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AutoSuccess addresses the specific, researched needs of new car and light truck dealerships by providing entrepreneurial, cutting-edge, solution-based editorials to increase dealership profits and ...

AutoSuccess addresses the specific, researched needs of new car and light truck dealerships by providing entrepreneurial, cutting-edge, solution-based editorials to increase dealership profits and reduce expenses

AutoSuccess, magazine, sales, new, used, selling, salespeople, vehicle, dealer, dealership, leadership, marketing

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  • 1. The New & Improved, Check It Out! April 2010
  • 2. AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Ken Kentucky 40299 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution IF YOU DO WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU’LL Dealership’s History the Best Year in the How Gary Crossley REALLY MOVE THE NEEDLE WITH YOUR DIRECT MARKETING Ford Made 2009 IS LEASING THE KEY TO INCREASE SALES BY ‘RIGHT TARGET’ AND ‘NARROW DOWN’ ARE OVER-USED PHRASES IN E-MAIL AND DIRECT MAIL...HOW YOU CAN PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT IN STAGES DEALERSHIP OWNERS - HOW TO BUILD SELECTING YOUR LIVE CHAT SOLUTION KEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR TURNING T.R.A.S.H. INTO TREASURE ARE YOU OFFERING A COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE IN YOUR DEALERSHIP GET WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT TOP DEALERS WORK TOGETHER HOW CLEAN IS YOUR PREVIOUS FIX WHAT YOUR PEOPLE CAN’T THE ANSWER IS PRODUCTION FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THINGS ARE YOU HITTING THE MARK? CONVENIENCE ADVANTAGE? CUSTOMER DATABASE? ON NEW AD NETWORK RESOLUTIONS, PART 3 ARE YOU A HUSTLER? WINNING ONLINE 30 PERCENT? An Interview with ToddCrossley 29 18 33 24 10 08 22 28 16 26 34 36 19 20 17 32 30 MarshBuice SteveShaw SowmyaIyer StephenR.Covey BillPhillips TomMohr JoeAbraham KirkManzo ToddSmith MarkTewart DalePollak SteveBrazill JohnFreund BudAbraham ToddStrause JockSchowalter pg 8 SusanGivens pg 6 pg 6 pg1 pg1 pg3 April 2010 joe abraham dale pollak todd strause
  • 3. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey RESOLUTIONS 3 part The principles self-denial can be severe in all areas of life; sleep, rest and leisure. How many times do of temperance, likewise, the rewards of self-control can be you set the alarm or your mind to get up consistency and self-discipline are amazing. As an example, let’s look at a battle early, knowing all of the things you have to foundational to a person’s whole life – not all of us wage every day. do in the morning, anxious to get the day just in the area of their profession. The organized right, to have a calm and orderly costs of not maintaining self-discipline and Many of us succumb to the longing for extra breakfast, to have an unhurried and peaceful preparation before leaving for work? But when the alarm goes off, your good resolves Does your DETAIL DEPARTMENT dissolve. It’s a battle of mind versus mattress! Often the mattress wins. You find yourself look like this? getting up late, then beginning a frantic rush to get dressed, organized, fed and be off. In the rush, you grow impatient and insensitive to others. Nerves get frayed, tempers short. And all because of sleeping in. A chain of unhappy events and sorry consequences follows not keeping the first resolution of the day to get up at a certain time. That day may begin and end in defeat. The extra sleep is hardly ever worth it. In fact, considering the above, such sleep is terribly tiring and exhausting. It COULD look like this... Organize your Detail Department & Boost Productivity What a difference if you organize and DETAIL PLUS will provide you with everything you need to help improve arrange your affairs the night before to get your Detail Department’s appearance, increase productivity, reduce to bed at a reasonable time. I find that the last hour before retiring is the best time chemical & supply costs, reduce labor costs, and improve work quality. to plan and prepare for the next day. Then DETAIL PLUS can Provide you with: when the alarm goes off, you get up and prepare properly for the day. Such an early- Consulting Personnel Selection morning private victory gives you a sense of conquering, overcoming and mastering, and Shop Design & Layout Management Training this sense propels you to conquer more public High-Tech Equipment Technical Training challenges during the day. Success begets success. Starting a day with an early victory Call us today for a No-Obligation Consultation over self leads to more victories. P.O. Box 20755 Portland, OR. 97294 Tel: 503.251.2955 Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of Fax: 503.251.5975 email: FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 TOLL FREE: 800.284.0123 WWW.DETAILPLUS.COM Habits of Highly Effective People. He can be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e-mail0 at
  • 4. marketingsolution SowmyaIyer ‘RIGHT TARGET’ AND ‘NARROW DOWN’ ARE OVER- USED PHRASES IN E-MAIL AND DIRECT MAIL... HOW YOU CAN REALLY MOVE THE NEEDLE WITH YOUR DIRECT MARKETING The past two If you really want to impact your showroom Before answering that question, you should years have forced traffic, sales and bottom line, you need to consider one more thing. When you attempt everyone to refocus their marketing efforts. work with firms that truly have analytic skills. to narrow down a list with segmentation Advertising had to become more efficient, For example, let’s say you are looking to compared to using analytic algorithms, you effective and produce a good measurable resell “inactive” customers — people who almost always send out more e-mails or ROI or, more than likely, it was eliminated you’ve lost for whatever reason and have direct mail. This creates a long-term problem. or drastically cut. Now the buzz is all about defected to your competition. Mailing to the Between you and your manufacturer, your targeting the right customers and narrowing entire inactive customer segment is expensive. customers receive an enormous amount of down your list. There are a couple of reasons There’s a reason these people are inactive, communication. Let’s face it — many of for this. First, anytime you can narrow your and because of that reason the majority will them could receive conflicting messages. scope and eliminate people who are not ignore your offer. Direct mail is too expensive In any given month they could receive one interested in your offer it’s a good thing and for you to justify that expense and more than message about a sale or service program you will be more profitable. Second, the likely you will not have a high percentage of from you and a completely different message marketplace has changed and marketers who e-mail addresses for inactive customers. A from your manufacturer. When you over- can’t adapt to changing customer behaviors firm with a strong analytic team will start by communicate, your customer becomes will be left behind. identifying your inactive customers. Analytical callous to all your messages regardless of the algorithms are then created by analyzing offer. Instead of increasing their satisfaction The problem is that narrowing down your list data — combining information on past level, you begin to annoy. with basic segmentation usually does not go circumstances and present events — to predict far enough — especially today. or project which people of those inactive Over the last two years you have been customers have the highest propensity to forced to find more efficient ways to Marketing communication is moving away respond to your offer and, more importantly, communicate with customers. Are you guilty from mass media toward an approach driven re-buy or service with you. of over e-mailing your previous customers? by firms with integrated customer data, a Just because e-mail is less expensive technology infrastructure and real customer Identifying which inactive customers will does not change the importance of every analysis skills. Firms with this infrastructure reactivate — rather than targeting the entire message being driven by detailed customer and skill set will improve your net results. segment — will save you an incredible knowledge, appropriate to the context of the But to really move the needle, firms must amount of money up front and produce a interaction and aligned with communications have deep customer insight and skills that much better ROI. A great analytic team can in other channels. translate those insights into sales, profit become an indispensable asset to you, which and differentiation and provide you with a you will rely on for strategic decisions. Your previous customer database offers competitive advantage. For example, let’s go back to your inactive a wealth of customer data. But without customers. After the inactive analytic the analytical discipline to turn that data Firms have different competency levels. algorithms are created and a target list is found into insight, your database is as likely to Most start out with the ability to measure you could look for more ways to leverage amplify mistakes as it is to improve results. results and provide simple segmentation. that information with more analytics. The Poorly designed or untested models can add Segmentation is probably the most common firm could identify behaviors of these inactive thousands to your fulfillment costs. For this method used today at a dealership level. customers when they were active by analyzing reason you need customer analytics to identify There are a lot of ways people describe past usage, spending, other behavior patterns where your opportunities are and then measure segmentation to sound more valuable than and how those behaviors started to change your results. More advanced firms employ it is. In reality, it is nothing more than being before they left you. This is what recognizing teams of statisticians with the sole purpose of able to identify customers or prospects who “changing customer behavior” means. Now building sophisticated mathematical models to share one or more characteristics that cause analytic algorithms can be created to identify describe and predict your customer’s behavior. them to demand similar products and/or customers who are “at risk” or have likelihood services. For example, rather than e-mail or to leave you in the near future. Can you see Real data success comes when you’re able to mail your entire previous customer list, you the opportunities with this? increase the behaviors you want. I invite you could segment it to target new, used, active, to e-mail me with any questions or comments. inactive or lease customers. This will produce To do this level of analytic work is not a better result, but you will not maximize cheap. In fact, it is expensive. The question Sowmya Iyer is the marketing analyst for your sales or profit potential. We need to think becomes: What is more important to you, J&L Marketing, Inc. She can be beyond the basic identifying characteristics price per e-mail and/or direct mail piece, or contacted by e-mail at and the obvious relationships. price per lead and/or sale?
