Stop Saying This In The Auto Industry

October 31, 2023
Here are the things in the retail auto industry that we need to stop saying
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During today’s episode of the ASOTU Wheelhouse hosted by Daniel Govaer, panelists Liza Borches, Andrew DiFeo and Jen Suzuki talk about the words and phrases that we shouldn’t be using anymore, plus why Taylor Swift and Travis Kielce matter to the auto industry.

0:00 Intro and Disclaimer

1:56 What are our panelists scared of?

3:58 Who on the panel is a Swiftie?

5:10 Hertz cutting back on EV investment

7:52 Jeep introducing more models over $100K

10:50 People aren’t making big purchases

14:45 Marijuana Hiring and Employee Policies

22:19 Employee Compensation and the UAW’s Contract

28:00 What are things we should stop saying?

34:30 Rapid Fire with today’s winner

36:00 Halloween costumes in the dealership

37:25 Bonus Travis Kielce and Taylor Swift question and wrap-up

Andrew DiFeo: 0:00I guess you're not a Swifty Daniel, I throw that in for you. No, I was at swift and I almost want to see the movie this weekend. So I'm a wide open

Liza Borches: 0:09

swift I went to write that Ford Field. It was awesome.

Daniel Govaer: 0:12

Awesome. Great. I think this is a great I could be used as a great PR study the NFL figured out like we can't hire her as an actual like he won't endorse us we don't have the money for that. But if we can if we can figure out like a good storyline here and it might cost us less and we have to give up a suite in Kansas City and all right, you know and then like that's kind of all it takes is fine.

Andrew DiFeo: 0:35

Roger Goodell is playing matchmaker now. This is all a setup.

Liza Borches: 0:39

Best move ever.

Daniel Govaer: 0:42

Such a personable fella Welcome back, everyone from a short break that we had to episode number 10 of the wheelhouse. That's right, we got to another even numbered episode of the wheelhouse. And that's always exciting. We actually don't do anything differently. But it's neat to talk about joined today by some new faces. Of course, first of all, we have Gen Suzuki, from dealer you process. We are fortunate also to have Liza gorgeous from Carter Myers automotive and Andrew DeFazio, both dealer operators of large groups that I'm very excited to have on the show and get some really great insights as we want to break down some stories and bring to you actionable items that you can take back to the dealership. And just before we kick start today's episode, just a quick note that the opinions and viewpoints expressed in this podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations or partners. And this podcast is for informational and educational not but entertainment purposes. And so thanks for joining us again. All right, so let's head up. Let's take on our first topics and kind of as we want to make sure everyone can tell me what is it you're scared of? Because we're just before Halloween and so we thought that would be a topical way to remind everyone that this was filmed during Halloween. But tell me what it is you're scared of 30 seconds each Andrew Why don't you go ahead and kick us off.

Andrew DiFeo: 1:58

Okay, well, I am scared of the status of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce is relationship after the loss yesterday she was not at the game. And I am sure the Chiefs ownership is discussing with Taylor's team about future attendance but seriously, I am scared about the growing day supply of EVs on our lot and lots throughout the industry. I think it is a problem that is going to grow exponentially over the years so

Daniel Govaer: 2:30

day supply it is okay. And 30 seconds on the clock for you Liza What are you scared of?

Liza Borches: 2:39

I'm not scared of Taylor Swift and Travis. I love that you started this. I am scared along the lines of EVs though a different fear and that is the knee jerk reactions that we've seen over the last couple of years of quickly throwing in we're going all Evie spend millions on infrastructure. Wait, no we might have a different administration coming in. Today much day supply we're scaling back we can't operate that way. Second thing I'm scared of is wage inflation going one way profit margins going the other way.

Daniel Govaer: 3:07

Hmm, absolutely. Great points on both of them. Yeah, Jen Suzuki 30 seconds what scares you?

Jen Suzuki: 3:15

I think everything that I see in the sales process is not adapting to the issues with affordability it's a real thing. It's thing that assesses opportunity for salespeople for income growth potential and not adapting the sales process based on what's changing in the market. That is what scares me not being able to train people and make changes to process based on what's changing in the industry.

