Toronto Auto Consulting

Car Biz Insider ep#3

Car Biz Insider featuring Todd Bennett Ep #3 – Chatham Honda



 Todd is currently the GM / Operating Partner, and he brings tons of experience in automotive retail as well as consulting. Under Todd’s leadership, Chatham Honda experienced tremendous results.

We will be live-streaming on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

#automotive #managementconsultant #usedcars #sales #vAuto #AutoAlert #SEO #dealershipManagement #variableoperations #fixedoperation #opentoconnect #automotiveindustry, #managementconsulting #profitabilityimprovement #honda


00:00:29 Jon Toker

Hi everybody, this is your host Jon Toker from Car Biz Insider.

00:00:33 Jon Toker

I have another great guest here with me today from Chatham Honda Todd Bennett Todd how are you doing today?

00:00:40 Todd Bennett

Good John, good, thanks for having me on.

00:00:42 Jon Toker

No problem, it’s a pleasure, you know.

00:00:44 Jon Toker

So you’re someone that I I respect a lot because.

00:00:47 Jon Toker

Uh, I’m kind of like following your footsteps in terms of this consulting business because you were a consultant in the past too, so I’m sure you’re going.

00:00:55 Jon Toker

To talk about it.

00:00:56 Jon Toker

But you know, I I always respect you a lot so I really appreciate you making up this time and come here today because you know you’re just closing the month end probably and you have a lot of work.

00:01:07 Jon Toker

To do so, thank you for being on the show, Todd.

00:01:10 Todd Bennett

Oh no, again, thanks for having me.

00:01:12 Jon Toker

No problem so.

00:01:12 Todd Bennett

You know, I I feel the same way about you.

00:01:15 Todd Bennett

I mean you, you know obviously.

00:01:16 Todd Bennett

I see.

00:01:17 Todd Bennett

Are consultant for.

00:01:19 Todd Bennett

About three years and you really helped us?

00:01:20 Todd Bennett

Out and you know, I.

00:01:23 Todd Bennett

I look up to you as well.

00:01:24 Todd Bennett

Well but yeah.

00:01:27 Todd Bennett

Yeah again, thanks for having me on.

00:01:28 Todd Bennett

It’s my first time.

00:01:29 Jon Toker

No problem Todd.

00:01:30 Todd Bennett


00:01:31 Jon Toker

First first, first podcast ever.

00:01:33 Todd Bennett

First podcast ever I listened.

00:01:35 Todd Bennett

To a lot of yeah.

00:01:36 Jon Toker

So why don’t you introduce yourself to the viewers, because I’m sure there’s some people know you.

00:01:41 Jon Toker

Some people don’t, so let’s talk about who’s Todd Bennett.

00:01:44 Jon Toker

What does she do?

00:01:45 Jon Toker

Maybe talk about some you know, mountain biking and.


Stuff and all those goodies.

00:01:50 Todd Bennett

Yeah, well I started in the business 1996 in a Ford store in a town that I grew up in.

00:01:58 Todd Bennett

Selling and you know.

00:02:01 Todd Bennett

Kind of worked my way up and worked at some different brands.

00:02:04 Todd Bennett

You mentioned they did some consulting I.

00:02:09 Todd Bennett

I’m a certified Hubbard sales trainer with you know Peter Hubbard and Shane bolster.

00:02:17 Todd Bennett

Again, another guy that I I look up to help me out a lot in my career, but.

00:02:23 Todd Bennett

Then I got.

00:02:23 Todd Bennett

Hired here in about 2014 as the general manager of the store and at that time it’s called Honda House and.

00:02:31 Todd Bennett

Recently it was.

00:02:32 Todd Bennett

To bought out by the Roadsport Auto group.

00:02:38 Todd Bennett

And like I said, September.

00:02:40 Todd Bennett

So now we’re Chatham Honda and it’s been exciting.

00:02:43 Todd Bennett

I’m the general manager and partner, so it’s it’s been a it’s almost like working at A at the store for the first time since since we’ve taken over, it’s it’s a new place and it’s it’s been exciting.

00:02:58 Jon Toker

So basically Roadsport Honda is owned by Chris, Gauthier and his wife is running the store, and they’re very successful operators.

00:03:07 Jon Toker

Honda operators right?

00:03:08 Jon Toker

For a long time so and chat, Amanda has been a very successful operation for like it’s one of the oldest Honda stores.

00:03:17 Jon Toker

In the in the in the country because you know your dealer code is 6702, so it’s.

00:03:22 Jon Toker

Like one of the first ones, right?

00:03:24 Todd Bennett

It’s not, it’s it’s not as relevant as a.

00:03:27 Todd Bennett

Roadsport Honda most sport Honda.

00:03:29 Todd Bennett

I think is in is over 50 years.

00:03:31 Jon Toker

They’re one of the original, so the first one I think was doubts Honda down somewhere in North York, I think.

00:03:36 Jon Toker

Then roadsport and like these are the original Honda dealerships in Ontario in Canada and like you know I was very excited to work with you guys.

00:03:46 Jon Toker

That was the one of the reasons because I used to come visit your store and that goes like amazing because you know lots of experience and previous owner John Elliott was a a great gentleman.

00:03:56 Jon Toker

You know, sit down, talk to him.

00:03:57 Jon Toker

Him and it was a good experience talking to you guys and to transition now like you guys even gotta get stronger now because I believe lots of experience.

00:04:05 Jon Toker

Lots of knowledge going on and.

00:04:07 Todd Bennett

Yeah, let’s let’s board Honda would support Auto Auto Group has brought a lot of.

00:04:07 Jon Toker


00:04:15 Speaker 3

Experience but.

00:04:16 Todd Bennett

Yeah, there’s a lot.

00:04:18 Todd Bennett

Of things they bring.

00:04:19 Todd Bennett

To the table we have, you know, a dedicated fixed operations consultant.

00:04:23 Todd Bennett

We have a full HR department.

00:04:26 Todd Bennett

Chris Gucci is his, you know.

00:04:30 Todd Bennett

Always looked up to him, he’s he’s.

00:04:34 Todd Bennett

Getting so wealth of knowledge I I mean.

00:04:36 Todd Bennett

If I ever.

00:04:37 Todd Bennett

Need help or you know he seems to.

00:04:40 Todd Bennett

Kind of already be ahead of.

00:04:41 Todd Bennett

The curve and.

00:04:42 Todd Bennett

It’s it’s a.

00:04:44 Todd Bennett

This store has a lot.

00:04:44 Todd Bennett

Of potential to to get.

00:04:46 Todd Bennett

To that next level and and I very we’re definitely gonna get there now for sure.

00:04:53 Jon Toker

Yes, yeah, there’s no doubt about it man.

00:04:56 Jon Toker

You guys have a very good teams you got you got Chris Terlouw there have very good seniors you’re going on and.

00:05:01 Todd Bennett

Yes, yes.

00:05:01 Jon Toker

That was always a pleasure, you know, so.

00:05:04 Todd Bennett

Yeah, I mean I’ve been. I’ve been in the auto industry for 26 years, but I worked with.

00:05:10 Todd Bennett

Chris Degraw 20 years ago at a Nissan store in London so you know our our our kind of past circled around and you know he’s a great GSM a good.

00:05:21 Todd Bennett

Leader here as well.

00:05:23 Todd Bennett

You know?

00:05:24 Jon Toker

Well, uh, I got I prepare some questions for you because I think you got a really good start to talk about it and what I mean by is like.

00:05:31 Jon Toker

So your store was one of the.

00:05:34 Jon Toker

Actually it was the last physical dealer visit I have conducted.

00:05:38 Jon Toker

Before the COVID kicked in, yeah.

00:05:38 Todd Bennett

Oh, really, I didn’t want.

00:05:40 Todd Bennett

To let you know that.

00:05:41 Jon Toker

So so the last.

00:05:42 Jon Toker

Visit I came to your store.

00:05:44 Jon Toker

Yeah I did that.

00:05:44 Jon Toker

You know my typical monthly visits and uh?

00:05:47 Jon Toker

Stop by and we’re talking about Chris Degre about this new virus coming out called COVID.

00:05:52 Jon Toker

And we’re like saying, oh, this is just going to be like cold, you know, not a big deal like it’s going to be fine and we don’t have to worry about it.

00:05:59 Jon Toker

And we’re talking about it.

00:06:01 Jon Toker

And then I came home.

00:06:03 Jon Toker

I was ready to go to Ottawa next week to do my Ottawa visits and I got a.

00:06:08 Jon Toker

Email saying that everything is cancelled.

00:06:10 Jon Toker

Stay at home, wait for the instructions I’m like.

00:06:13 Jon Toker

That’s not good.

00:06:15 Jon Toker

And then.

00:06:17 Jon Toker

We start doing our virtual contacts and at 2022 the beginning was basically like I would call a very uncertain times.

00:06:26 Jon Toker

And then omvic jumps in and said you can’t accept customers unless there is a appointment going on.

00:06:32 Jon Toker

And then how do you generate appointments without having customers?

00:06:37 Jon Toker

Because like in the past what we do was.

00:06:40 Jon Toker

Saturday customers come in right 20 customers.

00:06:44 Jon Toker

We do our test drives and all that stuff with the people that we couldn’t sell.

00:06:48 Jon Toker

We follow up and to book the appointment for the following week.

00:06:51 Jon Toker

That was our appointment understanding pretty much.

