“Begin with the end in mind?” So let’s start with a few very important questions.
1. How much profit will you make in 2016?
2. How many new units will you sell in 2016?
3. Per month?
4. By model?
5. Ave. G.P. per model?
6. How many used units will you sell in 2016?
7. Per month?
8. Ave. G. P.?
9. F. & I. per new per used?
10. How much service business / G. P. / Effective labor rate???
11. Per month
12. How much parts business / G. P. / all profit areas???
13. What expenses items do you need to watch in 2016?
14. By month / by department?
15. Are you going to include department managers in watching those expenses? If so, HOW?
You may have noticed I didn’t ask: “How much profit do you WANT to make in 2016. The reason is it’s about planning, preparation, accountability, ownership.
About 2 months ago I started sharing with my clients one of the “keys” I feel that will need to be improved in 2016 is Leadership and coaching skills. For many of my clients I provided video sessions from some of the BEST Leadership trainers available today.
About a month ago I asked many of my clients to start creating a: “Game Plan for 2016”. I helped them layout month-by-month sales for 2015 and then asked them to project 2016 again month-by-month.
I asked them to begin improved manager meetings to include managers in these GOALS, to include them in identifying expense items that needed addressing in order to hit the profit objective. We designed sheets for the individual managers to use so we could create TEAMWORK to attain these GOALS. The design of the sheets was also to improve “peer pressure”, (team communications) similar to not wanting to be at the bottom when you attend a 20-Group meeting.
2015 is ending up top be a very good year for most dealers. The projections are for 2016 and maybe 2017 to be even better. But my question is: “Are you going to be as good as the rest? Better than the rest? Not quit as good as the rest?” Why not be the BEST you can be.
Design 2016. I am attaching the forecasting sheets we used to help forecast month-by-month sales for 2016. GM has new SFE/EBE monies and if you hit them every month it will have a tremendous impact on your new profit. Will you be forecasting those numbers? Will you be watching them everyday? Will you be discussing them regularly with your management team? You can design your profit for 2016 step by step.
Also available for you is a monthly outline for your managers meeting. What to focus on each week – How to get them to OWN there objectives and expense items.
Also available for you are the action sheets we have designed that require managers to identify 1-2-3 items each month that they can improve and 1-2-3 items each month they need to be more efficient in. (nice way of saying expense control). This is where the “peer” pressure comes in because they are identifying these items in front of all of the other managers and during the month and at the end of the month no one wants to be LAST. Maybe you should have a MONKEY like many 20 Groups give the bottom person.
You can design your profit for 2016 step by step. The industry projections are it is going to be a very good year, are you designing yours – letting it fall into place – letting the manufacturer be the influencer? Take the time to decide today what your profit is going to be and then put together a step-by-step plan to attain that amount.
My goals are to make the Internet Departments I work with the most efficient they can be. Here are some of the items I will be working on and with in 2016 to create our Digital Game Plans.
➢ Best 3rd part ROI’s
➢ Data Mining – service and sales
➢ Video Game Plan – video viewership is up 74% over last year. You Tube website is second only to Google – it is more viewed than any other website in the world. Perfect our You Tube Channels
➢ Create Vehicle Review videos * Create Feature videos * Create “How To” videos Operate accessories, specific options (GPS – MP3/I-phone operations/etc.)
➢ Create FAQ pages to include What the question is – answer – Next Step
➢ GEO fencing – if you don’t know what it is learn quickly, before your competition
➢ Constant phone training – in and out bound calls
Those are just a few of the items I plan on working on with my clients this year in order to “e the Best we can be”. You can design your profit for 2016 step by step.
My hopes are this may spark a “light” within you to do the things “only you can do” but they require a time commitment from you. 2015 has been a very good year. 2016 is again going to be a very good year. We have no guarantee how many more good ones we have before the cycle turns downward. Don’t make this a good year – make it a Super Great year.
Plan your future step my step. If I can be of help – the nest step would be to pick up the phone and call: 815-978-5038. That’s my cell – I will answer and we can decide if I can help you attain YOUR goals.
Are you planning for Maximizing Profits for 2015?
In the past 30 days, I have attended an Internet Conference in Las Vegas, viewed eight webinars and read in excess of 30 articles on “new and improved ideas”, techniques and products; all related to what’s working BEST with the Internet TODAY.
What is my conclusion? Everything is working, yet nothing is working. So, not to worry you – I do HAVE THE ANSWER.
