The Showroom

The Gross Profit Decision: It Is Yours To Keep Or Give Away

January 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by George Dans - Also by this author

What would happen to you, as a dealer-manager- salesperson, if you were able to hold more gross? Would life be a lot easier for you? Have you been brainwashed to believe that you can’t hold gross? Who did it to you? Six Car Sammy, Seven Car Stephanie, or Eight Car Eddie? The reason why you can’t hold gross is so simple!
It’s because you don’t have the skills to hold gross, and the only way to hold gross is to having great selling skills or by marking your cars up so high that by default you can claim gross. However, high mark-ups won’t work today. This info-overloaded, one-click, downloadable generation is just to smart aren’t they

If you’re a new car dealer and you have Bobby Big Mouth come in and say, I want to see your invoice or cost, you show him and Bobby says, “That’s not a real invoice”. Well Bobby, what the heck do you think we have in the back, a counterfeit invoice printer? Gee, its getting tougher, isn’t it? What is the secret to holding more gross? You develop people skills, from the desk on down. If your desk has only 3 legs, you probably won’t hold gross. If you’re salespeople are better at working the desk than the customer, you have a weak desk. Sorry, truth matters here. I am not saying you have to run your dealership like the military would run their elite force, but somehow I can’t imagine the private, telling Sgt. Discipline how he would like to see the drills run. Yeah right, the private will earn his stripes, but most likely they will be prison stripes.

So, how do you gain control of more gross? Admit there is a problem; then find help on how to solve the problem. Let me give you some of my best tips to holding more gross.

Here are George’s Dirty Dozen to holding gross tips:

  • Build the value higher, then the price by following the basics. Shortcuts are pay cuts.
  • When negotiating with customers never show emotion when it comes to asking for money down.
  • Don’t work the desk manager for low numbers. If I was the manager and you did this to me, I would coach you, turnover (T.O.) the deal or split the deal. Sorry no weaklings or pathetic performers allowed. The circus is always looking for help.
  • Don’t look to see what the gross is on a deal before it is completed. Managers should block the salesperson or closer from seeing how much gross is left in the deal. If you know it, you will give it away.
  • Follow the directions of what your desk manager tells you. Don’t sell him; sell your customer. The desk manager has three jobs. They are: hold gross, hold gross and hold gross.
  • Don’t get so close to the deal that you are buying the car for the customer. If your desk says, we need $10,000 down, and their payment is going to be $499, don’t look at it like it has been infected with some disease. If you can’t do it back out, turn the deal over to the desk manager.
  • Always start at sticker; it’s quicker. If you start from the bottom, how much further down can you go? Why do we let customers tell us how to desk deals or negotiate? I mean you wouldn’t walk into a cardiologist’s office and say, “I have a pain in my heart, I want you to get a scalpel and start cutting away”. Not.
  • You don’t get what you deserve, and you get what you ask for. Ask for money down. Don’t say things like, “Well hi there. I am weaker than most, and am really afraid to ask for money down. By the way, umm, how much can you put down?” Customer: “NONE Six Car Sammy!” “Oh ok, thanks for nothing. Let me go run to the desk and tell them you don’t have any money down.” It’s better to say this: “Mr. and Mrs. Customer, the car runs $12,995. Would you like to add any other options?” Plus, most lenders would like to see about a third down and with the car costing $12,995. “That would be about $4,300 down, and is that coming out of your checking or savings. Additionally, what I would like to do is show you payments of 36-48 plus 60 months. Fair enough?”
  • Always leave your customer in doubt. “Well Mr. Customer, let me go check with my manager to make sure the car is still available and work out the best figures that will help you make the best decision.”
  • Show your customer your proof book or evidence manual when you run for the numbers. The proof book is your proof regarding what you have been saying about the product, yourself and the dealership. Get a binder with some clear plastic covers, and throw in some great customer letters and articles about your dealership and something about you. People do believe more of what they see than what they hear.
  • An old trainer, from days gone by, said 80 percent of sales are made after the fifth request to buy. Keep asking; don’t be afraid. If you’re afraid, you and Six Car Sammy might be out of job soon.
  • If you can’t close the deal, turn it. Let go of your pride and ego. Half of something is better than all of nothing.