00:06:53 Jon Toker

I mean, we did the events in the database mining, but that wasn’t the a primary business setup, right?

00:07:00 Jon Toker

But the thing was, you guys did amazing. Actually, your numbers like can you basically, and that was my question was how did you handle COVID-19 restrictions and how did it affect your sales, could you?

00:07:13 Jon Toker

Tell us about that a little bit.

00:07:14 Todd Bennett

You know, I, I think like.

00:07:16 Todd Bennett

Every every store out there when it happened, it’s everything was reactive at first, uh.

00:07:21 Todd Bennett

Matter of fact.

00:07:22 Todd Bennett

I think we.

00:07:24 Todd Bennett

I don’t know about Canada, but definitely the first store in Ontario took clothes before we were.

00:07:29 Todd Bennett

Mandated at close.

00:07:30 Todd Bennett

It was only about a week that that was the case, but some other stores in in the in the city were closing up and I thought, you know, thinking about all the expenses.

00:07:43 Todd Bennett

If nobody is going to come in.

00:07:44 Todd Bennett

Because of the.

00:07:44 Todd Bennett

Virus, why pay a bunch of?

00:07:46 Todd Bennett

People to be here when.

00:07:47 Todd Bennett

We you know.

00:07:49 Todd Bennett

And keep the lights on and heat the place you know so.

00:07:52 Speaker 3

You know not.

00:07:53 Todd Bennett

At the time I, I, you know, I go home every night wondering if that was or be home every day wondering if if that was the right decision, but you know?

00:08:01 Speaker 3

There’s a lot of things that.

00:08:03 Todd Bennett

We did that.

00:08:05 Todd Bennett

Uhm, to kind of like.

00:08:08 Todd Bennett

Proactively try to get people to.

00:08:10 Todd Bennett

Buy cars like I don’t want to remember.

00:08:12 Todd Bennett

But you know it was.

00:08:13 Todd Bennett

Almost like.

00:08:14 Todd Bennett

Taboo if you were to call somebody and invite him in the store when this thing was going on.

00:08:18 Todd Bennett

So you have to be kind of careful on how you how you would reach out to some people.

00:08:22 Todd Bennett

But the business.

00:08:23 Todd Bennett

Change itself like we found that like.

00:08:25 Todd Bennett

When we get a lead or or.

00:08:27 Todd Bennett

Or someone would call in to do as.

00:08:29 Todd Bennett

Such I guess we you know in the.

00:08:31 Todd Bennett

Business we call it a qualified lead.

00:08:33 Todd Bennett

Where you know?

00:08:34 Todd Bennett

The person would come in and and and also we’ve seen the closing ratios on these customers very high, right?

00:08:40 Todd Bennett

It was a lot less work with people and.

00:08:44 Todd Bennett

You know?

00:08:45 Todd Bennett

The buying experience is almost better because the customer.

00:08:48 Todd Bennett

Knew what they?

00:08:48 Todd Bennett

Wanted they knew what they were going to pay.

00:08:51 Todd Bennett

You know the the negotiations that add the stress and the discomfort for the buyer and and and the seller seemed to dissipate.

00:09:02 Todd Bennett

You know we found our customer satisfaction scores going up.

00:09:05 Todd Bennett

And stuff like that, but.

00:09:07 Todd Bennett

You know we started to.

00:09:08 Todd Bennett

But in the beginning we would reach out to people through our database.

00:09:13 Todd Bennett

And send him an email or mail or.

00:09:15 Todd Bennett

Kind of encouraging them to that we can do.

00:09:18 Todd Bennett

A lot of this without them coming in.

00:09:20 Todd Bennett

And you know, I think I’m definitely not alone in this.

00:09:24 Todd Bennett

It’s not like I try to reinvent.

00:09:26 Todd Bennett

The wheel or anything but.

00:09:28 Todd Bennett

We just we decided to go, you know, sort of full blast.

00:09:32 Todd Bennett

Right and and at that time we had inventory and it it worked out, so it wasn’t really much magic there, John.

00:09:42 Jon Toker

So like when we look at your numbers though, like.

00:09:45 Jon Toker

How would you comment on like 2020 numbers because everybody thought you know this is not really this is not going to end well and some dealers lost a lot of business compared to year over year numbers but.

00:09:58 Jon Toker

How was your numbers where she’s 19 to 20?

00:10:03 Todd Bennett

You know it.

00:10:04 Speaker 3

Wasn’t as good as it was in.

00:10:05 Todd Bennett

21 but.

00:10:08 Todd Bennett

Yeah, we had a great back.

00:10:09 Todd Bennett

Half of the year, and it’s hard to speak for dealers that.

00:10:14 Todd Bennett

That lost their shirts and stuff, ’cause maybe they didn’t try to adapt.

00:10:18 Todd Bennett

You know, we, you know, we definitely try to have software.

00:10:22 Todd Bennett

Our system where someone could actually buy a car from front to start, remind you there was nobody that actually logged in.

00:10:30 Todd Bennett

And but you know.

00:10:32 Todd Bennett

Work right?

00:10:33 Jon Toker

Everybody bought a car online right start.

00:10:33 Todd Bennett

Well no gentleman started she.

00:10:34 Jon Toker

To finish like never seen it.

00:10:36 Speaker 3

Did some people.

00:10:37 Todd Bennett

Get their car, their trade loaded up.

00:10:40 Todd Bennett

But you know they still wanted they.

00:10:41 Todd Bennett

Still wanted help they.

00:10:45 Jon Toker

Yeah I, I remember you guys.

00:10:45 Todd Bennett

Don’t, I don’t think.

00:10:47 Speaker 3

Sorry, go ahead.

00:10:47 Jon Toker

On your website you guys had that tool and like people can go and complete the purchase completely online.

00:10:53 Jon Toker

And but like I don’t think you guys ever sold start to finish because the consumer doesn’t want that like they still want to come and talk to you somehow.

00:11:02 Jon Toker

Some part of the process even though you had a.

00:11:04 Jon Toker

Really good streamline process and.

00:11:08 Jon Toker

But I think you’re I think what?

00:11:09 Jon Toker

What I what I personally saw what the success was.

00:11:12 Jon Toker

You guys did a phenomenal job mining your database and you really went after that and and service customers and all that stuff.

00:11:19 Jon Toker

You always had this.

00:11:20 Jon Toker

Good BDC set up there in your in your dealership 2 for service in sales and.

00:11:25 Todd Bennett

Yeah, we we really.

00:11:26 Todd Bennett

Focused hard on the you know that trade proposition with our customers when they came in right?

00:11:35 Todd Bennett

You know, some people come in and get it.

00:11:37 Todd Bennett

Their car needs more work than they thought and.

00:11:41 Todd Bennett

You know, so we kind of like headed that off a little bit you.

00:11:44 Todd Bennett

Know instead of.

00:11:47 Todd Bennett

I am leading.

00:11:48 Todd Bennett

We’d offer no judge.

00:11:49 Todd Bennett

Appraisals you know we used obviously.

00:11:52 Todd Bennett

You know, like I could.

00:11:53 Todd Bennett

Probably say auto alert, right?

00:11:56 Todd Bennett

And you know it it.

00:11:58 Todd Bennett

It certainly helped us identify the right customers that that would be willing to trade based on their buying history and and their service history and all that kind of stuff that.

00:12:08 Todd Bennett

You know?

00:12:09 Todd Bennett

Quickly identifies

00:12:11 Speaker 3

You know which?

00:12:12 Todd Bennett

Are the the customers most likely to purchase so you know they’re the easy conversations I have and you know people that wanted to take advantage, took advantage, and the ones that didn’t then contact you again.

00:12:24 Jon Toker

Well, I I.

00:12:25 Jon Toker

Believe you guys?

00:12:25 Jon Toker

Did overall a pretty good job and it was.

00:12:29 Jon Toker

It was pleasure, you know, always dealing with you guys and you guys were always open and flexible and you know looking at better.

00:12:36 Jon Toker

Always better like areas to improve your dealership operations and you guys never like oh we know everything just leave us alone.

00:12:44 Jon Toker

Like you know, or we know everything the best.

00:12:46 Jon Toker

Like always that good conversations and you guys always look for areas of opportunity which was pretty good and you’re being very fair with your customers.

00:12:53 Jon Toker

The trade values was really helpful because.

00:12:57 Jon Toker

There was some bigger dealers than you were.

00:12:58 Jon Toker

You were in some months you sold more cars than them and that was interesting to see.

00:13:03 Jon Toker

Those results, like you wouldn’t expect a bigger metro dealership, sold less cars down your store and Chatham only has what 15,000 people and?

00:13:11 Jon Toker

Of the.

00:13:11 Todd Bennett

It’s bigger than that it’s I think.

00:13:13 Todd Bennett

Chatham Kent’s, like maybe twice.

00:13:14 Todd Bennett

That, but our Chatham is.

00:13:16 Todd Bennett

And then.

00:13:16 Todd Bennett

Chatham Kent’s more like.

00:13:18 Jon Toker

30 right, 30,000 but you know I was it was. It was good stuff. I was really happy to see that really good teamwork. You guys put together.


Yeah, I think.

00:13:27 Todd Bennett

I think in 2020 I think.

00:13:30 Todd Bennett

There was one month.

00:13:31 Todd Bennett

Where way to only store Ontario to achieve our factory target like you know that was kind.

00:13:37 Todd Bennett

Of like a badge we were proudly for.

00:13:40 Todd Bennett

A few months.

00:13:41 Jon Toker

Yeah yeah yeah, no you guys you guys did amazing and you wouldn’t expect that because like you’re not in a big market right?

00:13:50 Jon Toker

Like you’re not in some sort of something like London, you know, like kitchen or you know, like Cambridge, like those are bigger metro areas.

00:13:58 Jon Toker

And like you’re not Windsor, so you’re in between and people can always shop your numbers and take it out.

00:14:04 Jon Toker

But despite the fact you actually pull business from there from sometimes right, which is a.

00:14:10 Todd Bennett

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:14:10 Jon Toker

Pretty impressive thing.

00:14:13 Todd Bennett

I’m I’m always more concerned about the.

00:14:15 Todd Bennett

The ones we.

00:14:16 Todd Bennett

Lose out of our market than the ones we gain, obviously, but but you know, we’ve got to take some credit in our used car success.

00:14:24 Todd Bennett

Like you know.

00:14:26 Todd Bennett

You know you did an awesome job with with.

00:14:28 Todd Bennett

Us so I mean.

00:14:30 Jon Toker

I guess I was in the right place at the right time when we were there, and you know.


Yeah, I mean.

00:14:34 Jon Toker

It was pretty good.

00:14:35 Todd Bennett

Yeah, yeah, so you know you can.

00:14:37 Todd Bennett

You can take some of.

00:14:38 Todd Bennett

That credit to John, it’s OK.

00:14:39 Jon Toker

I’ll think well.

00:14:40 Jon Toker

I’ll take 1% off that credit.

00:14:42 Todd Bennett

Yeah, right?

00:14:44 Jon Toker


00:14:45 Jon Toker

Yeah, you know it was a good good.

00:14:47 Jon Toker

Synergy going on on so.

00:14:49 Jon Toker

What is your daily best practices?

00:14:51 Jon Toker

You do Todd like like what do you do as a general manager?

00:14:55 Jon Toker

Partner of a dealership like day-to-day operations?

00:14:57 Jon Toker

Like are you a micro manager?

00:14:59 Jon Toker

Or you let people do their jobs or like what is your style of management?

00:15:04 Todd Bennett

Well, I mean listen, I do my best to try to keep a a positive atmosphere, especially when we’re in the climate.

00:15:10 Todd Bennett

We are where there’s like almost no new car, new car inventory.

00:15:16 Todd Bennett

Aside from the handful of cars I got.

00:15:18 Todd Bennett

On the lot.

00:15:18 Todd Bennett

Or in the showroom.

00:15:19 Todd Bennett

There’s like one or two out on the lot and.

00:15:23 Todd Bennett

You know, I.

00:15:23 Todd Bennett

Mean that that that can affect.

00:15:26 Todd Bennett

You know the morale of our of our sales staff, but you know?

00:15:30 Todd Bennett

So we’ve got to keep his most positive environment in my micro manager.

00:15:33 Todd Bennett

No, I, you know you.

00:15:35 Todd Bennett

Know me I I?

00:15:36 Todd Bennett

Don’t let them.

00:15:38 Todd Bennett

Manage, but we meet constantly like you know especially.

00:15:44 Todd Bennett

You know, so it’s the same meeting with the used car manager.

00:15:48 Todd Bennett

We want to look and.

00:15:48 Todd Bennett

Make sure that.

00:15:49 Todd Bennett

You know our crisis or cars or price, right?

00:15:52 Todd Bennett

That we’re sourcing the best cars you know.

00:15:55 Todd Bennett

’cause obviously right now, with today’s climate getting cars you know, especially uses.

00:16:02 Todd Bennett

We know what we’re going to get for new ’cause governments are.

00:16:06 Todd Bennett

The is total is basically what we’re going to get over the next three months so, but use is a is a different animal, so.

00:16:16 Todd Bennett

Basically trying to stay on top of that, I mean with the.

00:16:21 Todd Bennett

The the service manager, obviously.

00:16:22 Todd Bennett

Regularly to to make sure.

00:16:25 Todd Bennett

That you know if we keep the text busy and all that kind of stuff like I don’t wait till the end of the month to say.

00:16:32 Todd Bennett

Oh geez, we.

00:16:32 Todd Bennett

Didn’t have a great month in service like we know daily.

00:16:36 Todd Bennett

But you know, I mean, there’s no no real magic.

00:16:39 Todd Bennett

I mean, you know I come here every day and I.

00:16:42 Todd Bennett

Want to make sure that everybody is productive?

00:16:45 Jon Toker

Well, I I think you know you’re being very humble there, but you know you guys have good practices in place and I, I was actually surprised I wasn’t expecting from a small town dealer when I first met you guys.

00:16:58 Jon Toker

And when you told me about you had a BDC center and all that stuff like you’re not an owner group and you have your own BDC Center for service.

00:17:05 Jon Toker

I’m like, yeah, I got my own full time person here and all that stuff.

00:17:08 Jon Toker

I mean that’s before COVID and everything right when you need to make those cost adjustments and stuff.

00:17:14 Jon Toker

But like you were always a big supporter of that database mining and it was.

00:17:18 Jon Toker

It was very good, you know and.

00:17:22 Jon Toker

I think you should take some of that credit too man, because you implemented all those things back in 14 and upcoming like this didn’t happen overnight, right?

00:17:29 Jon Toker

This has been going on for years of investment to the processes and.

00:17:34 Speaker 3

You know, I I.

00:17:36 Todd Bennett

I I dropped a lot of my.

00:17:37 Todd Bennett

Skill up to.

00:17:39 Todd Bennett

You know Peter Hubbard, you know, I mean and just.

00:17:44 Todd Bennett

You know on the sales side.

00:17:47 Todd Bennett

Like I I I adapted that.

00:17:51 Todd Bennett

Philosophy that he.

00:17:52 Todd Bennett

Had and and it it meant something so.

00:17:57 Todd Bennett

So you know from a sales process.

00:18:01 Todd Bennett

You know, like I trained it, so I certainly make sure it’s running to the best I in my ability here and essentially.

00:18:10 Todd Bennett

You know we our process.

00:18:12 Todd Bennett

Is based on.

00:18:13 Todd Bennett

What what the customer wants, right?

00:18:16 Todd Bennett

That’s what comes in the store.

00:18:17 Todd Bennett

They want a price, give it to customers.

00:18:20 Todd Bennett

Want payments we make sure.

00:18:22 Todd Bennett

Everybody leaves here with.

00:18:23 Todd Bennett

With payments you know trade numbers like I’ve I’ve worked in stores.

00:18:29 Todd Bennett

I’ve seen stores that that want to hold all that stuff back because of fear of what they’ll do with with numbers and I it just always felt like you know, you can’t make a decision unless you have all the information.

00:18:40 Todd Bennett

So I want to make sure you got all the information and sometimes.

00:18:43 Todd Bennett

Ends up right so.

00:18:46 Jon Toker

Well, definitely the way you do business is pretty contemporary, right?

00:18:51 Jon Toker

You’re not old school guy and which is pretty.

00:18:53 Jon Toker

You know good to see that, and you’re one we used to. I remember the days we used to evaluate your local book numbers in viotto and like 75% win ratio and like everybody used to call you.

00:19:06 Jon Toker

I said impossible.

00:19:08 Jon Toker

He can’t do it.

00:19:09 Jon Toker

But I think that number was so high.

00:19:11 Jon Toker

Because you guys.

00:19:12 Jon Toker

Were highly targeted on your customers and that experience and paying what their car really worth, right?

00:19:21 Jon Toker

That that really contributed in that 75%, and I’m sure there’s always things fall through the cracks a.

00:19:26 Jon Toker

Little bit maybe?

00:19:27 Jon Toker

It wasn’t 75, maybe it was like 72%.

00:19:30 Jon Toker

But still looks very high, right?

00:19:30 Todd Bennett

Good fire.

00:19:31 Todd Bennett

First lie, I mean.

00:19:34 Todd Bennett

Again, you know if if if someone comes in and and and you just say your cards with 5000 bucks.

00:19:42 Todd Bennett

I mean they don’t believe it’s a novel where where people get their numbers or their the values of their vehicles like I don’t have too many customers in my career come up and say, hey look I’m I happen to go on black book or you know some.

00:19:54 Todd Bennett

Auction site and some like cars worth 2500 bucks. You know they’re going into Autotrader. They’re going there.

00:20:00 Todd Bennett

They look and see what their retail.

00:20:01 Todd Bennett

And if that’s so if.

00:20:03 Todd Bennett

We establish the fact that that’s where people shop.

00:20:07 Todd Bennett

For their value of their vehicle, then we have to kind of identify that when they’re here. If not, you’re gonna tell them something that’s four or $5000, and you know in this time maybe maybe higher, with the way the star market is, and if if you don’t address that, then someone going to leave your store with the feeling they didn’t get enough.

00:20:29 Todd Bennett

Like again, it’s not.

00:20:31 Todd Bennett

It’s not a secret sauce, it’s it.

00:20:33 Todd Bennett

You know everybody in the auto industry knows this, right?

00:20:35 Todd Bennett

So thing is is that we address.

00:20:38 Todd Bennett

It with the customer.

00:20:39 Jon Toker

Well, the problem.

00:20:40 Jon Toker

Is we know all the best practices and what we should be doing in the sometimes what we do that is, we just don’t want to execute it.

00:20:49 Jon Toker

Right, what we know.

00:20:50 Jon Toker

And embrace it, and that’s the main challenge that.

00:20:54 Jon Toker

We know what needs to be done to earn that business.

00:20:57 Jon Toker

And, uh, sometimes we don’t do it.

00:21:00 Jon Toker

Sometimes we know the fact that without taking care of the problem of the current car and get customer out of the current vehicle with the with the fair valuation on it, we know that there’s no way we’re going to be able to sell a car.

00:21:14 Jon Toker

And sometimes sales people say, why don’t you try to sell it privately and like it’s?

00:21:18 Jon Toker

I think that’s the worst kind of response we can give it to a customer if we if if, let’s say customer comes in a car, those aren’t worth the the the money they think right?

00:21:29 Jon Toker

And then sales person still wants to say the deal and goes like sell it privately and come back when you’re ready and like.

00:21:35 Jon Toker

I think these are the.

00:21:36 Jon Toker

Worst things you can say.

00:21:37 Jon Toker

To a customer in a car dealership.

00:21:38 Todd Bennett

I honestly 1% they yeah I mean.

00:21:41 Jon Toker

And I think.

00:21:42 Jon Toker

They’re still doing it I I can tell you that there are some dealers out there still tell their customers why don’t you try to sell it privately and see what?

00:21:49 Jon Toker

Happens and like.

00:21:51 Todd Bennett

Yeah, yeah.

00:21:51 Jon Toker

But what what you?

00:21:52 Todd Bennett

Yeah, it it, it it?

00:21:55 Todd Bennett

It’s surprising that practice still goes on, you know, goes on and dealers it really.

00:22:00 Todd Bennett

Basically just asking the customer to leave, you know when you really think about it.

00:22:05 Jon Toker

Yeah, ’cause they worry that Daniel offended customer like if the constant car worth $1500 justify that cost of $1500 Tao. Why is it $1500?

00:22:16 Jon Toker

Because as rust has this kilometres old card, this this, this this explain that to the customer and and be reason with them.

00:22:24 Jon Toker

Don’t just tell you know what your car was. 5000 laws because I think it is 5000. No cares what you think right? Justify that.

00:22:33 Jon Toker

But you know, COVID change a lot of things because of that new car inventory situation that there’s not enough.



00:22:38 Jon Toker

Cars out there.

00:22:40 Jon Toker

Now the values went up and dealers starting to sell cars what they have on the ground and then they learn how to sell a car without discounting it right?

00:22:51 Jon Toker

Because it’s supply and demand.

00:22:54 Jon Toker

Less supply means high demand and now you don’t have enough new cars.

00:22:57 Jon Toker

That means you’re.

00:22:57 Jon Toker

Not going to have enough use.

00:22:59 Jon Toker

Curves because where are you going to pull?

00:23:01 Jon Toker

Those traits from.

00:23:02 Jon Toker

That’s your bread and butter business.

00:23:04 Jon Toker

And if you want to go buy cars at the auction, go ahead and do it.

00:23:07 Jon Toker

If you can compete with those.

00:23:09 Jon Toker

Numbers there.

00:23:09 Jon Toker

Which is through the roof.

00:23:12 Jon Toker

You know?

00:23:13 Jon Toker

But, uh, I mean.

00:23:14 Todd Bennett

You know, in some cases that’s that’s a source.

00:23:17 Todd Bennett

That you just have to realize that you know maybe you do have to pay more at the auctions and then you don’t want.

00:23:22 Todd Bennett

Just trust the fact that you will move the car.

00:23:25 Jon Toker

Yeah, you just gotta keep it.

00:23:27 Jon Toker

Keep a very close eye when you do that because I believe things are very fluid because as soon as that new car inventory ramps up from the manufacturers, which eventually will because they have no choice to do that right.

00:23:41 Jon Toker

They didn’t build those factories to run it once a week or twice a week.

00:23:45 Jon Toker

It’s just not profitable.

00:23:47 Jon Toker

For them I know.

00:23:48 Speaker 3

Well, to me that’s that’s.

00:23:49 Todd Bennett

Going to be the interesting thing.

00:23:50 Todd Bennett

When things do rebound and you know I don’t have a crystal ball.

00:23:53 Todd Bennett

When it’s going to but.

00:23:56 Todd Bennett

When it when it does and to see what those what what will change.

00:24:01 Todd Bennett

I really, truly believe that you know you know, like I, I don’t know too many dealers and I can’t speak outside the underworld that are are, you know, reducing their sale price that much with selling it, you know.

00:24:15 Todd Bennett

In this climate, you know we don’t have any cars in in in there discounting.

00:24:18 Todd Bennett

At night, and pay your bills, but.

00:24:22 Todd Bennett

You know, but the experience that a customer is having coming in and paying what we’re suggesting.

00:24:30 Todd Bennett

Or the you know, sort of.

00:24:32 Todd Bennett

Manufacturer suggested price or value price or.

00:24:35 Todd Bennett

Whatever you call it.

00:24:37 Todd Bennett

Uh, by hanger?

00:24:38 Todd Bennett

I don’t.

00:24:39 Todd Bennett

There’s there’s not that negotiation soon as the negotiations they want so much off.

00:24:44 Todd Bennett

And then you’re trying to hold on to whatever margin.

00:24:47 Todd Bennett

You can it.

00:24:48 Todd Bennett

It starts to diminish that customer experience and sometimes people, even they just feel like there’s so much more on the table like it’s actually going to hire people.

00:24:58 Todd Bennett

Let me start, you know, putting through it.

00:25:00 Todd Bennett

You know, train process.

00:25:01 Todd Bennett

I always ask you know, point out a civic or CRV in the showroom.

00:25:05 Todd Bennett

Else we we think we.

00:25:06 Todd Bennett

Paid for that car and everyone thinks it’s like shoots where you know like sportchek goes and buys Nikes for 50 bucks and sells them for 100 right and it’s amazing how many people think that.

00:25:18 Todd Bennett

There’s so much markup in the car.

00:25:19 Todd Bennett

It’s just based off.

00:25:21 Todd Bennett

You know what the?

00:25:23 Todd Bennett

Price of the product is and when they.

00:25:25 Todd Bennett

Find out what it really is.

00:25:27 Todd Bennett

It’s like you.

00:25:28 Todd Bennett

Could see the shock on their face right?

00:25:30 Todd Bennett

So I mean.

00:25:32 Todd Bennett

It’s it’s.

00:25:34 Todd Bennett

You know, I guess what I’m trying to say is that like you know, paying that price that we’re selling the Chrysler is a really good deal when you.

00:25:40 Todd Bennett

Think about it right?

00:25:42 Todd Bennett

You know you.

00:25:42 Jon Toker

Yeah, if you if you think about it.

00:25:43 Speaker 3

Don’t go in there.

00:25:45 Jon Toker

Unfortunately there’s a lot of information out there that people tend to see and some of that information is from United States.

00:25:52 Jon Toker

Sometimes that they have.

00:25:53 Jon Toker

Different, you know?

00:25:54 Jon Toker

Incentives in place.

00:25:55 Jon Toker

Sometimes depending on the market.

00:25:58 Jon Toker

And a lot of speculations from people that Oh yeah, dealer has that thing called hold back and they make $10,000 on a car like that.

00:26:05 Jon Toker

Which car were sells for 20,000 which is illogical to think that way. But you know, there’s a lot of things.

00:26:11 Jon Toker

And the problem?

00:26:12 Jon Toker

Is this though in our industry sometimes that we’re not too honest with the customers and explain to them and give that.

00:26:18 Jon Toker

Confidence that hey, like you know, manufacturer sets that price on that car.

00:26:24 Jon Toker

This is a pretty good pricing and it’s a.

00:26:27 Jon Toker

Fair value for it.

00:26:29 Jon Toker

And and you don’t give that confidence in the customer.

00:26:31 Jon Toker

So customer always thinks like.

00:26:34 Jon Toker

Is there still room to negotiate? Maybe my neighbor got a better deal than I did, you know, can I squeeze another $500 here?

00:26:41 Jon Toker

Like because we don’t do a good job sometimes with our customers to build that confidence they don’t trust what we say unfortunately, and I think one thing salespeople need to improve on is trust their word, they say and be honest.

00:26:56 Jon Toker

Put them in straightforward, like hey, you’re buying this entry level vehicle.


It’s a pretty.

00:27:01 Jon Toker

Good price, you’re getting 2.99 interest rate and your payment is this much. We’re giving good money for your trade. Give that confidence to your customer.

00:27:09 Jon Toker

Don’t play games.

00:27:09 Todd Bennett

And he wanted.

00:27:10 Todd Bennett

Variable if people knew the variable.

00:27:12 Todd Bennett

Then it would be.

00:27:14 Todd Bennett

You know the different part, uh, different negotiation, right? Like if if you think that it’s you think that it’s like 100% markup or something like that, then ’cause you ’cause you don’t know that because not knowing the variable makes the the you know it turns into a guessing game right now. Mind you, I don’t go.

00:27:35 Todd Bennett

And tell people what the variable.

00:27:36 Todd Bennett

This, but we try to let them know what this is.

00:27:40 Todd Bennett

It’s not you.

00:27:40 Jon Toker

Come on, Benny Benny, tell us the.

00:27:42 Jon Toker

Truth you make honor for somewhere.

00:27:44 Speaker 3

I mean I I always joke around.

00:27:47 Todd Bennett

With my dealer friends and said, you know, one day I’m going to go in the grocery store and they bring it up at like $241.00 and I say, listen, I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do, you know?

00:27:55 Todd Bennett

I’m not going to use my debit card.

00:27:58 Todd Bennett

I’m going to give you.

00:27:58 Todd Bennett

200 cash go talk to your guy.

00:28:03 Todd Bennett

And go look yeah, go look at the clerk.

00:28:06 Todd Bennett

You know the look on his or her face, right?

00:28:09 Todd Bennett

You know we just don’t do it.

00:28:11 Todd Bennett

You don’t go into sport check.

00:28:12 Todd Bennett

And start negotiating with them.

00:28:13 Todd Bennett

But it’s funny how we do it in car business and some you know some.

00:28:18 Todd Bennett

Like I know.

00:28:19 Todd Bennett

That Hyundai has a.

00:28:20 Todd Bennett

A Genesis line there that that is, you know.

00:28:24 Todd Bennett

Non-negotiable, it’s prices of price and all that like.

00:28:27 Todd Bennett

I just wish.

00:28:28 Todd Bennett

That that our industry as a whole.

00:28:30 Todd Bennett

Wouldn’t be just small.

00:28:31 Todd Bennett

Pockets like that where you know?

00:28:35 Todd Bennett

It it it’s, it’s like that.

00:28:37 Todd Bennett

Across the board everywhere.

00:28:39 Todd Bennett

And that’s what I was saying earlier.

00:28:40 Todd Bennett

Like when when inventories returned to normal?

00:28:45 Todd Bennett

I’d like to hopefully see that you know as a whole, that we sell the cars closer to that that price instead of making this negotiation more.

00:28:56 Jon Toker

I one thing in the car business that.

00:28:58 Jon Toker

Every dealer should.

00:29:00 Jon Toker

Aim to focus on is the thing the new term called self sustainability.

00:29:05 Jon Toker

So self sustainability means that.

00:29:09 Jon Toker

Without spending a single penny on advertising dollars, you should still be able to hit your manufacturers or internal targets with your own database of customers.

00:29:18 Jon Toker

As long as you’ve been in the business more than 10 years, right?

00:29:21 Jon Toker

I’m not talking about a brand new store opens up their doors and expect to do that.

00:29:25 Jon Toker

But if you’re a dealership and you’ve been in there in the same location more than a decade.

00:29:30 Jon Toker

You should aim to become a self sustainable operation.

00:29:33 Jon Toker

Advertising is amazing.

00:29:35 Jon Toker

Marketing is the best thing to do it, but let’s cover our basics.

00:29:38 Jon Toker

First, let’s let’s get to that self sustainability target of, you know, hitting our factory targets or internal targets with our existing service and sales customers by treating them nice.

00:29:51 Jon Toker

VIP white glove.

00:29:52 Jon Toker

Treatment to bring them back to get cars.

00:29:56 Jon Toker

Get the referrals from them first. Then let’s go outside and spend that ten $15,000 a month minimum on advertising.

00:30:03 Jon Toker

That’s my understanding of the future of the car business because existing customers with the existing service with you less likely to have that trust.

00:30:16 Jon Toker

Issues with you when you tell them this is your best possible price.

00:30:19 Jon Toker

You can do it because they conducted that business with.

00:30:22 Jon Toker

They know Todd Bernardino Christy grow, they know Lou, they know your staff so when they come back for the second car three or four years.

00:30:29 Jon Toker

Later you can convince them easier because you had that existing rapport well.

00:30:35 Jon Toker

What we do that is, you know what?

00:30:37 Jon Toker

Let’s go on our PMA and advertise digital marketing so the manufacturer won’t catch us and then let’s try to steal their business.

00:30:45 Jon Toker

First become self sustainable with your own clientele and then worry about stealing business from a competition.

00:30:53 Jon Toker

So, and that’s the problem too.

00:30:56 Jon Toker

What happens when you try to steal a business from a competition?


I give you a better.

00:30:59 Jon Toker

Deal like what’s your competitive edge?

00:31:02 Jon Toker

And I will always say I give you.

00:31:03 Jon Toker

A better deal.

00:31:04 Jon Toker

I beat their deal by this like.

00:31:06 Jon Toker

What does it do for you number one?

00:31:08 Jon Toker

That service customer doesn’t come back for service right?

00:31:12 Jon Toker

The second one is your CSI goes down because everything is based on.

00:31:16 Jon Toker

I give you a better deal.

00:31:18 Jon Toker

And no relationship, nothing.

00:31:22 Jon Toker

I don’t think that’s the right practice to do it, so I think that’s going to be the main challenge when that inventory ramps up and then the car started arriving and dealers panicking like OK, Now we gotta go back to the old way of doing business.

00:31:34 Jon Toker

All that customer what would it get?

00:31:35 Jon Toker

You during your business.

00:31:36 Jon Toker

Today you know things like that.

00:31:39 Jon Toker

I mean it’s good to trying to close deals.

00:31:41 Jon Toker

You should always ask for a business.

00:31:43 Jon Toker

There right, always find a way, but.

00:31:44 Todd Bennett

Well, Fort Smith yeah.

00:31:46 Jon Toker

Don’t just fly.

00:31:48 Jon Toker

My sense is like 2 senses don’t only focus on the price I give.

00:31:54 Jon Toker

You a better deal.

00:31:55 Jon Toker

Or don’t go.

00:31:55 Jon Toker

Spend thousands of dollars wasting that money.

00:31:59 Jon Toker

Because one thing is.

00:32:00 Jon Toker

This the manufacturers do a phenomenal job advertising the product.

00:32:03 Jon Toker

Anyways, digital.

00:32:04 Todd Bennett

Will do.

00:32:06 Jon Toker

If you’re gonna do a digital advertising, your number one goal and the digital advertising.

00:32:11 Jon Toker

Should be targeting your own database, right?

00:32:14 Jon Toker

Like why?

00:32:14 Jon Toker

Why would you like to go and trying to promote the brand that you sell?

00:32:17 Jon Toker

OK, promote it but you don’t have to compete with the other brands with your advertising strategy because manufacturers are giants.

00:32:26 Jon Toker

They’re very smart people like, despite the fact everybody all the dealers think manufacturers don’t know anything about the business they have.

00:32:34 Jon Toker

Very good people working for them and and they make those digital marketing decisions based on the data and they do really good conquest campaigns and I’m talking about all the manufacturers not one specific like they’re very smart at data, right?

00:32:49 Jon Toker

They’re better than the car dealers you gotta trust and rely.

00:32:53 Jon Toker

And you know.

00:32:54 Jon Toker

Have faith in your manufacturer to let that competitive thing to do it, and then you focus on taking care of the customer who’s contacting you, whether phone or E leads or all those different mediums like.

00:33:07 Jon Toker

That’s what I think I don’t know.

00:33:08 Jon Toker

What you think about that but?

00:33:10 Todd Bennett

Well, I mean my my.

00:33:14 Todd Bennett

My market might be different, like I don’t have another Honda store in the.

00:33:19 Todd Bennett

City I’m in like some of the.

00:33:20 Todd Bennett

Bigger cities do, but what?

00:33:22 Todd Bennett

I do and we talked about.

00:33:23 Todd Bennett

You know the size of Chatham Kent, and you know, like I think that next closest dealer would be Windsor or you know London.

00:33:32 Todd Bennett

But I look at all the people.

00:33:33 Todd Bennett

That you know.

00:33:34 Todd Bennett

Basically, if you look from London always.

00:33:36 Todd Bennett

Right down to.

00:33:39 Todd Bennett

Windsor, Sonia.

00:33:40 Todd Bennett

How many people live there?

00:33:43 Todd Bennett

There’s a lot of people like.

00:33:45 Todd Bennett

It’s gotta be close to.

00:33:46 Todd Bennett

A million and a half people, maybe more.

00:33:48 Todd Bennett

And there’s, you know, a handful of harvesters.

00:33:50 Todd Bennett

There’s plenty of people out.

00:33:51 Todd Bennett

There for us all to sell.

00:33:53 Todd Bennett

Cars, so I really don’t really try to focus on outside my PM A I mean.

00:33:59 Todd Bennett

Like yeah, to me it’s not about selling the car and that’s it.

00:34:03 Todd Bennett

Like we, you know, we want to have a relationship where they come back and and do service with this and all that kind of stuff.

00:34:08 Todd Bennett

And you’re right, I’m not going to drive.

00:34:10 Todd Bennett

Personally, I I don’t think I’d drive over an hour to get an oil change.

00:34:14 Todd Bennett

Or, you know, weren’t you work.

00:34:15 Todd Bennett

I’d rather I’d.

00:34:17 Todd Bennett

You know deal local.

00:34:19 Todd Bennett

Hoping people think that too it that way too.

00:34:22 Todd Bennett

So yeah, and you know what it is when.

00:34:24 Todd Bennett

You think about conquest advertising it is.

00:34:26 Todd Bennett

It is a crapshoot.

00:34:27 Todd Bennett

Sometimes ’cause you.

00:34:28 Todd Bennett

Don’t know like I don’t know any car dealers anymore that put ads in the paper, but I remember like 10 years ago there was just putting half page color dads in in in the paper and they’re spending boatloads of money.

00:34:40 Todd Bennett

Then you know.

00:34:41 Todd Bennett

Radio is a big thing.

