Watch VinCue Accelerate: Target the Right Inventory to Max Gross + Turn

Surviving the current high-demand market is all about keeping cars on the lot. VinCue VBC customers already know that thriving is all about sourcing the right inventory at the right price. But that means different things for different dealers.

In this VinCue Accelerate Event, Danny Zaslavsky, VinCue Managing Partner and Dealer Principal at Country Hill Motors, shares how his Buying Managers and Buying Agents target vehicles in the private market that lead to higher gross and turn.

VinCue Accelerate is an exclusive learning opportunity for current VinCue customers. You can sign up for VinCue Accelerate on Facebook. If you’re not yet a VinCue customer, you can Schedule a Test Drive to learn more.

TRANSCRIPT

Hey friends. This is Danny Zaslavsky with VinCue and Country Hill Motors. So thanks for joining me today. We’re going to give it some time so that folks can join the room, but we’re going to be talking about how to buy the right vehicles in order to maximize gross and turn using VinCue, both on the auction side and on the private party side. So, there’ll be a lot of really good stuff today I hope, and please ask questions. So we’re doing this a little bit different today. We have a Zoom link that we encourage you to register and get into, because then I’ll see you here on the screen and we can interact, can ask questions, but if you’re watching from Facebook Live, then that’s awesome. Please leave comments, ask questions, and we’ll either get back to you right away.

We’ve got Mike Hopkins our CMO in the room. He’ll be answering questions as well and hopefully make good use of your time today. So we’ll just give it a few more moments, but for those of you joining, we’re going to be talking about how to buy the right vehicles within your vehicle buying center, specifically talking about private party acquisition, or if you have managers at your desk or buyers on the street, how do you use VinCue in order to make good decisions when making target lists, so that you can make good acquisitions to increase gross in turn. So, we’ll give it just a few more minutes. Looks like we’re going live on Facebook right now and we’ll get started. All right.

For those of you that are watching from Facebook, again, my name’s Danny Zaslavsky. I’m with VinCue and Country Hill Motors. And so, today we’re going to be talking about how to buy the right vehicles in order to maximize gross and turn. So, in today’s economy of vehicles, certainly there’s a big demand on inventory, but there is still a commoditization of vehicles. And so, we want to buy the vehicles so that we can then inventory them at their highest authentic value so that they bring more gross in turn, but also buy inventory that has a low market day supply and we can maximize gross. So, let’s get into it.

For those of you watching from Facebook, please leave any comments, ask any questions. You can always email support@dealercue.com. You can get ahold of me, Danny@dealercue.com, if you need to reach out to me directly, but let’s get going. So for those of you that have VinCue and are in the system using it, one of the easiest ways to figure out what you should be buying… And let me go ahead and I’ll share my screen here. So is jumping right into what we call a buying plan. Now I’m going to talk about how that buying plan works and what information drives that buying plan, but if we go over here on the left, go to acquire vehicles, go into buying plan. Now I’m using Country Hill Motors, so you’re looking at a live account.

We’re going to jump in here and you can see. So within the buying plan, we can see vehicles by class, and you can see what I have in stock versus what I’ve sold, and where my needs are. So you can see in some compact I need… Or excuse me, I have one in stock. I’ve sold three. My need’s okay. In the market, there’s 398 of these vehicles in my market and there’s 242 sold. And we can see what I’ve sold recently, how long I had it, and what the price that it left for.

Now, before we jump into the market, let’s kind of keep looking for a second. So you can see here I’m net. So entry luxury cars, TSXs, A4s, three series BMWs. You can see what the market is versus what I have, and my need is now yellow, which means I’m right on the cusp of needing that inventory. So as a leading indicator, I should be looking at that. As we scroll down again, we can see also where we’re heavy. So entry CUVs, we have three in stock, we’ve sold two. So, I’m one heavy on that, right? Versus, I know right now trucks are going down in demand for us specifically; so full size trucks. They were hot for a while. I have 12 in stock. I’ve sold six. So my need’s definitely okay on trucks. So, let’s pin that in our heads for a moment.

So buying plan is a way to look at that, right? We’re going to go into the market in a second, but let’s just jump into the inventory management screen and we can see what we have at our disposal. So, if we go to the acquisition tab, we have the ability to go right to the auctions and start acquiring vehicles, whether it be through Manheim, OVE, ADESA, and so forth. But before that, let’s look at your own sales. So earlier, we looked at it by a stocking plan, but you can also look at it by class. So for instance, I told you full size SUV… I’m sorry, full size trucks were going down in demand for my dealerships specifically. We can then dive in, because that was from a market demand perspective. Let’s look at it from your own sales. And so, if you have connectivity where your DMS is connected to VinCue, you’ll be able to do this.

If you haven’t, you can just reach out to support@dealercue.com, we can get that connected, but again, I can sort here by highest or lowest sold. Right? And then when I do that, I can see at what is selling for me is Toyota Tundras. I’m selling quite a few of those. Ford F150s next on the list, and then RAMs. And then I can also expand those vehicles and see the specific stock numbers, vin numbers, year, make, models, and so forth. And here’s where it gets kind of important when you’re making your targets list. Pay attention, obviously to what years those are, therefore, what prices those are leaving for. Because for us, I can sell a Tundra under 25 grand really quickly, but one that’s over 25 or in that $40,000 price range may sit a while. So, when we’re making that target list, specifically, if you have a vehicle buying center, that’s paying attention to what vehicles we should be buying, this is where we can see how long, and you can sort by how many days.

And so, when we do this, we have a sheet open to our right and we’re jotting down any insights that we pick up from our own sales. So as managers, we have always felt this. Right? When we’re going to the auction buying cars, we’re like, “Hey, we do well with this. We don’t do well with this.” And unfortunately that changes seasonally, right? And it also has changed recently with the market impacts. So this is a way to know for sure by year, make, model and sub model, miles and price, what vehicles are turning and how many at what clip you’re turning them across classes. And we call that targets list. Okay? Consequently, you can also make what’s called a no-fly list.

So if you have buyers that are focused on auction, like we do at our dealership, that we mainly sell through the auction. We still buy a little bit, but we have buyers that are focused on private party to know how to go after the specific vehicles we want to buy, my sales tab right here is a way to do it. Easiest way, jump in here, start sorting by what you’re selling the most of by class. Start making a little targets list. And that is a really cool way to take that list, give it to your team, and they can start looking at those on the private party side. So, I’m going to pause here just for a second. If anybody has any questions today, we’re talking about how to buy the right vehicles in order to maximize gross and turn. If you’re watching on Facebook, just add a comment and ask a question.

Or if you’re with us here in the Zoom room, then please raise your hand, ask a question, and I’ll be happy to talk through it. So, okay. We talked about my sales and this is a really powerful tool because we can look back, whether you’re a single point store or you’re a group, we can look at it from an enterprise level. This also helps to know when you are selling a vehicle… Excuse me, when you’re buying vehicles, and you’re wondering which one of my stores is going to do best with this inventory? Then you can start using these insights to identify which store should have that inventory to maximize gross return. And all of that is possible here within the system. Let’s transfer now over to the demand screen. And this one’s interesting because again, it works just like the my sales screen, and you can see I’m still on full size trucks, but now it takes my live inventory into account.

So these numbers right here are inventory that I currently have. And again, I can sort by the last 30, 60, and 90 days. So, let’s go ahead and sort that by highest sold. So it looks like F150s are selling in the market. There’s 1,307 that have recently sold in the market. Oh, I’m sorry, that are in the market. 480 of those have sold. And if you look, the demand is going down over the last 30 days, and the last 60 days, it was up. So my hunch is right. That’s one of the reasons we’re selling less of them.

So if I sort that by years and models now, if I expand that, obviously we’re going to get some more insights from knowing what years we should be looking at versus what I have and then how I can get rid of it. So here it is by year. Let’s go ahead and sort that again, by highest sold volume. Interestingly enough, ’18’s are selling. I already have three of them, but ’16’s and ’17’s are also doing fairly well. I don’t have any of them, but I can go right into the auction and start sorting, not just by one auction, but by many auctions.

So OVE, ADESA, Auction Edge, whatever auction you use, and we can start applying filters. This is an area for when you’re making a targets list to get a general sense of the market pricing of this inventory. Because when we start looking at private party and I start looking at these types of cars, seeking them out in the outbound portion of our vehicle buying center, then we kind of have a sense of, okay, this is what I would pay if I went to the auction. So I kind of know, not just the target vehicles, but also the target price. And this is a great tool to train your vehicle buying center folks to use because we want to level them up. Right? Get their thinking up so that they start getting a sense of the market as it ebbs and flows, especially, and we’ll talk about this later, if you have a buying manager who has a pay plan that incentivizes him or her on the gross.

