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The Darrell Steed Buy Center Series - Part 2 - Building a Vehicle Buy Center

In Part Two, we explore the foundational elements of establishing a successful vehicle Buy Center, guided by the expertise of Darrell Steed, and the probing questions of Clayton Dorris are discussed. The conversation reveals the necessity of a well-thought-out strategy, the right personnel, and grounded expectations.

Strategic Longevity over Short-Term Gains

Darrell Steed emphasizes the critical perspective shift required when considering the establishment of a Buy Center - it's not a quick fix but a strategic pivot.


"Is this something you're doing for a moment? Or is this part of your strategy from now on?"

This insight challenges dealerships to view the Buy Center as an operational addition and a core component of their long-term strategy, underscoring the need for patience and persistence.

The Right Team Makes the Dream Work

A common pitfall in setting up a Buy Center, as highlighted by Darrell, is the misallocation of personnel. The urge to repurpose underperforming sales staff as buyers can be detrimental.


"Stop putting people in the sales department who can't get it done as buyers, it'll never work."

This part of the discussion underlines the importance of assembling a dedicated, capable team specifically suited for the nuances of vehicle acquisition rather than repurposing existing staff without the requisite skills or motivation.

Managing Expectations with Reality

Setting realistic expectations is another cornerstone of success in vehicle acquisition. Darrell points out that achieving significant milestones, such as acquiring a certain number of cars monthly, requires time and the right strategies to be in place.

"What's your expectations? Are they realistic?... It took two years to get to that point."


This segment serves as a reminder that success in the Buy Center operation is a gradual process, necessitating a balanced approach to goal setting and performance evaluation.

A Comprehensive Approach to Vehicle Acquisition

The dialogue between Darrell Steed and Clayton Dorris brings to light the multifaceted approach needed to establish and run a successful Buy Center. It’s not solely about the financial investment but also about strategic planning, assembling the right team, and setting achievable goals. The insights provided offer valuable guidance for dealerships considering or currently operating a Buy Center, emphasizing the need for a strategic, long-term outlook, the critical role of a dedicated and skilled team, and the importance of aligning expectations with the realities of the market and internal capabilities.