Justin Gasman

Finance Services Director | McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC

Justin grew up in the car business and officially began his automotive industry career in 2003. In 2014, he joined the staff of McCaddon Cadillac Buick GMC in Boulder, CO as the dealership’s sole full-time F&I professional. That year, he won first place in F&I and Showroom’s F&Idol contest and helped McCaddon earn F&I Pacesetter status. Justin is AFIP Master-certified and is dedicated to conducting every transaction legally, ethically and professionally.
Curing your COVID Hangover

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If you ordered a new vehicle and were told it could take a few weeks to come in, and all you had to do was leave a deposit and wait, you’d be pretty excited right? Well, what happens when a post pandemic global chip shortage starts to squeeze automakers’ abilities to deliver their vehicles to their dealer network? Dealers are now delayed in scheduling retail deliveries with their customers, and have to disclose missing items. The chip shortage is creating catastrophic wait times, crippling dealers’ ability to offer vehicles containing the high-tech features many customers want. The outward-sensors are controlled by microchip processors and therefore some manufacturers are building vehicles without the features altogether. Others are simply pausing production. Either way, it’s not a happy problem to have. There are a variety of anomalies occurring in the automotive industry currently. The biggest challenges we face include: managing customer expectations, factory constraints, and used vehicle valuations skewed by current market conditions. The values, because of low supply, are at an all-time high. Meanwhile, increasing delays leave some customers wanting to back out of their orders. The others customers remain waiting weeks and months more. When they do finally take delivery, the sales process suffers greatly. In the customer’s mind, they were lied to and ignored. They are extremely frustrated. They are anxious about getting their new vehicle. Increases in MSRP and egregious dealer addendums, have customers feeling squeezed by the charlatans. After being ignored by their salesperson for the last few months, they have no patience left for our process and they certainly aren’t interested in spending extra time in the business office listening to our pitch. The customer has the cashier’s check in hand, made out to the penny, and can’t wait to torch you on the factory survey. Those customers are also highly likely to leave a really nice 1-Star Google or DealerRater review. Did I miss anything? Vehicle sales plummeted to some of the lowest levels at the start of COVID and now that we have sold through the bloated inventory, we struggle to build back up again. We are reminded that after enduring what we have all experienced during this pandemic, including its shortage repercussions, people’s psyches have changed. Not only our employees, but our customers too! It’s time to re-adjust our approach, our attitudes, and our actions.  To fix this, we start with an attitude adjustment and increasing the amount of engagement. Simply reach out periodically with updates, and let your customers know what’s happening. It makes people feel nice when you call or text them. It makes them feel like a priority. They are happy you didn’t forget them and they know someone is paying attention to their vehicle and its arrival date. We change our negative attitudes regarding low inventory, it’s low everywhere. Next, pay attention to our appearances and the vibe we give off. When people are dropping $100,000 on a new Escalade, they want to know we care about their purchase. Finally, take action! Start realizing one of the biggest perks our industry is experiencing - low volume and high profits.  How fortunate are we? You’ve never had to sell fewer vehicles for more gross profit in history. Commissions are at an all-time high and life is pretty good considering. Get excited about having more time to spend with each customer. During busy times when we give cars away for little to no profit, we are always rushed. We never seem to get quality time, connecting with them and solidifying meaningful relationships. If you spend extra time with customers now, you can set clearer expectations. This allows you to manage communication more effectively during the waiting process. This ensures the delivery is more successful and brings the customer back again for their future purchases in sales and service. It’s time to get re-connected with our customers and stay there.  
Be the Ultimate Pro at Effectiveness: Ready - Set - Poised for Success

