AutoSuccess july10


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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 july10

  1. 1. Check out the latest podcast featuring JULY Chuck Patton of Traffic Builders at2010
  2. 2. So you’re NOT a direct mail Dealership.ARE YOU SURE? That’s like saying we’re just another Automotive Direct Marketing Firm. Or, like saying The Golden Gate Bridge is just another bridge.We use mail merge with variable data matching viaLaser Imaging and personalized embossed credit cards onour mailers, at less cost than the same old “key-mailers”you’ve seen in mailboxes for the last half-dozen years... Doesyour current printer offer this? Packaging so unique that itimpresses you, imagine what your customers will think!
  3. 3. INCREASE YOUR E-COMMERCE SALES RESULTS GUARANTEED! AUTOMOTIVE INTERNET MANAGEMENT – THE ONLY E-COMMERCE ACCOUNTABILITY COMPANY TO OFFER A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE Automotive Internet Management can provide you top quality training, tools andaccountability processes to increase your internet sales closing ratios. Working with youand your staff daily to build, train and manage your operation, AIM’s hands-on, grassroots approach creates results, accountability and control. Our proven successes include an increase of e-commerce lead contacts from 14.5% to 89% – in just four short weeks! Let us show you how to turn the internet into your strongest sales tool! you 350 Goddard, Irvine, CA 92618 | Ph: 949.716.7716 | Fx: 949.458.8018 Our Accountability Training Counts! Endorsed by Web Control AVV and Lexus | Recipient of the Platinum Award 2009 Dealer’s Choice Awards
  4. 4. AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Kentucky 40299 | 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 MANAGE YOUR ONLINE MERCHANDISING, PART 1 CAN MODERN SOLUTIONS PROTECT AGAINST LOOKING FOR NEW ADVERTISING IDEAS? IT’S Three Communication Tactics to Increase Closing Percentages An Interview With Rosner Toyota Scion’s Shawn Kloppman DIRECT MAIL FROM THE DEALERSHIP’S MAKING THE PHONE WORK FOR YOU AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING STRATEGY DON’T FORGET ONLINE REPUTATION TIME TO RE-EXAMINE DIRECT MAIL INVENTORY PROCESS: IN-HOUSE ALGEBRA BOOKS AND CRAYONS MID-YEAR EVALUATION OF YOUR THE DEATH OF THE TRADITIONAL The Trouble With Your Lead Management Tool A SALES STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE MANAGEMENT FOR FIXED OPS DO MEN AND WOMEN SPEAK LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OLD SCHOOL PRACTICES? FISH WHERE THE FISH ARE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES? DEALERSHIP PART 1 SELF SUFFICIENCY OR OUTSOURCE? POINT OF VIEW: , An Interview With NancyTonkin 34 16 28 10 14 22 26 30 32 08 31 18 24 20 MattBaker BillPhillips SeanStapleton An Interview With ShawnKloppman StephenCravens RichardWinch MarkTewart ChuckPatton PatriciaJ.Roberts DougBurkert TimJames KirkManzo DavidMoline JimRadogna pg 1 pg 6 pg 8 pg 3 pg2 pg1 July 2010 chuck patton patricia roberts shawn kloppman
  5. 5. MarkTewart leadership solution PART 1 THE DEATH OF THE TRADITIONAL DEALERSHIPThe traditional dealership is dead, but some Solution: Manager/Coach/Team Leader is never done this before, you will probablyhave not had their funeral yet. It seems as actively involved in the sales process from not do this in the future. Don’t kid yourself.though as much as some things change in the the greeting of the customer. The new focus Running a help-wanted ad in the newspaper,auto industry, as many things stay the same. is to open the relationship so the sale can be interviewing candidates without a pre-Every week our trainers observe things in closed. The days of sitting behind a desk and thought out plan for recruiting, interviewing,dealerships that look and feel like holdovers screaming at salespeople to bring a deal are testing, screening, training and ongoingfrom the 1960s. dead. Managers will be hybrid sales coaches, development is not trying to develop a staff assistants and information providers that of professional salespeople.Let’s take a look at some things still involve the sales process, deal process andcommonly observed in dealerships that are F&I assistance. No longer will the manager Solution: The solution for many isoutdated and should be changed. be expected to save a lost deal, but will be something most do not want to hear. For most involved throughout the process with the dealerships, you will never put the amount of1. Manager Towers emphasis on creating, not on saving. You time, money and energy to set up a high-levelHigh towers built for managers where manage things; you lead people. approach to getting and keeping great people.salespeople go to get their proposal figures. It’s just a fact. The solution is to create aThe common reason for these towers is 4. Seat of the Pants Used Car process that involves heavy involvementto create a good observation point of the Inventory Management with team leaders, assistants and technologyinventory for managers. What these towers The days of the guru used car manager — that narrows the scope of your sales staff.signify is demeaning to salespeople and who knows all the hot cars, market figures Most dealerships are hiring average toadversarial to customers. These towers create for every car on the market, what the correct below-average people and expecting them toa manager haven for never moving, as well appraisal is on every trade, what every other do a myriad of things they are not only notas an air of supremacy. dealership is doing and managing the used doing, but not capable of doing. Worse yet, inventory strictly by feel — is dead. The truth the managers are not showing these peopleSolution: Tear down the towers. Look is that person never really existed. It was a or inspecting the process to make sure itaround your dealership and ask yourself the myth and a fairy tale. Nobody — and I mean happens. If you are honest with yourself andfollowing question: “What do I see that looks nobody — is that good at what they do. this description fits your dealership, then youlike it’s from the 60s?” Please tear it down. must try something different. The long-term Solution: If you do not have a used health of your customer base and dealership2. The Big Green Sharpie inventory philosophy, system and technology depends on this.Deal Proposals to assist you, you will forever be makingThese proposals scream of adversarial “you mistakes that are, in today’s market, I invite you to take a moment today andvs. me” negotiations. The figures seem less unforgiving. You must use your knowledge before you get busy with the everyday tasksreal and more of just a thought. combined with inventory technology and to take a strong look at your dealership up-to-date market data to be relevant in the and what is being accomplished or not. BeSolution: Use printed or screen proposals market. The shocking truth is that the 90-, honest. Are you fighting a battle you havewith full disclosure. 