In my time as an NCM moderator, I have had the privilege of helping dealers solve their toughest business challenges. Sometimes however, there are smaller items on the agenda that can really make a big difference. Recently, a dealer attended a 20 Group meeting and started discussing his dilemma with local charitable organizations.
His dealership recently had to turn down a local charity group, who came to them looking for donations to help them fundraise for their cause. As a dealership, you are approached numerous times a day from individuals or groups seeking donations. In this case however, his organization had already given a sizable donation to a separate organization just a few weeks prior, and the budget simply wasn’t able to handle another big donation at the time. Not only was it upsetting to say no to a great cause that they otherwise would have loved to help, but the morale of the dealership took a little bit of a hit as well. Armed with this challenge, he asked the 20 Group what he should do to help combat this issue in the future.
After a few minutes, one of the dealers across the room spoke up and said,
“Donating to your community doesn’t have to drain your bank account, ya know.”
As he spoke, the room was engaged. Soon all ears were on the solution to this dilemma.
The dealer continued, “We too have people come up to us all the time asking for donations, and we hate having to turn them away. So, we developed a new system that allowed us to help everyone.”
Now, I have heard a lot of ideas in my 20 Group meetings, but this idea was GOOD.
First: The dealership chooses a single vehicle model that they would like to donate for the year. This allows the dealership to choose a price range that will work for them, without cheapening the donation prize they are giving away. Think about it, who is going to complain about winning a car simply because it wasn’t their ideal model? The winner is going to be ecstatic no matter what!
Second: The dealership purchases tickets for the organizations to sell, and creates promotional materials for them to use for their event. In addition, the dealership will also provide a vehicle for the event as an example of what the drawing is for. Not only does this provide a real centerpiece for the charities’ event, but it gets your name and product in front of people in a very tangible way. Plus, if you’re very ambitious, you can even have someone stay with the car and let people sit inside the driver’s seat, explain all the awesome new features, and even provide business cards for people that are extremely interested.
Third: Throughout the year, when a donation seeker comes to the dealership, the GM or Dealer takes the opportunity to say “Great! Let me tell you about a program we’ve developed.” The dealer and the donation seeker then discuss the how much money they need, and how the tickets will help them reach that goal. For example, if you sell tickets for $2.00 a piece, and they would like to raise $1000.00, the dealership can provide 500 tickets to help them reach their goal.
Next, the dealer explains they can sell these donation drawing tickets (not a raffle ticket) at their event.
Fourth: The dealership will then hold an annual drawing for all the charitable events who participated in the program throughout the year.
After explaining this program to the room, the dealer was thrilled to announce that in the last year, his dealership raised hundreds of thousands of dollars within their community and earned enormous good will around town. The best part was that his team no longer had to say no to anyone coming in seeking donations.
This strategy comes directly from the insights gained from our NCM 20 Groups. Have a great idea you've used for charitable donations? Let us know in the comments section below!
The associates of NCM can help your dealership improve processes, performance, and gross. To learn more about ways to improve your dealership performance, Creating the Customer Experience: Do You Have "It?", Finding Additional Productivity Per Technician in Your Shop, UV Digital Marketing Best Practices are some additional articles from the automotive experts at NCM.