People, Process, Product… An Automotive Lesson From “The Profit”

I will start by admitting that I am a “Profit” junkie. If it’s 11:30 on any given night, and I am hammering away at the computer, you can guarantee that my TEVO is replaying some episode of “The Profit.”  I’m always interested in taking a peek at the roadmap that was used by a successful entrepreneur. In most cases, success can be duplicated.

So, in the competitive environment that is Automotive Retail today, what are you doing to evaluate your people, process, and product?  No, product in this case is not the brand you represent, it is the final version or “experience” you provide the consumer that encompasses your product. You as a dealer have zero control over the models or trim levels that get manufactured, but you do have control under your rooftop.

I will say this to every reader out there; as good as you are, you’re nowhere close to where you need to be. Remember that. Because if you always have the mindset that improvement is constant, you can never get complacent. That being said, let’s focus on this month’s catch phrase in our industry; “The Consumer Experience.” What type of experience does your center provide?  More importantly, where can you improve it?  What would the “Profit” say?

I have an idea…. Let’s pretend that every person that has challenged credit didn’t gravitate towards the most expensive car on the lot. Let’s also pretend that each of your customers knew their true credit score, and willingly shared it with you. Now that would make for a pretty good sub-prime transaction. Well, process, process, process, gentlemen. I have news for you, this process can be implemented today. How? Two words, Soft Bureau.  Yes, I mean that pre-qualification tool you’ve put off from looking at. Here’s the simple change that this powerful tool effects. When your salesperson enters the consumer’s data, you immediately pre-qualify that consumer. Why? It’s simple. You now can direct the salesperson to a specific price range, or even further specific inventory models that fit that consumer’s profile. Yes, this consumer can buy a car, just not any car. So why not show them the vehicles that they qualify for first?  Why wait until after they fall in love with a unit that has a zero percent chance of getting funded by any ban?  Better yet, let’s have a set of specific units waiting for that internet appointment.  Have the cars where deals are made ready right when they walk in the door.  It really is that simple.

Small tweaks in the process, will always mean large results in gross profit. More importantly, you have separated your process from that of every other dealer in town. That is what makes the difference between that 300 new unit store, and the 75 new unit store. Constant evaluation, constant process revision, and constant improvement.

See, we all can be our own “Profit.”