60-, 45- or whatever-day turn systems used never won? Do your salespeople, managers, strictly by themselves are also outdated processes and dealership reek of the 60s and3. Manager TOs at the End of a models that not only do not work, they create 70s? It may just be time for a funeral.Sales Attempt problems. Your goals are high sales, profit,For those of you who may be new to the ROI and yield — not just turns (more on thatauto business, a “TO” means a “turnover.” subject in future articles).Old-school selling means the salespersonturns over the customer to a manager when 5. A Staff Full of Professional, Mark Tewart is the president of Tewarthe/she cannot close a deal. Often, the new “Do it All” Salespeople Enterprises, and the author of the best seller, How To Be A Sales Superstar. He cansalesperson is berated for not turning the This one can actually still be accomplished, be contacted at 866.429.6844, or by e-mailcustomer to the manager. The reason is the but very, very few dealers actually do the at salesperson feels as uncomfortable as things to recruit, hire and train the rightthe customer with this process. people to make this happen. If you have08
  6. 6. SeanStapleton marketing solution PART 1 MANAGE YOUR ONLINE MERCHANDISINGOnline merchandising means merchandising • 57 percent of users on a Web site are 2. Ease of Use: One of the Easiestthe right items, at the right time, to the right highly likely to use the search tool Things to do is Make Sure Your Onlinepeople and determining the best products and • Shoppers abandon retail sites within Experience is Easy for the Consumerservices in your inventory to promote to your seconds of not finding a product to Useprospects and current customers. • More than 85 percent of automotive Many times it’s just simple merchandising shoppers use the Internet to help influence tactics that can help you make the sale.Simply put, your goal is to increase click, hits, their decision. Remember the fewer clicks, the better.views and sales by prominently displaying,in an appealing manner, the items customers Today, we know that effective online 3. Display With Appealare most likely to want in as few of clicks as merchandising leads to more people finding Take control of your inventorypossible. what they’re looking for and, therefore, higher merchandizing. Do you have the best possible conversion rates. Increasingly, however, photos? Are they fresh, or are they a weekNow all you have to do is get them to your online merchants are realizing it takes expert old? Do they still show the car in four inchessites. merchandising strategies and regular updates of snow in May? Do you have 20+ photos of those strategies to keep shoppers engaged, of each unit? Are you taking and using high-With millions of cars and trucks online and and not only achieve higher conversion rates resolutions photos? Can you zoom in on yourthousands of dealerships selling products as a result, but to keep them coming back for high-definition photos to see more detail?online it takes more than nice Web site design more. Are you posting videos? Do you have theto be competitive and profitable. One of the best possible comments that are more thangreatest ways to create a relevant, engaging Here are some best practices for online just the basics? Let me ask you this way:shopping experience is through an effective merchandizing that have helped dealers Do your comments make the unit stand out?online merchandising strategy. increase customer traffic and conversions. Does it include your branding “Home of the Free Car Wash” or “Home of the Free LoanerThis is even more apparent when you 1. Be Found Early and Often: You Car,” etc.? Are you regularly changing yourconsider a few key facts: Must Make the Golden Triangle comments, or do they stay the same until The key location on the unit sells? How does your pricing look Google for visibility online? Are you priced to get any action or as determined by just priced? Have you incorporated the latest the eye activity incentives on all of your units, including in the study is a leases? Do you update your descriptions, Tweet? triangle that extends pictures, features and links daily? from the top of 4. What Does Your Sweet! the results over to Web Site Say About You? the top of the first An online presence for your dealership result, then down to is a must. It is a powerful marketing and a point on the left communication tool, an incredible source L Loyalty Driver side at the bottom of of cost-efficiency leads and a sign of the “above the fold” professionalism. Your clients or customers are eNew letter Articles wsl visible results. This building brand impressions from your Web Now No Appearing key area was looked sites and merchandising. When they get there, at by 100 percent of will it support your brand image or sell you on Twitter. the participants. In short? Just think about the number of prospects the study, this was that are not converting because of your online referred to as the merchandising, or lack of it. Are you taking “Golden Triangle.” advantage of the latest technologies for online Generally, this area merchandising? Can you view the picture in appears to include Just another way to spread top-sponsored, top- a full-screen mode? Are you changing your follow-up based on what they looked at or how the good news. organic results and Google’s alternative often they have been back? Are you tracking views, clicks and conversions? What does your results, including Web site say about you? shopping, news or local suggestions. Next month, we’ll take a look at some more Innovative Enewsletter Solutions When customers best practices that dealers have found helpful | 866-964-6397 can find what in increasing their bottom line that you can they’re looking for put into effect in your dealership. — especially with heavily advertised Sean Stapleton is the executive vice and time-sensitive president of VinSolutions. He can be products — they contacted at 866.587.7629, or by e-mail at buy.
