The car business is not as complicated as we sometimes make it. When I first got in the business back in the early 70s we had a sales meeting every morning. Yes, as in Monday through Saturday. Part of the meeting had a bit of rah, rah, and part of it was training, covering issues, sorting out details of what our production was relative to forecast, and so on and so on.
For the most part, daily meetings have gone out of style and daily training is gone…well, I don’t know where. At best, the management team has been assigned counseling duties to review the BDC activity. At worst management says hello to each sales person.
From time to time the Dealer (PIC) gets all wired up and implements a new program/process that demands certain things are done. At best, it’s a 90 day excursion to futility.
It’s a given that those who consistently use positive best practices are the ones who achieve the most success. One of the things that happened during those daily meetings back in the "good old days" was the used car manager would get up in the front of the room and tell everyone to get their "sheet" out of their back pocket so changes could be made. The referenced sheet was the "used car list."
He would then say something like "draw a line through stock number 2345A. We sold that car last night." Further saying "add to your sheet, stock number 4645A. Tommy would you stand up in the back of the room and tell everyone about the nice little car you traded in last night."
As antiquated as that might seem to you it’s far better than most do today. If you want to sell more used cars you need to provide the team with more information about what you have in inventory. A great method of doing that is to do a lot walk once a week. Yup, just once a week, when done right, will generate some pretty amazing results. If nothing else, I can guarantee you at least one more used car sold by each sales person.
The lot walk is done right after the "Save-a-Deal" meeting. I just know you’re doing a "Save-a-Deal" meeting so it shouldn’t be hard for you to add the lot walk at the end of that meeting. Every sales person and every manager goes on the lot walk. New, Used, they all go on the "Lot Walk." Make sure the service manager is included in this walk.
You should stop and talk about each and every car on the lot. The conversations that come about will amaze you. A real byproduct of the lot walk is the sales people will start to tell you why certain cars haven’t sold. They also gain so much more knowledge about what’s on the lot. Do not leave the "Trade Line" out of the lot walk. They need to know what’s in the system and what’s about to become available.
This is a great time to inquire about what they think you need to stock. Of course you can’t fulfill all their needs, wants and desires, but it becomes a great opportunity to educate them about the law of supply and demand and why they need to sell the value of your current inventory.
When the team is educated they tend to educate the customer. When the customer is educated as to the value of your product you sell more cars and make more money. Education for both starts with the information shared on the "Lot Walk." Let’s Walk. That’s all I’m gonna say.