MAX Digital Showroom Helps Price LeBlanc Automotive Stop the Drop
“Used cars can be such a great profit center for a dealership,” says Jon Goodart, an automotive industry veteran and operations manager for Price LeBlanc Automotive Group in Metarie, La. Still, he admits, “The used-car business has changed and become more challenging. But if you use the tools available to you and set the right price from day one, you can make it work. It’s all about pricing them right and turning them around fast.” For appraising and holding sales price at his dealership, Goodart relies on MAX Digital and its portfolio of tools, including First Look inventory management and the company’s Digital Showroom product. “I have tried other programs, and I believe MAX Digital’s are the easiest and best to use,” he says. MAX uses enhanced decoding to connect a car with its factory-installed options and packages for the most thorough and accurate descriptions. “Preloading the packages is the easiest and best thing about the MAX system,” Goodart says. “None of us are experts on all makes and models. This gives us all the information we need to be smart salespeople.”
Certified Justified By way of an example, Lexus of New Orleans sells about 90 used cars a month, Goodart says. More than half are Lexus models, and about a third of all used-car sales are Lexus certified preowned cars. The dealership’s sales staff regularly uses the MAX Digital Showroom when discussing vehicles with customers. “We show them the price of other similar models in the market, and if ours is $1,500 to $2,000 higher in price but certified, we’ll show them why,” Goodart says. “Using MAX Digital Showroom, you can show someone that a vehicle might be priced higher than the average in the market but has $6,000 in options from the factory that those other vehicles don’t. It helps justify why we set that price.” Being able to compare options and packages via Digital Showroom, he says, also helps customers feel good about their purchases. “They understand the process and know that they got a fair price,” he says.
Learning to Stop the Drop Results in Higher Front End Gross Perhaps most important, MAX Digital Showroom has helped Lexus of New Orleans hold the line on its used-car sales prices. “We tell our salespeople we’re going to price our vehicles right from day one; which means we have very little room to negotiate,” Goodart says. “And we tell the customer right from the start that we’re not a one-price dealership, but we don’t have huge room to negotiate.” To help hold the maximum amount of gross, the dealership brought the MAX Digital team in to do “Stop the Drop” training. The training consists of teaching dealership staff how to use MAX Digital data to build quality and value in every car. It also teaches about how to use pricing proof points with customers to build trust and transparency. “Our salespeople initially said, ‘Oh, not more training,’ ” Goodart says. “But when they came out of it, they all said, ‘Oh, that’s really cool.’ And our grosses are up substantially since we did the ‘Stop the Drop’ training.” Since that training, Lexus of New Orleans has cut the average “drop” number on used-car sales by $381, while increasing the front-end gross per vehicle by more than 24 percent. Goodart is such a fan of Digital Showroom that he says he even uses it when he’s not at the dealership. “When you work in the business, you find that even at parties people find out what you do and want to talk about cars. It’s inevitable,” he says. “So I use MAX Digital Showroom to help them find vehicles—and send them photos and information via text or e-mail right from my phone. It’s so easy to send all the comparisons and equipment information.”