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Prevent Defense Loses Games

There is a saying in the sports world that I believe applies to the dealership world. “Play to win the game, don’t play to try not to lose.” In tough times, whether it’s seasonal, economic, staffing challenges, or many other things, we tend to play defense. It’s easy to understand why. As humans, it’s in our nature to protect what is ours.

So when these things happen in our stores, it’s normal to shrink the used inventory, carry less staff, etc. This is a cycle that does not have to repeat itself year after year. Obviously, this is easier said than done.

Playing offense in these times can pay off in a big way. Stealing market share is the largest of those wins. When most dealers shrink, it doesn’t take a large increase in sales to make an impact on your market share. More sales, more fixed ops, more potential reviews, more happy customers, and plenty more reasons. If we know that this is possible, why do most dealers NOT do this?

With the right people and processes in place, this can be done. Is your acquisition team on point? Do they know what to buy? Who is guiding them through the challenges? Are they involved in the strategy meetings? Do we have the proper marketing in place to harness the customers that are in the market? Most dealers also cut back on their marketing in the Fall/Winter. Could there be an opportunity for a “deal”? Have we evaluated our internet lead handling processes? I can tell you firsthand that most management teams are unaware of the real opportunity that lies in that area of the business.

The positives far outweigh the negatives of playing offense this time of the year, but it can only work if all facets of the used car department are on point. Here at Lotpop, we help identify these areas that may need to be tightened up to help you play offense instead of playing defense. The game is changing. Can you keep up?

-Jeremy Zarfos

Inventory Analyst



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