How To Select An Automotive Consultant

By Brian Pasch

The automotive industry is constantly changing but many of the core operating philosophies have not changed over the years.  Those core tenants include listening to the needs customers, providing a service that has perceived value, and creating a sustainable business based on outstanding customer service. Dealer principals are master entrepreneurs that understand the importance of structure, process, and execution.  However, as their businesses scale, dealers need to rely on others to execute their business plan.

When dealers rely on others, a new set of skills are needed that entrepreneurs may not have naturally.  Skills are needed that will be able to help create a scalable organization that is focused on a core set of operating principles and processes laid out by the dealer.  I read a quote today that hit home: “Everyday your employees are being recruited, either by you or your competition!”  How well is your organization refining their processes in order to continue recruiting their employees to stay energized and focused on success of the dealership?

Some dealers have said that operating a dealership in 2013 is significantly more demanding that 20 years ago.  That viewpoint is likely influenced by the massive changes that the Internet brought to automotive retailing, not including the compliance requirements in a litigious regulatory society.   As business operations become specialized, dealers are finding that their business needs “process coaches” to keep the company operating efficiently.

Process Coaches Fill Natural Gaps

consultTurnover is just one of the struggles that dealers face. Equally challenging is finding cost effective ways to train employees on the new tools and processes offered by vendor partners through upgraded technology and insights provided by Big Data research. The reality is that you only know, what you know!   Process coaches can provide the expertise that the dealer themselves do not have the time to go out and learn on their own. The expert will then design short-term and long-term training based on the needs of the dealership.

As a result of the downturn in the automotive industry in 2007, dealers cut the fat from their staffing models.  Unfortunately, when a key person(s) leaves, it normally has a short term negative impact on the business.  Process coaches fill the gap when process break or key employees leave, to keep the dealership running effectively and profitability.

Here are some examples where a process coach can add value:

  • It is not uncommon to see turnover in the BDC/Internet department of the dealership.  This turnover can cost a dealership thousands of dollars each month in lost productivity.  Dealers that struggle to create a stable Internet team can turn to a process coach to bring stability and sustainable growth to the dealership.   A competent coach will show dealers what is broken and put a structure and pay-plan in place that creates a sustainable and productive work environment.
  • Dealers who are averaging an Internet closing ratios of 8-11% may think they are doing well, but the fact is that effective Internet processes, and accountability measures, yield a consistent closing rate of over 20%.  Internet Process Coaches can assist dealers will CRM processes and accountability to sell more cars with the leads they already have!
  • Dealers are realizing that staffing the service department with a sales professional can yield dozens of high grossing deals per month, with minimal cost.  How does a dealer get the winning strategy for turning their service drive into a sales center?  Simple, hire a great process coach with service experience that knows how to leverage equity mining tools.
  • Dealers who are finding their marketing dollars are not delivering the impact that they once experienced.  Having an experienced branding coach review the dealership’s message and strategy can often yield amazing results in a short period of time.  Is it time to have a fresh set of eyes look at your overall marketing strategy?


Finding The Right Coach For Your Dealership

The most effective coach is the one that works with your culture.  Just because a coach presented at your 20 group the results they delivered to another dealer, it does not mean that the same coach will work at your dealership. Referrals are important but chemistry is more important in making a consulting engagement work properly.  Chemistry is best tested face to face, do you agree?

So, how do you simplify the process of selecting a coach that will be compatible with the culture of your dealership?  I would suggest that attending the Automotive Boot Camp will make it easy to interview excellent dealership coaches, in an intimate setting.

That’s right, whether you are looking for a sales coach, BDC coach, Internet marketing coach, F&I coach, or a service department coach, dealers will find a competent candidate willing to discuss their business model at Boot Camp.

Here is a listing of some of the outstanding consultants that will be present at Boot Camp that can be retained to help your dealership grow:

Mentoring and Advice At Boot Camp

In addition to these twelve consultants, the workshop sessions are lead by industry leaders, product specialists, and active dealership employees that are willing to share their best practices to help your dealership sell more cars at a lower net cost.  Those names include Kendall Billman, Julie Chisum, Patrick Kelly, Julio Gonzalez, JD Rucker, David Page, Bill Whittenmeyer, AJ LeBlanc, Keith Platt, Sean Stapleton, Michael Sos, Ali Amirrezvani, Ben Anderson, Justin Brun, Dmitriy Gamarnik, Jeff Wardwell, Myril Shaw, Christine Rochelle, Shelley Bogan, and Ian Perrin.

Of course, all of the best consultants and coaches can’t be with us at Boot Camp this year.  We will miss past speakers Jim Ziegler, David Kain, Jerry Thibeau, and Grant Cardone, who are first class operators!

So, make the investment in your future by attending the 4th Annual Automotive Boot Camp in Philadelphia  May 14-16th to meet with world-class coaches and participate in outstanding workshops to fine tune your skills.  It’s an amazing package for one low price.

Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Consulting