00:34:42 Todd Bennett

I don’t know anybody advertising on the radio anymore like you know to put that that money into a.

00:34:50 Todd Bennett

And I haven’t, you know, on average you know.

00:34:52 Todd Bennett

You’re not going to get a return on investment or not.

00:34:55 Todd Bennett

No return on.

00:34:56 Todd Bennett

Investment, which is is scary as well.

00:34:58 Todd Bennett

So you know it is.

00:35:00 Todd Bennett

It is a, it isn’t.

00:35:02 Todd Bennett

And that’s what that’s why I.

00:35:04 Todd Bennett

Think we focus my.

00:35:05 Todd Bennett

You know, in our database again.

00:35:07 Todd Bennett

The stores been here for like 40 almost 44 years.

00:35:11 Todd Bennett

So there’s lots of people that we can advertise to that you know, know what kind of business we are and how we can.

00:35:18 Todd Bennett

Treat them right.

00:35:19 Jon Toker

Known customers who did actively doing business with you.

00:35:21 Todd Bennett

Customers, yeah.

00:35:22 Jon Toker

Remember the days we look at your database and we said.

00:35:25 Jon Toker

’cause so how many active customers been here to your dealership last six months?

00:35:28 Jon Toker

And we were like, wow, that’s like thousands of people.

00:35:31 Jon Toker

That’s amazing, you know and like.

00:35:33 Todd Bennett

Another side was interesting when you had to do the report where.

00:35:36 Todd Bennett

We looked at people that you know.

00:35:38 Todd Bennett

Did service with us but didn’t buy from us.

00:35:41 Jon Toker

Yeah, that was.

00:35:41 Speaker 3

Using their loan spectrum.

00:35:42 Jon Toker

A very interesting one.

00:35:43 Todd Bennett

Yeah, and then you look and see you know what their service history was with us that they hadn’t bought a car and look at some of the distance.

00:35:50 Todd Bennett

That people were.

00:35:51 Todd Bennett

Driving right so?

00:35:53 Todd Bennett

And and again.



00:35:55 Todd Bennett

That that’s that’s that’s.

00:35:57 Todd Bennett

Why it’s important to make sure that you know you talk.

00:35:59 Todd Bennett

We talk about CSI that that we keep our customers very happy too.

00:36:03 Todd Bennett

So people don’t follow the funnel.

00:36:06 Jon Toker

There’s nothing more important in a car dealership than keeping or any business to keeping that customer happy.

00:36:13 Jon Toker

Because if you don’t keep the customers happy and you’re trying to, you know, trying to keep yourself happy.

00:36:21 Jon Toker

It’s it’s it’s going to.

00:36:22 Jon Toker

Doom the business right?

00:36:23 Jon Toker

And and.

00:36:24 Jon Toker

Any any kind of establishment focuses on customers.

00:36:29 Jon Toker

The rest will come after that easily, so that’s that’s what that’s what that’s why the manufacturers pushing the CSI too much because like happy customers you know, bring more customers and you know, it only takes one upset customer to affect 100 sales.

00:36:44 Jon Toker

So so it’s interesting.

00:36:47 Jon Toker

I actually have a question.

00:36:49 Jon Toker

From romit

00:36:51 Jon Toker

He’s like he had basically asked.

00:36:54 Jon Toker

Has COVID highlighted redundancies, redundancies, redundancies in the process?

00:37:01 Jon Toker

If So what are they?

00:37:02 Jon Toker

How are you addressing it?

00:37:06 Todd Bennett

I don’t think I don’t.

00:37:08 Todd Bennett

I don’t think it has you.

00:37:11 Todd Bennett

You know, I mean.

00:37:12 Todd Bennett

The the the sales process still works.

00:37:17 Todd Bennett

You know, I think that you know there’s some things were more cautious in, like when it comes to test drives.

00:37:23 Todd Bennett

Obviously you know.

00:37:25 Todd Bennett

You know that that that.

00:37:27 Todd Bennett

Is a little different, but.

00:37:30 Todd Bennett

The only the only thing that I can I could say that that would really.

00:37:35 Todd Bennett

Not change, but maybe focus more.

00:37:37 Todd Bennett

On is that when?

00:37:39 Todd Bennett

You know we greeted customer immediate customer.

00:37:41 Todd Bennett

We immediately want to look at their car, you know?

00:37:45 Todd Bennett

Uh, as a as a sales manager.

00:37:50 Todd Bennett

If you’re looking at a car, let’s say that’s something you normally wouldn’t keep, something that would be.

00:37:58 Todd Bennett

You know, maybe for that you know I’m a harvester, so it’s a Ford Mustang and I’m looking at it in October.

00:38:03 Todd Bennett

Do I really want a GT Mustang when ordering a sales process in most stores that sells that sales manager is going to get that information on that car like after the garment test drive after.

00:38:15 Todd Bennett

They think, hey, this.

00:38:16 Todd Bennett

Is the car we might you know, get some more?

00:38:17 Todd Bennett

Detailed numbers on and yeah, you know, let’s look at that car now, but you didn’t give your sales manager about 15 to half 20 minutes to decide if he wants that car or not, but.

00:38:29 Speaker 3

Just imagine if.

00:38:31 Todd Bennett

He had that information or she had that information.

00:38:37 Todd Bennett

To you know.

00:38:38 Todd Bennett

Sort of, the second step of that sale, so.

00:38:40 Todd Bennett

While that customer

00:38:41 Todd Bennett

Is looking at a car, you know, getting the walk around.

00:38:45 Todd Bennett

Going on a test drive.

00:38:47 Todd Bennett

And now that sales manager might have 45 minutes to decide, hey, this might be a car I want. Get some time to do some research you know.

00:38:54 Todd Bennett

So I insist that.

00:38:58 Todd Bennett

Uh, we get that information as soon as possible.

00:39:02 Todd Bennett

And we talked.

00:39:03 Todd Bennett

Earlier about look to book right and having that high percentage of look to book I’m I’m.

00:39:08 Todd Bennett

I’m starting to let that go.

00:39:10 Todd Bennett

I I I had sucked in our sales meeting on Monday with the sales people and said I want as many appraisals in there as possible.

00:39:17 Todd Bennett

I’m not.

00:39:18 Speaker 3

Really so.

00:39:19 Todd Bennett

Looking at the.

00:39:19 Todd Bennett

Closing ratio on.

00:39:21 Todd Bennett

It is that right now we need to buy as many used cars as we can and the more information that we can put in there and more appraisals we can do, the more likelihood that we can buy some cars and not cut over.

00:39:31 Todd Bennett

The auction or not?

00:39:32 Todd Bennett

Have to, you know.

00:39:34 Todd Bennett

Uh, trying to buy it from another lot here.

00:39:37 Todd Bennett

Around and it it just it becomes.

00:39:41 Todd Bennett

Financially, almost impossible, right?

00:39:44 Todd Bennett

So but you know the best ways to get good used cars or from people that you know done business with you.

00:39:51 Todd Bennett

You know about it or they’re local and.

00:39:52 Todd Bennett

All that kind of stuff, so I.

00:39:54 Todd Bennett

Want as much of that.

00:39:55 Todd Bennett

Information early on.

00:39:57 Todd Bennett

Where a lot of dealers you know.

00:39:59 Todd Bennett

Use car managers.

00:40:01 Todd Bennett

Don’t want to look or put numbers on cars or priest cars or anything like that unless there’s.

00:40:08 Todd Bennett

A purchase didn’t happen, we’re I.



00:40:11 Todd Bennett

I’ve abandoned that.

00:40:12 Todd Bennett

I want I want you know, like it’s also, it’s February.

00:40:15 Todd Bennett

Like you know how busy are we?

00:40:17 Todd Bennett

So I I don’t know if I’m.

00:40:19 Speaker 3

Answering this question or not.

00:40:20 Todd Bennett

But that’s the only real.

00:40:21 Todd Bennett

Thing that I’ve I’ve, you know, focused on.

00:40:23 Todd Bennett

Is like let’s let’s start praising them really.

00:40:26 Todd Bennett

Early so I have.

00:40:28 Todd Bennett

A lot more time to decide if.

00:40:29 Todd Bennett

That’s a car when I buy.

00:40:32 Todd Bennett

For the lot, or maybe we’re going to wholesale or put it on on an.

00:40:35 Todd Bennett

Auction, you know?

00:40:37 Todd Bennett

Giving yourself more than 10 minutes to make.

00:40:39 Todd Bennett

A decision on something.

00:40:40 Todd Bennett

Like that and also listen, our customers come in.

00:40:45 Speaker 3

It’s a unique business.

00:40:47 Todd Bennett

Because the majority of the time someone buying a car from us, right?

00:40:50 Todd Bennett

They’re also selling us something you don’t go to a furniture store with your old couch and see what you’re going to.

00:40:55 Todd Bennett

Get for it right, but.

00:40:56 Todd Bennett

They do with your car, it’s not.

00:40:58 Speaker 3

Like it’s such.

00:40:58 Todd Bennett

A unique business that way, right?

00:41:01 Todd Bennett

So like.

00:41:04 Todd Bennett

So customer comes in, they want to know what they’re going to pay for a new car.

00:41:08 Speaker 3

And what you’re?

00:41:08 Todd Bennett

Going to pay for theirs, so let’s draw that attention up front on the on their car and get that going.

00:41:15 Todd Bennett

You know and then again, I’m.