  • 5. In a turbulent economy, where many dealers struggled to survive, Gary Crossley Ford in Kansas City, Missouri found a way to thrive. Despite the challenging environment, they implemented a strategy that dramatically increased their revenue and reduced their operating costs, and just had the best month in the dealership’s history. By the end of 2009, the dealership became the No. 1 dealership in Kansas City and set a record for profitability during the worst of economic times. that integrated everything we needed into one platform for a lot less Susan Givens, the publisher of AutoSuccess, interviewed Todd money than what we were paying. Our new system includes our Web Crossley to find out exactly what they did to get the best results in the site, inventory management, Internet lead management, CRM, BDC, dealership’s history in the worst economic environment since they campaign management, reporting and service, and a desking system that opened their doors 30 years ago. integrates used vehicle market pricing. AutoSuccess: Everyone wants to know how you grew so AS: You said that you were able to attract more customers much when the industry was shrinking. Can you tell us what while spending less money. Isn’t that a contradiction? were the key factors in your growth? TC: Not at all. Previously our ad budget was too big and the returns on Todd Crossley: After we were moved into our new location, we our traditional advertising were too small. We cut the budget and spent knew we had to increase revenue to cover the additional costs of the a higher percentage on targeted direct mail and Internet advertising new store and we needed to reduce our operating costs. We created because it generated more traffic. We more than doubled our traffic and a strategy to attract more traffic for less cost than the traditional our cost per sale was cut by approximately a third. advertising we had done in the past. Second, we converted more of our traffic into profitable sales. Third, we increased our sales and AS: What type of targeted marketing and Internet service loyalty and increased our average revenue per transaction. We advertising do you do? accomplished this by making sure we had the right people, processes TC: Our CRM system notifies me 15 days before the month starts with and tools to deliver a world-class experience for our customers. recommended campaigns that target consumers who have the highest probability of buying or servicing their vehicle with our dealership AS: What was one thing that had the biggest impact? that month. The system automatically sends e-mail and mail, and it TC: We shifted our advertising to markets where customers were schedules calls for our staff to make to the target customers. The system shopping – the Internet. We also bought technology that helps us target integrates with Team Velocity’s mail house (, and they in-market customers and automates many of our processes which fulfill our direct mail because the production value is a lot better and allows us to do more with less people. the cost is similar to what we were printing on our letterhead. The best part about these targeted campaigns is that we are speaking to people AS: What type of technology did you who are in the market now, rather than wasting money on advertising to buy? How much did you spend? people who are not ready to buy or service from us. TC: At first, we spent too much money on technology — we spent a total of $20,000 a AS: You mentioned that you shifted your budget to do month with 15 different vendors to execute more online marketing. Please explain. our strategy; it was too much money TC: We do online display ads and we send targeted e-mail campaigns and too many different tools that to in-market consumers. Our new Web site appears on top of the didn’t integrate. We did a vendor search engines for the most popular search phrases in our market, and audit and decided to replace 12 of it received the top SEO Award from Brian Pasche, the Search Engine our vendors with one company Guru. We also use Video Search Engine Optimization to get more (VinSolutions) that had an “all- placements on top of Google page one because Google gives video in-one” system that integrates search results 55x more priority than text results. We use Car-Mercial. with our DMS and gave us com to produce and optimize hundreds of videos that promote our everything we needed for dealership on the most popular search engines customers use to find a about $5,000. vehicle in our market. AS: How did you AS: How do you handle all of these activities while replace 12 vendors running the business? and save $15,000? TC: Most of what I mentioned is automated; the vehicle info, incentives TC: We made a list of and specials are automatically updated on our Web site in real time. For everything we needed and example, our system automatically reduces prices for vehicles older than sent an RFP (request for 30 days to be more competitive than our competitors’ market prices and proposal) out to multiple updates manufacturer incentives on our Web site and third-party sites as companies, and we picked they change. If a car is reduced in price or a new incentive comes out, a vendor with a system the system automatically sends an e-mail to all customers who were12
  • 6. in our CRM and it automatically fills in all the other contact information, even e-mail. Our sales reps scan the customer’s license before the demo ride and it attaches a copy of their driver’s license and picture to their record. The systeminterested in those vehicles during the previous 45 days. The system then pulls additional information from the customer’s social networksalso automates customer communications throughout the sales process like Facebook, Linked in, MySpace and other sites that have publicto confirm appointments, follow up when they don’t show up or buy information available. The system tells them what calls they need toor to re-activate dead leads that in the past were not followed up. The make and provides the phone guides for each type of contact. Sinceautomation does the work of a 20-person BDC, but I don’t have the the tool is connected to our phone system, it records all the inboundpayroll cost. The system also manages our inventory, and includes a and outbound calls, tracks their daily follow-up tasks and notifiescamera that scans the vehicle’s bar code and generates window stickers, management if their appointment, follow-up and/or closing ratio isdetailed vehicle brochures, videos and an “Auto-Biography” for every below our store’s benchmarks.pre-owned vehicle in stock. The “Auto-Biography” is a book with a usedcar brochure, Carfax, all maintenance records and a list of other vehicles AS: You mentioned that your average gross profit hasin the market that are selling for more than our asking price. The system increased. Please tell us how your gross has increasedthen sends all the vehicle info, pictures and video to our Web site and along with your volume.third-party sites with the Kelly Blue Book retail price next to our sale TC: Our sales and desking process has greatly improved our gross.price so consumers can see that our price is less compared to a credible We use our new desking system to give consumers multiple finance/third-party like KBB. If the customer does not find a vehicle on our site, lease scenarios that fit their payment requirements and that are thethey can use our car finder and we automatically e-mail them when the most profitable for our dealership. We then print out a professionalvehicle they want comes into stock. work sheet that includes all their options and highlights the unique advantages of buying a Ford from our dealership. Our salespeopleAS: You mentioned that you increased your closing ratio can also use the tutorials in the system to overcome objections and toand gross profit. How did you increase both of them at educate our customers. For example, the tutorials include multimediathe same time? presentations on finance versus lease, the appraisal process, certifiedTC: We improved the customer experience and follow up, which pre-owned process, and Extended Service agreements, among others.increased our closing ratio. When an Internet lead comes in, we These professionally produced tutorials help build value in ourautomatically send a custom e-mail that gives the customer a custom dealership and to increase our gross per vehicle. Our desking tool alsobrochure with pictures, video and five less-expensive alternative has an appraisal tool that gives us all the market pricing information sovehicles. The e-mail directs them to complete our online credit we can value trade-ins based on what cars are wholesaling and retailingapplication with a video tutorial and our online appraisal tool so they go for in our market. In addition to telling us the auction and book values,deeper into the buying process with our dealership. When the customer it tells us how much we made on similar trades in the past and howschedules an appointment, we send a confirmation within five minutes many prospects inquired in the last 30 days about that vehicle.with point-to-point directions and a second confirmation is sent at7 a.m. on the day of the appointment via e-mail and text. When the AS: Is this Reynolds desking program?customer arrives at the dealership, the sales consultant can use their TC: No, our desking is part of a VinSolutions system, but it isphone to view the client’s info and to gather information about their integrated with Reynolds so our managers don’t have double input —desired and current vehicle. All of the most important fact-finding they just press a button and the deal goes into Reynolds.questions are in the mobile CRM tool, and everything that is gatheredis saved in the customer’s record. The sales rep can also print custom AS: You also mentioned that the dealership improved itsvehicle brochures and comparisons that highlight the advantages of our loyalty. Can you tell us more about that?vehicle versus the competition’s. This helps increase our closing ratio TC: We dramatically increased our retention by sending targeted e-mailfor first-time visitors and our new follow-up system helps bring back and direct mail campaigns to customers who are in equity andcustomers who don’t buy. need service work done. We give them a custom offerAS: How do you follow up with the customers who do not buy?TC: The first step is getting 100 percent of our prospect’s contactinformation. Our CRM system captures the customer information ifthey call or e-mail the dealership, and it attaches the recording of thecall to their record. We can also see the customer’s lifetime value tothe dealership based on their historic spend so we can give our bestcustomers special treatment. For customers who walk in,the sales rep puts the customer’s phone number
  • 7. AS: Have you dropped all your traditional advertising? TC: No. Our advertising strategy has improved dramatically because we consolidated our marketing vendors and hired one company to develop and implement a more targeted marketing strategy that speaks to people who are in the market. In the past, we worked with an ad agency and eight other companies to execute every part of our strategy. The vendors didn’t work together, however, so the campaigns were not integrated. It was confusing for my customers because my TV and radio commercials had one message, direct mail had another, my to upgrade their vehicle at the same or lower Internet manager was sending e-mails with payment that they are currently making, and other offers, and none of it was on my Web give them service offers that relate to their site or point of purchase materials. We hired a current mileage, including the option to buy marketing company called Tier10Marketing. an extended warranty if our records show com, that specializes in digital and traditional they don’t have one. Our system notifies the advertising, and now we have one strategy original salesperson when their customer that that is completely connected and consistent. is in-equity comes in to service their vehicle. To make sure our customers are treated The service advisor is also notified so they right, we monitor we use a company called can put a hang tag in the customer’s vehicle to monitor all our calls 24/7 to inform them of our “Vehicle Buy Back and they send real-time alerts to our managers Program.” If the customer is inactive or lost, when a customer is mishandled on the phone. we send more aggressive incentives to bring Our managers save a lot of deals because they them back. contact customers immediately before it is too late. We also review daily and weekly reports After we sell a car, our system also creates that tell us what marketing the customers a personal automotive Web site for each responded to, the appointment rates, show customer with their vehicle info, owner rates and closing ratios by ad source. With information, pictures and video, and it updates this information we adjust our marketing to them with service reminders, recalls and other spend more where we get the results and less information related to their vehicle. When a where we don’t. customer spends money in any department, we send them an automated survey, and if AS: It sounds like you are doing a lot they rate us four out of five stars or higher we at a young age; how do you manage automatically post their review on our Web and monitor it all? site and their personal Web site. We then send TC: My brother Ryan and I have a great them an e-mail to invite them to share their team, and we learned a lot from our father, opinions on the most popular review sites on who built the business from the ground up. Google, Yahoo,, etc. If the He taught us the importance of having cost customer gives us lower than four stars, we controls and efficient time management. That direct their survey to a manager for follow up is why we are always looking for ways to do as a part of our concern-resolution process. things better and cheaper. We also target customers who bought from AS: So, what’s next? another dealership but live in our market. TC: We just had the best month in the When we lose a sale to another dealership, dealership’s history, but we don’t want our salespeople have to tell our system that to take our success for granted. We will they “bought elsewhere” and our CRM tool continue to work hard to constantly grow and automatically sends an e-mail from me, improve how we serve our customers and our congratulating the customer on their purchase employees. from the other dealership and inviting them to use our service department to maintain their vehicle. Then system also automatically sends out communications to our customers via e-mail, text, voicemail and mail throughout Todd Crossley is the general manager for the ownership cycle to retain them for service Gary Crossley Ford. He can be contacted and re-sell them when they are in equity or at at 866.580.1013, or by e-mail at the end of their lease.
