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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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  1. 1. JUNE2010 Check out Kim Orr of eXteresAUTO at
  2. 2. AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Kentucky 40299 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | Ken Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Williams Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist design@autosucc jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution WHY PEOPLE DON’T RESPOND TO YOUR DIRECT If You Want to Change the Job Your People Do, Change the Job You Tips to Get Started — and the Impact It Will Have on Your Dealership NO INTERNET DEPARTMENT? GOOD FOR YOU ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT: NO FAD, l ti WHAT WOULD DEMING AND DRUCKER DO? THREE KEYS FOR GROWING THE FUTURE DEALERSHIP HARASSMENT CLAIMS — MAIL AND E-MAIL ADVERTISEMENTS DISCOVER THE VALUE OF DOLLAR BUILDING CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS CALCULATE THE REAL PRICE OF GENES DRIVE SALES STRATEGY hi MATCH TALENT TO POSITIONS THE DEATH OF TRADITIONAL ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL? HAVE YOU GONE MOBILE? SALESPEOPLE, PART 3 RESOLUTIONS, PART 5 A TICKING TIME BOMB YOUR ADVERTISING l d IT’S HERE TO STAY COST AVERAGING HIre Them to Perform 29 26 24 16 08 30 10 18 32 20 22 19 28 14 34 By DalePollak KirkManzo KendallBillman StephenR.Covey KimOrr JockSchowalter JohnFreund TomHopkins BillPhillips JoeAbraham SteveBrazill MarkTewart ScottJoseph JimRadogna JohnBrentlinger TimDanker pg 0 pg 0 pg 8 pg3 pg1 pg2 June 2010 jock schowalter mark tewart kim orr
  3. 3. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey RESOLUTIONS 5 part When we examine He said that he did, and so I asked him, our security on fashions, possessions or status anger, hatred, envy, “How are you doing?” He admitted that he symbols may prove to be our undoing. Edwin jealousy, pride, prejudice or any other was just trying to get by. He had a host of Hubbell Chapin said: “Fashion is the science negative emotion or passion, we often reasons and excuses for not studying as he of appearances, and it inspires one with the discover that at their root lies the desire to be ought, for cramming and for taking shortcuts. desire to seem rather than to be.” accepted, approved and esteemed of others. He came in to see if it was working. We then seek a shortcut to the top. But the Certainly, we should be interested in the bottom line is that there is no shortcut to If people play roles and pretend long enough, opinions and perceptions of others so that lasting success. The law of the harvest still giving in to their vanity and pride, they we might be more effective with them, but applies, in spite of all the talk of “how to beat will gradually deceive themselves. They we should refuse to accept their opinion as the system.” will be buffeted by conditions, threatened a fact and then act or react accordingly. To by circumstances and other people. They overcome the restraining forces of unbridled Several years ago, a student visited me in my will then fight to maintain their false front. aspiration and ambition, I resolve to dedicate office when I was a faculty member of the But if they come to accept the truth about my talents and resources to noble purposes Marriott School of Management at Brigham themselves, following the laws and principles and to provide service to others. Young University. He asked me how he was of the harvest, they will gradually develop a doing in my class. After developing some more accurate concept of themselves. rapport, I confronted him directly: “You didn’t really come in to find out how you are doing in The effort to be fashionable puts one on a Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 the class. You came in to find out how I think treadmill that seems to go faster and faster, Habits of Highly Effective People. He can you are doing. You know how you are doing in almost like chasing a shadow. Appearances be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e-mail the class far better than I do, don’t you?” alone will never satisfy; therefore, to build at 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 | 866.222.771208
  4. 4. leadershipsolution JockSchowalter NO INTERNET DEPARTMENT? GOOD FOR YOU If you read a magazine the rest of your organization from stepping the employee who helped them. This is in like this, I’m betting up and taking an active role in using the addition to the normal follow up phone calls, that you are an individual always looking to powerful tools now available to help dealers letters etc. A sure way to accomplish this is innovate in order to take your professional better serve the customer and sell more cars. management’s commitment to only hire the and personal success to the next level. Long caliber of people who are willing and able before many of your peers, you realized So what are some of the characteristics that to do this; to hire the people who want to just how critical a well-honed Internet define an “Internet Dealership”? Here’s do this because they know it makes sense. Department is to your success. You already an easy one. Does the showroom floor’s Unfortunately, many dealers find themselves knew that today’s modern consumer wanted CRM/ILM system differ from the Internet held hostage by GMs or sales managers to research their next vehicle on the Internet, Department’s CRM/ILM system? It amazes who refuse to get on board with these new visit your dealer