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

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

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

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AutoSuccess.june10 AutoSuccess.june10 Document Transcript

  • JUNE2010 Check out Kim Orr of eXteresAUTO at
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • sales&trainingsolution KirkManzo ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL? Do you consider most out of today’s opportunities? Ground — To be successful you will need to yourself to be a get them to like and trust you. Be open and professional? If yes, Product Knowledge be yourself. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget then what other occupations come to mind While every manufacturer provides resources to smile. when you think of a “professional”? to educate sales people on their product line, 4. Conduct an Interview — There is no aren’t those resources made available to your need to interrogate the folks. Be thorough. Perhaps you might think of an attorney, competition offering the same brand? Bear in Ask thought provoking questions and take a doctor (physician/surgeon/dentist) or a mind, the expectations of today’s buyers are good notes and paraphrase. It will show them CPA. What one thing do these and other at an all-time high. You need to differentiate you are listening. professional occupations have in common? yourself by being better prepared than the 5. Presentation/Walk-around — Keep That’s right, they all require continuing other salesperson across town. good eye contact and incorporate the phrase education to maintain an active license. “What this means for you is….” This Here are a few simple routines you should phrase will help keep the presentation from While new car manufacturers have testing put in place to help yourself. First you need becoming too technical. procedures in place for product certification, to drive a vehicle out of the inventory every 6. Closing — The most often feared and there really is no governing body that day. Go through all the new models first and avoided skill and the most necessary for your licenses and tests sales professionals on their then to the used vehicles. Used inventory will success. knowledge of sales. The burden falls to the change daily and most dealerships maintain 7. Handling/Answering Objections — The individual or the dealership. some off-brand product that you will need to more consistently you ask, the more “No’s” become proficient in presenting. you will have to encounter. Be prepared to In examining this dynamic, three key isolate their resistance so you can proceed to elements or critical success factors become Secondly, you need to secure access to a write-up. evident. In order to become the best at your current publications that report on new 8. Negotiation — Even if you work in a given profession (automotive sales) you will vehicles: Car and Driver, Road and Track, “one-price” store, a discussion on monthly need to focus on three key areas: attitude, Consumer Reports and online sites like payments, trade values and cash down will be product knowledge and sales skills. Yahoo! Auto, Edmunds, etc. MotorWeek necessary to complete the sale. is a television program that specializes in 9. Follow-up — Staying in contact with Attitude evaluating new models from all the major previous customers builds your book of Of all the three critical success factors, the brands. The program broadcasts on your local business. New opportunities will need to hear first is the most obvious and unfortunately Public TV stations. Check your listings. back from you. Be creative, use e-mail, text the most underrated: attitude. How many or even Facebook. times have you witnessed a new salesperson Sales Skills 10. Time Management — Everyone on the come out of the gate blazing on fire and sell The third critical success factor represents the planet is equal in this resource. Use it wisely. 15-20 units their first month? They are not basic blocking and tackling of our profession, Establish a system using your dealership selling units based on exceptional product sales skills. The work of cutting down the CRM, a smart phone, or good old pen and knowledge nor the use of highly developed trees of sales opportunities is best handled paper to stay organized. sales skills. Instead their success is based when your blade is sharp. The time you almost exclusively on sheer enthusiasm. invest to sharpen your skills will make the A professional climbs to the top of the game daily encounter of selling more productive. by working on their skills. The best remain Have you ever arrived early for a there by continually improving in all three professional sporting event? At NFL The areas to focus on follow the road to a areas each month. stadiums quarterbacks are taking snaps and sale very closely. throwing passes to their receivers. Kickers 1. Prospecting — No matter how effective Good luck and good selling! and punters are working on their timing you become, not getting enough at bats will etc. But when you really examine what the kill your sales career in the end. professional athlete is doing during the pre- 2. Meet and Greet — You need to make a Kirk Manzo is the president of The game activities, it is all about getting their favorable initial impression. Dress yourself Manzo Group. He can be contacted at mind right. Certainly, the physical aspects in such a way that they notice you, not your 800.858.6903, or by e mail at e-mail are necessary, but the mental preparation is clothing. Let them know you are serious and the key to victory on the field. How do you respect them by dressing appropriately. mentally prepare each morning to get the 3. Build Rapport/Establish Common24
  • marketingsolution ScottJoseph WHY PEOPLE DON’T RESPOND TO YOUR DIRECT MAIL AND E-MAIL ADVERTISEMENTS “We have tested millions of messages over the last 19 Getting a profitable of your sends actually arrive and are read. years and here’s what I believe: response from your Two areas to focus on are your list and There are more people who direct mail and e-mail advertisements can how you word your message. First, always would have responded to your be complicated, but when you break it avoid buying e-mail lists. You want to send advertisement had you made down, there are only three reasons why your e-mails to people with whom you have an your pitch more believable, prospects won’t respond to you. I’ll go over established relationship (previous customers than people who would have each of them… and reveal techniques on how or prospects). Sending e-mails out to people to overcome them. who did not give you permission to do so are responded if your offer and/ sure ways to get blacklisted and have all your or claims were exaggerated. The No. 1 Reason: e-mails arrive in someone’s junk folder. How Give it a shot in your next direct They don’t notice your sales pitch. If you often do you check and read your junk folder mail piece or e-mail message. are using direct mail sales letters or e-mail e-mails? In addition, make sure to keep your Don’t forget to have the right advertisements, many things can happen that unsubscribe data up to date. list, because that is still the most prevent your prospects from receiving, seeing important ingredient.” and/or reading your message. Before sending any e-mails, you should always review the message and avoid going to have a hard time getting enough With e-mail, it is critical that your message using words or phrases that will almost sales to cover your advertising costs. arrives in the “inbox” and not the “junk” box. automatically raise red flags. The same goes with direct mail, but rather It’s simple: You must have a product that than the “junk” box, it is better known as the With direct mail, always remember that most people want and you need to make sure you “garbage can.” Let’s break down both quickly. people sort their mail into two categories: are getting your message to those people. mail they plan to open and mail they plan to Pipe dreams about who you would like to Your e-mail procedures are extremely throw away. Most people sort their mail over sell to will never produce the result you important to guarantee a high percentage a garbage can. Goal No. 1 is to make sure are looking for. In future articles, we will you are in the pile continue to explain the importance of data that gets opened. If analytics and what a good data analytic team your advertisement will do for your bottom line. screams “JUNK MAIL,” which pile The No. 3 Reason: do you think it is They don’t believe you. I’d say this is Tweet? going into? probably one of, if not the most important reason your prospects will not respond or Sweet! Once the potential buy what you are selling. The funny thing is, buyer opens your when a direct mail piece or e-mail gets a poor advertisement, the response, the people who created it usually most important think they didn’t sell hard enough, so they L Loyalty Driver element to getting inflate their claims and promises even more. This is counterproductive. If you have the eNew letter Articles wsl your message right list and they opened your advertisement read is the Now No Appearing advertisement for and read it, then the reason why they didn’t respond in the first place is because they on Twitter. the advertisement didn’t believe your sales pitch. Making your — the headline. claims even more hyped-up is only going to The No. 2 make them even more skeptical. Reason: We have tested millions of messages over They don’t want the last 19 years and here’s what I believe: Just another way to spread what you’re There are more people who would have selling. Nobody the good news. has a product that responded to your advertisement had you made your pitch more believable, than people everyone wants. who would have responded if your offer Not every person and/or claims were exaggerated. Give it a you e-mail or mail shot in your next direct mail piece or e-mail Innovative Enewsletter Solutions to will want your message. Don’t forget to have the right | 866-964-6397 product. In the list, because that is still the most important direct marketing ingredient. business, we make our money from Scott Joseph is the president of J&L the people who do. Marketing, Inc. He can be contacted at If you target the 888.835.1689, or by e-mail at wrong list, you’re
  • sales& trainingsolution MarkTewart THE DEATH OF TRADITIONAL SALESPEOPLE part 3 How would you rate If you have been trying unsuccessfully for dealership, once again I must ask, “What do the skill sets of the many years to raise the skill levels on the you expect?” If you say you want a good sales staff at your dealership? Let’s review a above areas, what will change or make a sales staff that performs necessary sales few of those skill sets: difference in the future? If you keep banging functions at a high professional level and • Phone skills — taking inbound calls and your head against a wall and all you get is you spend zero thought, time and resources making outbound calls a bloody headache, then wouldn’t it make towards getting good people that even have a • Follow-up skills — Following up sold and sense to try something different? capacity to perform these functions, then you unsold