“I hate technology!”
“I hate this software system!”
“Why do we have to change?!”
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!”
These are all comments that I hear throughout the year. In our industry, we often have the “veterans” of the car business who do not like when we (the managers/owners) change things. They are often too caught up with how they did things last year or 10 years ago. But our industry has changed over the last five years. Many dealerships have changed with it, while others are holding on for dear life to the ways of the past.
In our dealership, we have been using a CRM for about five years. A CRM is only as good as the people using it. When we started with our first CRM, we did not take advantage of it. In fact, we hardly used it, and when it came time to cut some expenses, it was the first to go. A couple years later I signed us up for another CRM trying to find the magic bullet to help us grow our sales. For roughly two years we barely used the system, and again we were at the point of deciding if we should keep or cut it to save the money.
We decided to keep it, and it was the right decision. With that decision, we also made using the CRM a nonnegotiable in our business. Not only were we going to use it, we were going to master it. All customers were going into the system and all follow up and all Internet leads were in the system. Almost immediately our application count went up, our approvals went up and our closing ratio went up. This was not because the CRM is just that great but because, as a management team, we decided to hold our people accountable to it.
The same thing happened with Facebook. For years, I had a salesperson in charge of our marketing and leads on Facebook, and we put little effort and energy into it. Because of our lack of effort and energy, our Facebook page was useless to say the least. The day came again that we had to make a decision. We made the decision that as the dealer, I was going to take it over and help grow our page. When I took over we had around 1,200 likes on our page. Over the following 11 months, we were able to grow our page to over 6,100 likes, and we are seeing daily people come in from our Facebook marketing.
Here is the thing about technology: It will always change. What we do today will be different than what we do tomorrow. We have to embrace the changes in technology and be leaders of it. We must lead our people to the understanding that the technology is here to help us if we use it properly. If we do not use it, we will all hate it. We will especially hate it as the dealership down the street takes advantage of it to out sell us.