Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

New Years: A Time for Resolutions and Improved Business Practices

By Ron Henson on Dec 27, 2012

 

As a new year approaches and everyone is thinking about resolutions, I humbly offer the following list as possibilities for Dealership Operators:

 

  • Resolve to sell more from stock rather than managers arranging dealer trades all day long.  Are you ordering the correct New Car inventory if dealer trades are a daily activity?
  • Resolve to hold your sales staff accountable for product knowledge on your product as well as key competitors.  (Manager’s responsibility)
  • Resolve to find the balance between holding respectable gross on new cars and maintaining world class CSI. Remember: CSI = Customer Supplies Income
  • Resolve to assure that your Variable Ops departments and Fixed Ops Departments work as a team. 
  • Resolve to have the GM or Dealer Principal personally complete a physical inventory monthly.  Your flooring source will love this!
  • Resolve to commit to a sustained and consistent training program for your team.  Daily training = A Healthier Bottom Line
  • Resolve to tell your Admin Team how much you appreciate them at least once a week.
  • GM’s and DP’s: Resolve to work the desk, the parts counter, the service drive, and YES, the wash bay at least once per quarter.  Amazing things happen when the Head Honcho rolls up his sleeves and gets in the trenches.
  • Resolve to commit to Digital in your sales, training, advertising, service business, EVERYTHING!  The dealers who cast their nets where the fish are (Online) are the ones who will thrive in market share in 2013.

As a long time car guy myself, I certainly don’t presume that I have all of the answers to market share dominance.  However, some of these may be a step in the right direction.

Happy New Year!

Comments

Great suggestions, Ron! It's nice to see you writing on DS.com. As a veteran GM, I know you have a lot of practical knowledge to pass along. I'm not a Dealership Operator, but there are a few suggestions above that I'll adapt into my own resolutions. I love the idea of continued education and daily training especially. Good stuff. Thanks!

Dec 27, 2012

Thanks Tommy!

Dec 27, 2012

  • Certified Professional Coach CPC, ELI-MP | Certified Personal Brand Strategist
  • dScore: 0

I love it! Spoken from a true leader.

Dec 27, 2012

Renee, you're the best!

Dec 27, 2012

Ron, your tips for overall improvement are "right on"! I am forwarding your post to ALL the GMs and DPs in our organization.

Dec 28, 2012

Hi Diane. I am thrilled that you found them to be helpful. This is certainly the best time of year to initiate change and to commit to a paradigm shift. Thanks again!

Dec 28, 2012

Great resolutions Ron! Especially the one about making sure you have the correct inventory on the lot, and preventing dealer trades. Thanks!

Dec 29, 2012

Hi Lindsay. I am not so far removed from my days at the dealership to not remember my frustrations at having 300 new vehicles in stock and having sales consultants asking for dealer trades all day. I remember several occasions when a sales consultant would approach the desk manager to do a locate for a vehicle that we already had in stock! Get off your butts and walk the inventory every morning! :-) Thanks for the post and Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2012

So true Ron - salespeople need to know their products. In this case, morning lot walks should be just as much of your routine as getting your first cup of coffee.

Dec 31, 2012

Comments 1 - 9 of 9

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Ron Henson's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Have You Winterized Your Processes Yet?

    Dare I say it...soon enough, it’s going to be winter, and when winter comes...you’re not going to share another Game of Thrones meme...but you are going to ensure that everyone (your staff, your vendors, etc.) is prepared for what happens in winter - such as holidays, bad weather, illness...maybe even snowball fights.   So, what kind of processes are we talking about? Where can you get started in preparing for winter?   Well, first let’s talk about the cheery stuff!   Send Your Team Home for the Holidays When holidays come around, sometimes dealerships have closings so their employees can be with their families. However, your chat provider doesn’t always know when those closings are - unless you tell them. It’s very important to communicate with your chat provider about any closings or change in hours you may have during the holidays, so that they can relay that information to your online shoppers during chat. You don’t want shoppers coming into your dealers...Read post

  • The Value of a DVS Customer

    How do you measure the value of a car shopper who has found your dealership on the web, entered your Dealer Video Showroom and taken a video test drive of one of the cars you have for sale?...How much more valuable is that same person if they click to view your inventory?...How do you value that same person if they contact you to request a price?...Finally, how do you value that same person when they purchase a car from you?Read post

  • How Much Is Your Branded Content Worth?

