Clear Your Stock and Have A Happy New Year!

Every Dealer knows that on December 31, stock in the car yard instantly drops in value – use these tips to help move your inventory before the clock strikes 12.

Perhaps one of the greatest pressures Dealers face is the need to clear as much of their inventory as possible before the dawn of each New Year (and the ensuing depreciation to vehicles left in the car yard).
Fortunately, there are a number of strategies Dealers can use to help their business reach more people and move more stock:

1. Keep your business moving

Consistently moving the stock in your dealership around may be one of the most basic concepts, but it’s often the most forgotten. Refreshing your displays, featuring used car specials and changing the promotional signage on your business captures the attention of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people who pass by every week. Consistently shifting your stock displays makes your business appear alive and successful, and have no doubt your efforts will be noticed.

2. Capitalise on the service department

Many of your customers will be preparing road trips in the holiday season; some will make plans to visit family and others will be attempting to get away from them. Whatever the motivation, now is the time when more of your customers will be using their cars for long distance travel. Before they do that, remind them to visit your business to service their car, get their air-conditioner re-gassed or to receive a general safety check before they set off.

The average dealership service department is visited by at least 15 customers every day. That’s 90 people a week and 360 per month. These numbers are likely to be even greater in the lead up to the New Year.

Are you taking every opportunity to market to these customers? Are you sharing your new and used car specials with them, or have you in place an appropriate referral incentive?

Service customers will help you move your inventory; you’ve just got to show them how.

3. Host a 3 Day Sale

Many consumers expect they’ll be able to pay less for a car from a dealership in the lead up to the New Year. Capitalise on this and host a 3 day sales event for your business. When we say ‘3 day sale’ we don’t mean a couple of balloons stuck to the gates of your business. Instead, consider investing in a multi-faceted advertising strategy for your business, targeting customers digitally, through the media and in the press. Think of a theme for your sale and make sure this is clearly communicated in all of your advertising efforts. What’s more, ensure you offer genuine savings or incentives that customers will see as worthwhile.

A targeted, well-thought out strategy can help you shift 20, 30 or even 40+ cars in a very short time.

4. Offer An Incentive

If you can’t invest in a 3 day sale, advertise a special incentive on new and used cars to see out the remainder of the year. This could be anything from an extended warranty, to something as simple as a free shopping voucher or service.
Arming your dealership and sales team with something extra to add value to customer purchases can help get those crucial final sales over the line.

5. Don’t Disappear

The arrival of the holiday season, particularly the final weeks of December, is no excuse to disappear from your customers’ sights. In fact, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day in particular, provide a terrific opportunity to reach out to your database. Whether it’s through email marketing, social media, or the good old letter box, don’t stop your marketing efforts. This may not be the time to advertise a run-out deal, but why not take the time to thank your customers for their support and share your business plans for 2015?

Keeping your dealership front of mind is a full time job and those who take the time to communicate with customers throughout the holiday season will benefit from better sales results.

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