Mr. / Mrs. Dealer, remember when you were the green pea in this wonderful business? When I first started selling cars, my sales manager was a retired British officer. "Dot your I's and cross your bloody T's", Jack would bellow. He knew Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator, when he was a Lieutenant (Pronounced Left-tenant). He told me the story of Gaddafi demanding air conditioning units installed in their barracks in the otherwise holes in the walls. So, the British Army obliged, installing A/C units in each of the holes in the barrack's walls. The only problem was they did not have electricity.
Jack taught me a lot about car sales, but mostly to be regimented, thorough and meticulous in my work which helped me tremendously as an F&I manager. He also warned me not to rush through a sale and leave money on the table, all the while creating a dissatisfied customer.
Now, after 25+ years in this great business, I am reminded of how important it was, and is, to have good mentors and training along the way.
DON'T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE! Those are the words you kept telling yourself as a newbie. Today as a dealer you are facing a much bigger challenge.
It seems as fast as you bring money in one door, it goes out the other. And when you do manage to increase profit and lower expenses, Uncle Sam puts his hand deep into your pocket and takes his very large handful.
To address this, I would like you to consider a tool you may have overlooked. Even if you haven’t overlooked it, you’re probably not using this valuable tool to its fullest.
I'm talking about Reinsurance.
There are three types of dealers out there:
1. Those that have a reinsurance company, but are not using it to its fullest.
2. Those who are scared to have a reinsurance company, mainly because the factory reps have been such great advisors and intimidated them into being loyal to the factory. (After 2008 and 2009 this is really a joke). Or they have been hoodwinked into believing some F&I development company that all that underwriting profit is a fair exchange for training.
3. Those who have a reinsurance company and are reinsuring every product possible and working to put as many premium dollars as possible into their reinsurance company. Oh, and receiving world-class training along the way.
I was at a conference the other day, talking to a New Mexico dealer who said "If I could figure out how to have a reinsurance company without selling cars, that's all I would do". That’s how beneficial it is. Makes me smile.
He is a believer.
I think it's fair to say you fall somewhere within these three categories. I encourage you to "quit leaving money on the bloody table" as my friend Jack would say. Put yourself in a position to have greater control of your business and greater personal financial growth.
A reinsurance company is a great affiliated business to own as a car dealer. It has such a wealth of benefits regardless whether you own a franchise, or Buy Here Pay Here operation, or both.
As I have heard many dealers say "It's probably the smartest thing I ever did".
Tim Byrd is Founder and President of DealerRE, a managing agency located in Gloucester, Virginia, and an auto industry expert on Dealer-owned Reinsurance Companies, BHPH Operations, and Dealership and F&I Development. As a 25+ year veteran of the car business, Tim is a trusted advisor to many car dealers. Tim has been featured many times in The Virginia Independent News, Special Finance Insider, Around the Commonwealth, The BHPH Report, DealerELITE.net, the NIADA's BHPH Dealer and AutoSuccess Magazine. Tim is a sought after speaker and co-author of the #1 Best Selling books “Unfair Advantage” released book “Race to the Finish Line”and II. First and foremost, Tim is a Christian man whose values, he strives, are a reflection of those of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Tim can be reached at www.DealerRE.com or by calling 804-824-9533.