Jason Harris is a former dealer turned consultant who joins Michael to share his advice about dealership operations – more importantly the operational elements that dealers should focus their time and energy on. No amount of great marketing will compensate for poor operations.

Noteworthy Topics from this Episode:

09:40 – Are there major differences between how industry functions in different countries.
11:31 – How to keep up with industry trends.
12:03 – Treating your business as a professional sports team.
13:45 – How many problems can marketing solve for dealerships? Operations and marketing don’t work hand in hand for a lot of dealerships.
18:13 – Improving your customer experience. Define what their experience should look like in every single department.
19:54 – Be proactive about your operational and our marketing goals and objectives.
20:33 – Leadership: You need to be the captain, you need to set the course. Take the opinions and advice of some of your staff to improve.
22:16 – The dealership has to understand is that their staff is the collective effort of their entire branding efforts.
23:29 – Sales People: Hiring them based on their brands and their ability to create and maintain and develop out an audience.
24:11 – We need to train and develop a or staff’s ability to naturally build a brand.
25:37 – Social media is crucial for developing a brand. Many dealerships are still blocking social media and Youtube from the team.
27:20 – The content for the individual brand should be designed for its specific audience.
29:04 – People purchase vehicles from people they both like and trust. And the sooner you can get on their side, the better.
29:12 – Consumers buy stories before they buy products. It’s the story of not of the dealership or the manufacturer, but the story of the people at that dealership and customers experience.
33:09 – Support the good experience with healthy, energetic, passionate brands a.k.a. salespeople.
34:10 – Branding is not a sprint – it is a marathon.
36:01 – If we put that same level of dedication and commitment to honing our craft and our skills, think of the payoff that we would experience.
36:28 – You have to have multiple strategies running simultaneously. Start working backwards from your goals and objections and towards technology and people.
37:45 – Immediate gratification is an unrealistic expectation. Take time to figure out what you want and start your marathon.
41:15 – You need to unify operation and marketing.
41:56 – Take time to figure out what you want and your unique values and map out a plan to achieve those goals.
45:26: Where do we start? Start with the user experience.

Marketing Does Not Fix Operations

Jason adds that businesses need to start to give more attention to their brand and customer experience. They need to develop company cultures where their staff take a major part in the image of the business and their customers’ journey within a brand. Investing more money into marketing and trying to get more leads is not an escape plan for businesses that choose to ignore their company image, customer experience, loyalty and their brand.

Go For a Marathon. Not a Sprint Run.

Jason says that a lot of businesses still expect overnight results. This is not a sprint. Brands that do want to be here for the long play need to understand their goals and work out a strategy that gets them to those results. And this takes time, patience and consistency.

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