  • 8. Used Inventory Turn ROI increased by 33% #% #% 12 16 turns turns 2008 2009 Almost everything my franchises bring to our new car side, vAuto brings to our used operations, including pulling customers into my front door. —Dwayne Hawkins President Crown Automotive Group St. Petersburg, FloridaBeyond the leading-edge technology. Beyond the exclusive features. Beyond the data-driveninsight. For a select set of dealers nationwide, vAuto has become much more. It has becomeall the power and the privilege of a franchise — refocused on used car operations.License to proprietary software proven to drive profitability. Access to the VelocityManagement™ playbook and coaches. Entrance to a community of like-minded, highlysuccessful dealers. Contact with customers predisposed to buying from you. It’s“the franchise”— reinvented for today’s used car market. vAuto is The Franchise 2.0.Get a live demo today. Visit or call 888-536-4086.
  • 9. leadershipsolution JoeAbraham DEALERSHIP OWNERS - HOW TO BUILD EXCELLENCE IN YOUR DEALERSHIP I was on the phone But what I am saying here is that most of the You’ll see past the politics, jockeying and with a frustrated success in the process of transformation is water-cooler talk to find out exactly who used car dealer the other day. Here was his within your control. really fits the brand position you have frustration. engineered. You’ll be left with a team who Building a culture of excellence begins with believes in you — a team who will go to “My people just don’t show ownership,” the owner. So the big question you have to ask battle for you. You will have a team who he said. “I just need to figure out how to yourself as the owner of the business is this: isn’t just there to collect a paycheck, but get them to have some sense of passion there to make an impact (while getting paid and excitement for what they do. I’ve got “Does my business need more productive handsomely for it). to get them out of ‘J.O.B.’ mentality into a employees, a positive environment and mindset of excellence. Don’t they know that fanatical customers?” The new team will live the creed/brand if they do, we’ll all make a ton of money — position and it will impact everything from together?” If “no,” skip to the next article in the how they market to how they operate and magazine. If “yes,” then read on.… serve customers. Think about your last He was right. experience walking into a WalMart and an A committed dealer can build a culture of Apple store. The employees in both locations Passionate and excited employees with an excellence into their dealership in these three earn about the same hourly wage — but ownership mindset and a drive for excellence steps: your experience in those two stores was do generate better results. But the question 1. The Brand — When you look at highly probably quite different. (If you have not of the day remains, “How do we accomplish successful and adopted brands like Virgin and been into those two stores back-to-back, I’d that in our business?” More specifically, how Apple, there is a culture of excellence that strongly recommend that field trip so you can do we accomplish that in the highly complex permeates everything. It is a culture that is experience what brand positioning can do for dealership environment? visible in their products, their employees and your business). even their customers. The answer is a bit of a “good news/bad The CEO controls and drives the company 3. The Customers — If you do step 1 and news” situation. brand. So, if your brand is positioned 2 authentically, you will see your customer correctly, it will result in the right culture base transform. Oh, don’t get me wrong. First, the good news. — a culture you are proud of. If, however, it You’ll still have the tire kickers and “I’ll-only- is not positioned correctly (or if over time, be-happy-if-you-lose-money-on-this-deal” Regardless of how dysfunctional, negative, it has picked up some faulty DNA), it will people come by. However, you will notice the beat down or chaotic your current corporate manifest itself in symptoms like weak morale number of fanatical customers (I call them culture may be, you can turn it around and low productivity. evangelists) will go through the roof. Fans (virtually on a dime). become fans when they have something to I want to strongly encourage you to take be fanatical about. Again, walk through a Now, the bad news…. an hour this week and go through a brand WalMart and an Apple store and ask yourself re-positioning exercise. You can download where you feel more apt to make a purchase Most of the work takes place in the CEO’s a free copy of my favorite exercise at and tell people about the purchase experience. office. I know that doesn’t sound like what This is the you may want to hear, but from having mission-critical step in the process. Commit to these three steps, and your worked with thousands of business owners, I dealership will thrive and explode into can assure you that is the case. You’ll come out of the process with the this consumer marketplace while your equivalent of the mission statement that Tom competitors focus on beat-downs of their A culture of excellence, performance and Cruise did as Jerry Maguire. sales team and service managers. productivity trickles down and out of the CEO’s office. Take that statement to heart 2. The Team — Just like in the movie and understand why it actually could be a Jerry Maguire, when you present the new very good thing. After all, if I told you that it brand position of the company, some team Joe Abraham is a managing partner at En all begins with your GM, sales managers or members will not agree with it. They may Corpus Group. You can contact him at 866.461.5751, or by e-mail at marketing gal, you’d be in a bit of hot soup. disagree with it enough to even end up Until you got their buy-in on a culture of leaving you. That is a good thing, because it excellence, you’d be up a creek with no paddle. will extract any cancers in your business.16
  • 10. leadershipsolution JockSchowalter ARE YOU OFFERING A COMPETITIVE CONVENIENCE ADVANTAGE? Imagine that your buying decision without the high-pressure dealership was the first tactics that have given the industry such to put up a Web site and capture the Internet a poor reputation. Whether or not your customer in your market. Imagine further that dealership is guilty of these types of sales your competitors didn’t catch on for months, tactics, you are a victim of this perception, or even years. That would be an enormous even if you don’t deserve it. If you were the competitive advantage. Imagine how much consumer, which path would you choose? money your dealership would have made if this had happened. It’s probably millions of Businesses have capitalized on the dollars. Well, there is no time machine to go Competitive Convenience Advantage since back and rewrite history; however, I believe the invention of the wheel. It is the main goal the same opportunity to reap millions in of innovation and technology. This value additional profit and take business away from proposition says “buy our product; it will your competitors is making itself available make your life easier.” Some examples are again today. disposable diapers, microwave ovens and the washing machine. These products had I like to call this the “Competitive profound impacts on our lives because they Convenience Advantage.” Consumers are were convenient and saved us time and hassle. busier than ever these days. Most households have two full-time incomes, with both Mom Beyond the core benefits of a new product, and Dad working full time. Throw in a marketers often lose sight of the idea that part couple of kids with school activities, sports, of the product’s success is how that product down to the video household chores, etc. and there is less and can be obtained. Let’s look at a few examples store. The core less free time. This free time is increasingly that made our lives easier by offering new product is exactly the valuable, which makes the idea of spending ways to obtain an existing product or service. same. Watching Talladega an entire weekend haggling to purchase a new Nights on a DVD from Netflix is no different car less appealing than ever; especially since A great example of this is the Drive Through than watching it on a DVD that you rented most consumers see new car shopping as window. The In-n-Out Burger chain claims from BlockBuster. The difference is in the about as fun as a trip to the dentist. to have built the first drive-through restaurant delivery of the product. On April 2, 2009, the in 1948. Harry and Esther Snyder, the chain’s company announced that it had mailed its two So the consumer now has a choice. On the founders, built their first restaurant in Baldwin billionth DVD. one hand they can spend their precious free Park, California, with a two-way speaker to time driving from dealership to dealership, enable patrons to order directly from their So if all things are equal and you are the enduring a high-pressure sales environment cars. A hungry consumer could go to any only dealer in your market to offer this just trying to find out what kind of a financial restaurant and get a hamburger and fries, but convenience advantage, you will have an commitment they have to make to purchase they could only go to the In-n-Out Burger incredibly powerful competitive edge in the vehicle they want. If there are children if they were in a hurry and wanted to zip capturing buyers that want to purchase their involved, they must pay for a babysitter or through the drive-through window. Harry and next vehicle by negotiating online. bring the kids along. This only adds to the Esther offered essentially the same product stress. They have to spend money on gas. (the meal), but provided a new way to acquire If you would like to receive a free preview They are, in many cases, going to have to that meal. Today, you would be hard pressed electronic copy of my upcoming book, On- deal with sales staff who are not empowered to find any major fast food chain that does line Negotiation is Now a Reality, please to give them the information they are seeking, not offer a drive-through window. Good ideas e-mail me at the address below. which only adds to their frustration. catch on quick. On the other hand, the consumer can choose A more recent example is Netflix. Netflix will Jock Schowalter is the president to negotiate online from the comfort of their automatically send you movies every month and founder of and home or office. They can do this at their in the mail. Netflix saw that there was a more WideStorm. He can be contacted at 866.869.1108, or by e-mail at own convenience and save hours and hours convenient way for consumers to rent movies: of their valuable time. They can receive the by delivering them to the mailbox rather than information they need to make an informed making the customer get in their car and drive 1 7 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 11. marketingsolution ToddStrause HOW CLEAN IS YOUR PREVIOUS CUSTOMER DATABASE? I have been in the old vehicle stays in the system, resulting in elect to use that particular company, you can business for 19 years multiple pieces of mail delivered with the always do a final test. and have found that there are key components same offer. that make a direct marketing campaign My final test is to review the overall successful. Just like baking a cake or making So how do you know if your current improvement percentage after the cleansing the perfect swing on the golf course, if you marketing company is cleansing your data process. If there is not a 20 percent minimum stick to the fundamentals, it makes all the correctly and protecting you from wasting improvement of the data from the initial difference in the world. money? Just ask them! Make sure they can extraction, you can’t help to question their explain in detail their processes. If they have abilities. This percentage holds true even if The No. 1 priority for any dealer who is trouble responding (which several will), you you think your data was very clean to start. It actively mailing to their previous customers will most likely have your answer. will back up or disprove the direct marketers should be to continuously cleanse their abilities. database. In fact, I recommend updating your Don’t be impressed with certain words like data at least every six months. “data extraction” and how they run your Remember, direct marketers generally make list through “NCOA” (National Change of more with higher volumes of mail sent. With It’s no secret how this data gets into a dealer’s Address). These are basic surface terms used less data cleansing, in most cases, more DMS. In most cases, someone at a computer by everyone. names will be available to mail, thus making with mediocre typing skills is manually your direct marketer more money — an entering data. Misspellings and typos are Dig deeper. Ask them to talk specifics about instance, in some cases, where your best easily made and rarely corrected. their processes, such as how they remove interest might not be the primary goal. duplicates, or which duplicate takes priority Not only does misinformation get entered, but to stay in the system. Ask them how they Todd Strause is the president of Strategic there are other reasons for data inaccuracy. complete “incomplete data” in the system Marketing. He can be contacted at Customers move out of the marketplace daily, to guarantee the customer can be reached. If 866.426.5182, or by e-mail at customers purchase a new vehicle and their you are satisfied with their answers and you Out Now side Hiring TEXT Sale s Re ps WITH ITH SUCCESS FACT: Text messaging has risen 700% since 2006. Text “answer” to 89000 to see how many messages were sent in June 2009. • Inventory on the go! • Text for info • Text to win contests • Text customers responses to inquiries • Text to join Websites | Hyper SEO | ILM | Mobile | Texting | SEM Call to setup your demo | 866.222.771218
  • 12. leadershipsolution SteveBrazill FIX WHAT YOUR PEOPLE CAN’T Golfers observe that of plucking a salesperson from the second the quality of their scenario and dropping him into the first play improves in a foursome with stronger showroom. His performance would probably players, and declines in a round with weaker improve immediately — if he wasn’t tossed players. Free-agent athletes often base from the bus by his teammates. signing decisions on the perceived quality of future teammates in addition to the financial These scenarios could, of course, be rewritten benefits of a contract. Most of us understand to take place in service, parts or accounting. that, regardless of the endeavor, our opportunity to achieve improves when we So how do you get this feature of human surround ourselves with high achievers. nature to work for you? There are three basic steps: This principle holds in dealerships. As a 1. Recognize that just as you have salesperson, I always knew my opportunity expectations of your people, they expect to prosper improved in a showroom you to be effective in your position. full of salespeople who averaged 12 to 25 units per month and were CSI stars. 2. Your people have primary responsibility Those stores put more cars on the road, for their own performance, but their generated more visibility, created more ability to perform is often limited by walk-in traffic and produced more repeats things beyond their control. They can’t and referrals. Business really does beget control the quality of management, business. But the lift came from more than advertising and inventory. If it’s bad, just increased opportunity. When I worked they can’t fix it. You can. in an environment where everyone was serious about achieving, I was immersed 3. Your people can’t control who their in a learning laboratory. Every day was an teammates are. They don’t hire and they opportunity to watch skilled people ply don’t fire. You do. Hire carefully and their craft, a chance to observe and learn communicate performance standards that something new and useful. Everyone was are clear, concise and realistic. Monitor driven to continually sharpen skills because regularly for compliance, comparing no one wanted to be the laggard on the team. individual performance to the standards, Success tends to spiral upward to higher then reviewing with each employee. levels of achievement. Teammates who consistently fail to perform to defined standards should In contrast, there are showrooms in which be retrained, reassigned or removed. salespeople average four to eight units per Explain your standards (unit sales, CSI, month and where a good delivery is the whatever) to potential new hires during result of luck more than purposeful intent. the interview process, explaining that Those stores generally put fewer cars on the you have standards to protect their future road, generate less visibility, create limited opportunity to achieve. If a prospective walk-in traffic and produce fewer repeats new hire is afraid of your reasonable and referrals. Opportunity dwindles. But standards, that might be a clue you want one thing is unchanged: Salespeople still to observe before you make the hiring learn from each other. In this case, rather decision. than learning how to improve their game, they pass the day drinking coffee and The managers of professional baseball smoking, blaming their lack of sales on bad clubs are responsible for putting the best management, lack of advertising and lousy team possible on the field. They regularly inventory. New hires learn quickly that (constantly) review player performance and effort is futile. This is the downward spiral make difficult decisions about who is on the of failure. team and who is not. Those decisions are often difficult, but making them is part of the Imagine for a moment what would happen if job. Isn’t it also part of yours? a skilled salesperson from the first scenario was dropped into the second showroom. Assuming she didn’t fire the organization (by Steve Brazill is the chair of automotive resigning) in the first week, her effectiveness marketing for Northwood University, would likely diminish with time until she was Texas Campus. He can be contacted at a full member of the Coffee and Complaint 866.861.1515, or by e-mail at Committee. Similarly, imagine the outcome 1 9 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 13. JohnFreund leadershipsolution PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT IN STAGES While summer relatively short time horizon. Because you vacations and have less time to work with, you still want to national holidays typically provide a break have some investments that offer growth, but for everyone who would be considered a you also want to begin looking at preservation member of the working public, there is one of principal through fixed income alternatives big break ahead that’s a priority on most such as bonds, which may provide a little everyone’s calendar — retirement. And more stability in your portfolio and help while it may be closer for some than it is for reduce your overall risk. others, everyone needs to make sure they are financially prepared when the time comes Finally, at some point you’ll reach that day to take a permanent leave from the ranks of that you once thought was so far off. When the employed. Personal circumstances make you find yourself officially in the position to planning for retirement different for each retire, you will have a whole different outlook individual, but there are several considerations on those funds you have set aside for just that apply if you break it down by the amount that purpose. Instead of making contributions of time you have left until you retire. to your retirement funds to help them grow, you’ll be looking to maintain income from If you have at least 10 years to go until you those investments. You’ll likely begin taking plan on retiring, you still have the advantage distributions from them to pay for your day- of time on your side. One of the most basic to-day expenses. A thorough review of your principles of investing is putting your money investments will help you clearly see just how into different investment vehicles and then much you have saved, and how you will have leaving it there so you can reap the benefits of to plan your distributions so you don’t run long-term returns. With more than 10 years short on funds during your retirement. to invest, you might be able to afford to take on a little bit more risk with your investments. Financial preparation for retirement is While equities — such as stocks — have an something that is different for every inherent risk of losing money, they also have a individual. To make sure that you’re on the history of providing significant returns over a right track, take the time now to assess your long period of time. Just keep in mind that past own situation and see what you can do to performance is no guarantee of future results. make sure you’re ready when it’s time for you to retire. Probably the biggest advantage of getting an early start is the benefit of compounding John Freund is the senior vice president of earnings. Based on the investments in your investments for Moors & Cabot. He can be retirement portfolio, the money you put in has contacted at 866.599.9162, or by e-mail at the potential to earn more money for you — whether through interest payments, dividends, or other means of growth. In many cases, those earnings can be reinvested into your portfolio, further enhancing the total value of your savings and allowing your money the opportunity to “make money” for you. If your retirement is less than 10 years away, then it’s time to start making subtle adjustments to your investment mix. Hopefully, at this point you’re not just getting started, but rather taking a look at how your investments are allocated and making sure they appropriately match your risk tolerance, your investment objectives and your “Finally, at some point you’ll reach that day that you once thought was so far off. When you find yourself officially in the position to retire, you will have a whole different outlook on those funds you have set aside for just that purpose.... A thorough review of your investments will help you clearly see just how much you have saved, and how you will have to plan your distributions2 so you don’t run short on funds during your retirement.”0
  • 14. leadershipsolution BillPhillips FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THINGS Want to improve the e-commerce business. And, to complete this blinders. You can get control of a process performance and point, neither is a consumer who walks on to in your store. You can make decent gross accountability of your Internet department? the lot and says he or she found you via the profit on e-commerce-originated consumers. There is a solution — one that has been Internet. You will often find leads attributed Managers do have time to manage it because proven in store after store with successful at the point of sale to the dealer’s or the their floor traffic is dying without it. Your e-commerce operations. Simply put, manufacturer’s Web site to create a closed dealership can either plan for the future your upper management staff, mid-level deal from this source. For those of you who or be left struggling in what is shaping up management staff and anyone getting paid challenge this behavior, you have probably to be a difficult year. A saying we have all on Internet sales must be involved, on a never checked to see the gap between heard seems appropriate: Failing to plan is daily basis, with the business on which suspect leads and DMS entry times, or even planning to fail. they collect money. Running reports and phone monitoring logs. (This is a way that asking general questions such as “How Internet managers without talent often use to Many trainers in today’s market focus on many appointments do you have?” is not fool their employers.) the development of specific Internet sales involvement. The process must be started, skill sets. While this isn’t a bad thing to get inspected and managed every day by those Hopefully, dealership owners and upper in line, it is, by far, not the first thing that who profit from it. I have successfully managers will now have at least a small needs attention to bring your e-commerce worked retail for quite a few years, and I understanding of why many third-party business under control. E-mails blasted or know you think I’m asking for more of your providers scream “foul” at the claim that personally sent do not sell cars: People still time. Actually, I’m not. I’m telling you that their leads are of lesser quality and close sell cars. Phone scripts memorized or read you need to reprioritize how you spend at ratios below your own. What I am do not sell cars: Personality and skill sells your time every day. Your business model attempting to do in this article is shake vehicles. In fact, managers are most always is changing, and you need to change your the dust from the current, antiquated the ones selling the cars. Unpleasant as it can activity to match. perception, which tells you that you be when you’re busy, if you’re a manager, don’t have to inspect what you expect you and a few others in your store touch Focus on Building Your from your e-commerce business. I have almost all the deals and actually cause them Own Team, Processes just barely scratched the surface of what to happen. For this reason, managers must I refer to the “savior complex” as the method must be managed in the e-commerce get involved at a whole new level, one that by which dealers and managers believe that, business process. You must change your may be much lower than they may want when they find the right person, all their thinking about who manages your Internet to bend. Find a training company that can problems will be fixed and their Internet department and what is being managed. teach your managers who have a full plate to departments will be properly managed. These More managers must be involved, because utilize their time effectively so they properly individuals will bring in their own process the business issues that currently are being monitor both your e-commerce process and and, sometimes, their own crew or followers. overlooked compromise your results more floor traffic. They will work for you as long as they are than you may realize. happy or don’t get a better offer; when this Focus on Profits changes, they will take what they came with Focus on Results You will find gold at the end of this journey. and leave with it, leaving you back at where On a positive note, it is possible to get your It’s worth the work, and you might be you started. Sound familiar? In an industry Internet department under control. Regaining surprised to find that even those who resisted with a higher-than-average turnover rate, control will give you a handle on where find it fun. Wouldn’t it be great to have fun this situation is reality. I am about managing your business is headed and help you put selling cars again? Because we all know that reality; if you are reading this and I’ve into place a management staff that is more is when the real profit is made. touched a nerve, then you are, too. in control and less reliant on a savior to tell you that you are. I want to encourage you These saviors often pack the numbers and to realign your staff to pay closer attention Bill Phillips is the president and CEO of feed management results that are not real. to the process aspects of your business. Automotive Internet Management, Inc. He Prospects brought in from brokers, Costco, Managing the end results of a poor process can be contacted a 866.593.7212, or by Sam’s Club, AAA and referrals are not has led many in this industry to see with e-mail at 2 2
  • 15. leadershipsolution SteveShaw THE ANSWER IS PRODUCTION How many vendors If your production system remains the box? No, wait, how many keys have approached you last same, it is nearly impossible to stuff 1,000 made the trip home to your technician’s year with the miracle cure for your woes? repair orders into an 800-repair order house? Where exactly should a With all of these programs you have bought shop. Driving more flat rate hours in your technician place the keys when he is into, is your ELR any higher? Are your “sales shop will give you the customer retention finished with the vehicle? per RO” any greater? Did you drive more performance and the net profit you need in customers in the shop with that advertising your dealership today. Parts — Why do we get parts the way program? Wait, you also have an awesome we get parts? Because that’s how it’s technology tool so your advisors can be The three responsible ways to increase done, right? Is there a better way? Can more professional and your technician’s can production are to hire more technicians, we have cabinets or carts in the shop? perform better multi-point inspections? How to remove the obstacles of production and Can parts be delivered to your techs? is that working out for you? establish individual production targets. I I have even seen dealerships without submit that either you keep growing your back counters. That works, too. I am not Question: Why is it that you are not seeing shop with technicians, or you are falling telling you which way is best for you. more profit? behind. Now, before you run out and just I am only suggesting that you examine put two more tool boxes in your shop, you your way. Can it be better? The problem with all of these programs is better know exactly how you plan on feeding not the program. Nor is it the vendor. I have these professionals. Hiring a technician It is just human nature for us to work harder trained many service advisors and technicians will initially get you a spike in production. and strive to achieve goals. This is especially on these different computer-enabling tools. I The end result is usually the status quo. As true if our paychecks depend upon them. support their use and recommend them often. important of a step that this will become, first Develop targets that stretch each employee. They perform exactly as they are designed look at removing the obstacles of production. to perform. They will get you an increase Hold your technicians accountable for hitting in your key performance indicators (KPIs). The first step in removing obstacles is to these targets each day. Utilize a morning What happens when you do not see the determine the current situation. Learn and meeting and review your flat-rate hours every results you expected? observe your process. Once you understand single day. Now, you have structured your what is currently going on in your shop, system to evolve and grow. Now, hire more A vendor provides a solution to the dealer for you can then begin to improve the system. technicians. I submit that you should always a symptom. The symptom is your KPI, which Soon you will be recreating your own high- be recruiting and hiring the right technicians. is an indicator of drivers to profitability. I performance system. Let me share just a few submit that often we do not look beyond the You can take your shop to new levels by possible hindrances to your profit: rolling out the white paper. Grab a pen KPI. It is easy to mask the symptom and feel Dispatch — Examine your system good that the problem is gone away. Then a and start talking to your people. Ask them of dispatch. I suggest that the ROs questions about how to make things better. few months later as the net profit does not should be handed out to technicians change, many search for another band aid. Determine your own obstacles to technician by the closest person in his or her peer production. Make changes and then follow That begs the question, “How can I drive group. Do you have lead technicians? through. Your people will praise you for your more traffic, increase my KPIs and still have Conventional dispatch systems work very efforts. If you examine the direction and less net profit?” well, also. It is just as important that you make course corrections each and every day, have examined the process looking for you will be successful in your endeavors. The real problem in the shop is production. roadblocks and bottlenecks. Throughout Time after time I have performed an your examination, solve those issues. Once you have a well-designed production evaluation in a shop where the manager tells system that accounts for every step from A to me repeatedly that traffic will solve all the Parking Lot — Are you maximizing the Z in the shop, now start the advertising, start problems. He is only looking at the symptom. parking lot for your technicians? How the ASM training, start your inspections, start More traffic will only cause more headaches long does a mechanic spend wandering your walk- around, start your engines and let and grief. More traffic is not the cure. the lot finding and moving cars? How your production system drive profits through many flat-rate hours will you gain, or your shop. I submit a different solution. Production is lose, while your technicians roam the lot? the key to success. The only way to sustain Steve Shaw is a partner and performance long-term profits in your repair shop is Keys — How many places are keys kept coach for M5 Management Services, Inc. production. Production is the solution to the in the service department? How many He can be contacted at 866.201.3043, or by problem that ails you. sets of keys are in a technician’s tool e-mail at 2 4
  • 16. List It Like You Mean It! HomeNet’s fully integrated, end-to-end marketing solutions help the automotive industry to sell more cars and save time. Inventory Online (IOL) Internet Marketing Suite Our flagship IOL platform turns every car on the lot into a richly compelling, online point-of-presence—and a gateway into your showroom. HomeNet’s award winning IOL includes DMS polling, enhanced VIN decoding, unlimited photos, price analysis, automated distribution to hundreds of 3rd-party sites, and more!Engage more shoppers and turn them into buyers with over a dozen best-in-class solutions, like these: IOL Video Online IOL Hosting & Virtual Garage Integrated Price AnalysisInteractive multimedia marketing Search engine optimized (SEO) Real-time market comparisonswith Video-To-Pictures, voiceovers, vehicle display pages with Virtual with millions of vehicles and live video options Garage vehicle bookmarking in your local area 610-738-3313
  • 17. sales&trainingsolution KirkManzo IS LEASING THE KEY TO INCREASE YOUR SALES BY 30 PERCENT? The life blood of 10 percent. This is best accomplished by Your Guaranteed Purchase Option will be any business is its committing yourself to increasing both your $XX,XXX based on a program of XX,XXX customers. The most successful salespeople product knowledge and your sales skills by thousand miles per year. and companies understand the need to reading and studying both topics intently. The establish long-term relationships with their improvements we seek in results begin first Section 6 – The Question previous customers. with improving our skill set. Additionally, Which of these two options makes more starting all your deals by asking for 20 sense? Airlines use frequent flyer programs. Credit percent down won’t hurt either. card companies offer cash back on purchases If your customer selects the lease option, and other financial rewards. Lastly, you will need to increase the go to Section 8. frequency of purchase for each customer by In recent months there has been a renewed 10 percent. This is where offering a lease If your customer selects the conventional interest in a topic that seems to come and option consistently will help. Lease terms, by finance option, go to Section 7. go from favor: leasing. Every few years, the comparison to conventional finance options, pendulum seems to swing favorably towards will be shorter, thus allowing for a greater Section 7 – Lease 1-2-3 leasing, and based on recent conversations, frequency of purchase. (Name of Customer), the reason we offer all 2010 looks like one of those years. of our customers a lease is to provide you Here are a few points you should incorporate with three options. In order to capitalize on this opportunity it into your lease presentation strategy. Nothing would be best to adjust your current selling earth shattering here – just a few helpful First, you can sell the car for a profit at the systems to integrate a lease option on your reminders. When redesigning your worksheet end of the lease. current worksheets. One suggestion might be and presentation, include the following: to offer a side-by-side format to present both Second, you can simply turn it back in. options (conventional finance and leasing) Section 1 – Price consistently to all buyers. The selling price of the vehicle you’re Or third, you can buy it and keep it. purchasing today is $XX,XXX (Apply The idea would be to apply the same strategy incentives as available) Since the lease offers so much flexibility, used in the F&I office for many years now. would you prefer the lease or the Offer 100 percent of the products to 100 Section 2 – Trade conventional finance program? (Once your percent of the customers 100 percent of the Based on similar vehicles we’ve seen in the customer selects a program go to Section 8) time. This principle will by itself increase last 30 days, we’ve looked at your vehicle your current lease penetrations without and we’re willing to buy it today for $X,XXX Section 8 – The Check radically changing your process. up to $X,XXX. Just go ahead and write me a check for $X,XXX made out to (your dealership name) So why even bother? Section 3 – Down Payment and I’ll get your paperwork started. As I’m sure you are aware, most lending Well let’s examine a few numbers that may institutions would like to see as much as a 20 Then SHUT UP, and wait for their reaction. help encourage you to reconsider the benefits. percent cash down payment for premium and They may surprise you and actually write How could you increase your sales by 30 preferred financial programs. In your case, you a check. Most will not, and that’s OK. percent? On the surface, accomplishing this we would like to see $X,XXX. Be calm and relax. task may seem overwhelming. The best way to approach this is to breakdown the elements Section 4 – Monthly Payment Good luck and good selling! needed to achieve this outcome. (Conventional Finance) Your estimated monthly investment will be 48 First you will need to increase your total payments between $XXX and $XXX a month. number of customers by 10 percent. While not a simple task, with hard work and good Section 5 – Monthly Payment Kirk Manzo is the president of The efforts the increase is attainable. ( Lease Option ) Manzo Group. He can be contacted at We have also provided you with a lease 800.858.6903, or by e-mail at Secondly you will need to increase your option of 36 payments between $XXX and value per transaction or gross per deal by $XXX a month.26
  • 18. Slow Traffic, Slow Sales — Does Anything Actually Work? The Answer is Yes. ASK JIM & TRAVIS ideas every single month and you need a sound blueprint for Anyone who knows us will tell you that we’re straight shooters,and it’s time for some long overdue talk about automotive advertis- marketing your dealership that is proven to work over the longing and the way most agencies and so-called “marketing companies” haul. You need a real marketing plan you can feel confident in thatprey on car dealers, take their money and deliver products and works for you and pays its own way.programs that are DOA (Dead On Arrival). After extensive research we’ve created a program that seems to Dealers are desperately trying gimmicks of all sorts: circus sales, deliver the greatest results period (we’re talkin’ doubling sales andstale mailers, same old, lame old radio and TV ads chock full of tripling net). At the Rich Dealers Institute (RDI) we view automotivecliche car gobbledygook and running footage and every other one-hit marketing not as a thing you buy to get some traffic this month butwonder under the sun, but they just don’t create any lasting result – as a way to build relationships and sell to more people by solvingif any results at all… problems rather than merchandising vehicles. There is another way, a tested, proven and unique way, rooted in Your marketing should be unique, current and fresh everyhuman psychology and behavior, that doubles traffic and sales, single month. It should tap into the conversation your customers areincreases net profit and positions you as a responsible dealer already having around the water cooler at work (like American Idol,instead of a predator. If you’re tired of spending, spending, spend- politics, major events and news stories) and answer the two biggesting and getting lack-luster response and worn-out solutions with questions every ad must address to cause someone to get off theirshort-term results you are not alone. Read on... butt and buy from you this week: Automotive advertising and marketing waste is a fact of life. 1. Why choose you over every other option? (service, location, brand, years in business or prices don’t count) Whether it occurs due to boring creative, unoriginal ideas,inferior tracking mechanisms or bad/nonexistent strategy, the impact 2. Why choose you right now?on your dealership, your employees and your personal bank account RDI has a 3 Step Gravitational Marketing Processis real. It’s a manhood challenge. The typical marketing approach for attracting customers, standing out andjust pushes you further into the commodity market and erodes your selling more month-in and month-out.gross. So do these one-size-fits-all marketing approaches work? For over 97% of dealers who were struggling with decreased In a nutshell, we’ve discovered a simple truth: every dealer’s traffic, slow sales and poor marketing ROI who have implementedmarketing problem is unique. Sometimes it’s simple… sometimes the RDI method, this formula has skyrocketed sales and net profitsit’s not. The one-size-fits-all gimmick or “canned” approach just without an additional dollar spent in marketing. In fact, if youdoesn’t work every time or at all. Then what? No more hope? Don’t implement Gravitational Marketing and don’t see a 50% togive up… not yet… 100% increase in traffic you won’t pay a single penny. You can get new, completely original ideas every month that Regardless of the market – big or small – we have taken dealer- make you stand out and sell more without spending more. ships from 19 cars a month to 73 cars a month in two months and 65 Most automotive marketing vendors from the “mail sale” to the cars a month to 150 cars a month in six months and increased net“big agency” all use the same old, lame old ideas and then turn profits from $100,000.00 to over $1,000,000.00 in a single year. Onearound and sell that same turd to every dealer on your street. That’s of our clients just reported a first quarter 2010 NET PROFIT ofwhat they’ve always done and it makes sense that theyre still doing $595,000.00 working out of a too-small, too-old today. If you want new ideas every month that make you stand out and But it’s a fact that over 50% of your advertising is wasted sell more then you should call the Rich Dealers Institute and speak(actually our studies show it’s more like 78%). Some of it works for with one of our Rich Dealers Advisors. They will let you know howa while and then fizzles out. Yet, they keep selling it to dealers and you are losing over one million dollars in net profit and how you canyou keep buying it and hoping for new and better results. put that profit back in your pocket. They’ll explain the Gravitational Marketing process and how the Rich Dealers Institute can help youYou don’t have to be a marketing genius to get the picture here. sell more, sell more easily and sell more often. You need fresh ideas in order to cut through the clutter and winthe attention and trust of today’s customer. You need very strategic Call the Rich Dealers Institute at 1-866-852-0145 rightcreative (not creative for the sake of being creative) that’s custom- now to schedule a Rich Dealers Discovery Session (a 30ized for your store and a message that makes you visible, credible minute phone call) and regain your position in your market,and likable to your market. One size doesn’t really fit all. fill your bank account and get back your manhood. You need to be plugged into a source of bleeding edge automotive, copywriting, persuasion and psychology. You need new
  • 19. marketingsolution TomMohr WINNING ONLINE Here is a stark but than 80 percent of car-buying customers use guys. Experience shows that dealers who can simple fact: For the the Internet to gain an information advantage deliver an immediate response with a price past year, the marketplace has offered fewer as they prepare to interview dealers who quote every time when a customer submits active buyers than needed to sustain the seek their favor. Consumers do this because a lead, and personalized follow-up every dealer community. A Darwinian fight for they prefer to engage prospective dealerships time when the customer doesn’t buy, will see survival proceeded, and over the past year, from a distance until they have gained more at least a two percentage point increase in an alarming number of dealers went out of information and have built trust. Second, an close rate on average. Get these two critical business. Those who have survived this first increasing percentage of customers extend steps right and you’ve made the leap into shakeout have proven they can deal with their remote engagement further by sending the winner’s circle. Why? Because so few adversity. Going forward, those that thrive their first expression of interest (a lead) over dealers can pull it off. must gain and cultivate an operationally the Internet to multiple dealerships. Dealers persistent competitive edge. who thrive in the midst of the shakeout will Speed is key, but it’s not the only important have figured out how to seize advantage in the factor. Evolutionary advantage is also tied How can a dealer leap into this evolutionary domain of the Internet customer. to the content of the dealer’s message. winner’s circle? Customers want the dealer’s price. Dealers The moment of truth, of course, is the point who hide it hurt their prospects for a sale. The answer to this life-or-death question is hidden behind another: Where do dealers where the consumer has sent a lead to three to A fast, relevant and transparent response have the greatest opportunity to impact a five competing dealerships. The dealer who is important in order to build customer buyer’s choice of dealership? This is key. leaps in front of the pack and first initiates the confidence and trust. If delivered on every If you know the moment of truth — the courting ritual, and then is gently persistent lead every time, a dealer will grow sales moment when the customer is most open to a with insightful words and offers over time, significantly. dealer’s courting rituals — you gain a distinct leaves his competitors clamoring in the dust. advantage over competitors. Tom Mohr is the CEO of ResponseLogix. Rapid response and effective follow-up are He can be contacted at 866.503.8322, or by Two incontrovertible facts guide us. First, more the one-two punch that knocks out the other e-mail at
  • 20. marketingsolution ToddSmith KEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR SELECTING YOUR LIVE CHAT SOLUTION Dealership live chat rapport and excitement with shoppers, while is a hot topic for delivering a similar experience to what the 2010. Shoppers are increasingly using this shopper would have in your showroom. Video technology and service to interact with your is fast becoming an essential way to stand dealership, get answers to questions and out online and create a competitive selling receive immediate information. What is advantage. the right chat solution for your dealership? What features are must-haves to successfully What level of “after the sale” best engage your shoppers on your dealership practices’ training is available to Web site? Today, we are going to uncover help you continuously improve your the answers to three key questions you need ability to connect, communicate to know to make an educated decision about and convert your online shoppers selecting your chat provider. into sales? Because chat continues to evolve, you want Does the chat vendor offer a service to partner with a vendor that has both retail that will allow you to connect your automotive experience and the capabilities Facebook profile and fan page to continuously improve the software and with your live chat software, to fully services. This helps ensure the chat solution take advantage of social media will meet the ever-changing needs of your marketing? dealership’s online marketing. Partner Connecting with Facebook users is a great with a vendor who can analyze your chat way to engage and drive more traffic to your results and Web site data to help you make Web site. Facebook is the world’s largest and better business decisions for continuous fastest growing social networking platform, improvement. It is also important to work with more than 350 million registered users. with a team that will share best practices to Competitive dealerships are looking for an help you engage more shoppers and convert edge in their marketing. Having your chat more of them into sales opportunities. application on your “wall page” helps to connect your fans and friends with your For 11 more key questions and answers dealerships. Some chat providers only offer to help educate your live chat provider a chat link on an alternative section on your selection, contact me at the address below to fan page. Yet, statistics state that 95 percent download the free eBook Automotive Dealer of all your fans only visit your wall and will Live Chat Buyers’ Guide. It is available to not click through to alternative sections. help you make the best decision in selecting This makes it vital to ensure that your chat the vendor that is right for your specific application will integrate directly with your dealership chat needs. fan page and/or profile “wall page.” Can your solution provider let you chat while streaming vehicle videos to create a dynamic multi- media experience for your Automotive shoppers, increasing the Dealer Live engagement during the chat? Chat Buyers’ Guide Today’s consumers demand 11 Key Questions to Ask any Live Chat Provider before You Buy more than just a quick instant messaging conversation online. Engaging shoppers and supplying them with a virtual test drive helps move them further down the sales funnel, which is critical to Todd Smith is the co-founder of ActivEngage. He can be contacted at online sales success. Providing a rich media 866.387.9061, or by e-mail at experience during chat creates powerful 2 9 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 21. marketingsolution SusanGivens TOP DEALERS WORK TOGETHER ON NEW AD NETWORK More than 90 percent It is difficult for dealers to come up on top of the same is true when they searched locally for of consumers start the search engines for these phrases because ‘cash for clunkers queens.’ We received more shopping on the there are many lead providers competing for than 1,000 leads in a day and had to hire a call Internet, and most use the same 10 results on the first-page. “The center to handle the volume. Alone, we could search engines like Google to find their next network has the national and regional search not compete with national lead providers. By vehicle. Since it is difficult for local dealers to authority, so our vehicles appear on top of the joining the other dealers in the network, we appear on top of the search engines for broad results in our market,” said Brian Benstock, made each other stronger.” search terms, some of the most successful GM of Paragon Honda/Acura, the No. 1 dealers are working together with a network selling Honda/Acura dealer in the world. The Toyota Recall Opportunity to increase their search engine visibility for The most recent “jump ball” in the search the most popular national and regional search The Superbowl of Online Advertising engine optimization game was for the term phrases. The network was created by industry The competition to be on top of Google’s “toyota recall.” Dealers are using the new ad veterans Brian Pasch, Sean Wolfington search results has never been as apparent as it network to dominate the national, regional and and David Boice to help dealers use their was during Cash for Clunkers when the search local search results for this historically popular collective power to compete with third-party phrase “cash for clunkers” became the No. 1 phrase. “When a customer searches for ‘toyota lead providers for online shoppers, and most-searched phrase above “paris hilton” and recall’ (national phrase), ‘virginia toyota recall’ generate high-quality leads for less money. “barack obama.” (regional phrase) or ‘chesapeake toyota recall’ (local phrase), we appear multiple times on National third-party lead providers have the top of Google page one results,” said Brian long had the advantage for the most popular Pasch. “Dealers in the ad network are getting search phrases because of their footprint and the top results because the network mirrors the corresponding search authority. Now, dealers search behavior of consumers by optimizing a are using the network to establish a national national Web site for national search phrases, footprint to increase their authority, and are a regional Web site for regional search phrases appearing ahead of the lead providers for and a local Web site for local search phrases.” popular national and regional search phrases. “We have a smart strategy to optimize our Manufacturer Owned Lead Provider own Web site to appear on top for local Some manufacturers created their own lead search, but the network helps us reach people generation Web sites because third-party lead “Never before has every manufacturer and who type in the more popular national and providers were inviting consumers to receive dealer had the same program with the same regional search phrases like ‘toyota recall’,” quotes from competing brands in an effort offer,” said Brian Benstock from Paragon added Alex Snyder from Checkered Flag to generate more revenue from the same Honda, who sold more Hondas to clunker Toyota in Virginia Beach. lead. To protect their brand, Ford created a consumers than any other Honda dealer in the national network of Ford dealers and launched country. “Cash for Clunkers was a jump ball “The network helps us dominate search results, a captive consumer site that and every manufacturer, car dealer and lead for everyday search phrases that are the bread sells leads to their dealers, and not to GM, provider tried their best to come down with it.” and butter for organic traffic and first party Honda and Toyota as others do. “The Ford leads,” said Timothy Martell, Internet Director Direct leads have a very high closing ratio Although manufacturers and national lead of the Albrecht Group in Massachusetts. because the leads are not sold to 10 different providers had the advantage because of their dealers who are trying to sell the same national footprint and their corresponding Dealers Use Their Network to customer,” said Sean Wolfington, founder of BZ authority on the search engines, a group of Generate Exclusive Leads Results and Cyber Car, the company that trained dealers dominated the top of the search engines The network’s inventory advertising system all of the Ford dealers on when by working together through the network. gives dealers broader exposure for their new and it was launched years ago. “When consumers typed in a national search used inventory online by helping them appear phrase like ‘cash for clunkers,’ our network of where customers start their shopping process Now some of the top dealers in the country Web sites appeared in three of the 10 results — search engines and social media Web sites are working together through the network to on page one,” said Paragon Honda’s Brian like Facebook. “All our cars are available for generate their own leads for less money from Benstock, who sold more Hondas to clunker consumers to see on and the and hundreds of regional consumers than any other Honda dealer in the hundreds of regional and local sites that have Web sites that delivers unlimited leads country. “When consumers typed in a regional top position on the search engines,” Snyder exclusively to members of the network for a search phrase like ‘cash for clunkers new york,’ said. “The ad network is our best new source nominal membership fee of $995 a month. we appeared five out of the top 10 results and of leads because they have a high closing ratio and are inexpensive because we pay a flat fee The network generates traffic through no matter how many leads we receive” said Jon national digital marketing strategies, content Sherrell, Internet Director at the Rairdon Group publishing and through hundreds of regional in Washington State. consumer sites that are optimized to appear on Google’s first page for the most popular Susan Givens is the publisher of regional search phrases like “boston dealer,” AutoSuccess. She can be contacted at a phrase that receives more than 20,000 877.818.6620, or by e-mail at consumer searches a month.
  • 22. leadershipsolution BudAbraham IF YOU DO WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU’LL GET WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT Most of us have heard What Should A Dealer Do? your pay scale is low, you are building in this phrase: “if you The following are some of the constant turn-over. do what you have always done, you will get recommendations we make to dealers in what you have always got.” evaluating their in-house detail departments: Low pay is a direct reflection of the dealer’s 1. Recognize that detailing is an “in- attitude about the importance of detailing/ Or, stated another way: “Doing the same demand” automotive service for the recon, and its importance in the dealership. thing over and over again and expecting motorist and consider selling the service For example, what if you paid the detailing different results is insanity.” to the public. They should at least look department supervisor a salary of $40,000 at the department as a “profit center,” plus bonus per year? If a detailing technician Not to be arrogant, but it appears that many even if it only sells its services to the received $12 per hour, plus benefits? I am not auto dealers ignore the wisdom of these new and used car departments. saying you must pay these kinds of wages, statements when it comes to their detailing/ 2. Change the paradigm about detailing. but paying low does send a message to the reconditioning departments. For most dealers, View it as an important and critical part employees themselves, as well as others in the detailing department is the stepchild of of the dealership’s success. the dealership, of what the dealer principle the dealership: dirty, messy, disorganized 3. Devote management time to the thinks of the department and manned by undependable employees detailing/reconditioning department. whose work habits result in low-quality work Face it: The dealer principle is the Every department in the dealership has a that takes too long to complete. In general, prime mover in the dealership. If your competent manager. The skills for a good the department is costly and troublesome to personnel see you giving your time to detail manager depend not on whether they operate. Labor, supply and chemical costs insuring a successful and profitable can detail a car but whether they can manage. in relation to cars detailed is far too high. So detail department, it will be just that. Do However, almost without exception, in how does a department like this exist in an not expect others to care anymore about dealerships you find a detailer assigned as the otherwise efficiently operating and profitable the detail department than you do. manager/supervisor. Most, I have found, have dealership? Because dealers keep doing what 4. The dealer does not have to personally absolutely no management or people skills. they have always done with regards to the supervise the department, but they must All they can do, at best, is detail a car. And detailing/reconditioning department. insure that a competent management that is even questionable because they have level person is assigned to supervise the had no formal training. The following are some attitudes that dealers department. Considering the problems dealers have with and their management personnel have about the 5. Whether you realize it or not, there is their detailing departments, few, if any, detailing/reconditioning department that result a lot of advanced technology available make any effort to provide their detail/recon in their doing what they have always done: that will increase productivity, maximize personnel any formal training to perform 1. The detailing /reconditioning labor, improve quality and reduce the their job better. Don’t kid yourself; the detail department is an expense area. time to process a vehicle. You must be employee knows very well that they are not 2. It’s a necessary evil. willing to invest more than a few dollars afforded any training to improve themselves 3. It’s not worth much management time. for a shop vacuum, portable extractor, in their trade. Don’t dealers offer their 4. Provide little supervision of the squeeze and spray bottles. sales personnel, mechanics, collision repair department. technicians, etc. on-going training? Why not 5. Invest nothing new in technology to Employing the Unemployable detail/reconditioning technicians? improve performance and production. Probably the biggest problem a dealer has 6. Hire the same type of people they have with the detail department is the people they If a dealer wants to eliminate the problems they always hired. hire for the detailing department. For all experience with the detailing department, they 7. Pay as little as possible for employees. the criticism I hear from dealers about their must do most or all of the above-mentioned 8. Don’t hire a competent department detail/recon personnel, they persist in hiring things. These efforts should help to eliminate manager. the same type of people. the attitude in the dealership that the detailing 9. Provide no formal or ongoing training department is “the lowest of the low.” for the detail manager or technicians. Why do dealers persist on hiring these type 10. Allow an attitude to prevail in of people? The answer lies to some degree Bud Abraham, is president of Detail Plus the dealership that the detailing/ in what has already been mentioned. For Car Appearance Systems. He can be reconditioning department is the example, if you do not see the department contacted at 866.205.8499, or by e-mail at at worthy of your or your manager’s time then “lowest place in the dealership.” why would you hire better people? Or, if32
