Articles - The Rikess Group Articles - The Rikess Group

Missed Reconditioning

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 by

After decades of automotive experience, the used car business still remains to me the most exciting aspect of the industry. I can’t find a department within a dealership that is not directly impacted by a healthy used car department. And at a time when the SAAR may be plateauing and dealership margins continue to be

Points of Friction

Tuesday, 07 March 2017 by

Points of Friction…OUCH! We’ve all been to stores where: …What you saw online—or were promised online—isn’t available on-site …  You can’t find what you’re looking for, or find someone knowledgeable and friendly to help you …  The website is information-rich and pressure-free, but in-store personnel make up for their lack of knowledge by being smarmy

Software sans Process

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 by

Software sans Process   Like apple pie without vanilla ice cream, a Bugatti Chiron without fuel, a saw without teeth ok, ok, enough. As I come home from NADA, I am struck by the volume of innovative software solutions available to change the way vehicles are sold and serviced, enhance the dealership experience, and otherwise

Three Strategic Questions

Sunday, 22 January 2017 by

In an industry that has been reluctant or resistant to change, the automotive arena has become a frenzy of change moving at light speed. Hardly a day goes by that dealership leaders do not receive a call or read an article about a new technology or process designed to improve their dealership business model. So

The New Definition of Closing

Monday, 03 October 2016 by

According to Call Source, 80% of prospects contact a dealership before coming in—by phone, email, lead form, text or chat.  So when do you really close a sale? I believe the real close today starts before the prospect even visits your dealership; it begins with those initial telephone and Internet contacts.

Tagged under:

Create Your Own Digital Storefront

Monday, 03 October 2016 by

AutoNation recently announced the creation of their first Digital Storefront – which allows the website to transition from purely informational to transactional – offering customers the opportunity to do the majority of their auto sales transactions from the comfort of their home or office. I don’t see any reason why you can’t transform the automobile purchase by creating your own Digital Storefront.

Probably the biggest hurdle most dealers face is the reluctance of sales management to embrace a more transparent and efficient method of auto retailing.  

Tagged under:

Creating the Digital Dealership of the Future…Now

Monday, 03 October 2016 by

Two Problems – One Solution

Of the many challenges facing dealers today, two of the biggest include:

  1. Recruiting a younger, gender-balanced sales staff
  2. Effectively and cost efficiently handling incoming phone calls and Internet leads

Fortunately, there is a single way to address these challenges, and that is by creating a separate department to handle incoming phone calls and Internet leads staffed with salespeople who have the right skill sets to handle these leads.

Tagged under:

How Auto Dealers Created TrueCar, Carvana, and Vroom

Thursday, 11 February 2016 by


“Nature abhors a vacuum.” There would be no reason for “disrupters” like TrueCar, Carvana, and Vroom to exist if dealers provided customers with what the majority of them want. This includes:

  • Eliminating negotiations and move to a simple, transparent sales process
  • Eliminating wasted time in the sales process
  • Money-back guarantees
  • Market-based pricing
  • The convenience of having a car brought directly to the consumer

In are era of margin compression, how can dealers afford to pay TrueCar? Typically at least seven people get paid for selling a new car:

Tagged under: , , ,

Why Aren’t More Women Selling Cars?

Friday, 23 May 2014 by

Less than 7% of auto salespeople are women! Yet, having a significant portion of your sales staff made up of women provides you with a competitive advantage

That’s because women feel much more comfortable making a high stress purchase like an automobile from another female AND most men like to buy products from women!  In addition, your showroom floor should mirror your customer base which is typically at least 50% female purchasers.

Perhaps you already know all this – so why don’t you employ more women?  And do you ever wonder why you have such a hard time attracting and retaining female sales people?  Let’s look at some facts …

What Does Green Mean to You?

Friday, 23 May 2014 by

Let’s play word association – I say “green” and if you’re like most dealers you’ll say “climate change” and then something very nasty about Al Gore. When I hear “green” in context to the dealership world I think of the following:

  • The need for energy independence, especially from the “bad guys” in the Middle East
  • ROI – a lowering of ongoing dealership expenses
  • A marketing opportunity to differentiate your store from the competition

There are also some additional practical reasons to check out the “green/sustainable” movement slowly taking place at many stores: