Superman is my all-time favorite superhero. There isn’t another that comes close. Needless to say, I’m a big fan. But as much as I like wearing the iconic S-emblazoned shirts, I’m no Superman. I’d like to think I live by some of the same moral code attempting to help others through my training, but that comparison and analogy is a stretch (as it would be for anyone.)
There are very few superheroes in our business, but there are many people trying to help you succeed and thrive. They share a willingness to assist, educate, and train the same way that Superman is driven with the need to help people. The problem? There are a lot more Lex Luthors out there looking to take advantage of you than there are automotive online crime-fighters.
In the original Superman (and I say “original” because to me and my generation, there is only one Superman and that is Christopher Reeves’ Superman), Lois Lane falls off of a helicopter dangling from a large tower. She simply doesn’t have the ability to fly or the know-how to stop from smacking the ground (much the same way a dealership doesn’t understand how to stop their online sales from dipping or their closing ratios from waning). Thankfully for her, Superman swoops in and saves her. He grabs her and flies her upward.
There are many people in the automotive industry attempting to be the superhero that carries you to the promise land. I would like to think my team and I are some of those trainers and consultants. If you have valued the hundreds of blogs and videos we’ve created and shared over the years, please continue to honor us with more 5-star ratings for Internet Trainers. However, even when Superman reassures Lois Lane that he’s got her, she asks the obvious question… “You – You’ve got me… who’s got you?”
In other words, how does their involvement in your situation guarantee you will be saved? How this relates to our industry is this: You have to ask what qualifies someone else to control the path your dealership is on. There are no real superheroes in our industry so you must ask makes them the entity powerful enough to swoop in and control the destiny of your dealership?
- Are you outsourcing your social media? What makes that company qualified to do so? Have they had success with social media before this or do they just know how to “sell” social media?
- Are you outsourcing your BDC? What makes them stronger at phone handling than your own staff?
- Are you outsourcing your blog writing? Your chat? Your search engine marketing? Are you sure you can’t do this yourself? Do you really need someone else to whisk you away from these responsibilities or can they be done in store by your own team with just a little training?
Is there a trainer leading the digital initiatives at your store that doesn’t have the experience or expertise themselves? If so, maybe you shouldn’t be handing them the keys to your online kingdom so quickly. Your online presence is one of your most valuable commodities – you can’t just trust it to someone who knows how to speak the hot-topic lingo. They must know how to execute. You need an expert. Otherwise, there is a good chance you can hire (or promote internally) someone that would be just as effective as they are if given the proper tools and training.
You want to choose a vendor partner who can really fly and not one who just makes whooshing sounds with their arms pointed outward toward the sky. It comes down to trust. As a dealer, you want to trust your Superman, but it is imperative you make sure they have a history of being super before you asked to be saved. And whoever has served you with trustworthy information over the years, those are the people you seek out for advice, training, and assistance.
Too many vendors out there are all cape, no substance. They claim to be superheroes, but they are self-serving, smiling Lex Luthors, twisting buzzwords into sales pitches and walking away with your money. Make sure to ask Lois Lane questions. If they’re holding you, who is holding them? What other experiences and successes can they pull from that proves they are the superheroes to your Lois Lane. Be an investigative reporter before outsourcing your departments and make sure that you are teaming up with a real Superman.