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A DealerRefresh Recap: Covid-19, Dealer Process, Digital Retailing, and Planning Forward

Well, just like the old saying…March came in like a lion and out like Godzilla. A Godzilla who has us sheltering in place.

It has been a while, but it is definitely time for the next Dealer Refresh Recap. With everything going on in the world, I wanted to give you some great resources to not only get through Social Distancing, but also what you will need for future selling.

We’ll call this recap the Corona Diaries.

Coronavirus – the Automotive Industry and your Dealership

Starting out the month on March 3, I put a question on the forum to get a better understanding on what was going on with dealerships all over the country and how they were affected at that point. The Shelter-in-Place and Quarantines were just ramping up, and there were a lot of regulations with a lack of information.

If nothing else, this forum is a great read to remember how quickly everything progressed and how much has changed in moments.

What have been your experiences in this unprecedented time in your dealership? Have you found anything that is working during the Social Isolation? Jump over to the thread and tell us your experience.

Automotive Retail Disruption: How Process Would’ve Made a Difference

Steve Stauning did not dance around the topic of process in his March 29th post. Dealers are looking for ways to continue to sell cars now, but also need to prepare for when regulations are lifted and life starts to resume back to “normalcy.”

With people asking questions like “How could we have avoided this?” and “Were there things we could have done to better protect ourselves,” Steve doesn’t pull punches. If you are a believer in process and you missed this read, make sure to take a look. If you are a dealer who needs process to put into place, and now have time to create a plan, you REALLY need to read it.

@Jim K @Chris Younggren, are a few who jumped in to continue the conversation and discuss why this may have kept some dealers afloat when others are struggling right now. And in times of distress and struggle, process may be the only thing that keeps people focused, on target, and able to sell.

Dealer COVID19 Communications – Are Dealers Essential Businesses in your State?

Bringing another important discussion to light, and providing dealers with accurate and real time information, I started a forum that essentially became a repository for state-specific information. With so much misinformation and everything happening quickly, members started sharing what was going on in their specific states as help to other DealerRefresh members.

@Alexander Lau walked us through some important references and discussed what PA specifically deemed “life -sustaining businesses.” @joe.pistell brought into the discussion how service must and will be deemed “essential.”

Automotive is still reeling and trying to define what we are and are not allowed to do, all while keeping our businesses afloat, keeping a flow of customers in service, and selling a few cars along the way.

If you have any state specific information you can add, please drop it here. The more we can share, the better prepared others can be! Sharing is caring.

Dealers Are Winning with Multiple “Google My Business”

I have seen more posts and articles on GMB than ever before. Dealers now have a little time to inspect GMB and can see what needs to be changed and what can be optimized. Also, Google has updated features and are allowing for dealers to create multiple listings for a single address (which was not allowed in the past)

@georgenenni walks us through why it may be important to create separate departments for Sales, Service, and Parts. The conversations continue with @Chris Leslie inquiring into the importance of this. How much will this truly affect your dealership’s organic relevancy on Google?

Right now every dealer should be inspecting their GMB for accuracy. Calling the number, checking the address, reviewing CTAs, and flagging photos that are not associated with the business. But how many of you have created separate departments with their own specific GMB pages? Add your experiences to the thread so we can see what has been working, and maybe what has not.

Do not use this new Google My Business Feature

Staying on the GMB topic, @Joe Friedrichsen discusses one new feature dealers should stay away from — “The Temporarily Closed” label. If your dealership is completely closed (no sales OR Service), then this may seem like the best option possible. But it is time consuming to add, and will be time consuming to remove as well.

Joe gives great alternatives that will allow the customer to know you are temporarily closed without the hassle and downfalls.

If you have Updating your GMB on your to-do list, make sure to check out this forum first. Feel free to add your comments or best-practices with GMB.

DealerRefresh Forums

So, we were thrown a curveball in March, and in April we are trying to figure out how to hit it. The DealerRefresh forums are a way to share what you learn, and learn what others are sharing so that we can all emerge from this ready to open our doors (online or on-lot) and sell the heck out of our inventory. Check back regularly for industry data and guides on how to navigate Covid-19.

If you’re not a member of the DealerRefresh community, sign up today and get first-hand access to a community of knowledgeable automotive industry experts.


Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
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From Sean Wolfington

Stimulus Planner | Guides to Help Businesses Navigate Stimulus Funding


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P.S. Below is more info about the Stimulus Planner