When we are as busy as we have been, I become anti-technology and pro-people. I know, some of you hard-core geeks out there are thinking, “Master your technology, have more time for people.” Maybe. However, we have spent the last year-and-a-half updating Web sites, SEO, YouTubes, MySpaces, Your faces, etc. At some point, you have to say you have reached a happy medium of media and get back to the basics.

All the slick and powerful technology offered to us as dealers and managers is for naught if just one customer leaves us without experiencing our best performance as salespeople and as live-and-die car people. Hey, it ain't easy out there right now, but you can do well and have a ball. More and more, our customers are coming to us from other dealerships that treated them badly—or worse, indifferently—and wind up buying from us! How can any dealer allow any salesperson not to treat every sales opportunity like gold?

Customers are not pouring in the doors. When they do walk in, everyone better have their sales shoes on and a smile on their face. Who gives a doggone if your Web site is ranked nationally if your customers aren't number-one right now? Now more than ever, is the time for a dealer or manager to step up and be the cheerleader. Oh, you think it's not cool or business-like to be rah-rah around the clock. Really? Trust me; you'll have plenty of time to try to look cool and business-like when you're standing in the unemployment line.

Take every bit of technology in your dealership, along with everything you have learned over the years, and apply it all to creating better people skills, better closing skills, better salesmanship! Back in my home state of Texas we have a saying, “If you're in a hole, quit diggin'!” If the old ways aren't working, stop it. If the new stuff isn’t working, stop it. Start over every morning if need be and make it work. Choose not to participate in this crummy economy. If it sounds corny, I'm sorry, but we have an infectious attitude of success here at Academy Cars, and it absolutely rubs off on our customers.

New technology, at the speed of light, will show you how fast you're going broke. Take a step back. Make sure you have surrounded yourself with career car people who love what they do. Those kinds of people, many of which we have here, can take tomorrow's technology, today's systems, or yesterday's pad and pencil and drench your bottom line in black ink.

Failure is not an option.

Special Finance Insider Vol. 3, Issue 4