When I’m in town I work out at a small 24-hour gym on Treasure Island in a little strip mall.
Three doors down from the gym is a real barbershop.
Looks and feels like one from yesteryear complete with the barber’s pole that can be traced back to the Middle Ages.
The other morning, I couldn’t help but notice the barber was sitting in his barber’s chair staring at the front door. Immediately it flashed through my mind that’s what I often see in dealerships today.
I see two types of people staring at the door.
1. Salespeople staring at the door waiting for that special up that the dealership has been so kind to advertise for. (Will we ever fix this?)
2. Management staring at two doors.
A. The old school door.
B. The you might fail door.
The might fail door can be pretty scary. Every once in a while, you walk over, crack the door, and take a peek. Your body starts shaking with fear because of what you’re seeing.
You’re seeing volume going south and of late you’re starting to see your front gross heading the same way. It’s interesting how quickly the market of supply and demand can change on you.
When you focus on your retail sales number over the last 30 days, you’re in much better control of the laws of supply and demand.
You’re seeing today’s pay plans not working, and you’re seeing today’s new hires leaving as fast as Superman and a speeding bullet.
They aren’t buying into your hours and your selling processes which aren’t much different than they were 25 years ago.
And, they hate your pay plan.
Aside from being prettier, the physical work environment is about the same. You still have desks and you’ve fancied them up by putting computers on them. It’s sort of the lipstick on a pig theory. When the customer walks in, they still see a pig.
You’re also seeing the approach of some of the public companies and bigger dealer groups by changing their hiring practices and hours and adding iPads, sofas, and kiosks in the showroom.
You’re starting to wonder if you’ll still be around 10 years from now.
But you’re making a profit so why change? You need to change while you can afford to change.
You’re sort of like that barbershop. The only thing that’s changed for the owner is the chair is a little different and there’s no strap to sharpen the straight razor with.
That’s a really nice chair you’re sitting in. Enjoy your seat.
That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs
P.S. It’s that time of year when you’re dealing with used car writedowns. If you are going to write down your inventory let me coach you through it. It costs you nothing for me to help you.