AutoSuccess .feb10


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

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AutoSuccess .feb10

  1. 1. Thank you to all the AutoSuccess Best of the Best NADA 2010 Companies February 2010
  2. 2. Dick Hannah Honda Used Car Net Profit 96.4% increase #% #% 2008 2009 Our franchises have alwaysbeen essential to our new car business. Now, with vAuto, we’ve found a Almost everything my franchises bring to our new car side,franchise for our vAuto brings to our used operations, includingused car business pulling customers — and it’s made all the difference. into my front door. —Martin J. Green Corporate Dealer Manager —Dwayne Hawkins Dick Hannah Dealerships President Vancouver, Washington Crown Automotive Group St. Petersburg, Florida Beyond the leading-edge technology. Beyond the exclusive features. Beyond the data-driven insight. For a select set of dealers nationwide, vAuto has become much more. It has become all the power and the privilege of a franchise — refocused on used car operations. License to proprietary software proven to drive profitability. Access to the Velocity Management™ playbook and coaches. Entrance to a community of like-minded, highly successful dealers. Contact with customers predisposed to buying from you. It’s “the franchise”— reinvented for today’s used car market. vAuto is The Franchise 2.0. Get a live demo today. Visit or call 888-841-3701.
  3. 3. AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | Ken Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution 2010 SERVICE PLAN FOR GENERAL MANAGERS MAKING THE CASE FOR ONLINE NEGOTIATION IS YOUR DETAIL DEPARTMENT A PROBLEM? THREE STEPS TO MAXIMIZE CONVERSIONS IS YOUR WEB SITE READY FOR SUCCESS? WHAT IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET? GETTING IT RIGHT BEFORE RETIREMENT: FIVE FAVORITE SALES MEETING TOPICS TEXTING - YOUR GATEWAY TO SALES SELLING THE CREATIVE EFFORT AND DEALER PRINCIPLES THE MOOD OF THE SALE RESOLUTIONS, PART 1 MAXIMIZING LEAD ROI Gain, Guide and Captivate FUTURE SHOCKS GOODBYE 2009 ROTH IRA 101 22 28 24 09 08 26 30 10 36 14 16 27 18 32 34 By TedRubin DalePollak ChuckPatton StephenR.Covey JockSchowalter JohnFreund KirkManzo BradKing SteveBrazill LeeGlynn ErinO’Connor StevenShaw KendallBillman TimJames TomHopkins BudAbraham February 2010 pg 2 pg 4 pg 8 pg2 pg1 pg0 stephen r covey lee glynn jock schowalter
  4. 4. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey RESOLUTIONS 1 part We may think that we deeply imbedded bad habit with a good one choose our response to any circumstance or can change deeply involves much more than being temporarily condition. When we are response-able, our imbedded habits and patterns simply by “psyched up” over some simplistic success commitment becomes more powerful than making new resolutions or goals, only to find formula, such as “think positively” or “try our moods or circumstances, and we keep that old habits die hard and that, in spite of harder.” It takes deep understanding of self the promises and resolutions we make. For good intentions and social promises, familiar and of the principles and processes of growth example, if we put “mind over mattress” patterns carry over from year to year. and change. These include assessment, and arise early in the morning, we will earn commitment, feedback and follow-through. our first victory of the day and gain a certain We often make two mistakes with regard to sense of self-mastery. We can then move on New Year’s resolutions: We will soon break our resolutions if we to more public victories. And as we deal well don’t regularly report our progress to with each new challenge, we unleash within First, we don’t have a clear knowledge of somebody and get objective feedback on ourselves a fresh capacity to soar to new who we are. Hence, our habits become our our performance. Accountability breeds heights. identity, and to resolve to change a habit is “response”-ability. Commitment and to threaten our security. We fail to see that involvement produce change. Next month, we’ll look at some concrete we are not our habits. We can make and steps to take in making successful changes in break our habits. We need not be a victim Breaking deeply imbedded habits such as our lives. of conditions or conditioning. We can write procrastinating, criticizing, overeating or your own script, choose our course and oversleeping involves more than a little control our own destiny. wishing and will power. Often our own resolve is not enough. We need reinforcing Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of Second, we don’t have a clear picture relationships, people and programs that hold FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 of where we want to go. Therefore, our us accountable and responsible. Habits of Highly Effective People. He can resolves are easily uprooted, and we then be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e-mail get discouraged and give up. Replacing a Remember: Response-ability is the ability to at TEXT WITH WITH SUCCESS FACT: Text messaging has risen 700% since 2006. Text “answer” to 89000 to see how many messages were sent in June 2009. • Inventory on the go! • Text for info • Text to win contests • Text customers responses to inquiries • Text to join Websites | Hyper SEO | ILM | Mobile | Texting | SEM Call to setup your demo | 866.222.771208