wWeb site and even initiate me how many dealerships still use two approaches. the buying process on the Internet. So why different systems to manage the same exact in the world would I say ditch your Internet customers. If you use two different systems, The motivation to get on board comes with Department? The answer is simple. get rid of one of them today. Keep the system the realization that the marketplace has that is wWeb-based and able to effectively changed. Many dealers still desperately cling You don’t need an “Internet Department” handle Internet communications. Even if to the idea that they are in control of the if your entire dealership is an “Internet you are under contract for both, you need to selling process. This is why they don’t want Dealership.” The dealership that does not migrate to one cohesive system to see great to give up anything to the customer until they realize the fact that nearly every customer improvement in your operations and handling are physically in the store. Frankly, if the experience will involve some form of of the customer. After all, the Internet dealer’s entire sales strategy is still dependant communication and marketing via the customer and the showroom customer are on the customer’s physical presence on the Internet will easily be out-performed by the still the same person. showroom floor, those dealers will see a dealership that does. Making the Internet shrinking market share to the point that it its own department only serves to insulate Is every employee who will deal with a will not be able to sustain their operations. customer expected Many people argue passionately against this to communicate idea because it is contrary to what they were with them using always taught, but the trends are undeniable if Internet-based viewed through an objective and logical lens. communications? As a vendor, it just Being able — and willing — to conduct amazes me when I more of the sales transaction over the go into a dealership Internet is fast becoming an essential part and find out that of a successful sales strategy. It’s a fact that the GM has never customers already conduct their research even logged online. Now they are pushing to conduct into their lead- the actual negotiation online. The dealers management tool. who embrace these customer’s preferences I suspect many are replacing their fear of online negotiation dealer principles with the excitement of watching their sales do not even know increase without giving up gross profit. their own wWeb site address. Is your entire dealership willing to do Every employee business the way that the market wants? If of an Internet so, you are ahead of the curve. So go ahead dealership needs … get rid of the Internet Department and to be well versed transform your organization into an Internet and expected to Dealership. communicate effectively with If you would like to receive a FREE copy customers via of my book On-line Negotiation is Now e-mail, chat, text a Reality, please e-mail me at the address or whatever means below. the customer wants. Every Jock Schowalter is the president showroom guest and founder of and should be followed WideStorm. He can be contacted up with an e-mail at 866.869.1108, or by e-mail at that is tracked1 in the CRM by0
  5. 5. WHAT ARE YOURONLINE ADS MISSING? Inventory Online (IOL) Marketing Suite is a complete internet merchandising solution. Call today to see what your ads are missing. 610-738-3313
  6. 6. is the industry’s first live and objective price check on marking vehicle’s prices up from cost has proven to be less effective pre-owned vehicles. With RealDeal, dealers can show customers how over time. In today’s environment, consumers determine their their prices compare against the prices of similarly equipped vehicles shopping destinations, in large part, based on identically equipped for sale, allowing customers to feel confident in their purchase price competing vehicles on the Internet. If your price isn’t in the ballpark, before they sign on the dotted line. Today, dealerships using RealDeal then you’re not likely to see or hear from the prospective buyer. are able to limit the amount of the discount between the asking and the selling price to an average of a few hundred dollars. Often vehicles are Does this mean that all vehicles should not be priced high for the transacted at the original asking price or with just a concession of floor first 30 days? Do they all need to be priced low from their inception? mats or a tank of gas. Every time a RealDeal report is presented, both The answer is “no,” but they all must be priced based on the dealer’s the customer and sales representative have the experience of knowing knowledge. The dealer must know which ones should be priced high, that the dealership prices their vehicles on facts and fairness. Closing and dropped slowly if necessary, and which ones should be priced ratios and gross profits rise as the new system replaces negotiation low from the start, with an awareness to drop them fast and rapidly. with compelling and credible documentation. Understanding which vehicles can be priced high versus the ones that should be priced low requires a two-step process. Why is there such a need for RealDeal? Because the used vehicle industry has experienced significant changes in the last seven years - First, the individual pricing the vehicle should know the physical and never has there been as much change in as short of a period of time. aesthetic quality of the vehicle. Because there is still an emotional As an industry, we