AutoSuccess .march10


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

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AutoSuccess .march10

  1. 1. The New & Improved, Check It Out! March 2010
  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 40220.3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | Ken Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution CRM SHOULD PROVIDE YOU WITH ‘ACTIONABLE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE SUPER BOWL LACK OF SYNERGY KILLS STAFFED EVENTS INFORMATION,’ NOT JUST LOADS OF DATA CONSISTENCY OF YOUR SALES PROCESS FIVE REASONS WHY YOUR BODYSHOP IS PROFIT CENTER FOR YOUR DEALERSHIP USED VEHICLE INVENTORY CONTROL: CAN THE PAST TEACH US ABOUT OUR PLAN CAREFULLY WHEN IT’S TIME TO UNDERPERFORMING...AND WHAT TO ARE YOU GOING BACKWARDS? OOPS! AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT THE ANSWER IS PRODUCTION 10 BASIC CRM ‘MUST HAVES’ Video Surveillance That Really Works MAKE A CAREER MOVE RESOLUTIONS, PART 2 IS KEY TO SUCCESS FUTURE IN SALES? CASE STUDY: DO ABOUT IT 32 24 18 14 08 09 30 28 16 26 25 34 22 10 By TimJames DalePollak MattBaker StephenR.Covey KirkManzo MarkTewart SteveBrazill DaveDunn DennisSampson SteveShaw JeffHager JockSchowalter JohnFreund SeanStapleton TedRubin pg 0 pg 6 pg 5 March 2010 pg3 pg1 pg2 jeff hager dave dunn mark tewart
  3. 3. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey RESOLUTIONS 2 part Last month, we looked temperance, consistency and self-discipline get permissive and indulgent with ourselves at some of the pitfalls become foundational to a person’s whole overeating, staying up late or not exercising, that people run into when making a resolution life. Trust comes from trustworthiness and the quality of our personal lives and our to create a positive change in their lives. This that comes from competence and character. professional work will be adversely affected. month, we’ll look at some concrete steps to Intemperance adversely affects our judgment take to change “good intentions” into life- and wisdom. If we become slaves to our stomachs, our changing habits. stomachs soon control our mind and will. I realize that some people are intemperate and Gluttony is a perversion of appetite, and to In each of our lives, there are powerful still show greatness, even genius. But over knowingly take things into the body that are restraining forces at work to pull down any time, it catches up with them. Many among harmful or addicting is foolishness. More new resolution or initiative. Among those the “rich and famous” have lost fortunes and people in America die of over-eating than of forces are appetites and passions, pride and faith, success and effectiveness, because of hunger. “I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a pretension and aspiration and ambition. intemperance. Either we control our appetites hundred thousand,” observed Ben Franklin. and passions, or they control us. When I overeat or overindulge, I lose To overcome the restraining forces of sensitivity to the needs of others. I become appetites and passions, I resolve to exercise Many corporations and cities have aging angry with myself, and I tend to take that self-discipline and self-denial. Whenever inventories and infrastructures; likewise, anger out on others at the earliest provocation. we over-indulge physical appetites and many executives have aging bodies, making passions, we impair our mental processes and it harder to get away with intemperance. With Next month, we’ll look at the cost of not judgments, as well as our social relationships. age, the metabolism changes. Maintaining maintaining self-discipline and self-denial, and Our bodies are ecosystems, and if our health requires more wisdom. The older we the rewards those with self-control achieve. economic or physical side is off-balance, all become, the more we are in the crosscurrents Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of other systems are affected. between the need for more self-discipline and FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 temperance, and the desire to let down and Habits of Highly Effective People. He can That’s why the habit of “sharpening the relax and indulge. We feel we’ve paid our be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e-mail saw” regularly is so basic. The principles of dues and are therefore entitled to it. But if we at
  4. 4. sales&trainingsolution KirkManzo CAN THE PAST TEACH US ABOUT OUR FUTURE IN SALES? The question you Some of you are thinking, while this may be must ask yourself is, an interesting story about some “ole car dog,” “has our business changed so much that old does this even make sense today? principles no longer apply?” More and more, shoppers are changing the way they shop for The average salesperson in America is only vehicles; so, as a salesperson, do you need to going to sell approximately 100 cars per year. change the way you communicate with the This is based on eight units a month for 12 market? months, with a few extra for good measure. So, for those of you who sold 120 to 150 last There are numerous salespeople we will meet year, you did better than average. For those during the course of our life, but for me there of you who sold 200, nice job. is one salesman that stands out even to this day: Jerry Nudavich. Then there are the rare operators in our business, those sales people that truly Jerry Nudavich was a salesman in South understand the “lifetime value” of a Florida at Hollywood Ford. In 1976 (yes, customer. Salespeople who sell 300 to 400 I realize I am dating myself), my parents units per year understand that to accomplish purchased a new two-door Ford Granada (for that level of success will require extra work. those of you born in the 1950s and 60s, you probably remember the doors being as long A few months ago I met an individual that as a barn door). So here we are, in 2010, and practices Jerry’s style of keeping in contact I still remember the purchase of this vehicle with his