Re-Birth of an Industry.

Honestly, my friends, I did not think that I would live to see the rebirth/reinvention of the used car industry. 

My grandfather was around for its birth, my father for its heyday, and I for the rapid evolution of vehicles. The here and now, we are seeing changes we never could have anticipated, and they won’t stop there.   

In my father’s day, the salesman did it all; Desk the deal, underwrite the paper, go back and get the car made ready, then deliver it. 

Well, it kind of looks like it is 1965 again as our salespeople are granted more independence   from the desk. Our salespeople are taking more initiative to generate their own book of business as they learn to become professionals in all that they do. 

That fact in mind, what are you, the owner, doing to educate/train/inform/practice with your crew? Have you sat down with each one and done a little dream building

Do YOU know what your salespeople’s individual strengths are? Do YOU know what motivates them (besides $$$$)? Have you asked them for their ideas on how to improve any or all areas of the business? The way things (business) were run 6 months ago is just that…the past. A way of business we WILL NOT going back to doing. 

Getting that fact into your business model and adjusting actions accordingly is the key to PROSPERING instead of surviving the exponential changes we are all experiencing. Customers LIKE the personal service this crisis has forced dealers into. Customers like the fact of no F&I Dept process to suffer through. Customers like the test drive coming to them and the virtual test drive videos dealers are doing for every unit in stock. Customers like having the perception of having the upperhand throughout the entire sales/delivery process. 

Customers LOVE the fact that salespeople are having conversations with them and ***MAGIC WORD*** LISTENING to them! Customers are getting what they always have wanted and feared the most…control. 

IF IT SELLS CARS – THE CUSTOMERS MAY HAVE AS MUCH CONTROL AS THEY FEEL THEY NEED. So, WHAT are you doing about that? 

How are you fostering/nurturing those relationships to ease control into the customers hand? How are you making your customer feel more a part of the process and not feel as if they are BEING processed? These are some very serious things to think upon my friends. 

Being in communication with friends/clients in the industry in all corners of this great country has painted a very clear picture of what the smart dealer is doing. They are buckling down and getting it done. In this unprecedented season of reinvention and rebirth, LET your customers, salespeople, bankers, friends, associates, and all others help you, reshape your future

If you do not know what your customer wants (expects) then how can you meet those wants/needs/desires? My advice, grab a notebook and pen, have a Zoom meeting with your team, and brainstorm your tails off!  

Now, more than ever, the game of “what if” can be your best tool to grow with the curve of change and not get crushed under it. 

Create A Great Day, 

Tom Hampton  

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TRICKLE TO TREND

We all know that our industry is irrevocably linked to the new car industry and will FOREVER be subject to “trickle-down”  

Two and half years ago the consumer, through social media, brought FIRE to the F&I Departments and our industry felt it in our outside finance sources tightening their belts – We sold less cars and are still recovering from it.  

NOW-HEAR-THIS. The next wave of major trickle-down is HERE.  

PRICE is dead!!! TRANSPARENCY & VALUE are coming!  

Your client knows MORE about your car than you do in most instances. Consumers are now spending upwards of 15 hours of research using the same tools we do. They research reliability, dependability, serviceability, trade values, depreciation, current market values, and a bazillion other things.  

Then my friend; they research YOU.   

Most of you still cling DESPERATELY to price when ALL your efforts should be in VALUE! Look up Simon Sinek on YouTube. Man has some great things to learn. His concentric circles are one of the BEST I have ever seen to convey and teach what customers REALLY want.  

It’s simple folks –  

  1.  WHY are you the best person on the planet to buy a used car from?  
  1.  HOW MANY people agree!? 

What incentive are you enticing buyers with? 90-day warranties don’t cut it. A couple of suggestions,  

  • Give 1 year free GPS Security Tracking*  
  • Free oil changes for a year (3k miles= 4 per year) 

Look at what you do from the customer’s point of view. Houston area alone has over 4,000 dealers – How do you stand out?  

The only thing standing between you and wild success is LIMITED Knowledge and LIMITING Beliefs. Both can be modified. Although knowledge is plentiful, it can be tricky to interpret and implement. As far as Limiting beliefs, MOST simply fade away when YOU choose to do things differently.  

Habit and complacency are the top two killers of dealerships that I have ever found over the last 50 years. Now – what are you going to do and what are you going to change? – most importantly WHEN?   

Create-a-great-day!
Tom Hampton

*Visit us online to get more information on our selection of GPS Units!

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