Full Court Press Time

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

Often 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.

Be Faster!

I’m not talking about turning your used cars faster. I’m talking about picking up how fast you walk. The tempo of your gait says a lot about you.

If you want to energize your team you first have to energize yourself.

If you know me, you know I’m not a very patient person. One of the things that drives me nuts is when people waddle along on a moving sidewalk.

If you’ve ever traveled through the Atlanta airport, I’m sure you’ve seen the moving sidewalks that come to an end, you get off, walk about 25 feet and get onto another one.

I was recently on one with a group walking like a buffalo herd that had just eaten a massive meal. After the exit, I decided to see if I could out-walk them on the side while they walked on the moving sidewalk. Of course, I won.

When you pick up your speed, you energize yourself. When you energize yourself, you energize your team. Speed and energy go together.

Slow walkers tend to think slow and move slow. Not only are they slow, but they are also slowing down everyone around them. By and large, they aren’t going anywhere. It’s obvious that wherever they are going isn’t important or they’d be in more of a hurry to get there.

People who walk fast want to get somewhere fast. But more than that, fast walkers are people that have high energy and are go-getters. Fast walkers are confident, courageous, and all about having a no-fuss in life.

They expect other people to keep up with them and they have a low tolerance for those not in a hurry to get things done.

They often don’t tolerate a lot of words, and if they do, they want you to spit it out fast and get on with it.

Think fast.

Talk fast.

Move fast.

Be fast.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Prepared or Ready?

That’s different than not being prepared.

You’re never ready.

But, no one is ever ready for the next step.

You’re not ready for college.

You’re not ready for life.

You’re not ready for marriage.

You’re not ready for the next promotion.

You’re not ready for your next business venture.

Just because you’re not ready doesn’t mean you don’t prepare.

Not being prepared means you haven’t studied enough.

You haven’t read enough.

You haven’t sought the right mentors.

You haven’t listened enough.

You haven’t asked enough of the right questions.

You haven’t explored the Internet enough.

Not being prepared means you just haven’t done enough,

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Do You Want The Ball?

One of my favorite basketball drills as both a player and a coach was a drill where two players are lined up, side-by-side with the coach standing in between.

They are spaced about 10 feet apart all facing in the same direction. The coach will roll the ball on the floor and on the sound of the whistle the two players will scramble to see who can come up with the ball. Floor burns on the knees and arms are guaranteed.

One of the reasons my nose is crooked is the result of hitting someone’s head while going after the ball. But, I got the ball, broken nose and all. It’s not always about talent. It’s about wanting the ball.

In sports, business, and life you’ve got to want the ball. As a leader, one of your goals should be to have people on your team that want the ball with every ounce of their souls.

Far too often we have team members, including managers, who wouldn’t dare get a floor burn. They stand there and watch the ball roll.

You will often hear them complain that nobody will give them the ball.

If you want the ball, let it be known you want it, and then go get it.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is a term you hear a lot of people tossing around these days. Most of us think we know what it means and maybe you do or maybe you sorta do.

In this article I’m going to break the term down and you can judge for yourself how much you understand it and use in your daily life.

First let’s review the definition: 

“The ability to manage both your own emotions and understand the emotions of people around you.” Seems simple enough. Keep reading.

One of the most important ingredients of EI is peripheral awareness. It’s almost like having a fifth sense. It’s imperative that if you’re going to execute the four components of EI that you must develop your peripheral awareness. Peripheral awareness is simply paying attention to what’s going on around you. Some people work and live in a fog. Get your head out of the fog.

Far too often there’s more importance put on a person’s IQ, education, and training than EI.

EI revolves around understanding and managing emotions – both our own and those of others. In today’s world, where relationships and teamwork are integral to success, emotional intelligence plays a pivotal role.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence can be broken down into four key components:

Self-awareness: Recognizing and understanding our own emotions, as well as their impact on our thoughts and behavior. Being able to control what’s in your head and what comes out of your month goes a long way toward improving your self-awareness.

Self-regulation: The ability to manage and control one’s emotions, preventing impulsive actions or reactions. Just as above. Control what comes out of your mouth.

