Shawn sympathizes with COVID-19 victims weather it be health, loss of life or change of life, work, etc. Shawn believes that the virus leveled the playing field between dealers. for those of us not in the business, Shawn explains the term...
2:31 Shawn sympathizes with COVID-19 victims weather it be health, loss of life or change of life, work, etc. 3:38 Shawn believes that the virus leveled the playing field between dealers. 4:50 for those of us not in the business, Shawn explains the term 'digital retailing' and the role of BDC (and what the term BDC means) 7:27 Jeff clarifies and reiterates that the USA as a country, is certainly ahead of Canada. 8:29 Shawn describes digital retailing distilled. Perfectly. 10:02 Shawn on why when he makes a BDC call, he's not here to sell anybody. 10:15 Jeff: a very low percentage of people beginning on the internet actually leave in the exact vehicle that they researched or "chose" in advance of the visit. 11:32 Jeff on why it's a great service (to the customer) to get a potential client into the showroom 16:55 Shawn on gaining success through the people he is responsible for. 20:40 Jeff schools Shawn "a well-done steak is NOT ok (neither is medium)" 20:57 Shawn: BDC (dealership Business Development Center) is essentially there to assist, and basically to guide the customers on maybe some elements that they're not aware of. But this only comes through fact finding through questions. 21:54 technically, we're always selling something. selling yourself at every opportunity Really? Well, when you go into a job interview, you're selling yourself, 22:03 let's be clear to the doctors and lawyers watching. Sales is way more important than what you do. :) 22:10 Shawn debunks some dealership rumors (rumours to you in Canada :) ) 23:18 about Carvana and fixed price vs negotiating in dealerships 26:11 Shawn on the "glovebox trunk opener button" 26:22 26:20 Jeff checks to see if Shawn knows he's black (he plays hockey) :) 27:21 Shawn shows off speaking French 28:14 Shawn is related to a pro hockey player! 29:10 problems with 1 price (non-negotiating) dealerships. 30:17 Shawn on shrinking new car margins and how price impacts payments. 34:04 Jeff regarding trying to get a better deal vs dealership advertised specials.
bdc, people, dealership, vehicle, price, car, customer, salesperson, dealer, absolutely, shawn, question, selling, hockey, sales, talking, mom, trade, educate, years
Jeff Sterns 00:00
Jeff Sterns connected through cars. And if you watch part one of Shawn armor, you don't need any intro to part two. And I know you're ready to roll right through that. But if you're new, and just jumping right on episode two, Shawn in this part, talks about the car business turned on its head inside out, rebuilding the whole thing due to COVID. And how it accelerated so many parts of what the consumer really needed and the removal of friction, and a lot of other things, you're really going to enjoy it. See at the end,
the industry has completely been turned over on its head.
Jeff Sterns 00:35
Do you see this 20 years from now, I hope that we can say there is this thing called COVID. We're seeing
literally the deconstruction of the dealership.
Jeff Sterns 00:43
How often would you say if you had to pull a percentage top of your head to the people leave in the vehicle that they actually ended up doing the research on before they came in?
You know, do you like fish? Okay, you like steak? Do you like it? Well, this one, I would suggest well done. But this one because it's closer to the shoulder. We recommend this, like they walk you through a series of questions. It's not like oh, I get the steak.
Jeff Sterns 01:06
Shawn, we may need to stop this conversation. Now. There's no steak. That's good. Well done. Let's be clear to the doctors and lawyers watching. Sales is way more important than what you do. The whole world revolves around us sales people aren't you know, you're seeing like an awful young guy to be talking about the example with or without air conditioning, instead, there's a very good chance that there's some extra fine print that you have to buy a couple of accessories at above that price, even to get that price because with the aggressiveness of advertising and internet and etc. Everyone's putting their best foot forward.
Jeff Sterns connected through Guys, if they're big wigs, we'll have him on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. Here he is now, Jeff Sterns
Jeff Sterns 02:03
current state of the industry.
