The number one killer of your ability to improve gross and volume is your lack of speed. 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.
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 most service managers don’t have a clear understanding of what’s supposed to be happening or don’t care that your inventory is costing you a lot of money when it’s sitting.
Don’t misinterpret my message here about your service manager. I have the utmost respect for the very difficult job they do. The bottom line is they are only doing what they have been trained to do and what they perceive is in the best interest of the company. The problem is that it’s not been explained to them what’s really in the best interest of the company.
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 be continuously educated about how fast the market can change on a used car and what it does to your bottom line.
Delays in your service, clean up and the taking of photos are often compounded and tied to 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.
When I look at the websites of some of the top used car performers around the country most of their websites are very easy to maneuver through with only a couple of clicks. That is not the case for most new car dealer’s websites.
How many of you actually click onto your own website and attempt to shop for a used car? I will bet in most cases you are not going to be pleased. My research tells me that most of the time you require far too many clicks for me to see what I want to see.
Some of the typical issues are:
1. The lack of quality pictures. (You need your own photo booth!)
2. The lack of quantity. You need 40 plus pictures for each car to be competitive in today’s market.
3. Too many clicks to see each individual photo? Do your customers have to click on each photo or can they proceed from one to another by clicking the arrow? The arrow is much more effective.
4. The posting of stock photos. (You’ve got to be kidding!)
5. Description of cars with no photos or saying “photos coming soon.” (Another you’ve got to be kidding!)
These issues are often because someone doesn’t care, someone is lazy or someone just doesn’t have a clue. Regardless of the reason, it gets back to lack of 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 continue to ride along in the slow lane. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs