Candice Crane Troublemaker at Crane Automotive Resources

It’s rarely easy to bring disruption to any business in any industry. But when you’re bringing it to a sector that’s often stuck in its ways, you’ve got an uphill battle.

As our next guest points out, the leadership in the retail side of the automotive industry rarely come from a background where they would have learned best practice. However, the fact that they have open minds and are highly competitive helps Candice Crane guide them to process improvements. Candice is a strategic organizational development leader who can reduce turnover and engage employees in challenging environments. She’s brilliant at leading culture changes that are necessary to attract and retain top talent in traditionally high turnover environments. Candice is the founder and CEO of Crane Automotive Resources.

In this podcast, you’ll hear how part of Candice’s success is due to her focus on just one industry. The industry is so wide so that her narrow focus doesn’t mean she gets bored. She’s consulted with Carvana, Auto Nation, Lexus dealers, Toyota dealers, Chevrolet dealers, and Carbiz. She’s been a speaker at NADA, Driving Sales, Digital Dealer, Women In Automotive, Toyota, Lexus, Ford, and Nissan. In other words, Candice is doing very well in this male-dominated industry.

I quickly learned why she stands out – she’s a disruptive force who also has an amazing EQ (emotional quotient).

Automotive retailing is being forced to change

Their process is often antiquated – There are still tons of car dealerships out there that vacuum up an entire day with their selling process. There’s no price transparency. The negotiating process leaves customers feeling they didn’t get a good deal.

Technology is changing all parts of the shopping experience – Carvana showed just how much the consumers want a new car-buying experience. Many retailers are migrating to companies like Roadster which offer a seamless digital experience from beginning to end. (Learn more about them in my interview with Amit Chandarana). Dealers living in a world where the Internet is forcing radical changes in all other aspects of retail cannot expect to dodge that bullet.

Generational changes in auto dealer employees – It’s difficult enough juggling the challenges of the two sections above; now auto retailers have to worry about changing employee demands. Dealerships typically keep salespeople on for 100% commission. That leads salespeople to give up all their time standing on the showroom floor hoping for just one more sale by 9 p.m. Millennials and Generation Z tend to look for a more well-rounded lifestyle. Auto Dealers who started their career in the “Go-Go 80s” must adapt to the changing views of work/life balance in the sober 20s.

“I’m looking to change this industry from the inside out.”

Candice is planning her way to her own dealership. While her operation will undoubtedly run like a Swiss watch, and her employees will have epic EQ, there will also be lots of other noticeable differences. Unlike other auto retailers, hers won’t relegate women to the office support roles. After all, in the household women, often lead the car buying decision. And buying a car is the 2nd most expensive decision couples go through.

“I want to help this industry evolve. I’ve done it as a consultant. I’ve done it as an internal employee in a dealer group. Now I want to do it in my own dealership.”

I have no doubt that Candice Crane will achieve that goal.

Keep up with Candice (if you can):

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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