are learning the used car business all over again. aspect to the car shopping process, understanding the unique appeal Just about every traditional practice is being replaced by new and more or lack thereof for the vehicle in question is essential. With a firm effective procedures. One of the greatest challenges that has occurred understanding of the vehicle’s appeal in mind, the second step is to is the industry’s recognition that a vehicle needs to be priced to sell determine the odds of a fast sale and high gross. This assessment is rather than to negotiate. Simply stated, if a vehicle’s asking price isn’t most rationally based on the relationship of the vehicle’s supply and justifiable, it’s not likely to produce a demand in the market at that very moment. Vehicles of high supply potential customer. and low demand are less likely to bring a fast sale and high gross than a vehicle of high demand and short supply. As dealers have come to this enlightened recognition, they If a vehicle is truly special to the eye and has high demand with short have experienced a great supply, then it should be priced high against competing vehicles with deal of difficulty managing a deliberate patience. Conversely, a vehicle of ordinary appeal with profitability. It is essential to high supply and low demand should be priced extremely low among examine the rules of proper its competitors from the onset with a willingness to adjust pricing pricing and the corresponding frequently. This two-step process represents the best practice for implication for the selling maximizing the return of vehicle inventory investment. process. Problems of Proper Pricing Rules for Proper Pricing When a vehicle is priced properly, consumers are naturally attracted Historically, dealers have priced through the Internet shopping process. Unfortunately, when buyers vehicles based on a markup from appear, they seldom, if ever, announce their arrival as a result of the their cost, usually $3,000 - $5,000 vehicle’s proper pricing; rather, the opposite usually occurs. Despite for the first 30 days or so. If the the fact that shoppers may have traveled a great distance to see the vehicle does not sell after an initial vehicle in question, they inevitably still expect a further discount. period of time, then the price is Accordingly, sales representatives have been trained to anticipate gradually reduced until further price discount expectations. What generally ensues is a it does sell. The negotiation process that results in further discount, only sometimes method of results in a sale. The problem with this approach is that once a vehicle has been priced properly, there is generally little room to negotiate and still have an acceptable profit. The negotiation with the consumer and sales representative is the self-motivated shopper and the negotiating sales12
  7. 7. representative engaged in silent collusion against the interest of the C: No, probably not.dealership. It is easy to understand the motivations of the consumer, butthose of the sales representative are more subtle and less understood. SP: OK…You’ll notice that the next vehicle is yellow in color and 83 miles away. Would you consider a yellow vehicle, or one thatAutomobile salespeople have been conditioned and trained over is different than the silver or gray that you’ve requested?decades to satisfy the shopper’s expectations of price with negotiation. C: Uh…No.Today’s sales representatives have very few strategies or skillsdesigned to hold the line on price objections. Although their sales SP: OK, then, let’s take a look at the third-lowest price, the one rightcompensation programs incentivise them to hold gross, the greater below our price. You can see that this one is being offered byexpectations of management relate to unit production. The desire an independent dealer and doesn’t have an available vehicleof the salesperson to deliver vehicles first, and hold for gross as a history report. Would you be willing to buy a vehicle from ansecondary objective, along with the shopper’s insistence on a further independent dealer without the security of a vehicle history reportdiscount creates the perfect situation for poor profitability. or the assurances of a well-established dealer such as ourselves? C: Well, I’d rather buy the car from you.Documentation Replaces NegotiationWithout fail, every prospect who is interested in purchasing a vehicle SP: I appreciate that. Can you appreciate the fact that ours is justfrom a dealer asks “how much discount.” This is the initial process slightly higher than the one offered by an independent dealerknown as negotiation. It is a process that results in further price and it comes with all of our assurances? Based on this analysis,concession and often emotional contention. can we earn your business today?Predictably, shoppers regale sales representatives with stories about Regardless of whether the customer says “OK,” or asks for a furtherother vehicles that can be purchased for less money. Sometimes these discount, can you see the benefit by having changed the dynamic ofvehicles don’t exist and/or often lack sufficient similarity in condition, the conversation? And can you imagine the power of a product suchmileage or equipment. In almost all cases, the existence of such as, the first objective pre-owned price check productvehicles is accepted and results in further discount. for dealers, which is specifically designed to aid the salesperson by providing the necessary documentation?If the customer’s behavior of insisting on further