  5. 5. marketingsolution ChuckPatton 2010 SERVICE PLAN FOR GENERAL MANAGERS AND DEALER PRINCIPLES In Charles Dickens’ E-mail Doesn’t Replace Everything — novel, A Tale of Two Service has been such a lifeline this year that Cities, London and Paris were going through many new companies are looking to introduce tremendous social turmoil. Even though their “magic pill” programs such as total e-mail challenges were similar, the ways in which management systems to anyone looking to they operated were not. cut costs. Use e-mail to complement your current marketing but not in order to achieve Turning to recent times, how would the total communications coverage — because A Tale of Two Departments read from an it won’t. If not implemented correctly and automotive dealership’s point of view? Last strategically, you will actually lose money. year’s economically revolutionary story addresses Dickens’ novel’s famous line, Track Your Results — Use programs that “It was the best of times, it was the worst allow you to measure the results of the of times....” In an automotive dealership, program. It is much easier to do in service the tale is not the same from the sales than in sales. and service perspectives, as the service department accounted for almost all of the Know the Rules of Co-op — Co-op rules profit in 2009 at the average dealership, for service are a bit more complicated than in according to NADA’s end-of-the-year sales, but if you want money back, you need to analysis. To get both sides of the dealership know them. If the manufacturer’s program is out of economic difficulty, dealership leaders performing poorly, it makes much more sense must have the vision and the ability to adjust to waive the free money in order to work with to the market. Dealership vision is greatly a solution that brings in more customers. influenced by the dealer principle and/or the general manager, so it becomes vital that Segmented Marketing — Your loyal they learn what it takes to successfully come customers are different from your current out of the revolution. customers, who are different from your lost customers or prospects. Technology allows The Right Approach you to separate these customers and market Be Consistent — Service is all about to them based on their behavior. This can retaining customers over the lifetime of ultimately bring in more customers and a their vehicle ownership in order to capture better return-on-investment than had you a healthy profit potential. It is also about implemented a less customer-targeted mass extending that relationship from the loyalty communication. to the service department into a purchase in the sales department. Most sales approaches Rely on Your Service Manager — Tap into are short-term. However, customers are in the expertise of your service manager rather the service center for repeat visits much more than attempting to implement a marketing often than in the sales department, so you strategy that, while effective in other have more opportunities to impress them with areas, isn’t informed by a comprehensive your dealership. understanding of service departments. Again, sales and service are different, and your Talk Value — Show more value for the marketing approach needs to reflect that. Your investment to compete with the aftermarket service manager can play a key role helping brand. Sell the experience of doing business you develop a sound strategy. in a nice facility with amenities that If you commit to the general philosophy of customers cannot get from the aftermarket. avoiding running the service department like you would the sales department, you can learn Talk Price — Are you competitive on the how to create a successful service vision for three or four common services that your 2010. Remember, there is a lot of potential customers understand, like an oil change? for “the best of times” with service growth, You don’t need to discount everything; just but there is also a lot of risk of “the worst of discount enough to cause your market to times” if you don’t do it right. Get to know question the stereotypes. the difference, and your vision will be one that allows you to be a true leader in 2010. Talk “You” — Service industries are all about reputation because the product, unlike a commodity, really is you. Take the time Chuck Patton is the founder and CEO of to talk about your people, your services and Traffic Builders, Inc. He can be contacted at 866.859.8520, or by e-mail at your brand. Most service departments sell the quality of their service experience with factory-trained technicians. 0 9 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  6. 6. marketingsolution BradKing THREE STEPS TO MAXIMIZE CONVERSIONS Gain, Guide and Captivate Converting visitors to Reserve sales price is $10,000 but starting information including incentives, color contacts is a process bid is $5,000. This invites multiple bidders. brochures, window stickers and options. The comprised of three steps. They don’t require Most will stop bidding before the sales price visitor should not have to leave this page to a lot of money; just a little common sense. is met, but you will obtain each bidder’s obtain these details. An important factor that Maximize your online business by gaining name, address, phone number and e-mail most dealers omit is displaying actual photos new visitors and leads, guide them directly address. These bidders have committed to a of their new vehicles in lieu of stock pictures. to inventories and captivate the visitor by minimum of $5,000, you know the vehicle Few pictures are required for new vehicles following the details listed below. of interest, and that they are located in your but it’s important for the visitor to be able to area. It’s safe to say they are in the market. view the trim features, wheels, dash and seats Step One: Take Advantage of the The cost — $37 — divided by the number of to help personalize the vehicle for the visitor. Basics to Gain New Visitors bidders equates to the cost per lead. There’s Add a posting tool for social sites such as There are numerous opportunities available. no excuse to be waiting on business when Facebook and Twitter to help visitors share Start the process by first taking advantage of you use this lead-generation method. their car with others. It serves as a method to no-cost opportunities, then consider low-cost help the buyer commit to the sale. lead acquisition options. Use cost-per-click programs with controls. Pay only for visitors within a hundred-mile Many people prefer watching a commercial No-cost options: radius of your address, link visitors directly versus reading an article. The goal should be 1. Take care of the basics on existing to inventory pages related to the keywords to captivate your visitor by giving them both. marketing efforts by promoting your Web and set a stop-campaign trigger based on Add a walk-around video of each new and address on every business card, mailer, your specified budget. Monitor your results pre-owned vehicle. Include custom voice-over billboard, TV ad, radio ad and marketing and make performance adjustments to scripts with background music to transform campaign you create. develop a profitable campaign. your video into a professional commercial. 