First, let’s look at some of the latest statistics:
Here are some statistics you have probably heard just to confirm:
* 90% of the people shopping for automobiles are at one time going online and viewing things via the internet.
* Phone-ups currently are 4-1 over lead submission.
* The average person is visiting approximately 1.5 dealerships.
Now, here are some stats you probably did not know!
DAYS TO SOLD
Day 1 – 14%
Day 2 – 18%
Day 3 – 12%
Day 4 – 6%
Day 5 – 4%
Days 6/10 – 14%
Days 10/30 – 19%
Days 30+ – 12%
Since I started specializing with the Internet, I have been teaching the importance of having a “long-term” schedule to identify and engage potential clients and I am still an advocate of that; however, I am changing my emphasis to the first 5-days, with an accelerated push at that time and then automating things, with just a couple of calls. Let’s consider the logic.
DAYS TO CONTACT
Day 1 – 67% 99% of Sold’s were contacted within the first 5 days
Day 2 – 19%
Day 3 – 8%
Day 4 – 2%
Day 5 – 1.5%
Day 6 – .5%
Then, the next question to come up should be what method is being used to ENGAGE there people? 72% of the people were contacted by phone and 28% were engaged via email. This tells me that strong emphasis needs to be placed in order to get the right person to speak with you on the phone. Question: “Does your first email response ask to have a telephone conversation for additional details? It should – even if the prospect did not provide a number, ask them to take the time to call – you will both be better satisfied!
So, considering the statistics and remembering that I told you I had the answer….. so here it is. THE ROAD TO THE SALE today, whether you want to admit it or not, starts online! How much time does your sales manager spend with your BDC, Internet Sales People, whomever you have responding to these opportunities? I was taught that the best management style in a dealership is performing “one-on-ones” daily with the salespeople, I still believe that, but if your main sales manager is not performing “one-on-ones” daily with your people responding to your Internet leads everyday you are missing opportunities. They should be making certain that multiple calls are being daily in the first five days in an endeavor to contact new leads Additionally, there should be at least four hours between attempts. Are they viewing the emails being sent? Are they discussing the messages being left? Are they monitoring how many out-going dials are being made everyday? If you are not doing these things daily, you are probably not selling 11% of the overall leads you get.
54% WILL PURCHASE WITHIN THE 1ST 5 DAYS
33% WILL PURCHASE BETWEEN DAYS 6 – 30
12% WILL PURCHASE 30+ DAYS
As a closing note…. I speak with dealers and managers who tell how expensive it is to bring someone in to train, help set these processes in place and setup schedules to follow and my question back is always: “How expensive is it NOT TO ENLIST THE ASSISTANCE OF AN INTERNET PROCESS SPECIALIST AND HOW MUCH NET PROFIT ARE YOU ALLOWING YOUR COMPETITORS TAKE AWAY FROM YOU WHO HAVE THE PROPER PROCESSES, PROCEDURES AND PHONE TECHNIQUES TO PROPERLY HANDLE TODAY’S CUSTOMER?”
Scott Hembrough of Hembrough Business Systems worked with Cannon Auto Group in Lakeland, Flordia – a 2nd generation dealership that was struggling from bouncing back from the financial slow down the entire auto industry suffered from.
Scott helped with Internet, phone training, overall dealership processes and listen to the credit Danny Cannon gives Scott regarding the dealerships profitability.
We are each born with 18,000,000 brain cells.
So here is the question: How many are you going to use in 2013?
Trick question with a simple answer – more than you used in 2012.
At the time of this writing the news is blasting about “the fiscal cliff”. We just had a record number of Tornadoes on Christmas Day run from Texas to Alabama.
Desert Storm Commander Norman Schwarzkopf died last night. MY POINT: There are always going to be business interruptions. There are always going to be weather conditions to contend with. Something for you to consider is whether you are focusing on the negative news or looking for ways to stay focused on the positive?
So what does all of that have to do with succeeding in 2013? Remember earlier I said each of us is born with 18,000,000 brain cells. It is my opinion that in 2013 you had better be using more of them than you did in 2012. To me this will be one of three critical components to succeeding in 2013.
First critical element: Like it or not, technology is the way of the future. I was speaking with someone the other day and that asked me to relate technology years to human years. I questioned what they meant by that. They responded: “You know, dog years, if a dog is 10 years old in human years, they are 70 years old in “dog years”. So he again asked the question: “If your website was designed and last time it was updated was 5 years ago, how old would that be in human years?” I still had no clue. Finally he said 50. One year in human years is the equivalent to 10 years in technological years. POINT: You have to be reading, studying, and most importantly DOING things if you want to succeed in 2013. WHY – because the guy down the street might be, and if he is and you are not, you are going to be toast.