past customers. This salesperson and, more importantly, the salesman that works at a dealership group in the Midwest. handled the sale, Jerry Nudavich. Why? He sells 600 to 700 units per year, new and used. A large percentage of his business You see, Jerry was that rare salesman that is repeat and referral. But the man has an all of you hear legend of. He made it a point exceptional work ethic. He works a daily that, once he sold you an automobile, you schedule that begins at 5:30 a.m. each were his “customer for life,” to borrow a morning at the dealership where he can work phrase from Carl Sewell. Jerry believed in uninterrupted sending cards and letters to his the value of “a customer for life.” Being past customers and contacts. Yes, contacts. only 13 years old at the time of the sale, how He believes that once you meet, you are do I know this was Jerry’s philosophy? We now his “customer for life,” even if you certainly did not discuss the topic. Rather, don’t purchase from him at this time. He it was his actions that shouted out his understands that eventually (in three to five philosophy of customer relationship. years) you will need a car again, and he plans on getting the next one. Jerry was the salesman that took the time to send birthday cards to my family for each of What is interesting is that this salesperson us — mom, dad, sister and myself. He sent will follow up with everyone the same way, holiday cards, as well as information on new whether you buy a vehicle or not. What models available at the dealerships. This would happen to your business over the next ritual went on for years. What is interesting five years if you applied this same approach about this story is that my parents never to follow up? purchased another Ford for our family car. At this point, some of you are thinking what a Yes, the market today has changed in many complete waste of time. Here is Jerry sending ways, but yet certain principles still apply. all of this stuff to us, and my parents never Stay in contact with your past customers and purchased another Ford car. you will sell more units. It was true in 1976, and it is still true today. Ask yourself this Well, what you may not realize is that all question: Will the customers I sell a vehicle of those efforts did not go unnoticed. My to today remember my name 34 years from father owned and ran a small electrical now in 2044? contracting business that operated three trucks. Each year, one of the three trucks would be replaced due to wear and tear, as Kirk Manzo is the president of The Manzo Group. He can be contacted at well as mileage. Who do you think sold all 800.858.6903, or by e-mail at those White Ford Econoline 250 vans to my father’s company? That’s right — Jerry Nudavich. 0 9 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  5. 5. leadershipsolution TedRubin CONSISTENCY OF YOUR SALES PROCESS IS KEY TO SUCCESS There are many tools cultivated, and then possibly the process passed before the user of the process is and techniques that itself will not evolve as necessary to continue able to proceed to the next point. This we all use to help make sales and close more to be effective. Moreover, some will try to is where most managers get hung up. It Internet deals. In my opinion, though, the reason that it is the process itself that is the is truly imperative that you, yourself, most effective yet underutilized tool in the inhibitor. Different salespeople work better comply the process. Also, as you are industry is consistency of process delivery. with different circumstances, and therefore managing your personnel, make them can use different processes to produce a more comply with it, too. Depending on your For some reason, consistency in the delivery consistent outcome. This is just simply not management style, you can force this, or and presentation of any sales process seems accurate, and should be seen as the excuse it you can communicate the reasons why to be very difficult for managers to procure is and the reason for failure. it is important. But, one way or another, from their salespeople. Why is this? Time you have to control the personnel to the and time again, we have all read studies and There are some rules that you can use point that you know the process is being seen reports stating that if you can define to make sure that you are developing an followed. a successful process and specifically stick effective process, and that you are controlling to that particular process, then you will be it to the point where you can be sure that 4. Measure Your Success able to reproduce that success over and consistency is insured. When setting up your process, look to over again. It would appear that if we, as define areas where you can identify managers, were able to train new salespeople 1. Define Your Process a measurement of the success of that to use a proven process, then the process is Be sure that you not only define your piece of the process. You should try to what would make the sale; there would be process, but that you write it down. identify at least three points where you less reliance on the salesperson, and more on This is so important. Your process will can measure a certain level of success the effectiveness of the process itself. definitely be a living document. It will or failure for that portion of the process. change as necessary to accommodate This will help you to more quickly I can specifically vouch for this success your product and your constituency. evaluate and tweak your process to its myself. In our company, we handle chat But, it will be impossible to control best end result. conversations. We handle an extremely high consistency if there is no specific and volume of conversations on a daily basis. documented definition of the process 5. Start Again Our reps will handle more chats in a single itself. Everyone needs to be able to refer Now that you have defined your process, day than most store personnel will handle to a definitive version of the current trained and