So if they’re getting a percentage of the gross of the vehicles they buy that sell at the store, this is gold right here. Okay. So, on this demand screen, again, we can go through really any of the classes, price ranges, and so forth, and see the market demand on the car as it’s entering the market, how many cars there are, and also as it’s leaving the market, how many are sold, and whether that’s trending up or down based on any class, any price range, and so forth. This is a great way to set and make a targets list for your inventory. So then, we use those two plus a third here, I’m going to show you in a moment, to make this list. So this buying plan that we’re looking at is the combination of insights that is derived from your sales and the demand in the area. That’s why you see my sales and then my market.

And then you can see your own inventory right up here, and you can see where you are overstocked and where you are understocked and where you are right on the line. And then we can jump into these and start making a shopping cart. Whether that shopping cart comes from the auctions, like I showed you earlier, we can just click, go right to the auction. You can see there’s one in my shopping cart, right there under full size trucks. And then, it’ll alert me when that auction runs and I can use our system and go right in and buy it.

So, we all know the game that we play at the auction. Right? The guy with his hand up the last also pays the most. And that’s one of the reasons private party is so great among others because you get to also gain a customer and sometimes you can either make him a trade or nonetheless earn a customer that knows that you now not just sell cars, but you also buy cars. So let’s talk briefly about how to target using that target list to go to the private party side. So, I’m going to go into my dashboard. And again, for those of you watching from Facebook, please, you can ask… I have it up on my right. So feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and we can see it. And if you are with us here in Zoom, then also feel free to engage.

So over on the left, we have this targets list, right? And we also have a no-fly zone. And so, as we’re kind of learning what is selling and what is not, we can start helping the system become better at identifying cars in the market that we see as targets. So then when you wake up in the morning and you go right to that targets list, you can just look at the cars that you’ve already pre-identified as, “Hey, these are going to be hot for my dealership. Let’s get serious about making those acquisitions.”

And then we can immediately filter out any cars that are no-fly’s. So for example, I don’t do well with older Jaguars. So no reason for me to look at them, they just clutter up my screen. So I can go in and make a search criteria that filters out those cars every day that I log in. That’s how you do that within no-fly. So specifically now we’re in outbound, and I know for my store, we do well with Toyota Siennas and Honda Odysseys that sell between 15 and $25,000 retail. That’s something that I’m interested in. So I can go in here and type Sienna, and there’s one on Facebook right now. Here’s a ’15 Sienna XLE, 130 on the miles, which is nothing for that car. And we can see that it’s on Facebook, customer’s asking $19,500. That is a car that I want to put on my targets list.

So I can click that little heart, that alerts my team, that this is a vehicle that they should go after. Because I, the manager, have identified that as a target and you can see it’s already in this case assigned to one of our reps. And so now, [Caitlin 00:15:22] will go after that vehicle and hopefully work to make that acquisition and understand the motivators of that customer. Let’s see if there’s any Honda Odysseys; Odyssey available. Look at that, one, two, three, four of them. And this one is absolutely one I’d want to buy and this one is too. These 2014 and 2007 with 160,000 miles, really isn’t something that I want but that’s me specifically. Those are still really good wholesale pieces and they bring a lot of money at the auction. Specifically, this ’07 is a container car, it’s a shipper car.

So, if you are running a wholesale strategy and still want to make that acquisition, possibly even trade them out of it, it’s an opportunity to reach out and work with that consumer. We can just click it, obviously, and start chatting with that customer, appraise the vehicle, and go from there. On this one, this is three out of four stars, which tells me this is a hot vehicle. I hearted it. Sidney is already assigned to it. Let’s click on it, and let’s appraise this vehicle and take a look just for a quick understanding to see if this is something that we can buy. So, close that again. So the customer wants $26,000 for the car, and what we want to do… Let me go back to that.

So the customer wants $26,000 for the car, which they didn’t give me a VIN number on the car, so it’s hard for me to totally evaluate the vehicle, but I can see up here in my top right, remember that buying plan that I showed you? I need one, I’ve sold six, I have five. So from our targets list, boom, we have the insight right on the RMV to see that, “Hey, this is a vehicle that I want.” Being that’s an EXL, we want to know if it’s got any technology. If it’s all wheel drive, two wheel drive, that would make a big difference, especially in this vehicle. We can look at sold data, but really I want to take what they’re asking, throw it into my ACV, and see if I’m off. Right off the bat, imagining that it’s a base EXL, them asking $26,500 tells me that they’re riching the car, which might mean that, hey, maybe they have inequity.