  7. 7. The Ron Tonkin Auto Group is one of the most storied businesses in theautomotive industry. The dealer group’s namesake, Ron Tonkin was president of NADA in 1989 and is a legend for his tireless and outspoken defense of dealership rights. Following in the family tradition of leadership, Ed Tonkin, currently serves as this year’s NADA president. Now, Nancy Tonkin, Ed’s daughter, has joined the business to help drive the dealership’s e-commerce operations. We sat down with Nancy Tonkin to ask her how they are approaching today’s consumer. AutoSuccess: The Tonkin name is quite well known in the industry. You’ve just recently joined the organization. What do you think so far? Nancy Tonkin: Of course the automotive business runs deep in our family, so I grew up absorbing much from my dad and grandfather. Of course, now that I’m working directly in the business, I realize that there is a lot involved in making it work. I’ve been involved for about three years now and have learned so much. It’s exciting learning all the aspects of our company and I’m learning more and more every day. AS: What types of things have you been doing over the last year? NT: I’ve been learning each area of the dealership, and have attended the NADA Dealer School. Dealer School really helped me learn all about the car business, starting with the financial statement. My favorite aspect of the business is working with customers, and making sure they have the best car buying experience possible. I suppose I wouldn’t be a Tonkin if I didn’t like that. My grandfather taught me that your month is built one car deal at a time; that each opportunity to do business with a potential customer is important. I think this type of ethic is one of the things that’s made our company so successful. AS: So what is your current role? NT: I’m now in charge of driving our e-commerce and CRM initiatives. This is a very exciting role for me because it’s always evolving. I think being relatively new to the business gives me a fresh perspective to using technology and digital marketing techniques that maybe some of the old school guys are apprehensive about. Fortunately, our organization has always been very forward thinking when it comes to using the Internet and CRM to grow and manage our business. We have a great technology partner, DealerPeak, that we’ve been with for years. They help keep us on the cutting edge of technology and help us sort through all the fluff that’s out there.
  8. 8. AS: What type of solutions does your technology closing ratios and gross profits are both generally higher than ourpartner provide you with? traditional deals.NT: DealerPeak is our vendor for just about everything except ourDMS system. Their solution is unique in the industry because they AS: That’s surprising. Why do you think your closingcan provide so many things on one single platform. They provide ratios increase with online negotiation?our Web sites, CRM, online negotiation, inventory, mobile sites, NT: To me, it makes perfect sense. The customers who engage in thelead management and e-mail marketing; plus I can manage all of online negotiation process are usually farther down the buying funnel.these applications for all of our 16 locations with just one login. I am They have usually landed on a specific vehicle and are now ready toapproached all the time with vendors who claim they can provide all discuss the specifics on payments, financing and what they can receiveof these things, but I’ve yet to see any solution that can provide one for their trade. They are amazed that they can get all this online. Whenholistic system like they can. you are very transparent with the customer, they become engaged and are much more likely to end up purchasing with us.For instance, they’ve just created a feature that allows me to viewexactly what someone on our Web site is looking at and which pages AS: But how can you hold gross? Doesn’t this make itthey are on from within the CRM. By logging the Web-surfing activity easier for the customer to shop your competitors?and making it available in the CRM, I can get tremendous insight NT: This is what many people in our organization were afraid of, butinto the customer’s thinking. As an example, let’s say that a salesman what we found was just the opposite. Again, by giving the customerhas been working with a lead and for some reason closed that lead. all the information they need to make a decision, we found they areWell, we know that many times a salesperson might close a lead that less likely and less able to shop. I think this is probably because, inshouldn’t be closed. Now let’s say that same customer comes back to order for the customer to shop it around with a competitor, they wouldour Web site a day later and starts looking at more vehicles or maybe have to physically go down to the dealership. There aren’t manythey visit our finance application but don’t fill it out. I can see all this people, especially in my generation, that think this is a good time.with our CRM. So as a manager, I know that this person might be Plus, by being up front and transparent, the customer has a positiveconcerned about their ability to get financing, but they are still very experience from the start. That way when they do come to the store tomuch an opportunity. At this point I would send the customer an e-mail take delivery of their vehicle, they aren’t exhausted and are much moredescribing our many financing options and phone call. It’s like a “Save receptive to considering the F&I products that we offer.a Deal” meeting using the customer’s Web site activity. I can even seetheir past surfing activity prior to the customer submitting a lead. This AS: Does the online negotiation systemkind of stuff is very exciting. work with your CRM? NT: Absolutely. Like I said, DealerPeak’s online negotiation systemAS: That’s sounds amazing. What other marketing provides one unified platform for the entire Tonkin organization, sostrategies do you guys use in this tough market? customers who call in or visit the showroom without purchasing canNT: Something that has had a big impact on our sales is online easily be channeled into the online negotiation system. This is onenegotiation. We piloted this system with our technology partner last of the initiatives I’m working on now. We believe that using onlineyear. Essentially, it allows us to desk deals with our customers over negotiation tools will allow us to re-engage customers who havethe Internet and through our Web site. We have two Honda points not yet purchased. I’m also working with our advertising agency toabout six miles apart. We initially just put it into one of those stores. develop a marketing campaign that lets our market know that they canWithin 30 days, the number of leads we were getting from the site with have a hassle-free experience with our dealerships. After all, that isonline negotiation doubled with the same amount of traffic. We didn’t exactly what today’s modern consumer is looking for. As a dealership,do anything as far as traditional marketing to promote it, either. Just if we do a good job at offering that, everyone allowing our customers to negotiate the specific terms of the dealonline, we were able to double our conversion ratio.AS: How has online negotiation beenworking for you since then? For more information about Nancy Tonkin, or theNT: It was a real lifesaver last year. While most of our competitors’ Ron Tonkin Auto Group, visit traffic and leads were significantly down last year, we were ableto maintain — and even eek out a slight increase — in our Web leads For more information about online negotiations, contactlast year. I attribute this to online negotiation. Today we consistently Jock Schowalter at 866.885.9751, or by e-mail atsee hundreds of leads each month from online negotiation. Our
  9. 9. TimJames marketing solution INVENTORY PROCESS: IN-HOUSE OR OUTSOURCE?I’m often asked about the benefits of Web site they visit. Your goal should be Create the ad as soon as possible!bringing the inventory process “in-house” vs. to exceed the consumer’s expectation and 1. Your vehicle’s online ads can be seen by“outsourcing,” which is really a “cart before make yourself stand out from the crowd. more people in one day than most of yourthe horse” discussion. Before determining other advertisements are seen in a week (orwho should perform your inventory process, 3. Vehicle Description — The vehicle month). Every day a vehicle sits on youryou should determine what your inventory description is your opportunity to “sell the lot without an effective online ad costs youprocess should accomplish. vehicle.” thousands of potential online shoppers and • The content of your vehicle description can hot leads.Because of the Internet, your inventory increase your SEO. 2. As previously established, the content ofprocess is more important to the success • Canned vehicle descriptions are dull, and your online ads can dramatically increaseof your dealership than it has ever been. shoppers will ultimately just stop reading SEO, further increasing the need for yourYou spend more money now than ever to them. Your goal should be to create the inventory process to accommodate yourincrease your points-of-presence (POP) on best vehicle description that you can; not online ads being created the same day athe Internet. You’ve probably purchased a putting the least amount of effort into it vehicle hits your lot, or the day it comessearch engine optimized (SEO) Web site and that you can. out of detail at a minimum!utilize sites such as Craigslist, AutoTrader. • What you say isn’t always as important as 3. Dealers from hundreds to thousands ofcom,, etc. You are probably trying how you say it. Be creative and have fun. miles away are now prospecting yourto figure out how to maximize Facebook and Build value and inspire mental ownership. customers. Your inventory process mustother social media, too. Make no mistake, If you would highlight it on the lot, say it in facilitate a timely creation of the mostthe people responsible for your inventory your online ad. robust, personalized and compelling adprocess are no longer just shooting photos and to win.printing window stickers; they are creating 4. Price — You use “price” to drive trafficwhat are potentially the most important ads from all of your other media ads, why not on Display the ad across the Internet asthat your dealership has today. the Internet? soon as possible! • You use “was-is pricing,” “specials,” 1. Obviously, the number of people whoEstablishing an inventory process that “demo pricing,” “manufacturer incentives” can potentially see your vehicle’s admaximizes your online advertising’s potential and multiple other price promotion depends how soon the ad is distributedand provides the greatest ROI can be easily techniques to create urgency on the lot and displayed. The goal of your inventoryaccomplished by following some simple rules: and throughout your other media; utilizing process should be to distribute and display these same pricing techniques online can your ads the same day they are created.Create the most informative and generate the same response. 2. You pay a lot of money to establish onlineemotional ad that you can. • Be transparent. Inconsistent pricing can points of presence (POP) to display your1. Video — Every vehicle needs a video. cause you to lose consumer confidence, vehicle ads across the Internet and create• If named and referenced properly, a video and you may read about it (along with visibility 24 hours a day, seven days a can dramatically increase SEO. thousands of potential consumers) on a week. Every day (every hour) that you• A video is only as good as its content. social network or blog. have a vehicle ad created but not displayed A video that “sells” a vehicle’s unique with your marketing partners is costing features will create trust, reliability and 5. Engagement Tools — Provide tools you money! urgency, dramatically increasing the that allow shoppers to contact you the way emotional response to your ad and inspiring they want to contact you. Imagine if your dealership was around when mental ownership. • The means by which people communicate one of the previous mass media channels• Live video is king. Live walk-arounds are with each other has changed. When first emerged. Would you have adjusted your incredibly engaging and humanize your wanting an immediate response, people business strategy to maximize its potential? dealership in a sea of regional competition. now often prefer to send text and chat Your Internet ads could potentially be the Again, the content of the video must “sell” messages. most important ads in the history of your the vehicle the same way you would sell it • If your dealership offers consumers the dealership, so before we start pondering who “on the lot.” ability to communicate with you the same should be responsible for creating the ads way they prefer to communicate with one (in-house or outsourced) let’s first spend some2. Photos — The number of photos that you another, they are more likely to do so while time discussing the impact of your ads and thehave is less important than having the right online and looking at your vehicle ads. importance of defining a process that createsphotos. highly emotional (and informative) ads for• If named and referenced properly, photos 6. Window Stickers — In the old days, an your inventory and then distributes (and also increase SEO. inventory process evolved around creating displays) those ads as quickly as possible with• To the consumer, every vehicle is different. content for a window sticker and then sending the day the vehicle is ready to sell on the lot Photograph everything unique or different it (along with a few standard photos) to a as the goal. about each vehicle. The easy rule to Web site provider as an online ad. Today, follow is that if you would discuss it with your inventory process must evolve around Tim James is the director of sales with HomeNet, Inc. He can be contacted at a consumer “on the lot,” show photos of it creating the content for your online ads and 866.924.6573, or by e-mail at online. then once you have the rich content necessary,• Consumers get tired of seeing the same set push a button and extract some of that content of vehicle photos for every vehicle on every to create your window stickers.14
  10. 10. ChuckPatton leadership solution MID-YEAR EVALUATION OF YOUR AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING STRATEGYIt’s time for a mid-year review. Remember convert each recall customer into a long- things because “this is where the marketthe automotive service marketing objectives term fan. Have your service manager meet is going” or “your competitor is doing it.”you put into place at the beginning of the every one of them — such as you might Be careful about experimentation. Conductyear? How are they working for you? Are with the sale of a new car. Target them with some research and make sure that anyyou on track to meeting your goals? Are you a segmented letter or make a phone call to technological expenditure fits within yourahead or behind where you wanted to be? address the opportunity. Every dealership has budget and is a long-term solution, not a warranty opportunities. short-term jump on the latest bandwagon.Depending on the answers to thesequestions, you may want to consider making Older Model Programs E-mail Marketingadjustments to your marketing plan for the The units in operation most associated with Dealerships set high expectations for e-mailsecond half of the year. As you take stock dealership loyalty (newer cars or cars under because they are sold on the concept that itand plan your next six months, consider the warranty) have diminished significantly, can replace direct mail. E-mail marketingfollowing areas of opportunity upon which and it will be quite some time before service is cost efficient and a great way to directlyyou can capitalize. opportunities are where they were several reach the small segment of your customers years ago. Create a strategy to become the who actually respond to e-mail. However,Retention new home for all older model vehicles. You our average client has e-mail addresses forThe retention measurement that makes the have master technicians who have been only about 21 percent of his or her customermost sense is the one that measures the share with you longer than the age of some of base. If you use e-mail marketing, makeof your customers’ business within a year. those older vehicles! Who better to fix those sure you incorporate it with direct mail andStart by separating your customers into the vehicles? Loyalty or older model programs other solutions. To maximize your e-mailfollowing categories: that can be quite profitable do exist. Make marketing efforts, create an e-mail collection• Number of times your customers have sure your writers know how to sell the process. Ask your customers how they prefer come in during the past 12 months program and be willing to give a standard to be contacted. That will give you a good• Number of customers doing all their discount/benefit package. indication how to really reach your customers. service with you• Number of customers added in the last 12 Marketing Spend Your Time months Separate your marketing investments into Being a Great Manager what has produced a direct result versus what This is an old-school concept. Because mostWhat are you doing to retain your customers? has kept your name in the marketplace — and service managers are being pulled in so manyAre you providing the best service in the track the results for each category. This will different directions, they can’t do any onemarket and going the extra mile to keep your allow you to look at what each investment thing well. This is an environment wherecustomers happy? Consider loyalty programs yields in order to determine whether or managers can stray from their core purposeand perks to show your commitment to a not you’ve invested your marketing dollar of taking care of customers and managinglong-term relationship. wisely. If you haven’t already, plan through the shop. Be sure not to lose that perspective