I’m going to share 10 relatively simple things I’ve picked from the many I present in my workshops for you to consider doing.
1. Study The Data- Become a better student of the game. There’s so much information right at your fingertips. Use vAuto’s stocking tool to determine the fastest moving units to stock and take advantage of all the data Auto Trader can provide you.
2. 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 $18,000 today, do what you can to get it to $17,500 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.
3. 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 FixROI.com 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 to 120 ROI. By knowing your ROI you will know what’s working and what’s not.
4. 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.
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.” Think Fast, Be Fast-You are working with a depreciating asset. Everything, including decisions on what to keep and not keep has to be done fast. Pull the trigger quickly on units that you are suspicious about. Don’t hang on to them hoping and wishing something good is going to happen. Early losses are far better than late losses. If you are paying attention and recognizing problem units early in the life cycle then you will have a lot less need to take units to the auction and lose money on them at 45 or 60 days. 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.
7. Daily Inventory Pricing-The market changes every day and so should your pricing. Sometimes you can ask more, sometimes you can ask less. You cannot and will not achieve maximum results by changing prices every 10 to 20 days. Pricing takes intense management. It’s not something you do when you get around to it. You would be far better off if someone priced the car who is not in charge of appraising and buying them.
8. 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? I’m thinking 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?
9. Photo Booth-and 40 pictures per car. If you haven’t accepted the fact that the Internet is your new showroom then you are doomed. You cannot and will not be able to remain competitive until you get with it. It’s the biggest no brainer since the invention of the wheel.
10. 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. It’s not rocket science.
That’s all I’m going to say. Tommy Gibbs