Social awareness: Being attuned to the emotions of others, sensing their feelings, and understanding their perspectives. This ties into the point I made about peripheral awareness. It’s almost like you need to have little energy antennas sticking out of your head alerting you how others are feeling around you. Some people put off good energy. Others not so good.

Relationship management: Utilizing self-awareness, self-regulation, and social awareness to build and maintain healthy relationships. You build a healthy relationship by taking a sincere interest in the other person. Until you have a clear understanding of how to do this, you will struggle with whatever you are selling and connecting to people.

Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Enhanced Communication: High EI enables better communication. By understanding both verbal and non-verbal cues, individuals with strong EI can express themselves effectively and, more importantly, listen attentively. This builds trust, cooperation, and healthy relationships.

Conflict Resolution: Emotionally intelligent individuals are skilled at resolving conflicts amicably. They can de-escalate tense situations, find common ground, and seek mutually beneficial solutions. Some people are geniuses at this. Others only make the problem worse.

Leadership: Great leaders possess high levels of emotional intelligence. They inspire and motivate their teams by understanding the individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses of their members. This build a positive and productive work environment.

Adaptability: Life is full of challenges, and those with a strong EI are more adaptable to change. They can bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures, and embrace new opportunities. They understand taking the blame when things don’t go as planned and give others credit when they do.

Stress Management: Emotionally intelligent people are better equipped to manage stress. They can recognize when they are becoming overwhelmed, take steps to reduce stress, and maintain their overall well-being. Go outside. Walk around the building. Take a deep breath.

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

You’re not born with EI. It can be developed and enhanced over time. Here are some strategies to boost your EI:

Self-reflection: Regularly take time to reflect on your emotions, their triggers, and how you respond to them. Don’t lie to the person in the mirror.

Active listening: Pay close attention to what others are saying, both verbally and non-verbally, and seek to understand their feelings and perspectives. Most of us spend time thinking about what our response will be rather than really listening to what the other person is saying.

Practice empathy: Put yourself in others’ shoes and try to grasp their emotions and motivations. I often ask people, “How would you feel if you were on the other side?”

Mindfulness and meditation: These practices can help improve self-awareness and self-regulation.

Seek feedback: Ask for honest feedback from trusted individuals to identify areas for improvement. This is a tough one. Most people don’t want to hear the truth.

Emotional intelligence is an essential skill in our personal and professional lives. It has a profound impact on our relationships, teamwork, and overall success.

By improving our emotional intelligence, we can build better connections, handle challenges more effectively, and lead more fulfilling lives. Emotional Intelligence. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Does Speed Matter?

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.

Oh sure, speed hasn’t mattered all that much to you over the last few years. It matters now doesn’t it? Isn’t it interesting how this business comes full circle in the blink of an eye and you’re sitting there thinking, “what happened?”

The speed of your recon operation 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’d be preaching to the choir if I went over all the reasons the recon/service department needs to cooperate and for you to 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 lot of money when it’s sitting.

Continuously educating your management team about how fast the market can change on a used car and what it does to your bottom line is critical to your long-term success.

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.

You don’t need to buy anything from me. You just need to understand the concept.

If you’re dead serious you will get off your duff and improve your speed.

If you’re not then you’ll soon be giving back some of those record profits.

Speed Wins. Speed Kills. You get to make the choice.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs


It’s easy to do easy.

It’s easy to ignore.

It’s easy to look the other way.

Easy to let slide.

We all like easy.

Anybody can do easy.

Being easy causes you to say yes, when you should say no.

Being easy causes you to take your eye off the big picture.

When you take your eye off the big picture, everything around you becomes a little fuzzier.

The fuzzier things get, the more confused you and your staff get.

The more confused you and the staff get, the more little things begin to slide.

Easy now becomes habit.

Habit becomes the norm.

The norm becomes easy.

That’s when rinse and repeat occurs. The problem is that the water you’re rinsing with is murky and dirty.

Expectations begin to drop. Lower expectations become the norm.

The little things can be hard to measure, so they are ignored.

When you focus on the little things, the performance of the team improves.

Why would you want to do easy?

Don’t do easy. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

But What?