  • 23. sales&trainingsolution MarshBuice TURNING T.R.A.S.H. INTO TREASURE After reading a recent is defined as article about Carlos “a possibility Slim surpassing Bill Gates as the richest to a favorable man in the world, I am intrigued by the combination of underlying message in the article. Somebody circumstances.” forgot to tell the 1,011 billionaires that the May I suggest world is in a recession. There have been 218 a favorable new people who joined the list of billionaire combination of status in a recession. Do you think they circumstances to are standing around talking about how bad get you back on the things are or, when talking to them, is it like road seizing your sitting next to raw plutonium enveloped by opportunity? My an air of excitement and optimism oozing prayer daily is to be from their pores? Warren Buffett aptly wrote, able to see treasure “When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, where everyone else sees trash. See the not a thimble.” It is raining gold, but can you opportunity (and act on it) where others do Harvard MBA program. In that year, see it? Can you see the opportunity that is not. Be willing to do what others are not. the students were asked, “Have you before you? set clear, written goals for your future Become a trash man. Not the kind you and made plans to accomplish them?” If you look for the opportunity you will normally think of when you hear the word Only three percent of the graduates had find it. Ask the 25-year-old billionaire Mark “trash.” The decaying, rotting carnage left written goals and plans; 13 percent had Zuckerberg, who heisted an idea from his in the refrigerator from Sunday dinner goals, but they were not in writing; and frat buddies and put the idea into motion to two weeks ago. I mean the sweet smell of a whopping 84 percent had no specific develop a four-billion-dollar fortune named T.R.A.S.H. goals at all. Facebook. He saw an opportunity and ran with it. Too many people in this world talk T Turn up the intensity. Pressure makes Ten years later, the members of the of ideas while others seize the opportunity, things happen. Be focused and go to class were interviewed again, and the act on it and are rewarded for it. Which one work to work. findings, while somewhat predictable, are you? were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 R Remove the negativity from around percent of the class who had goals, but As talented as Lebron James is, it would you. Get away from those who have did not write them were earning, on be hard to dribble down the court with no the “stinkin thinkin” mentality. It takes average, twice as much as the 84 percent air in the basketball. As precious time ticks more effort to be negative than it does who had no goals at all. What about away and James is chosen to hit the game to stay positive; focus on what you can the three percent who had clear, written winning shot, he would have a hard time control, which is your attitude and your goals? They were earning, on average, dribbling down the court if the ball was flat. perspective. It’s easy to criticize. 10 times as much as the other 97 percent Or what about Garrett Hartley kicking the put together. winning field goal in the NFC championship A Ask yourself and your mentors how game to send the Saints to their franchise’s you can better yourself. Are you all H Have fun. Go back to the days of first Super Bowl ever? I imagine the ball you can be? Have you reached a point having fun. Things will get better. Vast would have taken a different direction if the in your career that you think “you know wealth is going to be made, but you must football was deflated. As sales professionals it all?” If you want to earn a lot, learn a act on the opportunities. If what you are we have let the air out of our ball. We have lot (read more). If you are not moving doing is not fun, change it. If you can’t stopped looking for the opportunity and have forward, you will eventually move do that, find something else to do. chosen to focus on circumstances beyond our backwards. control: the economy, lending practices, etc. You can literally rationalize this business S Set goals. A goal not written is simply away. (“It’s too cold, too hot, rain, poor a wish. In the book What They Don’t Marsh Buice is the sales manager of incentives, etc.”) Teach You in the Harvard Business Mark Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep. He can be School, Mark McCormack tells of a contacted at 866.535.5006, or by e-mail at The definition of “opportunity” study conducted on students in the 1979 3 3 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 24. marketingsolution MarkTewart ARE YOU A HUSTLER? Do you hustle? I This young girl was 19 years old and a Club I got to meet T.S. Monk. Mr. Monk mean really hustle. student of Bowling Green University in Ohio. told me that he went from playing Jazz to As a kid growing up, I was a huge fan of the She had saved money and moved to New R&B music and had some hits and success, Cincinnati Reds — The Big Red Machine — York for the summer to attend photography but when he decided to come back to Jazz baseball team. Pete Rose became my favorite school and shoot photos of bands and music, his dad had already passed and some athlete. Forget about Pete Rose as a man and musicians to build her music photography of the doors that might have been open all his personal shortcomings; Pete Rose gave portfolio. This young girl had moved from a before to him were no longer available. it his all every time he stepped on a baseball small town to a large city by herself with no Having a famous dad had allowed him some field. Pete truly earned his nickname “Charlie connections to pursue her dream. opportunity, but he had to be able to deliver. Hustle.” If you want to be successful, no matter your looks, talent, connections or This young lady had put together unique T. S. Monk talked to a jazz player who was a anything else have going for you, you have to marketing material that included a catchy friend of his dad and asked if he could come learn to hustle. brown envelope with rough texture and her out and play with him. The man said “sure” name in an unusual font at the bottom. The and told T.S. to come on out. T. S. sat there Recently I was in New York City on business. envelope contained three photos of her work all night and never got to play. T. S. asked Later in the evening, after my meetings, I and a business card with a music-type photo the man about the next weekend and the man went to a famous Jazz Club called the Iridium of herself and contact info. The young lady said to come on out. Again, he sat there and Jazz Club to listen to T.S. Monk. T.S. Monk went to school during the day and at night never got to play. And so this same scene is a great Jazz drummer and the son of went to music clubs around New York City kept occurring for months. T. S. would go legendary Jazz musician Thelonious Monk. and asked if she could shoot pictures of the to the nightclub; he would sit and never get The music was incredible and I enjoyed the performers. While at the clubs she would tell invited to play. Finally, one night he was music and atmosphere tremendously. A funny everyone she met what she was doing and asked to play. After that night he started to thing happened in the Iridium Jazz Club of her dream to be a photographer of Rolling get invitations and opportunities started to that night. I learned more about business, Stone Magazine. She let the band know how open up for him. As T.S. said to me, he had to marketing, sales and the hustle you must have excited she was to shoot pictures of them and hustle and keep believing. to succeed than I did in any of the business that she would provide them the pictures for meetings I attended. Go figure. free for the chance to build her portfolio. Whether you are Pete Rose, T.S. Monk, a young music photographer or a salesperson In between her school in the day and the with big dreams, hustle is a common element While watching the band, I noticed picture taking at night, she would call on something. A young girl was invited into of success. Rolling Stone Magazine and other music- the club by the club manager; he gave related magazines trying to get an opportunity. her something to eat and then she took a I have no doubt this young lady will be Mark Tewart is the president of Tewart professional-looking camera and starting Enterprises, and the author of the best seller, successful. As a matter of fact, she already is. How To Be A Sales Superstar. He can be taking action shots of T.S. Monk and his In creating her dream, she is living her dream. band. She made me curious, so I asked her contacted at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at The young lady knows how to hustle. what she was doing with her pictures. I was about to learn a lot from her. Towards the end of the evening at the Jazz34
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  • 26. sales&trainingsolution DalePollak ARE YOU HITTING THE MARK? As I travel around • The number of “active shoppers” in a their initial investment to achieve better the country to speak market — In metro markets, this number ROI. at conferences, 20 Group meetings, etc., can reach seven figures, while smaller I have had the opportunity to analyze the markets may only have 25,000 active • A store’s inventory profile — Stores performance of many dealerships. This shoppers. It is important for dealers that follow metrics like Market Days analysis has allowed me to put some clarity and used vehicle managers to know the Supply to optimize their inventory around whether or not a store’s online “pool” in which they are competing around supply/demand dynamics in their merchandising of used vehicle inventory against other dealers for the attention of respective markets show better search is hitting the mark and helps to answer the online shoppers. result pages (SRP) and VDP results. In “how do we know we’re doing a good job?” addition, stores that manage their pricing question I hear from decision makers who • The size of a store’s inventory — It profile by consistently making relevant rely on third-party sites like stands to reason: More vehicles translate price changes log a greater number of and to help them retail their used to a greater number of opportunities for SRPs and VDPs than those that are less vehicle inventories. consumers to see and click on a store’s attuned to market pricing dynamics. To online listings. Of course, the “right” me, this is a testament to the pricing I have noticed big differences across inventory stands a better chance of knowledge that today’s used vehicle dealerships. The reasons for these disparities triggering a shopper’s decision to click shoppers amass as they troll websites suggest that, despite the ubiquity of the on a listing. I have found that stores with looking for vehicles that fit their budgets Internet and its role in online shopping for a roughly 50/50 mix of franchise brand and lifestyles. Simply put, they know used vehicles, the playing field varies from and off-brand vehicles tended to achieve a fair deal when they see one and they market to market as well as from store to more vehicle detail pages (VDPs) than respond to dealerships that ensure their store. Here are some of the reasons for the those that carried a greater share (60 to vehicles are priced right against the variances: 80 percent) of single franchise vehicles. competition. • The size of a These are among the biggest factors that store’s “e-real drive metrics like SRPs and VDPs. And there estate” — In my are measurable benchmarks. For example, analyses, I compare top-performing stores see a consistent three Tweet? the number of to four percent conversion rate of SRPs VDPs against to VDPs (essentially the click-throughs to the size of the specific vehicles from the search results page Sweet! investments made on AutoTrader. an online shopper selects). To me, this is the “money number.” If the conversion rate com’s platform falls below this benchmark, it signals that L Loyalty Driver (i.e., its “Partner” something is amiss — the “right” inventory, and “Alpha” competitive pricing, compelling photos, eNew letter Articles wsl programs). Indeed, descriptions, seller’s notes — all of which Now No Appearing stores that “paid play key roles in catching an online shopper’s up” tend to have interest. Likewise, if the conversion rate is on Twitter. higher VDPs. This higher, it suggests a store has achieved what I is not an implicit like to call “pixel proficiency” with its online recommendation to inventory listings. simply spend more. The stores that tend I would encourage every dealer and used Just another way to spread to pay more also vehicle manager to do a review of their own invest additional SRPs, VDPs and VDP conversion rates. the good news. time and energy This is a daily exercise at many of the stores into tweaking I have visited in the last several months as the fundamentals they seek to gain the highest ROI from their that drive investments in third-party listing sites. Innovative Enewsletter Solutions merchandising | 866-964-6397 success, including their vehicle Dale Pollak is an author and the founder descriptions, of vAuto. He can be contacted at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at photos and videos; put another way, they’re investing in36
  • 27. J&L Marketing is looking for Business Growth Strategists to sell our multi-channel direct marketing products and services. They will prospect for new customers as well as manage leads from J&L Marketing’s growing national accounts. This is a full-time B2B outside sales position. kkasun@jandlmarketing.comDo you want to be a part of one of the fastestgrowing software companies in the retailautomotive market? vAuto’s pricing, appraisal,stocking and merchandising tools are anevolutionary step forward for used car departments.If you have strong retail automotive and/ortechnology solution provider experience in thedealership industry, then we want you to be partof our tremendous growth. Send resumes Learn more at vAuto is an Equal Opportunity Employer.