Maybe You’re Thinking About It Wrong?

There are a number of factors that go into achieving a better gross profit than what your store is currently producing.

None are more important than how you price your units and how you pay your staff. We often price units that we have the greatest profit potential too low and price units with a lesser profit potential too high.

There’s no disagreement that pricing plays a role in the equation. There’s another hidden element that’s often ignored and it’s what kind of a deal that you’re willing to take.

And that’s where pay plans have the greatest influence.

I will give you a couple of examples:

You have a nice trade.
It has a wide cost to market in your favor.
It has a low market days’ supply.
It’s 12 days old.
You have it listed with a gross of $2700.
After some negotiating the salesman and you are staring at a $1500 deal.
You take the deal.

How can you not? You’re both being paid on gross. You just gave away $1200 that maybe you shouldn’t have.

Here’s the flip side:

You have an auction purchase unit.
You have a cost to market not in your favor.
High market days’ supply.
It’s 56 days old.
At 56 days of age you still have it listed with a $1500 gross profit.
After some negotiating the salesperson brings you a deal that’s a $500 loser.

You don’t want to take the deal because there’s nothing in it for you or the salesperson. (Actually, there may be for the salesperson because you have a $500 bonus on the unit to make it go away.)

You take the deal and moan all day about how Internet pricing is killing your grosses.

The reality is your pricing was off from jump street.

If you find yourself holding on to some of these low-profit potential cars longer than you’d like, you might find that you’re letting what you paid for vehicles influence what you are listing them for.

You priced it wrong because you wanted a certain margin going in. You may have priced the unit with the same margins as you would with a nice trade.

Both of these examples add to your gross profit woes.

If you want to improve your gross profit you need to change your thinking when it comes to pricing, paying on gross and the deals you’re willing to take. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Why Am I Screaming?

I’m done playing nice. I’m done being soft spoken. I’m done not telling you like it is. I’m done with you telling me you drank the Kool-aid and all is good.

Unless you drank my super Kool-aid, it’s not all good. Some of you have. Some of you haven’t. If you haven’t, you should.

I’m screaming. Yes, screaming from the rooftop that you need to be using my life-cycle management process. The reason you need to be using it is that it makes good sense. You cannot deny that it makes good sense.

I guess you could, but you’d be wrong.

You could say, “My team and I don’t have the discipline to utilize it,” which would be a shame, but you can’t say, “It doesn’t make good sense.”

For your entire career, you’ve either stated or heard others state, “All units must stand on their own.” Yet, you treat them all the same. What are you thinking? How’s that working out for you?

Life-cycle management requires you to have a unique strategy for every unit on day one. If you have a unique strategy on every unit on day one, none will see day sixty-one.

My software helps you manage it, but I don’t care if you buy my software or not.

What I care about is that you acknowledge the fact that all units don’t deserve the same shelf life.

What I care about is that on day one that you be honest with yourself about what you’ve done to yourself.

What I care about is that you understand you cannot treat a purchase unit the same as you do a trade.

What I care about is your gross going up. Using life-cycle management makes your gross go up.

Maybe you should come up on the roof with me and look down and see the view I see. If you did, you’d be screaming too. You’d be screaming at the person in the mirror. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

The Same Mistakes Over & Over?

First I want to make it perfectly clear the amount of respect I have for those who have been in this business for many years. Those that have grinded it out, those that have street savvy, and those that at times made chicken salad out of chicken poop. There is no adjective to describe the admiration I have for you.

That being said I want to speak to those of you that are in charge of the hiring and struggle to find that superstar used car manager. The used car manager you need may very well be right under your own roof, and you’re walking right by him or her a dozen times a day.

For whatever misconceived reason, when you need a used car manager, the first thing you want to do is find a used car guru that works someplace else and lure them away.

I don’t have to tell you the challenges of hiring from the outside. I don’t have to, but I will.

1. The person you hire isn’t going to have the same culture that you’ve been working so hard to develop.

2. Their thinking about the used car business isn’t going to necessarily align with yours. That doesn’t mean either of you has it right or wrong. It just means it’s going to be frustrating and more than likely expensive.

3. If you’re running an ad in Automotive News, most of the respondents are going to be from outside your area. I’m not even going to attempt to list all the issues tied to bringing someone in from afar. If you don’t understand those issues then you’ve got a lot more problems than I can help you with.

