I love sharing my travels and success stories with you. Last week I did some work for a dealer that’s been a one price dealer for 19 years. As I share some bits and pieces of his success with you I think you have to ask yourself how you are stacking up doing it your way?
He owns five dealerships in smaller markets. His sales people average selling 25 plus units each. That’s an amazing number when you consider the nationwide average is 8 units. Even more amazing is he does it with just two “front managers.” One being the GM and the other a sales manager. He has Ford, GM and Chrysler stores. He gets most of his volume from used. He’s on target to have an amazing record profit year.
The common denominator for those dealers doing used car volume continues to be the involvement of the dealer/GM in the day to day operations of the used car department. His dealerships are a clear example of that philosophy.
I remember taking a stab at being a one price dealer back in the early 90’s way before the Internet was a factor. We had some success with it, but the thing that caused it to finally evaporate was the management team. The commitment was just not there. All it takes is one manager that’s not totally committed and it doesn’t take long for the cancer to spread. My client from last week has a totally committed sales and management team.
I continue to believe that the Internet is dramatically changing the game we are in. I have a friend who purchased a new car recently. She got an online price on a car that is very much in demand. Purchased it at a very fair price. The price when she got to the dealership was the same price as she received online. (I do wonder if she had not gone on the Internet what kind of price she would have received at the store? Hmm…) The buyer was thrilled. No hassle, no bumps, no games. Win-win.
The only downside to the entire transaction was the length of time it took for the actual delivery. Girls and boys you just have to fix that. I know there are paper work issues you have to perform and you want to sell in the F&I booth, but as we move forward those dealers who can fix this “time issue” will be the ones where the consumers will want to continue to do business.
So, back to “one price.” I believe it’s one of those things you really need to consider. You are being forced that way whether you want to or not. The consumer is demanding it. People buy on the Internet because it’s simple and it’s fast. We live in a society of speed. We all want a faster Internet connection and we want a faster connection to the goods and services we buy.
With most things in life, timing is everything. You have to ask yourself, is now the time? Is now the time for you to take a bold step, a leap of faith and become a “real one price dealer.” That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs