2020 is here and has made a tough business even tougher. Now there’s more regulation and red tape than ever. Inventory shortages from factory shutdowns loom on the horizon. And now the public is hopped up on this concept that you are putting people at risk because you’re simply trying to keep your business going, as if dealers needed more bad press or more hate from the public.
On top of that, customers come in with no down payment and want every car below invoice, taking money right out of your hands. With unemployment the highest its been since the Great Depression, it’s not likely the focus on transparency, “fair” pricing and low-balling is going anywhere. Meanwhile, vendors are pick-pocketing you behind your back, up-charging you for services you don’t need and that don’t result in any additional units sold.
All of this is making the car business less fun, less profitable and less rewarding than ever before. Frankly, it sucks! And dealers like you are paying the price.
But we see a future where the car business is fun, dealers are respected and low price isn’t the only thing that matters. A future where we think bigger about who we are and what we do for the world. A future where dealers are important. These words are guiding us to an important truth. The car business has never been tougher or more talked about. But we wonder if now, 111 years after the first Model T was produced and after personally helping dealers sell more than two million vehicles at above average grosses, if dealers haven’t completely forsaken their purpose and their reason for being in this business.
There are forces within the automotive industry that are trying to commoditize dealers. These thugs are hell bent on diminishing the role of dealers, with a stated goal of making traditional dealerships obsolete.
You may not notice this as the bloody and brutal battle that it actually is, but it is real and the casualties are mounting. The time to pick a side, to stand up and fight, is now, or it may be too late. If we continue too far down this path there will be no going back. Right now the current of change is taking us in a dangerous direction.
Where Is The Industry Going?
Like it or not, there is a collusion of power within the auto industry that is programming consumers to believe that “low price” is the only important factor to consider when buying a car. Simultaneously, these very same forces are trying to convince dealers that “low price” is the only effective way to differentiate one dealership from any other. Essentially, these colluding powers are attempting to level prices across the industry, diminishing your profit in the process. But who benefits from this bloody price war? Certainly not dealers, and, frankly, not consumers either.
It’s a vicious cycle. Robbing you of your profit is robbing you of your power, your potency, your liberty, your independence as an entrepreneur. And as profit is systematically reduced, so too is your ability to provide exceptional service, solve problems, and be an advisor. Thin margins reduce you to a merchant, and nothing more, like someone running a stall at a flea market, haggling over used tools.
The End Result is a Future Where:
- Dealers are unnecessary.
- Dealerships are glorified repair shops, places for merely looking, and not buying.
- Buying is done online through a manufacturer’s Website or a large online vehicle clearinghouse.
- The former glory of dealerships as a center of their communities will be a faded memory. The time when dealers employed many local people, funded community events, acted as civic leaders and supported local charities will be a thing of the past.
- The excitement of getting a car will be reduced to a private experience where the individual alone relishes in the excitement… but not over the car, over the price.
If these aligned powers have their way, dealers won’t be allowed to make a profit for selling a car. All the cars will be priced the same and that price will include a razor-thin margin, barely sufficient to pay someone to process the paperwork.
The car business used to be a people business but the machines are taking over and turning it into a transactional business of commodities. Like trading pork bellies or corn on a computer, or buying a book from Amazon.com.
Stripped away will be what everyone is currently overlooking: the actual value you provide. It’s not selling cars.
The real value is helping people who have problems, arranging financing, handling trade-in issues, giving advice and simplifying the selection process.
A Website can peddle vehicles and take orders. But only car dealers can help people and really solve their problems.
The current car business “royalty” demands obedience and subordination from dealers. They insist that front-end profit is a thing of the past and that today’s dealers need to realize that less (profit) is more.
This likely future is a nightmare scenario that dealers should be fighting to avoid. You can choose to join the fight against these forces, the fight for INDEPENDENCE. Or you can assimilate and be slowly homogenized, commoditized, equalized, and finally downsized.
We are now at the point of transformation in this industry. A crossroads. But this isn’t something to fear. We come to you today not only with a challenge, but with answers, too.
We believe there is another version of the future where the seemingly inevitable misery and impotence of dealers is avoided. It is a future where the car business is fun and profitable again. It’s the renaissance of a once glorious business.
In truth, it’s a revolution. And you are needed.
Here’s our position:
- The car business should be enjoyable…even fun, again
- Car dealers should be respected and influential members of their communities
- Dealerships should have a competitive advantage other than low price
Some might call this a personal manifesto. But we think of this more as a mission statement for the entire car dealer industry. We’re proposing a better kind of success and we can get there together.
First, pick a side. You must choose or it will be chosen for you. You can take a passive role and let the future happen to you or you can take an active role and fight for what’s rightfully yours to create…the future you desire.
You are welcome to share our vision for the future. We’re glad for you to join us and the hundreds of other dealers who have already chosen fun, respect, profit and prosperity as their future. If these words echo strongly your own private thoughts then you’ve already made up your mind. Join the Rich Dealers® Revolution.
Second, quit the price war. Pull the troops out. Throw up the white flag. The cost of victory is complete destruction and annihilation of the car business as we know it.
Third, declare that there is something unique about you and your dealership…a reason for customers to choose you over other dealers, other than low price. Even if you can’t enunciate what that difference is right now, don’t worry. We can help.
Fourth, commit to this new set of values:
- The car business should be fun!
- Car dealers should be respected!
- Car dealerships should not compete on price!
The Car Business Should Be Fun!
Americans have a love a love affair with cars. Cars are an extension of our personalities. Our neighbors and co-workers see the car we drive and judge us by it.
The powerful force of the human ego is intertwined with every American’s desire for a Nicer, Newer® car.
You can use that desire as a force of positivity and prosperity. You can help people get the Nicer, Newer® car they so ardently desire and make a very healthy profit in the process. It’s fun to help people get what they want.
Car Dealers Should Be Respected!
Merchants ensnared in a price war aren’t respected. They’re walked on. By exiting the price war and committing to providing exceptional service and being a problem solver for your customers you can regain the confidence of your community. By positioning yourself as a source of help and support, you can become a beacon of respect.
Dealerships Should Not Compete On Price!
Study after study of consumer buying behavior has found that price ranks low on the list of reasons buyers buy. Participating in the price war erodes the confidence and respect customers have in you. There are huge masses of prospects available to you who are yearning for something different than the lowest price. But they’re invisible to you and you’re invisible to them as long as you continue to be a pawn in the commodity game. Instead of fighting to offer the lowest price, you can increase the value of the service you provide and have all the customers you can handle.
Why is this so important? Well, did you dream of more than this for your business? For your life? When did this become acceptable? Is this why you signed up to be a dealer? Or are you still in business to make a profit? And do you believe that the profit you make should be determined by how much value you bring to the marketplace?
Or should YOUR PROFIT be dictated by a piece of software or a suit in a corporate office?
Privately, dealers and managers are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, parishioners, mentors, leaders, contributors. We play important roles in the lives of others. We help people get the transportation they so badly desire and need. In a depressed world, we bring people joy. But until we dedicate ourselves to worthier goals than selling a car for the lowest price, we’re on a mission of emptiness.
Here are important questions to consider:
What do you stand for? What will you be remembered for? Are you a person or just a slave to the commerce of the car business?
Let’s bring back the soul and character of the car business. We’re calling for dealers to reconsider and recreate what they’re all about. To reclaim the original glimmer of passion that got them here in the first place.
Let’s start a revolution. A movement that’s not just about features and benefits or cars and prices. An insurrection of value against the destroyers.
The beauty of this plan is that it only requires a slight adjustment. A simple change in perspective. A change in how we look at ourselves and the role we play in this business and in the world.
If you take this seriously and want to change the future for your business, we can arm you with the battle gear that will help you thrive. Rich Dealers can help you take a completely different path. Our marketing blueprint, monthly creative campaigns, trademarked dealership brand and positioning strategy and dealer mastermind group have been the secret weapon in the war against commoditization for some of the most profitable dealers of our time.
If you know that our mission is your mission, if you are on our side in this battle for the future as a prosperous place for dealers, then you need a plan.
In your market, right now, there’s a hotbed of buyers who haven’t been brainwashed by the “lowest price” faction. In fact, there are more of them than there are of the others. But you need to be able to find them & communicate with them in a compelling way.
We’ve perfected a unique method for analyzing your market and identifying highly desirable, highly profitable customers who are seeking your true value. With a few pieces of information and a simple conversation we can show you:
- The size of the hidden opportunity
- Who they are and how you can reach them
- What they want to hear and receive from you
Request a free demo.
This is the first step toward changing your future.
You’ll be introduced to dealers all around the country who have regained the lost spirit of the car business and are now having fun, feeling respected and building prosperity once again.