Running a car dealership can be an incredibly rewarding career. In addition to getting to work for yourself, most owners make a handsome annual salary, with the average dealership owner salary in the United States running close to six figures at $97,000. If you’re just getting started running a dealership or are in the midst of reassessing your current business practices, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Hire great employees
As an owner of a car dealership, you are often managing others more than you are interfacing with customers on a sales floor trying to make a sale. Thus, it’s pivotal that you assemble the right team in order to execute your vision consistently day after day. Finding salespeople who are passionate about the automotive industry is one quality to look for in a car salesman. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a few auto mechanics on site who have gone through some automotive and diesel repair programs. Besides needing to service your customer’s vehicles, your mechanics will put their skills to the test when assessing used trade-ins as well as returned leases. Carefully analyze each applicant’s resumes and really get to know them during the interview process so that you can make a good hiring decision and build a team of strong workers.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box
Sometimes in the automotive industry, it can pay to think outside-the-box. Many consumers will compare you to other dealerships in the area, and in some cases will even be considering a car dealership that specializes in the same make of car you do. In these situations, differentiating yourself from the competition can be a major boon for your business, whether it’s offering free popcorn in the waiting area or sourcing some of your used vehicles from an auto auction to keep your profit margins high. It’s also worth considering different ways that you can brand your dealership to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack.
Understand your market
Having a detailed knowledge of the ins and outs of consumer behavior can also pay major dividends in the automotive industry. By researching different consumer reports about automotive preferences and buying behavior, you can train your salesforce to highlight the most popular features of each vehicle model. For example, if you know that safety features like Blind Spot Monitoring or Lane Departure Alert are popular add-ons to a fleet of vehicles, you may want to mention them to a buyer who is particularly concerned about the safety of the car they buy.
Get to know your customers
In addition to understanding your market, it’s also important that you get to know your customers. Particularly if you deal in new cars and used cars, there are plenty of other dealerships your customers can consider. However, establishing long term relationships with your clients will help you form a long term source of revenue. Treating your customers well may also result in new customers, thanks to positive word-of-mouth between friends, family members, or are social media. Remember that without customers you can’t make sales, so it’s vital that you built a company culture that is service-oriented and always values the customer.
If you’re looking for a lucrative job that helps others fill an important transportation need, it’s hard to imagine a better option than running your own car dealership. With keen business sense, a little bit of luck, and some interpersonal skills, you’ll have everything you need to create a sustainable business. Just keep the above tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to creating a dealership customers love to buy from.