customers with an organized game will get what you pay for. plan utilizing multiple streams of follow- One of two things will have to change. up methods Either you must spend the time, effort and If you have determined that you cannot • Marketing — Utilizing a planned and resources necessary to recruit, hire, train get high-quality people or do not want to sequenced marketing campaign utilizing and retain the right type of quality people, spend the resources necessary to get the top- multiple media methods for low- to no- or you must devise a new sales process quality people, then I do not find shame in cost self-marketing and prospecting that alleviates most, if not all, of the above creating a limited sales process with limited • Action Management — Otherwise responsibilities from your sales staff. There functions for your sales staff to ensure a high known as “time management”; a well- is a much greater chance that you can hire probability of success. My hope is that you thought out and executed game plan for a and teach salespeople to execute a few things chose some plan of massive action rather daily, weekly and monthly action plan really well rather than expecting your sales than keep doing the same thing and expecting • Self-Education — A well-planned and representatives to execute a whole range of a miracle. Hoping and praying alone does executed game plan for self-education responsibilities at a high level. not seem to work. To paraphrase a quote, based upon increasing sales skills, people “Pray, but move your feet.” To receive my skills, life skills and marketing skills Some of you may read this and say that I articles and FREE special report on Death • Closing skills — The ability to bring want you to just give up on salespeople and of Traditional Salespeople, contact me at the all the work done with the customer, for some of you that is partially true. If you address below with “Death of Traditional the relationships and value created to a will not spend a tremendous amount of time Salespeople” in the subject line. purchase decision and resources on recruiting the right people, then don’t bother in expecting better results. Over the years, I have been in thousands of It’s ridiculous. What do you presently have Mark Tewart is the president of Tewart dealerships and know that the answers to in writing that you implement on a regular Enterprises, and the author of the best the above questions for the vast majority of basis for a recruiting, interviewing, testing seller, How To Be A Sales Superstar. He can dealerships are a lot poorer than any of us and training program for your dealership? be contacted at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at would like to admit. If you are a manager or My guess is five percent of dealerships dealer, my question to you is the following: have anything. If that is the case for your28
  • leadershipsolution JohnFreund DISCOVER THE VALUE OF DOLLAR COST AVERAGING Whether you’re a extended period. The following example you purchase declines in value, so dollar novice investor or illustrates how this can happen. cost averaging is not a guarantee of profit. you’ve been following the market for years, However, it can keep you from investing one thing you know is true: The market is Let’s say you decide to invest $500 a month all of your money at one time, perhaps at constantly changing. The never-ending ups in a certain investment on the first of the a higher price. To follow this strategy, and downs can make it hard to determine month, and monitor that plan over a five- you need to consider your ability — both when would be a good time to buy. month period in the market. For illustrative financial and emotional — to stick with the Fortunately, there is an investment strategy purposes, we’ll say the market prices at program in both rising and falling markets. that can help compensate for swings in the the beginning of each of those months are market and make the decision a little less $10, $8, $6, $5, and $8. Your steady $500 Dollar cost averaging helps take the troublesome for you. investments would buy you 50 shares the guesswork out of trying to time your first month, 62 the next, and then 83, 100, investments, allowing you to focus on asset A widely recognized investment strategy and 62 again in the subsequent months. accumulation. As an additional benefit, known as “dollar cost averaging” offers because you buy more shares when the a systematic approach to investing. By By the end of that five-month period, your market is down, you’ll be in a better position following this plan, you invest a specific total investment of $2,500 will have bought for potential gains if the market rebounds. dollar amount at set times, regardless you a total of 357 shares. That amounts to of where the market may be at the time. an average cost per share of $7. However, if To find out whether this strategy would One of the advantages of this strategy is you take those five prices on your purchase be appropriate, you need to evaluate your that it can be applied to a wide variety of date and divide, the average price per share individual situation and your investment investment vehicles. over that same time period was $7.40. While objectives. You may find, however, that this a mere forty cents per share may not seem is just the right kind of plan to keep you on As you know, the market price of an like a big difference, your $2,500 investment track and working toward your goals. investment fluctuates. By using dollar cost would only purchase 337 shares at the averaging, you can buy more shares when average price — a full 20 shares short of the