Colby Joyner: Are Your Dealership Processes Doomed?

By: Michael Cirillo   |   08 Dec 2022

Colby Joyner is Vice President of Sales at, a lead management system that is primarily housed and geared around artificial intelligence (AI) and a leader in automotive artificial intelligence. Their mission is to maximize conversion rates and profits for dealers with faster and more efficient AI engagement. It's all very cool!

Colby Joyner has worked in the auto industry, the Air Force, as an air traffic controller, a massage therapist, and then as a dealer and partner in the auto industry. These experiences have enabled him to see things from a new perspective and assisted him in organizing and automating operations for the dealerships he works with. Colby is a certified solutionary, creating new routes in the land of solutions, and I'm so excited to dive into his world!

He discusses the knowledge he has obtained via experiences, such as strategic thinking and organizing. Because he was not an exceptionally organized or structured individual before his experiences but managed to become one, he believes strongly that anything can be taught.

There are two sides to each story in the automobile industry, especially given that we are currently entering a recession. Still, nobody in authority wants to accept it, and we all know that panic will ensue as soon as they do. Whenever this happens, we have a tendency of returning to the principles we have difficulty absorbing - dealership processes are a particular example. And the two narratives that exist are either that you embrace your processes or you are doomed.

This brings us to the essential query: are we doomed?!Coby believes we will be doomed if the current condition of affairs persists: "In the automotive sector, there is a great deal of preaching about processes, but little execution on any of them. The method varies so greatly from store to store that if we continue on our current path, we are doomed. We must pivot; we must move; we must alter our trajectory. And not just in terms of the vendors we work with or who we employ for this or that. We need to get to the root of things. It is all elementary, and elementary concepts can be taught. Everything is something that can be taught."

Colby believes that if we do the same thing within the car industry and say, "Look, we're here to teach you, but you have to go all in," then dealers will have no choice but to participate. As long as there is valid proof and we can demonstrate that the concept works, the entire industry is not doomed.

The auto industry has been basking in the recent "golden days," but they can't last forever. We have to come together cohesively to say, "Okay, we need to make a slight adjustment." If you are a prosperous dealership or dealer group it's OK (and smart) to say, "Everything is operating smoothly. Great. But... we do need to tighten things up a bit."

Processes need to be executed precisely. Bring in your managers, your GMs, your GSMs, your fixed operations directors, service directors, parts directors, and marketing and advertising directors. Bring everyone together and hold a forum: a venue for open dialogue and collaboration that ensures all issues are addressed by all connected departments and parties. Obtain communication and cooperation from the team, regardless of whether it takes a day or a week. This way, everyone will be on board and feel their opinion is being heard. Then you will come back and organize and structure the procedure. From that point on, you manage the process and not the individuals. Sure, you'll want markers in place for individuals to achieve, so they can be held accountable. But shifting to managing processes and not people will be a huge game changer in the way your dealership functions.The processes should be integrated if there are various processes, such as a CRM process, a BDC process, and a follow-up process. How do you determine which method to initiate?

Understanding precisely who is responsible for what is the first step. How does this procedure work? Who are you in this position? Are you a GSM? What duties do you have? Be sure to have clarity and conciseness when assigning these pieces so that you cannot be held responsible for someone else's error or problem. Everyone should understand their function within the dealership, so they can keep a focused mindset of, "This is what I know I can do, and this is what I'm accountable for." Knowing how you affect change is a very powerful motivator.

When it comes to your dealership processes, examine things quarterly. How is your team adapting and changing? Are you seeing a potential downturn? As time goes on, will you see positive results from your efforts? Good things take time, so don't make too many changes too quickly. But don't be afraid to admit when things aren't working. It's a fine balance.Be calm, and patient, inspect, review, and don't freak out! Don't be the person who says, "Hey, okay, it's not working. We're changing." You need to be patient. It's going to get there. And if it doesn't arrive within a very specific amount of time, then go back to the drawing board.


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