Oh, man, what an interesting journey, what a crazy industry has completely been turned over on its head.
Jeff Sterns 02:14
And when you're seeing this video, if you're seeing it fresh, you might pick up that we're talking about COVID. You see this 20 years from now, I hope that we can say there is this thing called COVID. You don't remember it?
Yeah, for sure. I mean, we let's talk about this for what a great subject. So first things first, my heart and prayers go out to absolutely anybody that has suffered. Let's put this into context, if people are looking at this, and 20 years from now, hopefully. So I think the most updated numbers that I have worldwide is 2 million deaths. I mean, this is this thing is it's deplorable. It's terrible. What's happening right now. And I never thought I'd live through something like this in my lifetime. However, you know, heart and prayers go out to anybody that's lost anybody, I feel terrible, in a more optimistic sense, if I dare even say that, for what it is done to us. From an industry standpoint, it has absolutely turned the industry over on its head overnight. You know, we've been talking about digital marketing for the last three, four years, these larger big box stores have all been battling I have the better product, I have this, I have that this is the way to do it. However, overnight. What this has done, basically, it's has absolutely leveled the playing field for absolutely every business basically, but let's just stick to the car business, but it has absolutely leveled the playing field. So it doesn't matter if you were the number one dealer two, three years ago, or if your last place or how you finished last year, or whatever results that you're getting, there is a new dawn that has been placed upon us through this this COVID situation. And it's required us to basically look at things from a different lens with a different lens, I should say. What are we seeing in the last six months? We're seeing literally the deconstruction of the dealership, you know, these things have been operating the same way for 50 6070 years. Within six months, we've seen a complete deconstruction of the dealership, we've seen the power of bdcs the effectiveness, the necessity for bdcs. We've seen the need for digital marketing, but there's no more talking like let's get it done. Why everybody's at home right now.
Jeff Sterns 04:30
Shawn, let me interrupt you if you don't mind. Yeah. Let's if you don't mind breaking it down just a little more. Because
Sure, let's go. Yeah,
Jeff Sterns 04:38
you are may not be in the car business. So do you mind sharing a little bit when you said hey, now digital retailing and now Hey, BDC. Do you mind breaking that down for someone not in the business so they can put
together? Yeah, sorry about that. And I'd like to educate. So that's a great question. So let's deconstruct it. Digital Marketing essentially is in laymen terms and dealership taking their inventory and putting it on your Kijiji or auto trade or third party vendors is what we call it. Obviously, they get a lot more traffic on their websites than we do on the dealership website. Okay, so traditionally, we take our inventory, we put it on multiple platforms, a lot of dealers have an excess of 5678 910 different platforms. Okay, okay. So essentially, when you're on these third party sites, and you see a vehicle of your choice, you're not necessarily thinking of which dealership comes from, which is fine, you see a vehicle, you push the button to get more information. And that then goes through this thing called the internet. And then comes into the BBC, where we basically where we get the lead, and then we call the customer.
Jeff Sterns 05:46
Now let's, let's describe it, Shawn, like we're talking to the person that's not in the business. So here's what Shawn just said, digital retailing tool could be something like on a dealership website, build your own deal, in that you can see what your payment should be with the down payment that you want on the car that you're on, switch out to another car, see how that impacts that change your down payment on, see how that impacts it, put in the manufacturer, special interest rate, see how that impacts it, put in your trade information, get a very, very good and accurate estimate on what your trade is worth so that you can plug that in, put your trade and pay off the amount that you owe on it back in there convert it to a lease. How does that? How does that work out on a lease, if I'm on a new car, a two year, a three year 10,000 miles a year, 15,000 miles a year, it really puts you the customer if you're not in the business in control? Because you don't have to sit there wondering everything that's going on? How do I get to this payment? How does my trade impact the deal? How does the fact that I owe money on my trades still impact the deal, etc. And when you go through everything you go through to get your deal? bundled up and packaged up? Am I saying this right? so far? Yeah, yeah. Then it goes to BTC, meaning Business Development Center, somebody that gets all the information in the way that you packaged up so that they can now serve you and meet you where you're at? Yeah, that's a decent way to put it. That is definitely a decent way. And that's not how the business was much at all until recently.
