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Friday, May 1, 2015

Pardon the Sarcasm

ruggles/Wards

I am astonished that the new “hot trend” in auto retail is thinking that a car deal should be accomplished in an hour or so. Hell, it takes almost that long to explain how the infotainment system works, let alone the other gadgets in a new vehicle.

How long does it take to go over all of the forms demanded by government regulation, or do we just have the customer sign them without reading them? After all, we want our customers to be happy, right?

If you sell “product,” there are forms associated with those too. Or perhaps we should give up selling product because the most important thing is speed? If you sell product, you’d better damn well get declination forms signed or you’ll eventually find yourself in all sorts of hot water. And those take time too.

However, there is no doubt that on a busy day, we might not be staffed to handle buyers expeditiously if those darn consumers decide to buy in bunches instead of evenly spacing themselves.

It IS possible to do most of the deal with some customers before they come to the showroom IF the deal has no complications or hair on it. They keyword in the previous sentence is “some.”

If time is the most important element we could send all of the tough deals down the road to competitors to keep our average elapsed average time low. We could limit customers to credit scores of say 680 and above and send the other ones packing. Those low credit scores take much too long and would ruin our average. And about those people with negative equity, who have no cash, a false vision of what their trade is worth, and want to buy way more than any lender would advance... what do we do with them? They fewer of these we have the more likely we can average one hour transaction. There! Problem solved.

I thought our business was still about gross profit. I thought our mission is not so much to give the consumer what they want, but to get them to like what we give them. Of course, we want the highest customer satisfaction possible. We also want and need repeat business and referrals. But let’s stop with the silliness.