Out with old, in with new Admin In the Media (0) We are nearing the end of yet another calendar year. The time comes when that hindsight trigger known as “reflection” kicks in and you feel great about what you have achieved during 2017, or you’ll feel disappointed and bewildered as to why this time has come again and you achieved nothing you wanted to over the past 12 months.Moving from an old year and into a new one is a strange process for many in business. Some delay everything until the new year, while others are more proactive and get changes under way now so they can start again, ahead of the game.Why should the time of year make any difference as to what you do with your business? The reality is it does because that’s what many people do.Generally, it’s a time of year for excuses, procrastination and then feeling good about thinking of making some changes in the new year. See how I mentioned “thinking” in that sentence as that’s generally as far as it gets.Being proactive with your business enables the dealership to be more successful across a number of measures – whereas when operating a reactive business, you end up having to fight month in, month out to make it work.Don’t just sit back and wait each month for customers to turn up because you have vehicles advertised online in one or two locations. That’s only one of many tools you have in your kit of ways to foster inquiries that can lead to the conversion of prospects to sales.The market is incredibly fragmented these days with many different mediums offering somewhat slightly different customers. If you don’t cover off or have a presence across enough options, you can miss out on potential opportunities.However, there are a couple of other areas I would suggest you make some effort to also focus on.Your existing customer base is not only for repeat, but also referral business.I’ve been highly repetitious in this area over the years and I won’t stop until the majority of dealerships start to take this area of business more seriously – these are your most valuable customers.These buyers know you already. You’ve already converted and sold to them, so they trust you. Don’t let these customers be forgotten, giving them reason to purchase from somewhere else.Also, they are your biggest advocates for referrals. Imagine if each of your customers referred 10 other friends or family members to your business. Do the maths, it’s easy. Some will come and buy from you because purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by recommendations from family or friends.Businesses around you that have a large number of employees are likely to have someone in the market for a car at any given time.There is no harm in calling into your neighbouring businesses to say hello, introduce yourself and your dealership, and provide some form of special offer for any staff member who purchases a vehicle from you.You may even go a step further and make them a special offer, a donation to their staff social club for instance. This offer will depend on the type of business it is.Get a balanced mix of where to source your customers from, and you will experience a more consistent flow of sales at your dealership.Don’t approach this with an unrealistic target of doubling your sales – that will take time. But each extra sale will make a substantial difference to your business over time. Whether it’s an extra one, five or 10 sales, they all add up.That said, you need to take a proactive approach and make some changes that will influence your results – as opposed to just sitting back and getting whatever you get.Don’t let 2018 be what 2017 was. Whether it was your best, worst, or most average year, take control of your business to make the next 12 months even better.The team at Motorcentral wishes you all the best for the Christmas period. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with hundreds of dealerships throughout 2017.We are super-excited at what lies ahead and want to be there with you, on your side, delivering solutions and service to your business that have one objective in mind – helping your dealership achieve success.That success can come in many shapes from efficiency, profitability, processes, revenue, sales and so on. At the end of the day, we’re here to help you do better.