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Tag Archive: General Managers

Joe Basil

Three must-do fixes to improve your hiring cycle

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It’s a process we all know too well. You post a job online. Get 12 applications. Interview nine; hire four. And three out of the four are gone by the end of the quarter. Sound familiar?

Why do new hires leave?

During the interview process, each prospect was painstakingly interviewed by two or three other managers. You and your team spoke at length about each candidate, and there was majority opinion or consensus about who to hire. Everyone—you, your managers and the new hires—were enthusiastic about the opportunity. And you thought, “Hey, we made some good choices!”

“Wrong fit” is the wrong answer

So, why did they leave? (Or get fired?) The answer for most managers will be that they just didn’t work out. I’ve also heard, “They weren’t as good as I thought during the interview.” Or, “She turned out to be a different person than the one we interviewed!” Sometimes the blame shifts back to the interviewee, with claims that the new hire just didn’t realize what the job entailed.

These are not acceptable answers. And they certainly aren’t answers that help us solve the hiring problem.

Identifying the real hiring problem: Your process
Let’s take a look at the steps dealerships typically take to bring new staff on board. In the video below, I break down the typical automotive dealership hiring process and its challenges:

Here’s the question I ask hiring managers to determine if there’s a hiring process issue: What did you discover about the new hire between the date you hired them and the date you fired them that you didn’t learn during the interview?

The gap I consistently find is that an inefficient interviewing and selection process coupled with a lack of job descriptions led to a mismatch. Add to this confusion the fact that the vast majority of managers have little or no training in how to conduct a thorough interview, and you develop a systemic hiring process problem.

The results of a bad hiring cycle? You discover deficiencies about the candidate after you’ve hired and trained them, mismatches which should have been identified during the interview stage. Really, it’s no different than putting a price on a used car trade-in and not doing a test drive, evaluation and inspection until after you have taken the car on trade and own it!

Three must-do fixes to improve your hiring Process

So, how can you change the cycle going forward? I have three steps that will make an immediate impact on how your organization selects new employees.

  1. First, you have to have a detailed job description. The details need to be reviewed and approved by all the managers who will interact with the position. This way, the managers own the job description.
  2. Second, anyone involved in the interview process must be trained on how to conduct a thorough and effective interview. Require the interviewers have an interview plan, a personality profile, and a question list prepared; they should reference these tools during the interview process.
  3. Third, clearly communicate the job description to the candidate and confirm their understanding of the duties during the interview stage. Question them about their ability and willingness to fulfilling the job description.

Once you have a thorough and efficient interview process—and that process is utilized by well-trained managers—you’ll see an immediate improvement in selecting and hiring the right people the first time. These strategies will help you discover if a candidate is a good fit for your organization and has the talent and abilities required for the position. And you’ll discover all this at the interview stage, not when they’re walking out the door.

Employee recruitment and retention continue to be a struggle for the automotive industry. Join Joe for his class, Finding Top Talent, to get more tools on how to simplify and improve the hiring process. And, once you’ve found the right person, learn how to keep them with Mark Shackelford’s course, Sales and Management Compensation.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/03/three-must-do-fixes-to-improve-your-hiring-cycle/

Joe Basil

Stop “Unselling” Your Customers!

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How many used car deals have you “unsold” lately?

Yes, exactly: unsold. Take a look at your used car closing ratio. Chances are it’s between 25 to 35% … maybe even 50%. That means you aren’t closing half—even up to 75%—of your opportunities. So, what happened to the customers who came in for a specific used car and left without buying?

I have a guess: They got “unsold” at your dealership.

Sales decisions are faster than ever

Remember the old days? Back when we had showroom traffic logs on hand-written sheets and phone messages on pink slips? I kept our entire used-car inventory on a sheet in my pocket! And customers would visit four or more dealerships, on average, before closing a deal. They’d visit to collect information on availability, pricing and selection. It’s during those times that we’d take a car on trade, put a price on it and “let’s see what happens.” Well, those days are long gone!

In today’s used car world, customers are making slightly more than one dealership visit before purchasing. Instead of coming into the showroom, the internet gives them a portal for instant access to all of their pre-purchase research on model availability, pricing, dealership reputation and geographic proximity. The majority of used-car customers come into our showrooms knowing what cars we have and what our prices are. Typically, they’ve already selected the car or truck they want to purchase. With so many customers submitting web leads, hitting the “call now” button or just showing up on the lot informed and ready to purchase, we should be closing 100% of our used-car traffic.

Why aren’t you closing more leads?

As Dave Anderson has frequently pointed out, we have total control over two differentiating factors in our dealerships: our people and our customer experience. Based on the fact that most customers come into our showroom with a vehicle selected, there’s clearly some disconnect between these two factors that causes customers to become “unsold.”

Inspect what we expect

When disconnects happen, it’s a good time to inspect what we expect! It’s time to audit your customer experience. Shop your own store online, on the phone, listen to the phone calls and mystery shop in the showroom

Consider whether or not you have the right people in the right position. Do your employees express your dealership culture and values to each customer, every time?

Take a look at the customer handling process. Is it a one-size-fits-all approach, or do you adapt to the customer’s purchasing preferences? Customers should have an experience that earns you rave reviews in reputation management. If that’s not happening, ask yourself if your salespeople are trained properly on how to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Spot check, too, to see if they can even describe it accurately.

Sure, the sales process has changed. But thanks to the internet, many people come onto the lot informed and ready to purchase—meaning we have more opportunities than ever to close more deals. Take advantage of this new reality by making sure your staff and customer handling process is up to the task.

Do you have a problem with customers becoming “unsold” at your dealership? Comment below and tell us how you’ve solved this issue. 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/10/stop-unselling-your-customers/

Laura Madison

Humanize Your Online Presence

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The use of social media is becoming mandatory for dealerships. Prospective clients are looking for local dealers’ Facebook pages; they’re searching YouTube for product comparisons and even asking friends across social platforms for recommendations. The problem in the automotive world is: the vast majority of dealerships and individual salespeople are using social incorrectly. Simply being active on a platform does not mean that platform is being effectively used. The key to an effective social media presence is creating human connection.

To illustrate the importance of human connection, have a look at how people in Japan buy and sell cars. Japanese salespeople go door-to-door trying to sell vehicles, rather than waiting at the dealership for the next ‘up’.  Once they find a prospective buyer, face-to-face meetings continue in their home with few Japanese car buyers ever even setting foot in a showroom. Paperwork is drawn up and signed in clients’ living rooms. When the sale is complete, a relationship has been formed that will last far beyond the delivery of the new vehicle; salespeople maintain constant contact with sold clients by calling, writing handwritten cards, even taking their clients to dinner.

What this demonstrates, I believe, and what the Japanese have remembered and we have forgotten is that commerce has always been personal. It has always been about people doing business with other people. This is where we have run into trouble in the digital world. We spend so much money on well-organized websites and so much time attempting to sell using social media but what we’re missing is connection. We’re missing the most critical element of relationships.

Consider for a moment what keeps a customer loyal, it’s not an oil change punch card or a fancy website; it’s relationship. It’s human-to-human connection.

Real connection is key to winning business.

There is some science behind the power of human connection in persuasion. Humans are born with a special part of the brain whose sole purpose is to recognize faces.  It is called the fusiform area and is located near the brain’s emotional center. The fusiform area makes us hard wired to use the human face as a centralized point for information and believability. So, in the case of faces: seeing is believing. In other words, an image of a salesperson’s face posted on social media is infinitely more powerful than a stock image of a new truck.

Fewer people are setting foot in dealership showrooms in 2015 than ever before, which provides a bit of a disadvantage in trying to create relationships. Social media, however, can fill this void by giving us a way to still create human-to-human connection with potential clients who already do all their research and shopping online.