There you have it, twelve great tips on how to hold more gross. Skills determine your success – or lack thereof. Don’t go around your dealership and say blatant things like, “Well, that is all they pay around here!” Whoa Trigger. That’s all you’re worth; if you want to be worth more, develop the skills to get more. So simple, yet hard to grasp for most. People always want to do things the easy way. If so, buy a lottery ticket: small investment, huge return. Nice concept though unfulfilling. Tear this article out and paste it up where you can see it everyday for the rest of the month.

Good in, good out; bad in, who knows what comes out.
Vol 3, Issue 11


  1. 1. jose daniel quintanilla [ January 29, 2015 @ 12:01AM ]

    excellent!! great tips! thank you so much, I love it..

  2. 2. Tim Fitz [ May 14, 2016 @ 12:01PM ]

    Great article. As a top salesman in the car business couldn't agree with this more an old boss of mine was not afraid to open customers up and it's the reason I'm successful today. Fact is and always will be for those seriously wanting to get better MONEY DOWN= GROSS PROFIT!!!!!! understand that concept and a GSM that is just as hungry as you are to EARN your money and you'll be living good GREAT ARTICLE. PS in my exp the better salesman are always willing to learn and even just reading this article I picked up something new.

  3. 3. Sylvester Diaz [ January 17, 2017 @ 07:26PM ]

    Im fairly new to the car business but I'm doing alright. Though this is a great article, the Internet has made it really hard to make gross when the customer has access to the online price (rebates, instant savings). Sometimes I would be able to gain gross. However, most of the time I can't because it is so much discounted, its hard to recover from it.

  4. 4. Suck it [ January 27, 2017 @ 07:18AM ]

    These are typically of the car JOCKEY MANAGER. Its easy for a manager to T.O. come out and close a deal. YOU GUYS HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION!!!! I Cant tell you how many times my managers have had to come out over the years and give away vehicles because you cannot write this shit in a book. I know whomever wrote this is going to call me 6 car sammy or 7 car larry.. I SELL 15 to 20 CARS A MONTH SO FUCK YOURSELF you dont know shit. Its easy for a manager to close a deal when they know where they can negotiate too. Its everyones job at the dealership to hold gross but the customers arent stupid... most of them at least. They know the sales person most the time at most dealerships doesnt have the authority to haggle the numbers or move the numbers. Our hands are tied and the managers know this, my friend who is a manager told me if I ever made manager I WOULD NEVER WANT TO SELL CARS AGAIN!!!! So fuck you and your bullshit, Yes there are some good tidbits here but you are full of shit just like every other dumb ass manager I know or have worked with.

  5. 5. Dj [ January 27, 2017 @ 11:40AM ]

    Its called shopping. You don't need to take it all in but the guy had many good tips that can work for some and not for others. That is why there are choices...Jiff or Skippy? Take what can work for you and leave the rest for another. In 20 years I have worked at 4 dealerships. I have been the Top Sales guy( Love it) I have been the Average sales guy and I have been on the bottom (SUCKED). I am always willing to hear what another has to say and try to get something form it. So, Thanks George, I look forward to reading more.

  6. 6. buddy [ January 13, 2018 @ 01:13PM ]

    As a car buyer, not an unusual one, I can say any dealer who starts at "sticker" will never have an opportunity to see me in the dealership. Many of us initially contact the dealer for a price. Dealers who fail to provide a price or who, I have yet to see this, start at "sticker" never receive a follow up opportunity.

    As an advisor of sorts, I always advise the car buyer, after receiving the dealer's initial offer at the dealership, immediately counter with an offer to buy. Let the dealer try to meet that price. Works every time.


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