7 ‘must-dos’ this fall for a spectacular 2017

Wow, another busy summer selling season in the books. I trust it was a good one for you and yet know that 2017 can be even better … if you’re willing to do the work.

One major issue dealers share with me is they just don’t get the important work done in the offseason because it is just too darn short. Well, here are seven ideas to help focus your effort to some of the most impactful and highly leveraged activity you can do this winter.

1. Create videos

Video today is so simple and easy with smartphones, YouTube and Wi-Fi that it’s an absolute must in today’s marketing world. Plus, prospects consume video more often. It engages better and is insanely impactful when done properly. Here are three videos you can do this off-season, plus a few bonus ones if you’re a real “go getter.”

  • Social Proof videos (see below)
  • Boat walkarounds (of all your inventory)
  • Unique Selling Points Video (telling the story of why someone should do business with you versus any and every other option)

Other powerful videos:

  • Thank you to buyers from the owner
  • Personal story video (the story of your dealership)
  • Tour of your dealership & introduction to all staff

2. Gather Social Proof

If you deliver an exceptional experience, this one is really easy. Call and/or email your happy past clients and ask them to leave a Google review or meet them and video their story. If you did an outstanding job, they will gladly help. If you did a good job or poor job, it will be tougher. If that’s the case, great. Then, the No. 1 job this offseason is to focus 100 percent on improving your client experience.

3. Develop the next 12 months of newsletters

Unless you’ve been at the bottom of the lake, you know doing an interesting and fun monthly newsletter with specific calls to action will boost overall dealership revenue. However, I hear time and time again that dealers just don’t have time to get it done. Well, take 12 days this offseason and create the monthly newsletter for each month. We all know when the boat show is going to be, 4th of July is the same date every year and 80-90 percent of the content can be prepared in advance. By creating all the content up front, you can cut the time needed for finishing touches come the busy season by filling in specific details at that time.

4. Outline your 2017 marketing calendar

Pull out three sheets of paper and write Lead Generation, Value Development/Lead Conversion and Maximizing Client Lifetime Value on the top. Then, list the dates and approximate budget for each campaign you plan on running next season: Boat Shows, print ads, digital campaigns, events, newsletters, email blasts, auto-responder messages. Then, transfer to a year-at-a-glance calendar that can be adjusted as needed as the season progresses. Not only will you be much more efficient and strategic in your spending than by winging it another year but the same process used year over year will allow for a higher level of success each season.

5. Get trained

Every year, Cam Newton goes to preseason training before jumping back into another grueling season under center for the Carolina Panthers (Go Panthers!!!!). He does conditioning work, strength training and trains on the fundamentals of his craft. Every year, since high school, he has done preseason training. And, I believe every salesperson (and everyone in your dealership who comes in contact with a prospect or client is a salesperson) should get some level of training. It could be sales training, leadership training, mechanical training, manufacturer training or even physical training to prepare for the upcoming season. A few suggestions for training: Tom Hopkins program, “Low Profile Selling” is one of my favorites. Glenn Roller has some powerful material. You may want to talk with your manufacturers to see if they offer any sales training. And of course, I offer a sales training programs for those clients who have completed my initial Boot Camp program.

6. Get coached

Just like Cam Newton trains every preseason, he also has multiple coaches to assist in his success all year long. Depending on the areas of your business that are in need of the most improvement, you’ll want to select the right coach. A coach is someone who not only can show you in a simple way (notice I didn’t say easy, often it will take some hard work) and hold you accountable to implement the systems you developed together. If you need help in service, call Valerie Ziebron at VRZ Consulting. If your financial tracking is not up to par, David Parker or another 20 Group could be a good fit. If it’s sales and marketing, find someone who has a track record of success and whose approach fits your dealerships style and personality.

7. Create repeatable systems

One of the most valuable tasks you can complete this offseason is to create repeatable systems throughout your business. Since this is a sales and marketing article, here are some suggestions for that area: Checklists for cleaning the dealership (yes, that’s a sales and marketing function), setting up email templates for common email responses (new leads, financing leads, event sign-ups, manufacturer leads, etc) and impactful, relationship focused auto-responders.

These systems can take some time to create and set up. However, the end result is a more consistent result that can be improved over time. The efficiency, higher quality and consistency will surely make future years more successful. All this adds up to a spectacular 2017 and beyond!

If you’d like to see an example of the simple checklists I’m talking about, email me at Matt@BoatDealerProfits.com and I’ll send you an example email template and a checklist for cleaning your dealership.

Now, for this month’s challenge. Pick two or three of these areas and make a concrete plan on how you plan to attack them this off-season. List the dates of starting and completion, the responsible party and the desired end result in 2017 results. If you’d like, email me at Matt@BoatDealerProfits.com your plans and I’ll personally touch base to ensure you completed your challenge.

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