CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
I am so tired of hearing guys complain that business is slow, or my favorite, I can't buy any cars right now. What about this one, I can't buy any cars right now because I am not selling any cars right now.
All of this is hog wash. You must take responsibility for the inventory you bought. No one forced you to raise your hand at the auction. I have never had a Ringman put a gun to my head so I would bid on a car. You thought that you stole the car, but it turns out you didn't. So, now that it is 60 days old reduce the price to $1000 over and blow it out.
If your cars are not selling obviously you are either in the act of doing something wrong or you have already done something wrong. My point is this, if no one is buying the cars in your inventory then one or more of the following things has happened.
You bought the wrongs cars, so start buying cars that sell instead of the cars you like. You are pricing the cars incorrectly, so stop trying to hit a home on every sale and start selling quantity. You are not advertising the cars correctly, so implement an effective Internet Marketing Strategy. Your Sales People can't close sales, so only employ closers, not friends, later the closers can become your friends.
All of these things can be fixed but you have to be willing to take responsibility for what is already done and move forward. First and foremost, if you want to sell 10 cars per week then you must buy 10 cars per week. How do you expect to sell 10 cars a week if you are not first buying 10 cars per week? Sounds pretty simple but a lot of dealers cannot seem to get this through their heads. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
Bottom line is this, if your lot will hold 100 cars then you need to have 100 cars on your lot. More inventory gives you more opportunities and more chances to reach more customers. Every one of your prospects has different needs, desires, wants and budgets. So, your inventory needs to be as plentiful and diverse as your customer base. Selection needs to become king at your Dealership.
If you do not have the money to buy all of this inventory then check with one or more of the big three floorplan companies. Independent dealers should look to Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC), Dealer Services Corporation (DSC), or Manheim Financial Services (MAFS) when starting out. When I had my dealership I had floorplans with all three companies.
However, some banks are willing to work with dealers if you put your house and pension up as collateral along with a personal guarantee of course. The upside is if you can find a bank to deal with you it will save you thousands of dollars per month in fees and interest. But if you can't get the banks to deal, then the big three floor plan companies are a great alternative. The Franchise dealers already know where to go to get their floorplans.
Nevertheless, the moral to the story is the more cars you buy, the more cars you will sell. Remember you will only sell a percentage of what you carry in inventory, so if you carry 10 units in inventory and you sell 80% per month the most you can sell is 8 units. On the contrary, if you have 100 units in inventory and sell the same 80% of your inventory then you are now selling 80 units per month. Rent did not go up, payroll did not go up, but the number of sales closed and doc fees collected went up.
In conclusion, increased buying is the first step towards increasing sales.