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Keeping Track of Your Competitor's Parts & Service Prices

January 11, 2011

Ask your new or used car manager, and they can probably tell you what your competitors' pricing is on the various models that you offer.  However, do you have confidence that your service and parts managers can do the same?

Keeping on top of your competitors' prices is not as difficult as it may seem.  Pick up the telephone and call your competitor for prices, or even refer to their web page to quickly find pricing.  By doing this check on a regular basis, you will be able to gauge whether your pricing is either too high, competitive or, in a worst case scenario, too low.

If your prices are too high, you may be losing the opportunity to perform routine work and the ability to up-sell other services.  Should your price turn out to be too low, you are losing gross profits.

Still unconvinced about the benefits of this exercise?  Consider this:  as a consumer of retail services, don't you check out the pricing of various vendors before making a decision?  You had better believe that your potential customers perform this exercise prior to choosing to do business with your dealership.

Few dealerships take the time to evaluate their competition and find better ways to sell.  Sizing up competitors in this tough climate is more important than ever.  Factors to consider include what your competitors are saying in their advertising and on their website.  What do they say in their conversations with customers?  Try having someone visit a competitor's showroom, service or parts department.  Survey their customers to find out more about their sales presentations.

Keep a log of anything you learn, including their ads and mailers, so that you can quickly compare prices and offers on the fly.  Checking out the competition is one of the trickiest tasks put to any manager.  However, once a manager becomes adept at gaining this knowledge, your organization will have a competitive edge.  You may even consider rewarding employees a nominal amount for gaining information that can be useful to your dealership.

Once you have information on a number of your competitors, take the time to really read through and analyze it.  Make a list of your competitors' claims and compare them to your own.  By comparing the two, you'll identify points of differentiation that will help you sell your services more effectively and present a fresh message to customers.

Information is power, so make it a priority for your staff to find out what competitors are doing.  Armed with the knowledge of how other comparable dealers sell, you will have the ability to improve your sales process and compete on a more level playing field.


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