How it happened so quickly I don’t know, but it’s time again to reflect and make necessary changes to ensure a more profitable year. As I began the self assessment, I examined the obvious areas where change is warranted and completely necessary. Then, as I outlined the areas of improvement, I could sense the influence of some reading I’ve done over the last year. I am reading and acknowledging so many valuable ideas that are not yet implemented. So, it’s obvious that eliminating procrastination tops the list. I then found myself associating personal changes with the retail sales life and what might be shared with retail sales people to help chart their New Year course to a pay raise.
The first thing to acknowledge is that the beginning point of any change must be personal responsibility. Only I (you) can make the change. We have to own it and be accountable, first to ourselves, to live it.
Next, be completely honest in your assessment. This is not the time to let ourselves off the hook. No sense fooling ourselves, it’s too expensive, especially as a “self-employed” person, which make no mistake you are.
Limited by space, if I had to suggest one idea that can be easily, immediately, inexpensively and profitably implemented it would be: driving business.
All salespeople are fortunate to enjoy the marketing efforts of their dealership to promote your business activity. However, this doesn’t mean it should be totally relied on. Very few successful sales people achieve greatness solely on floor or online traffic, and recently I’ve seen several discussion groups specifically addressing the drop in lead numbers. Leaving yourself vulnerable to the whims of the market is not the path to month-over-month success. Furthermore, there are no better customers than repeat and referral business. You must supplement your floor and Internet sales results with consistent follow-up with prior customers to drive repeat and referral business.
If you don’t like the phone or are not one to prospect, you still have to find a way to work your edges. Do this: start your own monthly newsletter by utilizing your CRM or open an inexpensive personal account with a company like www.constantcontact.com. This company enables anyone, regardless of experience, to quickly and easily structure and e-mail a professional looking newsletter each and every month to all prior sales and prospects. Also reach out to management and get a list of orphan owners to include in your mailing. There should not be any resistance to you taking a proactive approach to continually reaching out to the dealership’s prior customers to drive sales.
In your newsletter include the following:
-Dealership sales and service coupons.
-Updates on personal, family and dealership milestones.
-Rebate/incentive/rate expiration information.
-Candid dealership photos of deliveries and testimonials.
-Simple raffles (include a form that needs to be filled out and e-mailed or mailed back to the dealership…you’ll be surprised at the response).
-Several methods of direct personal contact information.
Make it fun and lighthearted, think outside the box, don’t listen to naysayers, and be sure to get approval of content, and just get it done. Every month your newsletter keeps you in front of your customers in a personal way. Not just your dealership, but you. Don’t wait, do it now. Begin at once structuring your first e-mail newsletter for the earliest delivery.
Do what you haven’t been doing. Don’t look at current circumstances, change them. Action trumps everything on the road to accomplishment. Begin sowing the field for near future harvest. Start now and be on the way to a more profitable 2011.