discounts based onthe assumed existence of competition is predictable, is there anything What the dialog above demonstrates is the fact that usingthat a dealership can do to level the playing field and maintain its gross documentation in place of negotiation removes the shopper’s abilityprofit? Fortunately, the answer is “yes.” to tell fictional or exaggerated stories to justify their insistence on an additional discount. This levels the playingInstead of waiting for the customer to ask for a discount and then field and allows the dealership to “justify”whipsawing the salesperson with questionable competition, the sales and the customer to “validate” the pricerepresentative should open the conversation with the statement, “Let me in a collaborative non-confrontationalshow you what our dealership has done for you.” Rather than assuming manner. Information is powerful and it isthe defensive role, the sales representative is taking the offense and a shame if the dealership possesses suchchanging the dynamics of the discussion that will follow. Consider the information for the purpose of pricingfollowing alternative exchange between salesperson and customer: the vehicle properly, but can’t leverage it properly to allow sellers and buyers toSP: Now that you’ve decided that this vehicle is right for you, let mutually arrive at a fair selling price. me show you what our dealership has done for you. As you can see, this is a list of identical vehicles market (present copy of Dale Pollak is the founder of vAuto. He competitive set). can be contacted at 866.623.5329, or by e-mail at Huh?SP: That’s right, you can see that our dealership has very sophisticated tools that allows us to know the identity and description of every similar competing vehicle. Further, you can see here that while our vehicle is not the lowest priced; it is the fourth-lowest price out of the total set of 14. Would you like to see more about the lower priced competing vehicles?C: Uh…sure.SP: Great, you’ll see here that the No. 1-lowest priced vehicle has 60,000 more miles on the odometer than ours does. In an effort to save money, would you consider a vehicle with more mileage?
  8. 8. marketingsolution TimDanker CALCULATE THE REAL PRICE OF YOUR ADVERTISING So many dealers and so few buyers. The competition to get people into your dealership before the others is intense. You have to get the word out about your dealership, but there are so many off ramps on the advertising freeway. Therefore, the question is: Which method has the best impact? Which ramp can reach a prospect to invite them in personally? There is only one that can accurately do this: direct marketing. Please notice I do not call it “direct mail,” because it is more than just “junk mail”; most dealers, however, still think of it that way, and use it that way. While publicizing the “giant” event with the “giant” mail piece The biggest challenge for direct marketing tool and make the offer personal to them. can be successful and sell cars, do they help is getting your message to the kitchen They will read it and use if they are in the you develop your market? Are they helping counter and away from the junk mail pile. market for a car, or save it for a later date. your “brand,” or image, in the community? If it sits on the counter a week or two, it’s Dealers need to think about this in between OK because it is in the right place. The Advertisers and marketers have to keep up the big sales. effectiveness of a particular piece, however, with the changing market. A few years ago might not be immediately known. Some I was involved with a television show about The trick is to put a pencil to the true costs, prospects are interested in buying in a few cars, and had a friend who was something of and to look at the money spent that might not months, and they might hold the right piece a mentor to me. He always said that “it’s not be considered from a short-term viewpoint. until that time. If that is the case, do you as much about the car as the experience it There are costs to the “free” attractions (food, know which piece brought that customer in? gives you.” Remember there are many buyers kids’ bouncy castles, prizes, giveaways, etc.) While I have always known that people hold who want the “cute red car”; the question is, that have to be considered. While your event the letters, recent tracking has shown me does your marketing reflect that? may draw a crowd, after the food is eaten and some very surprising numbers. the kids have had a ball, how many of those Today we have the Internet, e-mail, social 400 hundred people who showed up actually I have a client in the Midwest that just networks and traditional media. These are want a car? How many apps got sent in only received six calls the last week of April from all on ramps on the marketing freeway. If to be returned by the bank after you pay the a campaign that was mailed in January. It is you use direct marketing, at its full potential processing fee? The good news is that cars still selling cars. The campaign has been paid —and commit to it — you will be able to are sold and big events are often successful. for, and the cost per car has all been figured market in ways the others simply cannot. However, when I think about this, there is — or has it? This letter is still selling cars, Some see great results right away, and some an old question that comes to mind: Are you and has been for more than three months. may not, (or maybe they just don’t realize it). working hard or working smart? The problem is most dealers do not