If I was a new dealer opening up a new car dealership today, I would...............

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I am with you 100% Leonard... You mentioned training three times...Training is not an event, but an on-going process!
Leonard Buchholz said:
I would...Hire the best people available, train them to Win, train them to Sell, train them to Service and pay them on a Performance Based Plan that rewards them for sustained Performance.
WOW!  Sounds very "do-able" to me! Acquiring honest Pre-owned buyers is key to any successful automotive business, especially in this market!  Thanks Thomas for your commentary and advise!

Thomas A. Kelly said:

....enhance my "new" new car franchise by sending my team of crack used inventory buyers armed with vAuto on their laptops and hand helds around the country and filling my lot which is located near an interstate and an airport. I would price my inventory to market and list 100% of it on the top level of Autotrader and Ebay. I would have 50 photos taken in my studio and a 3 minute walk-around video of each vehicle. My 10 person sales team would be strapped to their computers aiding the consumer with logistic solutions so that my 750 vehicle one price inventory turns in 20 days.

If this sounds like a crazy dream to anyone, visit one of my heroes at http://www.finishlineford.net . They have been growing leaps and bounds in the last 3-4 years doing something similar.

Perfect Joe...Why do "we" in the business, forget about that customer after we see taillights?  I still hear about managers fighting with sales pros about basic followup procedures...Geeesshhhh!

 

Joe Webb said:

dedicate every effort to retain each and every customer I earned in the first place.
Thanks Alex and I agree with you 100%...When we lose the "fun" we lose the "profit".... Isn't it true, when you hear laughter coming from the showroom, you know everyone is at ease and a deal has been forged!

Alex Castergini jr. said:
Nancy.. This is easy.  First select a great product in an excellent market. Then become a master of the Internet and let go of any prehistoric feelings twords traditional media. Install bullet proof systems excuted by the best managers money can buy. Remember to always keep it simple. This business CAN still be fun and PROFITABLE!!
Alex
Awesome answer Skip...Our consumers are speaking and we are not listening...Why do people insist on still wasting their money on ineffective marketing?  Insanity!!!!!!!

Skip Shakely said:
Not get started down the road of traditional advertising. I would make sure my all of my sales staff focussed on what brings customers in and refine my process to adapt to the way customers shop and buy.

The days of sitting around and waiting for the "up" bus are definitely over...If the dealer has not engaged fully in the internet business and SM, what will become of them a year from now...five years?  Thanks Tom...Incredible as always!

 

Tom Gorham said:

Start with the premise it will be a "Digital Dealership" from top to bottom with a first-class facility and plenty of great product.  Shop the competition and hire staff that are digitally "sold and savvy", ambitious and persistent.  Hire a knowledgeable and aggressive Internet Marketing Manager.  Make customer service the number one priority.  I agree with John Fuhrman that "Realtors, stock brokers, insurance people all have one thing in common.  Their success will never walk through the door." 
I would .....study the market to determine a competitive business model that is missing and needed in that market and decide if I was committed to filling the gap in the market. Without a unique competitive advantage you will have more competitors than necessary or viable.
Learn from all of the mistakes that I've encountered, and call Nancy Simmons to be my partner in crime so that we could take that dealership to unimaginable places. ;)
I love your answer Katie, the best... I have to say, I, too, received a great education from the failing dealers and the "What I wouldn't do" lessons!  I have not yet given up hope.....

Katie Colihan said:
Learn from all of the mistakes that I've encountered, and call Nancy Simmons to be my partner in crime so that we could take that dealership to unimaginable places. ;)
You are correct, John...studying the market is a step some enthusiastic dealers who plunge into the business leave out!!! What will set me apart from the rest??? Find out what it is and focus on that piece!  Thanks for your comment!

John Weltz said:
I would .....study the market to determine a competitive business model that is missing and needed in that market and decide if I was committed to filling the gap in the market. Without a unique competitive advantage you will have more competitors than necessary or viable.
I would create a warm beautiful environment, hire a staff that understands that listening and responding is just as important as talking, create a user friendly website with social media links and finally train train train!
I would set up the store from day one with several possess firmly in place.
 
1) A posting service to display inventory every day on several free well read and shopped sights.
     Unitizing a simplistic way to get the inventory seen by area residences. Not depending on staff to post, just to follow up and sell.
 
2) Start capturing e-mail address from all opportunity in your DMS for future marketing sales and service.
 
3) Begin a solid ongoing training and recruiting program for both sales and service.
 
4) Train prospecting every day and set minimum acceptable standards for all departments to be involved not just sales. Offer incentives and team building bonuses.
 
5) Set up a fair pay plan with a modest pack to make this store the one everyone wants to work at. Attracting the best seasoned candidates, and keep them.
 
6) Get on the capture program to have every private sale peoples come to you to sell their car. Avoid the auction to get inventory with this and turn your inventory every 45 days.
 
7) Require everyone to conduct social networking. Assign specific networks for each to dominate.
 
8) Install a credit repair program to offer all credit challenged customers a way to correct and rebuild their credit.
 
9) Make the place a fun and profitable place to work. Where people want to work, want to stay and want to produce.

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