2. Next, to help obtain a top ranking in The script should include warranty, financing Google, ensure that the brands and Step Two: Guide Visitors to Inventories details, and dealer specials (such as tires models you represent — combined with The primary reason a visitor comes to a for life) as the vehicle is being displayed in your location — are listed multiple times dealer’s site is to view inventory. Access to any the video. Upload your entire inventory to in text, versus images or Flash within the new or pre-owned model in your inventory YouTube, then embed the YouTube video on top 50 percent of your home page. should be delivered within one click from the detail page of each vehicle. Why? 3. Take advantage of YouTube, the second the home page. For instance, if you’re a Ford 1. 100 percent of your inventory can be largest search engine. Utilize this asset dealer, all of the models that Ford offers should found in the second largest search engine by creating and loading videos for each be displayed on the home page. That way, if in the world. of your vehicles on, and a Mustang is selected, the visitor is instantly 2. Hundreds of YouTube videos embedded then embed them into your Web site. viewing all Mustang inventories. This one- in your site will substantially increased It will gain new traffic and also help click strategy should continue on the Mustang your rankings in the search engines. improve your Google rankings. inventory page by maintaining a list of new 3. It captivates your visitors. The voice- 4. List your inventories on third-party sites. model choices, so if the visitor decides to view over is also a good place to invite visitors One of the most popular and productive another model and selects a Focus, a single to value their trade or contact you. sites is Craigslist. Minimally, list your click delivers all of the Focus inventories. pre-owned vehicles. Pre-owned inventories should work in the All three steps must be utilized in order to same manner. All pre-owned brands in your maximize your results. A site with low traffic Low-cost options: inventory are shown on the home page, and if will fail. If high traffic is achieved but the Utilize eBay to gain high-quality leads. Nissan is selected, all Nissan inventories are visitor can’t navigate to inventory quickly, eBay has proven itself to be a great location delivered in one click from the home page. it suffers. If customers cannot be captivated, to sell high-end specialty cars or wholesale Never forget what you are selling — cars! results will be lacking. If, however, you units, but the largest percentage of your Keep your home page focused on enabling gain new visitors and leads, guide them to inventory is probably mid-range vehicles, visitors to view more vehicles per session and inventories in one click and captivate them and they may not sell as easily. Utilizing you will sell more cars. with pictures and video, you will successfully eBay auctions to obtain high-quality leads convert visitors into contacts. can prove to be one of your most inexpensive Step Three: Captivate Your Visitor methods to gain leads. Start by listing several It is paramount that you capture the visitor’s Brad King is the president of Dealermade. vehicles with a reserve set at your sales attention once they reach the vehicle’s detail He can be contacted at 800.723.2608, or by price and a very low starting bid. Example: page. New vehicles should display all relevant e-mail at
  8. 8. It’s another busy Tuesday afternoon at your dealership. You have six seekers into buyers, and includes engaging custom videos for every shoppers looking at vehicles, three people discussing finance, one make and model. Test drives sell cars at the dealership and virtual test person looking at a brochure and five people talking with sales agents. drives help sell shoppers online. Don’t you wish your showroom was like this? If you’re like most dealerships, it is like this on your Web site. Imagine this: Someone Chris Fousek, eCommerce Director of Cadillac Saab Hummer Village walks into your showroom and looks around, and no one greets them or of Norwood described the benefits of interactive online experiences, even acknowledges them. It’s a highly unlikely scenario and might even “Our dealership Web site is the heart of our business and consumers get someone fired. But, this is exactly what happens on most dealers’ increasingly demand instant gratification. Everyone is busy, and Web sites every day. It may be happening on your site as you read this! shoppers appreciate fast responses to their questions. A growing This situation equates to literally thousands of lost lead generation and number of people just don’t want to pick up the phone and call the sales opportunities each month for the average dealership. dealership anymore, and many don’t want to wait for a response to e-mail. Overall, the service provides us with more sales opportunities The sales funnel continues to evolve as consumers push for more that we missed. Live chat lets us offer the same level of service on our instant gratification and information. It’s not “dead” as some Web site that we offer in our showroom.” have asserted, but it’s certainly been flipped around as online communication has rapidly increased. Making the first contact with shoppers is critical and puts you in the driver’s seat for online sales success. According to a recent MIT report, prospective online shoppers fill out an average of three to five lead forms and the first to contact a lead increases conversion by 238 percent. Further, more than 65 percent of all conversions occur on first call. Speed is obviously important and is a key determinant of successful sales. We live in a different world today and consumers demand instant gratification online, and dealership Web sites with the ability to deliver just the right message, at just the right time have a huge competitive advantage. Live chat is the fastest way to connect with consumers online, giving you a huge advantage. Most dealers are still not leveraging the power of interactive, real-time communication on their Web sites. Combining quality information with stimulating multi-sensory applications such as video and live chat is a great way to engage consumers. As they expect more instant Online connectivity is the key as consumers seek information on gratification online, any steps dealers can take to make their sites Facebook, Craigslist, eBay, newsletters, retail Web sites, microsites more interactive, more robust and easier to be found online, adds and more. The ability to connect and engage shoppers on any relevant incredible value. Research tells us that multi-sensory experiences help online locations differentiates progressive dealerships that actively consumers retain information and create preference, and using chat reach consumers. The nation’s top eCommerce dealers use ActivEngage on the dealership Web site is a powerful first step in engaging more to actively connect with consumers on these sites. It may be hard Web site visitors into a conversation. ActivTestDrive lets dealers move to believe, but e-mail is now considered “too slow” for a growing customers through the unique virtual sales process to turn information percentage of the population participating in online shopping. In12
  9. 9. addition, many people are very reluctant to call dealerships because theymay have had an uncomfortable experience with an overly aggressivesalesperson on the phone, or been routed through an endless maze ofautomated phone menus only to have no one respond to their calls.Focusing on generating more leads from the dealership’s own Web sitehelps keep costs per car sold down and delivers the highest closingratio. Live chat is proving to be one of the most effective methods togenerate more of these valuable leads.Dealers can easily double or triple Web site lead generation by sendingcarefully crafted proactive chat invitations, based on shoppers’behavior on the Web site. For example, with ActivEngage businessintelligence you can know that a shopper arrived on your site from aGoogle search for “2007 Dodge Ram Atlanta.” You can watch theirclick path and co-browse to view the vehicles they are shopping, andsend just the right message at just the right time. Further, you canactually see what pages and vehicles shoppers view while on yoursite, in real-time. Armed with this customer intelligence, you can thensend customized chat messages, based on their behavior, rather thangeneric messages. This raises the level of service available on the Website to the same level as the physical showroom. It creates a great firstimpression and can be a huge differentiator for your dealership.Technology also exists that allows you to focus your attention onsite visitors who are ready to buy, based on particular characteristicsor behavior patterns. This behavioral targeting allows you to seewhere shoppers are physically located, and parameters can be set showroom or on the dealership lot. You use observation and listeningbased number of visits, pages viewed, order of page views, viewing skills to lead your conversation with someone in person. If you see thattime, specific pages, number of pages, time spent on site, and more. someone is looking at Toyota Camrys on the lot, you offer assistanceProactive custom messages can then be sent, based on customers’ that is specific to the Camry when you approach them. On your Webshopping behavior, enabling dealers to track and target the hottest site, you can now see what vehicles and dealership information aprospects and spend more time with shoppers who are most likely to visitor is viewing and then approach them with an offer to help that isconvert, and less time with casual browsers. Driving lots of traffic to specific to their shopping behavior. The majority of the communicationyour Web site can be great; it can also be a distraction if visitors are rules for face-to-face interactions apply online. It really is that simple,not good prospects. and technology now allows the same type of interactions online.It is much more effective to greet shoppers with a customized message, Most dealers are also very pleasantly surprised to find that shoppers usebased on business intelligence such as, “Hello, do you have any chat for more than just vehicle sales information. Consumers schedulequestions about the vehicle warranty? If so, I’m here to help.” rather service appointments, purchase parts, get F&I details and more.than merely greeting shoppers with a generic message such as, “Hello, Hewlett Volkswagen Internet Manager Russell Blackstone describedmay I help you with anything?” his dealership’s experience using ActivEngage’s proactive virtual sales associates: “We’re not only using live chat for vehicle sales, but alsoJustin Brun, eCommerce Manager at Acton Toyota Scion of Littleton parts, service, finance — really all dealership profit centers. People cancommented, “Live chat is playing a part of our increased online be really impatient and live chat gives them instant gratification. Notwarranty sales and profitability. People generally have a lot of all site visitors use the chat, but many of them do, and the ones who doquestions about warranties, and now we can answer those questions have the highest conversion rates. It’s like a gold mine.”at the Web site and help guide shoppers through our four-step salesprocess. We are very pleased with the profit margins that our online Technology has now advanced to offer you a way to instantlywarranty sales have brought to the dealership. I am also really pleased connect with the shoppers, no matter where they are online, and evenwith the ActivEngage analytics and tools; they are more robust than co-browse with the shoppers to give them a complete rich-mediaany others available.” experience, including video. Dealerships that are leveraging proactive chat correctly are creating a “WOW” factor and experience forSuccessful sales start by building trust and relationships, by shoppers. Chat offers your customers access to instant answers insteadengaging in personalized communication. Top dealers know this of forcing them through the e-mail gauntlet or requiring the shopperand are leveraging live chat to begin the sales process online, before to change the medium and call the dealership. Chat allows you toconsumers pick up the phone, send an e-mail or visit the dealership. deliver the right information at just the right time, to create a great firstWith online business intelligence and live chat, you can “know” the impression for you and the dealership.person before you engage in subsequent communication, leveragingthis business intelligence to guide the sales process. Ted Rubin is a founding partner of ActivEngage. He canUsing business intelligence to guide the conversation on your Web site be contacted at 866.918.2150, or by e-mail atis just like using common sense when you approach someone in the 1 3
  10. 10. sales&trainingsolution LeeGlynn FIVE FAVORITE SALES MEETING TOPICS Not to brag, but I have to make the calls; you have to stay in customer say they would buy it, only to have probably have the best touch; you have to take any opportunity to the desk pencil the deal at $1,500 down and job in the automotive retailing business. As get in front of the consumer. However, many $450 per month? How much conviction did part of a staffed events group, I find myself sales people stop pumping before the water the salesperson have when he returned to the in a different dealership every weekend. comes. They get discouraged, it isn’t working customer and presented those numbers? The From Maine to Hawaii and everywhere in for them, they were too busy, etc. But the only salesperson could inoculate himself against between, I am exposed to the inner workings way to get that water is to pump and pump that happening with one phrase. Anytime a of dealerships’ sales departments across the and not stop. And once it flows, less effort is customer lays out the details of a deal ($500 country. From my perspective, I get to see required to keep the flow going, but you have down, $300 a month) the salesperson should it all. I see more than 100 ups a day come to put the work in initially to reap the rewards. reply, “If I had something a little nicer, with through the dealership doors. That’s more a few really nice features, but it was going to than 100 different opportunities for another At the Sales Desk be a little more, should I not show it to you?” sale. Drawing from 11 years of experience Every manager has his own style. Some are Every customer will respond with “depends” in this career, here are my five favorite sales coaches, some are bosses and some see an and the salesperson is free to show the same meeting topics. opportunity to train in unlikely places. There car he would have shown, but now won’t was a sales manager known for his forthright look like Jekyll and Hyde if he needs to Save a Deal nature. It was well known on the sales floor remind the customer that he said it was going Every dealership sales meeting should begin that he did not tolerate a customer being to be a little more. with this component. A “save a deal” meeting released from the sales department without the is just what it sounds like. Each and every manager having an opportunity to say “hello.” The Four-Minute Mile interaction with customers from the previous We watched as a young salesman greeted Something happened on May 6, 1954 that had day is reviewed, a strategy is planned and a customer on the lot, looked at a front line never been done before. Conventional wisdom someone takes action to move the process pre-owned car, talked for a minute or two and was that the human body just couldn’t run a forward. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were in last then the customer got back into his vehicle and mile in less than four minutes; it wasn’t built night, looked at a vehicle and did not purchase drove away. Everyone watched as this manager to do it — until May 6, that is, when Roger because they had another appointment paged the salesperson to the podium, most of Bannister broke the record. The funny thing is, elsewhere. A sales manager agrees to call us thinking “This is going to be ugly.” Instead, two more people did it the next month. High them today and thank them for coming in and the manager asked the salesperson where the school students do it today. What changed? inquire about moving ahead. Sounds simple, customer went. The salesperson replied that The athlete’s belief that it could be done. right? This assumes that floor traffic and the customer said he needed to get back to This brings me to George Marks. He was a telephone ups are being effectively tracked his work and left. The next words from the salesman who kept to himself, never in the and documented and provides an opportunity manager were teaching at its best. “Where does coffee clutch or gossiping on the showroom for managers to mentor salespeople. What a the customer work?” I don’t know. “Where floor. If he was at work, he was either with a powerful, simple idea. does he live?” I don’t know. “Is he married?” customer or on the phone, always busy. I saw I don’t know. “Does he have kids?” And then George Marks go six for six on a Saturday. Six The Pump the light bulb came on. The salesperson said to ups, six delivered. I heard another salesperson A sales manager at a top-performing the manager, “I know what you are doing! You call him “lucky” one day. The sales manager dealership conducted a meeting that I had the are asking me the things I should have asked immediately interrupted and said it wasn’t pleasure to attend. From under the podium, him instead of telling him what a great car that luck; Marks made his own luck. “I’ll tell you he produced a red, cast-iron hand pump – the is.” The sales manager smiled, the salesman why George sells so many cars,” he said. “He kind you see at a farmhouse for the well. smiled, and I am convinced that he went away treats every customer like a buyer.” George He sat it on the podium and explained how with one more tool to find success. He had knew that every person he spoke to was it worked. Pumping the handle produces a learned that people buy cars from people they there to do business, and therefore, he gave vacuum that draws the water up from the well like, not salespeople. every person the opportunity to say “yes.” He and eventually out the spout. As he pumped believed it, just like the runner knows he can the device, he explained that it was the water Selecting the Right Vehicle break the four-minute mile. source for his family when he was young. He Have you ever had a customer tell you that said some of the kids hated to be the first to they have $500 dollars down and want pump each day, because it took so long and so to spend $300 dollars per month on a car Lee Glynn is the vice president of The many pumps to finally get the water flowing. payment? Of course you have; it happens all Wolfington Group. He can be contacted at This sales manager said the process was very the time. How many times have we selected 800.905.0641, or by e-mail at similar to prospecting and following up. You the wrong car, taken it for a ride, and had the 1 4
  11. 11. sales&trainingsolution TomHopkins THE MOOD OF THE SALE To be successful attitude will show through in your body at selling vehicles, language or in some other discernible way you must be able to quickly understand the and the clients will pick up on it. They may emotions churning inside your potential not even be consciously aware of it, but clients. Having empathy for your clients and something will tell them not to do business knowing their situations is critical. You have with you and they’ll raise walls of sales to become skillful at synchronizing what you resistance about making a decision today. say with a wide variety of client emotions. How well you do this makes a powerful For example, if I were talking with a wife impact on your income. and husband who are having their first child, I’d be a little more concerned with relating It’s sad but true; many people put off making to her than him. Even though he’ll be excited vehicle decisions until they absolutely have about the future and have vehicle safety to. They wait until their old vehicle is in such concerns, she’ll be more likely (as mothers a state that it either isn’t going to last much are) to be concerned about the ease of getting they think that? There’s an underlying reason longer or will cost them dearly in repairs. the child in and out of the vehicle, whether or that they’re ready and willing to talk with Perhaps they weren’t prepared to make not there’s room for a stroller and the other you right now. Until you know that reason, a vehicle investment at this time, but for paraphernalia that needs to be transported you can’t start feeling their feelings and whatever reason, the need has become urgent. with small children, etc. Both may be very relating to them properly in order to serve concerned with economy because we all their needs. In some cases, your potential clients may know that babies are expensive. have been forced into talking with you by Although some situations are touchy to someone else (a spouse, a parent, a co- Now let’s look at another situation. Perhaps work with, they’re more likely to give you worker) who thinks they need a new vehicle your potential clients were recently in a the opportunity to render great service more than the clients themselves do. You situation where their vehicle broke down to someone who really needs it. In any may work with people who are suffering and caused them to miss out on a road trip or situation where you’re talking with a couple, pain from major upheavals that have taken job interview. Now, they’re talking with you be especially careful not to take sides or place in their lives that have caused them to see that it doesn’t happen again. They’ve favor one person’s opinion over the other’s, to downsize from a vehicle they love to had a dose of reality and need to feel secure. even if they’re right. Keep it constantly in something more affordable. Whatever the With these folks, focus on the security that mind that if either person suspects you of situation is, you will have to adjust your a reliable vehicle can provide. One or both making judgments about them, they’re not demeanor, your words and how you present of them might be upset or angry about being going to buy a vehicle from you. You’re yourself and your inventory. in this situation. They may feel they’ve lost working with people who make buying face with each other by not being on top of decisions emotionally, not logically. You I teach selling skills. Yet, if I taught you all their needs. You’ll have to tread lightly with must first work with their emotions, then the strategies and all the words to say, and this couple until you get them focused on help them see the logic in following the plan failed to teach you the importance of having the solution rather than the problem. When you recommend. You do that by building a empathy for your clients, I’d be doing you you meet them, you’re part of the industry performance that relates to their needs. and them a disservice. To be successful in at which they’re mad, and they’re especially this business, you must know a lot about afraid of having the same challenge again. As an automotive professional, you have how to sell and about your products. But, more than a job; you have an absolute even more important if you plan to make this The key to success in any selling situation obligation to do everything in your power to business a lifelong career, you must truly care is to leave your opinions, your personal feel like your clients feel and respond to their about people. situation, your history outside the door, feelings appropriately. unless you have faced a similar situation Start right now by asking yourself, “How do where you can speak from the heart. Start World-renowned master sales trainer Tom I feel about how they feel?” If your attitude asking questions as soon as you establish Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins is, “I couldn’t care less,” don’t be surprised rapport so you can understand why they are International. He can be contacted at 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at if they don’t care about doing business with talking with you. What are they thinking? you. You can’t fake concern. If you’re not What do they think they need versus what truly empathetic to your clients’ needs, your your experience tells you they need? Why do16
  12. 12. marketingsolution KendallBillman IS YOUR WEB SITE READY FOR SUCCESS? Here we are in 2010, mind allows you to build each page with a Finance and many dealers series of actions to increase your Web site’s • When you select “Finance,” does it send are still struggling with their Web sites. conversions to sales. a message to the consumer letting them Depending upon which statistic you read, 90+ know how easy it is for you to help with percent of consumers search online and their Inventory is your next checkpoint. This is their next purchase? first impression is what they currently see. the main reason people are on your Web site • Is the credit application easy to fill out? and, of course, it is the main reason you are So, how do you know if your Web site is in business. Web sites are more than a place for out-of-date? It seems every time you turn • Do you give that automobile shopper information, but many Web vendors have around, someone is telling you how it is tools they need to make a good decision? not taken the steps to help you be successful. wrong or how they can do it better, but how • Do you have a vehicle model compare As you review your Web site, ask yourself if do you really know? feature? your current provider is just a provider or are • Does your Web site bring out trusted they a partner? If they are not a partner, then The first step is to take a few minutes and logos, such as “CarFax,” “CarFax you may need to find a solution that gets you look at the front of your Web site. This 1-Owner” or “AutoCheck”? ahead of the technology curve. is the starting point for your prospects and • Do you have manufacturer rebates repeat customers: displayed? Last and not least, I have put together a small • Do you have good call to actions? • Do you give the shopper the ability to checklist of features that make a successful • Are your ads and specials current? compare models? Web site. • Does your Web site allow for you to • Are you working off of a template One good point to remember is the person customize the “additional vehicles of Web site, or is it customized to fit your looking at your Web site is in control. They interest”? dealership? are in their enviroment, and will shop at • Does your Web site talk with your CRM their own pace. They can browse, click and Inventory is where many Web sites let their and DMS system? play without any pressure. Keeping this in dealers down. They do not have the call to • Is your Search Engine Optimization actions displayed automated, and does every page of your in convenient Web site have advanced SEO? places and, more • Is your inventory updated once a week? importantly, they Why not every day? Friends? do not have the features consumers • Does your Web site have video? • Does your Web site offer vehicle Share! need to make good reviews? decisions. Another • Does your Web site display current key feature of Web incentives and OEM rebates? Loyalty Driver sites built on newer • Is your Web site built for Google’s new platforms allow search platform, “Google Caffeine”? enewsletter content for a large photo • Is your Web site vendor a partner, or just connects you to display section. an expense? This gives you the social networks. ability to enhance • And, one of the most critical elements to insure your Web site is ready for that vehicle with 2010, does your Web site have a mobile unlimited and large platform? photos. As a bonus here are two major questions to The next step is to ask when looking for a Web site vendor: Friends share great content... look at your fixed 1. Do they offer all of the features I need to ops sections: be successful? making new connections for you. Service & Parts 2. Did they build the tools themselves or are • How does your they third-party products? This is critical service page because if they are third-party products, look? Innovative Enewsletter Solutions you may have issues with your data. • Is it easy to | 866-964-6397 schedule service? • Do you have service specials front and center? Kendall Billman is the director of interactive • Is it built marketing for VinSolutions. He can be to increase contacted at 866.892.1447, or by e-mail at1 conversions?
