Car Dealer Insider June 15, 2008
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Car Dealer Insider June 15, 2008

Focusing on the people picture helps boosts dealership buy-sell success

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Focusing on the people picture helps boosts dealership buy-sell success

When automotive advisors M.D. Johnson, Inc. assisted in the liquidation of a dealership not long ago, vice president and analyst Debbie Cupples went into the dealership and helped employees write resumes. Customers stopped by too during the last week of operations "like they were losing one of their dearest friends" and asked where employees were headed, she says.

It doesn't take a dire situation like a liquidation to turn employees' lives upside down. Even a relatively smooth buy-sell transaction can trigger uncertainty and upheaval, and perhaps apathy or abandonment among staff. But don't let employees simply slip away! Getting them on board before a deal closes can help create a win-win situation for all parties involved, Debbie tells _Dealer Business Briefing.

From preparing necessary deal closing documents to getting the new dealership up and running efficiently, current employees can be a great asset if both the incoming and outgoing dealers provide guidance and support through this difficult transition period.

"It's kind of like a stepmother coming in…This can be a very positive thing for an individual or they can go and self-destruct," says Debbie, who - in addition to handling all the due diligence, data and documents for deals - works directly with the employees of M.D. Johnson's clients during the transition period.

This training is part of the standard work the Seattle-area firm performs for every transaction it handles on either side of the buy-sell fence, says Debbie, who has worked beside dealership employees to help them prepare accounting schedules, create pro forma documents for banks, transition open repair orders, get warranties punched in, and more. In one deal where M.D. Johnson represented the seller, Debbie even helped the incoming dealer set... (286 of 1145 words)

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