Throughout my career in the car business, I have had many different types of people influence me. One manager in particular always preached the three “P’s”: Product, Process, & People. When running a car dealership, I’ve always thought that process and people were the most controllable components, with people being the most important. While difficult to get right, and always a moving target, a dealership with the right people in place can overcome a lot of adversity.
The same holds true for when building a consumer buying center. Not only is it important to employ people who have great customer service skills, are action-oriented with a high tolerance for stress, and have an understanding of the car-buying transaction, but these people need to be 100% dedicated and focused on acquisition to this piece of the business.
In a perfect world, the acquisition or buying team would be responsible for all wholesale transactions at the dealership. A team focused on the acquisition and disposal of all wholesale assets is the most efficient way to maximize profit while minimizing wholesale loss. I bet you are asking, “How does it work?” This team’s duties can, and should, expand and grow to pricing, merchandising, recon management, and even closing. But that’s another blog post.
If you are a small store, this may just be one person. I caution dealers dedicating only one person to any role in a dealership for fear of the what if. What do I mean by this? What if Johnny does not come to work today and he is the only one who has the keys to the safe? I guess we are not getting into the safe today. But I get it…sometimes that’s all you have. If this is the case, a good manager should always be training his replacement. And I strongly encourage that in this case.
In an earlier post, I discussed the importance of a process that stays focused on the purchase of the customer’s vehicle. A team dedicated to that is a key ingredient to success. From the call center/BDC rep to a team dedicated to appraising, delivering the offer, and closing the transaction.