Short-sighted sales strategies can have devastating effects on your book of business. By focusing solely on quick sales and neglecting long-term goals & customer needs, you risk damaging your dealership. The term ‘marketing myopia’ is used to describe this phenomenon.
According to Masterclass.com, marketing myopia is the narrow focus on immediate sales while losing sight of long-term goals and customer needs. Four main factors typically cause this myopic perspective:
- An infallible belief in industry growth
- Lack of clearly defined goals of success
- Leadership focused on quick wins
- Unrealistic expectations of positive-only data
By prioritizing quick wins and high-pressure sales tactics, the automotive industry has achieved two things:
Trillions of dollars in revenue and a space on the top five list of industries most likely to employ sociopaths.
Focusing on daily/weekly/monthly sales counts may generate immediate results, but it increasingly comes at a high cost. If the Covid era market adjustments have taught us anything, it is that when a customer feels pressured into buying, they do not forget.
Building Relationships Provides Priceless Value
Today’s consumers are more informed and empowered. They value transparency and authenticity. They have access to information, options, and alternatives and are willing to wait for what they truly want. This next generation of car buyers is already demanding a better experience. The more we cling to outdated sales tactics, the more we risk damage to our industry.
By shifting to a customer-centric approach that focuses on providing value through personalized solutions, we can re-establish ourselves as trusted advisors within our communities. This approach requires patience and effort but mitigates potential the impact of competitors such as Carvana and Tesla.
Transitioning from outdated sales tactics may seem an insurmountable task. However, it is crucial that we overcome these challenges. We work in an environment of absolutes. You absolutely succeeded in selling a vehicle, or you absolutely failed. This needs to stop. Such notions do not consider the impact on customer satisfaction. Instead of fixating on immediacy, we should strive for a more holistic understanding of success. When we rid our industry of the confines of such absolutes, we can begin to fully understand and appreciate the positive impact we have.
Rather than focusing solely on the transactional, we can see the true impact of our industry:
- $124 Billion: The projected research and development spend for the automotive industry in 2023.
- #1: Access to reliable transportation is categorized as the single strongest factor for escaping poverty.
- 10.5: A single automotive manufacturing job in the U.S. creates 10.5 additional jobs—generating more jobs than any other field or industry.
- $1,530,000,000: The 2021 revenue of the U.S. motor vehicle industry is 3% of the American GDP.
We are not sociopaths. We are global leaders, and we can take a moment to re-evaluate the way we interact with our customers.
Short-sighted sales strategies often revolve around a sense of urgency that pressures our employees to push customers into immediate purchases. This outdated approach creates an environment of narrowly defined binary success—you either close a deal or waste your day. This strips our employees of their authenticity, empathy, and integrity. It silences morality and encourages unethical practices.
When was the last time you heard, “I like selling cars because it brings me a sense of accomplishment when I know I changed someone’s life for the better.”
When was the last time you heard, “That b*tch was a five-pounder!”
We create our own demise.
High-pressure sales environments harm not only our customers but also our sales teams. Constantly pushing our employees to meet ever re-starting targets and employing aggressive tactics can lead to burnout, decreased morale, and high turnover rates. When sales associates are constantly under pressure to close deals at any cost, they sacrifice building genuine connections with customers.
By creating a supportive and positive work environment emphasizing building and fostering long-term relationships, we can empower our teams to thrive, resulting in better customer interactions and a greater focus on the true potential of our industry.
Instead of allowing ourselves to buy into the stereotypical role of salespeople who manipulate and pressure, we can take a moment to recognize our power. We are the drivers of change—capable of shaping economies and impacting the very fabric of poverty.
We can make a difference.
A long-term perspective benefits our customers and attracts top talent. By prioritizing trust-building, relationship-focused sales strategies; we create a positive reputation that appeals to professionals seeking an upstanding career. Employees who feel that their organization values integrity, customer satisfaction, and relationship-building over short-sighted gains are more motivated to contribute their best efforts, resulting in improved sales performance and employee retention.
To implement such changes, we must begin with our culture and focus on creating an environment of exceptional customer service that meets and exceeds expectations. We must take the money out of our budget to truly invest in training our staff. We must implement processes and procedures based on customer wants and needs—not the next sale—and then provide the door to those unwilling to embrace such changes. Only then can we begin to fully see the power we have within our communities and, by doing so, overcome the myopic path we are on.
Herb Anderson/ Charity Ann