the end of this year — and even include all when faced with additional expectationsUnique Opportunities of January 2011. Most people give up on the and responsibilities. Every purchase youWarranty work affects us all, and Toyota last and first months of the year just because make and every partner you work withcorporate is learning all too well how much they didn’t have anything planned. These are should strengthen your position within thecost is associated with it. For the dealer, wasted opportunities if you have not prepared dealership, not give you more work.however, warranty work can be a gold mine. for them.Some dealers are saying that close to 40percent of recall customers were new to their Technology Assessment Chuck Patton is the founder and CEO ofdealerships. Recalls are a great opportunity Embrace the technology that comes your Traffic Builders, Inc. He can be contactedto make an impression on customers who are way as long as it helps you manage your at 866.859.8520, or by e-mail atnot typically working with the dealership. customers and your employees better. Too your team to spend some time to many companies are telling clients to do16
  11. 11. DougBurkert marketing solution FISH WHERE THE FISH AREIn today’s economy, it is easy to try to cast partner should be able to help with this. represents an opportunity for continueda wide net, hoping and praying to catch a exposure and each sponsorship represents abuyer. While it is true that buyers come from Of course, displaying a prize is another way chance to adorn dealership walls with photosall directions, each summer — and in warmer to gain positive exposure. Drive the prize and press clippings that build good will.climates, every day of the year — prospects vehicle and position it by the contest hole.gather in one place: the local golf course. Be sure to bring along literature describing Whether or not someone wins big, the contest, the prize and, of course, the sponsoring charity and corporate eventsNot only are these individuals prospects, dealership. Don’t forget business cards. delivers ongoing positive effect. Golfers whothey’re great ones. Whether they are taking take part are often community and corporatepart in a charity event or corporate outing, Often, dealership staff will play in leaders. As such, they have a broad spheregolfers represent a highly coveted market tournaments to meet golfers. One dealer we of influence on other buyers — buyers withsegment. With average income north of work with sends a retired salesperson to help a similar demographic. Be certain they will$100,000 and total net worth averaging more with registration and then staff the tee area spread the word about the event and yourthan $500,000, golfers have money to spend. for the prize hole, where he points out to dealership’s involvement. participants that their second best drive of theConsidering the average golfer is around 50 day might be when they drive the car home! Many dealers leverage their involvement inyears of age, they often have a new driver or Such personal engagement is an incredibly the showroom. Before and after an event,two in the house. In addition, when they visit valuable way to generate greater interest in they display event signs and banners, leadingdealerships, they are less likely to haggle as the dealership, its products and its services. to year-round reinforcement of the positivemuch on price, which makes for a better sale. community involvement and support. Ongoing OpportunitiesSponsoring golf events delivers tremendous A key benefit of tournament prize Focus on Returnsopportunities to reach these potential buyers sponsorship is that the ability to drive sales Perhaps the best part of integrating suchand strengthen relationships with them. does not end when the event does. By sponsorships into a dealership marketing planWorking with an insurer to offer prizes for arranging with event sponsors to get names is the relatively low cost involved — and thehole-in-one contests, shootouts, putting or by engaging participants and gathering potential large return on investment. It is easycontests and closest-to-the-pin competitions leads throughout the tournament, dealers to incorporate announcements about the eventcan bolster dealership marketing efforts and have a collection of prospective buyers for and sponsorship into an ongoing ad budget.lead to even greater success. potential follow-up. Some events provide On-site promotion is, at most, an incremental participants goodie bags, which can include cost — production of some print material andEngaged and Accessible dealership coupons or other materials. deployment of one or two staff members.By sponsoring charity golf tournamentsand corporate golf outings, car dealers gain Of course, if someone does win big, the Because insurance is available to cover therepeated exposure to potential buyers — resulting publicity and its value skyrocket. cost of prizes, the bang can be much largerfrom pre-event publicity to opportunities Last year, for instance, a participant in an than the buck spent to generate it. It isduring the tournament itself to post-event insured event scored a hole-in-one after possible to reduce costs for this, as well, byfollow-up. It is important to maximize this; a string of rather disappointing — okay, insuring the value of a vehicle lease or downwork closely with event organizers to do so. embarrassing — performances on earlier payment, rather than an outright car or truck holes. His success not only earned him giveaway. Again, working with an insurerAt the event itself, opportunities to engage a brand new $30,000 German import, with prize and promotion experience allowsthese prospects intensify. Because they are it generated publicity throughout his such customization.golfing, participants are relaxed. Moreover, community and beyond, leading to a wealthbecause they are supporting a charity they of positive mentions for the sponsor. Regardless of the extent of involvement orbelieve in or because they are being treated to sponsorship, taking part in such events cangolf at a corporate event, their frame of mind With more than 1,000 vehicles awarded to help dealers catch more buyers by fishingis likely positive; this is an ideal situation for hole-in-one winners, we have seen similar where the fish are — on the golf course.dealership interaction. situations play out around the world. Years ago, we awarded a prize to someone who Doug Burkert is the president of theIt’s important to make good use of signage — made a hole in one on the first shot he ever National Hole-In-One Association. He canat the registration area, throughout the course took at a golf course. We have had winners be contacted at 866.859.6407, or by e-mailand at the post-event venue. A prize insurer as young as seven years old. Each winner at