know it. Always remember test, track and tweak, and Tracking is key. The longer the ad is working you may be surprised with what you find. If you approach that same ramp of that for you, the more it drives the cost per car freeway thinking about marketing instead of down over time. Your ad dollars are far too short-term benefit, you may see a difference important to be spent on media that is not over time. Personalizing your advertising tracked. can help you find real buyers. This is true Tim Danker is the director of sales and Technology has changed direct marketing product development for Ideal Direct Ad for both prime and sub-prime. We all know so you can better focus and reach your Group. He can be contacted a the needs of the sub-prime customer are 866.515.6516, or by e-mail at more challenging, but the benefits are huge. targeted market. You have the name of every The winners are ones who really work to get person you are marketing to; no other form the reward. of advertising can do this. Use this powerful14
  9. 9. marketingsolution KendallBillman HAVE YOU GONE MOBILE? We have been fielding site provider is up-to-date with a mobile a lot of questions Web site platform? I have put together a lately about mobile CRM and mobile Web few features that should be included on your site solutions. CRMs can run on your mobile mobile Web site: phone and, with this ability, you are now able to stay in closer touch with the day to day of Mobile Site Feature Check List your dealership, but what about the Web site? 1. Do you have the ability to customize Thanks to advancements of mobile (smart) your mobile platform? phones, customers do not need to wait until they get to a computer to shop your Web site, 2. Your Web site provider should be the customer can shop your Web site from building your mobile platform for each their phone immediately. platform. For example Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android have specific user Have you reviewed your dealership Web site styles. The platforms allow for enhanced on your mobile device? Have you reviewed user experience. your Web site from all the smart phones (iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, et al)? A mobile- 3. Is your Web site provider building your enabled Web site gives your salespeople a mobile platform or are they outsourcing huge advantage over your competitors. If it to a third-party company? your Web site has a good mobile platform, your salespeople can promote your current 4. When looking at inventory, do they offer inventory 24 hours a day, seven days a week. swiping and zooming into photos? This is called “cover flow.” Let’s say your sales team member is at an event, for example, and a prospect says they 5. A nice addition for branding is to have are looking for a certain model. Instead of your dealer splash image loaded when telling them you will follow up the next Web site is loading. This adds a nice business day, just go to your Web site, show iPhone quality. the customer the models, zoom in on the pictures and with the mobile CRM they can 6. Do they provide a dealer icon that the apply for immediate credit. Your prospect consumer can save for bookmarking? can start the purchase process without This is great for scheduling service. stepping on your lot or shopping around on a computer. 7. Look at how you can move around on your mobile site. A fast Ajax Web site, Recently Apple released the iPad. Apple for example, allows for very smooth and not available on a mobile phone, the is selling more than 200,000 iPads per quick mobile experience with limited directions map can automatically be week and they do not see it slowing down. page posting. This is so it does not slow presented as a default. The iPad is a great tool for you and your down the user’s experience. salespeople. This product gives them the 10. Mobile analytics tracking codes are ability to carry their desk wherever they go. 8. Integrated phone and SMS calls to action different and you need to make sure It also benefits your customer. Imagine being allow the user to instantly make a call or they provide detailed analytics specific able to bring the deal to the vehicle your send SMS without typing in their phone to your mobile visitors and their prospect is looking at right on the lot. The number. behaviors. prospect could test drive the vehicle and pen Kendall Billman is the director of interactive the deal in the vehicle of their choice! 9. Integrated Google Maps allows for marketing for VinSolutions. He can be the usage of GPS or location-based contacted at 866.892.1447, or by e-mail at Now, how do you determine if your Web directions to the dealership. If GPS is
  10. 10. TomHopkins sales&trainingsolution BUILDING CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS When it comes be: “My name is Balthazar Otis Buckworth, to building long- but please just call me by my initials, term relationships with clients, it’s very B.O.B. Everyone does.” similar to building long-term friendships. In kindergarten, children are encouraged When your clients give you their names, to make new friends by talking with others, use them the way they’re given. Never inviting them to play and being “nice” to shorten “Phillip” to “Phil” without his consent. them. They often hear these words: “To have However, if you hear his spouse call him a friend, you have to be a friend.” In many “Phil” you might ask permission to do the business situations, clients often become same. You want to get on the most congenial more than clients. They become friends; not level possible with everyone you meet. necessarily the kind you would invite to non- business gatherings, but people you truly care Use your clients’ names in conversation about and who enjoy hearing from you. during the sales process. Inquire about the use of the vehicle. Does the client have There is a feature in a local area newspaper young children or a teenage driver? If so, where readers are invited to review their safety will be an important issue to discuss favorite non-franchise restaurant. The articles with them. Do they have a cabin in the woods are wonderful publicity for the restaurants. where some off-road driving is involved? One of the key elements I see repeated over Or, do they travel for business and need and over again is that patrons know the “highway” tires? All of these answers help names of the owners, hosts and/or servers. you lead them to the best choice for them. And, many of the restaurant workers know Keeping a record of the answers will help something about them as well. They know if you build long-term relationships. the guests prefer coffee or tea with breakfast. They may even remember their favorite meal, If you know Bob and Sally expressed interest asking if they want “the usual.” in a particular feature on their last vehicle, plan to contact them when you see an upgrade Put yourself in the seats of those guests for in it or see it included on a different type of a moment. How would it make you feel to vehicle. Bob might like trucks. Sally might have your particular favorites automatically like sports cars. But they both may enjoy a placed before you without having to explain built-in GPS system. If it wasn’t available your preferences? It would make you feel at on their last vehicle, the time to contact home or as if you’re at the home of a good them is when you learn that it is. With some friend — someone who knows you well and clients, the focus isn’t on the vehicle. It’s on wants you to have what you want. They want the options. When I was in real estate, many you to be happy. That type of response is the people bought homes because of the corner ideal when it comes to serving your clients’ lot or the school district or the swimming needs and it can be created no matter what pool. Those features were more important your product or service is. than the layout of the home itself. You may think you’re in the business of Always take good notes when you’re with selling automotive services or maintenance, clients. Enter the information into your client but you’re not. You are in the people database. That information is used to make business, and learning to make people feel contacts and to start conversations with important and cared about will help you clients after the initial sale. make both the initial sale and long-term sales over the course of time. People like to do business with people who are like them, who demonstrate that they Introduce yourself to each client and care about them beyond making the sale and give your name. Try giving them your who keep them in mind when something new formal name, then what they should call arises. That type of treatment makes them feel you. For example: “My name is Thomas important. They come to rely on businesses Johnson. But, please call me Tom.” This and salespeople they know they can trust to statement does two things: It presents you have their needs and interests at heart. professionally, and you help them relax with telling them to use your less-formal World-renowned master sales trainer Tom name. If you have an unusual name or one Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins that’s challenging to pronounce, consider International. He can be contacted at going by something less-formal and easier 866.347.6148, or by e mail at e-mail to remember (and say) for your clients’ sake. Do nothing that could make them feel1 uncomfortable. An example of this might8
  11. 11. leadershipsolution JimRadogna DEALERSHIP HARASSMENT CLAIMS — A TICKING TIME BOMB It seems like there mean any harm, this type of behavior can rise are an inordinate to the level of harassment. As far as the law amount of news stories about harassment is concerned, harassment depends on how and discrimination lawsuits against auto the conduct was received, not on the intent. dealers lately. Just Google “auto dealer Employees who receive harassment training harassment” to get an idea of how common are more likely to understand that there are these types of lawsuits are in our industry. boundaries that must be observed in the You will find many cases of not only sexual workplace and more importantly, realize that harassment, but also racial harassment, age there can be serious personal consequences discrimination, etc. The amounts of fines and for harassment. damages that dealers have been assessed are eye-popping. Some states, such as California, require harassment prevention training for In a statement about a case against a supervisors. That’s great, but what about dealership, U.S. Equal Employment the non-supervisory employees? There Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regional is often a great amount of down-time at a attorney John Hendrickson said that it dealership, and employees may get bored was “amazing that at a time when the auto and tend to “goof around.” Is it harmless industry is struggling for survival and horseplay or perhaps behavior that crosses women exercise so much influence in the the line? Are supervisors able to monitor marketplace that anyone would in engage their subordinates’ behavior at all