How To Contend (And Win) Against Big Competition
Being an independent dealer in a world of new big box stores, online retailers and nearby competitors, it can sometimes feel like being the small fish in an ocean of competition. You can level the playing field, though, with nothing more than an open mind and a willingness to adapt.
Keep It Simple. And by this, we mean keep it simple for your customers. Is it easy for them to get to your website? Is your inventory laid out in a way that’s intuitive for customers to browse? Can they contact you with just one click and limited information? Today’s customer wants the information they need exactly when they desire it. Your website is the most important piece of making sure they get info quickly and easily.
Merchandising. As an independent dealer, you don’t have the luxury of manufacturer certified pre-owned programs. But that shouldn’t stop you from merchandising your inventory the same way. This goes for both on the lot and online. Having a certified pre-owned program in place helps you make the same promises as bigger stores while giving your customers the confidence that comes with the common perception of a certified vehicle.
Communication Flexibility. Not every customer will want to send through web form. And not every customer will want a phone call. Some will want to send you a Facebook message, others might want to tweet at you and some might want a text message. Being able to communicate with your customers in their desired format lets you reach more potential leads. But it’s dependent on your commitment to learning how to communicate in all these different formats.
Unique Experience. The advantage an independent dealer will always have over bigger competition is a truly unique experience customers can’t get anywhere else. When done correctly, independent dealers can offer a more intimate, lower-pressure experience than big box stores to go along with friendly local feel that only an independent dealer can provide. Once you’ve used tools and merchandising to attract the same business as bigger competition, use your friendly, comfortable environment to bring it all home.