Lack of Decision Making

How long does it take to know if they can do it? Do what?

Do whatever it is you’ve hired someone to do.

Does it take a week?
Does it take a month?
Does it take 90 days?
Does it take 6 months?
Does it take 6 years?

How long does it take you to figure out if you’ve got the right person or the wrong person in the job?

Part of that decision-making process might depend on:

1. How much have you invested in the selection process of putting the right person in the right job?

2. Did you put someone in the job because they were the “next up?”

3. How much have you invested in their training and development?

4. How much have you invested of your own time coaching and teaching the person?

5. Does your organization give people the tools they need in order to be successful?

6. Do you make the effort to get legitimate feedback from those around you that “know” about how this person is performing?

It’s amazing how long some people get to stay in a position and bring nothing to the table but loyalty. Happens a lot with second-generation dealers. The second generation is dealing with the first generation’s “has-beens, that never were.”

How long does it take for you to figure out if they can or will do it? That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

What Does a Bear Do In The Woods?

Eats corn.

My business partner for most of my adult life has been Ashton Lewis, Sr. an amazing human and Automobile Dealer in the Hampton Roads area of VA.

Ashton grew up in both the automobile and farming business. One of Ashton’s farms was located adjacent to the Great Dismal Swamp in Chesapeake, VA where corn was a primary crop.

As Ashton tells the story, he would observe a bear come out of the woods, pick an armful of corn to take back into the woods to eat or share with his friends and family.

The bear would sometimes drop an ear of corn and rather than continue into the woods, the bear would put down the armful of corn and then re-gather them all up just to save one ear of corn.

That’s what it’s like when you keep hanging onto that aged unit that you’re never going to make any money on. You spend too much time trying to make money on an aged unit and not enough time figuring out how to make money on the fresher pieces.

Your window of opportunity to make money on a used car is about 40 days or less and that’s a stretch.

Had you been smart enough to identify units that have little or no profit potential on day 1 then you wouldn’t be looking at a stone-cold loser on day 61.

The Bear-Drops ear of corn. Throws down all the others. Wastes time and energy re-gathering the ears of corn.

You-Do not identify problematic units on day 1. You waste time and money struggling with aged units on day 61. Grosses go south because you’re selling too many units late in the life-cycle. You never reach your full potential because you’re thinking like a bear.

Had the bear paid closer attention to how many ears of corn he/she could actually carry then the bear would not have wasted time and energy dealing with one stupid ear of corn.

Had you paid closer attention to what you were dealing with on day 1 you wouldn’t be beating your head against the wall trying to figure out what to do with an aged unit on day 61.

My life-cycle management process makes you a much smarter bear. That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

What Are Your Intentions?

There are a lot of common problems when it comes to the used car operations for new car dealers.

But of all the problems and challenges that dealers face, the number one problem is that dealers trade or buy a unit and have a lack of “intent.”

Most would say, “Of course I have intent. I intend to sell this unit and make some money.” That makes total sense, but the problem is, it’s far too general.

That’s like saying you’re going to drive from NY to LA without a plan on how you intend to get there.

How many of you have ever heard the saying, “Every used car has to stand on its own?” If you’ve been around long enough you understand the term and can probably agree with the statement.

That being true, how can you give them all the same shelf life?

How can you not have a specific intent for each unit? Most managers don’t think, “What’s my intent,” when a unit comes into their inventory. They paint them all with the same broad brush, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Intent starts with the appraisal and is finalized during the trade walk, where the “final intent” is determined.

If dealership managers would look at each unit and clearly state their intent, they would have fewer inventory problems, turn would improve, and average gross, volume and ROI would go up.

I’m not going to go into the details here in this newsletter, but my life cycle management process gives you the disciplines to determine and carry out your “intent.”

My intent with this article is not to try to sell you something. My intent is to get you to think harder about what your own intent happens to be when you bring units into your inventory.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs