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By Steve Lausch...

By Steve Lausch
At first, this sounds a bit backwards from what most dealers would say when reaching out to their customers. It is especially backwards in the days of economic strain for the consumer, interrupted supply from the manufacturer and struggling profits for the dealer. Still, more and more dealers are trading the standard “happy birthday” call (and other forced conversations) for this surprisingly different script; and, as it plays out, the new approach has been responsible for some astonishing results:

Also in this issue:
Tony Provost - Don't Fight it, Just Write it

Marsh Buice - Familiarity is a Dog Returning to Its Own Vomit

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As.aug11 As.aug11 Document Transcript

  • 2011AUGUST
  • Automated Virtual AssistantYou’ve Heard About Her... The Perfect Employee, ArtificialIntelligence With Genuine Results Now Meet Her For a personal introduction call or visit her at 866.476.7748 www.meetava.com
  • AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville, KY 40299; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or info@autosuccessonline.com. THE #1 SALES-IMPROVEMENT MAGAZINE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL 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, 2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville, KY 40299. 2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville, KY 40299 | p 877.818.6620 / f 502.588.3170 | AutoSuccessOnline.com/AutoSuccessPodcast.com | info@autosuccessonline.com 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 sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com design@autosuccessonline.com ddavis@autosuccessonline.com super6@autosuccessonline.com shorne@autosuccessonline.com jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution inTerneT leads - are you closing every opporTuniTy? shorTen The selling process, educaTe your buyer markeTing lessons learned from a loT of TesTing familiariTy is as a dog reTurning To iTs oWn vomiT maTching your experTise To your perfecT markeT dealerships peTri dishes for sexual harassmenT a simple game plan for managemenT success 7 sTeps To immediaTely increase your sales exciTe The righT people and bring Them in don’T neglecT The ‘googlized’ consumer groW service and sales by helping your QuesTions To use in choosing The righT Who is craig and WhaT’s WiTh The lisT? google+ could change auTomoTive bodyshop producTion managemenT cusTomers make good decisions understanding your market and What They Want markeTing company, parT 1 don’T fighT iT, jusT WriTe iT special finance online by 20 percenT or more and make more money markeTing forever by steveLausch 38 14 42 08 30 32 20 24 18 34 36 28 26 16 10 22 40 grantCardone 1 ronSchornstein scottJoseph richardf.Libin daveDunn markTewart TracyMyers brianPasch TroySpring seanWolfington marshBuice marlenaSmith TonyProvost jimLeman seanv.Bradley drakeBaerresen chadPolk 12 8 6 8 2 1
  • SeanWolfington marketing solution google+ could change auTomoTive markeTing foreverThe brand of a dealership is affected by the your google+ circlesbrand of its dealer, and vice versa. In a social The difference between Google+ and other social networking sites is who you choose to sharenetworking-driven world, it is important to your information with — your audience. In Google+ terminology, these are your “Circles,” andstay connected — and in positive light — with your means for categorizing your contacts. To create your set of Circles:customers, industry colleagues, employees and • Review the set of group Google+ has already established: “Friends,” “Family,”any others who are responsive of your role in “Acquaintances” and “Following.”the business. • Modify these to match the groups of people you are interested in sharing information with, be it “Industry Colleagues” or “Employees” or even “Customers.” Note: When you assignRecently, Google caused a stir when it launched someone to a circle, they will be notified, although they will not be aware of the name of theGoogle+, the new social sharing service that’s circle they were assigned to.currently available only to those lucky memberswho receive an invitation; however, unlike other mind your settingssocial sharing sites (Facebook being the first Each circle has its own settings; therefore, it’s important that you carefully read the fine printthat comes to mind), the all-new Google+ begs pertaining to each. This is especially important if you have several different circles and wish toits users to practice “sharing decorum.” share things differently according to each.first Things first adding to your circlesThe only way to use Google+ right now is Your circles aren’t circles without some contacts in them, so here is how to start adding them:by invitation, and due to the high amount of • Browse Google’s suggestions for who to add to your circles; these are derived from your mosttraffic the site has generated, invitations have frequent Gmail and address book contacts.slowed down. Before you even get to that step, • Because Google+ isn’t integrated with other social networking sites, you will have to searchhowever, there are some prerequisites to fulfill for your friends’ contact information.before one can start sharing. • Rest-assured, Google is bound to deliver on integration, but for the time being, updating your Google contacts is the best way to go. To update: Log in to Google, go to https://mail.google.The first is creating and/or updating your com and click “Contacts.”Google Profile. In addition to its functionalityin Google+, your Google Profile helps you initiate a huddlemanage your online reputation. Unlike customer Google+ refers to private conversations within a group as the “Huddle.” To use this feature:reviews, a Google Profile gives the dealer the • Test it out first. Choose a circle, preferably one that you are comfortable testing the waters with;opportunity to control the information about I suggest your friends. As you catch on to which circle receives your conversations — andthem that is available on the Web. while Google works out its own glitches — you’ll want to keep the conversation light-hearted. hanging out in google+To do so, follow these steps: Google+’s most interesting feature is the Hangout, where Webcam conferencing simulates the• Log in to Google: https://www.google.com/ activity of socializing face to face. To Hangout: accounts/ServiceLogin; if you don’t have an • Click the green “Hangout” button on the right panel. A preview dialog box will appear account, create one. This account will be used allowing you to preview what your live image looks like. to connect your Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa • Next, add individuals or entire Circles to your dialog box – you can also indicate to your and any other Google services you use. contacts that they are invited to join if they wish.• Once logged in, create your Google Profile • As with the Huddle, it’s best to start small and with those you are most comfortable with. here: https://profiles.google.com/; fill your • Be warned: it is possible to mute someone, although that person — and everyone else in the profile with photos, a short biography, Hangout, for that matter — will know who muted who. So be polite. awards received, industry events attended, links to positive articles published, links mix it up to your business’s Website and any other There is plenty to do on Google+ in addition to Huddling and Hanging Out, including: positive content you have available. • Google+ features a sports utilities for photo sharing• It’s just as important to make the profile • Google+ is equipped with an automated content discovery tool “public.” To do so, visit https://www.google. com/accounts/ManageAccount. Stay up to date on new Google+ developments, experiment and gain an edge by checking in• If you have existing Picasa albums, review periodically with sites such as www.TechCrunch.com, www.Mashable.com, Google’s YouTube them and the sharing settings you previously page, and other industry blogs. established, as these will be shared with Sean Wolfington is an automotive entrepreneur in digital marketing. He can be contacted at your Google+ circles. 866.802.5753, or by e-mail at swolfington@autosuccessonline.com.08 autosuccessonline.com
  • TracyMyers marketing solution maTching your experTise To your perfecT markeT understanding your market and What They WantLast month, I examined why you should that it should be small enough for you to become recognized as a specialist, but it should be largeunderstand yourself and your offer, which enough to enable you to make a lot of money.is the first part of a three-step process inbecoming the “go-to” expert in your highly The next step in understanding your market is being clear about what they are looking for. Peopleprofitable marketplace. always buy something for one of the following reasons: 1. To get pleasure or make their life better in some wayOf course, knowing yourself is only part of the 2. To avoid/reduce pain or solve a problemstory. It’s even more important to get to knowyour target market. If you don’t know who Most products or services do one or the other — some do both. Ideally, you should be able tois in your market, you won’t be able to reach present what you do in both categories. The following exercises will help.them, and you won’t make money. If you don’t 1. List the biggest problems your target market faces.know what they want, you’ll have no chance of 2. Identify why they still haven’t solved the problem.satisfying their needs. 3. Describe how your product or service makes their life better.The better you get to know your market, As always, it’s a good idea to get someone else to give you feedback in this process. You couldthe more chance you will have of becoming even ask your customers directly.special to them and of building a successfulbusiness. The first part of this process is to The key to promoting yourself as the “expert brand” is ensuring that you talk to your market indefine your ideal customer. terms of benefits. Focus on how what you do makes their life different.• Identify the key characteristics of your ideal It’s crucial to understand the difference between benefits and features. Features are simply the customer — details such as age, gender, facts about your product or service. Your customers and prospects want to know what you can hobbies and geographic location. do for them to make their lives easier, better, more fun or more profitable, so make sure you take• Define the most important psychological time to identify what your clients are really looking for from your services and present this in the factors of your ideal customer — what’s form of benefits. important to them, what motivates them, and what they want to achieve. There is nothing wrong with being able to list features of your product or service, but you need to be able to turn those into something that has a benefit for your customer. The key question is• Describe why you like working with your “what does that mean for me?” ideal customers. So, are you still with me? Hang in there, review the past two months’ columns, and get ready for• Identify where your ideal customers hang next month when I share step three: “Matching Your Offer With What The Market Wants.” out and where you can connect with them — both online and off-line. Tracy Myers, C.M.D. is a noted small business marketing and branding solutions specialist, best-selling author, speaker, car dealership owner and entrepreneur. He can be contacted atThe key to having the right target market is 866.860.0029, or by e-mail at tmyers@autosuccessonline.com. And The Winner Is… Find out on October 9, 2011 The 2011 Automotive Website Awards will be presented at the 2011 DrivingSales Executive Summit We invite you to the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas to nd out all of this years award winners. Limited numer of VIP Tickets Available. Contact us today 732-450-8200 x2 The AWA - The industry’s most in uential technology awards. Event information and tickets: www.automotivewebsiteawards.com10 autosuccessonline.com
  • Providing TheLIVE ADVANTAGEin AUTo AUCTionSL OCATIONADVANTAGECHOICEADVANTAGEINNOVATIONADVANTAGEBUYERADVANTAGEEXPERIENCEADVANTAGELIVEADVANTAGEThe iAA hybrid Auction Model combines live and live-online bidding into one auction event selling ®to buyers from more than 100 countries. Let us show you how our live auctioneers, iAA run & drivelanes, and onsite previews promote your vehicles’ full value for high retentions.Contact us or visit www.iaai-advantage.com to learn more about IAA’s Live Advantage!remarketing Center888.839.4220 • 207.426.9034 (Fax)groupnrC@iaai.com www.iaai.com one Car one difference turns donated vehicles into charity dollars. Make a difference in 2011 – visit 1car1difference.com © 2011 Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • “leave your Wallets at home”At first, this sounds a bit backwards from what most dealers would say when reachingout to their customers. It is especially backwards in the days of economic strain forthe consumer, interrupted supply from the manufacturer and struggling profits for thedealer. Still, more and more dealers are trading the standard “happy birthday” call (andother forced conversations) for this surprisingly different script; and, as it plays out, thenew approach has been responsible for some astonishing results:• A South Carolina dealer sold 71 vehicles off of a single campaign.• An Illinois dealer grossed $135,000 in an initial effort with this selling strategy.• A Georgia dealer now earns 46 percent higher gross with this process over standard showroom traffic.• An Ohio dealer averages more than $500 in lift per vehicle on new sales and $1,000 on pre-owned sales.• A Florida dealer is seeing 14 percent of all monthly sales attributed to this approach.What are They doing differently?Due in part to good practice, and part to strategic response to the downturn of thepast years, these dealers have made reselling current customers a primary focus. Mostdealers, with any good business sense, would agree: Repeat business is important.These dealers, however, are taking it to a whole new level.Each day, these stores sort through the data from all finance deals over the past fewyears. The goal: Find all qualified customers who, with no money down, could lowertheir current payment and get into a newer vehicle. To do it right, they carefullyresearch each deal by:• determining the current value for each vehicle by model, mileage and market info, among other factors• calculating payoff while considering refundable items like credit life, disability, GAP and roadside assistance• identifying a specific term, based on buyer preferences and a specific rate based on buyer history• factoring in all current manufacturer rebates and incentives• running the buyer’s vehicle preferences and present vehicle against current inventory• aligning within the dealer’s acceptable profit structure for any model or vehicle typeThe finished product is a daily list of opportunities simply waiting to close: customerswho can “leave their wallet at home” and get into a new or newer vehicle, with a newwarranty, with little to no money down.engaging the right buyersWith list in hand, these dealers turn to high-powered, multi-touch, multi-channelmarketing campaigns to engage their customers. From high-quality, first-class mailersto permission-based digital campaigns with video, pre-qualified buyers are invited tothe showroom to save money, not spend it. Once with a sales professional, the structureof the current deal is quickly and easily accessed. Lease and purchase options areserved up for all recommended vehicles in inventory. The conversation immediatelyfast-forwards from if the customer will purchase to how the customer will purchase.everybody WinsTell the average consumer they can get into a new or newer vehicle, lower theirmonthly payments and do so with little to no money down, and then note what theydon’t do. Answer? In the vast majority of occasions, the consumer doesn’t shop and theconsumer doesn’t haggle. Why? The customer believes he has already achieved whatanyone hopes for in the process of buying a new or newer vehicle: a good deal. But thereal win is for the dealer on at least two fronts:Gross – As stated, consumers are unlikely to haggle when they’ve already found the“killer deal.” This means with less negotiation, you close the deal faster and at highergross. In fact, many dealers are generating an additional $500-1,000 gross per vehiclesold by using this equity strategy. And that doesn’t count the second-generation salefrom acquired trades.Inventory – Consumer behavior has driven supply down and pricing up for pre-owned vehicles in many markets. And with vehicles commanding a premium price-point at the auction, dealers must do a better job at finding quality trades to build astrong inventory.And speaking of inventory, our five dealers (and many others like them) are increasingtheir average turn by saying good-bye to aged vehicles on the lot. If they can use
  • customer data to identify inventory for qualified buyers, there is nothing stopping them Who & Where W&Wfrom identifying qualified buyers for specific inventory. The process is simply turned don asher, general sales managerinside out, and customer lists are generated of people who will happily take that unit college hills honda (Wooster, oh)off your hands if it means getting into a newer vehicle with little to no money down. “I used to get the service appointment list for thebetter Than a cup of coffee next business day, pull old deals, run trade values,We were always coached that some of our best opportunities were not on the lot, but call for payoffs, outline deals and make the customerin the service drive. We were told that offering a cup of coffee was the perfect entrée contact,” said Don Asher. “It would take me fiveto a conversation of if and when the consumer would be in the market for the next hours to dig up five deals. Now I can look at 50vehicle. Unfortunately, like the traditional “happy birthday” call (which, by the way, deals in five minutes because of DealActivator.” Inis still a good customer touch), most patrons smell the sales pitch along with their the first few weeks, College Hills Honda witnessedcomplimentary cup of French roast. There’s a better approach. an immediate boost in sales with this campaign, “but what many [dealers] don’t account for is the fact thatBecause the information used to generate equity leads flows right from the CRM, they are also improving fixed ops income,” Asherdealers can quickly and easily identify which of their customers are scheduled for said. “The recon work collected from these dealsservice that day. Even better, they can use the same methods to look a day or even a generates more income for parts and service. Plus,week into the future, make the proactive call and look like a hero to the customer on every trade we are able to build a ton of valueabout to spend $100, $300, $500 or more in the service drive. This is a huge win because we have every service record on file to sharefor the consumer. with the new owner. This is a huge selling point.” Fixed ops aren’t the only areas of improvement,real dealers. real results. however. The dealership is now averaging anWhile some of these dealers are single-point stores, others are large dealer groups. additional $500 per vehicle on new sales and $1,000While some own domestic franchises, others sell imports. But as you will read, they on pre-owned sales. Based on their return to marketall are finding success in accelerating turn, maximizing gross, and driving repeat report they are at 82 percent, 28th in the nation. “Ourbusiness in the showroom and conquest business in the service drive – all by using customers are so excited, because they are savingDealActivator, the equity management solution from Autobase. money on monthly payments. They don’t even thinkWho & Where about shopping,” Asher said. “Not a single deal fromW&W robert koreman, interactive marketing director resnick auto group (schaumburg, il) this campaign has shopped! They value our honesty and appreciate our initiative to save them money.” Who & Where“In today’s economic climate, we had to begin focusing more on building loyal owners,and not just on conquest business,” said Robert Koreman. “The doors aren’t swinginganymore, so we needed to utilize customer data in a way that entices our owners to W&W larry oblinger, general sales managerbuy and gives our staff a purpose in contacting them.” Koreman and the Resnick Auto bmW of naples (naples, fl)Group recorded immediate results from their use of DealActivator, with more than 70vehicles delivered from their first campaign. “Between Toyota and Lexus sales, we are “Valid information regarding the upgrades to anseeing a combined gross of more than $135,000 and counting from one campaign,” existing vehicle is now included in our sales calls,”he said. Gross per unit also increased as compared to standard deals. “We average 45 said Larry Oblinger. “[DealActivator] has motivatedpercent higher gross on sales from in equity customers,” Koreman said. “My managers our salespeople because these calls are easy to makeall agree: This is the best lead generation tool they have ever seen.” and result in success.” Beyond the advantages of moving clients into newer vehicles is the unrealizedWho & Where wealth of pre-owned inventory that results fromW&W kirt cahill, cfo east coast honda (south myrtle beach, sc) this equity cycle. “This has become an outstanding source of pre-owned inventory,” Oblinger said. “We“We are able to keep loyal customers, because the information is factual. Customers receive better trades, and so the money spent onsee that this isn’t a gimmick,” said Kirt Cahill. As with any dealership using pre-owned inventory is primarily for reconditioning,DealActivator, East Coast Honda customizes the profit structure for their leads as well not for transport and auction fees. Ultimately, weas the design of their equity campaigns each month. “We have flexibility now that we are able to present a better product at a lower cost.”never had before,” Cahill said. “That is important. We should be in control, not the Client retention is a natural byproduct with thisproduct.” Out of the gate, East Coast Honda averaged 22 sales per month from this program. “We have fewer missed opportunitiesprogram alone, and sold 71 vehicles from a single campaign. The quality and quantity regarding client retention, resulting in more salesof their pre-owned inventory increased dramatically through trades with equity and increased profitability,” Oblinger said. Thecustomers, paving the way toward second-generation sales. “If a dealer can’t sell impact of using this campaign was instant for BMW10 cars a month from this, they need to reevaluate their process,” Cahill said. “The of Naples. In a few short weeks, the store was seeingproduct practically does all of the work for you.” 14 percent of all sales attributed to the new program and with significantly higher gross. “Any tool thatWho & Where can produce immediate results is worth the money,W&W craig hooten, internet sales director gwinnett place ford (duluth, ga) and we couldn’t be more satisfied,” Oblinger said.“It’s a creative and effective way for us to engage with the sold customers in our When a solution is available that not only increasesdatabase,” said Craig Hooten. The use of DealActivator at Gwinnett Place Ford has the profit margin on sales and increases valuableskyrocketed gross profit. Gross on these deals was measured to be 46 percent higher pre-owned stock, but also makes the consumer gladthan that of standard deals. “We’re averaging close to double our profit margin on deals to hear what you can do for them, it is one of thosethat have been generated by this campaign in comparison to walk-in-traffic and Internet rare win-win situations that salespeople from anytraffic,” Hooten said. The impact on sales happened almost overnight. In fact, due to area would love to be a part of. Perhaps even morethe return seen from these new leads, the sales team is now seeking them out. As much valuable than the immediate reward, however, is theas 13 percent of all sales have come from this program. “When customers feel they are feeling you’ve engendered in the customer who feelsgetting a good deal, they’re excited,” Hooten said, “and most importantly, will become that you’ve helped them; they’ll tell their family andloyal. We are able to tally a victory in both categories.” friends, and you’ve made a customer for life.Steve Lausch is the director of marketing for Autobase. He can be contacted at 866.626.7128, or by e-mail at slausch@autosuccessonline.com
  • ScottJoseph marketing solution “Do you think this direct mail piece has sales markeTing lessons appeal?” “Can you suggest any improvements?” learned from a I do my best to answer them all, but time can be loT of TesTing in short supply. In this month’s article I want to share a few of the critiques that seem to come up most often. I want to remind you, once again,I am frequently asked to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising. Most of the requests come that no ad will bring you business unless itfrom individuals who read our blogs and articles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. convincingly answers these two questions: • What can you do for me?When people e-mail me, they often attach copies of their ads and promotional materials, along • How do I know you can do it?with questions like these:“Scott, can you suggest a way to improve this e-mail?” Answering those questions is your advertising“Is the headline on this ad strong enough?” challenge in a nutshell. To write ads that “pull,” you should headline the strongest benefit you can offer a customer; and then follow up with proof of your ability to deliver that benefit. When you do both of those things, you are doing a super job of selling. And remember: Advertising is nothing more than salesmanship in print, an e-mail — or in your mailbox. Everybody wants a better deal. Everybody wants to be special. Sell people what they want and give them what they need. Make sure the benefits of the product or deal you are selling are ones that your customers and prospects regard as most important to them — not you. You may have lease specials that are better than anything you or your customers have seen in years. But what happens if the person buying only cares about the selling price or their trade value? So, for that customer, make sure in your ads that you explain how and why your sales price and/or trade value is better than anywhere else in town. Today, a data analytic team with the right skill set can identify what matters most to your prospective customers. In addition, technology allows you to create a unique offer to each individual you are advertising to based on their buying behaviors and profile. In the new economy, if you are not marketing this way you will never maximize your advertising potential. It goes right back to making sure that you have the right message and the right audience for that message. Make sure, too, that what you place before the buying public is perceived as believable. Sometimes, in an effort to make an offer or deal sound great, you can cross that fine line where a person no longer believes what you are saying or selling. Always be truthful. So, are your ads effective? I’ll examine the ads sent in by the first 20 readers of this article for free and give you my opinion. Just send them to the e-mail address below. Scott Joseph is the president of J&L Marketing, Inc. He can be contacted at 888.835.1689, or by e-mail at sjoseph@autosuccessonline.com.14 autosuccessonline.com
  • MarshBuice sales & training solution familiariTy is as a dog reTurning To iTs oWn vomiTAre you tired, frustrated, and had enough? leads to unemployment. The cycle of “leap-frog” then begins jumping from job to job; swingingAre you thinking about throwing in the like a blind fighter into the darkness of self-confidence and doubt-hoping to find the person youtowel? Before you cry out “No mas!” or begin once were. Your DNA has not changed, you are no less talented than you once were, but I’ve gotwhistling “The Thrill is Gone,” go into the news for you: Yesterday ended last night.bathroom and look in the mirror. What yousee is the sum of your past decisions and If you were a computer, what operating version are you running? Are you operating Me 1.0 oractions or lack thereof. When you walk out a newly updated version Me 5.1? New updates replace the older ones, causing your operatingof the bathroom, the direction you go begins system to run faster, stronger and more efficiently. Technology is ever advancing. Apple didyour future. not rest on its laurels when they introduced the iPod. They turned technology on its head, breaking conformists’ views of how things are and mandated how things are now going to be.The one thing that is good about the past is They crushed the way music is sold, and with the introduction of iPad, will likely make laptopsthe lessons learned. Often we return to our obsolete. Like every company, Apple must constantly tweak, poke, prod and probe because theypast like a dog returns to its own vomit — it realize today’s invention will quickly become yesterday’s news. Introduction is re-invention;is familiar, and because of its familiarity, as your problem is not the economy, it is your lack of invention.vile as it may be, it always goes back. Whatgot you “here” will not take you “there.” The Think of this recession as a reset-tion, a blank canvas of sorts. Every industry, every person getsreason why you might be frustrated and not a mulligan; we each get to start over. It is one big reset button. If you think about it, we are allseeing the results you once did is because you on the same ship, just on different decks. Now standing before you is opportunity and invention.are returning to familiarity instead of venturing It is now time to reinvent yourself and seize your opportunities. If you are selling cars the sameinto the unknown; you are playing it safe. way you have always sold them, update your version. New updates are tweaks to older, outdatedWhen you play it safe, you are comfortable versions; some systems may need to be scrapped all together. Every two years, most vehiclesand become complacent; complacency robs are “refreshed;” they are not total makeovers, just tweaks such as new technology and softeraction; lack of action leads to erosion; erosion bodylines. They change due to consumers’ demands. Every four to five years a new body style replaces the older version — even if it is a hit, the manufacturer reinvents a better version. If the buying public demands newer versions of what you are selling, don’t you think they expect the same from you? At the core of effective selling is reinvention. We all have “hit the wall” moments in our lives. These are moments, experiences such as the loss of a loved one or job, foreclosure, divorce, bankruptcy and obesity. These moments are bookmarks in our book titled Life; it is at these points where we have to make a choice to reinvent our lives for the better. Some learn from experience, while others never recover. If you don’t like the direction your life is heading, change it. Your life doesn’t have to be that of a train forging ahead on the tracks someone else laid. You have the ability to derail at any moment and go a different direction — a direction in which you chart the course of these un-chartered waters. We have a rare opportunity in our lives where everyone gets to begin again; now marks your new beginning. It is your time to reinvent yourself in order to reach your full potential. The opportunity for reinvention exists for everyone willing to venture from the known into the unknown; some will take the leap, others will return to familiarity as a dog to its own vomit, blaming everyone and everything else besides themselves. As Max Dupree wrote, “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” There are no more Mondays in which to begin something; begin it now and do not stop until you end up with now spelled backwards… won. I will see you next time on the newly paved black top. podcast interviewee Marsh Buice is the sales manager of Mark Dodge Chrysler, Jeep. He can be contacted at 866.535.5006, or by e-mail at mbuice@autosuccessonline.com.16 autosuccessonline.com
  • BrianPasch marketing solution don’T neglecT Website pages, videos, press releases, testimonials, etc. The “+1” click is a positive vote for your Website assets. These votes will The ‘googlized’ eventually influence search position much like links from other Websites. consumer Once an empowered consumer decides to “+1” your digital assets, their thumbnail profile photo will appear to their network of friends. TheseDealers need to look at the value of their Reviews posted on Google Places arecustomer base in terms of the new power given extremely visible. Every month, a dealer’s thumbnails will catch the eye of consumers andto “Googlized” consumers. The consumer business name is searched thousands of times. increase click activity. Why? Their photo underthat we need to identify has an e-mail account Each time, Google Places and consumer your listing is their stamp of approval.associated with Google services. reviews are displayed on Page One. You can’t hide any longer from your online reputation If you compare the power of GooglizedIt might be a Gmail account, or no ; you don’t scores now that Google Places consolidates consumers to increase brand awareness, clickknow unless you ask. The message of this reviews from multiple Websites. traffic and enhance your digital advertising everyarticle is that you cannot afford not to ask. day, their worth soars over a non-GooglizedDelaying impacts all of your digital marketing However, the Googlized customer has a special consumer who sends you a notecard of thanks.investments. perk. Reviews posted by Googlized consumers can also be used in Google Boost advertising 550,000 google accounts a dayBusiness owners need to implement processes to make your PPC ads stand out from local When businesses realize that 550,000 Androidto ask and identify consumers with Google boring text ads. Google Boost does not include mobile devices are activated per day and thataccounts. Why? Recent changes in how reviews posted on third-party review sites. each has a Google account, the tsunami ofGoogle displays search results give your influential Googlized consumers will grow. Are This is a game changer for dealers operating you ready for the tidal wave of power?customers who have Google accounts in markets where their competition is usingunprecedented power. Google Adwords. Google Boost creates ads that The boring SERP of years past is now a are more compelling to the eye and increase technicolor quilt of thumbnails and stars.google consumers and reviews click traffic. Best of all, in most cases they areThese Googlized consumers can place a review cheaper than the Adwords per click costs. Brian Pasch, is CEO of PCG Digitaldirectly on Google Places, which impacts Marketing and the founder of the Automotiveyour business every day. For many businesses, google consumers can now +1 Internship Program. He can be contacted atGoogle Places is the No. 1 source of free your Website pages 866.849.1560, or by e-mail atreferring traffic to their Website. Googlized consumers can now “+1” your bpasch@autosuccessonline.com.18 autosuccessonline.com
  • TD Auto Finance Chrysler Financial and TD Bank Group have joined forces to become TD Auto Finance.Introducing TD Auto FinanceTD Auto Finance is a North American, top-5bank-owned auto finance company that We’re ready for your business.combines more than 45 years of automotive Call TD Auto Finance today at 1-800-200-1513financing expertise from Chrysler Financial or visit us online at www.tdafdealer.com.with the financial stability of TD Bank Group.All of which means we understand yourbusiness and are committed to helping itgrow, today, and into the future. Part of the TD Bank Group, a Aaa-rated bank ranked as one of the safest banks in North America.TD Auto Finance LLC, is a subsidiary of TD Bank, N.A. TD Bank Group is a trade name for The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission. For detailed credit ratings for The Toronto-Dominion Bank and TD Bank, N.A. visithttp://www.td.com/investor/credit.jsp. Credit Ratings are not recommendations to purchase, sell, or hold a financial obligation inasmuch as they do not comment on market price or suitability for a particular investor. Ratings are subjectto revision or withdrawal at any time by the rating organization.
  • RichardF.Libin leadership solution All around, it makes good business sense. The a simple game plan salespeople succeed and the manager succeeds. for managemenT Consider how successful the dealership would be if this same effort was applied toward success achieving the overall business goal. a manager’s jobApathy can permeate the automotive sales image and awareness in the community, A manager’s primary job is to develop theindustry even in a down economy. Managers, customer loyalty, the organization’s culture, abilities of others to perform and produce statednot knowing what else to do, simply throw sales execution, employee performance and outcomes. Managers must help each individualmore resources at the problem in an effort turn-over in every department. establish attainable goals and objectives that areto help their people “improve” — courses, aligned with the needs of the dealership. Theybooks, tapes, DVDs, blogs, portals, lectures, Set personal and professional goals. As a should help each person define the expectedpodcasts and many more — you name it. manager, what is your vision for your role in the outcomes of what success looks like. Then,There’s probably even an “app” for that. When organization? What are your weaknesses? How they can step back and let their people work,managers look for the “quick fix,” or “magic will you measure your effectiveness as a leader, providing coaching, guidance and additionalpixie dust” or the hottest trend, they lose sight coach and manager? What path will you take to training and education along the way to helpof their direction and goals. achieve these goals and to ensure the dealership them continuously improve. is on track to achieve the overall business goal?Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of But, what does “improving” mean? Thatthe latest trend, managers should step back Secure, analyze and understand depends on each person’s circumstance, goalsand develop and execute a plan of ongoing, performance data for the dealership as and challenges. For example, it can meanconsistent training and education, a program a unit, for each department and for each building better relationships with colleaguesthat addresses the needs of the entire team as individual and monitor it on a continual and customers. It can mean closing morewell as individuals. Tuned-in managers use this basis. This is crucial in developing an effective sales at higher profits. It can mean learningplan to guide and give direction. They focus and relevant training and education program to prospect. It can mean developing people totheir energy on moving forward by coaching that will help people improve and focus on grow or any number of things. Performanceand developing their people to perform more achieving the overall business goal. Only by data will help identify exactly what this meanseffectively. They offer support and pass identifying areas that need improvement can a for each individual.on information and expertise. In doing so, manager seek to address their own weaknessesmanagers put their people in a position to and coach their people toward success. While straightforward, many managers in thesucceed, whether it’s selling one more vehicle rush of everyday business overlook some basica month, increasing service opportunities or On a micro level, consider what would happen steps that are imperative in helping their peoplebuilding a database of prospects. if a manager coached his salespeople so they develop action plans for improvement. Next could effectively close one more sale a month. month, we’ll take a look at these steps and howBefore successful training and educational If a dealership has 20 salespeople and each you can use them to benefit your employees,programs can be implemented, managers must delivers one more vehicle each month, that’s customers and your bottom line.complete three basic steps: 20 deliveries a month, 240 deliveries each year. By capitalizing on existing resources, Richard F. Libin is president ofDefine “success” by creating an overall goal the dealer will have to spend less time and APB-Automotive Profit Builders, podcast intervieweefor the business. In an ideal world, what would money to bring in new prospects. In addition, Inc. He can be contacted atthe dealership be and how would it function? the salespeople will be happier as they reap the 866.450.6853, or by e-mail atThis should encompass the dealership’s brand financial benefits of focusing on a realistic goal. rlibin@autosuccessonline.com. Losing sales in your service drive? On average at least one needed fluid service goes unidentified per car. Give your service department the tools to show customers what they need on the spot. FOR A FREE SAMPLE CALL TODAY Ask your Fluid / Equipment supplier for Fluid Rx Diagnostics 866.517.8484 ® FLUIDRx.com20 autosuccessonline.com
  • Automotive Internet Sales DEALERSHIP OF THE MONTH Sam Avila CENTRALIZED INTERNET Outbound Coordinator SALES DEPARTMENT ( 6 STORES ) Jordan Hunter Internet Coordinator OVER 70% APPOINTMENT SHOW RATIO Jenna White Internet Coordinator Brittany Dietzman + UNITS Internet Coordinator FROM 55 TO 119 Whitney Newsome Internet Coordinator Michelle Sosa ONLINE Internet Coordinator$225,000+ PER MONTH IN ONLY 45 DAYS Kristi Alguire Internet Director If you want to be asGROSS PROFIT ONLINE successful as Preferred Automotive “This is the 2nd Dealer Group that Dealer Synergy built for me from scratch, Collection both times they hit Home Runs” - MIKE UDELL 888.379.6374 WASTING MONEY ON CONVENTIONAL ADVERTISING Newspaper, Radio & TV are a WASTE of Your TIME & MONEY We can Help You Sell More Cars We Specialize in: CHEAPER! • SOCIAL MEDIA • SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION • REPUTATION MANAGEMENT • VIDEO SEARCH • VIDEO PRODUCTION • WEBSITE DESIGN • GRAPHIC DESIGN • FOCUS & MICROSITES • PRESS RELEASES Sean V Bradley • AND ALL OTHER FORMS OF DIGITAL MARKETING 888.379.6374 Founder / CEO
  • TroySpring marketing solution exciTe The righT people and bring Them inThere are many ways to drive traffic into a salesman and managers will say is this: Too much work and too much hassle! Trying to convert Wal-dealership. Direct mail remains the best at driving mart gift card gifties and people who want a tool set into a deal is not what your professional salesin traffic now. SEO, craigslist, Websites and other staff want to do. They hate it. They understandably want to talk to people who want to buy cars. Ifonline marketing are getting the most attention your message drives in those who are interested in buying cars, buyers will come and the others willthese days, but don’t neglect the marketing gem not. The closing ratio will be high enough on the traffic you bring that you won’t miss the extra traffic.that continues to push dozens of cars over thecurb for dealers everywhere every weekend. 2. use a Theme That’s hard hitting and all about buying carsNothing pumps up a sales team like the day when “Summer Sizzler Sales Event” means nothing to a customer. If you are working with a companymail hits, the phones light up and the showroom or doing it in-house, be careful of great-looking logos and pretty artwork. The message has to befills with buyers. Whether you are looking to kick clear, time sensitive and hard hitting. People are presented with marketing offers all day everyoff a month the right way or close it with a bang, day and have become immune to crazy headlines and pretty pictures. Your marketing needs to bedirect mail provides the best opportunity to push clear and direct those who have a genuine interest in buying a new vehicle to your store.the needle and deliver more cars than any othermethod of marketing. Direct mail works better if 3. do it bigyou follow this “1-2-3” formula. Direct mail works it magic best as event-style marketing. When you are looking for a big event, do not think anything but big. Do it right, buy behind it and saturate the market as much as you can.1. Take out all the gifts and gimmicks When buyers are driving on the lot and see other buyers “buying cars” it creates the “bandwagonYes, they will drive traffic, if you call people effect.” Closing ratios go up when you are busy. Make sure you are busy and capitalize on it.traffic. People looking for cameras and steak So really simply put, no gifts and gimmicks, a strong theme about buying cars (no ambiguousknives are not going to make your month. These themes that mean nothing) and do it big! The next time you are scheduling an event, apply thesepeople can be difficult to sift through, and the principles and watch the beauty of a great process in action. For your free copy of,confusion and frustration they cause hurt the “How to drive buyers to your store,” e-mail me at the address below. podcast intervieweeexperience for your real buyers. As a GM or anowner it is easy to get blinded by the big traffic Troy Spring is the president of Dealer World. He can be contacted atthat gift mail brings in. However, what most 866.906.7884, or by e-mail at tspring@autosuccessonline.com. no transaction fees ever Starved for quality used inventory? Over 20,000 clean wholesale units. dea l ers l in k c o m dealerslink.com a s n | 8 6 6 .5 2 0 . 0 9 8 3 CALL NOW FOR A 5 MINUTE DEMO. 522 autosuccessonline.com
  • MarkTewart sales & training solution 7 sTeps To immediaTely increase your sales by 20 percenT or moreThere are seven steps to make immediate step 3: get incremental buy-in from your customerschange. These steps can be used to quickly To sell, you must get out of your own way. Often, salespeople are the biggest hindrance inincrease sales by a more significant amount creating a sale. You must first create trust with your customers. To create trust, you must havethan you have ever experienced. a mindset of TLC – Think Like a Customer. You must release the mentality of a salesperson to slow the process and bring incremental buy-in from your customer.step 1: change the environmentThe military uses boot camp. Baseball It is not a mistake that the symbol for questions is shaped like a hook. The right questionshas spring training. Football has training asked correctly are the hooks that make the sale come together. Questions should be askedcamp. The easiest way to bring about rapid in incremental order so as not to scare the customer. Sequential questioning will establish achange is to change environment. When you fluid process of discovery for the customer. This will create rapport and establish feelingschange environment, you change behavior. of reciprocation and obligation from the customer. Most salespeople violate the customersPeople tend to hold onto limiting beliefs and trust by asking financial data questions too quickly. This also interrupts the natural pace ofbehaviors as long as they stay in their normal communications and creates apprehension in the customer. Remember that selling is like tuningenvironment. in a radio dial to the right frequency. You must take your time and listen.Regular training sessions should be done step 4: facts Tell, stories selloutside of the dealership environment. It is People need to combine verbal, visual and emotional evidence. All this can be accomplished witheasier to create a sense of team and discuss “similar situation” stories. People don’t buy vehicles; they buy emotional solutions to problemsgoals and ideas and get input if you are outside that they can see in their mind’s eye and feel in their hearts. Features are like the scenes of theof your normal environment. It’s also important movie. Benefits are the underlining storyline and stories are the emotions that tie everythingto eliminate distractions to supercharge the together. Personalize everything you do with true and relatable stories and visualizations.learning that takes place in the new environment— no cell phones, no interruptions. step 5: be unforgettable What is your “WOW” factor? Have an SDP – Specific Defining Proposition. You must makestep 2: change appearances your claim of why you, your dealership and your product are the best for the customer. Don’t beFirst appearances greatly influence the shy about differentiating from your competitors. Make the largest truthful claims possible. Createdecision-making process of people. Change the the brand of your dealership. What makes you, your employees and your dealership stand outappearance of your dealership and your people and become remarkable? What will your customers not forget about their experience with yourand it can make a huge difference. Walk across people, process, product or market position?the street from your dealership and look back.Ask yourself, what do your customers see? step 6: use Testimonial sellingDrive by your dealership at different angles When someone else toots your horn, it will be heard twice as far and twice as long. Customerof view and ask the same question. Small testimonials and evidence of trust are a massive sales builder and marketing tool. Utilize thechanges can make give your customers much people who like and trust you to convince others. Letters, videos, audio testimonials, pictures andgreater curb appeal and catch the attention of direct testimonials create the strongest form of social acceptance available.others. When your customers pull into yourdealership, what do they see? Your vehicles step 7 - dance With the one you came Withshould create a sensation of “WOW” for Your best source of success for now and the future are the customers who like you, trust you andyour customers. Make your dealership clean, have done business with you. Before you spend one dollar on advertising for new customers,visually appealing and easy to navigate. determine your process and actions in maintaining your current customers and how they canConfusion breeds indecision. provide you more customers.What do your employees look like? People buy These seven steps are universal and undeniable. If followed, they will provide you with increasedfrom people they feel most comfortable with sales and profits. If you would like what I call the “8th Wonder of the World” step, e-mail me atin appearance, beliefs and values. As a rule the address below with “8th Wonder” in the subject line.of thumb, your salespeople should be dressed podcast intervieweeslightly above your customers. This will allow Mark Tewart is the president of Tewart Enterprises, and the author of theyour customers to be comfortable and respect best seller, How To Be A Sales Superstar. He can be contacted atyour employees at the same time. 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at mtewart@autosuccessonline.com.24 autosuccessonline.com
  • JimLeman leadership solution Dealerships are ripe places for harassment to dealerships peTri occur, experts say. “It’s a huge problem,” said dealership compliance expert Terry Dortch. dishes for sexual “The business is still male dominated, and due to the time staff spends together it can harassmenT often feel OK to become too familiar with others in what we say and how we might touch them. Most times these comments or thisThe car dealership remains a rich environment for sexual harassment — a real risk against contact isn’t meant to be malicious but can bewhich dealers should build hedges of protection. Where the Equal Employment Opportunity construed that way by the recipient.”Commission (EEOC) gets involved the compensatory and punitive damages can reach upwardsof $1 million; a quick Google search will reveal numerous examples. Liz Olsson, senior vice president for Wells Fargo’s Strategic Executive Risk Team, agrees.Investing in hedges against this costly wrongdoing is probably prudent for many dealerships. The “Car dealerships are considered a high riskbest hedges, experts say, are staff discrimination training and employment practices insurance. for this activity given their sales-y, almost fraternity-like environment,” she said. “Plus, a traditional high turnover means issues of harassment and discrimination training can be more difficult to address.” Any harassment and discrimination activity can create problems for the dealership. Dortch relays a story about how one dealership’s sales staff placed camel-shaped crackers around the workspace of one of their colleagues, a man of from the Middle East. “They were trying to be cute, but they were being stupid,” said Dortch. How can you protect your business from others’ bad or egregious behaviors? The boss prays this behavior will go away, but the right attitude about compliance must come down from the top. Investment in harassment and discrimination training can help raise awareness among staff. However, training itself can’t protect against an employee who wants to be malicious. Dortch said dealers can ferret out troublemakers by conducting thorough background checks. “And if you do have someone on staff like this now, get rid of them,” he advises. Olsson said dealers can add another hedge of protection against the result of harassment. She suggests dealers consider buying employment practices liability insurance, as a stand-alone policy or rider to an existing Directors and Officers Liability policy. “We hear objections that employment practices liability is expensive, but without a doubt a business is going to have claims against it for harassment. While most are settled, a big suit or a class-action suit can cause defense and punitive expenses to skyrocket,” she said. “As further risk control, many of these policies also provide the dealer with discrimination training materials, 800-numbers for legal and employment practices advice, and other tools. Jim Leman is the owner of Leman Public Relations. He can be contacted at 866.314.1735, or by e-mail at jleman@autosuccessonline.com.26 autosuccessonline.com
  • 73 percent increase in used car gross profit 2011 year to date 34 percent increase in used car sales 2009 to 2010 18 used inventory retail returns 2010 1 SOLUTION TO MASTER THE MARKETWhen Andrew Walser took over the familybusiness from his father, Jack, he knew hehad some big shoes to fill. Walser AutomotiveGroup had a history of success that went backdecades. Andrew started using vAuto’s LiveMarket suite of tools at his 13 dealerships in2008, and their sales and used gross profitcontinue to exceed expectations.“vAuto is part of the Walser Way of doingbusiness. Our customers appreciate our haggle-freepricing, and it kept us in business these past fewyears when other dealerships closed around us. Ican’t imagine selling cars without vAuto.”With vAuto, Andrew has mastered his market.Visit vAuto.com/aw or call 877-828-8617to learn how. Andrew Walser, President Walser Automotive Group Bloomington, Minnesota
  • TonyProvost leadership solution don’T fighT iT, as seen on jusT WriTe iTHow do you desk your deals? Do you even customer has more knowledge of the product then the managers do, and in almost every case,desk deals? Either way, it is inevitable that the salespeople know 100 percent more about the product than management. But, in someyou get to a point in the sale where you have twisted way, they take direction from someone that knows less about the product, and gives theto talk about the deal and the make-up of the product away. In any other business, this would not happen.deal. If your process is set up where you send asalesperson back and forth two and three times, So, let’s get ready to rumble. Clear the air and start fresh. Managers and sales staff, you are nowask yourself why. one in the same. Two heads are better than one. Let’s put it together. Sales staff meets and greets. Management meets and greets. Explain to the customer that everyone is here to make their visitDoes it make you feel good after the third a pleasant experience. Find out up front if they have a trade. Don’t be afraid. Walk with thetime to come out from behind the desk, go salespeople, show them service and explain how that department works. Manager, customer andin the deal, talk with the customer, save the salespeople, go over the trade. Drive with the customer. It’s called bonding.customer another $100, $200 or $300, then askthe salesperson “Why couldn’t you do that?” A great manager will have all the ingredients to make the sale. Now, everyone can get involved inHere’s a better one: “In a couple of years, with the walk-around. Let the salespeople go for the demo ride. What impression do you think this willexperience, you will learn how to close like have on your customer? I guarantee you, they’ll love you already. By the way, that whole processme.” Does this process sound familiar? If so, takes 15 minutes, tops, and everyone gets to experience the road to the close.wake up. You’re a dinosaur, and this type ofsales process is extinct. Managers, I promise you that this will be the game changer. You put the customer in an Altima. Write the deal-price of your car and subtract the trade and any incentives for the car they areSalespeople deserve all the credit. They interested in. Now, the trade is what you want to take it in for. Give the customer several downdeserve to be trained to think, help make payment options — $2,500, $3,500, $4,500, etc. Give the customer terms for 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54,decisions and close deals with knowledge. 60, 66 and 72 months on each down payment. You love to pencil deals; start using the lead. Also, ifThey need to understand every aspect of they are on a new vehicle, give them a lease option. The more you write, the better the close. Yourthe sales process. In most cases today, the energy and enthusiasm will make the deal. This next step is huge. Take the vehicle you are on and go down a model with the same equipment. If it is a used car, have a vehicle about $2,000 or $3,000 with similar equipment. Pencil five different down payments and 10 choices for payments. You will never lose the deal over money. Why? You have an alternative vehicle. We are no longer discounting vehicles to no profit, then staying in the close for 20 minutes to close a no-profit deal. We are now closing on the customer’s affordability and the store’s profitability. Yes, we are writing more. But now we have total purpose behind the pencil. Think about it. If you were hungry and I had six sandwiches, all peanut butter and jelly, but you were allergic to peanuts, you wouldn’t take a sandwich. Now, if I had six different types of sandwiches, you would not only take one, but maybe even two. Payments and down payments work the same way. Sometimes the customers will like a couple of the choices you will give them, and ask your opinion on which way to go. Now, that’s a power pencil, one that closes the deal. Your people will love this process — and so will the customers. Oh, by the way, you do not spend as much time on your price or the trade. The store will sell more cars, make a lot more gross and have fun doing it. In closing, when managers and salespeople work together like this, salespeople come to work pumped up. Salespeople will help management out all the time. They will run through walls for you. Managers now are totally involved in the process; this prevents any type of controversy with the sales staff. Your involvement keeps you sharp. Tony Provost is the president, GM, and trainer of Nissan of Bourne in Buzzards Bay, MA. He can be contacted at 866.296.4098, or by e-mail at tprovost@autosuccessonline.com.28 autosuccessonline.com
  • “bLinkedSM is the best tool I have seen in 15 years.” bLinked SM Be Smart. Be Informed. bLinkedSM. This is the program that is changing everything. bLinkedSM is a data analytic service that marries your customer database, inventory, and manufacturer incentives to deliver more high-quality leads straight to your showroom floor. • ttract more customers with offers too good to refuse A — offers to upgrade their vehicles for lower monthly payments and no money down. • et your own margins to meet and exceed the profit S levels you want. • onvert more service appointments into sales with C incredibly accurate information for your sales team and perfectly matched offers for your customers. With email, direct mail, and microsite marketing included at no extra cost, bLinkedSM is the complete turnkey package poised to give your dealership an unmistakable sales advantage. Welcome to bLinkedSM — the next generation of direct marketing. Learn more today. Contact J&L Marketing at 800.346.9117 or email: sales@jandlmarketing.com for more information. Bill Cafarella General ManagerWest County Honda Ellisville, Missouri www.twitter.com/jandlmarketing www.facebook.com/jandlmarketing www.youtube.com/user/jandlmarketing
  • GrantCardone sales & training solution the perception of the experience you hope to shorTen The selling, deliver to buyers. process, educaTe 6 steps To buying a your buyer and car made Quick and easy make money 1. Approach the auto dealer as a buyer. Your best strategy when buying a car is to identifyThe automotive buyer is no longer willing to spend hours buying a car. And the reality is the yourself as a buyer, not a shopper. Don’t belonger you spend with them, the less likely they are to pay you a profit or even close at all. defensive; present yourself as an easy buyerCase studies confirm that negotiations taking longer than 30 minutes result in 50 percent lower to deal with. The customer who approachesgrosses. Getting the consumer on your side to streamline the process can help you both get a car dealer defensively tends to cause thewhat you want — higher gross for you and a quicker process for them. So, to get the consumer salesperson to respond in the same way.and you on the same page, I’ve written steps to provide car dealers with positive propagandayou can disseminate to your community to differentiate yourself in the marketplace and change 2. Price is not your greatest concern. Let the salesperson know that the car is your main focus. This will be music to their ears and make them butter in your hands. Let them know that you know price is easy once the car is right. This is going to make the sales process quicker by reducing confrontation and later make getting your best terms even easier. 3. Determining right car for you. Contrary to outdated strategies, the best way to determine the right unit is not online or on the phone, but at the dealership. A trick to make sure you are on the right vehicle is to look at the vehicles just above and below what you think you want. Any interest in either of these means you are not yet on the perfect product for you. 4. Test drive the vehicle. Driving the vehicle will actually save you time negotiating, and provides the dealership with more confidence in giving you their best price. 5. Request computer-documented proposal. Ask the dealership to present their offer to you electronically. The most progressive, customer satisfaction-driven dealers today utilize technology to provide the buyer with full-disclosure proposals that include price, trade figures, purchase/lease payments, down payments and interest rates all at one time. These documents avoid wasted time in the negotiations and unnecessary games. 6. Determine a fair price. Franchised automotive dealers in the U.S. operate on about the same net margins as a grocery store — about a two-percent net. A typical car sale will generate more money to state and local taxes than total profits to the dealer. Use your own logic to make sense of what a fair price to offer the dealer is, based on the taxes you pay. Your dealer will love this logic and remove time and pain from the process. The next time you are ready to roll in something new, just follow these six steps and let your local dealer know you have been trained how to buy a car from automotive sales training expert Grant Cardone — I guarantee you will get a great deal and it will be easy. Grant Cardone is an author and the CEO of Cardone Training Technologies, Inc. He can be contacted at 866.402.1675, or by e-mail at gcardone@autosuccessonline.com.30 autosuccessonline.com
  • RonSchornstein sales & training solution groW service and sales by helping your cusTomers make good decisionsIn the past, it was common practice to results in higher energy requirements or malfunctions. The resulting increase in operatingbase service recommendations only on OE temperatures causes autocatalytic effects on the oils ability to prevent sludge and accelerates acidrecommendations. Vehicle owner’s manuals buildup promoting corrosion. The net result is an increase in maintenance and operating costsprovide oil and fluid change recommendations and shorter component life.based on time or mileage and commonlyassumed driving conditions. One schedule So what’s in it for the vehicle owner to change fluids before they become depleted? Proper fluidis for normal driving conditions and a much preventative maintenance is a key factor in prolonging the vehicle’s service life and helps toshorter change recommendation is made for maintain the vehicles performance and operating efficiency. Properly maintained vehicles are moresevere driving conditions. It is left to the reliable, suffer fewer breakdowns and cost less to operate and maintain over the life of the vehicle.consumer to judge which schedule should befollowed. But think about it for a moment: The The use of diagnostic tools to identify needed fluid services is a key component to performuseful service life of engine oil and vehicle proper preventative maintenance services. They also allow the tech to identify needed servicesfluids is affected by many variables including that would otherwise be missed. Showing your customer test results makes them an informedcity or highway driving, heavy loads, road participant in the fluid preventative maintenance of their vehicle. This engagement instills trustconditions, terrain, weather, air quality, vehicle and confidence in your service recommendations and makes it easy for them to say “yes” tocondition, maintenance programs, the driver, needed services. It also keeps them coming back with higher levels of loyalty and retention. Yourand the type and quality of the fuel, lubricants, customers will return for clear and consistent information that makes them feel like they haveoil and filters being used. Even for a qualified been dealt with honestly and fairly.professional, it is difficult to predict when a Your doctor doesn’t make a diagnosis and give a prescription after putting his hand on yourcar’s oil and fluids should be serviced. forehead and looking into your ears and mouth. Tests are performed including pulse and bloodAdditionally, car manufacturer’s oil change pressure, your temperature is taken and perhaps a blood test is needed before a diagnosis can beindicator lights are triggered by an algorithmic made. Your customers want and expect to see tests results that help them make good decisions.program that doesn’t monitor the actual It doesn’t take an increase in your car count to increase your sales opportunities. This samecondition of the oil. Instead, sensor information educational and discovery process, “instant fluid diagnostics,” also helps you identify depletedfrom the engine — including temperature, fluids that would otherwise go undetected. On average, at least one needed fluid service goesspeed and duration — are combined to create unidentified in every single car that passes through your service drive. In other words, everyprobability factors that predict when the oil service invoice you write is missing sell of a needed fluid service. And when that car drivesmay need to be serviced. This is not an analysis away, it does so with under-performed service — and revenue your dealership just lost that couldof the oil’s condition, and there is no change have been generated that day. One additional fluid service per car really adds up.indicator or idiot light for transmission, powersteering, brake fluid or gear oils. Either way, the Market research shows that increasing your service customer retention by just five percent can,consumer has no assurance or guarantees that over time, increase your profits by almost 100 percent. The fact is that service departments thattheir vehicle isn’t being damaged by operating engage their customers outperform their competition by 26 percent in gross margins and 85with dirty oil or depleted fluids. percent in sales growth.Why are these OE recommendations in place? Engaging your customer and instilling trust and confidence in your service recommendationsThey are designed to prevent premature is as simple as implementing the use of fluid diagnostic tools and presenting the results to yourwear or failure due to operating the vehicle customers. With this process in place, you are guaranteed that your customers will be shown allon depleted fluids. And here is the stunner; needed fluid services each and every visit no matter who the tech or service writer is.although most fluid service recommendationsare correctly based on severe driving It’s no secret that your fixed operations contribution to profits is critical to the long-term healthconditions, the fact is as much as 20 to 30 and success of your dealership. And it’s clear that educating your customers and techs alike withpercent of the time these fluids become a quick show-and-tell fluid diagnostics program will identify and sell more needed fluid servicesdepleted prematurely — before time and and there will be fewer declined services. So kick your game up several notches. Distinguish mileage recommendations kick in. real service needs from suspected needs. Increase your ticket averages and profits. Engage your customers by giving your service department “instant lubricant diagnostic tools” that show when Degraded fluids affect lubrication fluid services are needed — right on the spot. regimes, reducing clearances or plugging passageways, thus increasing friction Ron Schornstein is the CEO of Fluid Rx, Inc. He can be contacted heat and wear. The increase in friction at 866.386.5318, or by e-mail at rschornstein@autosuccessonline.com.32 autosuccessonline.com
  • ChadPolk marketing solution Who is craig and WhaT’s WiTh The lisT?Craigslist is an online classified community, will be able to post. To avoid this, it is a good practice to post some vehicles from the dealership,and has been dubbed the “newspaper killer” some from home, some from your iPad, or some from your Internet air card (if you have one).for its dominance over traditional print media.If you’re a dealer who has had any experience 6. randomize your craigslist Templatesposting vehicles on Craigslist with dealer Craigslist has automated systems in place to recognize what they deem “duplicate listings.” Whensoftware, then you have experienced the your listings contain similar HTML, repeated words (i.e. dealership name), repeated photo URLs,pains and joys of listing and selling vehicles similar listing titles and so on, your listing kicks off the duplicate listings sensor on Craig’s chair.there. The biggest misunderstanding that Many providers have added random text or sentences below the listing template to ward off thedealers have when posting is craigslist simply Bayesian filters of craigslist, such as “The red boy bounced ball on the ceiling” or “bounced on thedoesn’t care that you are there — period. The red ceiling by the boy.” Bayesian filtering is a technique used to recognize spam, and it works bysite deems itself a “community service” for correlating words and internal code to calculate the probability that a listing is spam or legitimate.individuals, not companies. So as a dealerand businessperson, how do you conduct 7. post at least 20 photoscommerce on a Website that does not want Including photos is vital, since the search results on craigslist have an orange “img” icon next toyou there in the first place? Here are 12 key listings that feature photos. Make sure to include interior photos — interior photos are a must to getpractices in listing on craigslist that will help the phone to ring. Otherwise, people perceive that there is something to hide on the interior of the car.you be more successful: 8. display a carfax one-owner and/or vehicle history report link1. post to craigslist every day As a dealer selling on craigslist, you must take every opportunity to establish trust with a craigslistListings on the site are really only relevant customer. With all the craigslist scams and wide media coverage of the issues, it is imperative tofor three days. The search results are set the consumer at ease in initiating that first contact with your dealership. Craigslist is also a freeindistinguishable from listing to listing, market Website, so there are no barriers to entry when listing. Differentiating your dealership withand user behavior on craigslist is much like One-Owner vehicles is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.Google, where more than 95 percent of usersnever go past the first page. 9. use a dedicated phone number for craigslist As with any marketing channel, you must track your campaign’s performance and results. Part2. do not post multiple listings of monitoring craigslist results is tracking the volume of leads through the phone calls. Assigninside of 20 minutes a dedicated phone number to the craigslist marketing channel and track the progression ofCraigslist will ban you for over posting, and converting those leads.they have checkpoints built into the system tomonitor your listing volume. 10. use lead conversion forms Seek out providers that deliver a lead conversion form for craigslist. Surprisingly, most providers3. less is more do not offer this feature. Just like phone traffic, you’ll want to track e-mail lead volume for theCraigslist has a set limit of 30,000 characters. craigslist marketing channel.If your template goes over the character limit,then sirens go off at the craigslist offices and it 11. display your e-mail address as an imagewill trigger an error. Keep your posting under Nothing is more important than a repeat customer. If the craigslist customer only knows you by30,000 characters. the e-mail alias that craigslist provides, then that relationship will be short-lived because that e-mail alias has a life span, and will soon die. Displaying your direct e-mail address increases4. post from multiple computers your chances that the consumer will contact you again, and it also establishes more trust toAs of the April 22, 2011 release, it looks like initiate contact in the first place.craigslist is factoring in the media access control(MAC) address of your computer. Previously, 12. link back to the vehicle on your dealership Websitethey focused their attention on the IP address In many instances, craigslist can provide higher volume referral traffic to your dealer Website thanand would ban your IP for over-posting. An IP any other source, depending on your listing volume. You want those eyeballs on your Website, andaddress (example: 192.168.34.19) is a numerical you want the customer to research your dealership to establish trust. Avoid providers who create alabel assigned to each network device (i.e. landing page separate from your dealership Website when linking from craigslist.computer) and is used for communication on thenetwork. A MAC address is a unique identifier Stick with these best practices when posting on craigslist. Some dealers may try to game the systemassigned to your computer for communications by listing in multiple cities, creating multiple accounts, posting from every computer they canon a network. While IP addresses can be get access to, and much more, but understand that when you are trying to beat the system, it willchanged, the MAC address of a computer will ultimately beat you. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen to dealers that lived off the sales from craigslist.always remain the same. It’s like juggling knives — there are people who do it, but it doesn’t mean that you should.5. post from multiple ip addresses Craigslist is a great source of leads, but you have to remember who you’re dealing with. ThisIn most cases, your dealership will have a Website is a “community service” and not an ecommerce site. I highly recommend getting yoursingle outside IP address. That means that inventory on craigslist, and if you’re already are on the site, apply these best practices to yourto the Internet, anyone from inside your dealership’s listing practices for continued success. podcast intervieweedealership who is surfing the Web will have thesame IP address. If your IP address gets banned Chad Polk is the CEO of AutoRevo. He can be contacted at 866.873.0031,or blocked, then no computer at the dealership or by e-mail a cpolk@autosuccessonline.com.34 autosuccessonline.com
  • MarlenaSmith marketing solution QuesTions To use in PART 1 choosing The righT markeTing companyIf you search Google for “automotive they easy to reach? insurance board for a mail promotion didn’tmarketing,” there are 171,000,000 listings. 5. For direct mail, ask who provides their list. arrive on Saturday, who would you get toWith this amount of data to wade through, how Do they offer a postal receipt? speak to for a solution? Is there a toll-freewould a dealership go about finding a reputable Simple, but not always asked and answered. hotline for help? How long does it take formarketing company to help boost traffic and Here’s why the answers are so important: you to get an answer?increase sales? 1. Length in business can help you determine 5. The list provider can make or break a direct their stability. If you are doing a $10,000 mail event. Example: Mailershaven is oneWho hasn’t heard of the horror stories? Since of the largest list providers with the mostbad news travels both faster and further than direct mail event and you are faxing or mailing a check, you want to make sure the personable customer service and easy-to-usegood news, we all have. However, if we online count system. If a dealership needs atake the time up front to research who we’re mail will really be delivered. 2. Three referrals, spoken to over the phone, “count” or a “list,” it can be ran and back inworking with, hopefully you won’t be the topic 30 minutes. Mailershaven offers a guaranteeof the next horror story. can reassure you that they have satisfied customers — that you can look forward to on their accuracy, as well. Not all listBefore signing or committing with a “new to being a happy customer, as well. Long-term companies provide this – and a marketingyou” marketing company, it’s important to ask customers show stability and integrity. company must take responsibility if the listsome questions. This month and next, we’ll be 3. With the NADA Convention being our isn’t what the dealer was expecting.looking at what to ask them, and why to ask. industry’s largest annual gathering, anyThis month, let’s start with some basics: automotive marketer worth their salt has Next month, we’ll finish up our list so you can1. How long have they been in business? been there. It’s not necessarily to be there start to build a foundation of trust with those2. Can they give you three referrals from every year, but they should know how who get your message in front of customers. customers who have done business with important it is to new and used dealerships, them for three or more years? affiliates, lenders, marketers and others. Marlena Smith is the CEO of Automotive3. Have they attended NADA? 4. What is their support staff policy? If you Marketing Promotions. She can be4. Where is their support team located? Can have a problem, it is a fair expectation contacted at 866.386.5941, or by e-mail at they tell you about their support staff? Are that you can reach someone 24/7. If an marlenas@autosuccessonline.com.36 autosuccessonline.com
  • INNOVATION AHEAD Where InnovatIon Meets IntegratIonDominion Dealer Solutions is bringing innovation to dealers today. Technology that Isfaster, smarter and works harder for your dealership. To help increase inventory turn ratesand maximize profitability, Dealer Specialties, a division of Dominion Dealer Solutions,has created MarketControl™ Analytics, the industry’s most powerful, real-time market-based pricing and stocking solution.We integrate Cross-Sell’s DMV market data, an industry exclusive, in everyrecommendation. The result – inventory advice guaranteed to ensure you stock the best-selling used-vehicles at the most appropriate price for your market.Captivate Consumers and AccelerateInventory. It’s ready for your dealership today!To learn more, visitwww.dealerspecialties.com/getstarted
  • DaveDunn leadership solution bodyshop producTion managemenTThe phrase “production management” is an “If the phone is ringing at your shop daily with theoxymoron in most body shops. Production israrely managed; it is mostly reacted to. Since question of whether or not the car is ready, you havemost body shops pay technicians based on flat poor production management. In fact, the phonerate or commission pay, there has been little should never ring with that question.”thought given to production management. Thebody shop manager may reason that the pay the estimator can proactively call the customer with an update. I don’t want aplan is the production manager. Technicians, customer to ever call me; I want to call him: “Mr. Customer, how about I callhowever, do not manage production — they you Tuesday afternoon and let you know how things are progressing?” Basicallymanage their own paychecks. I have said, “don’t call me, I’ll call you.” The Mitchell Summit a few years back revealed that a shop can maintain the relationship with the customer morereasons to manage production effectively so long as there is proactive communication. The customer will even forgive minor quality issues as long as the shop is proactively communicating1. customer satisfaction with the customer.The No. 1 complaint that car owners haveregarding body shop repair experiences is that 2. metric managementtheir car was not ready when promised. The The No. 1 metric that shops fail in is cycle time keys to keys. The insurance industry wants thereason the car is rarely ready when promised cycle time to be fast. My shop has a keys to keys cycle time of between 3.2 to 5.5 days. Ouris because the repair time was not managed competitors are somewhere around 14 days. We perform as a leader in the nation regarding cycleat all. The technician will often have multiple time. The production manager sets time-related goals for every technician. It is never enough tocars that he is working on and will usually tell the metal technician that the car has to go Friday or whatever day. Our production managerbounce back and forth between cars so as to sets at the very least an intermediate target. He will tell the metal man that the car has got tomaximize his own hours of commission with be out of his stall and into the paint shop by Tuesday at 2 p.m., for instance. This one little tiplittle regard to timelines for delivery. The of setting a metal shop out time has made a big difference on our cycle time performance. Thecustomer is often forced to constantly call the added beauty of delivering cars to the paint shop on schedule is that it also tends to reduce theshop asking if his car is ready or not. If the bottleneck in the paint department. Most shops think they have a bottleneck in the paint shopphone is ringing at your shop daily with the when what they really have is a non-managed or poorly managed metal shop.question of whether or not the car is ready,you have poor production management. Of course there is much more to production management than proactive communication andIn fact, the phone should never ring with setting a metal shop out-time. But I can also assure you that you will see improvement in CSI asthat question. We recommend a system of well as better flow if you do these two things.proactive communication so that the customernever feels ignored or treated indifferently. Feel free to call me for a free 15 minute consultation if I can help you solve a problem. podcast intervieweeTip: When the car is dropped off, try to get a Dave Dunn is the founder of Masters School of Autobody Management. He canpreset mid-progress notification time where be contacted at 866.386.0042, or by e-mail at ddunn@autosuccessonline.com. “Be Your Own Internet Marketing Expert” Digital Marketing and Social Media Dealership Internship certificate program • A 12-week course taught by automotive digital marketing experts • Certification courses available three times a year: January, May, September • A tremendous value to dealers at an affordable price • The AIP is the best way to elevate your dealership’s internet marketing prowess Sign up for the 2011 AIP Program today at: www.automotiveinternships.org Automotive Internship Program AIP Certification Programs: -Digital Marketing & Social Media Certificate -Automotive SEM Associate The 2011 Fall Semester starts in September. Visit the AIP registration page: www.AutomotiveInternships.org38 autosuccessonline.com
  • You Are GUARANTEED to Increase YourBottom Line in 1 Year by $250,000 or More...or I’ll Pay You $10,000!Hi, my name is Mark Tewart. I may have had the honor of coming into contact with youthrough my seminars, association meetings, NADA or NIADA conventions, articles inAutoSuccess or other magazines, my old Automotive Satellite Training Network shows oryou may have read my best-selling book How To Be A Sales Superstar.Whether you know me or not, you may be wondering what allows me to be able to makesuch an outrageous claim. The answer is simple: If a client follows my no gimmick, no BS,full-proof and proven methods, the results are as predictable as the sun coming up everyday. That may sound arrogant to some of you, but to me and my select clients it’s just reality.Every year I have many dealers who ask me to work with them to help improve their salesand pro ts. I reject most of them. I only choose a few each year to work with on such a Mark Tewart,large scale. There are a few reasons why I carefully hand pick who to work with. President of Tewart Enterprises, Inc.The rst reason is that it’s easy for you to say you want to improve but most people don’twant to do the things necessary to make it happen. This isn’t some magic-button, Author of the Best-Sellerpie-in-sky fad. These are real-world and proven methods for massive pro t improvements. ‘How to be a Sales Superstar’It takes hard work and lots of commitment.The second reason for me being picky about who I work with on these projects is thatfrankly I don’t have the time. To create the massive results that you and I are looking forrequires a great deal of my time and e ort. Because of my time restraints, I refuse to spendtime and e ort with uncommitted dealers. I only align myself with passionate peoplecommitted to winning.The third and nal reason for me being selective is my reputation. I can’t write ads like thisand make such incredible guarantees unless I can bring the results. My reputation isbeyond solid.By the way, the $250,000 bottom line improvement is just an example. I have had somedealers increase their bottom lines by more than $1,000,000. Look at it this way; I don’t take$10,000 guarantees lightly. I put my money where my mouth is.Call my 24 hour Dealership Success Hotline to receive your “Dealership Success Check List” – Call Now at 888 612-5884 Ext. 90001 or Go to www.dealershipsuccess.com ***Dealers or General Managers Only***Sincerly, Mark Tewart Info@tewart.com | 888 2 TEWART - (888 283 9278)P.S. There is one very simple thing most dealers aren’t doing that you can doto unlock an additional 7 gures worth of pro t with no extra risk in the next5 years. I know it sounds too good to be true, but you can see for yourself.Call my 24/7 Dealership Success Hotline at 888.612.5884Ext. 90001 or Go to www.dealershipsuccess.com
  • DrakeBaerresen marketing solution Now that 80 percent of vehicle buyers inTerneT leads – start their search online, it is important that dealerships arm their people with the tools are you closing to maintain contact with these buyers until they buy. The buying cycle can often take every opporTuniTy? several months. In the past, many dealerships would set up a string of automated e-mails to stay in touch with customers. TheseIt is in sales as it is in nature, the lowest hanging fruit is always first to be picked. Internet leads are messages would be very bland and generalno different than showroom ups in this respect. Salespeople are motivated to sell the customer who with no direct reference to the customer’sis in front of them now, on the showroom floor, as well as in their inbox. Today’s salespeople have personal requests or desires. They were aleads coming from many sources daily, and often customers are several months from a purchase. Too “one size fits all” solution with the occasionaloften salespeople are onto the next one, or next 100, before a potential customer makes a purchase. field that was personalized, similar to thoseThese missed opportunities are just part of the business for many dealerships. Others are utilizing annoying recorded phone calls you get tellingcutting-edge technology to stay in touch with these customers and are closing more deals monthly. you that you won a cruise. This was better than nothing and was an attempt at helping Internet salespeople manage hundreds of older Is Business Falling Through the leads, but was never as effective as sending a personal e-mail. Today’s Internet shoppers have become very good at reading through CRACKS canned messages that are irrelevant to their searches and requests. In fact, many customers will stop reading correspondences from those they feel are “spamming” them with template bologna. Customers expect a response that addresses their wants and desires. They are seeking to do business with a dealership that values them and their business enough to answer their questions, not just send a multi- page cookie-cutter e-mail. Technology now exists that can follow-up with past and present leads automatically in a way that is engaging and personal. This goes way beyond the auto-responders of the past. Think of it as an individual virtual sales assistant for every Internet salesperson at your dealership. Finally, military-grade technology has reached the retail automotive industry at a level where this can be done for a dealership’s Internet sales staff. Customer communications can now be professional and relevant. Even better, customers will have no idea that they are communicating with an intelligent computer rather than a person. Dealerships that choose to embrace the use of a modern lead engagement system should consider this technology to drive more appointments for their sales staff. This way as soon as the customer is ready to move Let Us Close the Gap beyond e-mail, a personal relationship with the dealership already exists. A good relationship and a positive emotional experience are still what sell cars. Unfortunately, artificial intelligence can’t do walk-arounds — just yet. For a free copy of, “Ten things you need to consider while looking for a virtual sales assistant,” send an e-mail to me at the address below. WEBSITES | MARKETING | CRM | ILM | SEO | TRAINING | CONSULTING 877-319-9035 dealerhosts.com Drake Baerresen is the vice-president of sales and marketing at Turn-Key Events AVA. He can be contacted at 866.900.7714, or by e-mail at drakeb@autosuccesonline.com.40 autosuccessonline.com
  • Providing the automotive industry with cutting edge digital sales solutions that utilize technology to stay ahead of the competition.Are you effectively advertising yourproducts and services? V-Active gives you the ability to change advertisements, promotions, and specials throughout your store. Let us design your custom campaign. $1,995 AutoSuccess promotional offer* Call today for details. Text VACTIVE To 41411 *$1,995 includes initial production, setup, and required hardware. A signed 24 month contract for $299 a month is also required. This monthly feeincludes hosting, repairs, maintenance, and one promotional update a month. Monitor not included. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
  • SeanV.Bradley marketing solution special finance onlineSpecial finance is back — I am seeing all credit / no credit. You want to make it a complete separate entity, as if you have your ownover the country that sub-prime sales are up. special finance lead source provider site.More and more banks are approving peoplewith bad credit and no credit. Special finance • Make sure that you have the proper “onsite” SEO done to your site. Title tags, descriptions,is not just for used car dealerships and buy- anchor text, alt tags, keywords, site map and so on.here pay-here dealerships. Special finance isfor every dealership, even highline stores can • Make sure you set up a separate Google Places page for your new special finance company,benefit from sub-prime deals. More than 50 fully set up with unique content.percent of the United States has less-than-perfect credit. So, if you are not actively and • Set up Google Alerts.proactively taking advantage of special finance,you are missing the boat. Dealerships that are • Create an online reputation strategy for your sub-prime site. Google Reviews, Dealer Reviewsuccessful with special finance boast grosses Boost, Dealer Rater, CarFolks, Edmund Reviews, Yelp, etc.averaging of more than $3,000 per copy. • Create a campaign of “focus” (microsites) — one site for each relevant category.Now that I have your attention, let’s focus onsomething very special — “special finance • Create a Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) campaign.online,” where special finance meets theInternet. We know that more than 89 percent • Set up a full special finance social media campaign/strategy (along with social media SEO)of Americans go online before they ever step • Facebook • Twitterinto the dealership for some type of research. • Tumblr • FlickrThat goes for people looking for a bad credit/ • YouTube • MySpaceno credit car loan. Most dealerships in 2011 • WordPress blogare doing unsatisfactory in their Internetdepartments; most dealerships’ Internet sales • Create a powerful search engine marketing campaign (Pay Per Click).departments or BDCs are non-functioningor unprofitable. The bottom line is that most Basically, you are going to build a special finance site and think of it as a brand new dealership.dealers are still struggling with automotive In the same way that you are going to dominate automotive Internet sales, you are going toInternet sales, so it would seem absurd for dominate special finance online. The idea is to make sure that when anyone searches for anythingmost dealerships to worry about any other at all related to bad credit/no credit auto loan in your area (and surrounding areas) they will findform of Internet sales. That fact, however, is in your sub-prime site. You are going to be the “Autotrader” or the “Cars.com” for special financeyour best interest. There is a huge opportunity online in your area.with “special finance online.” It is like the WildWild West. Since no one really has dominated You might be asking how is this possible? It’s simple: Everyone is asleep at the wheel. Again,special finance online, which means the door is most dealerships are struggling on how to simply survive with automotive Internet sales; specialwide open for you and your dealership. finance online is not even on their radar.Here is what you need to do to dominate If you have any questions about this article or you would like me to assist you for free in startingspecial finance online: your special finance online campaign, please call or e-mail me.• First, create a “special finance” Website like Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training www.autocreditapprove.com – Make sure and consulting company in the automotive industry. He can be contacted at 866.648.7400, or it is NOT www.abcmotors.com / we do bad by e-mail at sbradley@autosuccessonline.com.42 autosuccessonline.com
  • Join us in 2011 and make a difference one car at a time. www.1car1difference.com Do you want to be a part of one of the fastest growing software companies in the retail automotive market? vAuto’s pricing, appraisal, stocking and merchandising tools are an evolutionary step forward for used car departments. If you have strong retail automotive and/orJoin the ActivEngage sales team! technology solution provider experience in theThe largest automotive chat software and web analytic dealership industry, then we want you to be partprovider is actively seeking regional sales professionals.If you have automotive industry experience and a of our tremendous growth. Send resumes to:pre-existing account base, send your resume to vautocareers@autosuccessonline.com.jobs@activengage.com to join our growing success. Learn more at www.vAuto.com.We offer competitive salary, great benefits, and vAuto is an Equal Opportunity Employer.commission plan. Learn more atwww.activengage.com/careers.shtml. 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 Automotive News Advertising J&L Marketing’s growing national accounts. This is a full-time B2B outside sales position. File name: 1978_AutoNews_Ad_5.125x3.875_FNL.indd cmyk Trim: 5.125” x 3.875” Bleed: 5.375” x 4.125” Live: 4.625” x 3.375” Inks: 4cp www.jandlmarketing.com File built at 100% kkasun@jandlmarketing.com 10/09/09 Automated Virtual Assistant is hiring in several regions! • Residual Income • Excellent Compensation • Full Training Provided Call • Excellent Support 951.291.2234 or email your resume to: careers@tkevents.com
  • It Damn Near Brown Daub Kia PA, enjoyi ter… on ng some in Easton, a Saturday. Killed Me... , owner of use with his daugh Tom Ring ke ho ESP at his new la of people are sitting it out because some were pouring in. Money was flowing. problem is keeping them from what they How could I have known the car But how long would it last? I’m really want. But that inner desire amongbusiness would try to take my life? Maybe happy to report that it’s been nearly three most people has power that overcomesyou’re a lot like me. Or at least how I used to years since I first found these guys. And logic. That craving remains, untouched,be. I was working endlessly in the dealership. every year has gotten better. 2009 was a in the unconscious pleasure center of ourI had my life’s savings wrapped up in the record profit year, until 2010 shattered the brains, where typical advertising messagesbusiness, and when “the crash” came it record. And we netted more by June 2011 never reach.nearly ruined everything. My kids, my wife, than we had in all of 2010. The only thing I Jim & Travis knew that the mostmy mortgage, my life…it all passed before can say is “hold on tight” because it’s the ride powerful part of the human brain was themy eyes as I watched sales get cut in half and of your life. unconscious “lizard brain.” So they beganprofit all but disappear completely. The best part is, not only did they crafting messages that subtly speak to the I was frozen in fear for a while, then help me increase sales (from about 80 new subconscious mind and virtually hypnotizegot moving, when a Google search led me to and used per month to over 250 new and customers into buying from you—and lovinga couple of guys you may have heard of used per month now) but they convinced me the experience. They’ve sold more thanbefore – Jimmy Vee & Travis Miller from to slow down and appreciate life more. I’ve 2,000,000 cars this way, and as you readRich Dealers. Of course, I’d heard it all never felt more alive…and my family has this, every two minutes another car is sold.before…increase traffic, increase sales, over never really known me before now. I’ve been What makes their program sopromise, under deliver. What else is new? able to rebuild cars with my boys and be much more effective than other ordinaryFrankly, I didn’t believe there was anything there when my daughter left for her first solutions? First, they write the creative forout there I hadn’t already tried. But I didn’t date. My wife thinks she married a new man. you. They don’t ask you to come up with thehave much to risk, so I gave it a shot. “Prove Jim & Travis call it ESP – Enjoyable, Simple ideas. Every month they develop a fresh, new,me wrong, guys,” I said. & Prosperous. It’s the ultimate goal of being winning campaign based on their formula. Reluctantly, I got involved. I gotta a Rich Dealer. And it’s real, very real. What a relief! I was so glad not to have to comesay…they were talking about things nobody Since then, my experience has up with the ideas myself anymore.else was talking about. In fact, they seemed convinced numerous other dealers around The other high impact portionto be telling me the opposite of what most the country and in Canada to check out the of their program is the interaction with theirpeople were telling me I should do. It was program. Over the past few years I’ve seen a other members. Jim & Travis host a privateanything but “common knowledge” and I lot of different people join the program. I’ve meeting four times per year. I’ve learnedwas even more skeptical at this point. How seen a small independent dealer from more (and shared more) in those meetingscould these two guys know something Kentucky (Tony) start taking Saturdays off than I have in any other group or seminarnobody else did? Seemed unlikely. But keep while grossing $500k per month. I’ve seen a I’ve ever attended. Plus, all the members arereading… big mid-west Chevy dealer (Courtney) go connected online 24/7 through the Internet. So, back at the dealership, I figured from 250 cars per month to 400 cars per Got a question? Some other member has thewhy not try some of what they were suggest- month by doing what I did. I’ve seen answer. And since there’s only one dealering. So, I ran the ad they gave me, I followed Hyundai dealers, Dodge Chrysler dealers, per market area, people are always willingtheir strategy and I made some simple Kia dealers, and everything in between come to share their best ideas and secrets.changes to the way we positioned our dealer- in and turn everything around by doing The first step toward becoming a things differently than all the other “gurus” member yourself is the free Market Ratership to the customers. They showed me how recommend. It’s refreshing. And it’s fun to Analysis. A Rich Dealers Advisor will analyzeto be in command of the actions of potential your market to determine how muchbuyers by speaking to their subconscious double your business, take more dough untapped opportunity exists. Then they’llmind. My expectations were low. home and spend more time with your family answer your questions about the program What happened next? Well, I could at the same time. and explain how you can try it yourself, riskhardly believe it. It was like someone How does it work? Jim & Travis free. To schedule, call 866.852.0145turned on the lights. It was a complete say, “Stop selling cars, start selling and ask for Wayne Harris or visitand rapid reinvention of our business. solutions.” And they’re right! They www.MarketRater.com.The energy in the sales department went recognized what so many others havethrough the roof. People were excited to missed: only a tiny part of the population ®come to work again. The phones were are actively, consciously shopping for aringing, the showroom was busy, leads nicer, newer car…while the vast majority
  • Vehicle History Reports validate the vehicle, validates the dealer! Carfolks rated sales professionals gain the trust of prospects before they arrive at the dealershipFor more information call 866-618-8257, or visit our FAQ site AskCarfolks.com Social Media | Reputation Maintenance | Marketing Services | Video Optimization AutoCheck and Carfax are trademarks or their respective companies and not affiliated with Carfolks.com
  • How Cerritos Dodge Increased Sales by 75%and Service by 410%Cerritos Dodge Chrysler Jeep positively affect all its profit cen- advertising, like television andin Cerritos, CA, has been a suc- ters to attract, sell, service and radio, it’s not easy for dealers tocessful part of the Browning retain customers more profitably deliver an affordable consistentAutomotive Group for the last for less. message to their primary mar-25 years. Lately their sales and keting area without also havingservice activity is soaring with Many automotive dealers face to spend a lot of money solicitingsales up 75%, 50% over the same the ongoing challenge of how to the greater population who areperiod in 2010; and vehicles ser- purposefully reach the right cus- not in the market for a vehicle orviced increasing 410%, with ROs tomers with the right message, are not conveniently located tofor vehicles in Cerritos’ primary bring those customers into their the dealership, so servicing is outmarketing area jumping 210% showroom or their service bays, of the question.over the same period last year. A and keep them coming backrecent shift in marketing strat- again and again. With the high “We recognize the value of effec-egy is helping Cerritos Dodge cost of traditional mass media tive advertising and have always
  • Success Storyinvested in marketing, but we felt sales and service transactions “Within a few months we werewe weren’t reaching the right cus- to determine customer trends. up 5.3% in market share over lasttomers,” says Jack Ameen, gener- Those findings were compared to year – more than anyone else inal manager of the Cerritos store. leading third-party and industry our market,” says Ameen. “While“There are well over a quarter of a data to establish consumer pat- Dodge and several of our com-million consumers in our imme- terns within their local market petitors’ market share was down.diate market, but obviously not making it possible for Cerritos to This research data is empowering.everyone is a potential customer, identify vehicle owners with the We know exactly who to target.”so earlier this year we decided to greatest probability of buying orinvest in research that would help servicing with their dealership. With their ideal market identi-us more clearly define our local The research also isolated same- fied, Cerritos implemented amarket.” brand owners who had never comprehensive targeted market- visited the dealership, as well as, ing strategy using mail and emailFirst, Cerritos Dodge Chrysler off-brand owners with a histori- campaigns that consistently speakJeep completed a comprehensive cal trend of crossing over to the to both customers and prospectsfive-year historical analysis of its brands they sell. with effective custom messaging.In a Nutshell Cerritos Dodge Chrysler Jeep increased sales 75% and service 410% by changing their existing marketing strategy and implementing a targeted digital marketing strategy to attract, sell, service and retain more customers for less cost.• Conduct in-depth market research to determine their perfect primary marketing area and identify in- market consumers with the greatest statistical probability of purchasing or servicing with their store.• Implement a targeted marketing strategy using www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com to implement direct mail and email campaigns that contain custom sales and service messaging relevant to a vehicle’s service status with the dealership.• Consistently speak to in-market same-brand prospects, and consumers who drive off-brands with a historical trend of crossing over to the brands they sell.• Establish best practices that include campaign kick-off meetings with all sales associates for every campaign and provide phone scripts to help sales members improve appointment ratios.• Successfully attract, sell, service and retain more customers for less cost while positively promoting all their prot centers: new, used, nance, service and parts.
  • Success StoryMarketing Materials
  • Success StoryCerritos sends high-end cam- ed marketing company Cerritos “Good afternoon and thank youpaigns promoting its best sales uses. “Cerritos also does a great for calling Cerritos Dodge Chrysleroffers. The campaigns always job of consistently communicat- Jeep. Are you calling about our Let’sinclude service messaging that ing with their customers which Trade Keys Program?”is relevant to the vehicle’s ser- helps keep customers active andvice status with the dealership. creates customers for life.” “It’s important that we have an in-For example, customers who are frastructure in place to properlyactive with their dealership and Not only are sales and service handle every customer for bothcome in for regular service re- up significantly, Cerritos has sales and service,” says Ameen. “Aceive $24.95 oil change coupons. been able to shift away from the knowledgeable and informed staff more expensive traditional mass is a great asset that instills confi-Customers who are categorized media, like television and radio, dence in our customers. We don’tas lost, or who do not return to while directing that money to- want to miss a single opportunity.”the dealership for service regu- ward strategies that generate the Top-notch staff also fosters an en-larly, receive a coupon for a best response. vironment that keeps customers$14.95 oil change. The same goes coming back again and again.for Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep In order to sustain the level ofowners who have never been to excellence and customer serviceCerritos. Cerritos is known for, the store regularly trains and communi-“My service department has seen cates with its employees so theya 522% increase in ROs from are fully knowledgeable whenthe customers in our immedi- customers call or visit the deal-ate market, and our total service ership.units are up 410% from the pre-vious three months before start- The training includes havinging this program,” Ameen says. the entire sales team participate in monthly campaign kick-off“Cerritos’ sales inside their pri- meetings where all the details,mary marketing area increased offers, and promotions are thor-153%, up 50% from the same oughly explained. Cerritos alsothree-month period in 2010 be- provides phone scripts for eachcause they are targeting the right campaign to help improve ap-customers and prospects in their pointment ratios. Even the re-own backyard,” says Budd Black- ceptionist is instructed to alwaysburn, owner of www.TeamVe- answer the phone with the ap-locityMarketing.com, the target- propriate campaign greeting; Targeted Custom Campaigns