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Welcome to Tips & Tools to Do It Right, a project between Ally and the Automotive News Content Studio. On this page, we'll highlight news and insights from around the automotive world–information, research and insider tips to help you do it right at your dealership. Some of the topics we'll cover include F&I, training and innovative ways to help your dealership flourish. We'll feature industry experts to address real life situations that arise in the retail automotive environment, and recommend proven tools to lead your store and your employees on the path to continued success.

Look for new content in the pages of Automotive News every month, and frequent updates on this page.


Here in Volume 2, we share specific ways that you can:
  • Provide the latest tools and technology to help your dealership staff
  • Stay on top of regulatory changes with tips from Terry Dortch
  • Promote compliance to stay on top of laws and regulations
Do It Right In A Changing World
Provide the Latest Tools
  • Volume 2: March 27, 2017

Giving your salespeople the right technology can make all the difference to your bottom line. Today's car shopper often arrives at a dealership looking at one or two specific cars, and with more information in hand than the salesperson–especially if it's a used car that is not one of the dealership's core brands.

Providing your sales team with platforms that instantly display details on any car on the lot–including options, trim level and comparative pricing–can help turn a salesperson into an instant expert on any car.

"It levels the playing field with that internet customer; you're not at a disadvantage because the customer knows more than you do," says Patrick McMullen, senior VP of MaxDigital, whose Digital Showroom is one platform that instantly displays details on any car on the lot, delivered to a tablet or mobile phone. This helps salespeople hold the price and gross profit t by giving customers details on why a car is priced a certain way.

Do It Right In A Changing World
Stay On Top of Regulatory Changes
  • Volume 2: March 27, 2017

At the 2017 Automotive News Retail Forum, Automotive Compliance Consultant President Terry Dortch headlined a panel discussion about the evolving regulatory environment. One key message: Though changes may becoming, dealers need to stay on their toes.

Here's what Dortch suggests to keep your dealership ready for whatever changes may come:

  • Institute a documented compliance program at your dealership.
  • Follow the news and update your program on a regular basis.
  • Provide consistent and continuous training for your dealership personnel.

To hear more for Dortch, listen here:

Do It Right In A Changing World
Promote Compliance
  • Volume 2: March 27, 2017

First, compliance improves customer perception of your business – Automotive News found that 73% of customers are more comfortable with a dealership that has a certificate on display indicating it has completed some type of compliance training.

Second, staying compliant can help you avoid costly fines and penalties (nearly $800,000 a year, on average). Ally Academy’s Legal Awareness training keeps you up to date on laws and regulations. It helps you easily understand how to stay on top of compliance in daily routines, and make it an advantage for your business.

Do It Right With Your Employees
Tips For Staffing Top Talent
  • Volume 1: March 13, 2017

Hiring and keeping the best team members is a priority for dealers around the country. Dealerships reported 67% turnover among car sales consultants in the 2016 NADA Workforce Study. "Keeping employees is unfortunately getting more challenging," said Adam Robinson, co-founder and CEO of Hireology, a Chicago-based consultancy. He shared ideas for hiring and keeping the best:

1. Have a pool of candidates large enough to allow you to find a good hire. "Don't hire out of desperation. It's just like the customer side of your business–if you're starting with better leads, you'll get better results," Robinson said. If you don't have good candidates to interview, go back and recruit more.

2. Establish a defined process to interview and hire new staff. "Don't just wing it; don't use random interview questions," he said. "Hiring people should be a structured process, just like any other part of the business." Start by generating a standard list of questions to use with every job applicant, and create a scorecard to record the hiring team's reaction to each candidate.

3. Double your three-year retention rate by making employees' first week on the job a positive experience. Focus on the experience each new employee has in his or her first week. "We've all seen it: A new employee shows up for the first day of work but no one is expecting him. His desk isn't ready; his business cards aren't printed," Robinson said. "But the single greatest factor in an employee's job success can be that first week on the job." Three-year retention rates for employees who experience a good first week are double those of employees who didn't have a good first week, he said.

4. Think of your online brand as a recruiting tool. Robinson recommended paying attention to your dealership's "employment brand," remembering that the person visiting your website or looking at your online ratings could be looking for a job, not just a car.

Listen below for another hiring tip from Robinson:

Do it Right With your Employees
Inside the Millennial Mind
  • Volume 1: March 13, 2017

NADA reports 60% of new dealership hires are millennials. We asked millennial expert Jason Dorsey what managers need to know about working with those aged 21 to 38. He offered two pieces of advice:

1. Position employment as a career, and not just a job. When recruiting, play up the dealership's culture and local connections. Millennials tend to be visual learners and respond to graphics featuring people.

2. Provide frequent feedback. "Older generations were taught that if the boss is talking to you, something's wrong. Millennials don’t think that way," Dorsey said. "Take a minute to talk to them in the moment."

Do it Right With your Employees
TIME Dealer of Year Shares The Credit
  • Volume 1: March 13, 2017

When Carl Swope accepted the 2017 TIME Dealer of the Year award earlier this year, he told the crowd, "None of us get up here by ourselves." He then asked 20 of his company's associates–"We call it the Swope family," he said—to stand up and be recognized with him.

Swope, President-CEO of Swope Toyota, Elizabethtown, Ky., was honored for excellence in managing his business as well as for his extensive community service. "What set Carl apart was the amount of impact and the real contribution he has been able to make across every facet of his community," said Jon Grice, one of the judging panel from the University of Michigan's Tauber Institute. "The words that came up in describing his community involvement were breadth, depth and longevity."

The other three Dealer of the Year regional finalists were Tyler Corder, Findlay Automotive Group, Henderson Nev.; Bryan Gault, Wind Gap Chevrolet Buick, Wind Gap, Pa.; and Keith Kocourek, Kocourek Chevrolet, Wausau, Wis.

Grice said the judges had a tough job selecting a winner from the 49 candidates. "The two pillars of our criteria are excellence at the dealership and involvement in the community," he said. "Almost more than any other year, we saw excellence in both of those pillars across the candidates as a whole…. It was awe-inspiring."

Listen to Swope’s acceptance speech below:

Do it Right With your Employees
Tools for Employee Success
  • Volume 1: March 13, 2017

Do it right for your team by providing the tools to succeed. Ally Academy classes cover everything you need to know to run a successful dealership, from hiring and interviewing to effectively managing your team. Hiring a new employee costs an average of $16,000; Ally's Hiring Winners helps you find the right people the first time.