Why New Sales People Fail

When working with dealerships, I’m often asked, “How can I help my new salesperson succeed – right from the start?” Most salespeople, especially new ones, fail for one reason; they don’t produce enough daily activity to get their business up and going.  This is why I encourage owners and sales managers to make sure that the salesperson is starting out with a sales funnel that is full of customers to contact.  Whether your salespeople are new or experienced, nothing can create sales success more than a full sales funnel.  If I were starting a new salesperson, I would go into …Read More

How to Compensate Your Salespeople

Compensation, regardless of the position in a dealership, is always a hot topic.  How much can I afford to pay? What level of performance do I have the right to expect as an owner from my people? How do I know whether I am paying too much, or just as bad, not enough, and then risk losing my good people to a competitor?  While I could do a day-long program on compensation programs for dealerships, in this blog I want to just focus on the sales department for both inside and outside sales people.
Let’s start with those people you have …Read More

What is the Difference Between MSRP and Retail?

MSRP and Retail Pricing may not be the same thing. One of the most common questions I am asked from new dealers, just getting into the business, has to do with MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) and why we would encourage dealers to charge more to the customer that what the manufacturers recommend.  As I share with dealers, the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, is just that, a suggestion.  It doesn’t mean that you must sell at that price.  As an independent dealer you have the right to choose whether you use the recommendation from the manufacturer or not. Because of …Read More

The Nuts and Bolts of Technician Pay

In the compensation programs we recommend, the tech is paid an hourly rate based on their level of experience and the dealership location. For example, in the Midwest, a C-level tech might make $8-$10 dollars an hour. A tech in the Boston area, however, might need to be paid $14-$16 per hour. You know your area and what you have to pay to get a technician at the various levels, so adjust accordingly.

In the Midwest, a B-level tech makes $10-14 dollars an hour while an A-level tech makes $15-$21 dollars an hour. A tech’s hourly rate should be increased based …Read More

How Do I Determine My Labor Rate?

One of the most common questions we are asked at BCI  is "How do I determine my labor rate?"  For most dealerships, the process of setting a labor rate begins with calling all the competitors in the market, asking them what their labor rate is and then making sure that they are somewhere close to the competitors. In our company, we jokingly refer to this method as “pooling ignorance”.  Why, you might ask, is this not a good method? Well most of your competitors do the same thing to set their labor rate and ultimately it has nothing to do …Read More

But, Can They Run the Business?

Have you ever stopped to think about what the core skills or competencies are that someone needs to know to run your business? As you are thinking about what it looks like for someone, other than you, to effectively run your business one day, this is a vitally important question to ask. Not long ago, I sat down at lunch with my mom and dad and we had this exact conversation.  Asked them “What are the skills or competencies that I need to have in place to run the company one day?”

The conversation did a few things:

First, it opened up …Read More

What Will Happen to the Business?

When someone starts a business, they don’t always have the end in mind, but the end will always come. Complexities are inevitable when someone’s time ends at a company, especially if family is involved. One of the areas that can cause the greatest areas of conflict in a family business is what happens to the business after the current generation retires.

I often joke that the goal in family business is that at the end of the day, we are all able to sit around the table at Thanksgiving and still enjoy being around each other. That’s why it’s so important …Read More

Energizing the Next Generation

Many of you are just like us: a family business. Maybe your kids aren’t in the business yet, but you hope that one day they will be.

When I joined BCI, I did it because I needed a job. It wasn’t because I was necessarily passionate about what I was getting ready to do, but I was passionate about the paycheck I was going to receive. You see, being a part of BCI wasn’t my life plan. I grew up hearing about the ups and downs of the company. I was hired on many occasions as a kid to stuff boxes …Read More

Become the Calm in the Storm

If you could add a feature to Google maps, what would it be? Hands down, mine would be an estimator of how long it takes to get somewhere with kids in the car. Seriously, if you have kids or have taken a child anywhere, you know that it takes almost 50% more time to get anywhere with kids. It is about having realistic expectations. When my husband and I decided to take our three children on a spur of the moment road trip we did not have realistic expectations on how long it would take us. Eleven hours is what my …Read More

Avoiding Chaos

I recently heard a fireman share how he & his fellow firefighters work to avoid disaster. He explained that the best way to deal with a serious problem was to be proactive in order to eliminate or minimize the problem before it occurs. His department invests their time in doing regular checks on the businesses in the area to make sure they are up to code, that the fire extinguishers are working and in the right place and that the smoke detectors are all functional. That way, a major fire can be completely avoided or, at the very least, minimized. …Read More