After speaking to dozens of contacts at dealerships throughout New England, I started to paint a picture for how a dealership was run and the type of people who work there. After spending a day visiting some dealerships like Madison Chrysler, Gale Toyota or Longmeadow Motor Cars, I compiled a list of realizations I made through my travels.
10. Donuts. They love donuts.
9. Smoking inside showrooms might actually be permitted.
8. Every person is a potential sale. Even though the salesmen knew our intention was to discuss our marketing partnership, we were still constantly asked if we were interested in buying a car.
7. The customer ALWAYS comes first. Meetings will be blown off if there is any possibility someone in the store might be interested in a car.
6. Dealerships actually have good things to say about their competitors.
5. Dealerships have not given up on print advertising. They know the internet is more effective, but have trouble letting go of what has helped them in the past.
4. Free is good! Whether it is a shirt or donut or stick of gum.
3. Dealerships spend money wisely. They want results before they are willing to shell out a dime.
2. Dealerships all want to increase their retail business
1. Dealerships are technology savvy. Don’t be fooled by the ages of the employees. These older fellows know all about internet marketing.
Some of my assumptions were spot on and others were way off. You never know what you might find when you enter a dealership for the first time. “If you don’t stop [in] and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
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