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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 may11 AutoSuccess may11 Document Transcript

  • 2011MAY
  • Advanced Registration Required ® Only $495 $995 for 3 Attendees ppTune-Up Your Digital Marketing StrategyWe will be hosting regional PCG Pit Stop® events: June 11 & 12 Chicago July 9 & 10 Austin For additonal conference July 16 & 17 Los Angeles dates visit: August 13 & 14 St Louis WWW.PCGPITSTOP.COM September 10 & 11 Toronto September 17 & 18 VancouverAgenda:Sat 2:30 Registration Opens Sun 8:00 General SessionSat 3:00 Exhibit Hall Opens Sun 8:30 - 12:00 WorkshopsSat 4:00 Technology Showcases Sun 12:00 Lunch with KeynoteSat 6:30 Cocktail Reception Sun 1:30 - 5:00 WorkshopsSat 7:30 Dinner with Keynote Sun 5:00 General SessionSat 9:00 Hosted Entertainment Sun 5:30 Cocktail ReceptionThe PCG Pit Stop® Program includes workshops on: Sell More With Social Marketing Improving CRM Processes Lead Management in Your BDC Google Adwords ROI Google Places Optimization Automotive SEO Microsites and Landing Pages Fixed Operations Marketing Mobile Websites and Apps Integrated Advertising Solutions Implementing Dealer Chat Call Tracking and MonitoringQuestions call Carrie Hemphill at 732-450-8200 x2
  • THE #1 SALES-IMPROVEMENT MAGAZINE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL 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 info@autosuccessonline.com. 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 | AutoSuccessOnline.com / AutoSuccessPodcast.com | info@autosuccessonline.com 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 sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com design@autosuccessonline.com ddavis@autosuccessonline.com super6@autosuccessonline.com shorne@autosuccessonline.com jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution nosTaLgia: The new goLden nuggeT of sociaL Media increase your MonThLy organic web Traffic froM The MobiLe revoLuTion is bigger Than The inTerneT if you work at a dealership – whether you’re the dealer principal or you’re a Measuring conversion infLuence in auToMoTive onLine negoTiaTion brings ouT The True buyers generaTing The greaTesT iMpacT on your profiT More changes at google in the Last 6 Months Than in the Last decade recenT deveLopMenT iMpacTing deaLerships: i have an inTerneT deparTMenT. now whaT? and saLes in The shorTesT aMounT of TiMe salesperson – There’s something important you need to Know how using Third-party references can help you sell More TsunaMi’s waKe Leaves chaLLenges do you Know who you are hiring? becoMing is beTTer Than wishing why you are The brand, sTupid! do noT de-brand your sTore an interview with chadBaker & patHayes “a cusToMer once ToLd Me...” how to evaluate a screening solution creaTe a river of Leads saLes educaTion Today: for The auTo business adverTising channeLs The reality vs. The ideal, part 2 2,500 To 25,000 visiTs googLe’s +1 32 30 42 26 28 10 16 22 36 24 40 38 08 34 14 18 MattBaker scottJoseph TracyMyers MarshBuice MarkTewart brianPasch seanv.Bradley genaeGirard richardf.Libin LonLeneve shaneBoland reeseSpivey TroySpring susanGivens shelleyMcBride richardWinch 12 0 30 32 4
  • SusanGivens sales & training solution The MobiLe revoLuTion is bigger Than The inTerneTIt’s hard to ignore the numbers. Mobile always accessible. For this reason, consumers buy from their dealership. “We get a lot ofmarketing is exploding into the mainstream at are using them to find product information, leads from our app for a fraction of the cost ofa much faster clip than even the dizzying pace comparisons, pricing and retailers who give Internet leads,” said Brian Benstock, co-ownerset by the Web’s emergence during the last them a reason to visit their dealership rather of Paragon Honda and Acura, the No. 1 Hondadecade. Globally today, more than one billion than the competition’s. and Acura dealer in the world.people are accessing the Internet with somesort of mobile device. Morgan Stanley projects The Internet fundamentally changed “Our mobile app is advertised on all of ourmore than $119 billion in commerce will be how consumers bought vehicles and how newspaper ads, in our service department andconducted over mobile devices by 2015 — dealers sold them. Now the mobile market it’s a great selling point for salespeople inthat’s only three and a half years from now. is the sequel that will have an even bigger the showroom. The app has generated a big impact because of its rapid growth rate and increase in Website, Facebook and showroomCurrently, 93 percent of the 307 million accessibility to consumers everywhere they go. traffic,” said Mike Adler of Laurel BMW, onepeople living in the U.S. have a mobile Last year alone there was a 32 percent increase of AutoNation’s 207 dealerships.device. Of those, 40 percent are estimated to in mobile Web browsing and a whopping 90have smartphones, mobile Internet devices or percent increase in mobile app users. “Industry Two apps that help customers shop and buy aremobile-Web-enabled phones. Do the math: studies show approximately 17 percent of the Car Factor and Car Price Hero. Car Factor isThat’s an “addressable” audience of 122 U.S. mobile audience are ‘auto-intenders’ — the No. 1 most downloaded automotive app inmillion users this very minute. As smartphones people who will buy a new car over the next the world and it has a four-star user rating, thedecrease in price and increase in functionality, six months. With 20 million auto-intenders in highest consumer rating of any auto app in themany experts say the large majority of the mobile universe and one of three of them App Store. The app lets consumers build andconsumers will have smart phones within the using a mobile device at some point during compare vehicles, view reviews, get pricingnext 12 to 16 months. What is more impressive their vehicle search process, car dealers need and much more. A newly patented app, Caris how often cell phones are used to research to capture this market,” said Sean Wolfington, Price Hero, also gives consumers the abilityand shop. Unlike computers, cell phones are owner of www.Tier10Marketing.com. to scan the bar code on a vehicle’s MSRP sticker and get an instant guaranteed low price To help put on every vehicle in the dealer’s inventory. the world of “Dealers can advertise that they can provide mobile users Instant Guaranteed Low Price quotes in 60 into perspective, seconds or less,” said Chad Collier, president consider these facts: of Consumer Driven Solutions, the makers of eBay has one sales the CarFactor and Car Price Hero app. transaction via a mobile device every The Car Price Hero app will be made available second; mobile to the 60+ million Costco, AAA and Navy users bought more Federal Credit Union members through their than 72,000 burgers auto buying programs that sold more than in 72 hours via 300,000 vehicles last year, more than any Groupon mobile retailer in the world. “Affinity Auto Group coupon apps. dealers who are participating in the Costco Auto Program, AAA and Navy Federal will While most dealers be able to participate in the national Car Price do not have a plan Hero auto program using the Car Price Hero to take advantage mobile application,” said Jeff Skeen, CEO of this huge of Affinity Auto Group, the company who opportunity, some manages the auto buying programs. of the top dealers are using mobile Dealers are also using iPad and mobile apps marketing to attract, to help salespeople promote the dealership, sell and retain vehicles, finance, accessories and service. more customers for “Since most customers research online a lot less money before visiting a dealership, they often than traditional know more than most salespeople about advertising. the vehicle they are considering, and this knowledge gap can hurt a salesperson’s Some dealers are credibility,” said Jim Hughes, co-founder of using mobile apps IntellaCar. IntellaCar’s app helps salespeople to make it easier quickly access product benefits that are for customers to tailored to the customers’ hot buttons (safety,08 autosuccessonline.com
  • performance, comfort, convenience, etc.), appointments and view specials,“ Adler added.walk-around videos, pictures, videos aboutthe dealership, certified programs, leasing, It is imperative that the automotive industry quickly embraces mobile commerce. The rate atfinance products, accessories, introduction to which technology is affecting consumers and dealers is unprecedented. “A lot of dealers took aservice and more. ‘wait and see’ posture when the Internet first arrived, but it seems like they are reacting faster this time around,” Wolfington said.“When used properly in the sales process, The writing is on the wall. Mobile marketing is huge. Consumers are eager for the next ‘”cool” appthese showroom apps help salespeople increase and want to do business with dealers who get it. Dealers cannot afford to take their time getting up-their closing ratios, average gross profits and to-speed like they did with the Internet. Dealers must be ready with a clear mobile strategy that tiesCSI because they can answer questions quickly into their existing marketing plan. The cell phone is certainly not a fad; it’s not going anywhere andwhile also building value in the dealership will only increase in time and reach. Don’t get left behind.and the products they sell,” said Bruce Polkes,Hughes’ partner at IntellaCar. Dealers are