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

  • Target In-Equity Service Customers to Stand Out

    Creating an effective marketing strategy in today’s world is not an easy task. Should you spend your time and money to conquest new customers? Allocate your marketing budget to build brand awareness in your community? Create a program to strengthen customer retention among your existing database? Or should you focus your energy on all of the above? The possibilities are endless. Chances are the answer to an effective marketing plan lies in a perfect combination of a new and current customer strategy that delivers the most optimal return. The problem is finding a harmonious balance. We all know the old adage, “It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.” If this is true for your dealership, then it is in your best interest to capitalize on every opportunity with current customers. Make sure they are informed about needed vehicle maintenance, communicate service savings, share OEM incentives on new vehicles, etc. Now I’m not telling you to ...Read post

  • My Top 8 DrivingSales Executive Summit 2014 Takeaways

    Conferences are easy. Free food, free swag, free parties, and more information than you can shake a stick at. It is like going back to college, condensed into 3 days. Now comes the work; taking what you have learnt and doing something with it. Creating an actionable items list and work-back schedule. Our day-to-day lives catch up with us very quickly and it is all too easy to put off making a plan. Before you know it, it's the next year and the next conference season and you haven't moved on anything you have learned. A similar but equally daunting problem is hoping to accomplish EVERYTHING. Often there are so many fantastic ideas it is impossible to choose. This past DrivingSales Executive Summit is a prime example. The great information I took in, is far more than I could ever accomplish. Read post

  • The Mind is Like a Parachute – It Works Best When Open

    Competition in business is usually a good thing.  Sure, we’d all like to have the market cornered, but without a little competition we would perhaps never figure out ways to improve our products or services and keep our customers coming back.    In an interesting article on Infusionsoft’s “Big Ideas Blog,” a few examples of businesses thinking outside the box were shared. 3Tees is a Singapore based company that prints T-shirts for companies “promoting events with a social cause.” It has a slogan of “You price it. We print it.” The company allows customers to determine the price of the shirts and their pricing strategy has proven successful.  According to the article, the vast majority of customers make genuine offers that both fit within budget and provide an acceptable profit margin. In fact, while the company is willing to reject extreme low-ball offers, they have discovered that only 5% of total bids fit within this category.   One of the biggest reasons 3...Read post

  • Is Your Business Keeping Score? Fixing Turnover At Dealerships

    If you’re a fan of the National Basketball Association, then you’re probably like me when it comes to watching games. There’s nothing more I love seeing than someone dunking over another player or sinking a three-pointer in front of a defender’s face. Now that I think of it, it seems like I only enjoy plays that are demeaning to the defense, huh…but that’s neither here nor there. As the NBA kicks off it’s 2014-2015 season, there’s one thing I can tell you that I’m not looking forward to and that’s turnovers. Turning the ball over is ugly. It’s bad for the offense and nobody likes watching sloppy play (unless you're on defense, then turnovers are awesome). The same goes for companies everywhere: turnover is bad for business. While referring to turnover, the Wall Street Journal says, “experts estimate it costs upwards of twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. And churn can damage morale among remaining employees.” Now if you’re like every other business out there, you know this is a serious problem, but how can you fix it? Is turnover even fixable? The quick answer—yes. Tips For Lowering Turnover Just like the game of basketball, keeping score is essential for your business. It’s vital to keep track of the candidates you’re interviewing, what their responses are to your questions and how their personalities fit within your company’s culture. One of the best ways to do this is by using an interview scorecard, but that’s only one step towards diminishingRead post

  • Using Data to Increase Service Revenue

    One of the most valuable assets you have at your dealership is your customer database. However, frequently dealers fail to effectively use this information to help achieve more specific marketing goals. While some may use their database to send marketing messages to existing and previous customers in an effort to sell another vehicle, or perhaps remind of a future service that is due, this is a very limited use. Sadly, many dealers fail to fully leverage this literal goldmine of information.   For example, using data segmentation to present products or services purchased by one set of customers to other customers with a similar profile. This is not a new idea, Amazon does this quite effectively. When a consumer visits many web pages, suggested products are prominently displayed that were purchased by other Amazon shoppers with similar buying or viewing habits.   Amazon’s suggestive marketing strategy is effectively playing the odds that, by leveraging a customer’s previous p...Read post

  • How quickly can you say "YES?"

    At Autosoft we pride ourselves on customer service and have done so for over 25 years. So when a current customer’s service manager walked out without notice, the general manager was at a loss for what he was going to do. The parts manager just joined the team, the old advisor quit and the new advisor wasn’t due to start for another week. That left him with a brand new crew with no experience and a service department without the ability to wait on customers!!! Out went the phone call to the local business development manager… “can you help?” Read post

  • New Craigslist listing issue

    Craigslist has had a change in layout and search abilities for awhile but there is a major issue in their new filters. Dealerships are missing a ton of searches when a customer is filtering down the search. The image I included in this post shows how consumers now have the ability to search by type: truck, sedan, convertible, wagon, and other criteria....but a lot of dealers feeds are notRead post

  • Google Penguin 3.0 – What Does It Mean For You and Your Website?

    On Friday, October 17th 2014, Google announced another Google Penguin algorithm update. The purpose of this algorithm is to minimize the presence of websites who take part in spammy link building practices in search engine results pages (SERPs).Read post