Maybe they owe too much, which is still worth a conversation, or maybe they just haven’t been educated on what these vehicles are really selling for in the market, and that’s still an opportunity. It’s low mileage for the year, so it’s still something I want; worth us reaching out. We can go right here into the BBC offer, generate the offer and start texting them and giving them a shout. So you can see here where it lands and I can start having a meaningful conversation with them. Okay. So I’m going to pause here just for a moment. So, today we’re talking about how to buy the right vehicles in order to maximize gross and turn. And there’s a couple of ways to do that within VinCue. You can certainly do it on the auction side, if you remember, by making a targets list and searching for that inventory. I’ll give you an example, actually, let’s go under acquisition.

Once we make the target list, my dad, who still buys some cars likes going to run lists, and we have all those here at VinCue. And if you look on our recents list, we can go to any of these auctions, but Manheim Fort Lauderdale is one that he tends to like to shop at, mainly because Fort Lauderdale auction in Florida has a lot of higher line cars that we can buy cheaper because there’s more Mercedes, BMW, and Acuras and Lexuses in that market. More saturation, we can buy them cheaper, and bring them in, and we can look at it by lane. We can certainly bring in search criteria and start either appraising, proxy bidding, putting them in a cart, entering the sale, all through here.

Rate opportunity for education, again, on what these vehicles are actually being offered at or selling for. Right? We can look at transactions here at the auction, but then use that ammunition, those insights, to then go back to the private side and see what inventory is available in your own back yard that you could buy for quite frankly, a better deal, earn a customer, possibly even trade, increase gross and turn, eliminate the need for auction fees, transportation fees, post sale inspection fees, as well as an increase in reconditioning.

Okay. So, back to the idea of targets list. Right? What I want to drive home before we kind of move on to working with your vehicle buying center team within the system, is that targets list is something that we’re used to making on a weekly basis. Just challenge yourself on, are you making that auction list based on what you think is happening at your store or what you know is happening at your store? Right? So, the know, comes looking at VinCue and seeing your own sales data like we looked at earlier. What am I actually selling by class and price range? But then the second step is looking at demand data. So, what is being sold in my PMA or in my primary market area? The last way, and we haven’t talked about this yet, is competitor data.

So, I’m going to look at somebody who’s not a competitor, just so we can keep this kosher on here, but let’s look at Zeck Ford. So they’re here in Kansas City and I can look at their dealership and I can go into their Ford store and see, what are they selling? Now, the logic here is if I wake up in the morning and say, “Hey, I want to sell 20 more cars,” the question becomes, how do I do that? Right? Do I do that by spending more money on advertising? Do I do that by hiring another salesperson? Or do I do that by buying inventory that is selling in my primary market area right now? Because if I have the inventory, then I can attract the right customers. Right? So here’s another dealer in my PMA where I can go over to their sales and see what they’re selling and buy used brand share. Right? And then I can dive even deeper and see how many of those are they selling.

So then if I could fill that need in the market, I can go out and buy it, either at the auction, or I can buy it on the private party side, using the vehicle buying center. This is a competitive way to fill a need in the market. If we can look at a sampling of car dealerships in our area, what vehicles by class and price range, are they selling, and then, dive into, okay, now we know that Toyota 4Runners under 25 grand are selling in these years with a higher trim package, now, part of that targets list is to go find them. And that targets list really can be made biweekly. It’s a way to do that. Now we are a partner with Lotpop and Lotscore. So that brings me to kind of the next idea, which is, are you using other systems that you have to make your targets list?

So we’re a client of Lotpop, and we love our weekly calls. Something that they have within the system is something called a lot predictor. So the lot predictor shows us within the vehicle class, year, make, price buckets, miles per year buckets, how many cars are we selling within those and what’s that sold age? How quickly are they leaving? So you can see sub-compact cars, I don’t have any right now in stock. I sold all of them within 14 days. So I need to be going after some of that inventory, right? And we can predict, or excuse me, they can predict which vehicles I should be going after. So carry versus sold, the whole idea of first 30, sell what you have, and sell them so we can get fresh inventory, because fresh sells faster than aging inventory.

We don’t want to be making fear decisions, we want to be making good business decisions and keeping that money turning. And so specifically when you have a vehicle buying center in play, part of their job description is to work with the desk, with the tower, to get really good at understanding this data so that they can help each other in identifying what inventory should be purchased. Because at the end of the day, you can sell a hundred cars and make three grand a copy, or you can sell a hundred cars and make a thousand dollars a copy. And it’s a vastly different gain when you do that. So, we want to be able to make the money when we buy the car because we’ve done the work in order to identify what to buy and where to find it.

Highly encourage you guys check this out. If you are not a client of Lotscore, we really, really like it. So back to looking at VinCue. So, the next thing… So we talked about within the system, how to look at your own sales, to look at market demand, and to look at competitors. Right? And then go back to your vehicle buying center and start looking for that. You made the targets list and now you’re going after that inventory. Obviously those targets that we talked about on the left side and the no-fly’s, those filters apply also to your inbound, also to your ICOs, and to your service drive. So, as you’re working these leads, we want to be able to give you those same insights on the inventory that people are coming to you to sell and those convert really high. So it’s a great way. So my point in telling you this is continue putting it into the system and work in the system because you’re leveling up everybody who’s in here working it.

So, the last thing I want to touch on, and if there’s any questions, please again, ask it here in Zoom, or you can also have any questions or comments on Facebook. We can see that and we’ll answer them right away. So, the last thing is the idea of carrot or stick, right? So traditionally in the car business, we have told our managers, or if you’re progressive and you have a vehicle buying center, you say, “Hey, listen, this is the stick approach. You need to be buying these cars. This is the direction we need to go.” And then maybe a week later, “Oh no, no, no. We no longer need sports cars. We need to slow down on that. You guys made mistakes on that.”

And it’s this constant whiplash happening and the vehicle buying center can get confused. Managers can get confused and even doubt their own intentions and what they’re saying on acquisition for a used car lot. So, the best way to do that is to have pay plans that reflect those intentions. So, we talked about this on a previous Accelerate of giving your buying manager, even possibly your buying team, a small percentage of gross on the front end so that they can benefit specifically to vehicles that were bought then sold out of the vehicle buying center. Right?

So they participate in the net lift and they participate in a loss if there’s a loss on net inventory. And just by doing that, then, our performance managers will help them within the system to utilize all this data, to know what vehicles they should be going after. And the market’s ever changing, but all this information’s here in order to make an educated targets list and the inventory’s here. So, it can’t get any easier. We work really, really hard to give you bleeding edge data so that you can make insightful decisions. And again, de-commoditize this inventory and buy vehicles that have a high, authentic value.

So, once you know that there is inventory out there based on your target list and you want to buy it, the next thing to think about is the hierarchy of decision makers. Who’s dropping that gavel? Who’s saying, “I’m buying the car?” Right? Is it your vehicle buying center manager that’s dropping the gavel and making the final pricing decision on the car? Or is it the desk? And really there’s no right or wrong answer. The thing that I always try to share is, level people up constantly. Right? Don’t keep people stupid because it’s not going to benefit your dealership. The buying manager should be getting better and better at appraising inventory and identifying what to buy and even making some of those decisions, him or herself, on a daily, weekly basis. At my store, our sales tower participates in those decisions, and they do TOs for the buying center so that we can make good, educated decisions.

And so then, when we buy a car and we sell it and it does well, we celebrate that together. And when we buy a car that doesn’t sell well, that sits around, because we can look at the reporting to see by acquisition channel, what we have, then we can also learn from that and make better decisions in the future. It’s part of the reason why we want to make sure that you’re tracking what you’re acquiring, by marking it acquired, and then also making… Let’s go over. This is my favorite screen here, the acquired list, but then also tracking those no-fly’s and tracking those targets.

So what does that mean? Test, track, report, repeat. There’s no magic, right? The magic’s in the insights and in the data. Use the data to make those targets lists, but then test, track, report, repeat, and that’s really it. So, that was 30 minutes of high intensity data, but this is all stuff that you should be getting with your performance manager, because we can help you set this up and continually level up. We want you buying as many cars at the right price as possible from the best sources. And here you have all the auctions. You also have all the private party data so that you can start having good conversations with consumers, making those acquisitions at scale.

We say something at Country Hill is, “The better it gets, the better it gets,” which means the smarter we are, the more we learn, the faster we fail, the better we get as an organization, and the better decisions we make. Right? Which ultimately, the side effect of all that is more profit and higher turning vehicles. So thanks for joining me today. If you have any questions, you can reach out to me directly, Danny@dealercue.com, or you can reach out to your performance manager or to support, support@dealercue.com. But thanks for joining us on VinCue Accelerate, and I hope to see you next time. Bye guys.

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