price is low, but you buy fewer shares what you have accumulated through dollar when the price is high. While that seems cost averaging. fairly elementary, the interesting thing is that by spreading out your investment The key to this long-term investment dollars this way, the average cost you pay strategy can be summed up in just one word: John Freund is the senior vice president of investments for Moors & Cabot. He can be per share can actually end up being lower constant. You need to remember that you contacted at 866.599.9162, or by e-mail at than the average price per share over an could still lose money if the investment 2 9 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • marketingsolution KimOrr ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT: NO FAD, IT’S HERE TO STAY Tips to Get Started - and the Impact It Will Have on Your Dealership There’s a real really get your phone ringing: You’ll get 4. Don’t worry about a few groundswell of hundreds of super-motivated sales and negative reviews: movement over the past 24 months around service calls every month directly from • Negative reviews happen. The dealerships adopting online reputation the review sites and directories. reality is that a few negative reviews, management. And social media, just like the peppered with a lot of positive Internet itself, is no passing fad — it’s here Five Tips for a Successful Launch: reviews, looks the most real. (Nine to stay. Consider consumer behavior today: 1. Choose the major review sites and positives for every one negative is Three out of four car shoppers now actively directories that you want to focus on: a good rule of thumb.) While some turn to online dealer reviews, and what they • Don’t put all your eggs in one review negative reviews fit the criteria to be find has more impact on their decision than site basket. Consumers turn to about formally disputed and removed at the either dealer location or past dealer loyalty. 10 major sites and you should, too. sites (and you should get rid of the Some of the major ones include foul ones), others are earned. These Across the nation, dealers are at wildly CitySearch, Yelp, InsiderPages, negative reviews offer the opportunity varying levels of Internet adoption. While Merchant Circle,, to reach out to an unhappy customer some have brilliantly executed Internet Google Local, Yahoo! Local, Local. and make things right for them. departments, or even full-blown “Internet com, This takes us back to the culture dealerships,” others are just now installing change: Embrace the positive and the computers and their 20-year management 2. Set your dealership up on the review negative. teams are just learning to send e-mails. But sites and directories properly: the great news about the Internet is that • Many dealerships are plagued by 5. Monitor the review sites: it doesn’t really matter if you’ve already multiple and incorrect listings, or • Constant monitoring is important. By adopted strong online initiatives, or are just no listings at all. Once you have monitoring the sites for new reviews now stepping into the digital world. What established the review sites you daily, you can quickly take action on matters is the “now” part: Get involved, stay are going to focus on, make sure the negative reviews, along with using involved and pay close attention to the online you populate the listings with good the positive reviews to recognize your habits of your consumers. Keep your finger information: Correct phone numbers, sales team, and even deploy them in on the pulse of what they are actually up to, links to your Web site, hours of other marketing efforts. and you will be able to effectively reach the operation, marketing messages, majority of consumers looking for their next photos, logos and special offers. Social media is an unprecedented new way vehicle or their next service in your market. • Establish a policy about who in your to “get the positive word out” about your dealership has the skills to get you dealership. Keep in mind, though, that this There is so much to learn and tackle in set up correctly. It is not uncommon reputation can’t be faked — at least not this new social media wave — and your for dealerships to have multiple and successfully. Many companies are emerging online reputation at the review sites and incorrect listings on various social that offer to totally manage your social media directories should rank high on your priority media sites as well as the review sites presence and initiatives. This can be great list, because consumers who turn to reviews and directories. Get control as quickly because the task of managing everything can are in the buying phase. They reached that as possible. be daunting. It is critical, however, that what “moment of truth” point where they know • Use a unique toll-free number — that they are publicizing about you online — what vehicle they want and now they are you can track — for the review sites through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and press deciding which dealership to call. and directories. You can assign the releases — really reflect the culture of your same number to all of the sites and dealership. It’s also critical, on the review Five Things That Will Happen if you don’t use it anywhere else. sites and directories, that your reviews are all launch a successful online reputation real reviews posted by actual customers. The management initiative: 3. Culture Change — Gathering Internet has been dubbed the best “world- 1. Your dealership’s CSI rating will Positive Reviews: of-mouth advertising” ever invented, and improve. • There is an old saying: ‘“A happy it’s true. But if you try to fake it — or fudge 2. Your salesperson retention will increase, customer tells one person and an it — it will backfire. Through social media as well as their overall morale. unhappy customer tells 20.”’ Now, via you have the ability to convey more than 3. You reshape the search results that the Internet they both tell thousands, vehicle information and price, you have the involve your trade name: 40 percent or but the unhappy customers are ability to establish relationships, trust and more of all local auto searches involve simply more motivated. Gathering consumer confidence prior to purchase. Give your trade name. Once populated with positive reviews takes deliberation a consumer what they want and you will earn fresh reviews, the review sites will push and dedication. Fully engage your their business. other, unwanted listings off the first page entire dealership: management, sales of name brand search results leaving teams and service teams. They need to real-world positive information about ask for positive reviews from happy your dealership. customers at the time of delivery. Kim Orr is vice president of 4. Customers will drive past your • Do not have customers submit eXtéresAUTO. She can be contacted at competition to do business with you just reviews from your dealership 866.231.6135, or by e-mail at because they read favorable reviews. computers. This will lead to being3 5. A high volume of positive reviews will blackballed from the review site.0
  • leadershipsolution BillPhillips MATCH TALENT TO POSITIONS If You Want to Change the Job Your People Do, Change the Job You Hire Them to Perform The best thing I minded sales leaders who can manage staff tomorrow. In case you think this is a sales learned from the and hold old-school car people accountable? pitch by a consultant to hock his services, J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Will they have the time — or the expertise — let me be clear: Don’t hire one. Instead, hire Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas — where to do anything else? somebody who can properly manage your a wealth of great information was presented marketing and someone for the sales process. — was that the work environment within a What I’m suggesting is that you separate Or, as I’m suggesting, hire two somebodies. dealership is changing faster than anyone these distinctly different jobs and fill them realizes. Technology is changing the face of with the distinctly different types of people Hire someone who understands the data we who now works in this environment, and the they require. This point was proved in the need to manage in automotive retail and who industry is unprepared for or unaware of the J.D. Power panel discussion. One dealer knows how to work around the limitations change at hand. representative proudly proclaimed that her of software tools currently available to us. staff is responding to all leads within 26 This management-level position will involve In the opening session, the folks from J.D. minutes: How could the manufacturer’s spending advertising dollars that, in the Power brought together several manufacturer numbers possibly be true? (Unknown past, may have been directed by the general representatives to discuss the results of a to another panelist of one of the larger manager. recently completed mystery-shopping study. dealership groups in the United States was This survey showed without a doubt why the fact that, at the time, I’d been waiting You also need to hire a strong process dealers are struggling: response times to three days for a call from one of his stores manager, a role previously known as a customer inquiries that exceed 12 hours following a mystery-shop of my own). I don’t sales manager. These individuals are not and next-to-no follow up of any kind. J.D. believe that one person on this panel isn’t deal managers who stand around waiting Power then brought out a panel of dealer doing his or her job. Rather, I contend that the for something to manage; they follow and representatives. For the next 30 minutes, this issues J.D. Power presented as the problem lie enforce the process. They know how many group of well-meaning, intelligent people outside their ability or job title to fix. You can e-mails and calls your customers receive, discussed little of this problem — though for know everything about Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier and they know the contact patterns your good reason. With all due respect to the smart 3 eCommerce marketing and still not know salespeople follow. They know that driving people who participated, I don’t believe that how to correctly fix process issues in a store. showroom traffic requires action — and anyone addressed the issues that needed to be that action is not developing an advertising addressed. Why? They can’t. Manufacturers and dealers need to be more concept or scripting a radio/TV spot. Their committed to training and less willing to daily activities have changed the most of any To be fair, the current landscape is changing throw money at a problem. In this economy, position within a dealership, and there will very quickly — for dealers, manufacturers you can’t back your way into profitability. be some sales managers who can’t adapt. As and even industry observers such as J.D. You have to put your head down and focus an owner or GM, you need to be ready to Power. Job descriptions within today’s on the basics. If you’re not sure what change the person if that person can’t change. dealerships, for example, did not exist as they are anymore, take this opportunity to recently as five years