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Maybe it’s a strange-type A-Virgo-slightly OCD-anal retentive personality trait that I have or perhaps I’m just an old soul who is hard to explain. Either way – I like things “topped off”. Who doesn’t? For instance, right after I make my coffee in the am (don’t hate me for using K-Cups), I pitch the grinds and immediately grab my smart water and start filling up the 48oz reservoir on my Keurig – so that the next cup is ready to go, even though I could let it get low and then run out of water. When I am not giving people tickets to the magic show at the dealership, you’ll find me on the ski slopes of Colorado undoubtedly. I always leave downtown Denver with a full tank of gas and upon arriving on the other side of the continental divide, I stop and “top off” the tank. I do this for a variety of reasons. First, I want to already be full when I leave the mountains headed to downtown Denver. Secondly, I want to be prepared for worst-case scenarios, i.e., sitting in I-70 eastbound traffic in a blizzard/freezing conditions and high winds. I also do the same thing with washer fluid. I don’t always need it, however when I get a chance to top it off at the dealership or a gas station, I do. Not because it is needed right then, but because the last thing I want to find myself in, is a situation where I need something I don’t have that could have been prevented by paying attention and taking action early when I had time.  The same concept can be applied in the business office. How many times have you been in the middle of a busy Saturday and you are about to spin your 5th deal and you have 3 waiting and while completing a deal for a customer, you look down at the printer under your desk and realize the temporary permit forms you are waiting for are pending because you are out of paper? Spending the extra few seconds at the beginning of each day to properly prepare ourselves for activities that are to come, eliminates the downtime of “topping off” the printer. I like to always make sure I am prepared for whatever is to come. This isn’t always possible in EVERY situation; however, I feel that if you are diligent in being faithful in the ordinary, you can achieve more greatness each day by paying attention to the little details that really do matter. It allows you to traverse the day with more confidence and less aggravation.  When you are constantly on top of everything that is asked and required of you during the day, it makes new requests and favors easier to say yes to without added stress. When you know that you need to have your monthly numbers updated for a manager meeting on Wednesday morning, but you have time to do it each day, I like to spend 3 minutes updating a report daily rather than spend 30 minutes once a week working on the same thing. Why? Because on the off chance the owner wants to move the meeting up, instead of scrambling, stressing, and suffering with the task, you can breathe easy and know that you need 3 minutes to be ready or better yet, you ARE ready.  Having the mentality of “DO IT NOW”, instead of “it can wait until later” is what separates the real pros in this business. When you are prepared and have your life dialed in, in all aspects, you are more likely to win and win big. The feeling of being ready for whatever happens to you each day is a feeling of confidence allowing you to have a better attitude and a more stable approach at the daily tasks and interactions with others. I encourage you to look around your life – at home and the store, and find ways to be more proactive and look for things to “top off”. See how that impacts you later on. My guess is once you try it my way, you’ll enjoy the results so much, you’ll adopt this as your approach for being ready, getting set, and poising towards continued improvement & success!!
Bubble Wrap: Follow the Logic Filled Road

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We have all ordered a product that was shipped to us most likely in a cardboard box. Inside that box, the product we ordered, was probably covered in bubble wrap. You’re familiar with it, right? The transparent, pliable plastic material with the regularly spaced, protruding air-filled hemispheres whose sole purpose is to protect the fragile contents of the box. Bubble wrap provides exactly the right level of cushioning protection needed to make sure your products arrive safely after being shipped. Most of us own a smartphone these days. It’s probably fair to assume, many of us purchased a protective case when we bought the phone. We can’t keep our phone in the box it came in wrapped in bubble wrap if we want to use it. So, we bought the case, which is the functional mobile version of bubble wrap for our phones. Did we buy the case because we thought the product was bad or would break? No! That’s why we shelled out the $1100 for the latest greatest gadget.  The phone was expensive and we know that at some point, we are bound to have a clumsy moment, where we drop the phone, or worse yet, it falls out of a backpack or pocket. The thought of the phone striking down on the ground and cracking the screen is horrifying. This is especially true if you don’t have AppleCare. Therefore, we spend a small amount of money to protect our investment and keep it safe. The bubble wrap and phone case are to the phone, what a service contract is to a vehicle today.  Costly repairs have skyrocketed due to onboard computers, high-tech electrical equipment, sensors, switches, diodes, radar, cameras, and touch screens – all of the non-maintainable components. Vehicle service contracts not only protect the vehicle, but they protect the consumer by creating AND forcing a budgeted monthly plan. It is because of this agreement to pay for the covered repairs that a consumer can have a fully managed payment option, thus increasing the probability of a pleasant ownership experience. The Necessity for a Vehicle Service Contract The more ways you can explain how consumers protect themselves and their investments, the more buy-in you will have because they will identify with these logical behaviors. You are simply leading them down the logic-filled road. The more things you can get them to agree with you on, in terms of protection, the more likely you will demonstrate the necessity for a vehicle service contract.  You wouldn’t ship valuable fragile items without packing peanuts or bubble wrap, would you? Is anyone walking around without a case on a cell phone? These are just two small, everyday examples most of us overlook as an avenue down the logic-filled road to commonality and “agreement in principle”. When we arrive at “common Grandville”, we connect, and the transference of enthusiasm and excitement happens. The next part is simply using logical mathematics to illustrate how much better the protected payment is, especially because of the increasing costs of breakdowns due to the replacement factor instead of just repair. There are many different ways you can try to convince a consumer that they need a vehicle service contract. There are so many closes, and honestly, they all have their own validity and effectiveness in their own way. The problem is getting comfortable with how you explain it. If you don’t understand the comparison, you are making or can’t effectively communicate it in a way where you break it down to something so basic and common, the consumer will feel like you are trying to mislead them or they will altogether not follow along and will likely decline because they are afraid of making a bad decision, not because they don’t see value in it.   By scanning the above QR code with your smartphone, or following this link you can watch THE BUBBLE WRAP CLOSE! Practice it and customize it to your liking. I think it is just one more tool in your belt when pushing to improve your effectiveness in the business office. Go forth and profit! #bing #morewinning
B+: Social Responsibility through Heliotropic Leadership

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How do we make a positive impact other than just selling cars? Not just in our attitudes but in our actions. What does it mean to be positive? When you read words like cheerful, active, high-energy, optimistic, or outgoing, does it make you think of positivity?  My personality IS my blood type, B+ (positive). BING is “the opposite of negativity.” B+ is a blood type that is not only rare but also holds tremendous power. It is estimated that only about 7.6% of the population has a blood type of B+.  Mark Twain once wrote, “kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.” This ties in with positivity when it comes to genuinely connecting with your community. When this happens, people rally behind you and support your cause and your business! The cause I’m talking about is your corporate social responsibility, specifically - hosting a community blood drive. I recommend doing this twice a year at your dealership. Once in the spring and once in the fall. This is an authentic & genuine way to exhibit heliotropic leadership inside your organization and your community and the payment value is immense. I watched a TEDTalk given by Dr. Harry Cohen recently and discovered the term heliotropic effect/leadership. The heliotropic effect is the tendency for all living systems to move towards energy that is life-sustaining and away from energy that is life-depleting. Heliotropic leaders are positive energizers that can make people feel great. You feel good in their presence. These are leaders who often share qualities like being a good listener. They are compassionate, forgiving, vulnerable, real, and they smile. It is the definition of “us, at our best.” These leaders are the organizers of dealership blood drives! The sobering reality is that the need for donors to donate blood never really goes away. In every community across this country, there is a person who is in need of blood every day. Coming out of a global pandemic, there has also been an increased demand for a diverse blood supply. As automobile dealerships, it is not expected for us to do anything else besides sales and service, or is it? Do we have to take that extra step and do more ? You decide. Either way, it certainly bodes well for your dealership if your organization does more than just have a case of commission breath when dealing with your community. The optics are great & it makes people feel better about doing business with you. Let’s face it, what customer wouldn’t want to support a local business that shares the same values? Hosting a drive really helps the blood supply, but it is also a very selfless way to bring people into your facility, and participate in something selfless themselves. Part of the payment value that comes from hosting a blood drive, beyond saving lives, is bringing people into your store that otherwise might not have considered ever setting foot inside your establishment.  While there, they may look around and test drive a vehicle. They might see how your amenities are set up and want to give your service department a try for an oil change. They may order a set of all-weather floor mats or get an old battery replaced in their car or key fob while at your store. These are just a few ways to introduce them to your capabilities, all stemming from a simple blood drive.  Take a moment to reflect on what you are doing to set yourself apart from the competition not only in terms of your pricing and retail strategy but in terms of your social responsibility strategy. It’s not enough to know what you have to do - you must take action. You can give blood to make a difference in the world. One in three of us will need blood in our lifetime yet only one in 30 of us actually gives blood. If you are looking for an easy way to tap in and make a difference by leading heliotropically, give my idea a try and I don’t think you will be disappointed at the way you are left feeling at the end. I always say give 100% in anything you do. Unless of course, you are donating blood. Then definitely don’t give 100%. A pint will do just fine, and you could save up to 3 lives in the process. Happy organizing!!  Scan QR Code to View: Heliotropic Leadership | Harry Cohen | TEDxElonUniversity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4QUp6tuo-E
Have You “Lost Interest” in the Cash Deal?

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After a recent F&I Master’s class, I came back to the dealership better, stronger, and faster than before. That class taught me about having a conversation with purpose. So, since we are having a conversation anyway, let’s make it count? This is the biggest opportunity on cash deals to move the needle. Especially if you are working in a high-line store catering to affluent customers with higher credit scores.  The One Pay Lease Many business managers forget the least used tool available – The One Pay Lease. To a cash customer, this is a way to purchase the vehicle by writing the dealership a check for the total of payments on a 36-month single payment lease. Nobody talks about this and even fewer people are proficient at this technique. This is what separates the average managers and professional grade F&I pros.  Explain the advantages for a customer to consider a single payment lease as opposed to simply writing us a check. It costs far less because there is less interest and lower rates. This makes it less expensive than a traditional lease and paying cash for people who enjoy driving the newest cars. Lastly, the credit approval is easier since they get all the payments upfront.  The Cash Deal in Disguise The cash deal has evolved and sometimes is a “finance deal in disguise.” People actually walk in with a shoebox filled with dirty 20’s and 100’s that they have been hoarding during the pandemic. Now that the world isn’t ending, they want to get rid of it and come into our dealerships in droves with cold hard cash. It’s a great reminder, if you collect $10,000 or more in cash, report it by properly filling out the finCen8300 form. If you aren’t sure, my advice has always been, “when in doubt, fill it out!” What is a cash deal in disguise? That’s when you get the cash buyer who is really just using an outside lienholder. You will still need to present your options menu however. Most F&I managers will print up a CASH menu and start their presentations.  After reviewing how much each product is in terms of overall total cost, they are forgetting that if the customer is using an outside lender, the customer is ultimately going to be making a payment. In this instance, it’s still important to review with your customer, based on the terms of their own financing, what the base payment will be and then what impact adding these protection items can have on that monthly payment. Ultimately, closing the sale on a payment, even though it’s “cash”. Present these as finance deals with different payments and you’ll be surprised how much more product you will successfully enroll your customer in. Show it to them in terms that make sense to their budget. On true-cash deals, sell the value in the product - that’s all you can really do. When they use outside financing, appeal to their budget and explain how much this will benefit them. How does cash affects pricing? I get asked all the time if customers can get a better price if they pay cash. My answer is always the same. “We give the same great pricing to ALL of our valued customers, regardless of how you choose to pay for the vehicle.” Other than the occasional factory rebate that is connected to financing, the dealership’s selling price is the same whether it’s cash, lease or retail installment sales contract. Having an attitude of gratitude. Appreciate and welcome the cash deal. Best part about a cash deal? Not worrying about funding issues! The only thing you have to do is be a great salesperson. As Jim Rohn once said, “if you stoke the fires of their desires, and you’ll not fail to make the sale!”  Remember, if a person can sit down at your desk and stroke a reader for $85,000 - they can certainly add $5,000-$10,000 more for whatever protection options they want. Don’t be afraid of the cash deal or the cash buyer. Those are usually disciplined, persistent, highly intelligent people with four common traits: capacity, ability, stability, and equity. They want to buy; they just can’t be sold. You’ll have to earn it the old-fashioned way, by being genuine and serving them with the heart of a teacher and the right spirit of intent. Remember to try a one pay lease for a great cash conversion, present the outside finance deals like regular finance deals, and on true-cash, put on your selling shoes and tap in! #bing #morewinning
Automotive Careers: What It Takes to Move Up the Ladder

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F&I is a position in the dealership that provides excellent opportunities, but it is a career that comes with extremely high expectations and demands. In traditional thinking, the lot attendant might aspire to selling cars someday. While the salesman who has either started a while back or is a new hire is already thinking, someday I want to be a sales manager. There is always the desk manager who never worked in F&I and wants to grow. What about the F&I pro who might want the opportunity to run a store and serve in a GM position? And finally, there's the GM who wants to buy in and become a partner or a dealer in the end.  We are all trying to advance ourselves and our careers, and that is a good thing. And then there are some people who realize they are better at some things than others. This means it's okay to "stay" in sales or "stay in F&I." This is a GOOD thing! I am not trying to discourage anyone from following their dreams or pursuing their goals. I am however, encouraging those who have a passion to learn more about F&I to take a moment and think hard about the requirements and skillsets needed to perform the tasks, execute the responsibilities of that role and perform them at the highest levels of excellence.  The key to greatness is the business office is twofold. The first is being really proficient with paperwork, filling it out neatly and completely. Having an eye for mistakes while still being able to move quickly is paramount. You have to be the person who sweats the details inherently. This is one of the more important qualities to hone as a strategy in the world of F&I for moving up and getting promoted into a manager position within that department.  The second skillset you must possess is the ability to gain common ground quickly, establish trust and credibility, and being viewed as authoritative and consultative while not coming across as arrogant or 'salesy'. This is imperative so you can present and gain acceptance of participation for your products and services. Typically, salespeople are either really good at filling out paperwork, but they can't sell or close a deal. Or you can't read their handwriting (when it's present), but they can outsell the whole floor. It is much rarer to find an individual who possesses BOTH qualities and executes at the highest levels. Those are the people, who with the right guidance and proper training and development, can be molded into high revenue producers with great CSI and 5-Star online reviews - the ultimate in "more winning!" Salespeople who are just selling cars because it's a "job" or they are doing it until something "better" comes along need not apply. Those that fear being rejected and have the inability to move forward definitely can't stomach the life of an F&I professional. You must be a great listener who asks all the right questions and remembers that everyone is a prospect for something we have to offer in order to be excellent in this profession. The appeal of the warm office on a cold day, waiting for salespeople to bring you closed deals, comes at a price. That price is: you have to be the best closer in the store, who can break down a deal, check it for errors, fill in all the blanks, submit and electronically digitize the various components of the deal with all the different portals and logins, and then present the options and contract the deal – quickly, effectively, compliantly, and profitably – all at the same time, while remembering to smile! When you can do this and still keep a positive attitude even when you run into mistakes constantly, you know you might have a chance to make this a career and start your climb! #bing #morewinning #noextrachargeforapositiveattitude