Tis’ the season…And like many of you have probably been doing, I was recently trying to wrap up my Christmas shopping. That’s when it happened. I hit a huge roadblock. You see, I thought getting my nephew’s gift was going to be my easiest purchase. He only had one thing on his list—the newest video game system from Nintendo, the NES Classic. Shoulda been a cinch! But when I went to pick one up, I learned it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. You see, it would have been easy, if I had camped out the night before the system came out, so I could have bought one of five consoles the store got. But I didn’t. And now not only was my local store sold out, but I couldn’t find the system anywhere. And the icing on the cake—it would be months until more stock was available.

As an uncle, I was frustrated that I was going to disappoint my nephew, but as a businessman, I was FURIOUS. How could Nintendo lose so many sales? You need to have enough inventory to satisfy the demand of your customers. Nintendo risks their consumers turning to another company’s product to satisfy their needs, and there’s no guarantee those consumers will return when the product is available again.

As car dealers, you face a similar dilemma. When you don’t stock enough inventory you run the risk of not having an appropriate car to solve someone’s transportation problem. Forget about the features or the colors. Those don’t matter. The real risk you run is that they’ll need a specific type of car in a specific price range and you won’t be able to help them.

If you can’t help a customer solve the problems that are keeping them from driving a Nicer, Newer car, which means having the appropriate inventory to suit their situation, then they will go to someone who can. That’s why you need to continually keep your lot filled with vehicles. You may think that you’ll be able to turn your inventory multiple times in a month and be profitable, but there’s a considerable amount of time required to attend the auction throughout the month, recon vehicles and get them on the lot.

Filling your lot with as much inventory as possible gives you every opportunity to convert leads into sales, and that will make your holiday a happy one.