A Tin Hat Opinion

Who built the damn thing?

Written by Christine Plunkett

Written on February 8, 2019

What drives the decision to build a new pencil tool for car dealers?

For many vendors, the answer is simple, money. Historically, car dealers are pretty big spenders when it comes to flashy new “solutions.” Many failed salespeople, ex-GMs, and other dealership rejects skulk over to the vendor side and tape together a half-ass product to peddle knowing that they will never indeed solve a single pain point. They are smart enough to understand that a well-packaged product, aggressively marketed, will lead to profit. They are not genuinely concerned with innovating the sales process. 

With so many years on both the dealer and vendor side of this equation, it is infuriating to watch history repeat itself. Every flashy new product presented by a slick-talking sales guy receives the same attention, regardless of merit. Dealers are swindled out of a year’s worth of “management fees” for a day’s worth of effort and a piece of crap tool. The sales agents have long ago forgotten about the shiny new toy while the bills auto-fire for 12 full months – with auto-renewal!! What a scam. 

When considering an investment in new technology, the most trustworthy indicator of value is NOT how slick the marketing campaign appears. It is NOT how smokin’ hot the sales person is. It is NOT a low-fee or no-fee startup offer. The most critical element to consider is WHO BUILT THE DAMN THING? What experience does the creator have to inform their decisions? What drove them to develop their solution? What problems are they attempting to solve, and do they have the chutzpah to pull it off??

You may be on the right path if, and only if, the creators have a history of being:

  •     Successful in retail automotive sales
  •     Successful in previous automotive software development endeavors
  •     Respected automotive industry veterans

Ask questions before you sign on the dotted line and save your money for the real deal Holyfield of automotive software solutions. Identify the top three roadblocks to closing business at YOUR dealership and seek out solutions that fix what is broken. Oh, and never sign up for anything longer than one month at a time. Contracts are just a way to lock you in before you realize you bought a piece of shit with a shiny label. 

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