Use this information to begin to dominate with a social media presence. Before your next social media post, consider human connection. Instead of touting an upcoming sale or a low, incentivized lease payment, introduce your followers to one of your salespeople. Keep personal relationships and human connection in mind with your dealership’s social presence—and always remember the power of the face.


Want to learn more from Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions?

We’re hosting Management by Fire in August. Watch this video or call 866.756.2620 for details.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/06/humanize-your-online-presence/

Mark Shackelford

Have You Tracked Your Employee Turnover Lately?

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Do you find yourself constantly concerned about retaining your employees and trying to hire the right people to take care of your customers?

There has been an awful lot of discussion about this topic and how to become better at your hiring process and pay plans. I believe the issue starts with identifying the right personality for the job and then having the right training process and accountability in place in order to retain good employees.

This starts with the dealer doing the right thing and having managers do things right!

We come in contact with salespeople in our everyday life and when we do, we recognize talent and we also recognize when we are treated poorly. Today’s workplace is becoming more and more challenging to find someone who wants to work the hours needed to operate our business effectively and is motivated by money. That being said, maybe we need to look at our pay plans and how they motivate our employees, while at the same time allowing them to balance their work schedule with time off.

We know that our industry has been challenged by vendors as well as manufactures in finding ways to change or eliminate our sales process, however, one thing will never change: people sell cars. So we need to hire the best at it and keep them.

The first thing we need to change is how we look at the work schedule.

Then, through our interview process, we need to identify what motivates the new potential hire financially as well as how we can assist them in achieving their goals in order to succeed in their new career. Our pay plan should be tied to performance, as well as effort. Along this line, how often do you monitor their training and evaluate their performance? Do they align with each other?

Don’t forget that most people like to be held accountable and be led by a leader.

How often do you have an accountability meeting with your employees to discuss what obstacles may stand in the way of them hitting their objectives?

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about: A new salesperson was hired that had performed quite well at their previous store, but after two months of struggling with their sales performance, they began talking about leaving. The sales manager and the HR manager held a meeting with the employee. During this meeting it was discovered that the sales person was struggling with getting leads and opportunities to work with customers.

After reviewing the salesperson’s closing ratio and the number of opportunities, they discovered the statement to be true. In fact, the salesperson with the most sales had a lower closing ratio and burned through more ups than the person being reviewed. What if this salesperson had been given the same number of opportunities? It would be a win for everyone.

Many times we lose good employees and never know the real reason for their departure. Dealers who are doing the right things and managers who do things right will make the right hire, train weekly, and have a performance review with all employees at least twice a month.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/06/have-you-tracked-your-employee-turnover-lately/

Tony Alessandra

Using DISC Styles To Build Teams That Work

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“Round up the usual suspects,” the gendarme ordered in the famous line from the movie Casablanca. And frequently, that is how executives think when they create teams, committees, or task forces. The boss says or thinks something like, “Let’s appoint anyone who might know something about this issue.” Or, even more likely, “Grab anybody who’s got a stake in this thing.”

Organizations, of course, love such groups because when they work, they can improve coordination, help employees feel more involved, and maybe even spur innovation. However, when they flop—or, more commonly, just lapse into mediocrity—they can drain an organization of its vitality and leave a legacy of posturing, power struggles, and misunderstandings.

Designing a Group

We naively assume any group can automatically be a team. However, one of the biggest reasons that teams misfire is that personality differences are ignored.

If, when you create a team, you employ knowledge of the four behavioral styles, you greatly improve its chances for success. You need to take into account that there are natural allies and antagonists among the styles and also that each style functions best at a different phase in the life cycle of a team.

The Natural Cycle of Groups 

Work groups typically follow a cycle, just like the organizations which spawn them. They face predictable obstacles, rise to the occasion or fail, and as a result, either evolve or deteriorate. At every stage in that cycle, each of the various behavioral styles can be a help or a hindrance.

Phase One: Finding Focus

Any new group, at first, gropes to find its focus. Members think: Is this going to be worth the effort? Is this going to be a useful team that can get things done?

In addition, each member at this point is seeking to define his or her role. They silently ask: Do I fit in here, or am I an outsider?  Am I going to be an important member of this group with real input, or am I just here for appearances? Is this going to waste my time?

Conscientious Styles and Dominance Styles can be especially helpful during this first phase. They are both skilled at getting to the heart of matters, though in different ways.

If the challenges the group faces are intellectually complex, the Conscientious Style will be in his element. Because they are so good at reasoned analysis on tasks, Conscientious Styles can help clarify the mission and give the team focus.

Similarly, if the main hurdle the group faces is more of a conflict—say, a history of discord among members and/or a split over its goals—a Dominance Style likely will shine. In fact, the group may be yearning for just a strong leader who can tell the warring members to quit butting heads and either commit, or leave. That is a situation ready-made for the Dominance Style.

In either case, those with these two behavioral styles may be able to get the group to psychologically buy into the idea of moving forward together, to convince the team that progress will be possible.

Phase Two: Facing the Realities

While a tough-minded Conscientious Style or Dominance Style may get the group going, this stormy second stage often cries out for the buoyant optimism of the Interactive Styles. Their friendly, informal brand of leadership can send out a strong, clear signal that this group can work together and make things better for everybody.

A people-oriented approach is needed at this stage because at this point that reality often intrudes. The group may begin to see how difficult its task really is, how little time and resources are available, and how members may need to settle for a half a loaf rather than a stunning breakthrough.

All these factors can breed frustration, confusion, and disillusionment. This is when it will be decided if the group tackles the real issues in meaningful ways, or is mired in its own internal power struggle. That is why Interactive Styles, who are good at smoothing over rough edges and encouraging all to share their thoughts and feelings, can be a key here.

Many groups, of course, never transcend this them-versus-us mindset. They continue to silently debate: Who is the top dog? Such a team is not likely to accomplish much. Instead, members will continuously collide with one another, limiting themselves as a team and as individuals.

However, if the Interactive Style, with his or her upbeat attitude and people skills, can get the members to quit keeping score, they may yet learn to work together.        

Phase Three: Coming Together

Cooperation and collaboration become increasingly apparent, and it is now that Steadiness Styles can help meld individual differences into group progress because they are especially good at coalescing differing views.

By opening their hearts and heads to one another, the Steadiness Styles can blend the discordant elements into more of a single melody. The team begins to narrow the gap between what it earlier said it wanted to do and what it is actually doing. There has been a shift of identity, and it has become a true team because members who previously thought in terms of “me,” begin thinking “we.”

Phase Four: Reaching for Stardom

The final stage is more the exception than the rule. However, when reached, it means a team really is performing at its best and is functioning as a whole, not just as a collection of individuals.

Its members enjoy being part of the team and express that fact. They have learned how to work together. Morale is high. The group continually produces quality and quantity output and is effectively self-managing.

In the previous three stages, Dominance Style-type behavior might have been called for on key decisions. However, at this stage, a hands-on, controlling style is not needed. In fact, once a group has this momentum, such a strong-handed style can be counterproductive and could even torpedo the group’s progress. Instead, the team’s decisions flow naturally from its deliberations. Differences among its members become a source of strength, not dispute.

Differences, not deficiencies

Love’em or hate’em, work groups are here to stay. (Some estimates are that as much as 50% to 80% of a manager’s time, for example, is spent with groups.) However, while they can be high-performance vehicles, they can also be high-maintenance, especially in the early stages. Only a team that fully understands and savors its members’ styles is likely to be genuinely productive.

If members were chosen carefully and if they practice adaptability, the advantages of stylistic diversity can quickly outweigh the group’s liabilities. Remember: We are talking about personality differences here, not deficiencies.

