Advertising cost, inventory sourcing, referral payments and closing offices on the weekends were among the many topics discussed Tuesday during the six roundtables at the BHPH Dealer Forum in Indianapolis.
For three hours, dealers picked each others’ brains on the various topics to get help with their dealerships. Veteran dealers, Dan Francis of Andrews Auto Sales in Evansville, Ind., Ben Libby of Highway Motors in Chico, Calif., Mark Jones of MCMC Auto in Fort Worth, Texas, Luke Godwin in Godwin Motors in Columbia, S.C., Chad Randash of Randash Auto Center in Billings, Mont., and Eddie Hale of Neighborhood Auto in Decatur, Texas, led the roundtables.
Dealers were matched up with other dealers of similar size and configuration.
“We had a great group, lots of participation from everybody,” Godwin said. “There were a lot of smart dealers with a lot of experience. We had four to five dealers with 30 years of experience.”
Dan Grosvenor of 5 Star Auto in St. Charles, Mo., enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with several new dealers.
“It was like visiting someone else’ 20 Group. You get to hear from everyone and see what they are doing,” Grosvenor said. “There’s a 100 different ways to do this business.”
Lecoeur Charles of Mission Auto Sales in Miami, Fla., said the discussions will help his dealership get the proper processes in place to improve.
“You always enjoy being around different dealers and talking,” Charles said.
Among the many discussions, dealers spent time talking about different referral programs that have been successful with customers. Some were offering $100 to $500 for those leads that led to sales.
One group discussed the benefits of closing on weekends for attracting employees.
With the current tight inventory and high wholesale prices, dealers spent significant time talking about where they are finding vehicles. Some dealers were finding success with private sales from social media.
Dealers will share the best practices discussed during the roundtables in the closing ceremony at the Dealer Forum at 9 a.m. Wednesday.