Unlocking the Potential of ROI:

“I have a great used car manager, but I can’t get him to understand why ROI is important.”

Recognizing the value of ROI is crucial in maximizing profits. There’s a lot of money at risk. We must get a return on our investment.

Bridging the Gap in Understanding:

“Sam is a really smart guy, but he just won’t get with the program.”

Intelligence is an asset, but without alignment with the overarching goals, it’s kind of a wash. Ensuring everyone is on the same page fosters a harmonious and efficient work environment with everyone being on the same page.

Turning Auction Challenges into Opportunities:

“Dave is a great buyer, but we never make money on the cars he buys at the auction.”

A skilled buyer is an asset, yet turning auction acquisitions into profit vehicles involves strategic decision-making and the shortening of the life-cycle of these always problematic units.

Balancing Intelligence and Practicality:

“Smart guy, but no common sense.”

Intelligence alone is insufficient; marrying it with solid common sense ensures a better end result.

Optimizing Inventory Management:

“Marsha is a great used car manager, but we have a lot of stuff over 60-days old.”

Efficient inventory turnover is a key metric. Addressing aged units requires proactive measures and strategic adjustments to the sales approach. There’s no excuse for a 60 day old unit.

Overcoming Space Constraints:

“I know we need more technicians, but we don’t have enough space.”

While space constraints may pose challenges, finding innovative solutions or optimizing existing resources can often provide a way forward.

Aligning Pricing Strategies with Market Dynamics:

“My used car manager is really smart, but won’t price our cars to market.”

Acknowledging market dynamics and adjusting pricing strategies accordingly is essential for staying competitive and maintaining profitability. When you combine data and common sense, you win.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

Attack The Top Ten

Attack your 10 most expensive units every day.

How simple is that?

Require the used car manager to print out the 10 most expensive units each day. Distribute a copy to all the members of your management team including BDC, Internet, F&I, Desk Manager, GSM, GM, Prep Manager and Service Director.

Everybody must be on the same page with a sense of urgency on these units. With a few exceptions, these units don’t make the kind of money they ought to make based on the amount you have invested in them. You will often find they are the very units that are starting to age on you and the ones you end up giving away at the end of their lifecycle.

They are competing with your new car business and there are fewer butts that can fit in the seats. The longer they sit, the uglier your grosses are going to be.

Three bullet points:

1. There should be a clear understanding with your Service Director that if for any reason one of these cars or trucks is sitting in the service department, they must get it out of there in a hurry because it’s one of your ten most expensive units.

2. Throw your normal retail pricing scheme out the window on these cars. You should price these 10 cars to the public at a bargain-basement price. The sooner they go away the better. There’s only one exception to this approach-don’t do it on any of the 10 cars you always do well with. Use some common sense.

3. Consider putting a bonus on these cars regardless of the number of days they have been in stock. (Not all, but some.)

Historically, here’s what happens. We have a car in inventory that’s around 60 days old. We are more than happy to sell it for what we have in it or less, and we are more than happy to pay a $500 bonus on it to make it go away.

If this becomes a habit for you, eventually your salesman’s compensation percentage gets out of whack to the tune of 22, 25, 28, even 30 percent.

After all is said and done, and when the packs and all the crap shake out, most dealers are looking to get to 17 percent to 20 percent in salesman’s comp.

The point is you are far better off paying bonus money on these units sooner rather than later, regardless of the number of days they have been in stock. It will help you move the unit and avoid sales compensation creep.

The keys to remember:

1. Create a sense of urgency on these units.

2. Make these units go away faster.

3. Make what you can and run.

4. Put some bonus money on the most problematic ones.

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

Things We Say Make a Difference

1. I need your help.

2. What can I do to make your job easier?

3. What do you think?

4. We can fix this!

5. How are you? (And mean it.)

6. Let’s get our heads together!

7. I trust your good judgment.

8. You’re the best!

9. Let’s make something happen!

10. You rock!

11. It’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity.

12. Gimme a high five!

13. Tell me about yourself.

14. You’re amazing

15. Love ‘ya.

Have you got a key word or two? Come on, share it with me…

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs