It’s the final countdown– Black Friday is just five days away. Arguably the biggest day for car sales, dealerships are battening down the hatches and doing all they can to be prepared. Edmunds has found that Black Friday weekend accounts for 15% of November car sales, which raises the stakes even more for dealerships.

In the past few days, Edmunds and others have published tips for consumers to get the most out of their Black Friday shopping. What can dealerships learn from these pieces of advice, to maximize their sales while keeping customers happy?

  1. Start the process for your customers now. Consumers are being coached to prepare as much as possible before Black Friday, so that the car buying process will be shorter and easier. This is in your best interest as well, as the faster you can sell a car to one customer the more time you have for others. Giving special discounts to people who come in for test drives, or have their trade-in valued this week will encourage people to begin the process now, freeing up more time for your sales team this weekend.
  2. Publish as much information online as possible. Customers will try to prepare for their big day by conducting lots of online research, so that they are well-educated and ready to haggle for a price on Black Friday. Publishing all of the information they might want, including financing options and detailed vehicle descriptions, will make them more likely to come into your dealership.
  3. Bring in extra staff. The lines will be long– there is nothing to do that will make them disappear. What you can do is ensure that you are well-staffed, and that your staff has the energy to get the job done. Give your sales team breaks every so often, and consider providing them with snacks and perks to keep them going. The weekend is going to be hectic, and you want them at the top of their game. Customers know that the process may take several hours, but you should do whatever you can to help your staff work well and efficiently.
  4. Help customers organize their paperwork. Car shoppers are being told to prepare all of their paperwork before they go into the dealership, to make the entire process easier. Your dealership can help them do so, by publishing checklists that tell customers exactly what they will need to close the deal. There is nothing more frustrating than a customer waiting in your dealership all day and fighting off the crowds, to be told that they are missing information and that they will need to return. Making it easier for them to get the job done correctly on the first shot will also save your sales team time.
  5. Be true to your word. While Black Friday is just one day in the year, it is also an opportunity for you to build brand awareness and loyal customers for (hopefully) many years to come. If you publicize big deals and gift incentives, make sure you can follow through. If you run out of prizes at 9AM, you will have some pretty disgruntled customers. These people might go so far as to write a negative review, which could have repercussions long beyond the holiday season.

This weekend is going to be hectic, that’s for sure, but it is a huge opportunity for your dealership. Take advantage of the next few days to prepare your staff and customers to make the most of it!