In many parts of the country, it's been a scorching hot summer, but as temperatures heated up, so did the auto industry. Fewer days of blanking-clocking 12 hours of labor and not a single car sold to show for your team’s efforts, banks are loosening their noose of credit requirements and releasing their stronghold of LTV restrictions, and more qualified buyers, not just “bottom feeders,” are turning into our lots. All of these are signs of a promising future to our once bleak auto industry. As the industry begins to move from a stage of survival to one of growth, where do you stand? Will you be one who is willing to spring forward and merge into an industry that is rapidly changing or will you be one of those unfortunate souls who instead decides to fall back, remembering the yesterdays-destined to be penned in another chapter of the industry’s version of Tim LaHaye’s novel series, Left Behind?

 

  • Make everyday a recession: Og Mandino wrote, “Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort; that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks; that delivery of the very best that you can do. It does not matter what others think is of prime importance, however, what you think about you. You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you're cutting corners and shirking responsibilities…never neglect the little things.” Recessions have a way of exposing your flaws as well as testing your strengths to the very brink of a meltdown. It’s during these difficult times you make advantages out of adversities and instill fundamentals to eradicate your flaws. Make each day a reset-tion; each day you have the unique chance to begin again. Learn to appreciate the victories-no matter the size and never forget those who helped you along the way. Also, vow never again to be casual in the details-for they’ll lead to casualties. Remember the devil is always in the details.
  • Less bang, more bling: Vehicles are rapidly becoming more and more advanced; manufactures are spending historic lows per vehicle in rebates and incentives and thanks to the ‘net, consumers now have access to everything, from cupholders to cost, about your vehicle. Gone are the “Buy a truck, get a hatchback free,” ad campaigns. The Shock & Awe factors of mammoth rebates are gone. As sales consultants, we no longer have the ability to satiate a consumer’s appetite with huge rebates, we have to return to basics and go back to selling the advantages our product has over our competitors’. Consumers don’t need to know everything you know, but it is imperative you know everything they need. You wouldn’t dream of a stranger knowing more about your child than you do; conversely, a consumer should never know more about the product than the salesperson.
  • You say you want a revolution: Marketing genius Seth Godin put it best when he stated we are no longer in the industrial age, but instead in the connection age. With the explosion of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and hosts of other social media, people want to be connected.  No matter what others say, our business will always be relational. We must no longer defend the old paradigms with decrees of, “That’s the way we used to do it,” but instead embrace the change and tweak the advances to become advantageous to our industry. We demand the manufactures change models; we make it mandatory salespeople educate themselves with product knowledge, yet collectively as an industry we are still donning bellbottoms and platform shoes. Like it, love it, or leave it, we have to change with the times.

 

As an industry, we’ve had a reprieve and a chance to rehabilitate; each of us have the unique opportunity to reset, go back to the starting line and try again. Although we all start the same, our finishes will be diverse. Some will spring forward, the rest will fall back.

I’ll see you at the finish line on the blacktop!

As seen in

http://issuu.com/autosuccess/docs/as.sept12/10?mode=window&back...

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Comment by Marsh Buice on September 20, 2012 at 7:45pm
LOL!! Love it Steph, great analogy
Comment by Stephanie Young on September 20, 2012 at 7:22pm

@Marsh:  You know it, brother!!!  Who knew we would all be so good at skills sets we had no idea we had in our invisible only available in tumor arsenals.  I feel like a super hero!!!

Comment by Marsh Buice on September 20, 2012 at 12:04pm

@Stephanie, I think doing more with less has taught us so much in recent years. Going into it you had no idea how, coming out of it, we've all developed a new level of strength. Get better, dont get bitter, I always say. Thanks bandmate for your support.

Comment by Stephanie Young on September 19, 2012 at 1:02pm

I like the make every day a recession.  I know I learned some lessons on being lean and mean in the past few years.  I like to think it has polished my skills a little too.  It is amazing how I can now get so much more done and with a level of achievement I did not know I was capable of and with less resources.  I hope I never loose sight of the lessons learned during a recession.

Comment by Marsh Buice on September 18, 2012 at 12:58pm
Bill, always appreciate your support brother
Comment by Bill Gasson on September 18, 2012 at 12:41pm

Marsh ,As alway's a true pleasure enjoy . Thanks

Comment by Marsh Buice on September 15, 2012 at 3:58pm

@ Mr. Natural you are right-we have the opportunity to adapt to the ongoing changes our industry faces, yet we cannot be stubborn and dig our heels in. No business, no industry can expect lasting success without a willingness to change. The business has been very good to us and am looking forward to the new frontier. Thanks for commenting Gillian.

 

@Bobby Thanks for your support brother. As I said to Gillian, I am looking forward to whats in store for our industry.

Comment by Mr. Natural on September 15, 2012 at 12:22pm

Great outlook Marsh...We are blessed to be in a business that always has, and will continue to respond to our tinkering.  The car biz is unique in that it has always seemed to respond to whatever we try on it.

To paraphrase the immortal words of Garrett Morris as Chico Escuela in a 1978 edition of Saturday Night Live: "The car business been berry, berry good to me."

F.B.N.

Comment by Marsh Buice on September 15, 2012 at 10:38am

@ Chris Thanks for the love sir

@Daryl You are right Daryl, dE has a great group of contributors--there's enough negativity around us, we've got to lift each other up. Thanks for your support brother.

@Tony we've got to love the customers and love our crew up. When we do great things will happen. Thanks brother for the support.

Comment by Tony Provost on September 15, 2012 at 9:31am

Marsh- Fall in love with the customer!! Each and everyone. Everything else will follow. Great Job!!

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