Pre-Owned Operations - You’ve Must Eat Your Broccoli

August 13, 2015

Running a successful used car department is hard. It requires a high level of execution, attention to detail, solid processes, and exceptional people working with you. Failure is not often recognized immediately and it can seem like death by a thousand cuts. I would like to share with you some daily weekly and monthly job duties I have seen successful pre-owned managers execute. They are often not glamorous and sometimes go unnoticed, but are essential to success.

Daily Job Duties

  • Trade Walk - Not by yourself, bring the other managers and F&I team with you.
  • Yesterday Missed Appraisal Review - Talk through all the missed appraisals with someone other than the person that appraised the unit to be sure you did not miss something.
  • Traffic Check aka BDC Update - Today’s appointments / Tomorrow’s appointments setting progress.

Weekly Job Duties

  • Inventory Walk - Remember when it was the only way to see your inventory? Get out of the chair and walk the lot at least once a week if not every day.
  • Online Inventory Walk - Why not? Get on at least 2 websites each week and check out your inventory. Review price, photos, placement of your ads and the competition. Do a google search of your dealership. What shows up? Your job is to think and act like an online customer.
  • Wholesale Review - How did you do at the sale this week? Are prices up or down? You are the used car expert, show what you know.

Monthly Job Duties

  • Monthly Water Review - Take stocks of your entire inventory as the new guide books are released. Look for potential problems early and formulate a game plan.
  • BDC Lead Source Review - Ask your BDC for a review of all traffic sources to the dealership and a closing rate summary. Know where your best sources of traffic are and inspect weekly.
  • Expense Review - It is way more productive to see the big picture. Get involved with the review of the expenses that affect your department. Do what you can to keep costs down and maximize the tools and efforts of your people and vendors.

None of these job duties are fun. In fact, checklists remind me of when my mother always reminded me to eat my broccoli. It never really tasted that great, but the long-term effects of good habits can lead to a very healthy and in this case, profitable business.

Contact me directly for more in-depth suggestions on daily, weekly & monthly checklists from some of the top performing dealers across the country.