explained, monitored and in two or three months. Because of this, process. It is the only way to know if measured your success, you need to go we are able to see how slightly tweaking there is any deviation from it. Write back to the beginning, make alterations the process (in our instance, the chat it down. Train it. Follow it. And, then to your process that you feel will enhance conversation) will affect the outcome. We update it as necessary, every time that it, and follow the system again. are constantly reviewing the data, making you feel that a change must be made. small changes and the reevaluating the Keep it current. Don’t let it get away Ultimately, this is a never-ending process data to see what effect has been produced. from you. If you find that it is not in itself. But, you should be able to see However, if we were not able to rely on the current, then you can also immediately continual improvement if you pay attention consistency of our deployment – that of our construe that there is no consistency in and use it thoughtfully. It will keep you representatives handling the conversations your deployment, either. So, go back to on the cutting edge, and always on top of – then the data would be subjective and of the beginning, and start again. the best process for you and your team to little value. This is specifically why we have be successful. It will keep your system several layers of management, and ongoing 2. Train and Explain Your Process, from getting old and stale. It will insure training for our representatives. We need to Then Train Some More that your salespeople are at the top of their know that we can count on their consistency Take the time to train and explain your performance. And, it will make it easy of our process delivery so that any changes process to those who will be using it. to bring on new personnel, as you need we make to the process will produce usable This is significantly important to gain the them, with the ability to have the highest measurable results. commitment of your personnel to use the expectation of their production. It can even process. You need to be able to explain limit your liability from misrepresentations or Having noted all of this, and for the most why you have chosen this particular erroneous statements. It is just like staying in part accepting as fact that a consistent process. Show reasons why particular shape. It is healthy for you and your business deployment of a sales process — whether aspects of the process are required, and all the way around. online, on the phone or in person — can what the expected result of the pieces of produce more effective results and make it the process is to produce. Get buy-in and easier to bring new salespeople into the fold, commitment from your staff to use and it seems to many to be a trap for managers. follow the process you have defined. Managers don’t demand consistency out of their salespeople. They often don’t spend 3. Monitor the Process Ted Rubin is a founding partner of the time and effort to control the process Your process must include a way to ActivEngage. He can be contacted at and require conformity. Then, because of monitor itself. You need to include 866.387.9061, or by e-mail at this deficiency, the process will never be milestones in the process that must be
  6. 6. Remember the day when an reason we didn’t have more traffic was because of our Web site. “Internet” lead was a bad word So, once our Web site contract came up, we fired that Web site that would send the sales team company and replaced it with another that promised us better running? All we heard were results (something had to be broken, so it must have been the complaints about how Internet Web site, right?). leads knew too much about a car or were just shopping Oh, the good ‘ole days. Fast forward to present day. While a lot of for best price. At one point, things changed, some things have stayed the same. we even envisioned Internet shoppers purchasing vehicles Today, consumers have the ability to access the Internet and stay directly from manufacturers and connected with their peers during every waking moment via mobile utilizing the local dealership devices as well as computers. The Internet has evolved from “walled only for delivery and service. garden” — business-to-consumer content that got delivered days toAll we really knew was that we had this thing called a “Web site” and weeks in arrears — to “open source,” consumer-to-consumer contentwe could receive e-mail leads through this thing called “the Web.” that gets delivered in real time, giving the public access to information they’ve never had. It has educated society — and revealed all the dirtyBut how should we manage it? None of our sales team wanted to little secrets. As a result, consumers today put far more trust in whatwaste their time trying to figure this thing out, and none of them knew their peers say than in what you or a manufacturer tells to set up an e-mail account anyway. So, we hired a young kidwho was “computer literate,” isolated him in an office away from the What hasn’t changed:sales floor, and called him our Internet Manager. Most early Internet • The car buying experience is still a very emotional experienceManagers had no experience selling cars and zero experience in for But, hey, we had a Web site and e-mail leads, so we had to • We still hire young kids who are “computer literate,” isolate themhave an Internet Manager. away from the sales floor, and call them our Internet Managers. • Most Internet Managers still have no experience selling cars or inThe good news was that not everyone had computers at this time, and marketing.we still drove all measurable floor traffic through our traditional media. • We still compensate our Internet Managers based off of sales toSo we set up our Internet Departments to fit this model: “Internet Customers” through our Web site and online classifieds. • The car buying experience was a very emotional experience for • We distribute our inventory across the Web