What Better Time Could There Be?

It's no new news that the auto business is way off. It's a tough market for most right now--there's no doubt about it. In one way this is very good news and that is that there is no better time than now to prepare for good times that are on the horizon. Whether it is 3 months, 6 months, a year--who knows? But this much we should know for sure and for certain: It will rise again!

In the meantime, doing the best you can with what you have to work with is the order of the day. Keeping the most optimistic attitude will always have huge benefits. That's all good. Yet, there is so much that can and should be being done now to prepare for the good times. Here's a short list:
  • Database. Everyone means to get around to making this the gold mine it should be. It's always "I'm too busy; there isn't enough time" and other similar comments. So, now that there is time and no one is too busy, what better time could there be to get this thing built and in full control? Buy a card scanner and you can scan your business card stack into the program and sync it to your ACT database saving a good deal of time. Once you get the database up to speed, you can now schedule contacts and opportunities at will. In addition, you can add some depth to your database. After all, it's not just the customer you have, but their family, who they know, their business affiliations and so much more.
  • Website As A Business Tool. You can get this done. I know of other fleet & commercial people who have built their own sites and done a nice job of it. If you sell commercial trucks, you especially need a separate, more effective site to help you handle you regional market. It's not free, but it is very inexpensive if you can build it yourself. Use a company we use: Network Solutions. There are hundreds of other suppliers as well. If you can, you will generally be better off to find someone to build it for you, or at least work with you to get it up and running.
  • Great Communication Business Tool: Marketing and staying in touch with your customers couldn't be easier in today's world with products like e-mail newsletters and such. You can make yourself look really good for a song. It's going to consume some of your time and attention, but it is pretty easy to put together. We use Constant Contact and highly recommend them. There are hundreds of other companies as well.
  • A Plan of Action. Plan out ways to stay in touch, methods to communicate and how to make decisions on who to contact and when. Call it a Master Plan. Sounds really important. It is. The tools above are put in motion by the plan. The better the plan, the better the motion. For example, you will have a plan to send a thank you note for having the opportunity to show them a vehicle, along with a follow up plan whether they remain a prospect, or become a customer. Either way, they are still a great opportunity. Try to think of all the ways that you might have a good opportunity to communicate with all the people and companies in your golden database.

See yourself getting so busy and having so much success, that you are forced to hire someone to handle all this stuff for you. The best part is that you have been building it, tweaking it and making it pay dividends along the way and now the people you hire to take up the charge will know what to do and do it well because you know it. Superstar. How cool is that?

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