When I asked Yawn about the process that drives their success, he stated that simplicity and accountability were the keys. He went back to old school and started logging every deal that crosses his desk, and he still uses the paper log book method not a fancy CRM tool. He feels that gives him a more hands-on approach to dealing with customers and he wants his crew to use the same approach. Yawn has a great philosophy; “Do as I do; not just do as I say."
Yawn has diversified his advertising for the dealership. He co-ops television, print ad and radio with the new car centers in the group. He keeps his Internet Special Finance advertising to himself. He uses just one Internet lead source, CustomerFunding.com. Yawn said that they close 15 percent of their leads like clockwork every month. They have become part of our Internet and Special Finance business model that compliments walk-on and call-in opportunities. He said that once this marriage was completed, sales went from 190 to 250 units a month; 65 to 70 percent attributed to special finance customers.
The secret to their sales success is follow up. Yawn said you just can’t have too much of that. He thinks every customer lead is a potential sale and he treats it like a draft check that just requires the customer’s endorsement. All that’s required is to get the customer to the dealership before the competition does. He knows they’re going to buy from someone, so why shouldn’t it be Champion Chevrolet? Yawn has assembled a crew of 14 professional salespeople to make it all happen. He’s trained them well and knows they’ll follow set procedures. Yawn isn’t a control freak but does make sure that every Internet lead from CustomerFunding.com starts with him and ends with him. He requires accountability from his people on every application received.
Yawn talks about profit on sales like a proud parent talks about their children. He said that they average between $2,500 and $3,000 a copy. His advertising cost per sale goal is 12 percent or less against the gross, and CustomerFunding.com brings in the lowest cost per sale at four percent. Yawn said, “Just think about it, four percent of a $2,500 gross is just $105. By anybody’s standard, that’s a great bargain. With what’s being wasted today on advertising for this industry, that’s real close to nirvana."
One question that Yawn wouldn’t elaborate on when asked was which of his salespeople was the “Top Dog.” He thought for a few seconds and said they were “all exceptional” and wouldn’t single anyone out. I think that he also makes a great politician as well as a general manager. You never know; he could be governor someday. He already made the first step when he moved to Tallahassee.
Vol 2, Issue 6