Last week’s article was titled "Could It Be George W. Bush’s Fault?" In the article I listed 22 reasons why some dealers’ grosses might be going a bit south. (ARTICLE)
The point I was making is we should always have a mindset of re-examining how we do things and seek to improve whatever we are doing. The list was meant to be a checkup of what you are doing and what you can do better.
I’ve now been writing these articles for over 10 years. I’ve received thousands of positive responses and only one negative. (ARTICLE)
That’s not to say that everyone always agrees with everything I write. We often have friendly debates and I always win. (Little humor here.) But to have received only one negative response is pretty darn amazing.
Last week’s article created my second negative response. I want to share the complaint, my response back to the person and a point by point explanation.
Here in the writer’s words is what he said:
1. You begin to blame things on incompetence like it exists in every dealership.
2. You assume that nobody executes the basics anymore.
3. You assume that most dealers are simply dumbasses.
My email to him:
"Sorry you read it that way. That was not my intent. What I know to be true is how hard it is to do all the fundamentals day in and day out regardless of how disciplined a dealership or dealer might be.
The evaporation factor is always in play. I don’t think dealers are dumbasses. I do think we all need to be reminded of what’s important when it gets to basics. With all the things a typical dealer has coming at him/her each day it’s almost impossible for some things not to slip.
I speak from experience. My stores have always been well disciplined, but yet it was not all that unusual for me to have this sort of conversation with the management team: "what the heck happened to that process? Why aren’t we doing a save-a-deal meeting every day? No, twice a week is not good enough. Whose idea was it to change it?"
The one thing I know about the automobile business is we never "get it right." When you get one department squared away, something else needs attention. Sorry, if I offended you in any way. Please accept my apology."
1. On incompetence-nothing could be further from the truth. In my opinion, the competence level of the management teams in dealerships has never been greater. The education and training of today’s managers and dealers is tenfold what it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Today’s dealers realize they cannot do it the old fashioned way and seek to employ higher quality people who are smart, competent and who are committed to a high standard.
2. On basics-never in the industry’s history have dealers executed basics any better than they do today. Most dealers are process driven. Processes promote good basics. Dealers, GMs and owner/operators have come to understand that their number one responsibility is to guard the processes, which in essence guards the basics.
3. On dumbasses-I’m sure there are some dumbasses out there, but I’ve not actually run into any. Most of the people I meet are either in 20 groups, attend conventions or are clients of mine. Dumbasses don’t run in those circles.
My Zinger Newsletter is designed to do several things:
1. To share ideas and tips that will enhance the profitability of a dealer’s used car department.
2. To share solid processes that are proven performers and easy to implement.
3. To help you and your team avoid the "evaporation factor" by keeping what’s important in front of you on a frequent basis.
4. To share with you what’s "hot" and what’s "not" in the quickly changing automobile world.
5. To get in your face once in a while on issues that dealers need to pay attention to but so often forget.
6. To promote my training and workshops. I don’t do a lot of this, but heck it’s the business I’m in and I’d be an idiot not to let dealers know what I do and how I can make them a lot of money.
I would not expect you to agree with everything I write in my newsletters. Part of my mission is to stir you up a bit…get you to think about some things you might not normally take the time to consider.
I want to help you push the envelope. We all need a little push once in a while and I can help you do that. I will tell it like it is, and then you have to decide if it’s a fit for you and your team.
"The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret." That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs