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  1. BillPlayford

    Embrace Challenge

    As General George Smith Patton Jr said “if everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” This quote came up during a recent interview I did with my good pal, and fellow automotive prognosticator, Eric Miltsch. If you’ve tuned into social media these past few months, you’re a brave...
  2. BillPlayford

    Perception and Reality: Taking Control of the Video Experience

    After using a laptop screen exclusively for more than a decade, I decided to breakdown and buy an external monitor. Since a decent next to the top of line monitor costs a much as a used car, I wanted to do a little research. So, off to YouTube I go to try to gather some details and see some...
  3. BillPlayford

    Getting More From Conferences With Accountability

    At the time of this writing, NADA 2020 is approaching quickly. Like me, I’m sure your email inboxes and social media feeds are getting flooded. The next big event, or the next big personality, or the next big technology. Just like last year. The more people ask if I’m going, the happier I am...
  4. BillPlayford

    Giving Too Much Away

    You’re probably thinking to yourself oh, great another essay on making gross. Well, you’ve come to the wrong place. That path is too well worn. And, frankly, giving away too much gross is the least of your worries. Most dealerships are giving away their very business, one piece at a time. The...
  5. BillPlayford

    Leads? Customers? What is the Difference?

    Bravo, Alex! Given the lengthy automotive purchase cycle, I think an argument can be made that many purchasing entities are merely transactions. I think we all agree the data suggests that transacting entities visit less than two dealerships on average. However, it can be concluded that the...
  6. BillPlayford

    Leads? Customers? What is the Difference?

    I get the sense that this might be part of a series, but I'm a little lost on the logic. A significant portion of "ups" aren't logged into the CRM every day, handshake or not. Do those entities, as you call them, have more value than a lead or inbound phone call with all of the relevant contact...
  7. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    I think it's important that you make the distinction between new and used, @ruggles. The amount of potential front-end gross profit has waned considerably on new models, across all brands, over the last two decades, and especially after the Great Recession. Making additional gross has nearly...
  8. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    Why would Penske try to reinvent the wheel? Penske may own several businesses, but none of them could be considered tech companies. Most self-made billionaires didn't get that way by making wasteful spending decisions. This is exactly how most consumers would describe the site, Ed. Verbatim...
  9. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    Someone please call Penske an idiot: http://www.autonews.com/article/20160523/RETAIL01/305239985/penske-rolls-out-online-shopping-across-u-s
  10. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    Nailed it. I put six years of personal time into it. Where do I sign up?
  11. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    Most stores I work with today use the appraisal as an integral part of setting an appointment. Since it's one of the metrics that the stores use to measure success, there isn't much incentive to do it remotely. At the stores/groups I worked at in Michigan, Texas, and Georgia we had success...
  12. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    If you're working for glory, go work at Medieval Times.
  13. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    Let's forget about the abomination that is SCD for a bit (a glorified lead platform for resistant dealerships). What if the buy it now button was exclusive only to cash buyers who didn't have a trade? I'm not in the all or nothing camp. For me, this is all about gaining market share and...
  14. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    What if an alien drove that same F-150 back to Zeta Reticuli? If innovators were constantly afraid of low percentage risks, we wouldn't have electric appliances, cell phones, air travel, or F-150s to drive.
  15. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    I appreciate the feedback, and sorry for coming across as snide. We only have a finite amount of time every day to be productive. If a dealership had the ability to process deals faster on the front end, then they have more time to spend (i.e., making money) on the back end. Creating a more...
  16. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    Glad you're able to monetize every moment of your staff's time. That's a big struggle for the majority of stores we've worked with.
  17. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    Man, this thread is a monster! Let's flip this up for the guys still on the retail side. What if you were able to complete a car deal in 15 minutes? Would it be worth your while to try something different?
  18. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    When an established vendor guarantees sales, can we please go through this level of mathematical scrutiny?
  19. BillPlayford

    Online Shopping to Online Buying

    I think Ed has heard "WOLF!" cried too many times. It's easy to see why anyone would be skeptical. We've all been burned by empty promises in this space. Let's remind ourselves that, for all intents and purposes, buying a car online is still illegal in some states. Even if customers were...