Years ago, all stores looked about the same, and customers didn’t have much of an opportunity to compare one to the other. In today’s world, like it or not, the days of being just “okay” are over. Potential customers immediately make a decision to do business with you based upon the exterior of your dealership.

From the very beginning, it is important to make the experience with your dealership as painless as possible. This includes making sure your customers can see your store hours posted on your window from their car, and that your lot is properly lit. Based upon various studies conducted over the years, a little over one half of all customers say that they have avoided a business altogether  because “it didn’t look like a place I would normally shop.” These individuals may not have been able to put a finger on specifically why they didn’t want to shop there, but it was something related to the appearance of the building.

Remember, a lack of upkeep tells customers a couple of things: It tells them you don’t care what they think because if you did, you’d at least make your facilities presentable; and it indicates to them that if you aren’t concerned about the outside presentation of your business.This implies the rest of your dealership must lack quality. It’s not always what you are saying with your outdoor appearance, but also what you are implying. People will jump to conclusions based upon their first impression of a business.

Your dealership has a lot riding on attracting new customers, along with maintaining the ones you already have. While the owner has to make a decision to invest in keeping the exterior of the dealership updated, it’s the job of every employee to keep things looking presentable. This means that every time you walk through your dealership, you need to look and see that everything is in its proper place. If you see a misplaced shop towel, a pop can, or a piece of trash, take the time to pick it up. You never know when a customer is going to walk through your door!