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Adam Robinson

Dealership Culture: 3 Ways to Create a More Modern Workplace

business team winning a trophy

The need to foster a robust and positive company culture has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” as millennials become the majority of the U.S. workforce. Retail automotive dealerships must evaluate their workforce culture to ensure they not only attract, but also retain, today’s most qualified talent.

By offering an environment that contains the benefits, flexibility, and career structure important to the millennial demographic, companies will create a better place to work and improve job satisfaction resulting in higher productivity and higher sales.

Shaping existing culture with a more modern approach is a growing trend implemented by some of the top dealerships today, and most others can easily follow suit.

Here are three ways to get started:

1. Involve the Leadership Team

Millennial employees are not interested in office politics and the traditional “rat race,” but rather want to be part of an energizing work environment where they feel like they matter. They want to feel like management is honest about what is expected to be accomplished by them and where they stand, at all times. Leaders should maintain transparency to prevent employees from feeling like they are being kept out of the loop because employees will quickly lose trust in management. Leaders should also consistently and concisely convey expectations and ensure that their vision is known and shared by all.

Employees want to get to know who their bosses are as real people, and there are many ways leaders can step out from behind their titles. For example, Audi Des Moines holds monthly barbeque lunches where employees have a chance to interact on a more personal level and cultivate relationships, as well as several sponsored events such as bowling nights and baseball or hockey games.

Today’s leaders are encouraged to facilitate an engaged team, promoting dialogue but not controlling the conversation. Employees should be allowed to show passion for their job, by being invited to step outside their traditional roles and explore other responsibilities within the company, trusting in their leaders along the way.

2. Provide Recognition and Resonate with Ideals

Studies show that out of the top perks employees appreciate from their workplace, half appreciate more employee recognition, a higher percentage than those who say they’d prefer cash incentives. A company providing substantial recognition and rewards to its staff will provide top talent with an incentive to stay and remain highly productive.

Companies must not only provide meaningful feedback to employees but should do so in a timely manner. Employees report a 20 percent increase in work satisfaction after receiving feedback. When feedback was delayed, however, it increased employee suspicion, making them nervous and less productive. Gone are the days when annual reviews were the bulk of management face-time, replaced by a constant stream of engagement.

Feedback can include non-financial incentives and personalized employee rewards. For example, Capitol Subaru of Salem recognizes an employee of the month from multiple departments, providing them with recognition at the company meeting, dinner certificates, a wall plaque, and entry into an Employee of the Year program for cash and other prizes. Not only does this make the employee feel appreciated in between periods of promotion, it strengthens the relationship between managers and employees—and studies show workers are loyal to their managers more than they are to the company.

Millennials want to work for a company that aligns with their values and ideals, and they appreciate a company who talks the talk and genuinely walks the walk. For example, if your dealership claims to support a local charity or organization, employees want to see how the company plans to make a difference in the space. Will they host a fundraiser, volunteer, or donate money? At Capitol Chevrolet-Cadillac of Salem, employees are provided with eight hours of paid time off to spend volunteering in the community. As part of Yark Subaru’s partnerships with local animal shelters, the company pays half the adoption fees for any animal adopted by an employee.

3. Employ a Casual Dress Code

When employees feel comfortable, they project those positive feelings onto customers. In the auto industry, a positive experience can help instill the confidence needed in potential buyers for what will be one of the biggest purchases of their lives. Allowing employees to dress casually on the sales floor is not only beneficial to their moods but also can help them be more productive. For example, if an employee must wear a suit and take customers outside in 90-degree days to show cars, the heat may cause them to show customers fewer cars than they would if they were comfortable enough to be outside for longer periods of time.

By taking into consideration the needs of today’s employees and altering the company environment in small but meaningful ways, employees will feel a deeper connection to your organization, resulting in increased loyalty and higher productivity.