Yeah, well, I'd have to say the explosion of digital marketing is really eight years ago,
Jeff Sterns 07:27
I guess, eight to 10 years. You guys are always a bit ahead. But well, I would say right, that meaning when he says you guys, he means people in knighted states are ahead of people in Canada. But everybody knows that. I would say the advent of digital marketing was probably eight years ago. But I think the explosion of digital marketing is when COVID hit with dealerships closed or by appointment and people locked down at home or stuck at home, and still trying to do business from home. And I think that really put air under the wings of digital reach.
I think another great way to put it and this really because I'm not a digital marketing expert by any stretch, I just understand how it should work. But I'm not even saying right now that I'm an expert at this. However, essentially digital marketing brought the dealership inside of the customer's home, well put. So instead of going to the dealer and getting you know, all all, all this information on a paper, well, if you could do it at home, in your living room,
Jeff Sterns 08:29
you know what you did, I'm always trying to learn how to say things the short way which you know I'm not capable of but how you put it that was actually more perfect. It brings the dealership into the customer's home. Perfect.
So you see, that's why I always let you know usap in front of me I learned from your mistakes. So there's advantages to be second place. I love you guys. I love you guys. So yeah, Bruce, you brought the dealership and inside of the customers living room. Now I think it's very important because when people are looking at this very important because I'd like to educate today. So I'd like to speak for a more customer service standpoint, very, very important. When we say BDC please remember I didn't say sales department. Business Development means we're here to assist and guide you throughout your shopping journey. We're not salespeople seldomly Have I ever seen performance based pipelines in a BDC really targeting sales. Well, we don't sell cars, we sell appointments, we create traffic for the sales floor. So essentially, when we do get your request that you've made online, basically I reach out to you from a customer centric standpoint, to guide you go through everything you just said. But I'm also bringing the information that you may or may not know from the dealership to explain to you. Well, the reason why, you know we gave you this trade value is based on this and this and that, like we're really here to assist that's what I mean by assisting so it's very important to to not Be too scared of a BDC call, we're not here to sell anybody, we're actually here to impartially give you the information that you need. Because like they said, after a house, the car is the second biggest expenditure that you're going to do, right.
Jeff Sterns 10:15
So when you say that you're there to sell an appointment, I want to actually defend you. And that's really not a one sided benefit. So that's not just to get people into the dealership for the dealerships benefit naturally, any business. If it's a restaurant, a daycare center, or a mattress store, a car dealership, a bagel shop, it doesn't matter, the more people that walk in, the better for that business. So I think anybody can understand that. Really, you're serving the client, you're serving the buyer, because although you can do a lot of it by bringing that dealership into the living room. And even though caravana and etc, are serving a niche, no doubt when there's no need to walk in, I think that there's certain things that can only happen inside of a dealership, and you can correct me if I'm wrong. But I know that in my 27 years, in stores, I've seen I mean, I can't even say the number. I want to say the majority but and maybe it's not the majority, but a high number of the people that show up even though they've done all of this internet shopping journey, and research, research research, oh, you can tell me how it goes in Montreal, end up leaving in a vehicle that wasn't even remotely what they were researching. Once they walked in and saw something or the salesperson. Now, I want to be cautious on this control conversation because everybody likes to be in control, and they want to run their own show. But let me give you a little scenario. Everybody likes to be in control. And I used to tell my salespeople that they need to show the customer, something that they weren't thinking about, for example, Dr. Jones is trading with 5000 miles or 5000 kilometers on it three years old that no one would ever know is for sale, it just came in, it's in the back, etc. And the customer that wasn't shopping for that is thrilled and grateful to find out about that vehicle to save them 1000s and it's like new and new car smell and it's equipped, etc. Okay. But I've seen the convertible shopper leaving a pickup truck and all that stuff in the middle because they learned something about that unit that they weren't thinking about. But let's talk about the control thing. You the retail customer, like shopping from home, you want to be in control, you want to pick out your own car, you want to do your own shopping, you want to do it the carvanha way you want to put in all your information. And I'm not knocking carvanha because there's a niche for that, but it's not for everybody. You want to already know what payment and loan and lease, okay, and all that business. But imagine this, you walk into a restaurant, and expensive restaurant, like, let's call it $80 a person without drinks. So you know, expensive ish restaurants. So the more expensive it is, the more you should have it the way you want it. Right? I'm going to say, right? Question mark. The reason is, when you're ordering, and you're having your experience in the restaurant, and you go to order the fish, and the waiter goes. Now you appreciate that you have an experienced person who can be a little confrontive with you who can be a little informative and experience with you and not have you order the fish tonight. And now you're giving control to that person. So in a car dealership, the benefit of the BDC selling an appointment is I call it the miracle can't occur unless you show up the thing that can happen the vehicle that you weren't even thinking about. And you might be saying yourself, I always get the one that you want. And you might be the exception you the listener, you the viewer, and always get the one that you want. But on the dealership side of the equation and Shawn, you can correct me if I'm wrong. You've been in some of the largest dealer groups and well established dealer groups in your nation and the largest dealership of your brand in the nation. So you can say, How often would you say if you had to pull a percentage top of your head to the people leave in the vehicle that they actually ended up doing the research on before they came in?
Well, that's a tough question. If I could just kind of reverse engineer a question from a BDC standpoint, because I'm not on the sales floor. Okay, okay. But I have you know, many stories but if we're going to keep this short from a BDC standpoint, put it this way, we get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of internet leads every month. Okay, so let's just scale out over a year. Tell us what internet lead and internet sorry, an internet request. So that's like I was saying somebody shopping from home that has committed to a vehicle and has pushed a button for us to give them a call because they want more information such
Jeff Sterns 14:52
as Internet price get trade valuate
What's the gas mileage in certain trucks? How much does it pull because you know, I have a trailer on Do a lot of camping. I'm looking for this SUV. Okay? What are your needs? What is this? What is that? So that that's in an internet lead? Okay. So if you do that over a year, we basically talked to 1000s of people. So let me just give you from a BDC perspective, a decent closing ratio, if you will. So the number of people that have bought that have been funneled through this system of the BDC. But it's not someone that walked into the dealer, but someone that went through the BDC. A good closing ratio, typically speaking, is anywhere between 20 and 30%. Okay, so you can do the math, that means 70, there's a gap of 70% of opportunities, multiply that by the 1000s of people that come in. So indirectly, I'm answering your question, I would just say 30% of the people found something that they really truly liked.
Jeff Sterns 15:54
So you didn't answer the question? And if you don't know, you don't know. But what, in my experience, I would say less than half the people but I was on the selling side, less than half the people actually left in what their internet lead. I'm looking for one of these, I'm interested in one of these, do you have one of these and my BDC is able to sell them on an appointment, and they show up? Not that I didn't have it, it's not that we had to like a bait and switch. It was just that when they showed up in real life, see something? What's that, or they give their needs to their salesperson. And the salesperson says, Have you thought of one of these based on what you described to me, it might fit the dog, it might help with the soccer, it might help with the offroad thing, it might help with the fuel economy thing, it might help with the payment problem, you know, whatever it is, and they were able to get their help there. So when I'm saying BDC selling an appointment, is selling an appointment at to the benefit of everybody. I mean it correct, right?
