Having just celebrated the new year, I'm sure plenty of us made resolutions for 2019 that we may or may not stick to.
As a car dealer you probably even made resolutions for your business, but what is it about resolutions that make them so hard to stick to?
One of the main problems with resolutions or goals is that they are often not specific or defined enough to accomplish or measure success.
This is why at Edifice we set SMART Goals and encourage dealers to do the same.
This process only involves three steps:
- Identify SMART Goals
- Set Benchmarks and Metrics
- Create an Actual Plan
So, let’s break that down.
Identify SMART Goals
I know you’ve heard the spiel about setting goals before, and I agree that it sounds cliché. “What’s my goal? Sell and service more cars obviously!” Ok, that’s a given, but let’s try to be more specific. I’ll put it how I do when I talk to dealers face-to-face:
“What do you want to be able to brag about next month? Next quarter? Next year?”
Do you want to have sold ten more cars than this month last year? Or maybe you want to increase your RO’s by 20%. Maybe you want to be able to say that you increased your market share by 3%. You might want to say you sold more of a particular model than other dealers in your area. Or maybe you simply want to be able to say that you increased your inbound leads by 20%.
Saying you want to sell more cars is a good goal, but it goes without saying, so why say it?
We’re not just droning on about what you wish your dealership was doing, we’re trying to make SMART Goals. Goals that are:
- Specific - Your goal should be unambiguous and state explicitly what you want to do.
- Measurable - Your goal should have concrete criteria for measuring progress and reaching the goal.
- Attainable - Your goal should be realistic and possible for your dealership to reach.
- Relevant - Your goal should matter to your business.
- Timely - You should have an expected date that you will reach the goal.
When you lay out your goals like this, you can take a good hard look at what it is you really want to accomplish, and it can make the last two steps in the strategy easier as it makes it clear what it’s going to take.
For help making your SMART Goals click here:
Benchmarks and Metrics
Defining your Benchmarks and Metrics are crucial in developing a Marketing Strategy, because otherwise how would you determine whether what you’re doing is working or not? The “M” in SMART says that your goals should be measurable, so now that you have measurable goals, you need to define what success is for your dealership at the end of this process and at intervals along the way.
Focus on specific numbers and/or percentages that need to be increased over a specific time-frame. If your goal time-frame is one year, you need to set monthly or quarterly objectives to check your work and see if your marketing efforts are working along the way.
Taking a scientific approach like this ensures that even if you do not meet these goals you will be learning what does and doesn’t work along the way as well as tracking any progress you have made instead of relying on how the month feels.
Create an Actual Plan
With all that has been said already, the final step is going to feel a lot shorter as it is entirely based on what you have decided as a goal for your dealership.
You’ve defined what your goals are and how you will measure them, so what is it going to take to accomplish them? Maybe you need some restructuring in how leads are fed down the sales funnel. Maybe you need to increase your engagements with customers, or possibly be going after a different set of customers all together. A lot of this planning you can take care of yourself and doesn’t necessarily have to cost you anything other than time and effort, while some may cause you to take another look at your budget to see what is or isn’t working as well as what may need to be added.
Often the best way to start this process is to do a market study that lays out potential for your growth in your market, where you perform best, and where you need improvement. If this is something that interests you, we would be happy to do one for you free of charge - no strings attached. Our market studies include a lot of helpful info for your surrounding area including an analysis of your market share, and local shoppers who intend on purchasing a car to highlight potential growth for your business. These market studies are built around helping you make and refine your SMART Goals for Sales and Service with shoppers and owners from our databases.
Let's make 2019 your best year yet.
If you would like a free market study click this button: