“Spring Clean” Your Current Car Dealership Practices

Mar 20, 2023
Row of parked cars at a dealership

No matter what kinds of practices your dealership might already have, making some changes could be beneficial. There are numerous practices car dealers should follow that help them become (and stay) successful. How long has it been since your dealership did some spring cleaning? 

If you haven’t updated your practices and processes in a while, it’s likely you’re involved in some outdated ways of doing things. But that doesn’t have to be your reality for the future. Kelley Blue Book can help guide you through the changes, so your car dealership practices will be up-to-date. 

Not only does that help your employees complete their work more efficiently, but it’s also a great way to improve inventory acquisition and keep vehicles moving through your dealership. Here’s what to know about practices car dealers should follow and how to use a spring-cleaning mindset to improve your car dealership’s practices for the future. 

The main areas for outdated practices 

The first step toward successfully cleaning out your old practices and choosing new ones that work better for your needs is discovering which practices aren’t helping you any longer. Common outdated practices include: 

  • Not moving inventory quickly to provide fresh options 
  • Avoiding new tools and technological advancements 
  • Not working as a team through all departments 

While it can be frustrating to see areas where work and improvement are required, removing outdated practices can be worth it for the value it provides. Then you can have a better picture of the practices car dealers should follow for increased success. 

Until you acknowledge the serious nature of outdated practices, though, you may find that you’re not getting very far with making changes. It can be hard to recognize that something is a problem if you’ve always done things that way. Instead of avoiding the changes that are coming your way, embrace them and see where they can take your dealership. 

Many practices are a poor fit today 

It’s natural to resist changing outdated practices if you can’t clearly see why those practices are a problem. The truth is that many practices that worked well in years past aren’t as common today because they just aren’t effective anymore. If you’re willing to listen, customers and employees will tell you what’s important to them. 

Being open to those thoughts and opinions can go a long way toward making your dealership better and more resilient. What you have in the way of inventory is going to influence your customers’ decisions, but how you and your employees treat them is often much more significant, especially when you want to increase customer loyalty. 

Among the most important practices car dealers should follow is listening to the people who work for them and the people who buy from them. In the end, those are the two groups that are going to have the biggest influence on the long-term success of your dealership. 

Of course, along with the practices car dealers should follow are important considerations about the inventory strength your dealership has, as well. Working on processes and updates that streamline the customer journey and improve the movement of inventory through your dealership can create an effective, efficient way to embrace the future. 

New processes can improve your dealership 

Suppose you want to see your dealership grow and transform into something even better than it already is. In that case, you need new processes that speak to the customer journey and bring in high-quality inventory that you can effectively sell and replenish. When you’re thinking about new practices car dealers should follow, you’ll want to analyze several areas and consider how to make improvements. 

It’s not always easy to address all the practices car dealers should follow from the very beginning because making a lot of big changes at one time can cause upheaval for your employees and customers. In general, though, there are some specific areas you’ll want to carefully consider. These include: 

  • Acquiring the right type and level of inventory 
  • Selling your inventory and cycling it through efficiently 
  • Strengthening your lead generation to bring in more customers 
  • Providing a smooth journey for customers 
  • Increasing the efficiency of each department 

With the right tools for inventory acquisition and the best ways to help your employees truly work as a team, your dealership will see improvements from your spring cleaning that will last throughout the year and well into the future, too. 

Don’t be afraid to try out new processes and options as you work to take your dealership to the next level. If you don’t do that, you could get left behind as your competitors move forward with tools and strategy changes that foster growth. You can be part of that, as well, and Kelley Blue Book’s inventory acquisition tools can help. 

Acquiring Inventory for your dealership 

One of the most important practices car dealers should follow is acquiring inventory that’s valuable and brings in customers. You need to get trade-ins and good quality vehicles that people want to buy, so you can keep your sales numbers up and increase your revenue. 

But what’s the best way to do that? The right tools for finding and acquiring inventory can go a long way toward making things easier for you and your employees. When your salespeople, appraisers, service professionals, and other team members have what they need, they can do more and offer additional value to your customers. 

Selling inventory effectively 

Also on the list of practices car dealers should follow is a focus on effective and efficient selling. It’s absolutely vital to bring in good-quality inventory your customers are looking for, but that’s unfortunately not enough. You also have to be able to sell that inventory quickly and efficiently, so you can bring in more. It becomes a cycle, and if there are gaps or slow-downs, that can be an issue for revenue. 

While it’s not always easy to move inventory when the economy is slow and your dealership is affected by outside factors, understanding the practices car dealers should follow to keep inventory moving can help make it easier for your dealership to be successful. 

Stronger lead generation 

Bringing in customers is also a big aspect of how well your dealership is doing. If your lead generation isn’t effective, it may be time to make some changes. If you’re looking into all the new or improved practices car dealers should follow, you know that advancements to lead generation matter. 

Having guidance for trade-in and inventory acquisition can be coupled with lead generation to create significant value for your dealership. You need good inventory, you need to be able to sell that inventory efficiently, and you need a strong customer base to purchase what you’re offering. Good lead generation can vastly improve the number of qualified, serious customers who come through your door. 

A smooth customer journey 

The overarching goal of all the practices car dealers should follow is to provide a smooth journey for the customer. Happy customers become repeat customers and have loyalty to your dealership. They’ll buy their next vehicle from you, and they’ll recommend you to others who need a car. 

If you’re not sure whether your customers are having the right kind of experience with your dealership, collecting feedback from them can give you a better idea of any specific changes you’ll want to make. 

Increasing department efficiency 

Every department in your dealership needs to be as efficient as possible. That includes service, sales, finance, and others. When you consider the practices car dealers should follow for the future, take a look at whether your departments are efficient and how well they work together. If they aren’t up to their full potential, that’s another area where important updates can be made. 

The right tools will help your dealership succeed 

If you’re thinking that it’s time for a spring cleaning of your car dealership’s processes and an adjustment to new practices car dealers should follow, there are some significant changes you could make to improve how your departments operate and interact. We’re here to help your dealership with the processes it needs for strong future growth.