Right Click

Right Click: Dinosaur in your dealership?

Time 12 years ago

dinoUP TO six metres tall and weighing over six tons with a mouth chocked full of nine-inch long bone-crushing teeth, the Tyrannosaurus was a pure killing machine.

Anything that stumbled into its territory soon found its day coming to a bad end, fast. Yet, for all its power and ferocity, the T-Rex’s approach was flawed.

Small arms, slow running speed and – despite a formidable sense of smell – poor vision meant that more often than not, pursuit of prey would end in failure. In contrast, today’s successful predators have evolved as a result of more efficient hunting methods; stalking their prey for hours and traveling to places they know their favourite dishes can be found.

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In fact, there are strong arguments that natural selection would not have favoured the Tyrannosaurus and, even without a mass extinction event, we still wouldn’t find trace of them anywhere other than fossils, museums and the odd car dealership.

For, lurking in its own bunting-edged territory, there could be a dinosaur in your dealership. It’s the kind of salesman that blends into the background while customers wander between cars, waiting for the right time to strike.

While this method has been successful, those dealers who are evolving their sales techniques in line with changing customer behaviour are seeing results can be sourced from outside the showroom too.

With a reach of 18.3m households in 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics, the increasing online audience means that web savvy automotive dealers can make use of a range of functions to communicate with potential customers both from their own digital dealership – think live chat and contact us functions – and by reaching out through presence on social websites.


Meanwhile, with more than 15m mobile media users in the UK (source: econsultancy), it’s increasingly clear the audience is online and on the move. For the automotive dealer who is able to adapt to this changing landscape, the absorption of these technologies into the sales process represents a completely new mindset.

Mobile is seen by many as the next big marketing channel, and many automotive dealerships are realising that, just like social media, mobile is here to stay so they are joining the party. Dealerships need to communicate in the digital dialect of their customers.

Defending your territory doesn’t just mean a presence on integrated social media sites but learning that it pays more to just include the hard facts when listing cars on the internet.

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While Tyrannosaurus remains the stuff of legend, embracing new technologies and communication tools into your sales techniques will ensure that you don’t end up going the way of the dinosaurs.

As the dust settles following the automotive industry’s last mass extinction event – the most recent recession – adapting digital opportunitiesinto your approach will lead to a far greater conversion rate and, ultimately, survival in the new, digital climate.

by TIM SMITH, commerical director of Gforces.co.uk, 0845 658 9290

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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