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Bright Ideas

Automotive Series: 4 Ways to Hold Your Vendors Accountable

Posted by Clark Rutledge on 10/7/16 11:09 AM
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Smooooooth like butter is how you’d like your dealership to run —  no hurdles, no setbacks, nothing. BUT we all know that’s not how it works out. The best thing you can do is to ensure everything in your power is working like a well-oiled machine. One of the parts of your machine is your vendors. Depending on many factors of your dealership: size, location, specialties, market, etc., your number of vendors many vary. No matter how many vendors your dealership works with, accountability is key.
Below are four ways to hold your vendors accountable.


1.  Know your contract.

There are tons of pieces of paper that come across your desk each day, not all of them need much attention. But the days that a vendor contract hits your desk, read it thoroughly. Understand the terms, limits, expectations, etc. within the contract and ensure they are to your standards. .


2.  Hold your vendors to high standards.

Your sales staff is held to a high standard, your vendors should be too. It’s vital that your business relationship with vendors doesn’t become lazy. Continuously convey that you expect the best and nothing less. When there are new products, you want the sales pitch; when your contract comes up for renewal, you want solid reasons presented to you as to why that vendor deserves another year, etc. Don’t get complacent.



3.  Email and record everything.

You may have already learned, maybe not, but just because something is verbally agreed upon, doesn’t always mean it will get done. Save yourself a tough lesson by emailing confirmations of conversations, schedules, deadlines, expectations, etc. This can be easily done if vendors are included in the CRM — just as you keep track of customer interactions, take note of vendor interactions.


4.  Schedule monthly meetings and stick to it.

This is especially important if you have a long list of vendors. A single meeting with all the vendors can prove immensely useful to your overall business plan and marketing strategy: the dealer, website provider, PPC provider, SEO company, and the social media company, etc. all on one phone call. (Plug — If you’d like all of that to be done in one place, contact us today. No more scheduling phone calls with multiple key players — we do it all.) And the most important part of this phone call is to be consistent with it. Schedule it and hold to it, constantly be giving your vendors direction.

Accountability is key to strong business relationships. Once your vendors understand the level of accountability required, they will be stronger performers. And after that, everything else will fall into place. Plus, smooth operations lead to hefty profits. Pretty soon, your dealership will be the envy of all your competitors.



Topics: Automotive Strategy, Automotive Marketing