Daniel Govaer: 3:39

All right, and then in this in this show, we also do allocate points you know, for some good points that you guys make so on that round since Liza two good ones, so that's 30 for you and 15 each for for Jen and

Jen Suzuki: 3:51

Angeline. Even though we had an over

Daniel Govaer: 3:55

I mean, you you can you can read the

Andrew DiFeo: 3:59

answer. I guess you're not a Swifty Daniel I threw that in for you know, I was at swift and I almost want to see the movie this weekend. So I'm a

Liza Borches: 4:08

wide open swift guy went to Detroit that Ford Field It was awesome. Awesome. It's

Daniel Govaer: 4:13

great. I think this is a great this is a great PR study the NFL figured out like we can't hire her as an actual like you won't endorse us we don't have the money for that. But if we can if we can figure out like a good storyline here and it might cost us less and we have to give up a suite in Kansas City and alright, you know and then like that's kind of all it takes is fine.

Andrew DiFeo: 4:35

Roger Goodell is playing matchmaker now. That this is all a setup.

Liza Borches: 4:39

Best move ever.

Daniel Govaer: 4:42

Such a person is such a personable fella and I do and I do absolutely appreciate the Broncos sending off the Chiefs with by playing Taylor Swift songs after they were quite humorous yesterday. I do like I do like a good trolling. I'm not gonna lie. Alright, so let's get into some top Eric's on today's show. So, and we'll and we'll devote like a couple minutes to, to each one of these. So, first of all, we've got and we've heard this before hertz, you know, promised to order 100,000 EVs decided they meant something more like 30 and then said that they're they don't remember who said they were gonna was gonna do 100 But he doesn't work here anymore. So don't follow it for the mountain. So the orders but no, what's interesting is is what they told the region, you know, they cited wasn't anything that I think I haven't heard before. They cited one that dependability was an issue and to depreciation was a big issue for them. And they couldn't factor that into their costs. In that, is there something that we can learn now? I mean, granted, in this case, there's sort of a retail customer, what lessons can we take from that?

Liza Borches: 5:42

I think one of the biggest lessons we can learn is their issue around depreciation. You know, we continue to appraise EVs the same way we've appraised the other used vehicles for decades. And we've got to start thinking about them differently. We also know that Tesla messes with the market with the price changes and especially as we're appraising Tesla's, we've got to be keeping that in mind. I'll let you guys jump in. I have a couple things to add later.

Andrew DiFeo: 6:07

You know, visor to your point, these these knee jerk reactions that you know from one second we have to go all in on Evie the next second every headline you read this week is Whoa, let's pump the brakes on EVs. It could be an administration change, these things are too much. We're losing money. So the This hurts headline. It's just like another video. I think they got caught up in the hype cycle of Evie. And they want it to be a headline so that somebody said, let's go out and, you know, it was a publicity stunt. Exactly. So I think, you know, just like, let's take a deep breath and say, you know, like, look, EVs are a thing. But let's make sure that we're, you know, meeting the demand. That's today and next year, not five or 10 years down the road, because a lot can happen between now and then.

Daniel Govaer: 7:03

All right. 30 seconds left?

Jen Suzuki: 7:05

Yeah. I mean, I, from my perspective, I just think, you know, everything keeps changing everyone, everybody's business keeps changing. Every you know, there's one always reminder, keep your finger on the pulse and adapt and pivot, just like we have been doing, you know, so I think for them to this could be a short term problem. Who knows? Could be, it could be bigger, maybe a better long term strategy. We don't really know that

Liza Borches: 7:29

quick nine seconds, I rented a Tesla from Hertz, they'd have to remember, there are differences in the vehicles, if you don't show someone how to use it, they're not going to be happy with their rental, it was a mess.

Andrew DiFeo: 7:39

Goes back to education, for sure. All right.

Daniel Govaer: 7:42

Where were you, by the way, when you rented that Tesla, Denver? Okay. Not going to see Taylor Swift got it. Alright, we have another manufacturer that's, that's joining the ranks of manufacturers that you didn't think would be taking their model line more upstream in terms of dollars and Jeep is telling us showing us several new models, they're going to introduce all of them over$100,000 Is this jeopardizing their base? First of all, because that's not simply what they were known for. And they were known for great things, none of which had to do with being over $100,000. And the second thing is what I'll always ask is just because the manufacturer is making it expensive, or is the dealer network ready for that, are there any resources being made available to the dealers to be able to handle what that requires in terms of the value proposition?

Jen Suzuki: 8:29

I mean, that's one of the biggest car markets right now. You know, they say what sufferings 50 to 80k Right, but what's driving, and I was just talking to some luxury dealers just over the weekend. And they're like, our business is great. Everything. I mean, I don't know. I mean, I guess it makes sense that you're meeting the market demand.

Daniel Govaer: 8:47

If those are over if those models over 100k or over 100k

Jen Suzuki: 8:52

That's for Jeep, but they don't even think of what they can they have new models other than the wagoneer coming out. Well, I'm

Daniel Govaer: 8:59

saying like if that's so mean, also, if those are going to be EVs over 100k I don't think anyone's going to tell you that they're over 100k EVs, myself included are anything that that's on fire right now.