Well, this is just a thing and a great segue to this. So So typically, for me, I guess we mentioned this early on, my success has come through the people that I have been responsible for. So I've been I've been very blessed to have worked and have developed, if I could say I inspired many people to bring their A game every day. So for me part of my process, it all starts out at the hiring process. So again, I'm going to refer back to Stephen Covey begin with the end in mind. Am I looking for absolutely the best possible phone skilled person? Yeah, but what what I'm really looking to do on a day to day basis is to be transparent, and honest with the customer that's looking for a vehicle is very important. I mean, think about it, if you really truly think about it. And this is all in my coaching with my agents, because I coach them every day, more in psychology. I mean, listen, I hire smart people, and I get out of their way. I give them a framework, and I give them I guide them. But ultimately, I try to educate them. And at the end of the day, what are we really talking about, we're talking about you, me, my mom, my family members, and anybody watching this, you're going to put not just yourself, but your family into this metal object, and then navigate through life. So you want to make sure that the vehicles are mechanically sound, you want to make sure that it's exactly what they need. For me, it starts off with the hiring process. And a lot of people do it their way, and HR has their way of doing it. And God bless them. However, I just have my own way of doing it has brought me great success. And so instead of asking people, those old adage questions like, Where do you see yourself in five years? I don't even know where I'm gonna be next week. So kind of question is that? So for me personally, I typically, again, me personally, I typically look for areas of really high ROI of attitude. Anybody with a positive you can do anything with someone that has a positive attitude? Are they coachable? Is there are they open to new concepts, etc. I personally also to make sure that I can govern them to success, I mirror myself. So because I'm a tough pill to swallow a tough pill to work for, I mean, if the synergy is not there, right, so I kind of look for people that kind of, you know, that I know will will take constructive criticism? Well. I look for soft skills more than hard skills, and soft skills, what I mean by I mean empathy, understanding the person on the other line, understanding that every single internet lead is a different situation. It's a different experience. It's somebody in a different scenario. It's not a box approach. And obviously at the end of the day, good communication. Now what I mean by good communication and why I strongly advise if you don't have a BDC not just to have one, it can't just exist, but to really put some energy into this. So we call it qualifying the customer. So whenever you push that button and your internet request, your information gets to me, okay, great. That's the way I would like to have when I train my people through a series of questions to qualify them. Because you only know what you know, just like you said before about the waitress. Me personally, when I go to a restaurant, I don't always want to just order off the menu. You know, I'm just that kind of guy. I I interact with people like what would you recommend? Why would you recommend this? Right? But you there's a lot to learn. They walk you through a series of questions. You know, did you like fish? Do you not like fish? Okay, you like steak? Do you like it? Well, this one, I would suggest well done. But this one because it's closer to the shoulder. We recommend this. Like they walk you through a series of questions. It's not like, Oh, I get the steak.
Jeff Sterns 20:40
Shawn, we may need to stop this conversation. Now. There's no steak. That's good. Well done. All right, continue.
I'm a medium round, I'm
Jeff Sterns 20:51
okay, if you guys are not on stage, because there's so we're
not we're not I'm a medium kind of guy. But anyway, it's just to say that outside of what the information is, when we come in the BBC is essentially there to assist, and basically to guide the customers on maybe some elements that they're not aware of. But this only comes through fact finding through questions.
Jeff Sterns 21:17
So I want to talk a little bit about what's going on in the dealerships that maybe Sean armour could debunk a little about but you didn't sell. I mean, do you? So my question, you know, my world is about selling? Yeah, I've been in sales. Well, I guess since I was born. But every every job I've had is sales related. I mean, even if it wasn't a sales job, even if it was a paper boy, or my detail business, or my lawn mowing business or my window washing business. When I was kid, it was still knocking the door pulling the wagon behind me, right? It was always sales. related. You say you're not sales related?
