Stealing Trades is Fun (And Stupid)

Frequent Quotes:

1. “We never miss a trade.”
2. “We don’t try to steal trades.”
3. “We put top dollar in every unit we appraise.”
4. “We’re not going to miss a deal at the front door.”

Fundamentally none of these are true. Everyone misses trades.

What’s funny is when you go to the auctions to buy cars you always pay more for them than you would if that car was sitting at your front door.

Stealing trades is one of those things that falls into the “We’ve always done it that way” category.

I believe there are four fundamental causes for trying to steal trades:

1. The fear of the bump. Used Car Managers fear the bump from upper management so they low-ball the trade thinking the bump request is just around the corner. The used car manager is protecting their “territory” by low-balling the trade.

2. Pay plans also tie into stealing the trade. The manager is protecting their own personal pocketbook especially in those cases where the used car manager is only paid on used car gross. Even if they are paid on total gross it still creates “trade stealing.” Gotta make some gross someplace.

3. Aged inventory. We need to steal the trades to make up for the sins we have on the lot right now. As long as you allowed aged inventory to exist you’re going to have people trying to steal trades.

4. The old adage that you “make the money,” when you buy or trade the unit. That’s only partially true. You “make the money” when you sell the unit and you make the most when money when you sell it fast.

Here’s the fix:

1. Put solid disciplines in to eliminate aged inventory. (My Life Cycle Management Process.)

2. Put top dollar on every trade. I said top dollar on every trade. No bumps. Pretend it’s your last bid as if you were at an auction. Step up from jump-street.

3. Change the pay plans. Paying on gross profit becomes more archaic every day. Becoming a one price dealer has worked out pretty well. Didn’t you learn anything from the Pandemic?

4. Stay focused on improving your look to book. Review every vehicle that was appraised from the previous day that you didn’t get. A phone call to a customer from a manager will do wonders for your business.

When you stop stealing trades and customer acquisitions, you improve the quality of your used car inventory.

When you improve the quality of your used car inventory you sell more used cars and make more gross profit.

When you sell more used cars you become more confident that you can put top dollar on trades.

When you put top dollar on trades you sell more new and used cars.

Stop stealing trades. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs

The Power of Touch

Touch is a fundamental part of human interaction that plays a vital role in the workplace and beyond.

Whether it’s a handshake, fist bump, high-five, a pat on the back, or a friendly hug, touch can help build connections and foster a sense of trust and collaboration among colleagues.

Touch is a great way to increase energy and enthusiasm.

One of the most common forms of touch in the workplace and social arena is the handshake. This simple gesture can convey a great deal of information about a person, including their level of confidence, trustworthiness, and respect for others.

A firm handshake, for example, can convey a sense of strength and confidence, while a limp one may suggest the opposite. A wimpy and un-enthusiastic handshake can drain a potentially powerful moment.

During the pandemic this sort of human touch went away. I heard some people say they were happy it did. I’m not one of those people.

My father taught me how to shake hands at a young age and I’ve found it to be one of the most powerful human interactions on the planet. Even more so when it includes a hug.

In addition to handshakes, other forms of touch can also be valuable in the workplace. A pat on the back can be a sign of encouragement and support, while a touch on the shoulder can convey empathy and concern. Even a fist bump can be a lighthearted way to show camaraderie and a shared sense of purpose.

The high-five is an exclamation point for whenever you feel the need to put it into play. It once got me out of a traffic ticket. When the officer came to the window I high fived her and all she could do was smile and move on.

The first-ever high-five appears to have happened in 1977, during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros. After a home run, Dodgers outfielder Dusty Baker high-fived his teammate.

Of course, it’s important to remember that not everyone is comfortable with physical touch, and it’s essential to respect people’s boundaries and preferences. However, for those who are open to it, touch can be a powerful tool for building relationships and enhancing teamwork.

It’s also super important that you touch all your used cars on a regular basis. They will love you for it.

In conclusion, touch is an essential aspect of human communication that can play a vital role in the workplace. It can inspire positive thinking and expand trust.

Touch reduces social anxiety and stress. Physical touch increases levels of dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that help regulate your mood and relieve stress and anxiety. Dopamine is also known to regulate the pleasure center in your brain that can offset feelings of anxiety.

From handshakes to pats on the back, these small gestures can help build trust, foster collaboration, and create a more supportive and productive work environment. Touching your used cars will help them go away faster too.

With some caution, let the touching begin. A big high-five to you. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Early Intervention

The idea behind a Jet Fighter Interceptor is to intercept the enemy before anything bad can go wrong.

In the game of football an interception gives your team an advantage by intercepting a pass intended for a touchdown.

In both of these examples an interception occurred as a result of movement. The fighter jet was moving when it caught up with the enemy. The defensive back was moving when he caught up with the pass.

You need to get moving. I want you to use this mindset to sell more cars. If you are a sales manager, F&I Manager, GSM, GM or Owner/Operator you need to become the “interceptor” and you are going to make a huge difference in the number of cars that get sold.

You will intercept a whole bunch of problems before they become problems.

You are going to do it by moving.

Moving your butt out of the chair and toward the front door to introduce yourself to every customer that comes through the door. And you’re going to keep moving around like a big stealth spy bomber. Your radar, your eyes and ears, are going to be wide open like never before. (People want to connect with a “manager.”)

Deals frequently get screwed up early on in the equation and you’re gonna help prevent that. There are a number of things that will happen by following today’s “Operation Interception.”

If a TO is needed you have already set the stage early by having met the customer.

If your radar is working a full 360 degrees, you will sense something is not right with this sales person and this customer from that first handshake and you might intercept the deal right then and there.

Never forget the customer belongs to the dealership, not the sales person. Don’t be afraid to “do it now.”