  12. 12. KirkManzo sales & training solution A SALES STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE SELF SUFFICIENCYIt has often been said that to be successful we who sell 300 to 400 units annually and even To be conservative, we will use five years formust learn to master those things that we can one that sells 800 to 900, this is not the norm. our conversation.control. As a sales professional, what can you So what common trait do these top producerscontrol? have that makes this possible? There are If the average customer replaces their vehicle many elements that contribute to these every five years and an average sales personThe dealership’s inventory? The superior results. Certainly one common thread sells 100 units, then how many customersmanufacturer’s incentives? The dealership’s is they don’t just catch ups on the lot; they would you need to become self sufficient?advertising? Your manager’s mood? Your work their customer base. That’s right, 500! It would take about fivecompetition’s offers? Product pricing? Your years to become self sufficient. Now askattitude? Your sales skills? Your product So the question might be, how many yourself how many cars are in your household?knowledge? The number of sales customers would you need to become self One, two, three, or more? The typical customeropportunities (Ups)? sufficient? The idea is to put yourself in a will have two. Taking this into consideration, position where you control the things you can do you have 500 sales opportunities or 1,000?Let’s focus on the last item, sales opportunities control, like your relationships with your past(or Ups). Whether you are new to the industry customers. Would it be unreasonable to think that youor have worked at your dealership for years, could receive one referral from each customer There are two fundamental audiences to target once every five years? Sure you could, if youthere are certain numbers that you should be when searching for new sales opportunities: ask. Now you would have 1,000 customersaware of when planning your sales effort. Internal vs. External. Internal would be who on average have two cars per household.The average sales person in America will customers you sold to previously or perhaps This would give you 2,000 sales opportunities.sell how many vehicles per month? When the dealership (orphans). External would be Divide that by five years and now you havepresented with this question, most students in new customers. 400 units sold each year. Feel free to go aheadmy sessions respond with 10 to 12. The resultsare unfortunately much lower. The monthly What advantages does the Internal customer and cut those numbers in half. You would stillaverage is around eight. Annualized, we are provide? They already know the brand. They end the year with 200 units sold.talking about approximately 96 units. To were willing to conduct business with yourkeep the math simple we will use 100 as our organization previously. This individual may Oh, and by the way, if you had sold 200 unitsreference point. even have purchased from you personally. in 2009, would you have been upset? I would imagine if at the end of 2010 you sell 200,The first question you might ask yourself So how many of these great people would you units, it will have been a good, how did you do last year? Were you need to become self sufficient? Referring backabove average? Below? If you were above to our conversation above, most automotive Good luck and good selling.then good, 2009 was a tough year for our sales people will sell approximately 100 unitsbusiness. If you were above average then per year. Now estimate: How often does the Kirk Manzo is the president of The Manzo Group. He can be contacted athow much better were your numbers? 120? average consumer replace their vehicle? Sure 800.858.6903, or by e-mail at150? 180? 200? it would be fantastic if they replaced them every three to four years (think leasing), butWhile I have worked with sales professionals the dominant cycle remains four to five years.20
  13. 13. DavidMoline marketing solution LOOKING FOR NEW ADVERTISING IDEAS? IT’S TIME TO RE-EXAMINE DIRECT MAILThere is no question that the Internet is dealership “brand” and driving traffic to your key. Therefore, a synergy must be createdembraced by dealerships. Properly executed, store and your Web site. between the different media. One medium willdealership Web sites — along with texting influence the effect of the other and generateand social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Another advantage of direct mail is an overall higher impact. For example, a TV— can provide a meaningful and long-term accountability. Because a mail campaign is a spot with a specific offer supported by a directcontribution to sales. unique one-on-one communication tool, you can mail campaign will most certainly increase easily determine your cost-per-person reached response. By integrating media, creativeBut in the frenzy to increase one’s digital and, by tracking the results, calculate the cost- and planning, you will deliver a strongerpresence, let’s not forget about one of the most per-response and cost-per-sale. dealership “brand” in a more cost-effectiveeffective and targeted mediums around — way. It has been suggested e-mail advertisingdirect mail. Today, developments