Watch Out for Grizzlies

Life really sucks if you’re a salmon in the Upper Northwest. They’re just trying to get home to start a family. As if the journey wasn’t perilous enough, a long line of More »

Alpha Dawg Down

I have visited five cities in three weeks, traveling to the North, South, East and West through some of the worst and most erratic weather of the year. I went from warm More »

We’re Selling Cars Like Candy Bars

Party on, Garth! Light-vehicle sales showed a year-over-year increase of 8% in February. Of course, that’s coming off of a January in which winter storms ground sales to a halt. Still, statisticians, More »

The Empire Strikes Back

Never let it be said that Nissan is warm and fuzzy with their dealers. I have written about this for years. But formerly loyal Nissan dealers aren’t just complaining to me privately. More »

Flock of Turkeys

In November, Debbie and I resumed one of our favorite holiday traditions: Thanksgiving at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee, Ga., about an hour’s drive from Atlanta. It starts the More »

 

Watch Out for Grizzlies

M-Grizzly-1

Life really sucks if you’re a salmon in the Upper Northwest. They’re just trying to get home to start a family. As if the journey wasn’t perilous enough, a long line of grizzly bears is waiting to eat two out of three of them before they get upstream. Poor bastards. Operating a dealership today is sort of like being a salmon. You’re just trying to make a decent living and provide for your family, but there are grizzlies everywhere, all trying to consume two out of three of your hopes and dreams. Unwelcome Competition For years now, I’ve predicted it, said it in speeches and written it in literally hundreds of articles, blogs and social media threads. Now they’ve actually said it and their agenda

The Lead-Gen Death Throes

They came dancing into our lives back in the mid-’90s and totally transformed our industry. In fact, I recall the first time I saw Autobytel exhibiting at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)’s convention. I shook my head and said, “That ain’t gonna happen.” Well, it did happen, and we all saw a growing parade of competitors in a vicious dogfight to dominate the space. My hat’s off to the few who prevailed. The real game-changer, however, was Scott Painter and TrueCar. Painter’s business model reflected his thinly disguised contempt for car dealers. Unlike other lead-generation providers, whose primary purpose was to connect car buyers with dealers, TrueCar’s main objective was to set prices and broker deals at a loss for the dealers. We all

Alpha Dawg Down

M-OTPMay3-1

I have visited five cities in three weeks, traveling to the North, South, East and West through some of the worst and most erratic weather of the year. I went from warm weather with pollen raining down everywhere to the snow, cold temperatures and wet, windy weather of the Northern reaches and then back down South again. I’m happy to be back home in Atlanta, but for more reasons than one. Don’t ever take your health for granted, my friends. Sudden illnesses can deliver a knockout punch. I didn’t think much about the sniffles, chest congestion and coughing when it started. I blew it off as pollen allergies or maybe a head cold. In any case, I was busy. I was in Lake Charles, La.,

We’re Selling Cars Like Candy Bars

M-OTPcandy-1-1

Party on, Garth! Light-vehicle sales showed a year-over-year increase of 8% in February. Of course, that’s coming off of a January in which winter storms ground sales to a halt. Still, statisticians, industry experts and analysts are predicting the possibility of a record-breaking 18.9 million-unit sales year. Of course, that’s assuming nothing goes wrong with the economy, the delicate balance of diplomacy in China, North Korea and the Middle East, the presidential election or any of a thousand other variables that could slam the brakes on momentum without a moment’s notice. But until something happens, we’re selling cars like candy bars. Party on, Wayne! Personally, I have never been so busy and so optimistic in life and business. In a few days, Debbie and I

Solving the Dealership-Life Imbalance

The car business is tough. The hours are long. We work nights and weekends. If you’re not here, you’re not selling cars. If you’re not selling cars, you’re not making a living. I’ve been in the retail side of this business for 40 years. I’ve seen many things change and evolve, but the extreme work schedule really hasn’t changed that much. Many salespeople and managers find themselves putting in up to 60 hours a week. What do you want, a 40-hour workweek? You already know the answer. “Suck it up, buttercup! We need coverage!” Recently, on one of my blogs, a young car salesman new to the business asked how he could achieve some sort of balance between family life and the demands of the

Killing F&I

I’ve been writing about this for years. As a matter of fact, I’ve screamed it from the mountaintops until the echoes rang repeatedly around the industry. I’ve watched it gain momentum as a consortium of vendors, manufacturers and other assorted rogues and pirates dreamed and schemed up a plot to assassinate the F&I department. They’ll sell it to the dealers by promising to reduce the time it takes to complete a sale. They’ll talk about the magical customer experience it creates when the horrible F&I process is eliminated. They’ll tell you any competent salesperson can present and sell the products and make the proper disclosures. You’ll ask who exactly will deliver and disclose the contract and all the documents and get the deals worked. That’s

The Empire Strikes Back

Empire Strikes Back

Never let it be said that Nissan is warm and fuzzy with their dealers. I have written about this for years. But formerly loyal Nissan dealers aren’t just complaining to me privately. They’re talking to the media and they’re talking to their attorneys. They’re complaining about perceived abuses and oppressive factory programs. I believe these festering issues may finally have reached the point of an imminent explosion. Say it ain’t so, Carlos! I’ve been listening to complaints and stories from disgruntled Nissan dealers for a while now, and I’ve shared many of them with you in these pages. In article after article and speech after speech, I’ve repeatedly said Nissan was heavy-handed, hard-hearted and totally oppressive in every interaction with their loyal dealer network. Numerous

Preventing Sales Manager Burnout

For you sales managers out there, I bet you can remember the excitement you felt when you earned that prestigious title. But that feeling didn’t last long, did it? In fact, it probably came to a grinding halt. But not every manager experiences burnout. I know plenty of sales managers who matured into the position to become super performers. For the rest of you, let me slap a little cold water in your face. If the glamour of the position has faded and your career is paralyzed and stale, I’m here to tell you that you are likely the problem. The good news is you can change that immediately. See, the No. 1 reason sales managers become frustrated and ineffective is they don’t know how

Flock of Turkeys

Flock of Turkeys

In November, Debbie and I resumed one of our favorite holiday traditions: Thanksgiving at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee, Ga., about an hour’s drive from Atlanta. It starts the night before the holiday with the “Lighting of the Lodge” and the arrival of Santa Claus, accompanied by hotel employees dressed as Mrs. Claus, Santa’s elves and Elizabethan carolers. The Thanksgiving feast, complete with dueling chefs, is like nothing I’ve experienced anywhere else. And it’s a dog-friendly hotel, so we don’t have to leave Sadie at home. It’s a unique experience that really sets the stage for the holidays. And let me tell you, the holidays couldn’t come fast enough. I had been burning the candle at both ends all year. I hit

Internet Battle Plan XIX Schedule & Program

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View and download the full class schedule for Internet Battle Plan XIX in Houston at the link below! Internet Battle Plan XIX Class Schedule