Book Review: The Dealership Equation, by Sara Hey

In her new book, “The Dealership Equation,” Sara Hey delivers practical tips, tested theories, and real-world examples to help retail industry professionals overcome the chaos of the business. Hey is vice president of business development for Bob Clements International.

The everyday “chaos” of business is costing you money, Hey states. And it could very well be self-induced chaos, not big chaos caused by external events. “The chaos that costs you the most money are the little things that happen every day that eat into you and your people’s give-a-damn factor and your profits.”

Sara Hey book

This is the kind of business book you can read in a couple hours, then pick up again to work through exercises, pore over the examples, and gain insight to help you improve business practices. The book, and Hey’s advice, is not just for dealership owners, but for managers of any department or for curious employees who want to better understand and contribute to their workplace.  

People, Processes, Profits

In three parts, Hey addresses dealership people, processes, and profits. In the “people” section, Hey says you must “become obsessed with others’ success.” That “others” group includes your coworkers and your customers. Hey begins the book’s “Your customers” chapter with a compelling question – “Are you easy to do business with?” She leads into excellent advice about customer relations, communication, and understanding the customer experience – all around a “target customer” exercise. I appreciate the section where Hey introduces “internal customers,” people you work with for whom you still need to provide a pleasurable experience that leads to a success for you and for them.

Hey covers a lot of ground in the book’s meaty “process” section. She helps you look at, ask, and address all the right questions, even the difficult ones, with real examples, and tips. The book covers the service process, as well as parts, sales and employee processes.

In the book’s “profit” section, she gives you more homework to do, all focused on business essentials that can help reduce chaos in dealerships. The book includes workbook style write-in sections that are helpful and convenient, even if you come back to them later.

Engaging & Professional

Hey’s book shows she understands the dealership environment, the roles within, and the structure of success (and failure). If you know Sara already, you’ll recognize her friendly and gregarious style in this book. If you don’t know Sara Hey, you will when you finish reading. She fills the book with Sara Hey personality, stories, memories, and personal reflections.

Personally, I don’t appreciate Hey’s shot at the winters in Minnesota, my home state. Sara, you need better clothing! In spite of that, “The Dealership Equation” is a helpful business book that’s certainly not boring.

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