6 Car Dealer Mistakes To Avoid

20 Jun 2018

6 Car Dealer Mistakes To Avoid

Running a car dealership is no child’s play. Competition is extremely tough in this digital age. Couple that with the crucial task of maintaining customer trust and increasing sales and you have a real task on your hands. Here are the six commonly made mistakes that you can avoid to make your life easier.

Mistake 1: Not having a Website

We are in the information age. This generally means customers have already done their research online before walking into a yard. If your website didn’t draw them in, then chances are you are very lucky they are even in your yard. Successful dealers know the importance of a user-friendly website and consistently updated website.

How to Avoid It:

  • Get an attractive website which is constantly displaying updated stock details. Your website acts as your digital salesperson displaying updated stock, car details and offers to lead visitors to your yard.
  • Ensure that your website is responsive. Most of prospective car buyers are using their mobiles and tablets to research for their next car. Making it mobile friendly will generate many more enquiries.

Mistake 2: Not having a complete Dealer Solution to automate their yard

Many dealers, especially the new yard owners try to save money by doing everything manually. Some say that it’s been working fine so far and why change what isn’t broke. What they don’t understand is that times have changed. The advent of the digital era has brought a change in the way people are buying cars and what they expect from dealers during the sales process. If they don’t change, dealers armed with the right online technology will steal their business.

A complete Dealer solution automates yard operations so dealers can spend their time selling. In fact, a good dealer management software can increase and convert leads many times over.

How to Avoid It:

  • Invest in a dealer solution which reduces manual effort and time spent in managing yard operations.
  • Get a complete understanding of the dealership software before making a decision. Though it is difficult to take out time during a business day, block 10-15 minutes to take a complete demo of the dealer software you are interested in. This will give you an understanding of all the features and how you can use them to maximise sales and save time.

Mistake 3: Buying the cheapest DMS

Many dealerships subscribe to a dealership software for peace of mind. Choosing the wrong software to manage your yard can be very detrimental. Quality comes at a price, so be careful not to trip over dollars while you pinch pennies. Cheap programs may indicate a lack of resources and might not be able to provide you support when you most need it.

How to Avoid It:

  • Compare all the features being provided and check out their testimonials. After all, customer reviews and testimonies tell the truth. If dealers are giving great feedback, then chances are the company genuinely looks after its customers.
  • When buying a dealer software, put more emphasis on the value you get for the price and the returns you might get using it. Evaluate its impact on your sales, operations and time and cost saving.
  • Understand the after sales support being provided. A good after sales service can make a great difference when you are facing a critical problem and require live support.
  • Ensure your complete dealer solution can import data and integrate with other software like accounting packages.
  • Ensure you can access your information anywhere, on anything and anytime.

Mistake 4: Paying too much

Dealer management software can be expensive. Some companies can lead you to believe that their product is based on the latest technology when it is quite dated.

How to Avoid It:

  • Spend some time researching the right solution. Some companies provide good dealership management software with similar features at quite reasonable rates.
  • Steer clear of lock-in contracts. If the software provider is confident of their product and service, then they shouldn’t need to lock you in.

Mistake 5: Not having advertising as part of the solution

Advertising online is crucial in today’s online era. Advertising with Carsales.com, Drive.com.au, Gumtree.com.au and many other successful advertisers can be done at the push of a button. Don’t make the mistake of not integrating this important function.

How to Avoid It:

Find out a solution which integrates easily with car advertising platforms. The solution should be easy to use and should require minimal effort to use the advertising feature.

Mistake 6: Not Working on Building Customers Trust

Probably one of the most common problems that car dealers, particularly used car dealers face is building customer trust. Customer trust will lead website visitors to enquiries and then sales.

How to Avoid It:

  • Use tools like Car History reports and detailed descriptions to build customer trust.

Be the best you can be. Improve the little things so they don’t become big things.