Wow, has life changed since March 2020. None of us could have envisioned a world functioning like it is today when we rang in the New Year. While so many things are always changing, I keep preaching and screaming that the fundamentals of everything we know and do NEVER CHANGE. This is why they are considered fundamentals in the first place. And whenever we begin to feel like we are struggling or we are in a rut, the best way to turn things around is always RETURN TO THE FUNDAMENTALS.
For us car dealers this means the fundamentals of selling and advertising must constantly be revisited and reminded to our sales staff, finance department, service teams, and especially our management. Everyone can always use a refresher on the fundamentals and constantly improve on them so they become so ingrained in our DNA that we rarely if ever deviate from these fundamentals.
Like everyone else trying to find some sort of vacation fun in the middle of a global pandemic can be challenging. Luckily enough a few weeks ago I found myself in the Gulf of Mexico deep sea fishing with family. Understand my family was not raised fishing so this was new for us and definitely had us challenged to the max.
Nonetheless, this experience did give me a chance to free the mind while drawing brilliant insight into our business in helping dealers find leads. What the hell does fishing for Snapper have to do with finding auto dealers great leads? Almost everything to be honest.
On our vessel we had a second mate (Kevin) tasked with keeping our lines baited and helping us get anything we caught off the lines and into the boat if we could legally keep them. As he advised us we were headed out to catch snapper as it was a good day for it and would be the best way to catch lots of fish while having something we all could feast on later. He also informed us that the bait we were using was the best to use when fishing for Snapper at this time of year and at the depth, we would be fishing.
Sure enough as soon as we dropped lines in the water we had bites and we were bringing in fish. And, yes, we were bringing in lots of snapper. However, we all were stunned how many we were pulling in that we did not want and had to throw back. We were catching some occasional Red Snapper which was not in season any more, they had to go back. We would catch some Triggerfish, who knew there was a thing called “Triggerfish.” They had to be thrown back as they were out of Season. We were told they are good eating but the wrong time of year to keep them, bummer. Then we even caught some Suckerfish, which we were told means there is a shark around. Sure enough we eventually even had the shark hitting our lines HARD as we would hook a snapper and then BOOM! A bullhead shark was picking our bait off of our lines. Through all of this we were filling up our baskets with Snapper to keep but it was surprising how many fish we did not want or could keep that had to be thrown back.
Do you see how this sounds like fishing for leads with digital advertising? To me it was like a lightning bolt moment, it is so similar it is scary. I then asked our shipmate if there was a better bait to help us catch more Snapper without all the headaches of having to throw back fish we don’t want or can’t keep. He said, yes, that might be possible but we would catch less Snapper too because while it would catch just Snapper it is not as enticing to them, so a slower pace and over the time we had it would mean less of a total Snapper haul.
We witness and hear this same analogy when it comes to dealers wanting better leads that convert immediately to a car sale. The question being can we get them a better lead without all the headaches of leads they “can’t sell?” Like fishing sure there are techniques we can apply that will undoubtedly get more of just the leads that are desired but the overall sales will undoubtedly drop. They drop because we no longer get the opportunity to catch and sell the fringe “just looking” customer, the one not yet ready to buy, or the one that could get a co-signer if needed, and on and on. We know how to fish for good leads and lots of leads in the process. Unfortunately, there will always be some leads that aren’t ready to buy just yet (fish out of season) and then some that you just wouldn’t want to sell anyway (bad credit or the Suckerfish).
Bottom line is everyone wants a better lead that will convert every time into a guaranteed sale. This desire has existed since the beginning of auto dealerships, but guess what? That is 5 Car Fred begging to sell all the laydowns. What we really hear is, “Hey Big Time can you get us all lay downs because we struggle with the hard ones?” If you want to fish and sell with the big dealers and trophy fishermen, then you have to have a mindset to go for broke and bring in all the leads and fish you can every single time. Then, in the end, let the bean counters tell you how you are doing. Experience tells us you will be kicking ass and laughing at those that are playing eeny, meeny, miny, moe with their leads.
By the way, we got sick of that Bullhead shark taking our dinner, so we caught his ass too! Anything is possible when the mind decides it is possible. #GoWithBigTime