ago and have failed to relearn them. Your consumer is now placing The good news is that, even in this market, keep pace with the challenges confronting boundaries between you and a sale that dealers who work both hard and smart can dealers on a daily basis. Even as we bring requires proactive methods to make contact. thrive and flourish. Instead of worrying about talented professionals into our stores to solve This business climate tests even the best who moved the cheese, focus instead on these issues, the sad truth is this: The skill managers; the ones who traditionally have moving toward the cheese, and you can be set needed to tackle them isn’t in their job operated on the basis of their feelings and among them. description and often extends beyond their their theories about what works must now job duties. In practical terms, consider your get in tune with managing this new area of Bill Phillips is the president and CEO marketing director who understands SEO, business that’s more about the numbers. of Automotive Internet Management, Web site metrics and ROI calculations. Is Inc. He can be contacted at this the person who has the ability or the The decisions about process control and 866.593.7212, or by e-mail at time to fix your broken advertising and sales dollars spent on marketing, as well as who processes? What about process engineering- makes these decisions, can’t wait until32
  • leadershipsolution JohnBrentlinger WHAT WOULD DEMING AND DRUCKER DO? Both men were great 1. “Make decisions on people — selection, The days of constructing our own reality management gurus of placement and evaluation — your top in the car business are gone. Prospects are our time; Peter Drucker had much to say, and priority.” (Drucker) demanding honesty, sincerity, character and he always said it succinctly yet greatly, as did There are only two mistakes you can make integrity. No dealership can ever rise above W. Edwards Deming. Out of respect for their in hiring: hiring the wrong person, or not the personal traits of the people they hire. views on management, I have picked three hiring the right person. The next mistake favorite quotes, and will include a brief car is worse than hiring the wrong person: not 2. “The job of management is not business commentary on each. training consistently with real-world training. supervision, but leadership.” (Deming) If most of your time as a manager is being Does your DETAIL DEPARTMENT wasted on supervising your people, several things are evident: You have the wrong look like this? people, you are not training them and you are not acting out the role of a leader. Management is leading competent people who come to work to work, so they can provide for themselves and their families. If you are not leading by example in honesty, sincerity, character and integrity; if you are not leading by example in work ethic, personal standards of commitment, loyalty and dedication, how can you possibly expect those standards to be held by your people? Stop supervising and start leading. 3. “The important thing is not that you have rank, but that you have It COULD look like this... responsibility.” (Drucker) Management needs to get over the self- imposed ego trip that the title of “manager” usually brings. It might be of some help to realize that an 18 year old with nominal skills can be a manager at most fast food joints. It also might be good to remember that not one nickel of profit comes from being a manager. Every dime of profit comes from selling something to somebody. If you supervise the people and methods at your dealership, you cannot in good conscience hold anyone accountable for results. Why? Because it is your methods, your way (or the highway), your orders, Organize your Detail Department & Boost Productivity your “path to the sale” that brings the results, which you usually do not like. Your rank is nothing but a plate on a door; it is your DETAIL PLUS will provide you with increase productivity, reduce chemical responsibility towards your people that is everything you need to help improve & supply costs, reduce labor costs, important. The greatest responsibility of a your Detail Department’s appearance, and improve work quality. leader is to make sure that all their people are reaching their full potential. DETAIL PLUS can Provide you with: That responsibility is worked out best by Consulting Personnel Selection hiring good people, training them, being an Shop Design & Layout Management Training example to them and then getting out of the way and letting them work. High-Tech Equipment Technical Training Call us today for a No-Obligation Consultation John Brentlinger is a sales and management trainer, executive coach P.O. Box 20755 Portland, OR. 97294 Tel: 503.251.2955 and author. He can be contacted at 866.859.6504, or by e mail at e-mail Fax: 503.251.5975 email: TOLL FREE: 800.284.0123 WWW.DETAILPLUS.COM34
  • J&L Marketing is looking for Business Growth Strategists to sell our multi-channel direct marketing products and services. They will prospect for new customers as well as manage leads from J&L Marketing’s growing national accounts. This is a full-time B2B outside sales position. kkasun@jandlmarketing.comDo you want to be a part of one of the fastestgrowing software companies in the retailautomotive market? vAuto’s pricing, appraisal,stocking and merchandising tools are anevolutionary step forward for used car departments.If you have strong retail automotive and/ortechnology solution provider experience in thedealership industry, then we want you to be partof our tremendous growth. Send resumes Learn more at vAuto is an Equal Opportunity Employer.