July 11, 2016Related Posts
I recently attended a few conventions where I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many automotive product vendors and automotive dealer principals. Often, the conversations revolved around relationship-building between the two. When asked, both the vendors and the dealers agreed that the most important thing in any business relationship is the relationship itself. Both sides agreed that when relationships went south and deals were lost, it was mostly due to things that were small and insignificant in the overall picture, things that seemingly could have or should have been avoided.
This got me thinking: What is it that drives one side or the other to end relationships? I asked 20 dealers and 20 vendors for their thoughts.
Part I is titled "Five Things Vendors Do That Dealers Hate" and Part II is appropriately titled “Five Things Dealers Do That Vendors Hate.” There is nothing remotely scientific about what follows. However, it was fascinating to see how nearly identical issues were brought up from person to person. So, let's get started with Part I and take a look at what drives dealers crazy about vendors.
I was recently at a convention where the question was asked, “What do dealers or their decision-makers do that vendors hate?” I felt this would be a great show topic since, in many cases, vendors are a very important extension of a dealership’s team. Some are even thought of as family. Likewise, this topic is important because without dealerships and the business they provide, many vendors would simply disappear. As you listen to part two of this message, just like when you listened to part one of this message, ask yourself if you are guilty of doing any of these things and whether they could be hurting your very valuable relationships.
At the end of the day, we could take a look at this from the dealer’s side like we did last week, or from the vendors side as we did this week and point our fingers at each other. We could continue to identify things that make both sides uncomfortable or angry. It is easy to point fingers. But what I am trying to bring to light is much bigger than that. As I stated earlier, the relationship between a dealership and its many vendors is more of one of extended employees. Vendors are the people you need to supply the products and services that may significantly dictate just how efficient and successful you will be. On the flip side, the vendors need the dealerships to be successful and have robust businesses. One side cannot exist without the other. As I noted last week, it is the relationship that you establish, build, and nurture with each other that will dictate the success of both parties.It’s like marriage- knowing what builds or destroys your marriage is key to the success and quality of that relationship. Avoid the bad stuff and focus on what builds strong bonds and trust. And, just like in a marriage: if you stop dating your spouse or, in this case, your customers, someone else will gladly do it for you.
About the author: Jeff Cowan, in his 30th year of Service Department Sales Training, is recognized as the creator of the modern-day, walk-around and selling processes for dealership service departments and after-market auto service repair shops. Jeff is the nation’s authority when it comes to training service advisors and service support staff. You can see him on a weekly broadcast of CBT News and read many of his published articles on various automotive publications. Currently partnered with NADA, EasyCare, NCM, Marellen, and other vendors and manufacturers.Visit his website at AutomotiveServiceTraining.com get info on On-Site Training, Public and Private Workshops, DVD Training Program, Webinars, and a FREE trial of Virtual Training! For more great tips and advice, follow Jeff on Twitter at@JCowansProTalk. He’s also on Facebook, and Google+. You can also watch Jeff Cowan’s videos on YouTube! For more information call (800) 248-2931 or from outside the U.S., call (949) 713-4469.