An Open Letter To All General Managers, Dealer Principals and Auto Group Owners…
From Desk Of Gus Skarlis
Innovator, Inventor, Patent Holder and 20 Year Veteran of the Car Business
What, I’m about to say you may not like, you may not agree and you might click off the page… but that’s OK, because I’m here to warn you — the auto industry is changing… and very fast.
We’re almost at the point where your dealership is going to be “just another location” like McDonald’s or Subway.
Same price. Same product. Even the same building.
I know you don’t see it coming because 99% of all dealers will tell me:
“Business is great, we’re hitting record numbers… It’s just like the old days.”
But it’s not… because:
- You’re working harder for less profits…
- You’re taking on more risk for less rewards…
- You’re losing time trying to manage more…
This is the part where you might not agree with me but I’m here to tell you…
The only chance you have to keep your job and quite possibly your dealership over the next 3–5 years will be to start building relationships with your customers.
…And I mean right now, TODAY.
If I asked most dealers what their most valuable asset is I’d hear…
“My inventory, my building, my land and even my cash.”
They’re all wrong!
Your most valuable asset is your customer database.
Why do you think there are more hackers trying to steal data than rob banks?
Because data is more valuable than cash… Data can be leveraged.
This is why your dealership vendors always want access to your DMS… they want your data!
Warren Buffett bought the Van Tuyl Group not because Buffett wants to sell cars, but because he wants their customers.
Buffett paid 4 billion in cash. Van Tuyl sells around 225,000 vehicles per year. So over the past 10 years alone they’ve amassed a client database of 2.2 million customers.
This means Warren Buffett paid $1818 per customer to buy the entire Van Tuyl Auto Group.
With all of Warren Buffett’s businesses how long do you think it will take him to generate that $1818 back in profits?
My estimate 28–32 months.
The one thing Warren Buffett and most billionaires understand in great depth about customer lists is that the real money and exponential growth is to leverage THEIR connections.
Because someone knows someone.
The first order of business AFTER he bought Van Tuyl was to start building relationships with those new 2.2 million clients and leveraging THEIR network.
Selling vehicles is just a by-product…
Now, he will bring in some efficiencies and processes that will generate more revenue the stores but Mr. Buffett sees the long-term value of these relationships and networks.
Berkshire Hathaway owns…
Ben Bridge Jewelers. Brooks Sports. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. Dairy Queen. Duracell. GEICO. H. J. Heinz Company. The Pampered Chef. And hundreds of others.
…And this all brings me to the reason for my post.
You can do the same thing that Warren Buffett just did and that is…
Leverage your client database and THEIR networks to sell more vehicles.
You probably haven’t heard about it in a long time but it’s called Referral Marketing.
The last car guy to really get referral marketing was Joe Girard and he did it back in the 70’s.
The reason he was so successful is that he saw the life time value of his clients…
He didn’t want to sell them 1 vehicle but rather he wanted to sell them cars for 40 years and all of their family and friends cars for 40 years too.
This is what I want you to start thinking about…
How are you going to take the customer you just sold a vehicle to today and keep selling them for the next 40 years and also sell their family and friends vehicles for the next 40 years too?
It’s all about the Life Time Value of the client and connecting with THEIR network.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is that I’ve developed a one-of-a-kind referral platform that will help you leverage your current customer database and create long term relationships
If you’d like to learn more about referral marketing and use the same strategies that Warren Buffett and other Billionaires use to grow their businesses… watch my 15 minute FREE webcast.
There’s nothing for sale. Just content to help you be successful.
If you are getting this and it resonates with you… you’re going to be very successful.
My goal is to get you to look at the life time value of your customers and learn how to leverage THEIR networks… I hope I’ve accomplished that!
CEO :: ReferralDriven.com