Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
Lindsey Auguste and Dennis Galbraith

Lindsey Auguste and Dennis Galbraith Investigative Reporters

Exclusive Blog Posts

5 Avoidable Ways that Car Dealerships Can Reduce Staff or Customer Injuries and Liability

5 Avoidable Ways that Car Dealerships Can Reduce Staff or Customer Injuries and Liability

The National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA) data for 2016, revealed that there are 16,708 franchised dealerships in the United States, who sold a rec…

Tips on Finding and Hiring Salesmen Who Have Experience

Tips on Finding and Hiring Salesmen Who Have Experience

Your dealership can't thrive without an experienced sales force. The trickiest part of this equation is finding "rock star" salespeople to he…

New Site Links from Google in Mobile Search

New Site Links from Google in Mobile Search

In thinking of a mobile first world, Google has rolled out new site links to the search results on mobile search.  Historically, Google would award…

What Your Dealership Should Look for in Insurance Coverage

What Your Dealership Should Look for in Insurance Coverage

When a person decides to start a car dealership, insurance needs to be part of their planning. It is a requirement for a dealership to have vehicle insuran…

The Power Of A Physical Location In A Digital World

The Power Of A Physical Location In A Digital World

Everything is moving to digital, does that mean that your location isn’t valuable? New research shows that your physical location could be your most …

Greater Dealer Profits Despite Razor Thin Margins

Dealers are incredible business owners.  Show me some other business where the owners operate on razor thin margins the way that dealers do and I’ll commend them equally.  It’s amazing that a company can make a grossly larger profit selling a $1,500 piece of furniture than they can by selling a $40,000 car.  Boggles my mind. 

Why are dealers so successful in this endeavor?  Two reasons: consistency and execution.  Dealers who can’t execute or consistently walk through the same process over and over again don’t last long in the business or at least aren’t making any money at it. 

But while operating on such slim margins, what boggles my mind even more are some dealers’ unwillingness to adapt to the changing business environment.  Whether it’s new technology in the industry, the social networking influence, or even the rapid decline of the newspaper, some dealers refuse to face the surrounding changes. 

Why is this the case?  The most ubiquitous response I hear from dealers all across the country is they don’t have to make any changes – they’re already making money. 

If I was walking a tightrope of profit they way dealers do, I wouldn’t bet the farm on the notion that such a tightrope was going to get any thicker simply by staying on it.  You have to make changes, adapt to the business climate, and invest in training that will help to excel your already top-notch consistency and execution to a new level.

Take, for instance, the 2012 TIME Dealer of the Year, Mike Shaw.  Mike’s been in the business going on 45 years now, and this old dog is constantly learning new tricks.  When DrivingSalesTV sat down with him for an interview last week, he shared a telling story of just how adaptable he is to the market.  He described sitting at a table with some people in his company, including his son who is up and coming in the ranks.  Mike proposed to the group that he was dropping his advertising investment in the newspaper – cold turkey.  For a company that spends $1 million in advertising budget annually, that’s a huge adjustment.  His only words after making the declaration were, “I only hope I’m not a year or two early.”  As politely as possible, his son responded with “Perhaps you’re a year or two late.”  Mr. Shaw hasn’t spent a dime on newspapers for the last four years, and hasn’t seen a decline in business because of it.

I don’t share this story to say that newspapers are obsolete (although that can be debated in a separate discussion).  What I find incredible is for a man who has been in the business for 45 years, he is perceptive enough to know that if he doesn’t adapt and leverage the market as it’s changing, the days left in his already honorable tenure in the business will be numbered.  So he stays on top of the game, always learning, always, training, and always challenging himself and his auto group to be better and, thus, sell more cars.

The old dogs – and even more so, the new ones – can learn new tricks and have to.  Having razor-thin margins requires selling in volume with the most efficient marketing possible.  Don’t be satisfied walking a tightrope when you can at least give yourself the benefit of a 2x4.

 

*Keep an eye out on DrivingSalesTV for when the full interview with Mike Shaw becomes available.

Chris Costner
That "newspaper debate" might be fun. Great post Lindsey & Dennis. Looking at myself, I can honestly say this entire post runs through my veins on a constant basis. I see the neon "COMPLACENCY" light flashing for those not having the initiative to become a student of the process looking to improve. I remember a quote I stumbled upon when I first started selling cars and it too runs through my veins. It comes from an American Science-Fiction author born in 1928: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” - Alvin Toffler

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now