Thanks to NCM Associates’ partner, Hireology, for sharing their guidance on managing millennial employees. Learn more about Hireology and join NCM’s experts for more actionable advice on hiring the best people for your team in our Hiring Top Talent and Success-Driven Pay Plans classes.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/dealership-culture-3-ways-to-create-a-more-modern-workplace/

Randy Fluharty

3 Ways the Service Drive Can Solve Your Pre-Owned Inventory Problem

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How many times have you said, “I can’t find quality pre-owned vehicles and, when I do, I have to pay too much for them”? I’m sure it sounds familiar—we all know that gross starts from the moment we obtain a vehicle, either from trade, auction, wholesalers, rental companies, or any other means of purchase. Include various fees, and they reduce gross even more by the time we get the vehicle to our door.

After reviewing national dealership operational data, NCM has determined that, if done properly, 3-4% of your customer-pay repair orders should convert to either a new or used vehicle sale if you have a dedicated service drive procurement process. Dealerships most adept at doing this have a dedicated salesperson for the service lane with a unique pay plan to incentivize them, but you must have enough service customer-pay volume; otherwise, I would recommend a different approach. For example, if your dealership does 30 customer-pay repair orders a day, you have, on average, the ability to generate roughly one vehicle a day from your service lane; that’s 20+ sales, easily enough to support a person with help from others when things get busy. Of those sales, trades are involved most of the time, and you will keep a very high percentage of those transactions because most vehicles in the service department tend to be fewer than five years old and have been maintained, which helps in reducing reconditioning costs while adding to the gross. Plus, we likely have the vehicle’s history if we’ve already established a relationship with its owner; after all, they are in our service lane!

Your service department creates high-quality vehicles

In 2015, CarStory surveyed online pre-owned shoppers asking them to identify what things they wanted to know about a pre-owned vehicle. They reported 15 items; the top three were condition, accident history, and service history. When you acquire a vehicle off the service drive, you can easily attest to condition and service history, assuming the customer and vehicle have visited your service department regularly. When you consider the top three areas, the potential customer wants to know what are the “risk reducers.” They are already uneasy about potentially buying another person’s problem; however, vehicles maintained by a dealership are perceived as being of higher quality, as they have been repaired by technicians trained specifically for the brand and repairs have used parts designed specifically for that model while maintaining the highest engineering standards.

Identifying potential purchases during service appointments

A critical component of this approach is determining which customers are viable candidates; you are looking for owners in an equity position or near the end of their lease cycle. To do this, your service department or service BDC must have a robust daily appointment process that captures the information you need to determine if a customer is in equity, such as VIN and name. Here are my recommended three options for implementing a process at your dealership.

1. Use software

Look into the various software options and companies that drill into your service appointment function in your DMS and run the customer against your records to determine if the client is in an equity position, assuming you sold the vehicle. These tools will alert you if the customer is eligible for another vehicle based on equity and credit position with a relatively high level of certainty.

2. Review upcoming appointments

Another way to start—one that doesn’t require the same degree of investment—is to review tomorrow’s service appointments and identify vehicles that are between three and five years old. Then, have an F&I manager compare the customer’s information in your DMS to see if you sold the vehicle, and request that he or she evaluate its approximate equity or lease position. If you have an opportunity, determine a rough trade number for the customer and build a deal based on their last purchase or lease. Develop a script, and get started.

3. Evaluate on the service drive

A third option is to ask your service advisors to give you a heads up on expensive repair orders in the shop. Examine the vehicle and if you trade the car and keep it, give them the internal repair. If you wholesale it, pay them what the internal repair order would have paid them in commission since you probably sold a vehicle that you might not have sold anyway.

These are just three suggestions to get you started. Whatever method you choose, keep in mind the bottom line: Opportunities exist at your door every day, so why not take advantage of them?

Learn more about Randy Fluharty and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/3-ways-the-service-drive-can-solve-your-pre-owned-inventory-problem/

Paul Potratz

Why You Need a Facebook Live Strategy

SOCIAL MEDIA

“I want to wait until I get a new iPhone; I still have the 6S.”

“I will as soon as I get a haircut.”

“I want to build my followers first.”

“I don’t have enough likes.”

“My wife will get mad if I am on there.”

“I don’t really want people knowing my personal business.”

“My followers aren’t car shoppers.”

“I tried it and it didn’t work.”

“If I do it, how much of a return can I expect?”

This is just a small list of the excuses I have received from salespeople at a dealership when I asked why they are not using Facebook Live (and Facebook in general). Before you continue reading, I encourage you to reread the list above and ask yourself: Are these the types of excuses you would expect or want from a salesperson?

In this article, I will provide strategies you can use to increase your sales using Facebook Live.

Here’s your first tip: Just do it. Putting yourself out there might be the hardest part, but it’s also the most important part.

Keep this in mind, using Facebook Live is just like having your own TV station. Don’t go into it thinking you’ll just be able to broadcast infomercials or nonstop sales messages and succeed. You will need a variety of engaging programing. In other words, provide information that is helpful and that your audience actually wants to hear.

By now you have probably heard that if Facebook were a country, it would be the largest country in the world. In fact, one in seven people are on Facebook daily (which equals one billion daily users). Plus, Facebook Live has now surpassed even YouTube in video views. Hopefully that got your attention.

What is the secret to selling on Facebook Live

I am often asked, “Should we promote our low prices on Facebook Live?” Well, the answer is no. Like I said earlier, the point of Facebook Live isn’t to film a TV commercial. There’s a reason it’s called social media. Would you go to your son’s football game and try to sell tires? Would you tell the other parents that they must take delivery by Saturday to receive 3.9% APR and $0 down?

On a similar note, Facebook Live is also not the platform where you should selfishly broadcast how great your cars are. The secret is simple: Be a resource. You’re probably wondering what this means. Well, all you have to do is ask your staff this simple question: “What questions do shoppers ask us that don’t have to do with price?” For example, it might be, “Should I lease or buy?” or “Why does it take so long to do the paperwork?” Or maybe it’s, “Do I really need that repair?” Answering these questions and many more will give you the opportunity to be a resource. The secret is to build relationships, awareness, and consistency.

Facebook Live will increase sales the same day

Of course, the chances of this are slim, and that is why many individuals don’t feel Facebook Live is worth their time. We all want instant gratification, and unless you are downloading a song or a movie, there is usually no such thing. Building relationships takes time and work, and I’m sorry to say there are no shortcuts if you truly want valuable payoff. In other words, there is no such thing as a silver bullet, a secret formula, or a “get rich quick” scheme. Nothing worth having comes overnight. Sometimes it doesn’t come in a week or even a month.

If you start today, though, you can start to see that success grow. If you get on the phone today and make 50 calls and continue to do that every day for the next 12 weeks, wouldn’t you start to see the fruits of your labor? Facebook Live is the same way: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

How many videos should you post each day?

The answer is simple: It depends on how many platforms you use. In other words, are you also using Snapchat, Instagram Live, or YouTube? If not, that’s okay— before you get ahead of yourself, you can work on mastering Facebook Live. In that case, I suggest one or two videos per day, but don’t forget about weekends. Also, switch up the time of day you film videos to see what works best for engagement.

Another piece of advice: Don’t start out trying to have conversations with your viewers, but do acknowledge them. It can be very discouraging if viewers don’t engage, so have an idea of how you will share information with or without that engagement. If it makes you feel more comfortable, pull in a coworker and have a live conversation.

Once you commit to doing these videos at least once a day for a month, then you can add more social platforms.

Final thoughts to ensure success

When you’re live on Facebook, don’t just broadcast. Engage with your online audience the same way you would in an in-person conversation.

Paul Potratz is the COO of Potratz Advertising, a digital agency and website provider. Paul is also the host of the weekly Internet shows Think Tank Tuesday and the Growth Mindset, which are also available on iTunes and Google Play.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/why-you-need-a-facebook-live-strategy/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: How do I make the most of a recall?

Manufacturers’ recalls: Are they a burden or an opportunity for your dealership? With the right plan in place, explains NCM expert Rick Wegley, a recall gives you an opening to learn more about how clients view your business. See how.

Have another for Rick or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave a comment below!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/askncm-how-do-i-make-the-most-of-a-recall/

Robin Cunningham

Service BDC: Where are Your Customers, and When Are They Coming Back?

Call Center Operators Working In Office

I’m a big fan of service BDCs. In fact, during my retail days in the mid-Nineties, I was an early adopter of the concept. I had asked a consultant friend of mine, who help dealers set these up, to give me a hand at my store. We had staff who were either mishandling or not making inbound and outbound calls, so I remember being eager to see the results.

This topic must have been on my mind recently when I asked a class of NCMi students, “Where are your customers, and when are they coming back?”

Well, you would have thought I’d asked the question in a foreign language or something! There was absolute silence in the room. Some were looking at others to see if they had an answer. My take on the look on everyone’s faces was, “This is THE question, isn’t it?” No one ventured an answer.

The first service appointment is key

So, I then asked, “How many of your dealerships set the first service appointment on each new and used vehicle at the time of delivery, based on time or mileage?” Of the 25 or so people in the room, only two raised their hands affirming that this was, in fact, happening at their dealerships.

When we started our BDC, one of the processes we decided track was the first service appointment. We, for sure, were not setting these. I’d heard that getting a 65% return rate for the 1st Service Appointment was the Holy Grail but, we were told, only 14% of customers would come back on their own for non-warranty, maintenance, and repair work. You cannot build a business on 14%! So it became part of the sales and delivery process to have the BDC, based on time or mileage, to put the customer’s scheduled first service appointment into the system.

Consistent appointments make loyal customers

While we were very good in service in those days—especially in menu sales and work found on multi-point inspections, which we called the “perpetual service clinic”—I am sure we were not setting next service appointments, something I now know is a critical component to service profits.

With that in mind, I asked my students, “How many of you set the next service appointment with each customer during the active delivery with their Service Advisor?” The answer was zero.

It’s a given that the first service Appointment is a must to get the whole process started, but it’s setting the next service appointment that keeps it all together. I always think of this analogy: “How often would we get our teeth cleaned, if the dentist didn’t call to remind us?” The answers range from “not as often” to “never!” Service work on automobiles is no different; most people forget about it until the vehicle doesn’t run or they are reminded of needed work. It’s so obvious that it still amazes me that so few American dealerships take the initiative to set the appointment!

Challenge yourself to invite clients back

We all know that customer loyalty is on the wane. In response, most dealers have invested in CRM software to help us keep track of our clients. Yet, these tools are only as good as our processes. The sad truth is that many of my clients still are not setting first and next service appointments, even when they use these tools.

So, here’s my challenge for you: Always be able to answer the question, “Where are your customers and when are they coming back?” Create a reliable system that gets your clients back to the dealership after their purchase and keeps them coming back.

NCM Expert Robin Cunningham is an instructor with our Institute and a frequent contributor to our blog and video series #AskNCM.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/service-bdc-where-are-your-customers-and-when-are-they-coming-back/

Lee Michaelson

Retail Solutions: Hold Your Car Up to the Phone

Smiling salesman having a phone call

“Hold your car up to the phone, sir.” (hahaha!)

Remember when we made comments like this to customers who wanted phone appraisals? We were real witty back then when a customer wanted the old sight unseen trade appraisal!

Capture an interested customer

Well, today, we can do a phone appraisal, and it’s easy. As long as the buyer has a smartphone with a camera—and who doesn’t—you’re set!

You have a great chance to sell these customers because they have already narrowed their choices, and you have made it to the top of their shopping list. Make it easy, and you have an opportunity to sell a car.

Develop a process and set expectations

Customers are conditioned to the information you have provided about your car online: multiple pictures and possibly a video, equipment list, CarFax, and a compelling description for starters.

Let’s say the customer insists you provide an appraisal of their car before they come to the dealership. Do it in a professional manner. Tell them you have a process for this situation, and you need all of the following documentation just like they see online for the car they are interested in purchasing from you: six to eight pictures and a complete appraisal form. Explain that you will run a CARFAX or other similar vehicle history report on their vehicle.

My recommended Online Trade Appraisal Process

  • Make a PDF of your appraisal document and have it available for all appropriate team members to email to a customer. This is a great tool for qualifying the customer, and it gets the customer mentally involved in the appraisal. You also will start to build creditability in the evaluation, lower the client’s expectations of the trade price, and help build rapport between the salesperson and customer. You are now getting answers to many questions before the deal is started!
  • Have the customer complete the entire document, including disclosure about the odometer, accidents, body damage/work, and any mechanical deficiencies that require reconditioning. Make sure they sign it before they scan it (the camera app on their phone will work) and return it to you.
  • Detail the reconditioning and reconditioning cost on every appraisal to justify your appraisal. Use current market pricing evidence from the internet to validate your appraisal. Inform the customer that your appraisal is firm based on the appraisal document they submitted to you, subject to driving and inspecting the vehicle. This is a similar process they will likely want for the vehicle they plan to purchase from you.
  • Upon arrival at the dealership, every appraisal should get a trade walk around with the customer, 100% of the time. Profit can be improved if the evaluation of damage and missing parts is correct. Likewise, customer satisfaction can be improved as a result of clear communication and a transparent process.
  • Define follow-up responsibility in case of missing parts (needing a second key, for example). You can also reduce stock days by completing the vehicle trade-in process.

Most of our customers enjoy the easy satisfaction and quick turnaround of online shopping. Although there will always be a necessary in-person component to trade-in vehicles, by creating a simple phone appraisal process you can capitalize on their habits and gain new customers. And just think: how many more cars would you sell if you adopted this process?

Learn more about Lee Michaelson and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/retail-solutions-hold-your-car-up-to-the-phone/

NCM Associates

#AskNCM: What are the Potential Benefits of a Service BDC?

Considering a service BDC? NCM expert Rick Wegley outlines the things you need to you consider before making the move. Check out the pros and cons below!

Have another for Rick or the other #AskNCM experts? Leave a comment below!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/02/askncm-what-are-the-potential-benefits-of-a-service-bdc/

Terry Wichmann

From the 20 Group: How to Defend Your Used Vehicle Appraisal

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Editor’s Note: It’s clear that our readers found Terry’s last blog, My Favorite Wordtracks to Defend UV Gross Profit, an incredibly useful tool for their dealerships. We asked him what other defensive wordtracks he could share, and Terry came back with this excellent guide to making the most of your appraisal.

You, as the dealer principal or general manager, have two options when you feel that used vehicle gross profit per-vehicle-retail (PVR) is mediocre (or worse). You can yell at your sales managers to increase the gross profit PVR. Or you can determine if there is a Used Vehicle process which is “broken” or needs improvement. As yelling doesn’t accomplish much for long, I recommend that you consider your processes and fix them.

The four types of trade-ins

I have an NCM Retail Solutions client who likes to say that there are only four ways to take in a car: 1) steal the car; 2) take it in for the right money; 3) stretch to make a deal; or 4) bury yourselves in the trade-in.

During this conversation, let’s assume we are discussing trade-ins that we “took in for the right money” or “stretch a little bit to make a deal.”

Step One: Appraise the vehicle correctly

Many dealer principals or general managers believe that they make gross profit when buying the car. That is, the dealership makes its money when we trade for or purchase it, as opposed to when we retail it.  One of the factors in making gross profit when you ‘buy the car’ is determining if we appraise it correctly.

I imagine your sales managers mostly value trade-ins of your franchise accurately. You need to evaluate their performance on other franchises, too, to protect the appraisal. Here are some sample questions to get you started:

    • Do you think they correctly appraise trade-ins of other franchises accurately?
    • When it is necessary to replace the windshield on a luxury car, do you think they know which luxury car has the $300 windshield or the $3000 windshield (which includes cameras and sensors)?

Step Two: Understand the costs of misappraisal

If we appraise a trade-in or lease-return incorrectly, say by $500, we will probably make $500 (or so) less gross profit than if we caught it, assuming we took in the trade for the right money in the first place. So, it’s critical that you get the appraisal right.

Another of my NCM dealer-clients likes to include the line item “$300 hidden reconditioning” on the used vehicle appraisal form. This reminder helps his sales managers consider hidden problems that are often missed during an appraisal, such as the water pump, rear main seal, and other items we may not see or hear during the evaluation process.

Step Three: Replace negotiation with documentation

To solve the misappraisal problem, I recommend to my NCM clients that their fixed ops managers provide pricing to their sales managers for the forty or so most common maintenance items on their most frequently accepted models, based on the CP labor rate and 40% gross-%-sales for parts, which is cost plus 67%.

Once this menu is available, your salespeople—or, preferably, sales managers—can defend the appraisal to prospects by showing them the costs to repair these common maintenance items. It’s hard to argue against the costs in black and white. This approach of replacing negotiation with documentation was one of Dale Pollak’s philosophies when he defined used vehicle “velocity” by designing vAuto.

There’s so little room for negotiations nowadays, so you need to prepare to counter any objections while accurately appraising trade-ins and lease returns as a means to increase your dealership’s used vehicle gross profit PVR. With the right process in hand, you’ll see better results than yelling at your staff.

How does your dealership defend the appraisal? Tell us below. Have more dealership concerns? Meet with Terry or another NCM Consultant to identify opportunities for improvement in your store.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/from-the-20-group-how-to-defend-your-used-vehicle-appraisal/

Rebecca Chernek

Turbocharge Your Profits by Extracting the Sales Bottleneck

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Bottlenecks are the killers of progress and productivity. Where there’s a bottleneck, there’s a problem! Unfortunately, the vast majority of dealerships aren’t aware that their biggest bottleneck—the one that exists between sales and F&I and brings things to a crawl—can be removed. How? By seamlessly integrating the two processes.

Getting to the root of the problem

Think about how many customers these days are flocking to third-party platforms like TrueCar. The reason why is easy to understand: Buyers have grown tired of the century-old model of traditional auto sales. They want transparency and straight talk. And when given the opportunity to participate in a buying process that offers this—especially a car buying experience that doesn’t require them to sit in the dealership for hours on end waiting for financial approval—they’re only all too eager to snatch it up!

desking_banner

So what’s the best way for dealerships to combat lost business to third parties? It’s certainly not to go on the offensive against the likes of TrueCar and CarMax. These companies are only offering a service that people want. Instead, the answer is to look within and to take decisive action to enact changes that will bring your dealership up to speed with the most highly performing auto sellers on the planet.

It takes two to tango!

As with all collaborative efforts, the success of my approach hinges on teamwork. Without cooperation between sales managers and F&I managers, success simply will not happen. This is why I urge dealerships to encourage their departments to work together.

It isn’t always an easy task to break tradition, though, so I often recommend that representatives from both departments attend a retreat or workshop together. The NCM Institute makes it easy to get everyone to class with their buy one, get one free option. If you commit to sending someone from each department, they’ll let you send one of them for free!

Not only does the experience serve as a way of building camaraderie, but each will learn how to communicate about the issues related to both of their divisions. Once everyone gets on the same page and stays there, you will begin to see results!

Digital retailing and dealer expectations

Digital retailing puts the customer firmly in the driver’s seat by allowing them to not only shop for cars online but also the ability to secure financing online. Companies like Vroom, Carvana, CARite, and a growing number of large auto dealerships across the country are implementing this radical new approach. In expanding their presence to the digital landscape, these companies are poised to cash in on the long-held desires of auto buyers everywhere: the desire to do much of the heavy lifting themselves—not to mention the ability to walk away if the deal they find doesn’t match their precise needs. Forward-thinking companies and dealerships will secure their position at the head of the pack by adopting these processes and maximizing their profits.