times? in sexual harassment or show contempt for Are supervisors setting a proper example? female customers.” Supervisors can only go so far in preventing harassment. The responsibility lies with EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru every employee. also said in a statement that “sexual harassment and sex discrimination against Most companies have an anti-harassment women in traditionally male-dominated policy that all employees must sign, although industries, such as the auto industry, are still I would venture to guess that the majority unfortunate realities.” of people don’t read it or understand it. Having a policy in place and hanging Harassing conduct is sometimes so posters is simply not enough protection for a commonplace that we often don’t recognize dealership. The US Supreme Court, in two the behavior as being inappropriate. Many separate cases, decided that employers may people who have been around auto dealerships be able to avoid liability in a harassment for any length of time may not be very claim if they (1) use reasonable care in surprised that this type of behavior exists, establishing an anti-harassment policy while others may feel that these are mostly including a complaint procedure and training; frivolous lawsuits designed to extort money AND (2) the harassment victim unreasonably from dealers. Perhaps the accused were “just fails to take advantage of the policy’s kidding around” and meant no harm? safeguards. So, if a harassment victim is trained on exactly what to do in the case No matter what, the dealer loses. Any of harassment (like who to report it to, and lawsuit is a bad lawsuit. Besides the cost so forth) and fails to do so, the dealer will of defending these claims, there will likely probably be in a good position to defend be immeasurable damage to a company’s themselves. reputation. What owner wants the public to be exposed to media stories accusing their It makes sense to train all dealership dealership of employing harassers or racists? employees in harassment prevention. Perhaps then the media, the EEOC and To help avoid these types of claims, employees looking for an easy target to sue, dealership employees should be trained can go pick on somebody else. in harassment prevention. Staff members (especially supervisors) need to understand that it is simply not okay to participate in Jim Radogna is president of Dealer harassing or discriminatory behavior in Compliance Consultants, Inc. He can be today’s world, no matter what the intention. contacted at 866.704.8657, or by e-mail at What many people don’t realize is that even if you’re just “kidding around” and don’t 1 9 th the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional l i t
  12. 12. leadershipsolution JoeAbraham GENES DRIVE SALES STRATEGY “Maybe It’s strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. Being understand this breakthrough concept in Just Me!” aware of that DNA will allow you to sit entrepreneurship and help you understand I am sure you have found yourself in the down yourself (or with an expert) to map out the strengths and weaknesses of each of the same position I have. Arms thrown up in the a game plan that is perfectly suited for you management team members. Then, have your air questioning why the competitor next door and your company. It will also allow you to team members take a different quiz (simply pulled off a feat you couldn’t. What is really recognize when you are in your sweet spot contact me for a copy of that quiz). You’ll frustrating is when it appears as though they of giftedness and when you are in the danger be able to look at the results of both sets of spent half the energy getting it done. Maybe zone of trying to be someone you are not. quizzes and instantly identify areas where it was a marketing campaign or a financing you can optimize your team dynamics. relationship. It could have been a sales Why Entrepreneurial DNA strategy or a hiring decision. The bottom line is A BIG Deal 2. Design — The design step is all is that they did it better and/or faster than you If you are the dealership owner trying to do about taking what you learned in the could have. When things like that happen, you things other dealers are doing (who happen entrepreneurial DNA quiz and building a find yourself saying, “maybe it’s just me.” to have a different entrepreneurial DNA), fresh strategic plan built around who you are you’re going to fall flat on your face, waste as a team. If you have a capable HR manager Maybe It’s Just Your Breed a ton of cash and be very frustrated with on staff, they can look at the results and put You probably have some history with dogs. yourself and your staff. a go-forward plan together. If you don’t have You either have, or grew up with one, or the talent in-house to do it, we’ll be glad to saw your neighbor with one. When you see If you are a sales manager trying to be like help you get it done. The goal of the design a dog, you instantly recognize it as a dog. the “other” sales managers even though that’s step is to come out with a clear action plan Because dogs are dogs, right? Generally, they not who you really are, it isn’t going to work to dominate your marketplace using the best have ears and good hearing, a nose with an out for you — no matter how hard you try. skills and talents of the team. acute sense of smell, four legs, and fur. They run, they play, they bark and they leave land If you are salesperson who has been told to 3. Deploy — This is the easy step. It’s just mines on the lawn. “do what Jim, the top