Bob Ruth Ford Goes From 75 Units Per Month on The Internet To 317 Units Per Month Online!

That’s right, a single point Ford Dealership, in Dillsburg Pennsylvania, with a population of only 2,900, goes from delivering 75 units per month online, to delivering 317 units per month online and averaging over $2,000 per copy! If that is not incredible enough, they reduced their advertising over 30%, reduced HR expense also by 30%. They even reduced their hours. They are only open Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm and on Saturdays they are open from 9am to 3pm. And they did all of this during the CoVid-19 crisis. While most dealerships were furloughing employees and hemorrhaging financially, Bob Ruth Ford decided they were not going to just try to survive and weather the storm. Instead they decided to look at their operation, every aspect of it, dissect it and evolve it. Now they are thriving. S. Truett Cathy said “If We Get Better, Customers Will Demand We Get Bigger”. That is exactly what Rob Ruth, Dealer Principal of Bob Ruth Ford decided to do.

How Did They Do It?

  • Culture 
  • Infrastructure
    • HR / Staffing
  • Process
  • CRM
  • Training
  • Accountability

CULTURE at Bob Ruth Ford is not typical of a Dealership. For starters everyone works together, literally they all work together. The set up they have is like a restaurant that pools their tip money but more sophisticated. Since they operate with this strategy, no one is worried about “thats MY customer”. There are no “Skating” problems. Each of the Sales Consultants work together, interdependently. Everyone is making a tremendous amount of money and they are all happy. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9am – 6pm and Saturday 9am – 3pm. So, when your entire floor is making money, there are no arguments of who customers belong to and when the hours of operation are easy as bankers, the culture tends to be AWESOME! And that is the first step to evolution. One of the biggest challenges at a typical dealership is that there is chaos, dissension, frustration and HIGH attrition (National Average is OVER 70%). You can’t build a Championship Team if your team is not in sync. Synergy is defined as two or more agents that come together and the sum of their effect is greater than their individual effects. Bob Ruth Ford focuses on perpetuating a positive and powerful culture for their entire organization.

INFRASTRUCTURE is key. Jim Collins wrote in his New York Times Best Selling Book, “Good To Great” that you need to have the right people on the bus, but you need to have them in the right seats! Having an all-star team is great, but only if they are in the absolute best positions that will truly benefit from their unique skill sets and passions. Bob Ruth Ford “pooled” their collective talents on the Showroom Sales Floor. Meaning, that if you were phenomenal with trucks, that is what you focus on. If you are great at deliveries, then you are delivering vehicles. That might sound crazy but think about it… Can you imagine putting your absolute BEST resource for every possible situation in play and that is the ONLY thing they are focusing on. This can ONLY work if everyone is on the same page and committed to success. There are no egos. It is about the team winning, not just one individual rockstar. Additionally, both the Showroom Sales team and the Internet BDC team work synergistically together. Most dealerships have conflicts with the Showroom Department and the Internet / BDC Department. Not at Bob Ruth Ford, they work together in a “Hybrid” system. They have the best of both departments for the prospects and clients.

Their PROCESS had to evolve, they couldn’t engage prospects the same way as before CoVid 19. Before the Pandemic they had a more traditional approach to the BDC / Internet Department. They would receive Internet purchase requests and phone ups and their strategy was to follow up with the prospects, and as soon as they engaged with them they “Sold” them an appointment over the Internet or the Phone. They were highly trained and skilled at securing the appointments without giving much information or details before they arrived at the dealership. I know that might sound crazy in 2020, but it is true. Dealer Synergy helped take Bob Ruth Ford from 75 units per month from the Internet / BDC to 250 units per month. Bob Ruth Ford was also very successful in having their appointments actually show up and buy cars. They were averaging over 65+% Appointment Show Ratio! During the pandemic they realized that doing business the same way as before the Corona Virus was NOT a viable strategy. One of the first major changes in the process was going from an appointment strategy to giving the prospect(s) a choice of:

  • The Traditional Appointment to meet with an Automotive Sales Professional at the Dealership.
  • Full Digital Retailing. Which means giving the prospect the opportunity to go online and do almost everything to everything online before they ever step foot into the dealership without the involvement of the dealership by utilizing technology.

But then Rob Ruth, Dealer Principal of Bob Ruth Ford had a vision of an entirely different process. This one was based on the best of both worlds. He wanted to provide a powerful personal experience of an Automotive Concierge, a Consultant, a Product Specialist etc… with the convenience of doing the research and actually buying the vehicle on their own terms. Meaning when and how the prospect wanted to be engaged and sold. Rob felt that Bob Ruth Ford could replicate almost every single aspect of the “Road to the Sale” Virtually! 

  • The Virtual Road to the Sale. Utilizing Zoom Video Conferencing, the dealership is literally able to replicate the entire Road to the Sales process minus the Test Drive.

What Rob found was that this new way of doing business was the prefered choice from his prospects and clients. They went from 250 units per month online to 317 units per month online (out of approximately 380 total units).

As you can imagine when you change your entire Dealership’s business model it is no simple task, but the reward is so worth the commitment. CRM was a major focus of importance. They had to create:

  • New CRM Action Plans / Processes 
  • New Email Templates 
    • Plain Text 
    • HTML 
    • Video 
  • New Text Message Templates
    • Plain Text 
    • HTML 
    • Video 
  • New Voice Mail Message Scripts 
  • New Inbound / Outbound Phone Call Scripts 
  • New Objections / Rebuttals and Expectations

Part of the Culture of Excellence at Bob Ruth Ford is their commitment and dedication to Training. They believe that you should NEVER “Practice with Real Customers”, that is why they invest heavily in training their sales team, their BDC team and their management team. They literally envelope them in training from:

They believe “If you want the success that the average Dealerships do NOT have… you have to be willing to do the things that the average Dealerships are NOT willing to do” (Like Train your butt off). 

Accountability is the glue that holds everything together. Whether you are the Dealer Principal, or the BDC rep (and everyone in between), everyone needs to be held accountable. Remember, you are only strong as the weakest link. So, Bob Ruth Ford has created multiple accountability measurements:

  • KPI Scorecards 
  • Special “Pro” Pay Plans and Incentives 
  • Weekly Accountability & Management Meetings with Dealer Synergy 
  • Virtual Training, Tracking, Testing and Certification on BradleyOnDemand 

If you want to do more, be more and achieve more, you need to really look at Bob Ruth Ford and their evolution. They are an inspiration, especially during CoVid 19.

If you have any questions about this article or would like a FREE Strategy Session or a FREE CRM Audit, Call or Text Me at 267-319-6776.