"We're going to assume perfect credit"

Patrick Halleen
I am 26 years old and currently a Finance Manager at my family owned KIA store and in the process of transitioning into sales manager. I work as FM 3 days a week and as SM 2 days a week. We are a 3 time presidents club dealer, and turn a pretty good profit selling 2600-2700 units per year. However, my sales guys have gotten so lazy that unless a customer comes out and says "I HAVE BAD CREDIT" they dont ask and assume everyone has tier 1 credit. I cant tell you how many times a week I sit in the finance office calling my lender to get a tier bump not for profit, just to get to the agreed upon terms. The current sales managers allow this and enable this behavior along with working every deal at the buy rate and invoice pricing. I get that there is a lot of internet business these days but every deal does not need to start at invoice/buy rate. How can I turn this store around positively as the new guy on the desk without the other sales managers hating me. they have both been on the desk at my store 8+ years.
Clint Jones
Very difficult situation you have got yourself in Patrick. I have a great deal of experience working in family owned stores, and particularly ones that have a potential successor present in them. What I am going to tell you is not intended to be smart mouthed or insensitive in any way. The only way that you can get your people to do it right without pissing everyone off is to get your father or mother to step in and force these changes. Your other option is to not worry about your co-workers hating you and just force these changes yourself. The reality is that before you get to the top of the ladder, many of them will hate you anyway. Business is business and you do it the way that the dealer wants it done......or you do it somewhere else. Change is a difficult thing, and it's not personal. These changes you want are for the benefit of everyone in the store. Gross profit is the component that insures the health of the business and future security of its employees.
Clint Jones
@Chris Micra I don't believe that Patrick's problem is a lack of knowledge. I believe his problem is how to implement solutions (such as the one you typed) without having everyone on the management staff hating him. He is the dealer's kid, and he is working in two departments. He comes out of the finance office a few days a week, so in essence he is part time at both jobs. So, a part time manager that is the dealer's kid has the task of telling his "peers" that have been employed by his family longer than he has been in the work force...that they are doing it all wrong. By the way Chris, good post. I am going to implement your 1-10 on my worksheet today.
Patrick Halleen
Very Helpful insight from you guys, Chris I love that very non confrontational strategy. Clint you hit the nail right on the head "So, a part time manager that is the dealer's kid has the task of telling his "peers" that have been employed by his family longer than he has been in the work force...that they are doing it all wrong." --Many of the employees that I manage (as well as fellow managers) have been around since I was a porter detailing cars 10 years ago. I sold cars for 4 years prior to moving into finance and have built personal relationships outside of work with a lot of the sales guys and managers. We have a strong team atmosphere but I have a really hard time getting through to any of them on what changes need to be made.
Scott Ordines

You are in charge Patrick!  I see I am only about six months late on this conversation, as I just joined this site 5 minutes ago.  I can see that your name is the same as the one on the sign.  I have been in the same type of situations working for a small family owned  dealership for the past 14 years.  The difference is that I am not related, but that does not matter.  When I finaly convinced myself that I was in charge of my department things changed.  The facts are most sales people and managers get comfortable.  The problem is that comfortable is not profitable.  You owe it to yourself to demand a new process.  They won't comply the first time, however just like selling a car the more you drill it in them, the more results you will get.  A scientific study suggests that you have to pitch something 9 times before somebody actually starts listening.  Keep drilling the correct process, and demand it from the sales force.  It wont be easy.  As you know "easy" never made a man wealthy.  In the end you will earn more money, your sales team will earn more money, and you will earn respect from your sales team.



Bob Parrish

Salespeople understandably don't want to do anything that may screw up a sale.  They will want to be able to quote the lowest payment possible, with the best terms and will be optimistic on the trade.  

We don't usually run credit to show numbers.  We just ask them this; "On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best, where do you think you're credit ranks?"  People are surprisingly accurate and doing this let's us quote payment in a way the under promises and over delivers.  Very, very few hiccups since we started doing this.


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