The Stretch

Even if you’ve never been an athlete or worked out, I’m sure you can relate to the idea of stretching before and after exercising.

When you stretch your muscles you have the potential to grow.

The great thing about stretching one’s mind is it opens up the thought process for future stretching. You cannot and will not get better at anything unless you are willing to stretch.

There are people who go to the gym week after week and make little or no progress because they do the same 3 sets of 8 reps of the same exercise. They only thing they are stretching is their time, which is wasted.

Until you decide to stretch your mind, you’re going to remain right where you are. Remaining where you are might actually be where you want to be.

A mind once stretched never regains its past form. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Focus On These For The Next 60 Days

1. Resell the team that you have the pricing correct. Remind them that more than 80% of the people who shop for a used car are shopping via the Internet. In most cases the customer would not have shown up today if they didn’t like the vehicle you have or felt the price wasn’t in the ball game. Thus, we need to stay focused on selling the fact that we have got the price right, they are at the right place, so don’t bother asking for more discount. The management team has to do a better job reselling this concept on a daily basis.

2. If you have aged inventory your goal should be to retail out of it by April 1. In doing so you need to realize that in order to retail out, you’re going to have to price them right. Pricing them right and finally doing what you should have already done is going to cause your average gross to take a hit. You’re going to put yourself in a better position to sell lots of new and used cars as the spring rolls around because you are now in the driver’s seat and not trying to dig out of a hole.

3. Implement the trade walk with all members of the management team. Use my life cycle management process. Each morning analyze the fresh trades and purchase units to determine the number of days it will be assigned. Make sure you spot the most problematic units, price them right and get them gone.

4. Start tracking 30/30. Track the gross on units you sell under 30 days old and the gross on units you sell over 30 days old. You will soon realize those over 30 days old units are killing your averages. Ask yourself right now, how many units do you have in stock that are over 30 days old? What’s the percentage? If more than 50% of your inventory is over 30 days old you can bet your averages are going to take a hit.

5. Attack the 10 most expensive units in stock. Print out a list of them every day. Give a copy to the service manager, desk and F&I managers. Make sure the team has top of mind awareness on these units. Price them right on day one. Consider putting bonus money on the most problematic ones. These units will eat your lunch if you don’t stay on top of them.

6. Do anything you can to improve speed from the time you own it until it’s on the lot and ready to go.

So, there you have it. 6 easy things to get focused on that will help you have the best spring and summer in the history of your business. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

The Right Skills

How many times have you interviewed someone and you ask them to name something they are really good at and they say, “I have great people skills.”

People’s perception of their people skills is often a gross exaggeration of who they think they are and what they are all about.

Leaders understand that having great people skills requires them to grow those skills daily by building relationships of trust, respect and productive interactions.

Steven Covey stated it best when he said, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

Having people skills means building relationships.

You may think you are a great people person, but if you can’t be trusted then you’re a long way from having people skills.

Having great people skills involves the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly, positive and uplifting way. When you do those things people begin to trust you.

When people trust you, you almost automatically have better people skills.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Are You Nervous?

Used cars have always made me nervous. Not scared, just nervous.

I worry a lot. I worry about aged units. I’ve learned that we all have our own definition of an aged unit. For me it’s around 45 days.

Especially the iffy ones. If you think about it, there are more iffy ones than not.

Most aged units have issues such as:

Too much money in it
Bad color
High miles
Wrong equipment
High dollar unit

Those are just a few issues that make me nervous.

When I see units on the lot that are aging and they have any of those issues, I react very much like what you see in this video and you should too.

Watch the video. Pretend that the cucumber is an aged unit that you just discovered. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs
You And Aged Units

Who Do You Surround Yourself With?

That’s an extremely important question to ask yourself as we move into the New Year.

One of the things that I know that you and I have in common is winning. That’s why you check in with me from time to time and read my material. You’re looking for ideas to help you to keep winning.

You and I may have different ideas about what winning means to us. Fundamentally it’s about keeping score regardless of what the “score factor” might be.

The “score factor” might be number of units sold, it might be gross profit, it might be income, it might be net profit, or it might be how many people we have helped make a better life for themselves. It’s all about keeping some sort of score.

It’s important to surround yourself with people who have things in common with you. If they are not interested in keeping score then they are not interested in winning. If they are not interested in winning then you don’t have much in common with them.

If you don’t have much in common with them then you need to be a real winner and rid yourself of their presence. It’s not just about winning, it’s about running up the score. Yep, that’s what you and I have in common, we wanna run up the score. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Justifying Aged Units

A good friend of mine who passed away this past year had a saying and it goes like this: “You can justify anything you want to justify.”

Dealers and managers will often try to justify keeping units past 60 days. If you’re a believer in the value of keeping up with ROI, I doubt there are many cases in which you can prove the justification.

Take a look at the chart and the bullet points below.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 11.10.09 AM

1. The first one is a car that you make $1200 on, hold 25 days and end up in the sweet spot of 117% (Sweet spot 110 to 120%)

2. The second one shows that if you keep that same car for 60 days that in order to achieve the same ROI you would need to make $2900 in order to get to the 118%. Is that doable?

3. The 3rd example shows that if you hold that same car 60 days, make $1200 on it that you end up with an ROI of 49%…not good, but if you held it 60 days you are probably happy to make the $1200.

4. The 4th example shows that if you make a $1200 gross on a car that you hold for 90 days you end up with a horrible 32% ROI…is that a good use of your money?

5. The last example shows that if you hold that same car for 90 days that in order to hit the sweet spot you would need to make $4300 gross. Can you really do that after 90 days?

Holding cars based on the theory that you can’t replace them is what I call “false justification.”

Sometimes when we justify things in our own mind, we are simply lying to ourselves and those around us. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

And We’re Off

Successful dealers have a different view, a different attitude, a different swagger about them and a different way of managing accountability.

It’s always a good feeling when we are kicking off a new year. This time of the year sort of reminds me of spring training for major league baseball. Optimism is running high, as it should be, but in a few months reality will start to set in.

The stronger teams will have started to pull away and the weaker teams will be asking themselves, “What happened, where did we go wrong?”

A number of my articles recently have been prodding you to get ready for the New Year. Here are a few thoughts to get you moving a little faster toward your goals and some suggestions of changes you might need to make.

Observe-Spend a Saturday just sitting in the tower observing. Say nothing. Take notes. Of course you’re not going to see the true picture, but you will see enough to give you an idea of where the loopholes are.

Ask Questions-On Monday meet with your GSM/Sales Manager and ask him/her to review with you what the selling process is. Better yet, prior to meeting, ask them to write out the selling process to bring to your meeting.

Get After Them-Tell them what you observed and how far off track they are compared to the list and the discussion you just had. Of course, first tell them all the things you observed that they are doing well. Do your best to end the meeting on a positive note and create a plan of action to improve.

Re-Commit-Get them re-committed to what they say they are supposed to be doing. Reviewing the processes is the single most effective way to do this.

Re-Deploy-get them on a mission to get back on track through renewed focus, training, disciplines and processes. Get a commitment for the training they intend to do with the sales force over the next 30 days.

Create Accountability-create a daily check list to review what they are doing as compared to what they said they were going to do. Continue to observe and whenever it’s not right go back to step one and start over again.  Your number one job is to “Guard the Processes.”

Raising expectations is in part about raising your level of intensity and creating accountability within the team. Human nature being what it is, people will do what little they have to do to get by.

And we’re off. That’s all I’m gonna say,  Tommy Gibbs