Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Month-Fresh Start

After getting the Automotive News email yesterday, as I'm sure many of you did too, I was disheartened to hear that September looks to be the worst month in 10 years for the automotive industry. It got me down, especially with thoughts of the winter months looming in the near future. I went home, after closing out the month and belabored the point with Andy (my husband to be) for 20 minutes before he told me he was done listening. But today is October 1. It's no longer September and it is no longer one of the worst months in years. It's a fresh start and hopefully a fresh outlook. Here's some surprising news, last week when the country was in turmoil, with the news anchors squawking about failing banks and possibly $700 billion bail out plans...dealers were selling cars. Monday morning I got four or five emails from colleagues about GREAT sales! I'm not talking about 1% traffic and a 5% closing ratio, I'm talking about close to 3% foot traffic and two sales over $200,000 gross profit in a weekend. This makes me so excited about October! This week, try to make that month end process at short as possible and start looking into what you're doing next. There are some very neat, new products out in the direct mail world right now. New premiums, pieces, and themes. Think about adding/replacing an extra zip code in your list this month--maybe your competitor down the road is "pulling in his reigns" making it a perfect opportunity for you to snatch up some extra business. Get in contact with your media consultants and start brainstorming for the future! Now is the time to differentiate yourselves from the rest of your market. It's true, the gut reaction in times like these is to just stop spending...but that may just be what everyone else is doing. Kids are still turning 16, "old reliables" are still breaking down, and the "Jones's" are still driving nicer cars than the neighbors--people still need cars. Make sure your dealership is the one they go to first. So there's my "rah-rah" for the month. A little positive thinking and a good attitude goes a long way, I know I'm not the first to say it, but we all forget it from time to time. PS: To get your brain going, here are the top 5 direct mail ideas from Tri Auto right now (as reported by our MarketVision sales data):

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