According to a report from Reuters featured in the New York Times, quarter one automotive sales were down during 2019’s first quarter when compared to the three previous years.
Changing tax reforms and a number of other factors have caused an unusually rough tax season for dealerships across the country.
Because many Americans didn’t receive the refunds they were expecting, many reportedly didn’t spend their tax refunds where they were planning to.
Lower tax refunds didn’t just hurt the people who received (or didn’t receive) them, it also caused a detrimental blow to a lot of dealership’s bottom lines.
But this isn’t your fault—you don’t control the tax laws. But you are faced with the reality of playing catch up to make your year.
The news only gets worse—experts predict that 2019 is going to be a bad year for car sales overall. Meaning that it’s not the customers or the manufacturers who are going to suffer. No, it’s the hard-working dealerships who are going to take the hardest hits.
From mandatory dealer discounts to pressures from the manufactures, dealerships everywhere can’t do anything while they stand by and watch their net shrink and their business suffer.
What’s worse, everybody thinks you deserve it. It feels like everywhere you turn nobody wants dealers or dealerships to succeed or even make a profit. You’ve been stereotyped as a villain and everyone’s all too happy to see you suffer.
But you deserve better.
You’re more than just a middleman, you provide a valuable service to your community and it’s time everyone starts seeing you for this value that you provide.
Stop being a victim of circumstances outside of your control. Your dealership shouldn’t be a slave to something as unpredictable as tax season. Break free from all the external controls like fickle shoppers, manufacturers control and even price dropping competitors.
Here are our top four ways to bounce back from a bad selling season.
1. Stop Competing Over Price
We know it sounds a little crazy to tell you to stop lowering prices when most customers are always chasing the lowest price available.
But here’s the thing, when you enter the price war, you’re willingly entering a vicious race to the bottom where your margins shrink smaller and smaller until you start to lose money on every car sale.
Stop competing on price when all it’s doing is driving you closer and closer to your own demise. The secret: not every customer solely cares about price.
2. Position Yourself As An Expert In Your Market
Many people don’t know how to buy a car, let alone why one dealership is better over another.
But if you were to create a compelling reason for customers to choose you over all other dealerships and why they should choose you right now, you’ll start attracting a different group of customers who aren’t as price sensitive.
Because these customers aren’t spending hours researching online. In fact, they probably haven’t done any research, they just need someone willing to help them through the process.
And when you position yourself as a dealership willing to do this, you become the one and only dealership they’d even consider visiting because you’re the only dealership who’s flat out said you’re different and that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them.
3. Stop Selling Cars. Start Selling Solutions.
You’re in the car business. But that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily selling cars.
Too many dealerships focus on pushing people into whatever car they’ll buy. But this just leads to bad reviews and general unhappiness for all the hard work you do.
There’s a better way.
Instead of focusing on the cars you’re selling, focus on the customers you’re selling to.
Everything you do should be about the customer, from your advertising to how they’re greeted when they visit the dealership.
How can buying a car from you improve their situation? How can you help them?
It’s more than just helping someone drive a different car. It’s about understanding their unique situation and helping them drive something that fits that situation—both practically and financially.
Helping these people will help build a positive reputation in your community. A reputation as a dealership that cares more about people than their bottom line.
This is the type of reputation that gets you more repeat and referral traffic.
But these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to bounce back from a bad tax season, or any bad selling season, our eBook How To Generate Tax-Season Traffic Every Month will show you how one simple tweak to your marketing can generate a flood of leads regardless of the time of year. Get your copy here.