Hold Gross or Push Big Volume?

Ron Henson
This is an important strategic decision. What would be your philosophy if it was your name on the building?
Grant Gooley
A little bit of both Ron! Volume is really important to keep the service pumping. With a good value proposition, holding gross shouldn't be an issue.
Robert Karbaum
Depends on what the OEM kicks in. Big gross could be irrelevant depending on Manufacturer kickbacks.
Dustin Lyons
I agree with Grant. I don't think it always has to be one or the other, but a good balance. I think that every effort should be made to get as many leads and deals as possible, but to also have the right training, spiffs, and processes to make as much gross on each deal as possible. There are a lot of simple easy things that can be done to just pick up even an extra few hundred per car. With that being said, I am a huge fan of gross so if you made me pick one it would be gross, it helps the dealership and the sales guys. I had an old friend once tell me that if you charge double, you will lose half your customers but you will also lose half your work and still make the same. So more gross means a sales guy can sell less cars and still make a paycheck and be able to spend more time with family and friends and not have to get sucked in to 18 hour burn days 6 days a week just to collect enough minis that he can survive. I typically had a great gross average, as well as some of the biggest deals in the dealerships history, and I loved the paychecks that came from that. The other interesting thing is that the customers that I made the biggest grosses with were always some of my happiest and I always got great CSI surveys. This is because to make great gross you have to create great value for the customer. The customers that ground us into a ridiculous, under invoice, throwing everything in kind of deal were always the ones that hammered us on surveys. So again if I had to pick one it would be gross. More money, less work, and happier customers.
Russ Chandler
I'm a strong believe of volume with todays customer and market but I DON'T think that means you can't still make strong gross. Think volume on the front end and strong gross on the back. There are plenty of ways for dealers to make dollars on the backend and many times its the type of revenue that goes straight to your bottom line. Think LTV(life time value) of the customer and you're gross numbers will add up. Big gross on the front can be done but comes with a lot of collateral damage and much harder to sustain. Bad reputation, pricing conflicts and a lower customer retention rate all will come along with big gross advertising and sales. Now I think there can be much less collateral damage if you focus on driving that big gross from the back on warranties, accessories and insurances. For the dealer there is generally less to be paid out on these products than front in gross.
Lauren Moses
For us the gross really doesn't work. There are limited choices as far as dealerships for customers to choose from if they don't want to drive very far. However, with the economy around us, the higher gross really pushes them farther away and makes the customer more willing to drive the extra hour or more to get a better deal on a vehicle. We tend to make up for it in financing and pushing other things on the backend to make up for it. There are just so many variables for each dealership that you can't say how it would best benefit EVERY dealership across the board by doing it all one way.

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