    It’s widely accepted that content created by third parties in general holds more value for businesses than content they create themselves. Many have felt that consumers better trusted product information and reviews written by neutral persons. According to new research by Vibrant Media, however, that thought process may no longer be the case, if it ever was. The Vibrant study included 1,000 Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 and revealed some interesting data that should serve as a wake up call for brands. Some of the study’s key finding includes: “…one in three consumers rate the advertiser’s own website as the most useful source of information after seeing a product.” “Sixty-four percent stated they were receptive to brand images, and 57 percent were receptive to video.” “Forty-six percent stated they were receptive to articles written by brands.” According to an article about the study, published on the Content Standard, “the majority of US consumers...Read post

  • Get Your Dealership On The First Page of Google

    With less than 8 percent of online search traffic making it to the second page of Google search, it’s clear that search ranking matters now more than ever before – but it also can take time to get up to the coveted first page of Google search.     When considering investing in SEO and PPC, many dealership owners are eager to know how to get on the first page of Google, and “how” to get the top ranking on a search results page. They want the satisfaction of being able to win instantly, but it's not always so easy.     The short answer is, “no one really knows” – not even the people who work for Google. But rather than just leaving it as a blank answer to a very difficult question, let’s investigate the reasons behind the response.     Unfortunately We Aren’t Google     In addition to their periodic major updates, Google also has a fresh batch of smaller updates that are constantly causing small fluctuations in rankings. They also have much deeper up...Read post

  • NextGen Group Emerges at NADA Conference

    From witnessing inspirational talks to walking the halls of Congress, the National Automobile Dealers Association’s conference in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 8-10 was an enormous success, especially for our industry’s emerging leaders: the “NextGen” contingent. NADA has a legislative conference each year dubbed, appropriately, the “Legislative Conference.” It is represented by a “Who’s Who” of the NADA: the board of directors, state association presidents, influential dealers, and the association’s executive team. But this year came with a twist. For the first time in the conference’s history, NADA changed the event’s format to specifically include the NextGen group – the emerging leaders in automotive retail. Since this was truly a special occasion, and because I was fortunate enough to attend, I want to share my memorable three-day experience with others in the industry. Background… The inaugural NextGen event was named the “House of Cars,” a pun...Read post

  • Changes in Car Ownership Patterns: Navigating the New Landscape

    No doubt about it: the patterns of car buying and car ownership have changed. Six years after the Great Crash of 2008, the wobbly recovery still hasn’t found its way into most consumers’ wallets. The result? Older cars are spending a longer time on the road before being replaced. The reason? Changing consumer demographics. New car ownership, once the ultimate baby-boomer status symbol, has become insignificant among the younger generation, with the 18-to-34 crowd preferring to spend their $200 billion in annual purchasing power on high-tech gadgetry rather than a new set of wheels. Faced with an extended bout of unsettled economic times plus a generational shift in consumer habits, many auto dealers find themselves at a loss as to how to respond. In today’s blog, we’ll discuss how dealers can thrive and benefit from longer-term car ownership, by uncovering the trends and discovering what is truly fueling them and staying on top of what is in your control: satisfying customer need.Read post

  • Mike Martinez, CMO of DMEautomotive, to Present at the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit; and DMEa Selected as a Finalist for the 2014 Innovation Cup

    Mike Martinez’s presentation, “Smartphones and the Purchase Game,” was selected by a panel of auto dealers; joins an agenda that also includes keynotes from digital expert and best-selling author Brian Solis; SEO ‘Wizard’ Rand Fishkin; eMarketer’s lead digital auto analyst, Mike Hudson; Kellogg School of Management marketing professor Florian Zettelmeyer, and online marketing pioneer, Bryan Eisenberg     Daytona Beach, FL – September 30, 2014 – Mike Martinez, CMO of DMEautomotive, has been selected to present at the sixth annual DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES), the most authoritative profit-building event for innovative dealers. Martinez’s presentation, Smartphones and the Purchase Game, joins an agenda that includes keynotes from digital expert and author Brian Solis, SEO “Wizard” Rand Fishkin, eMarketer’s Lead Digital Auto Analyst, Mike Hudson, Kellogg School of Management Marketing Professor Florian Zettelmeyer, and Managing Partner of Eisenberg Hol...Read post

  • 8 in 10 Dealers Agree the Ideal Sales/Finance Process Should Be Two Hours or Less

    New dealership survey from eLEND Solutions underscores pain points for dealers in Sales/F&I process; 80% report their Sales/Finance process takes two hours or longer   Mission Viejo, CA – September 30, 2014 – A new survey of dealerships* from eLEND Solutions underscores what most dealers know already, that the sales and finance process takes much longer than it should:  80% report their process goes on for two hours or longer and 40% report three hours or longer - while a whopping 82% of dealers say the ideal end-to-end process should take two hours or less.     Survey of dealers shows disconnect between what they think ideal length of the sale/F&I s process should be and what it currently is: How long do you estimate the start-to-finish (sales/financing) transaction takes for your dealership(s)? Ideally, how long would you want your sales & financing process (show to final close) to be? 80% 2-5 hours 82% ...Read post