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.
×
Mike Gorun

Mike Gorun Managing Partner/CEO

Exclusive Blog Posts

Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult

Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R7Y3kZIDVg] Your Turn To Drive discusses Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult.  Jim D…

Choose the correct CRM for your dealership OR pay dearly

Choose the correct CRM for your dealership OR pay dearly

With all the CRMs on the market today, finding the right one for your dealership is becoming more challenging than ever. There have been massive changes in…

5 Benefits of Using Google AdWords Click-to-Message Ad Extensions

5 Benefits of Using Google AdWords Click-to-Message Ad Extensions

Looking for a new way to win over people more likely to send a text message than to call? Set up this free message extension for your text ads on the Googl…

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

New Orleans is ramping up for the 100th anniversary of NADA, and the convention promises to be outstanding. You’ll be entertained at the NADA100 Carn…

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Social media is changing the marketing profession in remarkable ways. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the social media analyti…

Is Giving Up Profit A Smart Path To Customer Loyalty?

PLG_DS1.jpg?width=350

A dealer in Washington state has taken a highly unusual - and unheard of - path to customer retention and loyalty. According to Automotive News, Denver Morford, dealer principal at Barry Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Ephrata, Wash., doesn’t believe in dealer reserve. Not only does he not believe in it but he also educates his customers during the buying process that he is legally allowed to mark up the buy-rate (the wholesale rate the bank has approved the customer for) by as much as 2 percent…and chooses not to. He allows each customer to view the responses from the banks and see the buy-rate that is offered. In his opinion, this transparency on the financing side of his business - and the loss of dealer reserve profit – contributes to his high level of customer retention and brings additional sales via word of mouth. He has no finance department, or used car managers, as he trains all of his sales staff to handle customer transactions from start to finish.

 

It’s certainly an interesting philosophy. The dealership’s combined sales in 2014 between the 3 stores were 160 new and 390 used vehicles, averaging roughly 46 units per store. Transparency in the buying process has been increasingly demanded by consumers, but I’m not aware of anyone else that has connected the dots between transparency and customer loyalty in this way until now. While we don’t have any numbers to compare (gross vs net profit per vehicle), one would have to assume that they are lower than average, as there’s little doubt that this dealership’s competitors are participating in dealer reserve, and offering other back-end products. Of course, the easy way to balance the loss of back-end profit is to increase front-end profit.  But, those same consumers seeking transparency, along with the many forms of information available on the internet, would probably dictate the vehicle prices.

 

Another theory to consider is that - just maybe - it’s his unusual sales process that’s helping him win customer loyalty and retention. Consumers traditionally don’t like the whole back-and-forth part of the sales process. Training all of his salespeople to assist a customer from the beginning of the transaction to the end may be the differentiator that is really bringing people back and leading to more referrals.

 

Whether the key to this dealership’s high customer loyalty and retention originates from the “no dealer reserve,” or from the entire customer experience itself is something that should be closely considered. It could be that empowering his employees to smooth out the sales transaction for his customers is all that was needed to raise customer retention, and it’s not just a matter of leaving money on the table.

roman van stone
550 cars between 3 stores? Is that a typo?
Mike Gorun
Yes... but not far off. The actual number is 720 between the 3 stores.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now