4. When you hire from the outside you are looking for a miracle worker to fix the mess left from the last miracle worker. Most likely the mess will get bigger. All you’re doing is rinse and repeat.

5. You’re doing nothing to encourage people to want to grow and develop within your organization when you keep going to the outside. You need to promote from within.

The real answer is that you don’t need someone from the outside with a bunch of experience. What you need is to commit to giving someone from within a chance and a whole bunch of your personal time and energy.

What you need is:

1. Someone that’s a young “thinker.”
2. Someone that has high energy.
3. Someone that believes in your culture and store.
4. Someone that’s coachable.
5. Someone that has common sense.
6. Someone that understands technology.
7. Someone that has integrity.
8. Someone that has a strong work ethic.
9. Someone that has good communication skills.
10. Someone that’s hungry.

If you don’t have someone or multiple someones like this in your organization then you need to rethink your organization. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Are You Winning?

If I learned anything from being an athlete, a coach, an NCAA college basketball referee, and my time in the United States Marine Corps, it is that you have to be a well-disciplined team to win.

I, like many of you, can look back and review my career and unequivocally conclude that the success I’ve had is directly tied to discipline.

The common denominator that I observe in my dealership travels for the most successful operations is discipline. It’s there. It’s visible. It’s consistent.

You can have:

A lot of great ideas.
A lot of great concepts.
A lot of great tools and training at your disposal.
A lot of talented people.
A lot of great software.

None of it is worth the ink to write it down if you don’t have discipline.

As many of you know my team and I have developed some amazing software rightly named UpYourGross. What’s obvious is that the dealers who have the discipline to allocate 10 minutes a day to the software are getting results that far exceed their expectations and their investments.

Those that don’t are wasting their money.

This isn’t about my software. It’s about the value of discipline.

Leadership must have a clear understanding of discipline and what it means to the success of the organization.

If you’re going to develop a winning team you must be committed to the now, not later. If you’re not a person of action, not much else will matter.

When a leader is consistent in everything he/she does, then others will follow. When others follow the lead of discipline, momentum and growth are inevitable.

Never forget the enemy of discipline is procrastinating. Be disciplined. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Is Now The Time?

You may be running out of time. The year is closing out fast.

You’ve been contemplating hiring me to improve your used car operation, but keep procrastinating thinking your used car department will fix itself.

Part of that contemplation is you’re concerned about the investment and my material making waves with your team.

You will earn the investment back overnight and I’m not going to screw up what you and your team are already doing well.

I come to you. Your team stays in place. You save money and you make more money when you hire me.

I am going to enhance what you do well and give you some powerful concepts to take you to the next level.

Here’s the biggie; I’m going to get your team on the same page.

It’s a pretty safe bet that you have a management staff that all have their own way of thinking about your new and used car business. Some of their thinking is spot on. Some of it not so much.

I’ll destroy the myths and line the moon, stars and earth up.

See if any of this applies to you:

1. You’ve had evaporation. Regardless of how good you are or how well disciplined you are, there’s going to be an evaporation of processes over a period of time. Bam! I can fix that!

2. You’ve had some turnover. Most people do. Turnover isn’t a sin. What’s a sin is not ensuring that the new guys and gals get it. If you don’t give them the right tools, they don’t have a chance. Bam! I can fix that!

3. The business is changing. Your team needs to understand the changes taking place and how to attack them. Bam! I can fix that!

4. Your team has gotten a little complacent, either because business has been pretty darn good or they have accepted the status quo. They need to be re-energized and see the possibilities. Bam! I can fix that!

5. Your average grosses continue to decline. Mostly they decline because someone’s not paying attention to the little things. Bam! I can fix that!

6. You have aged inventory and wholesale losses. Aged inventory helps create #5. Aged inventory causes wholesale losses. Bam! I can fix that!

7. You have a team that struggles to get on the same page. You have old school thinking. You have new school thinking. You have no thinking. Bam! I can fix that!

8. The number of days it takes to get a car online and on the line is killing you. Bam! I can fix that!

9. You’re sick and tired of listening to the bickering, excuses, and lack of forward movement. Bam! I can fix that!

10. You need a coach. You need someone to lean on. You need another set of eyes on the subject. Bam! I can fix that!

A quote worth remembering: “The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” Morihei Ueshiba

You’ll become smarter when you hire me. Becoming smarter is always a bargain, something you can buy for a lot less than it’s worth.

Is now the time? That’s all I’m gonna ask, Tommy Gibbs