By moving around the showroom you will get some early TOs before the deal is all screwed up. Early intervention is a wonderful thing.

Simple huh? Fire up your jet engines for lift off, get out of your office and go to work. It’s show time baby! Tommy Gibbs

March Madness 2023

March Madness is upon us. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that March Madness is the NCAA basketball tournament.

More often than not these games are won on defense and a full-court press is often a major part of a defensive strategy.

A full-court press is a basketball term that refers to a defensive style in which the defense applies man-to-man or zone defense to pressure the offensive team the entire length of the court before and after the inbound pass.

A full-court press takes a great deal of effort but can be an effective tactic.

Often when teams are behind late in a game, they will apply full-court pressure as a means of attempting to produce turnovers as well as tire opponents.

A team with less talent can beat a talented team by utilizing a full-court press for the entire game. It doesn’t take talent, but it takes a lot of heart and desire to play an “in your face” defense for the entire length of the court for a full forty minutes.

If you’re in the car business today you need to be in a full-court press. You may very well be behind in the game. Be it good or bad, in the car business every day is a full-court press day.

Every minute of every day there needs to be an “in your face” approach.

I know you think you’re doing all you can, but you aren’t, there is always more. If you’ve played sports you know that is true.

How can you do more? Start by writing it down.

Make a list of all the basic things you know about this business.

Things you now do, things you used to do, and things you’ve heard that others do.

Once you make the list, make a commitment to go into a full-court press for a minimum of the next 21 days.

Why 21 days? Research has proven it takes 21 days to create a new habit. If you will focus on this list for the next 21 days good things will happen.

I’m trying to press you to take action. I’m pressing you to get after it. I’m pressing you to take stock of what you do and how you do it.

I think of every minute of my life as a full-court press. Press on.

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

Take The Handcuffs Off

I’ve been around a while and have a lot of business experience. Thus, I’ve seen a lot, done a lot and have lots of opinions. Opinions are just that, an opinion. And you know the rest of that saying. 

Doesn’t make me right or wrong, but you have to realize I get to see so many different views that over time I can spot a zebra from a horse pretty easily.

One of the issues that constantly comes up is the PIC (Person in Charge); the dealer, general manager, owner-operator who doesn’t listen to those in the trenches when it comes to what’s working, what’s not, and what can be done to fix something.

Oftentimes it’s not just that they don’t listen, it’s that they don’t bother to ask.

Even when they do ask they won’t act on the information they have been given because they (the PIC) have been there and done that.

Sometimes they have over-analyzed the information to a point where they are convinced that whatever the thought or suggestion that was served up will not work.

In your zest to get it right have you screwed it up by not being willing to listen to others who might just have a good idea?

Experience is a powerful tool and so is the lack of it. Experience can convince you not to do something that might make you a lot of money. Inexperience can cause you to take a chance and make some money.

My father, just like your father, gave me tons of advice as a young man growing up. One of the things he said to me was “Son, you can go through life, not take many risks, and you will probably live an ok life. Or, you can go through life, take some chances and you might be rich.”

I think far too often in business we become convinced that something can’t be done and when we do that we are no doubt right. And, we are just as right when we become convinced that something can be done. Business and life is such a head game. The better heads win.

Often times as we go up the APG (Authority Power Grid) we start to believe that due to our success we have all the answers. We would be well served to value and act on those ideas that come to us from those who are dealing with the problems day-to-day.

Fear is a great motivator or de-motivator. If you’re scared to roll the dice once in a while it’s going to be very hard for you ever to hit the winning numbers.

You need to listen to those under you and you need to let them try some of the things they believe will help your business. Take the handcuffs off and turn them loose once in a while. What you think doesn’t matter as much as you think.

One of my favorite techniques as a new car dealer was to ask the members of the management team what they needed in order to fix whatever problem they felt was getting in their way of performing to their maximum potential.

My message to them was, “Tell me the problem, tell me what you think the fix is, and let’s get on with it.” I loved eliminating excuses. Now the ball is in their court. Game on!

When all the information comes from the top down in the power grid, those on the lower half of the grid become very unhappy. Unhappiness leads to frustration.

Frustration leads to throwing one’s hands up and giving up. When people give up they go through the motions and the organization never reaches its full potential. I want you to reach your full potential.

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

Own Your Own Business

Most of my messages are geared toward management, but today I want to talk to your sales staff. You should forward this to every salesperson on your team and suggest they sign up for my newsletters.

If you’re a salesperson, I want to help you re-frame what you do every day and what a great opportunity you might be missing. If you’re in management, this is a message you need to share with all.
Have you ever wanted to be in business for yourself?

Have you ever thought about going into business, to get someone else to invest the money and you reap the rewards?

Welcome to the amazing world of the automobile business:

You have free office space.
You get rewarded based on how hard you work.
You have opportunities for advancement.
You have healthcare, vacation and retirement opportunities and Christmas bonus programs.
You have a management team working to help you be productive.
You have a free computer system.
You have a CRM/DMS and other software provided free of charge.
You have staff and technicians available to handle customer problems.
You have free marketing, advertising, and a website developer.
You have an administrative staff to help process your deals, DMV work, etc.
You have millions of dollars of inventory to sell with zero personal investment.
You get special spiffs/incentives from the factory.
You get all the free training/coaching that you can stand.
You have a detail/clean up department that gets your vehicles ready for delivery.
You don’t have to pay a penny for phone, electricity and other utilities.
You can demand an assistant when you become productive enough.
You have an Internet/BDC department begging you to take leads.
You have free janitorial service.
You have free coffee.
You have your own personal financial officer (F&I) working to put your deals together.
You work out of a multi-million dollar facility located on prime real estate.
You have an opportunity of a lifetime with no personal financial investment.
You need to “own” your own business.

That’s all I’m gonna say,Tommy Gibbs.