Well, technically, we're always selling something. selling yourself at every opportunity Really? Well, when you go into a job interview, you're selling yourself,
Jeff Sterns 22:03
let's be clear to the doctors and lawyers watching. Sales is way more important than what you do. Let's be because nothing happens until somebody sells somebody an idea you could have the cure for cancer. And unless someone could convince the first doctor to do the first try on it. Nothing's gonna happen. Sure. So I'm pretty much the whole world revolves around us salespeople, but let's debunk something so but you have a BDC business development background? Do you lean towards quoting a price best price? Whether the guest shows to the showroom or not? Or do you lean towards the guests showing in a lead you a little because there could be a circumstance that they've walked into that would have the dealer needing to hit a quota, they're one deal away from hitting a quota and the salesperson hitting their bonus and they want to help the sales person out, they could end up on a specific unit instead of a general conversation unit that the dealer says Hmm, I've had that one a little too long, I'll make a special extra special deal on it. To get rid of it. Those are things in my opinion that can't be broadly quoted, but I know the world's going towards quoting and one price now through the internet, where do you stand on that?
I love it. I there's a dealer Group here in our area that their niche is kinda like your carvanha. So the price is the price. You know, there's no negotiating, you know, this is the price. I think often, like anywhere else not to be too cynical towards my beautiful industry that I absolutely adore, that has been given me so much opportunity and put food on the table. But we have to I mean, what you need to build value to something people will pay whatever they feel it's worth. I mean, that's my answer. I mean, at the end of the day, what's too expensive for you may not be too expensive for me, it really is how we perceive value.
Jeff Sterns 23:57
And you're not talking about ability to buy, you're talking about the value that what you think it's worth as far as
100%, you may have come in on the base model vehicle that doesn't have AC, and you may maybe price is not the issue. Maybe originally you were like, Okay, this is the cheapest price. But then when you come in, and I show you and you physically see the features of the vehicle, and you're like but hold on, I'm in my car all the time, I need air conditioning. Okay, well, now that changes the price. Right. So what we try and do from a b2c perspective, is this is what I'm saying when we're qualifying our customers or opportunities. We're asking questions based on their needs. And then based on the need, venue, show, the price, the price, the value of that need is the price. So again, what's important to you? You know, if it's price sensitive, well then yes, absolutely. Get this vehicle. Yeah, but Shawn, I really need the air conditioning. Okay, well, there's an extra cost to the air conditioning because typically speaking, you don't just get air condition. There's other packages that come with the vehicle that has the air conditioning. Right? So it's really how you perceive the value. So seldomly do we do price we do more value?
Jeff Sterns 25:10
You know your seem like an awful young guy to be talking about the example with or without air conditioning? Because I remember new cars coming without air. Have you even? Are you even old enough to remember when cars didn't come with her?
Yes, absolutely. Mercury Cougar is a car that I grew up in.
Jeff Sterns 25:29
But there's nothing now there's nothing no,
no, no, I mean, listen, the handbrake was that little thing by the by the pedal you know, on the ground that used to be that little circle you push it was the actual library.
Jeff Sterns 25:40
That's right. Let's just
say let's just say that when I was growing up, probably, I listen. I was playing hockey at the time. So I don't know, maybe eight or nine years old. I don't even know why this is my head. We're talking about it. But we were founded by a little yellow button in the glove box that would open the trunk like that was revolutionary. And that was in the Buick century.
Jeff Sterns 26:07
I can actually remember my dad showing me how cool his car was. I
thought it was magic. This thing you push your button in the trunk opens. We're all like, whoa.
Jeff Sterns 26:17
So you got to stop me a little. A little. You mentioned hockey. I mean, I know you're Canadian.
Jeff Sterns 26:22
But did you know then that you were black?
