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Turning around a dying dealership in 2 to 3 months

Jan 15, 2016
4
1
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First Name
Jordan
I was offered my stepping stone into management recently. I have previously been a sales then BDC Manager and so forth. The catch was someone young and more full of ideas and reviving a dealership that was only selling 3 cars a month on average. Now Mitsubishi is selling more and more cars but my dealer isn't. Now with that being said my local rival finished with 34 last month. Were seperated by the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Meaning they are about 30 minutes away. The dealership is actually getting redone now thankfully. It was old and dated, but all new paint, furniture, floor, etc is being done as we speak to bring the place back alive.

I've looked at somethings that were hurting us of course. A big one being we're not even on google maps. I requested our post card to be sent to verify the address so this can be fixed. I have created a Facebook page and used that big time for us to push local awareness. I saw @Jeff Kershner ask these questions which may help. Looking for ideas and advice. It's hard enough being a smaller brand but by no means should we be selling 3 cars on average and I do mean 03 cars. www.bryanmitsubishi.com www.facebook.com/bryanmitsubishi

  1. Will you have the volume of inventory you'll need in order to support this increase? Currently 23 vehicles in stock. I placed an order of 49 additional vehicles.
  2. How many sales people do you currently have in the new car department? 1 ( Me ) I play salesmanager and salesman.
  3. What's your dealers current show to close average? I have been here 15 days. Seen about 5 people. Sold 1 car so far.
  4. How many units per month are each of your sales people averaging? Previous manager/salesman sold average of 3.
  5. What metrics are being used to help determine if this goal is achievable?
The report for our website in the month of December.
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January Month to Date. 1/1/16 to 1/15/16
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Facebook's report.
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Oct 22, 2012
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First Name
Josh
Jordan, thought I would chime in to help you out a little. Being a General Manager, I can only speak to what I would do if in your situation. But if I was running a Mitsubishi franchise, I would use it as a cover for my Used Car operation. Don't go from stocking 10 to 100 over night, but you need to build it slowly. As demands increase you will hire more sales people and more of a structure to your operation. Depending on the demographics in your area I would try and cater to Special Finance needs in order to put Mitsubishi's on the streets. I could go on, but I would start there.
 

Tallcool1

Sr. Refresher
Mar 17, 2014
327
191
43
First Name
Clint
@Jordan Mendez , I need to ask you a few questions to hopefully be able to help you a little. I used to be the CFO of a dealer group, and handled acquisitions as part of that job. We bought 2 stores that were just plain and simple, ON THEIR BACKS! Maybe I can give you a little advice.

You said that you are it, judge jury and executioner in this Mitsubishi store. Is it JUST you, or is it just you handling New? In other words, are there other salespeople there that are selling used vehicles?

Are you sharing your used inventory with a sister store that sits adjacent to your Mitsubishi store? I was on your website and saw like 175 used vehicles. If you are sharing used inventory, what are the other Franchise badges of the sister stores?

How many repair orders is your service department writing per month? Again, is this a shared service department or a dedicated shop that has technicians that are exclusively Mitsubishi certified?

If you were to graph the last 36 months of New Mitsubishi sales, what would that graph look like? Have the stores numbers gradually declined or has the store really never done well with Mitsubishi?

What does the Mitsubishi leasing program look like right now?

Do you know what the traffic count is past your store frontage? Not an exact number, more like what is your visibility like? What other businesses are along the same route?

Get me some answers and I will help you come up with at least 3 ideas that I can promise will take you in the right direction.

You have taken on a task that is going to be very rewarding, if you can weather the storm! It is almost like you are opening a point. It is going to require a tremendous amount of positive thinking and focus on the things that will have the biggest immediate impact. It is a one step at a time project. Many of the highest paid peers that I have ever worked with got there by taking the exact same path that you have chosen. It is not for the faint of heart, but damn can a deal like this be a jackpot!
 
Jan 15, 2016
4
1
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First Name
Jordan
@Tallcool1 , I have a Chevrolet store on my left and a Subaru on my right. Our used car inventory is located down the street and is just one big location for all 3 stores. In other words it's completely separate.

Repair orders I don't know off hand. We have our own service department between me and Subaru. I have a few more Mitsubishi Technicians than you would think for a store like this mainly because we had at one point Suzuki so our store still has the sign out front for service. So, I would like to think they are doing a few a day at least to keep them busy.

Sales, I have a plaque saying congratulations on 25 years of sales. I would like to think the ball got dropped somewhere in the past 25 years! The numbers have gone down needless to say. That graph wouldn't look good.

We have cars passing every few seconds, we're on a heavy traffic street. We definitely get people driving by thousands a day I'm sure. I do have cars with pricing on the grass also. I have things like our Outlander for "21,999 3rd row" in big stickers on the side. No other car dealer but a few repair shops and auto parts are near.

As for the task and rewarding....everyone who is in management and of course older than I is saying the very same. I'm very optimistic and do believe I can do this. I appreciate the encouragement because of course I have my days where I see people walking into Chevy and feel like someone stole my dog.

I have my youth and technology know how as my greatest weapon. Going to school for design saves me alot of money with just advertising and ad design. Allows me to save and spend money where I need.

I have attached below our website count with how January finished up and my MTD. Since then I haven't spent any money until next month on advertising. I have corrected Google with us not even being on the map or listed other than our website in the results. Now we are listed and I have focused big time on customers leaving positive reviews on Google, Facebook and Dealerrater.

I will be doing a Take5 email campaign. We started a 90 day Search Engine Campaign this week and next month I will start targeted Facebook ads.

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Ryan Thompson

Sr. Refresher
Apr 21, 2010
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28
First Name
Ryan
This post is going to turn into our very own reality show. I'm really excited to see how REFRESH NATION can help out our friend Jordan. I think that it's admirable that Jordan is being so transparent with his numbers/stats and using the resources at his disposal.... DealerRefresh.

I'll be cheering you on from Canada.
 
Jan 15, 2016
4
1
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First Name
Jordan
Thank you @Ryan Thompson.

I figured numbers don't lie and it helps to know what I'm looking at also.

I also wanted to add that currently I'm not paying for any leads other than Mitsubishi and our dealer site. I do however need to restructure the way my leads are handled by myself and responded. I assume to save money we are listing subaru and mitsubishi leads under imports in our CRM. This causes a problem with auto emails which I'm not a fan of going out. I have had much better success here in New Orleans with Hey Jordan, rather than Hello, Dear and such. We are straight to the point and friendly to each other for the most part and when I see Dear or Hello I automatically think " Bot " and delete it. I'm currently trying to see how I want to tackle this problem. Mitsubishi actually offers it's own CRM type system in their portal I can use and create templates in. As of now I have auto emails going out for follow up and then emails that come from other people than me. I'm going to fix this issue over the next week for sure.

At the moment I'm creating responsive email templates. For both sales and customer follow up. I will likely do 3 or 4 different designs so that when customers open my email they will notice this one is slightly different then the last and read on. I attached one below, I welcome thoughts big or small.

DRAFT.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tallcool1

Sr. Refresher
Mar 17, 2014
327
191
43
First Name
Clint
Ok @Jordan Mendez , here we go.

This is what I would do if I were you.

1-Your website has absolutely ZERO personality. It actually looks like a blank template on a lot of the pages. Either you or someone needs to get every page on your website populated. Take some pictures of your store and get them on site. Fill out the About Us page with something that actually TELLS somebody something about your business. That is a Dealer.com site and it is capable of a whole lot more than it is being used for. Your goal of using Facebook to drive traffic is a good idea, but you better get your site overhauled before you even waste the quarter a click to drive traffic. Get some color on that website. Turn it into something that a customer would WANT to stay on. Get some pictures of people on there. It looks like a damn robot factory. Get some Call To Action shit going on. Get in touch with your rep at Dealer.com and get them to help you immediately.

2-You need to make those 15's go away ASAP, if you have 50 vehicles on the way. A couple of those units are gonna be tough to move. A $40,000 Lancer with a manual transmission is a vehicle for the big boys to sell. However, some of the others can be ass kicking good deals if you promote them as such. Your 15 Mirage is a 240 payment at 60 X 0.00% apr, with nothing down...from sticker price. Sure you have a $188 payment on your VDP, but that is with $2000 down. What in your opinion is more important to your customer base, $188/mo or $0 Down? That is for you to answer. The Outlander has 0.00% apr for 72 months available, but the payments on your VDP are calculated at 4.99%? Fix that. You don't have any buy it now buttons on your website nor should you. Show people the best possible scenario. All you are trying to do with your website is build trust and get them in. Also, check out the Rainbow Mitsubishi website. Are they pricing at window sticker as their "Internet Price"? That is your competition. Figure out what they are doing that you aren't. You are getting ready to run neck and neck with them in one category...FLOOR PLAN EXPENSE! Figure out why they are selling 90% of your market.

3-Find a place to take photos. http://www.bryanmitsubishi.com/new/Mitsubishi/2016-Mitsubishi-Outlander-45062b6e0a0e0ae77554effb4c8441e3.htm That one is much better than most, because it was taken in your showroom. Most of your photos were clearly taken on a "take the photographer to the car" situation rather than the other way around. It looks like it. Also, take more pictures.

4-Get into your data base, preferably on the Service side. Start digging around in there and find your Mitsubishi owners that are regular service customers. Start figuring deals for them. You have a service history, know what the customer has done to the car, how many miles are on it, and an advisor the likely knows the car. Put a number on them, and get on the phone. If you sold them the car you can even calculate a payoff and look at their transaction history to see where they were credit wise. You can get pretty darn close without ever seeing the trades. Your customers are in your data base. I don't know what you have for a CRM, and if you share this data between your stores. My point is do you have access to the used vehicle sales history? If so, start looking for Mitsubishi buyers in there.

5-Get some color on your frontage. I know this sounds completely lame to say, but you have to do something to get people to notice your store. Do the balloon thing. I know it seems completely 15 years ago, but it still draws some attention. See if you can keep a select few pre-owned vehicles over there until your inventory starts to show up. With 20 units on your lot it looks like you are closed or going out of business. Make absolute sure that you are camped out on the lot or within clear vision of the lot at all times. Do NOT miss a customer. You can't afford to.

6-Get crafty as hell and see if you can get some leases to calculate better than they are on your Incentives page. Get hooked up with your factory finance source and learn their programs inside and out. Make sure that they see each and every deal that you have, even if you KNOW they won't approve the customer.

7-Start looking for salespeople and get on board with SOME training outfit. Verde, Cardone, Ziegler, whatever your owner likes, something. You are going to need more people soon.

That is a start. I will have more later but I am getting busy here.

None of this is personal. You didn't do it. I am calling it like I see it...and you aren't blind. You know too.
 

Tallcool1

Sr. Refresher
Mar 17, 2014
327
191
43
First Name
Clint
Thank you @Ryan Thompson.

I figured numbers don't lie and it helps to know what I'm looking at also.

I also wanted to add that currently I'm not paying for any leads other than Mitsubishi and our dealer site. I do however need to restructure the way my leads are handled by myself and responded. I assume to save money we are listing subaru and mitsubishi leads under imports in our CRM. This causes a problem with auto emails which I'm not a fan of going out. I have had much better success here in New Orleans with Hey Jordan, rather than Hello, Dear and such. We are straight to the point and friendly to each other for the most part and when I see Dear or Hello I automatically think " Bot " and delete it. I'm currently trying to see how I want to tackle this problem. Mitsubishi actually offers it's own CRM type system in their portal I can use and create templates in. As of now I have auto emails going out for follow up and then emails that come from other people than me. I'm going to fix this issue over the next week for sure.

At the moment I'm creating responsive email templates. For both sales and customer follow up. I will likely do 3 or 4 different designs so that when customers open my email they will notice this one is slightly different then the last and read on. I attached one below, I welcome thoughts big or small.
I think that the templates are good, but I also think that email templates are pretty far down the list of what I would focus on if I were you. Email templates are about fine tuning and tweaking. You don't need fine tuning and tweaking. You need an overhaul.

Start where you can make the biggest difference the fastest, and quite honestly that is not it.
 

Tallcool1

Sr. Refresher
Mar 17, 2014
327
191
43
First Name
Clint
How are things coming along @Jordan Mendez? Are you making any headway?

Keep us informed. There is a lot of experience in this forum!
 

ed.brooks

Sr. Refresher
Jan 15, 2010
1,106
650
113
First Name
Ed
Your used inventory is located down the street, correct? Is that a separate operation?

I guess my question is, are you supposed to 'turn the operation around' based on new Mitsu sales?