in information technology provide you with a wealth of personalization will replace direct mail, yet it is direct mailDirect mail can be key in helping build and possibilities to help identify and select the right that drives Web traffic.maintain a one-to-one relationship between set of demographics for a targeted mailingyour dealership, your customers and your So if you’re looking for something “new” for and the ability to digitally print variable and your next campaign, consider direct mail asprospects. Let’s face it: With all the Web sites, personalized data, giving direct mail a leg upe-mails, tweets and “friends,” not to mention an integral part of your mix. Remember, direct over the increasingly fragmented coverage of mail is an intimate communication. It entersTV messages, radio messages, outdoor and mass media. It’s this ability to address everyguerrilla advertising bombarding us every the consumer’s sphere through their mailbox. prospect and every customer as one person It offers a physical contact; they touch thesingle day, mail is still the cornerstone of with a “made-to-measure” message thathuman personal communication. Today, paper and you can influence their behavior showcases your dealership with a relevancy through your allows us to personalize each that encourages action.mail piece to the customer or prospect. David Moline is the owner/manager ofA well-designed and well-written direct With numerous media options and limited Advertising Marketing Partners. He can bemail campaign will command the attention consumer attention, efficiency and contacted at 866.406.6493, or by e-mail atand time of its recipient, establishing your productivity of advertising investment become TEXT WITH WITH SUCCESS Digitize your traditional media with text IDs. • 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 | 866.222.771222
  14. 14. JimRadogna marketing solution CAN MODERN SOLUTIONS PROTECT AGAINST OLD SCHOOL PRACTICES?Much has been written about automotive of deceptive advertising. Now, I long-ago man enough to discuss his concerns andonline reputation management and, realized that some customers have tendency not hide behind a fraudulent posting.”fortunately, there are a number of companies to misread advertisements, so, in order to Is it just me, or is this the worst possibleand consultants now available to assist dealers give the dealership the benefit of the doubt, way to try to handle a negative review??in getting a handle on this crucial subject. I looked up the ad on their Web site. Well, Eventually, the GM got involved andReputation and customer satisfaction is of the sure enough it was questionable at best and the problem was finally rectified to theutmost importance to dealers, and there is little went astray of state advertising regulations. customer’s satisfaction (so I guess it wasdoubt that many negative online postings are The people who wrote that ad may be a real customer with a real complaint andeither questionable or do not reliably portray patting themselves on the back for bringing not a fraudulent posting). The customerthe true culture of the dealership. customers across the curb, but at what cost? very graciously posted an update about The customer not only did not buy from the resolution, but also responded aboutHowever, I believe that a dealership’s the dealer, but also gave a glowing review the employee that attacked him and calledreputation is difficult, if not impossible, to and recommendation of the competitor who him a liar. The question that comes to mindmanage when certain staff members do not ended up earning their business. is this: What has more significance in theoperate ethically and resort to “old school” mind of someone reading this review —deceptive practices. Looking through some • The next dealer was accused of payment that the dealership ultimately handled theof the sites that rate dealers, I found some packing by the finance department. complaint or that someone in the dealershipinteresting examples: According to the post, the customer raked the customer over the coals for• A dealer reviewed on one of the sites complaining in the first place? attempted to rectify the situation by has dozens of negative posts about bait returning to the dealership to discuss There are a number of excellent firms that and switch, refusal to sell at advertised the issue but apparently received no specialize in online reputation management prices and other questionable acts. I was satisfaction. After the customer posted and I highly recommend that dealers consider a bit surprised at the volume of negative the negative review, a customer relations utilizing their services. But it important to feedback and I have to wonder who’s rep from the dealership responded with a realize that while these companies do an watching the store. But fear not, the nice apology and offers to help — so far, outstanding job, it may not be possible to brilliant perpetrators of all of this negative so good, (although it was 21 days after mitigate the damage caused by ethically- feedback had a plan. They simply added the original post). Here’s where it goes challenged personnel. The first and most some positive posts to the site, which of downhill: The next post comes from an important step in managing one’s reputation course were exposed as coming from the “anonymous” employee of the dealership is having zero tolerance for bad behavior by dealership’s IP address. So much for that who proceeds to berate the customer by employees. idea. How does this dealer defend against accusing him of posting fraudulently. The various staff members allegedly lying to employee stated that the customer’s issue Jim Radogna is president of Dealer customers and then trying to cover it up? couldn’t have happened; the company is Compliance Consultants, Inc. He can be It’s sure not going to be easy. wonderful, etc. “Anonymous” actually contacted at 866.704.8657, or by e-mail at remarked that the customer should be• A post on another site accused the dealer “ashamed of himself” and “should be24