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Career Suicide



Is it really... If you are telling the truth?

I’ve put a gun to my head. Not physically or literally but metaphorically… Why am I doing so? Because I just don’t care anymore… Because I care so much. This oxymoron doesn’t make any sense especially when I am ready to commit career suicide by calling Dealers out. So let me explain…


You see, I have a love for this industry that rivals most, so much I continue to be drawn back to it each time I say I am out. It’s happened four times in my career.


Each time I thought I left it better than it was before. You know like when you borrow something from a friend or neighbor. Yet, each time I come back to it, the industry seems worse off.


I returned this time as I was personally affected by the impact of the Covid entitlement dealers capitalized on. Not that I disagreed with the dealer making a profit as I don’t, in fact, I believe every dealership is entitled to make FULL margins on everything they sell, I just believe that adding on frivolous charges to pad the profit are immoral and unethical.


But this is not what I want to talk about…


See, a lot of dealers think they are incredible operators and for some, this would be true. While others are at the opposite end and shouldn’t be in business at all.


For me, it’s about the majority of the 80% in the middle. It’s those dealers that believe that they are above help, that they know what they are doing and that they are actually very successful because they have achieved what they have.


Well, I challenge these individuals daily and each day I see opportunity.


We designed our businesses to operate as car lots on a thirty-day cycle with complete laser focus on achieving the goal of that monthly target. We’ll do almost anything to achieve this but what are we doing? Attacking the system not the cause.


There is no better time to change than now and I am not talking about jumping on the next shiny new toy out there for dealers only to offboard it in a month when the staff doesn’t buy in, but a complete foundational change. Break it all down and rebuild. If you want to be competitive in the future this is almost a complete must. It’s not because you don’t know but because you do. The future is going to be incredibly different from pre-covid 2019 sales. This is something you are going to need to prepare for not just react to.


Right from the start your teams are not capable of doing everything you ask of them. Their bandwidth is stretched too thin as it is. Do you think that they wish to go home at night and solve the issues of the day when they know they won’t get implemented or the buy-in required for correction? This is where they are. Worse is they know their jobs are on the line with the proverbial one or both hands tied behind their backs.


So, what do we do?


We must really start thinking outside the box; focus on who actually pays us… the customer. Create foundational changes to benefit them while building community and retention. Design pathways of opportunity removing friction and obstacles associated with transactions. Think of true omni-channel operations through digital retailing rather than the lead generation mentality of today.


Step back and see yourself as a customer rather than in the position you enjoy. Go through the processes and ask yourself the hard questions of does this really make sense as a consumer or is it dealer-driven. This is where we are going to see real change.


We need to do this to survive otherwise we might as well be holding that gun to each and every one of our team's heads as sure as the race to the bottom is well underway with each day being another day closer to cost-cutting measures of termination.


Let’s choose innovation over stagnation, adaptation over resistance, and customer-centricity over profit-at-all-costs mentality. The future of automotive industry success lies in our ability to embrace change, challenge norms, and prioritize the needs of those we serve. Together, let’s redefine the landscape and ensure a thriving future for all involved. 


Who’s ready to join the revolution? 


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