What are your thoughts on a successful dealership operating without CRM? And would make a difference?

Hi and thank you for that great question. I think the danger to using the word “successful” is because many people look success as having reached a destination. Success is rented and is never paid in full. The problem with the car business is the thought process of many in management who feel what has made them successful will continue to make them successful and that is the beginning of the end in my book. 

The industry has changed; customers are more knowledgeable and savvy than yesterday. Transactions will be faster-because of that, dealerships will have to distinguish themselves uniquely. 

We are surrounded with “Acres of Diamonds” in our dealership and it’s impossible to keep your career on hundreds of notepads and slips of paper. A CRM will take all of the opportunities that you are surrounded with and compile them into one database. From orphan owners (owners without a salesperson) in service, to internet/phone leads, as well as Ups-all of these can be put in the system to enable the dealership and sales people to maintain contact with their customer base. Everybody want a friend in the car business-a CRM will help you maintain that friendship. 

As with many things, something new can be viewed as a friend or foe. Veterans of the industry are more reluctant to change than Gen Y newbies. 

In short, I think a CRM is a must in today’s industry. A CRM can have all kinds of capabilities and gadgets but in order to be effective it must have a full buy-in from the top down. Whats important to the top trickles down.

If your dealership will not buy one, there are many low cost apps that you can use to more consistently keep up with working/sold clients. Sales is all about consistency-if you want an unfair advantage in the business, be brilliant at the basics. One way to do this is inputting all of your clients in a data base-without fail, no exceptions.

Don’t wait for a dealership to move into technology, adopt a method that works best for you and use it. It will seem awkward at first-of course so was driving a standard, but in time, you’re shifting without even thinking about it.

Shift your career into a new dimension. Keep growing by becoming uncomfortable with comfortable.  

P.S. Go to Autosuccessonline.com (or search for the autosuccess podcast in iTunes). This past week, they did a short podcast about picking the right CRM. You may find it useful.  

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