Jen Suzuki: 9:09

Well, that's probably movies in my opinion,

Liza Borches: 9:11

but Well, I think the Jeep market is all about the mainstream. You look at the old Jeeps that everybody loves on the that are driving around town I personally have a 1982 Jeep scrambler is my baby and I love it. And that's you get the Jeep wave and it's all these people these older woman's and old wranglers and whatnot. That's a totally different customer. And I think the article said they've lost touch with the mainstream consumer. It's a recipe for them to win with $100,000 jeep, totally.

Andrew DiFeo: 9:41

You know, you will get like I think of the line stay in your lane. And like Jeep is all about that traditional, you know language or buyer driver and now they're trying to cater to the ultra luxury. We're not talking full expedition 70 80,000 We're talking 100 120,000 grand wagoneer and it's, I think, if anything's going to be backing up on lots, it's going to be $120,000. Jeep Wagoneer is not $40,000 Jeep Wranglers, in my opinion.

Daniel Govaer: 10:17

All right. I think that you get ducked by the way and your Jeep via

Liza Borches: 10:25

ducks on my, just leave them on the little dash.

Daniel Govaer: 10:28

It's an interesting thing about iPhones because they always, you know, previous to this model anyway, we're always inserting the word ducking when we didn't necessarily mean that. But when you try and ask somebody, if they've been ducked in their Jeep it somehow miraculously had my phone at least was autocorrect me back the other way. I was like, that's not what I meant. That's not. That's not how I've meant it. We've heard a lot. One of the things that we also guard against in is unnecessary positivity. And let us be a little bit careful here when we're talking about the latest consumer sentiment report, which was one of three reports actually, that came out we focused on consumer sentiment, but we're we got a lot of data that people aren't making big purchases, right consumer sentiment and consumer spending report was really bolstered by travel, which that was pent up demand from people not traveling due to various illnesses and shutdowns and things like that. But now we've got the data to see that, well, we're holding off on major household appliances, we're holding off on major goods, even orthodontics, and yes, those things that relate to transportation, which is also we relate to transportation. Can we fairly say that we're seeing cracks in the economy? And we're not here to discuss the economy. But I think we can fairly say that we're seeing cracks in it. Give me what do you see the same thing? And is there an initiative? What are you doing in your business? To guard against that?

Andrew DiFeo: 11:43

I'll start this one off. I mean, I tell my team every day, if we're talking to a customer, whether it be phone, internet, lead in person, these are not want buyers, they are need buyers, they're buying a car from somebody, let's make sure it's us. Let's not put up roadblocks. But whether it's overpayment or you know, it's about asking the right questions to find the right vehicle for their budget. And it's, it is challenging after that, I will say that we are definitely feeling affordability issues like Jen brought up the beginning from transaction price from interest rate from insurance, like everything is through the roof.

Jen Suzuki: 12:24

People are still buying cars, right? They're still buying cars, we're still selling cars. And then I always come back to this same thing, like kind of what you're setting up here ask better questions, right, you know, be able to provide more than one vehicle option. At the same time, you better become a new with your A game on customer service. I mean, customer experience trumps everything. People have money, they have a budget, they can always move things around, you know, the right person, we've seen it happen every single day, I see it happen every single day, people change their minds, and they do the bump, you know,

Liza Borches: 12:55

so much you could afford. So there's actually another article out there on the Wall Street Journal that says that, it's that's not totally accurate, that people aren't making big purchases, that the many millionaires have seen more growth and household savings, huge of 20. But what you're seeing is they're not seeing the value and paying a higher interest rate than what they had three years ago. And our job is to show them the value because exactly a lot of people do have the money. But they're looking at the payment and saying I'm paying now 8% For something 1% or 2%. And so they're like, I'm just not going to do it. Not that they don't have the money, they just see the value and actually pulling the trigger. So

Jen Suzuki: 13:33

that comes back to the salespeople and educating them and training them on how to bring value to the table, whether it's a sales call, or it's on an email. People have to understand how to adapt, you know, to the sales process. A

Daniel Govaer: 13:46

bonus question, bonus question along those lines. Alright, so Ryan Sirhan of a real estate fame right said something I thought was actually pretty interesting. And a way to overcome is this. Do you think this is a way to overcome objections? His point is this. Now you're paying 8% for something, but likely the price is lower than what it was when interest rate was 1%. So what is the delta between that in actual dollars lies is not buying? Tell me why?

