Speed Wins-Speed Kills

Your inability to move fast is a killer for your used car business. Moving fast puts you in the winner’s circle. Not moving fast puts you in the loser’s circle.

The speed of your service department has a direct impact on your ability to produce gross in the used car department. And without a doubt, it impacts how fast you get a car out in the Internet world. You cannot afford a 7 to 10 day window.

I have never understood why some dealers allow the service department to control their ability to turn used car inventory quickly.

It’s as if the Dealer/Owner Operator has some sort of fear of the service manager when it comes to explaining who wears the pants and who the service department’s best customer is. “Tail wagging the dog?” Have you checked the name on the sign on the front of the building lately?

I’d be preaching to the choir if I went over all the reasons the service department needs to cooperate and get your used cars through service just as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, many service managers haven’t been trained to understand that your inventory is costing you a ton when it’s sitting. I’m not selling my workshop with this newsletter, but I always push the dealer to include the service manager in my used car workshops.

If I was giving service managers the benefit of the doubt, I think in some cases they get caught up in the day-to-day issues with your retail customers and they don’t pay attention to what’s going on with your used cars.

They need to continuously be educated about how fast the market can change on a used car and what it does to your bottom line.

If you want to improve your speed, then you need to take a hard look at my “Life Cycle Management” process. “Life Cycle Management” will change your used car world forever, make you lightning-fast, eliminate wholesale losses, improve turn and gross profit.

One of the absolute killers of your ability to turn units fast is your poor display of used cars on your website. It is not unusual to have used cars in inventory for a week or two and they are still not properly represented on your website. I’m amazed at several things when I look at dealership websites:

How hard it is to get into the used car section. Far too many clicks. (Lack of speed kills)

The lack of quality pictures. (You need your own photo booth!)

The lack of quantity. You need 40 plus pictures to be competitive in today’s market.

The posting of stock photos. (You’ve got to be kidding!)

Description of cars with no photos or saying “photos coming soon.” (Another you’ve got to be kidding!)

One through five is because someone doesn’t care, someone is lazy or someone just doesn’t have a clue. Regardless of the reason, it gets back to speed being the killer and speed making you a winner. You have to decide how serious you are about this business.

If you’re dead serious you will get off your duff and get these things fixed. If you’re not then you and your business will just soon be dead. Speed Wins. Speed Kills. You get to make the choice.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs


One of my favorite statements, when people come to me seeking guidance on making specific decisions, is “I trust your good judgment.”

Granted they will sometimes make decisions I might not agree with, and that’s the best part. Why? Because it gives me a chance to coach them in a positive way.

I don’t have to tell them they were wrong. I simply ask them if they considered coming to a different conclusion by doing whatever?

I might say next time it might be better to blah, blah, blah.

Only in a rare set of circumstances would I bust them over a decision they have made.

If you want to build a powerful team of leaders look for opportunities to say, “I trust your good judgment.”

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

You Can’t Spend ROI

I’ve always encouraged dealers and managers to track ROI. I’m convinced it’s a critical piece of information that everyone needs to be aware of. By doing so the bottom line will increase.

If nothing else, it makes you aware of how important speed is when it comes to making money on used cars. (Or new for that matter.)

But let’s be clear. We pay our bills and we get paid by generating gross profit. Lots of gross profit.

It’s not about giving all your inventory away. It is about understanding which cars you can make money on and which ones need to be turned faster.

The question often comes up, “When does the clock start ticking?” Does it start with the actual day you own it, or does it start when the car goes on the lot/online?

Let me make this as clear as I possibly can. It starts the moment you own it. Period. No exceptions, no ifs, ands, or buts.

The gross profit and ROI clock is ticking from the moment you own it.

If you want to trick yourself by assigning a different date once the car’s online then go ahead; it’s your store you can do what you want. What you can’t do is change the math.

It is what it is. It’s a depreciating asset. Your ROI and Gross Profit are going south minute-by-minute, day-by-day.

Understanding the connection between ROI and Gross Profit makes you smarter. Be smart. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs