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Separating the Best From the Rest

At the end of every year, I like to look back and see what went well for our dealers and what didn’t go so well. This year, I noticed a definite trend in the F&I PVS (Per Vehicle Sold). Most dealers’ numbers were, on average, flat or a little bit up. When I separated the top 10 percent from the average dealers, I saw a different trend. The top 10 percent were up between 20 and 30 percent over last year. Why?

Metric       Average      Top 10 percent
2013        $432            $865
2012        $430            $612
HD          Average       Top 10 percent
2013       $1038           $1283
2012       $975             $988

A lot of dealers made more money in 2013 than they did in 2012 due to the fact that there are fewer dealers in their market than there were several years before, or because they are in an area where a particular industry is booming (such as oil or natural gas). The problem is that all of this will pass eventually. The market will change, new dealerships will open and booming industries will slowdown. You need to get more out of every customer so that when the industry catches up with demand, you can still make the money you need.

So, what is the top 10 percent doing to get more out of every customer?
Here are three things that stick out:

1. They are NOT satisfied with being average
As in any sport, you will only play as well as the people to whom you compare yourself. If you are always comparing yourself to the average, you might feel good about where you are, but you will never be one of the best. These dealers always compare themselves to the best, and that is why they succeed.

2. They train their people
Good training is not cheap but the hidden price of not training will cost more in the long run. The top 10 percent of dealers all take advantage of industry training. With many options out there for training (manufacturers, service providers, or dedicated training companies), there is something to fit dealerships of any size. The top 10 percent all take advantage of what is out there.

A wise man once said: The only thing worse than training an employee and watching them leave is not training them and watching them stay.

3. They follow through on what they say they are going to change
Providing or participating in training is only half of what it takes. It’s equally important to make the commitment, and to follow through on the implementation of what is learned.

You might have heard the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Improvement requires change, and the top 10 percent change.

If you are in the top 10 percent, then good for you! You get it. You change with the times, and you will be in business through good times and bad. No matter what the market throws at you, you will adapt to the changing conditions and make the best of the situation.

If you are not part of the top 10 percent, there is still time to change. If you choose, today can be the first day of the rest of your life.

Choose to make 2014 your best year ever in the industry!


Steve Dodds II is a moderator, trainer and consultant for Gart Sutton and Associates with experience in every position in the sales and finance departments. Dealers rave about his ability to identify areas for improvement and implement the changes that produce superior results. If you have questions about what he or one of our other talented consultants can do for you, contact us at [email protected]

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