Well, funny story. The answer to that specifically is yes. However, and I know we tease each other about this. And that's, that's what a lot of the fun is that we get to have. However, just to give you a bit of perspective, so my dad is from Trinidad, but his mom was Spanish. And my mom is from Quebec. So yeah, Caucasian with orange hair. So my mom is from Quebec City, but does a heavy origins in Mohawk India. And my mom's dad actually, there was some Irish which is where Sean came from. So I don't necessarily want to say that I'm black, but I do have black roots, that's for sure. Absolutely.
Jeff Sterns 27:04
And you can still play hockey.
I can do whatever I want. That's the beauty of it. I'm I'm I could be blocked. I could be white. I could be English srivalli off gosho seizures who complained mumbling don't setia ledger shows Okay, back off concept cinema. So it just allows me to have the same character you know,
Jeff Sterns 27:24
I just developed a crush on you.
It's a little bit different than your Parisian French but French nonetheless. No, it's
Jeff Sterns 27:33
whenever you say sounds good. You could read the white pages to me it would sound good I just had to give you a little hockey stick you know a little so I'll probably have a you know racial demonstration in front of my house. Now you know who knows what you
want a fun fact since we're talking about it. First Rockies what we do? I mean, what the hell else are we gonna do up here for four months with all this snow and all this ice and it's like minus 20 outside. What else are you gonna do? You're gonna go outside and ski downhill or you're gonna go and play hockey with a puck on the ice. How well versed Are you in your in your hockey? Horrible? i?
Jeff Sterns 28:07
I should I am not into spectator sports at all. But I did grow up in Detroit, which is also a serious hockey town.
Did you ever know a goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens named Steve Penny? No. This is going back a while. Okay. Well, essentially, before Patrick Watson, we're going about maybe 2025 years ago, there was a goaltender on the Montreal Canadiens. His name was Steve Benny. And that was actually my mom's cousin. There you go. I kind of grew up in the Canadiens hockey room. Yeah. So but ya know, I played hockey for about 16 years, and high competitive. I'm a very competitive person. So I played hockey, yeah, for about 1617 years. And then I coached also for about four years, so that's fun.
Jeff Sterns 28:48
I can't I escaped to save my life.
Well, I'm not gonna stay in the house for the next four months in winter, right? So we have to find something to do.
Jeff Sterns 28:58
So going back to because you and I could go off and you know, this could be the first seven hour podcast we can go off on some tangents but I want to debunk a little bit more. Yeah, let's
Jeff Sterns 29:10
So you mentioned this store. That's a one price store that means that non negotiating dealership and I like the idea of no negotiating I mean if they absolutely won't bend and they they educate the consumer on why no non negotiating price respects their intelligence respects their time, etc. I mean caravan, it's, I think it's pretty generally accepted that the people buying from caravan are paying higher than a typical market. And I was gonna say, overpay, but I don't want to say overpay, because I think what they're doing is paying for not needing to go through all of the stuff that they don't want to go through a dealership and the prices are a little high. Okay. But do you think, for example, when there's a trade and you're a one price dealer, you give someone their figure and in all earnestness, With all integrity, an hour after they leave, you find out that their trading is worth $800 more than you originally estimated. What do you do now? Because at a strict one price store, they can't even tell the customer that they gotta just hope he comes back.
