What defines the best business manager?

Is it per vehicle retailed? Total gross profit? High customer-satisfaction scores? Could it be highest product penetration? Maybe it is the one who has the least mistakes made.

I hear a lot of comparing among fellow business managers about who is better. The truth is, there is no best. You absolutely cannot compare yourself to anyone but yourself.

Maybe, just maybe, you can compare yourself to another business manager in your same store, but probably not. Why is this? Because there are so many qualities that define a high-caliber business manager. Few people (no one I have met) excel at all aspects of the position.

Those who run at 200% product penetration may have great CSI but run low on profit per product or even PVR.

Those that run in the high thousands PVR are not usually spreading their product around. Total gross profit may go to a guy or gal who is less compliant than most. We all know the person with the “perfect paperwork” isn't selling any product. I am not trying to belittle or criticize any of my fellow managers; that is not the point.

What I am trying to do is get you to find out where your weak spots are and work on improving that. Don't bother dreaming of the day you get to $1,000 PRU.

If you run $650 a car, then focus on getting to $750. If you are at 100% product penetration, shoot for 110%. If you are low on CSI, then dig down to see why and fix it.

Don't fixate on what some hot shot brags about. There are factors that maybe out of your control. If you work in a store that has 50% cash penetration you will never have the numbers as someone who is running 20%. If you work in an import store you are probably less likely to maintain the numbers of a domestic store down the street.

A disclaimer.

Don't let what I just said make you think for one minute that you can blame your poor performance on anyone but yourself. Take responsibility for yourself. Do not settle into the fact that you work at a store that doesn't condone F&I performance. Don't blame sales people for your CSI. Don't blame the desk for how they pencil deals. Take your store and make the best of it that you can.

Chris Cochran is finance director at Haddad Motors in Massachusetts. Contact him at makingfisimple@yahoo.com.