Liza Borches: 14:08

I don't think in the auto industry, you can say that's the case, you look at the inflation on the actual price of new or used vehicles. And that has gone up with interest rates. So I don't buy it maybe for a different industry. That could be the case. And yes, you could absolutely do a calculation and show a consumer that but we're not seeing it. We are seeing a ton more cash though. People do have the money. If they don't have to pay the interest rate. Sometimes they're still pulling the trigger.

Andrew DiFeo: 14:31

Why is it do you think that cash is cash cash, or is that home equity?

Liza Borches: 14:35

We're seeing I mean, I think it's I think it's true cash actually don't believe people are taking out home equity lines at that rate. Alright, so rates are going down.

Daniel Govaer: 14:45

We're we're seeing in our state, for example, we've got on the ballot. They've tried for several years, but we're on the ballot now for recreational marijuana being legalized. And as we see recreational marijuana being legalized in more and more states across the country, then this brings up the debate about how does that affect your hiring practices? Are you you know, the pro basically says, you know, you're you need that so you can attract a wider body of candidates and we all need good people, you wouldn't want to disqualify them based off of something like that, for example. And then the, you know, the con group generally says like you're risking productivity or risking workplace safety, and cohesiveness in the workplace, et cetera, et cetera. I will point out before we get started, the Canadian military allows active military personnel to indulge in marijuana as long as it is not more than six hours before they start their shift. I don't know how they measure that six hours. But I will say that you can fly a plane in the Canadian military high and as long as it wasn't in the last six hours. I don't know. But what are you guys? What are you guys? What's, what's your thoughts? And how are you handling that?

Liza Borches: 15:46

We definitely have different treatment of marijuana today than we did 10 years or 20 years ago in this country, the conversation about it is vastly different, just like what you said, what's happening in Canada. And when we were chatting before this show, I certainly have had to change my mindset. Even in my 20s, I could never have imagined allowing someone to be working for us that couldn't pass a drug test for marijuana. But we made the decision as a company now two years ago to stop testing for marijuana. Actually, it's not something that we publicly even put out anywhere, but we don't test for it. And the biggest that I have made the decision that anybody honestly, you can go online and get a medical marijuana card, like anybody can? And do we really want to be fighting whether somebody truly needs a medical marijuana card, do we want to be pushing people to try to do that to get around our drug test. And the big thing, what I kept holding up our decision around was, I believe strongly that we need to have a test bill to say if somebody's high right now, or were they high Saturday night at their whatever event they were going to just like they might have drank a beer on Saturday night. Unfortunately, we still don't have the test. I was holding off on getting that test before I was willing to take it out of our our testing. But the last thing I'll say is that we found out that if somebody is in an accident, and they take a drug test, and it shows marijuana, they can legally go to court and state that there's no way we can prove that they were actually high during that moment of the accident. That was kind of the last straw that I'd made the decision. We weren't going to test for it any longer. But again, we don't say it publicly, we just don't test for it.

Daniel Govaer: 17:19

And you're you're not nodding enthusiastically

Andrew DiFeo: 17:22

Yeah, we talked a little bit that's pretty shallow. And again, like I've done a lot of crazy stuff in my 20s and 30s that the you know, old Andrew would have said bring bring them on. But the new Andrew is kind of looking at this to say if there's smoke, there's fire. And I see a lot of people that I've come across that say they they smoke have a lot of other vices that might not be conducive to the best of employees. But you know, I like lies is approach of you know, being open minded and you know, do we limit the pool the

Daniel Govaer: 18:01

told me when I was in grade school, right, like just say no, even no marijuana marijuana is not a big deal, but it's a gateway drug. Yeah. We haven't evolved out of that. It's still a gateway drug. I thought it was a gateway to Domino's. But I mean, Jack, you go into dealerships all the time? What's the first thing you hear when you go to a dealership and you talk to them about their sales team?

Jen Suzuki: 18:21

You know, I this conversation doesn't come up. I don't think that people drug test as frequently as they used to that is for sure. But I still think there's like discretion, you know, where you can be driving the cars. You know, hi, I think you still have some sort of boundaries with what the expectations are within. But you know, this, I'm not hiring.

Daniel Govaer: 18:45

What? Well, let me let me just ask you real quick, you said you don't publicize it. What and you seem to I mean, you're very deliberate in what you do. So I'm curious, like, why why do you make the decision to not publicize it? Um, we don't the wording not there yet. Like we're marijuana friendly, but not too friendly. Like we're

Liza Borches: 19:01

not putting it out there, we simply say. And so it might be, as Andrew was saying, if somebody is smoking marijuana and they're doing maybe that leads to other things, and we say we drug tests, they're not going to come apply with us. So we put out there that we drug test. Now when it comes back, we asked them not to give us the results of the marijuana. So it was an issue before every once in a while we'd have someone test positive and then we'd sit down have a conversation. So you have to have a you have to have a negative drug test to start working for us. And then you'll be randomly drug tested for two years and this and that. And we haven't seen any change. We've just simply taken it out of the conversation. What's more interesting attracts people to smoke all the time, Andrew, get out there publicly.

Andrew DiFeo: 19:45

So today we're talking about marijuana and two years on the wheelhouse so we're gonna be talking about psychedelics. Yeah.

Daniel Govaer: 19:52

Two years, though, I mean, let's, let's worry about that. And

Jen Suzuki: 19:56

that's what a lot of people do that now. I mean, I live in Denver, so it's You know, Nuff said. You gotta get there's like, there's like, I noticed there's buildings or not buildings, but you know, you know they the weed places are everywhere right now they have we saw mushrooms I'm like, wait a low dose and a lot of people say that that's what that that's what they're taking the depression,

Andrew DiFeo: 20:28

the infamous BiPro

Daniel Govaer: 20:29

I'd love to go with you to that I'd like to I'd love to have you walk in somewhere and be like, I'd like some portabellas, please. Man, this was a dispensary.

Jen Suzuki: 20:40

Frankly, I think that is on on I had, I think

Liza Borches: 20:44

cared about where it's going. I just we made the decision after lots of research that it wasn't worth the headache and the jumping through hoops to try to make sure that marijuana was a part of our drug test. But Andrew, I agree with you, I'm uncomfortable with where it's going, and what our kids are going to potentially be open to. And I

Daniel Govaer: 21:04

think if you think back into it, I'm just saying from personal experience, if you think about like when you've had like a really like an an employee that's just not part of the team, and they're just not doing their job, and they're just have no ambition. And, and they're just not getting they're not doing anything extra. They're barely doing the bare minimum. This is essentially a problem that we all have in various in various areas of the business, right? Never once have we been like, have we tested them for marijuana use? Yeah, we've just been like they're not they barely do the bare minimum. So it's like they just can't even be here because they don't have any other ambition when I mean, there's plenty of scenarios that we have in a dealership where we're addressing ish performance issues with people, which is that's the big that's the boogey man with marijuana. Right. And I'm not taking one side or the other. I'm just saying like, that's the boogeyman is that you can inherit some performance issues. But when we do and we do have performance issues and dealerships, whenever, whenever suspecting the culprit being an edible or joint that they you know, smoke right before they started their shift or during their shift. But

Liza Borches: 21:59

honestly, that doesn't matter to us, right? It's about performance. And we're letting them go or terminating them because of performance in the drug conversation doesn't need to be. It's about performance. Right? And

Daniel Govaer: 22:11

so if the performance isn't affected, right, or it's positively affected, in any event, well, that's why this is changing, right? We're talking about some changing things in automotive. And as we're sort of nearing the end of the of the year. I think we do have some big changes coming that are here already and more that are coming into our industry. Are there some things that that we can look at as far as what can we learn from even the UAW? So if if they missed their they're on a contract, so they couldn't negotiate because they couldn't keep their they couldn't keep their comp, in line with what the free market was paying? Right? So and they missed through the recession, and then they were still in a contract. And so when it came up time now for them to renegotiate, they were renegotiating from such a distance, which is why they needed a 40% increase with between salary and cost of living adjustments because they had so much time that they had to make up for as we're entering these changes, what are we doing about what are we doing about comp analyzing, you touched on this a little bit? In the beginning, I thought it was such a valid point. So I'll let you start. But what are we looking at in terms of how our comp runs in our industry?

Liza Borches: 23:15

Yeah, I think the biggest thing we can learn from what happened with UAW and these negotiations was during the last four years of their contract OEMs, the domestic OEMs were doing better and better and going up profits were good, business was good and the contract was flat. Now the times are going to start going down and the contract is moving up here. It is the worst case scenario, actually, for both the union and OEMs. So we want to make sure in our businesses that our pay and compensation, not just the dollars, but the full compensation package is aligned with how the business is doing. We're in a wonderful industry to be able to have most of our people have some sort of commission or bonus structure, based on how well the company is doing. Now, for us specifically, we're an ESOP. And so every year that the company does better, there's larger profits that are shared back with a stock price increase and more share more profits that go into the contribution. So it is a real win, win win, we're doing well. Everybody in the company is doing well. When things get tight, everybody's got to buckle down a little bit. And the unions and OEMs are exactly the opposite of that scenario.

Andrew DiFeo: 24:19

No, I can't I can't think of a better you know, incentive to run a company like I said, Liza that when things are going well, everybody's doing well, when things get tight. We find ways to you know, austerity measures fiscal responsibility that even in a recession, if you run your company efficiently, you can still be a profitable company and get get to that other side because that's usually what's what recessions are all about is just making it to that other side. And that's a great way and look, I It's been thrown around the internet, this, you know, picture of a buches if anybody's gone to buches gas stations, they literally have that You can start at $17 an hour. And if you're the general manager, you make $350,000 a year, we've got 401 K's, we've got benefits we got so on and so forth, all of this stuff. And that's what kind of sets the bar when I drive to work in the morning. There's a McDonald's banner that says, starting at $15 an hour, I've got to go back to my dealership and make sure that everybody's making at least $15 an hour because they can go to work at McDonald's for less,

Liza Borches: 25:26

we get one more minute on the subject. Yeah. So the other important thing that we're doing right now, and I think a lot of groups are doing is we need to go back and look at the five year compensation trend for every associate. And we need to be having these conversations to say, maybe we need to have not to get rid of anyone, but through natural attrition, maybe we need to be able to do it with less people, because we don't want anyone's compensation to go backwards. And if we can have two hearts of hearts, and really align their strengths with their responsibilities, and help them stay on a positive compensation trend, even when times are tougher, just might mean that we're all leaning in a bit more.

Jen Suzuki: 26:02

Hmm. I feel like things constantly change in the business and, and then oftentimes the pay plan doesn't adapt to the things that we need, we have to change our expectations. Like for example, you know, we're talking about customer experience earlier, you know, and and really bringing our a game. The other part of that, like, I'll give you a quick example is relationship building. So if I really want like my my employees to be more relationship focused and nurturing a great customer experience, I want to tie it to their pay plan. This isn't something that we were talking about doing. You know, three years ago, four years ago, now things have changed. And so now it's Oh, we got to reevaluate the pay plan based on market changes probably every year, because our goals our benchmarks change, I want to see like people put notes in the system, I want to be able to spot check this around and say, look at that, after showroom, visit unsold to what do we know about this customer? Why did they walk? Who are they all about? Why were they in the market? I want to have a manager go back and reconnect with his customer a BDC. Around how many nodes in the system? How can I focus on relationships, and it ties back to like, training, you know, why isn't training tied to pay plans today, when we want people demoing, we want people nurturing a great client experience and, and things that it's not just CSI, but it's really about process. You know, I want to I want everyone to get a demo, I want everybody to walk around, I want to I want you to be able to throw some facts at me. And my sales team knows, you know, they've been staying on top of their product knowledge. I've got clients that come to my training every single week, and they tie it back to their pay plan their attendance. Do you know what I mean? But that's modern that's relevant for today. So

Daniel Govaer: 27:37

right, right. Yeah, I'd still you know, on a topic for another episode, I get want to get you guys back together. Again, I'd love to know how you're forecasting for 2024. I'd love to know what what relevant data posts are you using to forecast in 2024? But then we'll save that

Andrew DiFeo: 27:51

for a breakout the dartboard for that. So just let me know.

Daniel Govaer: 27:55

Yeah. All right. Yeah. As we talked about how things are definitely turning a corner more than just adapting, right? What other things do we have in the cart? You know, and maybe that maybe our comp plans are one of them. But what are some things that we should stop saying? What are some things that we can leave behind, in in 2023 and stop them from moving forward into the future? And you guys have heard me say, like, I don't understand how human being became an OP when I got into the business. And I didn't understand what an OP was, or why that's an OP. And right, and so like, what, but that's an example right? There's some lingo in there and like what are the other thing is that I'll tell you guys this, I have a great rap from a vendor that we use, love them to death. And but one of the things that he was running by me before training, my people was talking about offering a complimentary appraisal. And I said, I don't think that that is the dumbest thing I've heard, but it makes it into the top 10 list. And he's like, What do you mean? I'm like, when we beg you to appraise your car, we would love the chance to appraise your car when have we ever told somebody like normally for me to appraise your car? It's how many dog what do you charge by the hour by the by the 10th of the hour, but this time, not all the appraisal part is going to be free. So like, why are we even set we've never charged someone for an appraisal in our life. So why are we gonna call it a complimentary

Andrew DiFeo: 29:12

let me get that off my website really quick.

Daniel Govaer: 29:16

Yeah, I don't on you, every time I see it. I'm like a complimentary appraisal You mean like the customer has to pay you to tell you what their vehicle is worth. But in any event, those are mine but I'll go around the horn with it.

Liza Borches: 29:28

I think just simple one that I'm gonna throw out is which is we got to get rid of the word normal whether this is the new normal or going back to normal. I'm so tired of hearing that and there is no normal in the car business which is why we all love it. Every day is different and we love having new challenges. So let's just get rid of the word normal.

Jen Suzuki: 29:51

Door it's it's a thing that people love to still say which is so weird to me because it's not about just getting people in the door. You know, it's about nurturing client Express ran says, connecting with people and getting a great vibe and feel about our company or team or brand, like what we bring to the table. It's not just about getting them in the door. I'm so sick of that phrase. You know what else I don't like that that kills gross and kills business is when the beat, you've got a BDC, who's setting appointments for your store. And then they take all their notes and everything, and they find out everything about the customer. And then they come in, and they say, Oh, I'm hitting the scene, Liza. And then like, she doesn't sell cars, she's in BDC, I can help you, what do you guys looking for. And I'm like, wait, first off, we have a breakdown. When you start referring to your BDC a second class, you have a problem. They are on the same team. And when we are on the same team, that we make the money. And when you when you devalue your team members, you're losing money,

Daniel Govaer: 30:48

you could run for president at the BDCs right now, I think they're all behind you. We also, were just fortunate enough to see three of your other personalities just now that was great.

Jen Suzuki: 31:00

A lot to unpack there.

Andrew DiFeo: 31:02

I would say love to get rid of the words digital retailing. And I know that might be an unpopular opinion. But it's just commerce, like this is what we do like selling cars, you know, digital retailing omni channel, like these buzzwords I'm talking about, we're just in the business of creating and maintaining relationships with people over you know, their lives and our lives.

Jen Suzuki: 31:28

So let me ask you something. So when you're trying to explain that, you know that I'm focusing on this part of my business, this percentage, because you got benchmarks and goals I was associated with, you know, that term, once you referenced it as then

Liza Borches: 31:42

when you see like, remote deals,

Jen Suzuki: 31:44

what would you say?

Daniel Govaer: 31:46

Um, I would say it's just doing business, right? I mean.

Jen Suzuki: 31:54

Yeah, it's our virtual showroom. Virtual, yeah. Okay.

Daniel Govaer: 31:57

Okay. I just I want to know, when did the Sherpa become part of it, because I always tend to anytime I'm listening to something, you're talking about digital retailing, and they're always somehow the word Sherpa always goes along with it, like we're gonna be moving isn't someone to guide them through the process like a Sherpa. And I've heard that. I've heard that. So many different.

Liza Borches: 32:15

Also, the word lead goes along with your word up, like, you're right, an individual person an opportunity for us to connect and build a relationship with not how many leads how many customers contacted us this month?

Jen Suzuki: 32:26

I mean, the opportunity. Oh,

Daniel Govaer: 32:28

you just made Nathan just you made his day, because that was something he said before the show to me.

Jen Suzuki: 32:35

Oh, I got your lead, literally call the customer. I got your lead. I'm like nobody wants to be called the lead.

Daniel Govaer: 32:41

I said in rebuttal, I said in rebuttal that the lead is the total package of information, right? It's the trade appraisal, it's the data that's there. That's the lead, right? I have a lead on the car. Essentially, I have a customer, I have a way to get ahold of them. I have what they want to do with, you know, how do they want to buy it? That's the lead essentially, right? Yeah. When we call people we shouldn't necessarily that's the difference about using internal jargon. We could say it didn't, you know, saw that you were interested in XYZ. But yes, and then I don't like I don't like customers honest. I think cuz calling somebody a customer. I think that means like, you're actually not buying something. I like client, to client, because I don't think I really don't think that anyone's really been guested in any type of showroom before. Right. Like, it's never been your my guest in the showroom? I mean,

Jen Suzuki: 33:28

what do you think about retention versus loyalty?

Daniel Govaer: 33:31

Oh, that's a that's a hot button. For me. I think it's the one is one is your One is you're actively trying to not lose something. The other is, is that you're trying to promote a bond, which is more emotional than logical to inspire someone to do business with you more than two times over and over and over again, on a repeat basis. And so on. So loyalty is the higher retention. You know, retention is essentially you're trying to actively not lose something. And loyalty is something that you tried to inspire. You don't really inspire retention. I mean, I guess you could but that's not really mean you know what I mean? suspenders are retention

Jen Suzuki: 34:06

is very transactional,

Liza Borches: 34:08

whereas loyalty is more relational. I hadn't thought about it like that's a really

Andrew DiFeo: 34:13

that was That was deep.

Jen Suzuki: 34:15

I was that was so good. And

Andrew DiFeo: 34:17

sure. It was response. Well, we

Daniel Govaer: 34:20

know that a Sherpa wouldn't work in your company.

Andrew DiFeo: 34:24

Sherpa was probably

Daniel Govaer: 34:25

wouldn't pass the test when passed that first test. All right, we are we had this is great. And I'm gonna just pull up some points here and just see who Today's winner is. And 139 points Liza Borchers. You're gonna you're this is two times. This is this is your second time on on the wheelhouse and the second time Dart champion. So let me just pull up some rapid fire questions that we have here. And of course, the idea is to see how many you can get in the in the amount of time And then they're in, they're going to range from things that have to do with the dealership to things that don't have to do with the dealership.

Liza Borches: 35:06

Super fast. I remember this. Right.

Daniel Govaer: 35:09

And you did well, because we all learned about ice cream after that. We're about that after that. All right. When you're ready, you're ready.

Liza Borches: 35:17

I'm ready.

Daniel Govaer: 35:18

What's the next OEM to announce their pullback on Eevee strategy today? What's your Halloween costume?

Liza Borches: 35:26

A ballerina

Daniel Govaer: 35:27

on a scale of one to 10 How likely are you to recommend the wheelhouse to a colleague?

Liza Borches: 35:31

One fun one to 1011

Daniel Govaer: 35:34

when the interest rates start coming down. Three years. When's the last time you sold a car? Yeah. Okay, all right. Man, you guys are listening. If you guys can pass along, Nathan and guys in the control room, Nathan Jordan, can you pass along to Paul Bailey? Sukkot? We have a new winner. Just got smoked. Our new champion

Liza Borches: 36:01

was the hardest one I just stuck in. I was like my little niece is a ballerina say that's what came in my brain.

Jen Suzuki: 36:06

I mean, why that was a lie. Yeah, now,

Liza Borches: 36:10

but I do have to think of a costume for tomorrow to wear to work, but it's not going to be a ballerina. Oh.

Daniel Govaer: 36:16

I mean, if I have to do it, alright, fine. But I'm Cat in the Hat actually. So nice. Anybody else dressing up?

Jen Suzuki: 36:25

I'm vampire. I practice this weekend.

Liza Borches: 36:28

I do have to dress up. But I haven't figured out yet. I'm going to be going through our costume bucket when I get home. And finally my kids old stuff.

Daniel Govaer: 36:34

Okay, so wait, here's a bonus question. I mean, do we dress up at work going?

Jen Suzuki: 36:37

Yes, definitely dress up as work that lets people's guard down here from children who cares? They're not buying. But yeah, I think it makes for a fun team environment. I love costume contests, camaraderie, you know, Team costumes together. I think there's a great time to bring everybody together. That's our

Liza Borches: 36:57

around the store tomorrow around the all the stores tomorrow,

Daniel Govaer: 36:59

our costume contest, we only work for an ensemble content for an ensemble costumes. That's because we've we've that's where we've raised the bar too. But I was talking to someone from another large, very respected dealer group. And they said no, that's not we don't do that. We don't even do balloons, like for something. So

Andrew DiFeo: 37:15

it was just Ken and Barbie, do they count as an ensemble? Or is there like yet? Deb like three or four?

Daniel Govaer: 37:20

We just specify it's more than two? More than two. And then you know, we wanted one other just bonus question. If Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift were to get married? What car would they drive off in after their wedding?

Andrew DiFeo: 37:38

wagoneer $100,000 wagoneer

Daniel Govaer: 37:41

Okay, topical. All right.

Jen Suzuki: 37:43

So practical to me, she seems. And she's a country ground he seems a little country guy. Kinda

Daniel Govaer: 37:50

essentially from like New York or something.

Unknown: 37:56

country went pop. Got it. All right. It's gonna

Liza Borches: 38:01

be sponsored by somebody and I think they'll end up doing it through some promotion.

Daniel Govaer: 38:06

On your first time, whoever has the biggest check, because who's that whose car they're gonna be driving? Absolutely. Guys, this has been an absolutely fantastic episode. Thank you so much for joining us. That's episode 10. For the wheelhouse and be joining us again in two weeks for episode number 11. And I promise that's going to be one that you definitely don't want to miss because we are going to have another set of heavy hitters on here and it will be one conversation for the ages. I can promise you that. Thank you, everyone so much for joining us. Thanks for listening or watching and we look forward to talking to you guys in about two weeks.

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