Are You Like Gillette?

I’ve been a user of the Dollar Shave Club for the last 4 or 5 years. I got tired of getting ripped off every time I needed to replace my Gillette razor blades.

As a side note, after using their deluxe model of 6 blades for $9 a month, I switched to the doubled-bladed model for $1 a month plus $2 shipping. It actually works much better for me.

More of something isn’t always better unless of course, you can sell more cars and not hurt your average gross profit too badly.

Recently, Gillette has joined the party by selling their blades online. With shipping, their cheapest model is $7 more expensive, and their deluxe model is $12 more expensive than Dollar Shave Club.

Gillette has finally figured out:

A. That customers hate going to the store to buy razor blades.
B. That high prices are killing their volume (Hint, hint).
C. Baseball players aren’t shaving (Not really, but have you noticed how many baseball players are wearing beards these days?)

Are you going to be late to the party? Can a customer handle 95% of their transaction online? Are you utilizing electronic signatures?

As you may know, Carvana handles most of the car buying experience online. I think we’re years away before a large percentage of the buying public will be ready to do so.

I also think we’re a long way from Tesla and all electric cars being a big part of our industry. I don’t care what Volvo thinks.

But, I also believe that you need to be ready for it, before it’s ready for you. Even today, there are a lot of customers that would like to handle as much of the transaction online as possible, even if they aren’t quite ready for electronic signatures.

How much of a transaction can your customers handle online? Don’t be like Gillette. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

What Should You Do?

If you’re not increasing your volume, you should.
If you’re not attacking ROI, you should.
If you’re not improving your gross profit, you should.
If you’re not pressing your cost down, you should.
If you’re not tracking 30/30, you should.
If you’re not attacking your most expensive units, you should.
If you’re not doing a lot walk, you should.
If you’re not using my life cycle management process, you should.
If you’re not paying attention to look-to-book, you should.
If you’re not doing a trade walk, you should.
If you’re not doing a save-a-deal meeting, you should.
If you’re not on a 60-day turn, you should.
If you don’t have a plan to extract the water, you should.
If you don’t have a photo booth, you should.
If you’ve not hired me, you should.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Are You Responsive?

One of the great disconnects among leaders is the mindset that they don’t need to be responsive to others-unless it’s something they deem urgent in their own minds.

This lack of responsiveness minimizes the expectations and intentions of the person who asked for a response. The leader’s response is important to them otherwise, they wouldn’t have asked for it in the first place.

As a leader, if you receive an email, phone call, letter or text message, it should be handled in the most expeditious manner possible. There’s a difference between just missing something and intentionally not reacting to it.

The problem goes even deeper when you tell someone you are going to do something and you don’t. Be a person of action. Be a person of doing. Be a person of doing it now.

As a leader, everyone is watching you. Monkey see monkey do. If you don’t do it, then don’t expect the rest of your team to do it

We get more respect and trust when we do what we say we are going to do, when we say we are going to do it. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

What Do You Do At Halftime?

Games are often won and lost based on what happens at halftime. Teams practice all week utilizing stats, videos and scouting reports to come up with the perfect game plan. Even with all that effort, it’s the adjustments they make at halftime that will often determine their fate.

It’s halftime for you. The year is half over. What adjustments are you going to make?

Some of you have had a great first half. Some of you, not so much.

Some of you have been scoring touchdowns.

Some of you have been fumbling the ball.

Something has been holding you back. There may be some legitimate excuses, but maybe you just had the wrong game plan in place. Maybe you had a bad scouting report or maybe there have been some surprises along the way.

Just because you had the wrong plan or something happened that you weren’t expecting, doesn’t mean it’s too late to fix it. It’s halftime. You can fix it. You’ve still got 6 more months to go.

Those of you who have had a good first 6 months need to be cautious of becoming complacent. Even though things have been going well, you would be very smart to review how you can make things better as you tackle the second half.

Well-coached, disciplined teams have a “put away” mindset. They know how to run the table. You should be thinking about running the score up.

Everything we do is about choices. You can choose to let things be as they are or you can choose to dial it up a notch or two.

To do so means to review your plan and the strategies you have in place and make the changes that are necessary to get you where you know you need to go.

Your other choice is to make no adjustments at halftime. Go sit in your office and stare at the wall. Enjoy your seat because in a flash the game will be over.

Many a talented team didn’t win the game because they didn’t make the right adjustments at halftime. It’s halftime. Let the adjusting begin. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Does Leadership Matter?

Does good leadership matter? That’s one of those rhetorical questions. Of course it does.
Having said that, I think that there are times when we ignore and forget just how important leadership is to the success of an organization.

If you’ve ever doubted how important leadership is, you need to look no further than True Car. Approximately 18 months ago, True Car named Chip Perry as their CEO, replacing Scott Painter.

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of speaking at a state convention that Mr. Painter was also speaking at. The tension in the room was as if a war would break out any minute.

There wasn’t a love-hate relationship with the True Car organization. There was a 99.9% we hate you. You’re destroying the car business. You are the enemy, and you for sure aren’t our friend.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I’m sitting in the audience waiting my turn to speak at that same state convention and the speaker before me was Chip Perry. No tension, no stress, but a relaxed group of dealers looking forward to hearing what Mr. Perry had to say.

Do the dealers love True Car? Heck no! Do they hate True Car? Not so much as they once did.

Without a doubt, the atmosphere and the feelings toward True Car have dramatically changed over the last 18 months. Mr. Perry and his team have done a wonderful job of changing the perception of True Car and the role they play in the retailing of vehicles.

As a former dealer, I’ve never liked 3rd party lead providers. I’ve always thought of them as parasites, but they are here to stay and the smart dealers will figure a way to make it work and hopefully at some point figure out how to reduce their advertising cost per car.

Leadership does matter. If there’s a leadership problem on your team, you’re either part of the problem or you know where the problem is.

Technology won’t solve your leadership problems. Someone making a decision will. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs