Author’s Note: I recently purchased a new car, trading in my 2002 Mitsubishi with 275,000 miles on it. Since this was the first car I had purchased in 20 years, I took my time, driving more than a dozen cars at as many dealerships. Along the way, I learned a few marketing lessons.
After visiting more than a dozen car dealerships in 10 days, one of the things I noticed is that they are all working too hard! And most of that is a result of not being organized.
I was appalled at the number of times, they could not find a car. For example, I saw a good-looking Chrysler 200 online, advertised by a particular dealer. I called the number on the ad. The salesman told me he would have to go out to the lot to locate the car – to see if they still had it! When he called me back, the car was not there. It had been loaned to a customer earlier in the day and wouldn’t be back until Monday. He just lost a potential sale.
On one lot after another, the salesman (we did not have one female dealer!) had to walk around looking for keys, looking for cars, looking for a temporary license plate so we could take a test drive. For one car we had to wait for him to go put gas in the car. Even then the low gas light was on throughout the test drive, making me a little nervous.
In one case we were told that the car we were interested in had just been sold. So the salesman went looking for a similar model. As he pulled the car up, it was the model we had asked about originally. Even though the computer “said” it has been sold, it hadn’t.
Understand that I am not a car sales professional. But look at restaurants and how easily they organize their business. Several restaurants we frequent have electronic status boards, showing which tables are occupied, which are clean and waiting for someone, and which tables need to be cleaned. It’s a very efficient, easily used system.
Surely car dealerships can implement systems similar to restaurants. Systems to track which cars are available and where they are parked on the lot. Systems to have temporary license plates readily available for test drives. Systems for having test cars gassed up, cleaned up and ready to drive.
So how do you apply this lesson on organization to your online business?
Visit your site as a stranger. Is it clear what to do? Once they sign up for your list, what do they see? When they buy a product, what happens? Where do they go? What do they get via email? How welcome do they feel?
You want your site visitors and customers to feel like you have prepared for them, not that you just showed up and decided to do business online. You want them to have a sense of safety and calm when doing business with you. It’s a matter of trust. And trust comes from the feeling that you know what you are doing – a sense of calm organization.
Operating your business in chaos, similar to a car dealership?
Are you able to put your hand on what you need when you need it? Do you have set procedures for accomplishing specific tasks? Do you have a marketing calendar telling you what to promote and when?
If you answered no to any of these questions, then you need Organize Your Online Business. It will take you by the hand and lead you to a sense of organization – for your writing, your buying, your marketing – everything you do in your online business. Don’t work harder than you need to. Get organized today!