Figures for last year's new car sales clearly showed a down turn in volume for many dealerships. While maintaining market share and unit sales are important, increasing per vehicle gross may be the most practical short term strategy to shore up your bottom line.
This year's National Auto Dealers Association convention in San Francisco is focused on the topic of profitability for today's automotive retailer. Below are a few tips on what you can do to help yourself and your Automobile Dealership out.
First. It is very hard to win championship games with players that are unwilling or unable to perform at superior levels. Ask yourself this question. Are you emotionally attached to underachievers? Sure they are nice people, but we must remember you are running a business. The quality of your people will dictate the results you can achieve. Do you have the best players on your team?
Second. Great people without clarity of vision or process will not be very effective. To reach your dealership's potential everyone must understand exactly what their role is on the Sales Team. Each player (salesperson and sales manager) must be able to recite and define the agreed upon process of how you will sell cars at your store. The process itself is less the issue here, clarity on who does what, and how is paramount to your success.
I was recently working with a new F&I Director for a multi-store group. He was rather surprised to find that when he asked for a copy of the sales and F&I process from some of the sales and F&I Managers they looked at him in bewilderment wondering what he was talking about. Do yourself a favor try asking your management team the same question, the results may be very eye opening. Then ask the salespeople if you can bear to hear the response.
The good news is it does not have to be this way. If you do not like the results you are getting or the answers you are hearing, and then change your approach. After all, continuing to do the same thing will only yield the same result.
Third. At the Manzo Group, we have found that one of the quickest ways to lose gross is to over allow on trades. Conversely, the fastest way to increase your bottom line is to hold on trades. While many know this fact not everyone takes the time to establish and define process's to insure this result.
Requiring that all car salespeople conduct a silent walk around on the customer's trade is the key. Salespeople, clipboards in hand and customers in tow must examine the trade's condition and document those observations. A copy should then be available to reintroduce later during negotiations.
Last... give your automotive salespeople the support they need. Invest in your people. Send them to F&I and Automotive Sales Training Programs, make arrangements for onsite help. Remember when the going gets tough... well you know the rest.
With an emphasis on auto sales training, finance and insurance, internet sales & phone skills training, the Manzo Group's team of nationally recognized trainers conduct an intensive on-site 3-4 day training seminar focusing on driving bottom line results in your New and Used Car Sales Operations.