with little data and have the consumer. someone come out a week later to add photos and additional data. • The Internet could only be accessed via a computer. • Though we don’t rely on Internet-generated traffic, we can still tell • All measurable floor traffic was driven by our traditional media. that something isn’t working right compared to our competition, so • We compensated our Internet Managers based off of sales to we fire our Internet Manager and bring in another one (something “Internet Customers” through our Web site and online classifieds. has to be broken, so it must be the Internet Manager, right?). • We distributed our inventory across the Web with basically no data • Meanwhile, all of our Internet Managers keep telling us that the and had someone come out a week later to add a photo or two. reason we don’t have more traffic is because of our Web site. • Though we didn’t rely on Internet-generated traffic, we could So, once our Web site contract comes up, we fire that Web site tell that something wasn’t working right compared to our company and replace it with another that promises us better results competition, so we fired that Internet Manager and brought (something has to be broken, so it must be the Web site, right?). in another one (something had to be broken, so it must be the Internet Manager, right?). The fact is, if your current Internet department looks like the one from • Meanwhile, all of our Internet Managers kept telling us that the yesterday, you’re outdated, losing sales and it’s likely you’re at risk
  7. 7. of failure. The way we reach customers has changed so dramatically • What are the most popular entry and exit points of your Web site,over the last few years that it has completely overhauled the way we do and what can you do to improve all entry and exit points?business — and we’ve only seen the start of it. And yet, most dealerships • What are your competitors doing? You need to stand out as thestill follow the same process that they established 10 years ago. only game in town — to differentiate yourself. If you suddenly find you aren’t getting the leads you used to, there’s a good chanceIn order to define a successful process that will have you succeed that someone else is steering shoppers their, you must first apply some simple rules: • Your Web site and online classifieds are not just marketing; they The above is just the beginning, but it is enough to get you, hopefully, are rich media sources, just like your local newspaper, TV and realizing that the skills required to get online shoppers onto your lot radio stations. are very different than the skills required to close a deal. Today, you • Your Web site must provide content rich information that today’s need an Internet Marketing Manager, not an Internet Sales Manager. consumer demands, optimized to drive traffic to your “online Your Internet Marketing Manager must be technologically savvy and showroom.” understand both traditional marketing and Internet marketing. Your • Your “online showroom” must have vehicle display pages that Internet Marketing Manager must work directly with your marketing duplicate the emotion of your traditional advertising, optimized department (or ad agency) and BDC to drive traffic to both your “online to convert “online showroom” traffic into floor traffic at your showroom” and your “physical showroom” from all touch points. dealership. • Your vehicle display pages can be seen by more consumers in one Your Internet Marketing Manager should also be compensated for day than all your traditional ads are seen in a week; therefore, your driving traffic to both your “online showroom” and your “physical vehicle display pages are your most important ads and demand showroom” from all touch points, and not sales delivered by themselves significant attention. or the rest of your sales team. If they have the personality and skills of a • Unlike your traditional media sources, you CAN measure the great salesperson, it is very unlikely they also have the personality traits success of your online ads all the way down to each unique of a detailed, organized and marketing-savvy Internet Manager. individual consumer. Finally, your entire sales team should be trained to be “InternetYour Web site should be “Internet optimized,” not just Search Engine salespeople” and understand how to communicate with InternetOptimized. Just because you’ve sprinkled a little “Google Love” on shoppers with complete transparency using all the tools available toyour Web site and may be driving more Internet shoppers to your Web them. Your dealership must embrace the educated online shoppersite, does not mean that you have a successful “Internet Marketing because that is the present… and the future.Strategy.” You must “optimize” your Web site by determining: • How many consumers are not satisfied with the content of your No doubt, the future of your Internet Department is that it will be your Web site, leave your Web site, and go immediately to your Marketing Department. As consumers migrate more and more of their competitor’s Web site? daily activities online, your marketing efforts will reflect a similar • How many consumers engage your Web site, only to be migration in order to meet them there. And those efforts will require far disappointed in the response they receive from your dealership or greater amounts of marketing savvy in order to compete on such a level the time it took to receive it? playing field. • How many more consumers would engage you from your Web To Be Continued… The remaining “Future” portion of this article will be site if you offered them the ability to engage you the way they forthcoming at some point, well, in the future. want to engage you vs. the way you are telling them to engage you? If they can’t engage you the way they want to, how many Tim James is the director of sales with HomeNet, Inc. leave your Web site and go to your competitor’s site (who is He can be contacted at 866.228.5111, or by e-mail at giving them what they want)?
  8. 8. marketingsolution MattBaker LACK OF SYNERGY KILLS STAFFED EVENTS Remember last month’s Super Bowl fast. Without a real connection, without real synergy, there is no shared ambition. Instead “Imagine an offense on a game? Sure – the Colts and the Saints had incredible seasons, and both teams came of working to establish similar goals, efforts by both parties are focused almost solely football team where half ready to win. Yet in the end, New Orleans on overpowering one another. This rivalry the members are running proved their worth by bringing home a well- deserved victory. eventually wears down every stakeholder in the event’s success, often leaving frustration a pass play and the other and disappointment in its wake. half are running a run play. So then, consider for a second what might have happened to the 2010 Super Bowl had So, one may ask, if synergy is key to Think that this offense New Orleans decided not to practice. Think the Saints would still be 2010 Super Bowl keeping promotional events profitable, how does one ensure their dealership’s culture is going to achieve any champions? Chances are, probably not. promotes total cooperation? The answer to success together?” this question can encompass many parts. Making a decision not to practice doesn’t Imagine an offense on a football team where vendors (especially staffed event vendors) make much sense in the world of sports. half the members are running a pass play offer personalized training programs to help But when trying to relay this philosophy to and the other half are running a run play. integrate their process with your sales staff? the business world, especially the world of Think that this offense is going to achieve Do they make an effort to establish and build staffed events, it can often become lost in any success together? No, probably not. A a cohesive bond with your dealership? If translation. Any football team understands sales force combined of dealership staff and they do, your staff is likely begging you to the importance of training and building event team staff is no different. If the event keep them coming back. If they don’t, you synergy amongst its members. Not all staffed company comes in with an ego that is against and your dealership staff are probably left event companies, on the other hand, do. selling with your staff, they’re probably not frustrated by a miserable experience. For many staffed event providers, training the best fit for your store. Just like dealers, regimens and team-building exercises are not all staffed event companies do business Obviously, there’s more to building synergy viewed more as a waste of time than they the same way. One key factor to keep in amongst your staff and your event company are a key to successful performance. Many mind is the staffed event company’s pay than I can share here. Don’t let that fact, staffed event companies (and dealers alike) plan. Be mindful of how you set up the pay however, keep you from realizing the bottom think an event sale is nothing more than plan for the team. Putting all the pressure on line. There is not another product in the auto putting different car guys in a showroom the team often results in less overall team industry that can generate more profit to full of prospects just to see how many units work. This is because the members of the the dealer in only a few days than a staffed they can sell. As a result, these companies event team become so focused on reaching event. Unfortunately, many companies have and their dealers never realize how much of certain numbers just to get a pay check that cut too many corners, ultimately diminishing a direct impact training and synergy have on they ignore the dealership staff. In return, the event results and faith in event effectiveness. the overall performance of their sale. Your dealership staff feels left out and may make Understand that your dealership’s success staffed event provider should utilize training an effort to sabotage teams coming in. is a direct product of its environment. An as means of getting everyone involved and environment rooted in opposition will bring working toward a shared goal — much like Has your dealership established any common you hostility, while an environment rooted in the New Orleans Saints did in preparation goals with your event company? If you don’t cooperation will bring you results. for the Super Bowl. The purpose of the event know what everyone is working towards, is to sell more cars at a greater profit. This what can you expect to achieve? If you’re interested in learning more about requires both technique and team work. cultivating a cohesive environment in your Consider the importance of proper training dealership, e-mail me to receive a free guide Is there really any organization in any when developing your dealership’s sales to creating synergy that drives results. industry that thrives when there is no force. You know you need top-notch sales synergy? A lack of cohesive bond between talent, and creating that top-notch sales Matt Baker is the vice president of sales event team and dealership sales staff will kill team requires regular, disciplined training. for G&A Marketing. He can be contacted any perfectly good sale. No matter how much Even the best car salespeople get caught in at 866.618.8248, or by e mail at e-mail you spent on advertising. No matter how routine from time to time and start skipping many ups you see. If these two parties aren’t steps. Training, when done correctly, creates working together, they’re going nowhere synergy and produces results. Do your14
