Rocket Science?

Nope, it’s not rocket science. It’s easy stuff you can do that will make you better.

1. Press Your Cost Down-This is probably the simplest and most effective thing you can do to improve your business. Know what your average cost per unit is every day and do what you can to reduce it. If you are at $19,000 today, do what you can to get it to $18,500 and so on. There is no magical number. It’s about keeping the less expensive units and making sure the more expensive ones turn fast.

2. Know Your ROI-Every deal should be tracked for ROI. As you are working a deal you not only need to know how much gross you have, but what the ROI is. Go to and plug in three numbers. Your cost, your gross, and the number of days the unit has been in stock. Bingo, you have your ROI. Shoot for 110% ROI. By knowing your ROI you will know what’s working and what’s not.

3. Attack the 10 Most Expensive Units in Stock-Make a list each day of your 10 most expensive units in stock. With one exception make sure they are priced really, really right. The one exception is if you know you always make money on a unit that’s on the list then use some common sense, don’t give it away. Consider putting bonus money on those 10 units regardless of the number of days they have been in stock. Sooner rather than later. Make sure the service manager gets a copy of the list each day and create a sense of urgency to get any of those through the shop quickly.

4. Focus on Look-to-Book-When you improve your look to book you improve your odds of selling more cars. You sell a car and you get a car. Maybe this is rocket science.

5. Life Cycle Management-There is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do that will improve all aspects of your used car business more than understanding my process of “Life Cycle Management.”

Utilizing life-cycle management will help you quickly identify profitable units and problematic units. It’s critical to know which units create the most risk for you.

There are certain “Trigger Points” you need to focus on during your daily “Trade Walk.” Knowing how to use EWR (Early Warning Radar) pays big dividends.

6. Lot Walk-If you do a lot walk once a week with all the members of your sales and management team then without a doubt you will sell more units. The lot walk gets your entire team to know and understand your used car inventory. The more knowledge they have the more they sell. (Einstein, this is different than the trade walk.)

7. Analyze Your Wholesale Pieces-Look at the numbers. How many units are you wholesaling each month? Go over each unit. How many of them could you have retailed if you opened your mind a bit either relative to pricing and/or the type of product you’re willing to keep? You would sell a lot more of these wholesale pieces if you had more flexibility from your parts and service department on what they charge to your used car department. Is it time for two-tiered pricing?

Yep, this stuff is definitely rocket science. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs