No matter what you sell, it's important to understand your customers.  It's also important to have them understand you.  Your website is your virtual showroom.  Your 'About Us' and your staff photos are just the handshake.  Give reasons for people to stay longer on your site, just like you want them to at your brick-and-mortar store.

People do judge books by their covers.  What does your online message/brand/existence tell people?  You've got about the same amount of time to impress online as you do in person: 20-40 seconds or less.  Check your Google Analytics stats to find out how you're doing.  If you're not getting your GA report, get it.  If you are getting it and not reviewing it, start.  If you're not using it as a (huge) tool, start.  It will become the basis of your existence online, period.

Not selling well to female buyers?  Set up a page that's dedicated to explaining how you do help women quite well.  Get Certified Female Friendly with  Take the steps to explain the advantages online.  Not doing well with retention? set up a VIP program and publish a press release or two online.  You have to understand the impact and accountability of online branding.  Do everything you can to attract 'people'.

Another thing: people will still want to/need to buy cars.  Give your customers permission to buy from you…right now.  Did you try to sell chromes on every deal a year ago?  Why did you stop?  Are you letting your perception of what your customers want and are willing to do dilute your ability to close big deals?  Because some of your customers were subprime yesterday, does that make every customer a 'roach'?

These two things are fact: what you think of your customers will be and what you think will happen will be. 

Today Mr. Buffett was quoted telling people to buy U.S. stocks.  Another article penned a story about a couple GM stores in Texas providing some GM shares with any car sold before the end of the month.  No matter what your gimmick, promotion, or promise, you must create a bond and trust between your brand and your clients.  Once the brand equity is there, you can drive the rest based on value.

Never forget why you decided to sell cars in the first place: because you can and because people want to buy…

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results