Do You Know Your Audience? (continued)
Walking the NADA Convention floor, we made new relationships & future
business colleagues. After all is done and said, I need to propose a question
to our audience…The Readers; the Dealer Principles, Operations Managers,
F & I Gurus, Marketing Magnets and so on. I asked this question
your audience, your Customer Base, which is still permeating your
showroom floor and service/parts department arena.
“Do you know your
Are you better fitted to assisting your customers than you were
prior to the convention? If so, Great. But for those of you who stopped
by and ask me questions how to regain the current customers within your
own DMS database, I spoke confidentially & deliberately about
Who Your Audience Is
. OK, so here we go. The one question that seemed to permeate the arena was, and
probably will be, "How do we regain our focus on the lost customers that fell by the wayside AND regain a handle on
profit margins & Service Absorption?"
The best way to handle yesterday’s failures is to start to handle today’s
customer properly.
By the way, your current stream of revenue is standing in
your showroom right now. Or for Fixed Operations Managers; treat every customer
in your arena as a
CSI customer. Putting your customer first every time will
not only increase your Gross Profit margins.
Statistics prove that every happy
customer tells a friend or neighbor about his/her experience. That being said,
every customer that is unhappy will certainly tell many more people than the happy
Here is some interesting “Knowing your Audience” information.
NADA States: Customer Satisfaction exists at the confluence of expectations, processes and staff performances.

The reasons customers stop coming to the dealership are illustrated for educational purposes, simply stated: If
you know your audience, then you will understand their needs.

Understanding the market is an instrumental tool when determining the factors in lack of work, slow production,
low sales volume, and employee turn over

We have learned: Getting employees out of their personal comfort zones eliminates down time, it also provides
management the tools needed to determine what course of action will be needed within their immediate staff and
current processes. A productive team member is a happy team member, and if the team is operating efficiently
and conducting themselves professionally, then customers are able to take notice and “The Road Ahead” has
been established. And the foundation of a well trained and fully operational department has been built.

Let’s change lanes here for a moment: I recently read an article written from an un-known author who used an
historical place & time that truly dealt with modernized management.

Fully committing to success means there are no excuses. If you commit to increasing sales, then burn the
ship of excuses because nothing short of total realization of that goal is acceptable. Old sales goals are gone
forever, and the only things you are focused on are the new numbers. Falling back and achieving the old
numbers isn’t a success of any kind; it’s short of your goal.

If you commit to meeting with one new client every week, but you used to meet with one new client every three
months, burn that ship of what used to be acceptable. It’s gone! Meet the goal you have established! Simply
saying “I want to do this or that” isn't good enough. Commitment requires that we change the verb from want to
will. I
will contact new prospects this week, I will make this deadline, and I will change my attitude.

Burn the ship of options and excuses and make a real commitment! No more “woulda,” “coulda” or “shoulda” and
no mindset of “I will go down fighting.” I will not go down fighting, because I will not fail!
If you want to win, don’t allow losing to be an option.
Victory comes with the commitment that is willing to
“burn the ships.”

I’m not stating that you burn the proverbial ship; I am merely suggesting that you make it a company policy to
fight the good fight & never give in to negative employee relations that certainly slow the tides of progression.
Make sure your team is committed to go the distance & demand perfection in all they accomplish each & every
Your customers are certainly expecting a bigger bang for their buck.

Your Action: When you make your next commitment, write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in a
conspicuous place where you will see it daily. Begin with “I will” not “I want.”
Until next month, Keep your service bays full, your technicians hungry & your customers ever so happy.

Jim Bernardi
President /AutoPro Training Solutions
and visit
    Top Reasons Customers Stop doing Business with your Dealership:

       1% -  Die
       3% -  Move Away
       5% -  Develop other Friendships - Both professionally & Personally
       9%  -  Go to your Competition
       14%  - Are Dissatisfied with the Product
       68% - Were Treated with an Attitude of Indifference by the Dealer and/or an Employee.
Copyright © 2008 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
Jim Bernardi has held such positions as; Dealer, General
Manager, Director of Operations, District Operations
Manager, Parts & Service Director, Service Director,
Service Manager, Service Advisor and is President of
AutoPro Training & Marketing Solutions. A National Fixed
Operations Training Company which guarantees
increased GP or their training fee is free.
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