Key elements for desking and F&I success

Once everyone is on board, and a genuine sense of team play has been implemented, the next step is to consider which tasks you want each individual team member to do so that everyone pulls in the same direction. Bear in mind that the approach your dealership takes will vary by your product and marketing, but I recommend that all dealers consider these essential steps:

  • Establish credit criteria early in the sales process. Among one of the most important changes a dealership should consider is when to discuss credit criteria. Perhaps it might be best to bring it up earlier in the sale if the customer has mentioned past credit problems. It certainly makes sense before the customer is landed on the wrong vehicle and either financing is not available or payments are out of reach.
  • Determine the best time to talk payments. Is it something best discussed up front in sales, or is it a conversation more suited to the F&I office? When it comes to selling vehicles, there’s no room for ambiguity. You must decide how sales and F&I can position you for success in menu presentation and improve profit.
  • Identify “The Interview” and clarify why it is so important. An essential component to expediting the sale (and, in turn, cutting delivery time in half) is something I call “The Interview”—a question and answer phase that starts at the initial meet-and-greet. This includes having the F&I manager engage in conversation with the customer early on in discussions to learn the reasons behind potential low credit ratings and slow pay histories. What’s the best way for this team to determine customer creditworthiness and plant the seeds for menu sales further in the process?
  • Getting the paperwork straight the first time. Sending a client into F&I with an incomplete deal checklist and no idea if they will be approved for credit is one of the principal contributors to the dreaded bottleneck. In my workshop, participants will gain an understanding of the importance of getting paperwork right the first time.

Ready to solve your Desking and F&I bottleneck? Join Becky Chernek for her upcoming NCMi® class, Desking and F&I Integration. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to develop a seamless transition that results not only in happier customers but also in dramatically improved sales and profit.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/turbocharge-your-profits-by-extracting-the-sales-bottleneck-2/

Brian Faulkenberry

From the 20 Group: Checklist to Stop Process Evaporation

Close up of working process at business meeting in office

During my more than twenty years moderating NCM 20 Group meetings for various industries, the phenomenon called “process evaporation” has frequently been interjected into Super Idea sessions and composite reviews.

A good process gone missing

I am not sure who coined the phrase, but I suspect it was a frustrated owner who thought he or she had a best practice in place only to find out the procedure had “evaporated.”  What I’ve heard numerous times from members is some iteration of the comment: We used to do that; I guess it worked so well that we stopped doing it!

Although said tongue-in-cheek, disappearing best practices are probably a reality at most dealerships, including yours.  In my experience, putting processes in place is the easy part; the difficulty lies in making sure employees consistently adhere to them. Some of the reasons dealerships may experience “process evaporation” include management or personnel turnover, too many procedures, a lack of consistent follow-up, and dealer complacency.

Stop losing your processes

If you want to keep best practices in your business, now’s a good time for a department-by-department review to see if any “process evaporation” has crept into your operation.  I’m starting with the administrative department, but I will touch on other units in future blogs.

Administrative Checklist

Use this list to identify a few administrative procedures that you should check. How many are still in place at your dealership?

  • Walk dealership; do you see any privacy compliance issues?
  • Do you have weekly manager receivables meetings?
  • Do you have weekly manager review of rebate receivable?
  • Are all vendors on the approved list at agreed pricing?
  • Do you have zero employee receivables?
  • Have all employees signed their reviews and documented issues?
  • Have you outlined an employee purchase policy for new, pre-owned, and parts & service?
  • Are month-end financial statements completed by the fifth working day?
  • Are all NCM reports submitted promptly and accurately?
  • Does your staff open and review all mail daily?
  • Are manager reviewing all schedules by 10th of each month?

While this list will get you started, there may be other best practices at your business that you’ve started but have slipped away. Be sure to track what’s happening in your dealership and, if something’s working well, don’t let it evaporate!

Learn more about Brian Faulkenberry and how he and his NCM colleagues can help your dealership through 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/01/from-the-20-group-checklist-to-stop-process-evaporation/

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