Simon ‘Skippy’ Bowkett, the respected adviser and trainer to some of the most prestigious dealer groups and manufacturers, acknowledges that there are people in this industry who can teach him a thing or two. Florida-based Tommy Gibbs is one of them, especially when it comes to sales.
Part two of Skippy’s podcast interview of Tommy is full of great advice. Listen to it here Podcast – Symco Training
For instance, when selling a high-end car, Tommy still advocates applying the discipline that no car should be on your stock longer than 60 days. Just because it’s an expensive model does not give it the right to be hanging around – get it sold! Selling a vehicle gives you money to then re-invest in further stock. The key is to price it right, starting with an optimistic value for the first 20-30 days, but then adjusting it to sell the following month. Tommy’s advice is be disciplined!
As Simon says, “for the first 20 days, let’s go for gold.”
This brings Tommy’s strict sales policy into focus. In reality he advocates a 45-day sales turnaround for every single vehicle.
He says that an ROI after a 90-day sale will definitely be down on a 60-day sale and if you’re not making 110% ROI then you know you need to adjust your sales timings. His benchmark for ROI is 110%, not the usual 100% that many dealers work with. He also says that selling within 60 days puts an end to vehicle write-downs, too.
This all makes great sense, doesn’t it? As Simon was not too ashamed to admit, when he first started selling cars some stayed around long enough to get a birthday card.
Are Cazoo et al Game Changers?
And what does Tommy think about the upcoming threat of the likes of Cazoo and others? Are they changing the way people buy used cars?
“That will continue to grow,” he says. But it need not be a total threat. “I do believe the customer still wants to come to the dealership. Though some people will buy sight unseen, so you have to be involved in it. I would not fear them but I would see what they’re doing well.”
Simon asked about Tommy’s approach to hiring a used car sales manager. He says that training that new person to run things exactly the way the owner wants them run is vital. “As a new sales manager you need to know what you’re doing when that trade comes in. As a used car manager I have to become a student of the game – study it and study it.” He strongly advocates a business owner being hands on and passionate enough to train and help and facilitate their sales staff to achieve their best.
“You show me a successful dealership and I’ll show you an owner with strong used car roots,” says Tommy. Here at Need To Know Motors , we can’t disagree with a single word.