I did a little research prior to writing this article on something I know a little bit about, bull riding. One of my cousins ventured into being a bull rider at a very young age. In a rodeo the toughest contender is the bull rider. I learned you know the ones that make it to the gold buckle are the ones that started out as bull riders.
What I found out about bull riders is that if they start out in calf roping or barrel racing or bare back bronco riding, they never seem to get the nerve to go into the shoot and get on the bull. They’ve seen other riders thrown, hurt and get back up and go again.
In our industry, we run a rodeo, there’s no doubt about that. If you’re a dealer, you are the arena in the rodeo and there is all kinds of gates that can be pulled in your arena: service manager gate, parts department gate, body shop manager gate, F&I manager gate, etc. But the one bull rider in your arena, the one that is the toughest of them all, always has been and always will be the used car manager. The guy that starts out as the used car manager seems to be the one that achieves the most in his career.
2011 is going to be the year of the pre-owned department. It’s going to carry the majority of the net, taking up the slack in the departments that are going to back up. Here are a few things that you better make sure your bull rider/used car manager is able to do to keep you where you want to be competitively:
1. A guy that can walk in, sit down and close a deal because he knows that he taught his sales force how to qualify a customer.
2. A guy who fully understands that the survival of a new car department in a down market is based on the ability to trade. He knows this ability is needed to conquest product and be more aggressive than anybody you compete with in taking trades out of the market to put new cars in. They also know that reconditioning and retailing those trades in a timely manner will create a profit.
3. This is not typically a person that is going to rely on a computer program to tell him how to run his department.
4. They are going to get up in the morning and know what it takes to get a car ready. In his mind, he already has his day scheduled out on what he has got to do to bring this car up to front line standards that he traded for yesterday.
5. A person who knows how to tell his sales force why and how to justify the worth of a product.
Yep my friends, the bull rider will ride in 2011 and you can realize right now or you can realize later, he’s the one that’s going to take you to the gold buckle.