Doing More with Less

Doing More with Less

The challenge going forward is how to maintain this level of profitability. You’ve already learned how to do more with less, so let’s keep that momentum rolling.

In my recent conversations with dealers, the feedback I’m receiving is that despite the crazy year we’ve had, things are pretty good. Inventory shortages are a problem, but on the plus side, dealers are making higher profit-per-vehicle. They’re also operating with fewer employees, so staff-related expenses are down. Many dealers have also cut back on advertising and other operational expenses. These trends all add up to a healthy bottom line despite the circumstances.

The challenge going forward is how to maintain this level of profitability. As inventory levels normalize, how will you create more demand? Will you hire more staff and resume previous levels of marketing? You’ve already learned how to do more with less, so let’s keep that momentum rolling. Here are a few tips to keep profits coming in.

Become appointment driven. This happened naturally during the shutdown because only a few people were allowed in the store at one time. However, more dealers are continuing this model. The volume of internet and phone leads is high. The more appointments you can schedule, the more time salespeople will have for other tasks. Create new (or adjust current) processes to support this model.

Assign multiple responsibilities to employees. These days, if an employee doesn’t have several jobs or areas of responsibility within an organization, they probably won’t be with that organization much longer. For example, stores are reducing the size of BDCs and putting some of that responsibility on salespeople; or they’re assigning more responsibility to their current BDC staff. But note: this doesn’t mean staff has to work longer hours. In fact, many dealers are operating with modified hours, e.g. fewer evening hours, because more consumers are working from home and can come into the dealership during the day.

Get organized! In order to make the above two things happen, you have to be organized, both on the team level and on the individual level. Every individual should have their schedule aligned with the organization’s priorities. Schedule appointments in the afternoons, so you have mornings free for one-on-ones, responding to leads and doing follow up. Ultimately, schedules should be driven around a common goal, such as delivering a great experience to the customer.

Stay lean. I predict tougher times ahead (mostly due to inventory challenges), so it’s important to stay lean and save for a rainy day. Keep expenses down and keep your teams small. I’ve always been a fan of having smaller sales teams that do more. There are fewer people to manage and fewer people who need buy-in. Salespeople should want this too, as it means more sales and ultimately more money for them.

Automate processes. Leverage technology to help your teams automate and/or speed up as many processes as possible. Many emails can be automated in your CRM, which helps free up the time of your sales team. The use of tablets in F&I and service helps to eliminate double entry and reduce human error. Learn how to use your reporting system so you can eliminate having to manually create spreadsheets. Make this not just a goal but a challenge for every department.

Remember that a rising tide raises all boats. As the tide rolls in, make sure you have the best boat, so you can keep profits high. Automate processes, leverage technology and provide incentives to your team, so you can all keep doing more with less.

You May Also Like

How to Boost Appointment Conversions with Positive First Impressions

It’s crucial to equip your staff with effective phone handling strategies that can make a lasting impression and persuade callers to choose your dealership.

Your dealership only has seven seconds to make a positive first impression with potential buyers. Oftentimes, a first impression is made before your leads walk through your doors. Prospective buyers typically invest a significant amount of time conducting research and reaching out to different stores to determine where they’d like to purchase their vehicle. Therefore, it becomes crucial to equip your staff with effective phone handling strategies that can make a lasting impression and persuade callers to choose your dealership. By implementing these proven strategies, you can help your dealership stand out against the competition and greatly enhance customer experience.

Why Data Security Must Be a Priority in Today’s Automotive Retail Market

Dealers who gain a better understanding of data security and how data relates to industry trends will ultimately find themselves in a better position to achieve long-term goals.

The Digital Dilemma: How to Rethink Sales and Delivery to Drive a Successful Car Buying Future

By taking the right steps, traditional car dealers can still compete, win and flourish, even as digital sales become more prolific.

Revolutionizing Auto Service: How Digital Tools Are Transforming the Auto Dealership Landscape

Remote diagnostics, over-the-air updates, faster service appointments and less vehicle downtime all represent the emerging reality of remote automotive services.

147,348 Reasons Why Customer Experience & Dealership Loyalty Matter – The Power of a Point

That’s the annual average revenue increase a dealership can expect to realize by raising its customer satisfaction score by a single point.

Other Posts

Taking Time to Recharge: Empowering Women in the Automotive Industry

The Women In Automotive RECHARGE! conference was a transformative experience. It not only provided a platform for women to connect and network but also served as a source of in-spiration and empowerment.

In a Fickle Market, How Do We Continue Winning Customers for Life?

It is imperative to ask the right questions to find out what motivates your customers. Getting to know the customer means getting to know their needs and that benefits everyone. 

Alarming Number of Dealers Are Still Not Ready for This Year’s Safeguards Rule — Here’s What to Know

The ruling oversees how financial institutions protect consumer data, and dealerships must implement changes to protect their consumer data.

Before You Make a Video…

Here are a few tips for creating value proposition, service special or test-drive videos. With a little planning you can quickly produce high-quality videos for your dealership.

taking video of car with phone