  9. 9. sales&trainingsolution DaveDunn FIVE REASONS WHY YOUR BODYSHOP IS UNDERPERFORMING... AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT While exhibiting at job cost the individual repair orders and are emphasis on “LEAN” processes, can be NADA in Orlando, often guessing at profitability. Learn to sell good. However, in most shops, chasing some I couldn’t help but notice the recurring and learn to job cost. of the latest industry buzzwords like LEAN theme of frustration expressed by the dealers is a little like putting the cart before the who stopped by my booth. I decided to put 3. Your Pay Plan Probably Creates horse. Most shops have some rudimentary together an article that addresses the most- Incentives for Your Manager to Sell issues that need to be addressed before often repeated issues I overheard. Labor, Rather Than Parts they get involved in complicated process Parts sales drive just about every important management. More basic needs must be 1. The Person You are Listening to metric in your business. Managers may addressed first. Streamlining issues like is Either Uninformed or Misinformed rationalize that, since the typical gross organization and administration, job costing The way information is disseminated in margin is higher on labor than on parts, it and pro-active customer communication is the bodyshop industry is a little like the would be better to repair borderline panels. needed. My business partner often says that childhood game called “telephone.” One This can be a huge mistake regarding managers chase specialty programs “instead player whispers in another player’s ear and profit, quality and CSI. Additionally, parts of” more fundamental issues, rather than “in the process repeats throughout all the players. sales can increase revenue in the paint and addition to.” Get the basics right first and do If you have ever played telephone, you materials cost center while simultaneously not chase industry fads. know that the original information becomes lowering costs. The dealer often bases distorted every time the story is told again. the manager’s pay plan on labor sales; 5. Your Bodyshop Chases DRP’s, therefore, the manager leans toward Instead of Keeping Score In the bodyshop business, managers and repairing badly damaged panels in lieu of Bodyshop managers often chase DRP’s estimators are often trained by someone properly replacing them. (direct repair programs) in lieu of capturing who had no real training. The new manager all of the current relational traffic available tweaks the information to his/her liking and 4. Your Bodyshop is Blown About to them. I am amazed at how much potential a whole new set of misinformation is born. Like a Leaf in the Wind After the relational customer work is ignored while Never assume that someone knows the “right Latest and Greatest Fad pursuing insurance referrals. Dealer body way” to do something just because they have Specialty programs, such as the current shops usually have a substandard batting been around the industry for many years. average regarding estimates written verses Shop managers often seek advice from the conversions. Insist that your estimators manufacturer or paint representatives with “Shop managers often seek advice log all of their traffic and all of their new whom they come in contact. I can tell you from the manufacturer or paint conversions. If they are batting less than 70 from experience this practice can be a real representatives with whom they percent, they probably aren’t doing a good crap shoot. Just because someone is good at job with selling the customer. How would selling paint or parts does not make them a come in contact. I can tell you they know for sure if they aren’t keeping qualified consultant. from experience this practice can score? Additionally, very few shops know be a real crap shoot. Just because how to quantify their capabilities regarding 2. The Bodyshop Manager/ production capacity. Estimator is Really Not Much of a someone is good at selling paint Salesperson or parts does not make them a Send me an e-mail and I will send you a free Bodyshop managers often lack sales acumen. qualified consultant.” Resource Capacity Calculator. If you can’t They may be good at the technical aspects of figure out how to run it, call me and I will fixing a car, but unqualified to properly sell walk you through it. collision repairs. Many dealer shops become preferred providers (direct repair) for large insurance companies. This can be great if you know how to still make money on the cars you repair. Unfortunately, the manager Dave Dunn is the founder of Masters may delude himself into thinking “volume” School of Autobody Management. He can be contacted at 866.386.0042, or by e-mail is all that matters. Volume is only good if you at maintain appropriate gross on every deal. Few managers have the ability to properly16
