Article

There Were No Trenches At The Convention

October 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Tom Langas - Also by this author


There was a convention? In Dallas? Really?

All kidding aside, the dealer principals made this trip. This was not the year to have all of our key players in SF away from the dealership, so I stayed at home to grind. It has been a grind this year, hasn't it? Every lead has been precious; every opportunity to sell has been tough to come by, which means if you have survived the “thinning of the herd” then I invite you to sit with us, very soon, in the catbird seat.

Unfortunately, we have lost some great people in our business over the last year or two through attrition or cutbacks, but we have also seen the economy take out a bunch of competitors that never had any business being in the SF business in the first place. Due to the economy, the SF pie is growing exponentially every day. If you are still holding steady, as we have been, then your piece of the pie will be bigger than ever very soon.

I say this because of the news that the owners brought back from Dallas. Major subprime lenders in attendance each announced expanding their portfolios by two or even three times by mid-2010. The vendors in attendance were ultra-aggressive and still coming up with mind-blowing innovations at every turn. Does this sound like an industry still pulling in its horns? Hardly.

I know it's a cliché, but there’s usually truth in a cliché. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” Also, I know I have used it in past articles, but the ancient Greeks, inventors of democracy and free enterprise, have a motto carved above the entrance to the Parthenon in Athens: “From Crisis Springs Opportunity.” I believe 2010 has the potential to produce the largest expansion in our industry since the salad days of the early ‘90s; the opportunity will be ours.

That brings me to the point of this whole post-convention pep talk. Trust me, your idle days and slow times are about to end. Your opportunities for spending extended amounts of time on training and polishing your processes are about to become fewer and farther between. Spend the last quarter of 2009 bringing yourself, and your SF staff, up to speed on the latest changes and innovations in our industry. Dust off the manuals, read and re-read, role play, and practice, practice, practice. When the opportunity arrives, be ready! It's human nature, when things slow down, to get a little sloppy with the rules and a bit lazy with the processes. Get back to the basics. Start today. Meet, greet and smile! All signs say that those of us who have survived will soon be smiling a lot for a very long while.

Special Finance Insider Vol. 3, Issue 5

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

Blog

On-the-Point

Jim Ziegler
A Faster Horse

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg wonders where the demand for driverless vehicles is coming from and has good news and bad news — but mostly bad news — for Fiat Chrysler and Cadillac dealers.

Strangers in the Mall

By Jim Ziegler
The Alpha Dawg makes new friends, stands up for Cadillac dealers, charts the rise of the independent lots, and reconsiders free trade agreements.

You Can’t Handle the Truth

By Jim Ziegler

Watch Out for Grizzlies

By Jim Ziegler

Opening Observations

Over the Curb