10 Things To Do

I’m going to share 10 relatively simple things I’ve picked from the many I present in my workshops for you to consider doing.

1. Study The Data- Become a better student of the game. There’s so much information right at your fingertips. Use vAuto’s stocking tool to determine the fastest moving units to stock and take advantage of all the data Auto Trader can provide you.

2. Press Your Cost Down-This is probably the simplest and most effective thing you can do to improve your business. Know what your average cost per unit is every day and do what you can to reduce it. If you are at $18,000 today, do what you can to get it to $17,500 and so on. There is no magical number. It’s about keeping the less expensive units and making sure the more expensive ones turn fast.

3. Know Your ROI-Every deal should be tracked for ROI. As you are working a deal you not only need to know how much gross you have, but what the ROI is. Go to FixROI.com and plug in three numbers. Your cost, your gross, and the number of days the unit has been in stock. Bingo, you have your ROI. Shoot for 110 to 120 ROI. By knowing your ROI you will know what’s working and what’s not.

4. Attack the 10 Most Expensive Units in Stock-Make a list each day of your 10 most expensive units in stock. With one exception make sure they are priced really, really right. The one exception is if you know you always make money on a unit that’s on the list then use some common sense, don’t give it away. Consider putting bonus money on those 10 units regardless of the number of days they have been in stock. Sooner rather than later. Make sure the service manager gets a copy of the list each day and create a sense of urgency to get any of those through the shop quickly.

5. Life Cycle Management-There is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do that will improve all aspects of your used car business more than understanding my process of “Life Cycle Management.” Think Fast, Be Fast-You are working with a depreciating asset. Everything, including decisions on what to keep and not keep has to be done fast. Pull the trigger quickly on units that you are suspicious about. Don’t hang on to them hoping and wishing something good is going to happen. Early losses are far better than late losses. If you are paying attention and recognizing problem units early in the life cycle then you will have a lot less need to take units to the auction and lose money on them at 45 or 60 days. There are certain “Trigger Points” you need to focus on during your daily “Trade Walk.” Knowing how to use EWR (Early Warning Radar) pays big dividends.

6. Lot Walk-If you do a lot walk once a week with all the members of your sales and management team then without a doubt you will sell more units. The lot walk gets your entire team to know and understand your used car inventory. The more knowledge they have the more they sell.

7. Daily Inventory Pricing-The market changes every day and so should your pricing. Sometimes you can ask more, sometimes you can ask less. You cannot and will not achieve maximum results by changing prices every 10 to 20 days. Pricing takes intense management. It’s not something you do when you get around to it. You would be far better off if someone priced the car who is not in charge of appraising and buying them.

8. Analyze Your Wholesale Pieces-Look at the numbers. How many units are you wholesaling each month? Go over each unit. How many of them could you have retailed if you opened your mind a bit either relative to pricing and/or the type of product you’re willing to keep? I’m thinking you would sell a lot more of these wholesale pieces if you had more flexibility from your parts and service department on what they charge to your used car department. Is it time for two-tiered pricing?

9. Photo Booth-and 40 pictures per car. If you haven’t accepted the fact that the Internet is your new showroom then you are doomed. You cannot and will not be able to remain competitive until you get with it. It’s the biggest no brainer since the invention of the wheel.

10. Focus on Look-to-Book-When you improve your look to book you improve your odds of selling more cars. You sell a car and you get a car. It’s not rocket science.

That’s all I’m going to say. Tommy Gibbs

Can You Save It?

One of the processes I learned early in my career as a new car dealer was a “Save-a-Deal” meeting.

I often bring it up in my workshops. About 75% of the people have heard of it and of that maybe 20% actually do it.

If you don’t know what it is or you’re not using it, you should learn about it and you should start using it. It’s simple and effective to do.

It’s actually what its name implies. It saves deals. It makes deals. It helps you sell more cars. It keeps the staff focused on what’s important.

Every morning the Dealer, GM or GSM should gather up all the Sales, F&I and BDC/Internet managers and review the activity and pending deals from the previous day.