  10. 10. sales&trainingsolution DalePollak ARE YOU GOING BACKWARDS? Do you agree that your showroom that makes sure your cars The second reason that a car would age the Internet makes it can be found. So, in other words, if you can’t in today’s transparent marketplace is that, less likely each and every day that used car sell retail out of a vehicle within 30 to 40 while you are well aware of the price needed investment dollars will generate lucky profits? days, there has to be a reason. I believe it to generate immediate interest, you are If you do, then you already know that you can only be one of two reasons. But let me unwilling to price the vehicle to sell because have a dilemma on your hands. The problem first confirm that what I consider to be the it would generate a significant loss. If this is that you have to figure out how to make up obvious is already in place: You are properly is the problem, then we need to back up a for those lost gross dollars in today’s changed merchandising your used vehicles online to few steps and examine how you got yourself used car marketplace. If you can tack on a capture today’s Internet-enabled shoppers. upside down in the first place. There is no few extra days to the month or another month This includes compelling descriptions, longer any margin for error in the used car to the year, you’ve got the problem cinched. clear photos and a price. The Internet is the business — you can no longer afford to own You’re also in good shape if you can afford primary gateway that determines whether vehicles wrong and then “mark up from to put more dollars into the pot. However, or not a shopper will choose to contact your cost.” Fortunately, just as there is technology short of these two unlikely solutions, you’ve store or show up to inquire about a used to help you price your vehicles appropriately got to find a way to make up the dollars that vehicle, right? Now, with that agreed, let’s to the market, there is also technology that you used to make from “getting lucky” on address the two reasons that a vehicle might shows you how to acquire vehicles at a cost the used car lot — unless you want to go begin to age. to market that allows for gross profit. backwards. When it comes right down to it, it’s a math problem, and the only solution that The first reason that a car might age in The bottom line is that there is simply no I know is to make the same dollars invested today’s Internet market is that the car good excuse for not selling every vehicle in in used vehicles turn faster and more often. isn’t priced to affect an immediate retail 30 to 40 days. And, the fact of the matter is This means that it’s no longer acceptable to transaction. If this is the case, and your that you no longer have the luxury of doing take 60+ days to sell a vehicle, but rather, it intention is to move the vehicle, you might business any other way. If it is taking you must be done within a far shorter window, a need a technology system that clearly shows longer than 60 days on average to sell a maximum of 30 to 40 days. you the price point at which similar vehicles vehicle, and you don’t own the only vehicles are being sold in your market. To be clear, I left on this planet that still generate the It has always been true that you could sell am not saying that every car needs to be the “lucky” big grosses of the past, then it’s a any car wholesale on any day if you are lowest price. What I am saying is that cars mathematical certainty that you’re going to willing to take what the wholesale market need to be priced right to drive traffic. Pricing go backwards. will offer. The good news is that today, right is different for a car with a high market- because of the Internet, this is largely true days supply than for a car that is “hot.” Dale Pollak is an author and the founder for retail as well. There’s bound to be a retail Again, there is available technology that of vAuto. He can be contacted at buyer for any vehicle on any day if you’re provides the market days supply metric for 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at prepared to price the vehicle to attract that each used vehicle to help make appropriate buyer. The Internet provides visibility into pricing decisions.18
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  12. 12. sales&trainingsolution SeanStapleton 10 BASIC CRM ‘MUST HAVES’ In today’s competitive pictures and more? It would be good to know 9. How is your CRM with database environment you need what you are selling. marketing campaigns? You need to be every advantage possible. We can’t afford not able to mine your database to the max! Can to continually evaluate the new dealership 4. Do you have the latest ILM CRM you easily market to unsold, sold, service technology enhancements for process Internet lead functions with advanced customers or equity customers, based advantages and reducing the profit leaks. social networking support? Can you easily on customer value, distance from your track, monitor and report on everything? Can dealership, based on customer pay greater Look carefully at some of the best- you easily e-mail pictures and details about than X, OPT codes, OPT code decline…. You performing dealerships today. Do you your inventory? Do you have e-mail read get the point. You have gold in your data — realize they have several things in common? recites that alerts your PDAs in real time? mine it! One is they have leveraged many of the Do you have social media search links from recent advancements from CRM industry- customer dashboard? Why not? 10. How is your CRM support? Do you leading providers to provide many new have a dedicated support team? Do they enhancements, increasing their efficiencies. 5. Does your CRM help manage all provide online training? Will they review This level of functionality has never aspects for proper showroom traffic your system usage and make “best practices” been available before. I think the recent maximization? Can you track the activity in suggestions? How many customer updates automotive challenges, new selling landscape the showroom and do unsold follow-up based did your CRM company release to support and shrinking margins have provided a big on that activity? How easy and flexible is it your changing needs last year? advantage. The CRM companies had to raise really to use? Do you use it daily with your the bar and increase their functionality and monthly sales goals? Remember, this list of 10 basic CRM “must accountability because dealers required more. haves” have been assembled from all types 6. Mobile CRM — mobile everything is of dealers in all markets of North America. Here are 10 best practices, collected from an absolute requirement! Honestly, this is Please provide me your feedback and the automotive community, that you can one of the easiest and biggest changes you thoughts to the list. ask yourself about your CRM in order to can make now to help in this new automotive be successful in today’s market. We define environment. If you haven’t yet, you must For some dealers, reading this list will “successful” as profitable, market share leader, go mobile as soon as possible. Responding assure them they are very well prepared for service absorption rock star, growing, etc…. to leads from a mobile device is a must this new retail automotive world. Others, have today. Just think about how much your however, will need to review their options, 1. CRM data and DMS integration? How response times affect your bottom line and functionality, data integration and current well does the CRM integrate with your you will realize how easy this decision is. vendors. How many profit leaks do you have DMS? Can it push/pull real time? Does your after reviewing this list that you have not CRM vendor have a certification with your 7. Is your CRM integrated with your focused on yet? current DMS provider? How secure is your vehicle valuations/book out today? Does data? How many vendors are pulling your it allow you to do trade appraisals, price Why wouldn’t you want to give your data today? Remember, your data is one of inventory and apply changes easily to all of dealership or group the biggest competitive your most valuable assets; are you treating it your marketing communication channels advantage possible? Moving to this new level that way? in real time? Does it dynamically build of CRM functionality and accountability will your inventory comments, with real-time absolutely provide you advantages designed 2. Is your current CRM system “super incentives? Is it truly integrated into your for today’s new opportunities and challenges. user friendly” for all levels of the inventory and sales process? dealership, including service? Overall ease The new CRM advantages are in use now; of use can be the difference between success 8. How are your CRM reporting and are you prepared? Does your dealership have and failure. We all know one thing here: If measurement capabilities? Reporting must all of the most advanced CRM advantages it’s not simple, it will not get used to the be simple to use, customizable and unlimited. possible? fullest! Anyway, anytime, with a “set and forget” If not, ask yourself “Why not?” approach. You must have the ability to build 3. Do you have full inventory integration your own custom reports. Reporting must Sean Stapleton is the executive vice in your CRM? Do you have access to include phone PBX integration — you really president of VinSolutions. He can be your inventory? Can you see all the stores need to track and measure all of the inbound contacted at 866.587.7629, or by e-mail at together, including full details, pricing, and outbound phone calls possible. 2 2
  13. 13. WOLFINGTON The Name on Your Grandfather’s Brougham A TRUSTED NAME IN THE AUTOMOTIVE BUSINESS SINCE 1876. The original Brougham, designed by Alexander J. Wolfington in 1876, was an enclosed four-wheeled carriage that was driven by a coachman and a single horse. TIMES HAVE CERTAINLY CHANGED, BUT ONE THING HAS NOT— THE WOLFINGTON GROUP CONTINUES THE TRADITION OF DELIVERING EXPERIENCE, INNOVATION & INTEGRITY TO THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY! TO EXPERIENCE A TRULY FIRST-CLASS NEW CAR SALES EVENT, CALL 866-386-0625. Designing Comprehensive NEW Car Sales Eventswith Innovative Direct Mail, Live Call Center and CSI-Friendly Staff.