Second critical element: Teamwork and employee productivity. I read a Harvard Business Review last week titled: “What One Thing Your Team Wants You to Stop Doing.” What was one of the things one of the things they wanted their employers to stop doing? It was – Sugar coating things – tell me where I really stand. Another thing was I can deal with the truth so be honest with me.
From Patrick Lencioni’s book: “Not Finance. Not Strategy. Not Technology. It is TEAMWORK that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”
Third critical element: Leadership. If technology involves everyone – teamwork and productivity are critical, the only way to accomplish these is with effective Leadership.
In many businesses they struggle with the difference between management and leadership. In many businesses, they ASSUME their managers are BORN great leaders. John Maxwell is in my opinion one of the BEST Leadership trainers today. He starts many of his lessons with: “The Law of the LID because it helps people understand leadership. If you can get a handle on this law, you will see the incredible impact of leadership on every aspect of life.” LEADERSHIP ABILITY IS THE LID THAT DETERMINES A PERSON’S LEVEL OF EFFECTIVENESS. THE LOWER THE INDIVIDUAL’S ABILITY TO LEAD, THE LOWER THE LID ON HIS POTENTIAL. THE HIGHER THE LEADERSHIP – THE GREATER THE EFFECTIVENESS. EX: “If your leadership skills are rated at an 8, then your effectiveness can never be greater that a 7. If your leadership is rated only at a 4, then your effectiveness will be no higher than a 3. Your leadership effectiveness – for better or for worse – always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact on your organization.”
In a classic movie, “The Untouchables”, I love the line Sean Connery used. He kept of asking those he worked with: “So what are you going to do about that?” And that would be my question to you – “What are you going to do about things in 2013?”
Read the same amount you did in 2012. Study Leadership and Teamwork the same amount you did in 2012? Commit to technology the same as you did in 2012? OR – are you going to take some of those 18,000,000 brain cells and try to use more of them? That is my plan for 2013 – study more, read more, listen more, push myself more, help those around me more, share with others more.
Yesterday, I posted on Facebook an interview with the great Zig Ziglar that took place a couple days before he passed away and he shared one of his greatest messages: “You can have everything you want in life – EVERYTHING – if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
May 2013 Be Your Best Year Ever.
Bigger and Stronger than ever or you are missing something. A year ago I read stats that 70% of the people shopping for vehicles today went online for 11 hours – submitted either an e-mail or called on average of 4.5 places prior to entering a dealership. Then about 2 weeks ago I participated in a webinar put on by Cobalt and their latest data states 60% of the people do on-line research for 19 hours and now visit a dealership WITHOUT submitting an e-mail or calling first. WOW – what a change!!!
The dealerships I work with are having record setting months and best profit years since mid-90’s. Primarily due to their Internet departments. When you read on you will have links from salespeople, Internet manager’s, general manager’s and dealers sharing exactly how we made their departments run more efficiently.
The first thing we need to understand i “how the customer is thinking today?” What makes them “tick”. If we can better understand how the customer is thinking we can begin to get more of them to “click” which is the key to growing your Internet department.
61% of the people will visit dealership inventories after visiting you web site. With pre-owned you need to be re-pricing your entire inventory EVERY WEEK. If you have a 60 day and out process – it makes no sense you have that vehicle listed on the INTERNET at 60days with a $5,000 mark-up. You should be re-pricing at 30 – 45 – 50 – 55 days. The inventory page is like your showroom – you got them their – now you want them to move to our next step which is contact you.
50% of the people decide while on your inventory page if you are even on their list of dealerships to visit.
69% of the people today will visit a dealership WITHOUT sending an email or making a phone call.
73% of the people will purchase something other than we they originally began searching for. So this one area right here explains why it is so important to get people to the dealership. The key is having great techniques for taking the calls. Listen to your calls and see how well your people do at expanding the choices people are calling in on? In other words, when someone calls in on a 2010 Malibu, are we asking: “Is that the only vehicle you are interested in”? If the customer is stating: “Yes, I just want to know if that car is available and the best price on it”? If this is the case you are using archaic techniques. The customer must feel like you care and you have a variety of vehicles that match the real needs they shared with you. I use a technique where I say: “While I’m getting the information on the 2010 Malibu – would you also like information on the 2009 and 11?” This works 90% of the time.
Today you have to be GREAT on the telephone and very professional with your e-mail responses.