Every dealership is dealing with inventory acquisition challenges. It’s an industry-wide issue that has had a profound impact on profitability. And while some dealers are choosing to “wait out” the inventory shortage, others are succeeding now. Implement these five sales strategies to face down inventory obstacles and overcome supply chain challenges at your dealership.
1. Review Past Customers
As a dealership, you’ve always been able to sell your way out of sticky situations. But the current inventory shortage presents a challenge that even the most experienced sales teams can’t solve. Luckily, you have a resource that’s just as valuable as your team’s sales skills—a CRM filled with potential acquisition opportunities. Use your CRM to find acquisition opportunities based on past shopping behavior, frequency of repair visits, declined services, and more.
Use this information to reach out to customers with personalized messaging that speaks to their specific interests and situation. Dealers that are thriving now (as much as 58% of them) use this type of marketing strategy to communicate with customers.
2. Visit the Service Department
If you can’t sell your way out of the current inventory shortage situation, invite your sales team to step outside the confines of their comfort zone (the sales floor) and search for inventory acquisition opportunities in your service department.
By paying special attention to customers that come and go from your service department, you can find cars with sought-after makes, models, and features. Develop a service-to-sales process that flags in-demand vehicles when they come into the service department. This can alert your sales team to proactively seek out sought-after cars and develop relationships with these customers.
3. Mine Equity
Your technology can also give you valuable information about the equity position of your customers. Invest in vehicle inventory decision software to help you find customers with favorable equity positions in their current cars. These customers may be more likely to become buyers and trade in their current vehicles.
4. Adjust Your Digital Retailing Responses
During times of inventory shortage, you can turn your technology on its head to source more vehicles. Communicate to digital retailing customers that you’re willing to pay top dollar for trade-ins, regardless of condition.
This is a great way to get your inventory acquisition message out to the masses. Tell your customers that you’re willing to take trade-ins of all types, regardless of condition, mileage, or lease termination date. This strategy may convince customers, who may otherwise be reluctant to trade in their cars, that they can get more value for their vehicle at your dealership.
5. Develop a Dealership-Wide Plan
Last but not least, get your entire dealership on the same page with your inventory acquisition plan. Because your technology is so involved in helping you find these opportunities, make sure your entire dealership is connected through your various solutions.
Cox Automotive’s complete set of solutions connects workflows across all departments while leveraging first-party transactional data from the world’s most trusted consumer automotive platforms. This type of dealership-wide plan and technology can help you sync your marketing, sales, service and operations, so you can thrive in a lean inventory environment.
To learn more about thriving during lean inventory times and Cox Automotive’s connected suite of solutions, check out our complete guide, Sales Solutions for Inventory Challenges.