  13. 13. marketingsolution JockSchowalter MAKING THE CASE FOR ONLINE NEGOTIATION Negotiation is in our and make a friendly little visit to the F&I a negotiated price, which represents an DNA. Little children department. accomplishment and value to the buyer. learn to negotiate before they can even talk. This is because they feel that the price they When a baby starts crying because he or Online Negotiation Will have negotiated is a good price, since they she is hungry, they are actually engaging in Drive Up Conversion Ratio have worked to obtain the lower-negotiated negotiation. They are willing to stop their One of the most evident results online price. In addition, they have received various crying in exchange for the parent feeding nregotiation will bring to your dealership payment options to meet their budget, trade them. When we are all grown up, our needs is increasing the conversion ratio on your values which most consumers realize is an are more sophisticated, but we still negotiate Web site. I define “conversion ratio” as the important part of what their payments will be, as our primary means of getting what we number of visitors who traverse your Web site and financing options all online. want. Nowhere is that more apparent than in and provide you with contact information. automotive retailing. The typical conversion ratio on a dealer Web What You Know in Advance site is around three percent, and varies by You can Prepare For You have a product — in this case vehicles — brand. Weve seen online negotiation increase Since you know in advance that your that one party wants to sell and the other party that ratio of visitors to leads by 60 percent competitors cannot or will not provide this wants to purchase. The seller wants to obtain to 90 percent. In some cases much more, if same information, the fact that the buyer the most amount of profit from the sale of the dealer is advertising online negotiation in will attempt to shop your deal becomes less the product and the buyer wants to obtain traditional media. worrisome. When the consumer calls or the product at the lowest possible price. e-mails the competing dealership, they will Each party tries to position themselves and The bump in conversion ratio happens almost be told “Sure we will beat their price, but employ tactics to achieve their goals (some immediately and can easily double within 90 you have to come on down to get it. ” The people still employ the crying tactic). This days. Its amazing how quickly consumers reality, though, is the consumer doesnt want positioning and tactical activity is the process grasp the concept. Its clear that the consumer to come on down anymore; not without the of negotiation. Today, most negotiation is more than ready to engage in this process, information they need first. Give them the happens in person or over the telephone. and why wouldnt they? It saves them time information, negotiate a fair deal and you will Online negotiation provides a platform for and reduces much of the stress involved with seem them coming into your showroom to the same negotiations to take place using the making a high-dollar purchase. pick up their new vehicles in droves. Internet. You are merely using the Internet as the communication channel for the two Are Online Negotiation Customers are ready to negotiate car deals parties to negotiate. The flow of activity Leads High Quality? online. You will have many more high-quality is almost the same as it happens on the What is great about online negotiation leads is leads coming from your Web site. They are showroom floor. that the buyers are farther along in the buying serious buyers farther down the sales funnel process. They are at the point where they than most leads. By meeting the buyer where The buyer selects a vehicle they are interested have decided on the specific vehicle and are they want to do business, you will limit the in on your existing Web site. They provide ready negotiate the specific terms to acquire customers ability to shop your overall deal information about their trade, along with their that vehicle. Its no wonder that the closing around with your competitors. The customers finances, if they are seeking financing from ratio on these types of leads are as high as 40 are ready to negotiation online. Are you? the dealership. The dealership takes this percent. information and puts together a proposal that If you would like to receive a free preview includes price, payment options, estimated Won’t Customers ‘Shop’ electronic copy of my upcoming book On-line trade values and financing terms. The dealer Me if I Negotiate Online? Negotiation is Now a Reality, contact me with then posts that proposal online where the Newsflash: They already are. This may come the information below. consumer can view it. The buyer can accept as a surprise, but online negotiation actually the terms of the proposal or submit a counter makes it harder for them to do this. By using offer. The dealer can then counter offer back online negotiation, you make it much more to the buyer and so on until an agreement difficult for a buyer to compare your deal to Jock Schowalter is the president is reached or one party decides that a deal the deals of your competitors. and founder of and WideStorm. He can be contacted at is not feasible. If agreement is reached, the 866.869.1108, or e-mail at appointment is made to test drive the vehicle If you are negotiating online, you are (if they have not already done so), confirm providing much more than just a price on a trade condition/value, sign paperwork, vehicle. You are providing the “shopper” 2 2