Opinions & Advice

What Do Dealers Really Want from the Vendor Community?

Fifteen years ago the auto industry, the world really, was faced with an extraordinary situation. We were at the dawn of the digital age and the World Wide Web was threatening to take down brick and mortar shopping, including car buying. At the time, most dealers hated “Internet shoppers.” These folks knew too much and were eating their profits.

Suddenly, a highly coordinated group of terrorists got hold of four airplanes in US skies and used them to attack the nation’s most sound and solid structures. For the next several months, car sales were on hold as consumers were frozen in shock. Dealers didn’t know what to expect.

A decade and a half later, most dealers had a record year in 2015. But was it real? Some argue that your record year could be a bad thing and that if you’re going to survive you need to always be growing your market share.

If you don’t know how you got to the top, you have no idea how to stay there. – Steve Stauning

What does it take to grow your marketshare today, and what will it take to continue doing so into the future? How are top dealers tackling this problem and what sort of resources are they leaning on to do so?

Dealers are overwhelmed with unsolicited sales calls and vendor inquiries, but if they tune everything out then how will they discover and learn about new things? Some (small) percentage have established a vendor protocol to handle it all. Most however struggle to find a passageway through the chaos.

At the end of the day, you only want to concentrate on the tasks at hand to sell cars and service customers. Thinking and overthinking the future is unpredictable, unreliable, and risky.

To explore these challenges I’ve initiated a discussion thread over in the forums titled simply What Do Dealer Really Want/Need?

Rather than producing content that tells you what is what (there’s an overabundance of that out there), I’m hoping to get a better idea what dealers really want and need from the industry, from blogs like DealerRefresh.

  • Do you need more advice, more tips, more educational information?
  • Do you need a daily stream of emails and social content telling you what you should and should not be doing?
  • Do you need more training and trainers? Consultants? Coaches?
  • Do you need more conferences, expos, and workshops? More 20 Groups?
  • Do you need more relationships with people/vendors you can trust?

On that note, what are some resources you’ve come to rely on?

  • Which blogs, conferences, and media outlets are important to you?
  • What aspects of the auto business are proving solid for you and growing your business?
  • Which ones are not growing your business?

Please chime in and share your thoughts I’m anxious to see what Refreshers have to say because it will help us come up with ideas for new content and features on DealerRefresh. 

In the world of automotive marketing, I blog for car dealers.