I often get asked that question. There are big dealers, medium sized dealers, and small dealers. There are dealers that advertise a lot, and those that don’t. Big dealers usually advertise a lot because they need a steady stream of new customers to replace the customers that don’t come back. Medium and small dealers usually work harder to keep the customers that they already have. In the Birdnow Dealerships example, we’re building a customer base so we advertise for new customers, as well as work hard to keep the ones we currently have.
The other big difference between most dealers and the Birdnow Dealerships is that we really try hard to keep our customers coming back. We do that by being easy to work with, and customers can always talk to a manager, or me, that will help them with any problem. By the way, my home phone is in the phone book, it’s 319-827-1355, see if you can find other dealers personal phone numbers in the book! Also, overall our employees have been with us for quite a while, we have little turn over. In fact, we just had an employee retire that had worked for our store for 50 years! Customers like seeing familiar faces when they come in.
Then there’s the notion that a big dealer somehow gets a better price given to him when he buys new cars from the manufacturer. That’s simply not true. Saying that they buy for less from the manufacturer is an outright lie, saying that no one pays less is a half truth which I was brought up to think is a lie as well.
Finally, I love to tell folks that we have the best of both dealer worlds. We are big enough to have large vehicle inventories to offer and also to buy used vehicles in volume. We also offer the trade in vehicles we get through all of our outlets. Since we have six locations and usually turn our inventory more quickly, we can allow more for trades. We also have lower overhead because we buy things like insurance, advertising, even the shirts we wear in volume. So that’s why we advertise that we’re small enough to know you, but big enough to take care of you.