Yeah, well, what do you do, then? I mean, that goes to wherever that that's, I guess that's subject to the dealer. I mean, what kind of culture do they have? What kind of moral compass? Do they have? Me personally, I'm calling about the customer at every opportunity. However, I think we should point out something very important, very important, because I mean, listen, I'm not being negative at all towards the car industry. I love the car industry. It's, it's, it's given me a career. Okay. But yes, I think we should be we should point something out. These car van is this this firm that I was talking about here, let's just remember, they're not representing the manufacturer. Okay. Or as we would call it, the OEM. You know, they're not they're not governed, their pricing structure is not governed by certain elements that are found in the dealer got to be very clear on that. This is why they're in a position right now where they can look, the price is the price. I think the idea right now, for customers watching this right now, let me debunk a couple of things. First things first, why do we even negotiate a couple of things, we're governed by the manufacturer, okay. Also, the margins currently found, especially in the new car used car lots are, you know, you have a little bit more room to maneuver. But over on the new car side, because of competition, because there's so many, there's so much choice out there. The margins actually got over the last eight years, what I've seen, don't forget, I've been in this for 19 years, right? So over the last eight years, the margins have just been reduced to basically almost nothing, right? So this is why they focus so much on volume, right? It's just because, you know, a lot of people think, you know, if you see a very successful car salesperson, that's because they're moving a lot of units. It's not necessarily because they make so much money off every car. And I think customers like my mom, and anybody else that's not used to this, I like to educate them to say, Well listen, instead of focusing so much on the price of the vehicle, which the margins are so close, like, poor guy that has to give up another 50 6070 bucks off the price of the car, you completely, it's the difference between, as we said before eating a steak and Kraft Dinner, I mean, so there's not much margin, there's not much margin for these guys to operate with. However, what I would strongly recommend to anybody watching this is, instead of focusing on the price, which is not going to go down substantially, I'm not sure how it works down there. But here, the way I like to educate people, every $1,000 you take off a car is 20 bucks off a monthly payment.
Jeff Sterns 32:55
Yeah, and a five year loan.
Yeah, correct, right. So if you look at it that way, what you're going to, you're going to go back and forth with someone over a week to save 20 bucks a month, just the time that you put into this phone calls, there's your 20 bucks, right, so what I would recommend is to reverse engineering, come down as low as you can. But I would placed more of an emphasis on negotiating on winter tires, negotiate on any kind of extras that you would need for your lifestyle on the vehicle, bike rack, winter tires, extra set of tires, maybe more kilometers at the end of your term, etc. Like we shouldn't focus only exclusively on the price of the vehicle.
Jeff Sterns 33:39
Thank you brought up a really good point. I'm not in the retail car business anymore. I sell you know I'm a vendor selling to the retail car business and
you think it was a good point or wasn't good point. Great point. So okay.
Jeff Sterns 33:52
So when I but I'm still giving advice and I can't I can't not be the person that people are coming to asking for car buying advice friends and family and my old customers a lot of my old customers stay in touch or a referral to a certain you know, anyone in a Nissan store you know anyone in a Mercedes store you know it cetera. So I'm, I'm still involved in they'll see in an ad special, they'll see an advertised car or lease special. And then they'll say okay, Jeff, do you know anyone there and because you might know someone there? How much do you think you can get me off that and I have to explain to them that there's a very good chance that there's some extra fine print that you have to buy a couple of accessories at above that price, even to get that price because with the aggressiveness of advertising and internet and etc. Everyone's putting their best foot forward, everyone's best foot is forward if there's any more room, they're cutting their own throat because the competitors just going to advertise lower. Everyone can sort and filter by Best Price now on however they're looking. So I agree with you that there's no margin and I would even tell go first And tell the prospective car buyer that if you walk into a dealership and pay sticker for a new car, they're still making less than they were making 25 years ago after negotiating for five hours.
This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars.
BDC specialist and consultant. CRM developer. FinTech equity partner.
Seasoned automotive BDC (Business Development Center) growth expert with a career spanning 19 years
forged through car washing and the service drive. Held positions as jockey/appt coordinator / Service advisor / used car sales / Service manager / BDC manager 13 years / Asst fixed ops (parts and service) director
Looking to engage and help dealers reach maximum growth potential in the service drive by way of the BDC.
- 1985 VW Gold ( grandma bought it for me) 1st ever car
- 1992 Honda civic - white rusted hatchback that hardly ran with no heating
- 1988 Iroc Z T top ( first car ever with my own money)
- 1989 Mustang 5.0 GT 25th anniversary
Lexus ISF ( 5 litre)
Mercedes Benz C300
2013 Mercedes Benz C 300