salesperson, does,” about executing the strategic plan you built that may be the worst possible advice your in step 2. The best part is that your entire Some breeds though, are specifically bred manager could ever give you. (Sorry to team will be energized to implement the based on what God gifted them to do. all the managers who just tell people to be plan because for once, the plan will be built Think about the various differences in these someone they are not — that’s plain silly). around them (rather than some plan that got breeds. Imagine being the beagle taking on handed to them by management). I have seen a greyhound in a sprint to the finish line. A company that discovers it’s entrepreneurial some record-shattering results happen when Imagine being a golden retriever going head- DNA (from the owner down to the guy a supposedly “weak” team of people got to-head in a job interview for “scary guard sweeping the floors at night) has a unique together and built a strategic plan that was dog” against a pit bull. opportunity to create massive synergy and a optimized for who they were. significant marketplace advantage. Imagine if Even playing field? I don’t think so. every person on your team knew the other’s Think of every inspirational movie you have weaknesses and was working in concert seen from Rudy to 300, and you’ll find a Entrepreneurs are like dogs. We share a with that by leveraging their complimentary team of unlikely people working together common species, but we come in different strengths. For an organization that is to leverage each other’s strengths and breeds. Some of us are purebred and carry a committed to excellence and a winning weaknesses to accomplish the seemingly distinct set of characteristics and gifts. Others corporate culture, this is a very important impossible. of us are mutts who have a blend of various exercise to go through. strengths and weaknesses. I wish the same for your dealership team. Here are three simple steps to get the job You Have an Entrepreneurial done: DNA That Drives You 1. Discover — The first step is for the Joe Abraham is the founder of the BOSI Whether you are the dealership owner, GM, owner and management team to discover Performance Institute. You can contact sales manager or sales person, there is an their entrepreneurial DNA. You can do that him at 866.461.5751, or by e-mail at entrepreneurial DNA that drives you. You for free online at have a unique set of traits pre-built into quiz. Upon completing the quiz, you can you. That DNA telegraphs your potential download free materials that will help you20
  13. 13. leadershipsolution SteveBrazill THREE KEYS FOR GROWING THE FUTURE Vehicle sales are in the downturn and in the process discovered at this time. Your vendors must be considered rebounding and new ways to efficiently manage product. partners in your effort to build and maintain dealerships that hunkered down during the Those lessons can be forgotten when sales a highly productive and efficient operation. recession are now growing their operations recover. Inventories must grow to support Selecting the wrong vendors can sabotage again. Let’s review three key opportunities to higher sales levels, but prudent managers will your efforts as surely as selecting the wrong grow in ways that can make a store leaner and manage that growth carefully with a steady employees. For that reason, you must also be more productive. eye on days supply and turn rates. Inventories quick to communicate your expectations to eat working capital and credit, resources that each vendor, monitor for performance against Your People tend to be finite and costly. standards and make changes when vendors Your personnel counts will grow this year fail to provide the level of performance you as sales rebound. You can invest the time Your Vendors expect. to carefully choose the right people now or The recession has taken a toll on businesses you can spend even more time in the future across the board and your vendors have Decisions you have made in the past several putting out fires started by poor choices. probably gone through changes of their own. years likely determined your dealership’s As part of the selection process, be explicit Some have probably adapted by becoming ability to survive in a hazardous environment. about your expectations. If you expect your leaner and more productive, changes that The decisions you make this year will salespeople to sell 12 cars each month and can create benefits for you. Other vendors affect the degree to which your dealership stay current on all assigned training, tell your may have lost some of the advantages that participates in the coming return to prosperity. prospective employees before you hire them. caused you to select them over competitors If a prospective employee flinches at your at some point in the past. At the same time, Steve Brazill is the chair of automotive expectations, don’t you want to know that some vendors who were not the best choice marketing for Northwood University, before you offer a position? in the past may have weathered the storm Texas Campus. He can be contacted at 866.861.1515, or by e-mail at better than their peers and may be able to Your Inventories offer superior value today. Your vendor list Many dealers aggressively reduced inventories should be reviewed regularly, but especially Time to rethink auto transportation Call 1-866-207-3360 Nationwide or register online Door-to-Door for our lowest rates Online Easy BUILDING AMERICA® 2 2
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