00:41:16 Todd Bennett

Going to give him some details that maybe a lot.

00:41:19 Todd Bennett

Of dealers aren’t going.

00:41:19 Todd Bennett

To give out a few right.

00:41:21 Todd Bennett

I’m not afraid to lose business because I gave someone information.

00:41:26 Todd Bennett

I’m afraid to lose business.

00:41:28 Todd Bennett

If I don’t give that customer information.

00:41:30 Todd Bennett

If that makes any sense, right, you know.

00:41:32 Todd Bennett

I I just find it funny I’ve gone in stores as a as a trainer.

00:41:35 Todd Bennett

Running the stores and just watched how sales.

00:41:37 Todd Bennett

People are afraid to give people.

00:41:40 Todd Bennett

Pricing payments right like in.

00:41:42 Todd Bennett

Stores where they’re saying, well, how?

00:41:43 Speaker 3

Much is that.

00:41:44 Todd Bennett

Car, you know, go over to a car.

00:41:45 Todd Bennett

It’s $100,000 and say well it’s 99,000 or plus tax and that’s the price the customer is not going to.

00:41:51 Todd Bennett

Hey right that customer is most likely going to.

00:41:54 Todd Bennett

Make monthly payments on it, right?

00:41:56 Todd Bennett

That’s really what the.

00:41:57 Todd Bennett

Customer is asking.

00:41:58 Todd Bennett


00:41:58 Todd Bennett

And and to to run away from that and not give that person information, because you’re afraid they’re going to take that information to another store and shop well.

00:42:07 Todd Bennett

If you don’t give him the information, then they’re going to go someplace that will probably do business there.

00:42:13 Jon Toker

Well, make your experience such a pleasant experience so that they will make the purchase when they come to your store.

00:42:21 Jon Toker

Because you only, I mean if you look at the data coming from these companies like Google and all those data analytics company, right? They say customer spam customers only go to 1.6 dealerships.

00:42:33 Jon Toker

Before they pull the trigger, well, that means you’re very high chances of selling that customer when they’re in front of you.

00:42:40 Jon Toker

So then if you give them what they want and treat them nice and convince the fact that this is the right place to conduct business.

00:42:49 Jon Toker

Why would they leave the store in somewhere else?

00:42:52 Jon Toker

They already made their decision anyways.

00:42:53 Jon Toker

They already put their heart and soul on that car before they come.

00:42:57 Jon Toker

If your car wasn’t good, they wouldn’t be sitting in front of you to begin with, right?

00:43:02 Jon Toker

They would just test drive and says, OK, we’ll come back later and just disappear right, or they won’t even come there to begin with like?

00:43:08 Jon Toker

Do you ever go to the restaurant that it doesn’t taste the way you want, right?

00:43:12 Jon Toker

Like you don’t do it.

00:43:14 Jon Toker

People spend a lot of time online.

00:43:16 Jon Toker

Find out What Car they want.

00:43:18 Jon Toker

Do you just want to confirm that?

00:43:19 Jon Toker

If you’re the right place to conduct that business, give them their feelings or in their business very straight forward process and you’re absolutely right.

00:43:27 Todd Bennett

Yeah yeah, yeah.

00:43:29 Todd Bennett

And I, you know, I I think you’re bang on that on that ratio as well.

00:43:35 Todd Bennett

The and I I remember I just a quick story about when I was trading at a store and and I remember asking.

00:43:41 Todd Bennett

Them if they if someone came in and asked for a brochure, or would they consider that person up or a lead and and they?

00:43:48 Todd Bennett

And they said no.

00:43:50 Todd Bennett

Uhm, you know as like you know so well they just come in to get information.

00:43:56 Todd Bennett

And I was like anybody that.

00:43:57 Todd Bennett

Pulls a handle on that door.

00:43:59 Todd Bennett

You know they didn’t come in.

00:44:01 Todd Bennett

Here, unless they wanted.

00:44:02 Todd Bennett

To buy a car like.

00:44:03 Todd Bennett

Maybe not today, maybe not next month, but.

00:44:06 Todd Bennett

Who would go to a car dealer to get a brochure?

00:44:08 Todd Bennett

Or who would go to a car?

00:44:09 Todd Bennett

Dealer just to like look at something and.

00:44:11 Todd Bennett

And you know, I’m.

00:44:13 Todd Bennett

Going to buy a car eventually in my.

00:44:14 Todd Bennett

Life like, obviously there’s some interest.

00:44:16 Todd Bennett

Right and and I just couldn’t get through to him and I.

00:44:20 Todd Bennett

Said, just imagine if.

00:44:21 Todd Bennett

You went to Shoppers Drug Mart and are you work there and I went into Shoppers Drug Mart.

00:44:25 Todd Bennett

I’m down shampoo, aisle and.

00:44:27 Todd Bennett

Hey how can I help you?

00:44:28 Speaker 3

Out, well, well I’m just just, you know.

00:44:30 Speaker 3

Bad information today.

00:44:32 Todd Bennett

I don’t know if I’m gonna get the Pantene or whatever, but you know I’m going to.

00:44:35 Todd Bennett

Look around, I’m going to go to and then.

00:44:36 Todd Bennett

Go to Rexall and see what they got there.

00:44:38 Todd Bennett

Is on for and I’m.

00:44:39 Todd Bennett

Going to get.

00:44:39 Todd Bennett

It for the.

00:44:40 Todd Bennett

Best price you know.

00:44:41 Todd Bennett

If you’re going in there.

00:44:42 Speaker 3

You’re going to.

00:44:43 Todd Bennett

Buy it right.

00:44:44 Todd Bennett

So you know I’m not delusional to think that that everyone that’s going to come in here is going to is going to buy a car, and they’re going to buy for me today.

00:44:52 Todd Bennett

But I believe that if I do everything right.

00:44:55 Todd Bennett

That there’s no reason to leave.

00:44:58 Todd Bennett


00:45:00 Todd Bennett

Like you know you’d be sitting there. Yeah, 26 years I I hear all they’ve only got 10 minutes.

00:45:06 Todd Bennett

They gotta, they gotta go.

00:45:07 Speaker 3

Pick up their kids.

00:45:08 Speaker 3

Why my father of.

00:45:08 Todd Bennett

Three, I’ve only got 10 minutes.

00:45:11 Speaker 3

I only have 10 minutes.

00:45:13 Speaker 3

I’m not gonna like put myself in a situation where I could be late picking him up so you know, I I always sort of.

00:45:20 Todd Bennett

Think about what they’re saying, right?

00:45:21 Todd Bennett

They’re not saying.

00:45:22 Todd Bennett

I got to pick up my kids in 10 minutes.

00:45:24 Todd Bennett

You only have 10 minutes to allow me, and if there’s any extra time.

00:45:29 Todd Bennett

Then you have to earn it, right?

00:45:32 Todd Bennett

I’ve had people all in my career town attendance in a 10 minutes an hour and.

00:45:35 Todd Bennett

1/2 later.

00:45:36 Todd Bennett

They’re still here, right?

00:45:37 Todd Bennett

’cause if we made the built value why they should stay or why they why?

00:45:41 Todd Bennett

Why we got more than 10 minutes?

00:45:43 Jon Toker

Or or think this way.

00:45:44 Speaker 3

I’m glad you could.

00:45:45 Todd Bennett

Get me going.

00:45:46 Jon Toker

But but but think this.

00:45:48 Jon Toker

Way to Todd like.

00:45:49 Jon Toker

Let’s say a customer ’cause there’s going out there that let’s say the customer is in the process of negotiating right?

00:45:55 Jon Toker

And there’s a.

00:45:55 Jon Toker

Hot negotiation going.

00:45:56 Jon Toker

On back and forth, right and the salesperson comes to, he says.

00:46:00 Jon Toker

Unless we give them this, they’re gonna walk away and like you’re looking at your GP or like $700.00 gross you’re holding and like custom wants another thousand off and all of a sudden you go up.

00:46:11 Jon Toker

There’s a manager and like explain to them and somehow the deal is closed and then they go to the business office and they spend another $3000. I’m like then your sales.

00:46:20 Jon Toker

Person used to tire.

00:46:21 Jon Toker

They don’t have money.

00:46:22 Jon Toker

To spend OK, but how did?

00:46:24 Jon Toker

They spend more in the business office because their business manager did a better.

00:46:28 Jon Toker

Job explaining the packages available for their benefit and the customer said that makes sense because as a salesperson, you didn’t do a good job explaining to them why this is.

00:46:38 Jon Toker

The price of the car.

00:46:39 Jon Toker

You know what I mean like?

00:46:41 Jon Toker

It’s so far how many times.

00:46:43 Jon Toker

That happens, right? Oh yeah, unless you get $5 off from the payment, they’re not going to do it, and they go to the business office daily with $30 more payment.

00:46:50 Jon Toker

And the detailed sales post what happened is, like, uh?

00:46:54 Jon Toker

I don’t know.

00:46:54 Jon Toker

I’m like, I tell you what happened your.

00:46:56 Jon Toker

Business manager did a better job than you.

00:46:58 Jon Toker

Did explaining that customer.

00:46:59 Todd Bennett

Yeah, yeah.

00:47:01 Speaker 3

I think I.

00:47:02 Speaker 3

Think people have two budgets too, I think.

00:47:04 Todd Bennett

They have what they kind of want to save on the car and and you know what they want to spend on protecting it too.