Therefore, in the final analysis, working with groups all comes down to suspending judgment, empathizing, and trying to play to people’s strengths. The result, despite our differences, can be a wonderful synergy.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/06/using-disc-styles-to-build-teams-that-work/

Laura Madison

4 Reasons Why Video is Your Fiercest Weapon

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Today, we can find social media participation in nearly every corner of the automotive industry; dealerships are active on Facebook, automakers are sharing images on Instagram, even salespeople have joined the movement tweeting and posting trying to win more business. It seems to be clear: social is not optional. However, even with all this progression in the social realm, the automotive industry is still missing one key component in social presence: video. Video has the most incredible opportunity for visibility, creating connection and building trust, but it remains the least utilized medium by our industry.

Think about yourself for a moment. How many videos have you watched this week alone? Chances are, at least a couple. Have you seen the video of the Nascar driver dressing in disguise and scaring the used car salesman on a test drive? Video is a powerful medium that people simply enjoy engaging with and sharing. For these reasons, video has the potential to become your fiercest marketing weapon, creating visibility and leads for your dealership. To be successful on social you must work video into your master (marketing) plan.

So why is video your fiercest weapon?

1) Our customers prefer it. IT’S EXCITING!! It’s visually stimulating and interesting. Video is engaging and easy to tune into. Our brain also processes video far better than audio alone or simple text. People remember 50% of what they watch compared to only 10% of what they read.

2) Video gives you the opportunity to communicate your message clearly. The visual element of video allows you to communicate non-verbally with things like facial expressions and tone. It was Tom Hopkins who said, “selling is the transfer of enthusiasm supported by conviction.” Video is the perfect medium to transfer enthusiasm with so many verbal and non-verbal elements at work: tone, body language, facial expression, and volume. Combine this clear and effective communication with how much people like to consume video, and you have pure marketing gold.

3) The Internet’s heavy players recognize the importance of video and favor it as a type of content. YouTube has Google behind it, making it an extremely strong tool for organic search engine optimization. This will aid in appearing towards the top of any relevant automotive keyword search in your area. Another heavy player in the social world, Facebook, favors video over other types of posts meaning a video uploaded straight into Facebook will be more visible to your audience than a simple text or picture post. More visibility allows you to make more impressions and connections on this social giant.

4) Video is your fiercest weapon also because video is do-able. It’s more do-able than you think. We don’t need fancy or expensive production with commercial quality. We need to create genuine connection and that can absolutely be accomplished quite simply using the camera on your smartphone. There’s a simple app called the YouTube Capture app that will allow you to film video, move clips around, edit out the beginning where you set the camera on the dash and the end where you hit the button to stop recording, and upload it straight to YouTube with a title, keywords, and a description. If you can use e-mail, you’ll be able to use this free app to create simple videos. Apps like this and simple tools like a smartphone make video absolutely do-able.

So, in review: consumers love watching videos, video allows you to communicate a message clearly, there are huge visibility advantages to video, and creating a video even off a cellphone is simple and do-able. You can use simple video to connect, differentiate your dealership, build relationships with clients, and win more business. Video is your fiercest weapon. Now get started.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/06/4-reasons-why-video-is-your-fiercest-weapon/

Eric Schmitz

Lowering Workers’ Compensation – How to use Safety and Compliance Software to Protect Your Dealership and Employees while Decreasing Insurance Rates

Insurance on Pocket Watch Face.Workers’ Compensation insurance was designed to ensure adequate employee reimbursement from an on-the-job injury, as well as minimize lawsuits between employers and employees in the workplace. Beneficial to both employers and employees, but paid for by employers, Workers’ Compensation can be costly; research shows that over the past ten years Workers’ Compensation rates in 26 states have risen 3% per year. Continued increases are expected over the next several years. However, dealers don’t have to give in to this increase; despite the rise in costs, dealers can impact their premiums. How? By reducing their Experience Modifier (Ex-Mod).

To understand how to reduce an Ex-Mod, it is important to first understand how Workers’ Compensation is determined. Workers’ Compensation is comprised of two parts:

  1. The size of the dealership’s payroll and the employee job classifications. (Dealers cannot reduce this portion of Workers’ Compensation.)
  2. The dealership’s Experience Modifier (Ex-Mod). Dealers can impact and change the cost of their Workers’ Compensation insurance by reducing their Ex-Mod.

Premiums for Workers’ Compensation insurance are calculated using the following formula:

Payroll  X  Classification Rate  X  Ex-Mod = The Dealership Workers’ Compensation premium.

Every dealership has an Ex-Mod; it is based on the losses the facility has had over the past three years. The modifier factors both severity and frequency of losses and is set in the industry so that the average business has an Ex-Mod of 1.0. To learn more about how an Ex-Mod is calculated, click here.

One way dealers can reduce their Ex-Mod is by implementing a positive safety culture. Research shows that dealers that have frequent safety committee meetings, conduct regular trainings, and increase employee communications have a correlating lower Ex-Mod score. There are a variety of methods that you can use to implement a positive safety culture. Many dealers have found success through the use of a compliance and safety software.

While every software is different, the best safety and compliance software has the following features in common:

Safety Data Sheets specific to your facility’s chemical inventory. Employees must have access to chemical Safety Data Sheets (SDS), which will allow them to safely handle the chemicals used in their daily work, as well as have an informational resource in the event of an emergency. The best software will have a wide-variety of SDS available and will also allow management to upload additional sheets.

On-demand Environmental & Safety training. Employees must be able to train upon hiring, and should also have the functionality to review and retrain annually. Good software includes a multitude of trainings, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Accident Investigation, Emergency Response, and more.

Accident tracking and management. Managers require a consistent way to investigate issues, investigate them, identify their root causes, and track their resolutions. A good safety and compliance software will allow for tracking so that underlying issues are resolved.

Multi-faceted compliance management. Compliance is an every evolving entity that dealers are required to stay on top of. A good software stays up-to-date with changing regulations, prompting users when changes are made.

Self-inspection tools. Running a dealership is a complicated process; things often slip under the rug, losing importance until an inspector arrives. The best safety and compliance software allows users to continually see where they are excelling and where work needs to be done.

Safety and compliance software helps implement a positive safety culture, and therefore lower Workers’ Compensation rates by creating a culture through systematic safety program management. Improved visibility created by utilizing safety software increases employee awareness and overall safer employee actions through the creation of a consistent line of training and communication dealership-wide. In essence, employees who can take part in safety and are able to see management taking a part in safety are more likely to participate themselves, improve loss control, and lower Workers’ Compensation premiums.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/05/lowering-workers-compensation-how-to-use-safety-and-compliance-software-to-protect-your-dealership-and-employees-while-decreasing-insurance-rates/

Dustin Kerr

Oregon Senate Bill 276 – How Could This Affect Your BHPH Operation?

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The Oregon Senate recently introduced a bill that has BHPH dealers in that state up in arms, and for good reason. The bill would drastically change the way some buy here pay here dealers do business. I am not going to try to debate the merits of this bill, or the lack there of. As BHPH dealers, we have all been discussing and fearing the changing landscape of compliance for many years.

The point of this article is to focus on a couple of the provisions in the bill and ask ourselves, “Doesn’t this just make good business sense?” Keep in mind the old saying “Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered” and ask yourself if you are running your dealership as a fat, happy pig or as a hog headed for slaughter.

Here’s a quick rundown of the highlights of the bill:

  • Obtain the same type of license from Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) as payday or auto title lenders.
  • Reduce interest rates to account for the amount of the consumer’s down payment.
  • Stop accruing interest once a vehicle has been repossessed.
  • Cap repossession fees at 7.5 percent of the purchase price.
  • Stop using GPS or starter-interrupt devices.
  • Wait to repossess a vehicle until after 30 days from when nonpayment has occurred.
  • Cap interest rates at no more than 20 percent or the federal funds rate plus 17 percent, whichever is lower.
  • Form a good faith belief that the consumer has the ability to perform on the contract by using underwriting standards passed by DCBS.

I want to focus on the last two bullet points of this bill and ask you, as a dealer, to think about how you are handling these two issues in your state?

Cap interest rates at no more than 20 percent or the federal funds rate plus 17 percent, whichever is lower.

Full disclosure here, I used the state max of 21% for nearly every car deal I ever financed and would have probably charged more if the state would have allowed. My question to you though is this: is it good business to charge our customers more than 20% interest? Every 20 Group meeting I have ever been a part of has included conversation on how we reduce the term of our loans and retain our good customers.

Another big conversation is about the cars not lasting the term of the note. Are we sacrificing a few thousand dollars of gross for a few hundred dollars of interest? Interest income is a big part of this business and I have always been on the side of maximizing the interest dollars collected. Although, when do we hit a point of diminishing returns?

Form a good faith belief that the consumer has the ability to perform on the contract by using underwriting standards passed by DCBS.

Now I have no idea what the DCBS will set as underwriting standards should this bill pass, but let’s look closely at the rest of that statement and change it slightly.

What if the motto of our underwriting department was something similar to this? “Form a good faith belief that our customer has the ability to perform on the contract based on our underwriting and verification practices.” Nearly all BHPH dealers want to reduce charge-off losses and regulators on the state and federal level want to make sure you are not setting your customers up for failure. Having a written underwriting policy in place that is based on industry analytics and your own loss ratios will go a long way towards achieving those goals.

Don’t forget the verification part of the process. An application is only as good as the verification to support it. There is little doubt that there are serious changes on the horizon for the BHPH industry and some that may change the way we do business forever. However, some of these items just make good business sense. Is your business a “fat, happy pig” or a “hog headed for slaughter”?


Learn more by attending these upcoming courses:

 


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/04/oregon-senate-bill-276-how-could-this-affect-your-bhph-operation/

Dustin Kerr

Hiring Buy Here Pay Here Salespeople That Produce – The Newspaper Ad

I’ll be blunt; hiring candidates from a newspaper ad is not the most effective way of finding the type of talent that can be molded into a productive salesperson. However, there is a time and place for the newspaper or Craigslist ad, and in this article, we are going to discuss how to make your ad as effective as possible.

Watch the video – Click here!

First, we should set the correct expectations. It’s highly unlikely you are going to find a seasoned, successful salesperson through these types of ads. Salespeople that are already trained and productive are likely making a significantly better income than what the average BHPH dealer is going to be willing to pay them.

So, we are really looking for people that have the right temperament, work ethic, and confidence to be receptive to our training program (because we are going to train them correctly) and to fit in well with the culture we are trying to promote.

Before we go any further, I want to give you two sources that I have used in the past that provide great information on hiring salespeople. The first is a book by Chet Holmes titled “The Ultimate Sales Machine,” and the second is “The Anderson Hiring System” by Dave Anderson, a virtual training program available in NCM OnDemand.

The ad I use and will describe below is a combination of what I have learned from those two gentleman mixed in with my own experiences. Be warned: this ad will eliminate most of the applicants you would get through the typical newspaper or Craigslist ad, and that’s what we’re going for. We don’t want to have to wade through all the applicants who are just looking for another paycheck.

The headline of the ad should get their attention and should show the upward end of what they could expect to make. For example: Now Hiring Sales – No Experience Necessary – Extensive Training Program – $40,000-$60,000.

The body of the ad should then eliminate as many of the undesired applicants as possible and we will do that by using very blunt, straight-forward language.

We are looking for individuals that have the desire to be great. Please do not apply if you only have an average desire or work ethic. Our training program is very extensive and includes a great deal of role playing and practice. We are a rapidly growing company that is a leader in our industry and we are only interested in those that want to be the best.

Too many times we get caught up with trying to sell the reader on why they should apply with our company, generally because we are in crisis mode and desperate for a warm body. This ad will eliminate a great deal of the warm bodies as they will be turned off by the strong, in-your-face language. Those that do apply will typically be very confident in their abilities and open to the idea of training.

Now, this MUST be followed up with a thorough interview process that goes well beyond the applicant’s previous job history and resume. Conducting a proper interview is beyond the scope of this article, but is something we will cover in great detail in future articles.

In the meantime, get these ads running continuously on Craigslist, and if you have any questions regarding improving your hiring process or how being a member of a 20 Group can help your profitability and cash flow, please email me at dkerr@ncm20.com, or call me at 913-827-6677.

ondemand

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/03/hiring-buy-here-pay-here-salespeople-that-produce-the-newspaper-ad/

Steve Hall

Is There a Disconnect in Your Automotive Dealership?

students

Being an instructor at the NCM Institute has some definite advantages. I am blessed with an abundance of information, from all levels of the dealership. Week by week, we get to interact with owners, general managers and department managers. Not only do we share our information and best practices, but listen and learn about what is going on in your dealerships.

As our students attend class, you can actually see the ideas start to click in their minds. The light bulb comes on and they start to visualize how the content, systems and processes apply to them. They see how to make THEIR department or store better. It is an inspiring sight to see.

As they leave class on the final day, we often hear comments concerning the information covered, such as this:

“My owner came back from a 20 Group meeting and was excited about this ‘great’ idea, but after he explained it for ten minutes, I couldn’t see how it would work for us, and so I just didn’t do it. Now that I’ve been able to see the whole picture, I understand what he was trying to say and how good it can be for our store. Thanks for filling in the gap.”

The gap (or disconnect)… that is the problem. When asking owners why more best practices aren’t instilled in their stores, I often get the response, “There seems to be a disconnect between what we tell them and what they understand.”

Is this disconnect possibly the result of “abbreviated communication”?  An example: A dealer goes to a 20 Group meeting and they are shown a presentation about a subject. The presentation is 1-2 hours long and is filled with great numbers, facts and examples. It seems like a slam dunk. During the remainder of the meeting, the owner talks with other dealers that have used this idea and are prospering. Now he is convinced this could reap benefits in his store.

Convinced the idea is great, he gets back to his store and summons the department manager. He talks about this idea, and even gives the manager a printed copy of the Power Point. Now he sends the manager on his way to launch this new idea. “Let’s start it now” are the parting words.

At this point, does the manager fully understand how this idea will integrate into the store? Or what the real benefits are? The information that was presented over a couple of hours and the follow up inquires that lasted a couple of days, have now digressed to a 20 minute “get this done” talk. None of the idea details were covered thoroughly enough for the manager to successfully understand.

Now the manager goes to launch this new idea. What does he do? Generally, he flips through the Power Point slides, not fully understanding the information, and then dilutes the information from the 20 minutes that was given to him, down to a 10 minute version for his staff. The staff tries to make the process work, but they are unprepared and often times uncommitted. They just don’t get it.  Are we starting to see the disconnect yet?

Rather than the flow of information getting smaller with each level, shouldn’t it get larger, just like a river does? As tributaries add into a river it grows in power and strength. If we have a great idea, as we feed the information down to our employees shouldn’t the idea grow? Aren’t two minds better than one?

The next time you are launching a great idea, remember to give more than you received.

Take the time to instruct, explain and follow up with the people that are involved. Apply accountability management principles and see the great ideas prosper, not wither away without ever gaining the needed traction. Bridge the gap and remove the disconnect.

At the NCM Institute, we try to give more information, explaining the “how” along with the “why.”  If you are tired of the disconnect, check out our courses and let us help bridge the performance gap in your store.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/01/is-there-a-disconnect-in-your-automotive-dealership/

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