  • Yelp
  • Edmunds
  • Cars.com
  • Yahoo
  • Yellow Pages
  • Dealer Rater
  • Judy’s Book
  • City Search
  • Merchant Circle
  • BBB

 

Are you even responding to people that are leaving reviews about your dealership, positive or negative? And if your dealership is responding, is it with the right message? A negative review can turn into a positive review with the right response and action(s) taken.

 

How about the paradigm of the dealership? I travel all over the country and work with thousands of dealerships and what I have found astounds me! I sit with Dealer Principals and listen to their explanation of their organization. I listen to their:

 

  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Social Responsibility Statement
  • Core Values and Principles

 

I listen to how proud they are of their organization(s). I listen to the AMAZING things they do in their community. I hear about altruism, integrity, dedication, respect, love, honor, tenacity, success and more.  But what I SEE is usually COMPLETELY different from what I hear, and that is a problem! Perception is reality and what people “perceive” is their reality. Dealers might have a strong vision, mission, values and value package, but if it is NOT conveyed to the managers, sales consultants, service writers, technicians, BDC reps, receptionist etc… then it is LOST mission.  As a matter of fact, when I go onsite to dealerships, one of the first things that I ask managers and employees is “What is the organization’s mission statement”? “What is the vision”? And almost ALL of these people have no idea that a mission statement even exists in their organization.  And of the few people that knew that there was a mission statement, they had no idea what it actually was. Sadly enough, this is true for some General Mangers too. There are GMs that have no idea what the Mission Statement or The Vision Statement is. How in the world is the organization going to personify the “vision” of the Dealer Principal if no one is even aware what the vision is? How can the organization perpetuate the momentum of the Dealer? It is difficult to say the least, unless that is EVERYONE is on the same page.

 

The way it should work is:

 

  • Dealer Principal or GM states the Mission, Vision, Values / Principle, Value Package Proposition (Why Buy From Us).

 

  • THEN and only then does the dealership find vendors and employees that align with the dealership’s vision, mission and values.  A lot of times, dealers “Frankenstein” vendors, just trying to sell cars. They also hire people at random without consulting the blue print and guidelines set by the mission statement.

 

  • Make sure that EACH of the following communication mediums; website, email templates, voice mail templates, advertisements, social media etc, are all set up with the Dealer’s vision, mission and values clearly evident. Does the homepage of your website recite the mission?

 

  • You want it to be that when a prospect or a client engages your dealership in ANY way what so ever, it is crystal clear “Who” the dealership is and what the dealership’s unique value package proposition is.

 

Your brand is sacred, your word is your bond and your reputation is everything.

 

If you believe that statement, then you need to make sure your dealership not only knows and understands the organization’s statement, but it is also perpetuating the vision, value and mission of the Dealer Principal / GM through actions, not just words.

 

If you have any questions about this article or if you would like some free advice on how to create a Mission, Vision and Value Statement please email or call me.

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