A Dealer can spend large amounts of money and energy on marketing campaigns, website development, and consumer-friendly technologies often overlooking other areas that produce success. In a recent interview, Mike Esposito, President & CEO of Auto/Mate, explains the importance of employee engagement, tracking your expenses and keeping up with policies as these are main contributors that develop positive growth, experience, and gross profits in a successful dealership.
Ultimately, deals are made when customers enter a dealership and meet with an employee. “a customers’ experience is enhanced not by technology but by employees”, Mike says. He wants dealers to know how the people who work for you determine your success, so make them a priority. An employee who is happy when coming to work will deliver a far better experience when engaging with a buyer. Look to implement training and spend time developing your teams. Cultivating an environment that entices people to work at your dealership as it will increase employee retention. The industry has a high employee turnover rate, especially within the sales team, so be selective when hiring. Spend time and money on finding the right fit for your team rather than just filling a position. One approach companies are implementing is a one price, one person, one-hour concept. As the lines between the front of the house and F&I department begin to fade, this practice helps to bridge the gap and provides a more enhanced customer experience. Establish a practice within your dealership that makes your workers and customers want to come here and for you.
There are also three major cost centers in your dealership that can always use more attention. Advertisements, floor plans, and data processing take up a large percentage of a dealers budget. Tracking and staying on top of your expenses and policies can help reduce spending and grow profit. Continually use your DMS to create reports or a metric that provides accurate information on where and how money is being spent. Check in with your managers to see what data processing systems you are using. Often it is discovered that a product was brought on by a former employee and is no longer being used yet still being paid for. Pay attention to your policy accounts. Focus on all expenses and know how your money is being spent and if it is being spent in a productive manner.