Bring the up log into the meeting and talk about each up from the previous day. Assign certain tasks and follow up to specific managers who will report back with the results.

Make sure every appraisal from the previous day is reviewed, discussed, dissected from one end to the other. Look for a way to get the trade and make the deal.

Consider all options including shopping the trade and even burying yourself. Have a manager contact all the customers that you could not come to terms with and up the ante for their trade. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call from the right person and another $500 to make the deal.

The odds are your competitors aren’t following up with an additional offer. You win and it’s an easy way to improve your “look to book.” When you improve your “look to book,” you spend less time hanging out at the auctions.

I’ll guarantee you’ll make some deals. You’ll save some deals. You’ll make more money, have a happier life and momentum will build. When you built momentum, the team wins. When the team wins, they want more wins. “Save-a-Deal” meetings are all about winning.

It takes discipline to do a “Save-a-Deal” meeting every day. “The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Do You Lie?

I’m thinking that even if you don’t, you probably have. We often lie to ourselves in order to justify whatever it is we’re trying to justify.

To put it another way, “You can justify anything you want to justify.”

If you want to spend a bunch of money on advertising you can figure out a way to justify it or not.

If you’re thinking about firing someone you can justify doing so or not.

If you want to add additional staff you will figure a way to talk yourself into it or not.

If you’re convinced packs are still working, you can justify it even if they aren’t.

Choose your lies wisely, that’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Why Should You Read This?

Because you like progress, you like improvement and you like money.Follow

At some point along the way I’ve had the honor of speaking to your 20 Group. I love 20 Groups. Always have. Always will.

One of the things we both know is there are dealers in your 20 group who are excelling, a handful in the middle and a few others that have their struggles when it comes to the bottom line.

My used car processes are designed to improve your used car operation and your overall bottom line. Your bottom line and your organization will only grow but so much unless you grow your leadership team. My workshop now includes a section on that very subject, “Growing Your Leadership Team.”

We’re in the final stages of testing “The Gibbs Report,” a short list of Key Performance Indicators, which will guide you to greater performance, accountability, and profitability. If you choose to hire me, I’ll provide it to you and personally monitor it for free for 60 days. Such a deal!

My processes make sense and get amazing results. My prices are based on time zones and traveling out of the country. 20 Group members get a discount. If you would like a quote hit the reply button and say so.

I don’t train just your used car manager, I train your entire management team including your service manager. Until you get your entire team on the same page not much is going to change. To understand what I do and how I do it watch the short video at the bottom of this email.

Do the math. Divide my fee by the number of managers and/or the number of stores in your group. It’s a no brainer and a great investment in your team, your business and your future.

If you’re good, I’ll make you great.
If you’re great, I’ll make you greater.

Improvement gets down to one or two things:

1. Not knowing.
2. Not doing.

I fix both. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

What If New Car Sales Go In The Tank?

Many of us remember back in 2008 and 2009 that the world was coming to an end. Actually, for some new car dealers, their world of selling new cars did end.

For some strange reason, I’ve often compared those tough years to the Great Depression.

My parents and grandparents went through the Great Depression. How they thought about money, debt and resources were very different than those of us who have come along over the last 50 years or so.

Just like during the Great Depression, I was convinced back in 2008 and 2009 that we had learned some valuable lessons that we would never forget. I’m starting to realize just how wrong my thinking was.

Our reliance on new car sales and what they bring to the table has never been greater. New car sales are a good thing, but when we rely too heavily on them for our bottom line, it can put us in a trick bag when things go south.

There were hundreds of dealers who lost their franchises in 2008-2009. Many of those dealers attempted to turn those nice buildings into used car operations.

A good number of them failed. The reason they failed was
because of their reliance on new car sales they had never taken the time to study and learn the used car business.

If you are the Dealer, General Manager or General Sales Manager, you’d be wise to amp up your thinking on used cars.

Sure, enjoy your new car business as much as you can for as long as you can, but never forget, the stronger you are in used cars the more new cars you will sell and the less likely you are to have your own Great Depression.

You may not always be able to sell new cars, but you can always sell used cars. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs