Still Making a Plan?

Tip # 1-Dissect each department. Break them all down. Pretend you are starting from scratch. Don’t assume anything. Nothing is sacred. Be ready to change and perfect any and all processes.

Tip #2-Analyze, analyze, analyze. Make the numbers work.

Here’s a number you need to make work. 120%. Once you have figured out how many units you should be selling, think of how many salespeople you will need to get the job done. If you think your volume number is 100 and you think your team will average 10 units each then the number of sales people you need is 10. Right? Wrong!

What you really need to get the job done is another 2 salespeople. It takes 120% of what you think you might need. There are always a few sales people having a bad month. You fire some. Some quit. Someone is sick, broke a leg or whatever. You cannot hit your number doing straight up math. Think 120%. That’s how you will get your number. Don’t worry about overloading your sales force. You need to worry about overloading your bottom line.

Tip#3-Relocate; as in send some folks packing. Loyalty is a wonderful thing. Too wonderful. Yes, it’s a people business, but darn it, it’s a business. You’re not running a charity. There are some people that just need to go. If you love them so much you can’t part with them, then send them to the farm and mail them a check each month. Get someone on board who can get the job done.

Tip #4-Now that you’ve analyzed and figured out your team, lay out the new plan. Bring your key players into the new plan. Let them have some input. It’s ok to let them think it’s their idea. The more they think it’s their idea, the better.

Tip#5-Present it to the entire management team. Your key managers have to help sell the plan and create “buy-in.” Buy in is critical to the success of the organization.

Tip#6-Educate the team. It doesn’t matter how long you are in this business you need to continue to look for opportunities to ramp up your performance. Educating the team is never an expense. It’s an investment in them and your future.

Tip#7-Turn your used car department upside down. Look at it from every angle possible and start making changes.

Tip#8-Put the plan in play now. Not January 1. Now is the time to get the kinks out. It’s like spring training. You want to be able to rock and roll on January 1, not March 1.

2019 isn’t going to be easy. Now is the time to light the fire. You will win in 2019 by preparing to win right now. That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs

Need a Haircut?

When I’m in town I work out at a small 24-hour gym on Treasure Island in a little strip mall. Three doors down from the gym is a real barbershop. Looks and feels like one from yesteryear compete with the barber’s pole that can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

The other morning, I couldn’t help but notice the barber was sitting in his barber’s chair staring at the front door. Immediately it flashed through my mind that’s what I often see in dealerships today.
I see two types of people staring at the door.

1. Salespeople staring at the door waiting for that special up that the dealership has been so kind to advertise for. (Will we ever fix this?)

2. Management staring at two doors. The old school door and the you might fail door.

The might fail door can be pretty scary. Every once in a while, you walk over, crack the door, and take a peek. Your body starts shaking with fear because of what you’re seeing.

You’re seeing grosses and in some cases volume heading south. You’re seeing today’s pay plans not working, and you’re seeing today’s new hires leaving as fast as Superman and a speeding bullet.

They aren’t buying into your hours and your selling processes which aren’t much different than they were 25 years ago. And, they hate your pay plan.

Aside from being prettier, the physical work environment is about the same. You still have desks and you’ve fancied them up by putting computers on them. It’s sort of the lipstick on a pig theory. When the customer walks in, they still see a pig.

You’re also seeing the approach of some of the public
companies and bigger dealer groups by changing their hiring practices and hours, and adding iPads, sofas, and kiosks in the showroom.

You’re starting to wonder if you’ll still be around 10 years from now.

But you’re making a profit so why change? You need to change while you can afford to change.

You’re sort of like that barbershop. The only thing that’s changed for the owner is the chair is a little different and there’s no strap to sharpen the straight razor with.

That’s a really nice chair you’re sitting in. Enjoy your seat. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs