I love working in the BHPH industry. Because of my many years working for buy here pay here dealerships, I have the privilege of traveling this great country of ours to work with BHPH dealers of all forms. After visiting numerous dealerships, there is one thing I can always count on. Every time I step foot on the lot of a new dealership, I always get the same question: "What do the more successful BHPH dealerships do?"
Now the good thing about BHPH is there are a whole bunch of ways to find success. There is no single way that will work for everyone, especially in the wide variety of communities BHPH dealers serve. The problem however, is there are just as many ways to do it wrong. So, when this question arises, I like to bring up the few common denominators that separate the dealers that do it a little bit better than everyone else. A few things that “they” seem to do a tad bit better than the average Joe in the dealership.
The first, and I feel the most important, is people. The time and attention the best BHPH dealers place on overall people management makes them better. From hiring, to training, to pay plans, to their overall employment environment, they place an importance on the quality of their employees and keeping them happy in their roles.
When it comes to hiring, the mindset these dealers take to heart is hire slow and fire fast. By embracing this approach, they hire who they want and don’t have to hire who they need. Once they have the right people in place, they also continually train their entire staff. Their pay plans promote a team mentality, and they provide a professional but fun work environment. If you were a high-performance employee in the BHPH industry, wouldn’t you want to work in this type of environment? That’s one major reason what they do very well, and you may be lagging.
Processes and Procedures
Next are processes and procedures. The top dogs in BHPH have documented processes and procedures for most, if not all, of what happens in their organization. Documented being the key word here. They make sure that those processes and procedures are implemented and adhered to on a consistent basis. They do this by continually training and updating them when necessary. When a new member joins the team, they are shown exactly what is expected of them with these documented processes. In short, the best BHPH dealers have perfected their processes and procedures to make sure nothing is left uncovered.
Education is the next thing that sets top-performers apart. The successful dealers are always looking for ways to educate themselves, and their employees. Many BHPH dealers belong to local, state, and national dealer associations, and they subscribe to as many trade publications as they can. They attend industry conventions and conferences, and they seek advice from industry consultants as well as their fellow 20 Group members. They educate themselves well, because it allows them to make informed changes when challenges arise.
Technology is something else that the best BHPH dealers take advantage of. They have a DMS in place that can handle all of their needs, and also know how to use every feature it offers. They not only have a well-functioning website, but they track and make changes when necessary. Top-performing dealers also take full advantage of the variety of digital tools available to them, including collections, car buying, and recruiting. They are technologically savvy and use all the tools at their disposal to drive profits.
Lastly, the best BHPH dealers across the country plan. They have a formal written plan that projects sales, collections, expenses, and cash flow. They do this not only on a monthly basis, but annually as well. This process allows them to calculate what they can control, and not focus on what they think they can control. They plan effectively and follow their plans through to success.
How to Become One of Them
All the factors we just covered are commonalities of what the best run BHPH dealership do to stay on top. I can assure you however, that they didn’t always do these things. They all realized at some point that change was needed to be a true top-performer. Most dealers I know do at least one of these things, some even do two or three, but only a few do all of them (and do them all well). Take a minute to think about your business, and ask yourself how close are you to being the best BHPH dealership in your market? Once you have this answer, you can start taking the right actions to get there.
Want to dig deeper on some BHPH topics? We suggest you check out the following articles.
Additionally, you can continue your education with Brent Carmichael at the upcoming BHPH: Win the Collections Game training course at the NCM Institute!