00:47:11 Todd Bennett

I you know again, I don’t have any data to support that, but that’s just my gut.

00:47:16 Jon Toker

I think it’s all about relationship and how much trust you can build with your customers.

00:47:22 Jon Toker

And how good of a job you.

00:47:24 Jon Toker

Do satisfying their purchase needs is the is the secret.

00:47:30 Jon Toker

There’s really nothing specific about this.

00:47:33 Jon Toker

Just greet customers with a smile.

00:47:36 Jon Toker

Answer the questions, do your job presenting the product.

00:47:40 Jon Toker

Do your test drives right.

00:47:41 Todd Bennett

Yeah, they get what they want.

00:47:42 Jon Toker

Make sure.

00:47:43 Todd Bennett

Give them.

00:47:43 Todd Bennett

What they want?

00:47:43 Jon Toker

Give them what they want, give them the data they need and ask for the business.

00:47:48 Jon Toker

Nothing wrong with asking the business, ask for it.

00:47:51 Jon Toker

You know what do you think and.

00:47:54 Jon Toker

But don’t try to play games like oh all that praise in your.

00:47:58 Jon Toker

Car when you’re ready to Are you ready?

00:47:59 Jon Toker

To buy today, Sir.

00:48:01 Jon Toker

What kind of question is that?

00:48:02 Jon Toker

Like you know.

00:48:04 Jon Toker

They’re disrespectful, right?

00:48:05 Jon Toker

But and well, it is what it is.

00:48:09 Jon Toker

You know, Todd time flies by with you, man like.

00:48:12 Jon Toker

Normally I do these for 30 minutes where like almost in 50 minute mark.

00:48:16 Jon Toker

Now I did just realize that wow, no it’s OK.


Oh, awesome.

00:48:19 Jon Toker

I have no issue I guess.

00:48:22 Jon Toker

ROM it said Dromod said your answer is good.

00:48:26 Jon Toker

Refocusing when you auction the training process.

00:48:29 Jon Toker

Thank you.

00:48:30 Jon Toker

Always a smart guy is very analytical guy so I I he was the DRM and we used to do dealer with just together and a smart smart guy.

00:48:38 Jon Toker

So we’re almost the same age and Brent Jewelers.

00:48:42 Jon Toker

By the way, Brent Jewelers is the guy who wrote me in the car business more than 13 years ago back in Halifax, NS. And he’s like my first mentor in the car business.

00:48:46 Todd Bennett

Oh yeah.

00:48:52 Todd Bennett

I wonder if he has regrets.

00:48:53 Todd Bennett

I’m kidding.

00:48:54 Jon Toker

Oh for sure he does like.

00:48:56 Jon Toker

He always says why do we let people like you in?

00:48:58 Jon Toker

The car now.

00:48:58 Jon Toker

I’m kidding.

00:48:58 Jon Toker

He doesn’t say that.

00:49:00 Jon Toker

But Brenda is the guy who thought all the basics in the car business.

00:49:05 Jon Toker

I learned from him and he said sometimes a good dealer simply left holding the bag after a bad experience at another store.

00:49:12 Jon Toker

So many things go wrong before they ever set a foot in your store.

00:49:16 Jon Toker

So yeah, so that happens too, right customer?

00:49:19 Jon Toker

Comes from a different dealership.

00:49:21 Jon Toker

Yeah, where you bet about experience but.

00:49:26 Jon Toker

Good stuff, anything taught before you wrap it up.

00:49:29 Jon Toker

You want to add?

00:49:30 Jon Toker

I think it.

00:49:30 Jon Toker

Was a.

00:49:31 Jon Toker

Good conversation.

00:49:33 Jon Toker

You’re someone that I respect a lot and if about staffing, are you hiring people?

00:49:39 Jon Toker

Be looking for people to work for you.

00:49:41 Jon Toker

What’s the situation there?

00:49:43 Todd Bennett

Yeah, I mean listen, you probably asked that to every dealer that.

00:49:46 Todd Bennett

You talked to.

00:49:47 Todd Bennett

But and the answer would be, you know.

00:49:49 Todd Bennett

Yes, so I think currently we are looking for.

00:49:55 Todd Bennett

Or a service advisor.

00:50:01 Todd Bennett

I think Chris is looking for a sales person so.

00:50:04 Jon Toker

Christy ground nice.

00:50:06 Jon Toker

Chris is a phenomenal guy.

00:50:07 Jon Toker

You know.

00:50:08 Jon Toker

I wish maybe I’ll do a podcast with him too.

00:50:10 Jon Toker

One day.

00:50:10 Todd Bennett

Yeah you should, you should there.

00:50:13 Jon Toker

Is it good fella?

00:50:14 Jon Toker

So you’re looking for sales person and a service advisor and how do they reach you like?

00:50:18 Jon Toker

Where do they send those resumes or how do they apply for these jobs?

00:50:21 Todd Bennett

Alright, just send it to me directly, my.

00:50:23 Todd Bennett

Email is real easy.

00:50:24 Todd Bennett

Todd at

00:50:27 Jon Toker

OK, no spending jewelry.

00:50:28 Todd Bennett

You know, or contact external?

00:50:29 Todd Bennett

Website and in costs.

00:50:32 Jon Toker

Yeah, right, and Todd, if somebody has any questions, let’s say a young person wants to come into the car business and they’re looking for some questions like, not a mentor about.

00:50:32 Todd Bennett


00:50:40 Jon Toker

Like, you know, quick questions.

00:50:42 Jon Toker

Maybe a student currently a student in school.

00:50:44 Jon Toker

Or maybe you know we got a lot of students in this automotive business college.

00:50:48 Jon Toker

And they’re looking to get into the car biz.

00:50:49 Jon Toker

This, uh, you don’t mind answering people’s questions, right?

00:50:52 Jon Toker

If somebody shoots.

00:50:53 Jon Toker

You a quick email or they want to give you all a Todd all that stuff.

00:50:54 Todd Bennett

Good luck.

00:50:57 Jon Toker

OK, good because that’s the one of the things we I think need to focus on car business.

00:51:01 Jon Toker

As as as professionals that young people want to come into the business, I I think they should be able to reach us out.

00:51:09 Jon Toker

And hey, what do you think?

00:51:10 Jon Toker

What should I do?

00:51:11 Jon Toker

I think that’s.

00:51:11 Jon Toker

A good kind of stuff too because.

00:51:14 Jon Toker

Not very many people consider car business when they’re looking for a career, and I think it’s a very rewarding career and everybody wants to be like I gotta get an office job and like, yeah, it’s it’s good.

00:51:23 Jon Toker

But you know?

00:51:24 Jon Toker

If you’re a successful salesperson, you can go your way up and like yourself, right?

00:51:29 Jon Toker

You started as a salesperson.

00:51:30 Jon Toker

You made your way up.

00:51:31 Jon Toker

Now your partner, a dealership, and.

00:51:34 Jon Toker

I think it’s a lot more rewarding than just having an office.

00:51:36 Jon Toker

Job too right? And it’s.

00:51:37 Jon Toker

Fun, because there’s a lot more interpersonal relationships.

00:51:41 Jon Toker

So well, Todd, thank you very much.

00:51:44 Todd Bennett

My pleasure, thank you.

00:51:46 Jon Toker

We’ll keep in touch and thank you everybody.

00:51:49 Jon Toker

Watching our on listening our podcast today and next week.

00:51:52 Jon Toker

Todd, I’m going to have Dave Barber and Sam Barber from northern Honda.

00:51:56 Todd Bennett

All right, one right us.

00:51:57 Jon Toker

Oh yeah, it’s

00:51:58 Todd Bennett

Not a good dealer.

00:52:00 Jon Toker

It’s going to be an interesting because my concept is normally one on one and next week I’m going to have two to one.

00:52:06 Jon Toker

And you know barbers are, you know, they’re strong, you know.

00:52:08 Jon Toker

You don’t want to mess with them, so.

00:52:11 Todd Bennett

No no.

00:52:11 Jon Toker

You know their hockey, family, you know?

00:52:13 Jon Toker

They’re big hockey families, so you know good stuff, man.

00:52:18 Jon Toker

Thank you for your time.

00:52:19 Jon Toker

I wish you all the best.

00:52:20 Jon Toker

Hope you saw lots of cars.

00:52:22 Jon Toker

Oh Jeannie said good seeing you.

00:52:23 Jon Toker

But thank you Jeannie.

00:52:24 Speaker 3

Awesome, thank you.

00:52:25 Jon Toker

Jeannie my my boss Jeannie you.

00:52:27 Jon Toker

Know I I reported to her for three years, I’ll I’ll tell you something.

00:52:32 Jon Toker

You know, Todd, uh, I have to confess this.

00:52:36 Jon Toker

I thought I know how to reach financial statement before joining Honda.

00:52:40 Jon Toker

You know like because I worked in the business, I thought.

00:52:43 Jon Toker

But what I learned from Jeannie Trembley.

00:52:47 Jon Toker

It’s a lot and she really helped me how to analyze the data in a logical sense.

00:52:53 Jon Toker

And I thank you, thank thank you her for that.

00:52:56 Jon Toker

Then I wish everybody a great day.

00:52:59 Jon Toker

And, uh, talk to you guys later.

00:53:01 Jon Toker

Thank you very much.

00:53:02 Jon Toker

Have a great day, bye.

00:53:03 Todd Bennett

Thank you, take care bye.