Market Conditions Commentary
A note from a Lexus dealer that understands the theory I developed that is Trade in Marketplace, interesting
by Robert Hollenshead
Apr 9 2012 4:54PM
This is a note sent to me from an Auto Trader Trade in Marketplace Product Specialist.  When I designed the system it came from decades of experience in the wholesale industry and  what the difference between a guide book or MMR (cheerleader) and a check writer (a market maker), would do when placed in the hands of a dealership. I developed it knowing that dealerships would "get it" if they took the time to think about where the theory comes from how to use it in their circumstance in their dealership.  There are many different tentacles to my product and how it can be used.  The following is a perfect example of a Lexus dealer that “gets it” for his particular store.

Here is the note sent to me today:

I spent about an hour listening to a GSM at a Lexus store tell me how awesome our product was and how it was a perfect fit for his dealership. The funniest, but sad moment was when he asked me “why every dealer didn’t have this product”. The attached document was created by the GSM and details how TIM is to be used at his dealership.

I realize we all know this, but it was key hearing him tell us some of the key points to using TIM. Below are the questions I asked and his reply.

I asked, “If your best friend was starting with TIM at his dealership, what immediate TIPS would you offer him to ensure his success?”
  • “It is not a tool that is conducted as an interview, the customer and staff must FIRST walk the trade together”
  • “Making the customer aware of the partnership of KBB & by showing them prior to entering the data. This helps the customer accept the final offer from because they clearly understand the difference between KBB  and’s (R Hollenshead Auto Sales) offer to purchase amount.” (I found this most interesting because most dealers are explaining this after the KBB objection comes up)
  • “The vehicle owner, must be part of the entry of the data in TIM”

When asked about the quality of leads compared to other sources his response was:
  • “We allow our CRM system to communicate with the consumer and make it very clear that we are interested in purchasing or trading for their vehicle. We make an attempt to call them, but honestly this area is not our focus. If the customer understands we want their vehicle and we have what they are looking for my staff will maximize the opportunity when the customer makes themselves available to us.”

I asked him if the TIM number was every higher than what his UCM felt the vehicle was worth and how was it handled.
  • He got a big smile and said, “You’re going to love this one! A Hummer truck was being traded.  MMR and First look was telling us the truck was worth $17,500-$20,000. My UCM was scared and only willing to advance $17k on it. The TIM number was $22,500. The UCM wouldn’t move on it so I made a decision to roll with the TIM number and since it was a Thursday I knew I could deliver it to TIM at Manheim on Monday. The truck was so clean we pulled it out onto the point and put $29,995 on it. Saturday it sold for full price. This was only a $7500 profit because the buyer used outside financing otherwise it would have been more. So where appraisal tools and MMR are only guides, TIM is the one that says I’LL BUY IT. TIM keeps my UCM in check and doesn’t allow me to miss any deals. This one I would have missed with the help of TIM.”

I wasn’t guessing when I created the theory, and now the product of a guaranteed price, how could it not work?  The better question is, why don’t more dealers understand how to use it?  I offer to buy 8,000 units per day, seven days per week.  These are not ideal opinions, they are analytic offers, based on the criteria presented.  They are real offers.  A dealer that uses this as leverage wins every time, retail and wholesale.

Robert Hollenshead
Founder and President
R. Hollenshead Auto Sales Inc.

1 Readers' Comments

Jacob Mccracken
IN 46151
10 years ago
Great info Bob! Going to print this off for our Sales Meeting. Same message Big John and myself have been preaching and have had great success. Thanks for all your insight.
-Shakey Jake