also Susan Givens is the publisher of AutoSuccess. She can be contacted at 877.818.6620, or bygiving service customers access to these apps e-mail at sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com.on iPads in the service lounge where they canview videos about additional services like cardetailing, dent removal and even new and usedvehicle specials. Does your DETAIL DEPARTMENTHundreds of dealers are using mobile apps look like this?to retain and resell to their customers. Afterbuying or servicing their vehicle, customerscan get a free app that makes their ownershipexperience more pleasant and provides a freechannel of communication from the dealer tothe consumer’s cell phone. Dealers give freemobile apps to their customers that allow themto schedule appointments, buy accessories, viewtheir owner’s manual, get roadside assistance,find their vehicle in a crowded parking lot andreceive alerts when the parking meter expiresor when their kids are going beyond the speedlimit. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg ofwhat mobile devices provide. All of these toolsimprove the customer ownership experience, It COULD look like this...satisfaction and loyalty when the dealer uses theapp to deliver service reminders, recall notices,lease-end tutorials, equity alerts and specialsthat bring the customer in more often forservice, repeat sales and referrals.“Customers love to use the CarFinder toolto search for vehicles for their family andfriends on their phone because it is so easyand cool,” said Garland Webb, co-owner ofwww.DealerAppVantage.com, the maker of theownership and retention app that has the mostactive users. Organize your Detail Department & Boost Productivity“Dealers like AutoNation, Penske, Asbury, Sonic, DETAIL PLUS will provide you with increase productivity, reduce chemicalHendrick, JM Lexus, Paragon Honda/Acura and everything you need to help improve & supply costs, reduce labor costs,others are using the app as a referral tool because your Detail Department’s appearance, and improve work quality.their customers can show off by building a car ontheir cell and then connecting their friends with DETAIL PLUS can Provide you with:the dealer in seconds,” said Ed Louis, co-ownerof www.DealerAppVantage.com. • Consulting • Personnel SelectionDealers are using apps like these to improve • Shop Design & Layout • Management Trainingthe customer experience and to create a channel • High-Tech Equipment • Technical Trainingto communicate with their customers for freeanytime, anywhere. “We use free mobile texting Call us today for a No-Obligation Consultationto our customers to say ‘happy birthday,’ invitethem to dealership events and to promote all our P.O. Box 20755 Portland, OR. 97294 Tel: 503.251.2955profit centers,” Benstock said. Fax: 503.251.5975 email: detailplus@detailplus.com TOLL FREE: 800.284.0123 WWW.DETAILPLUS.COM“Customers love to use the app to make service the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional 09
  • MarshBuice leadership solution becoMing is beTTer Than wishingEveryone has wishes — winning the mega successes and a string of failures, but you must gifts, you can change anything. “If you don’tmillion dollar lottery, tossing a penny in the have an unshakeable belief that in the long run like how something is going for you, changewishing well, even rubbing on Aladdin’s Lamp you will become what you are working for. it. If something isn’t enough, change it. Ifand making three wishes. We have seen wishes There are four pillars to help you stay on track something doesn’t suit you; change it. Ifcome true when people from all walks of life toward your goal and help you become all you something doesn’t please you, change it. Youbecome instant millionaires. can be: don’t ever have to be the same after today. If • becoming Takes Time you don’t like your present address, changeIn today’s social world we watched the modern Grow into what you wish to become. Get the it — you’re not a tree,” reminds legendaryday rags-to-riches story of YouTube sensation microwave theology out of your mind and Jim Rohn. Become a lifetime student of yourTed Williams go from homelessness to develop a mindset of an oven; it takes time YOU-niversty.“heaven” in just a few short days. Ted held up to warm up and will work more efficientlya sign on the side of the road that said he had once the desired temperature is reached. No Whatever you “wish” to “become” beginsa God-given talent. His voice is so smooth, it athlete made it to the hall of fame by his or now, not tomorrow. Leonardo da Vinci’swould even make Don LaFontaine (the movie her name alone. It took hard work — pushing advice rings true 492 years later after histrailer guy) blush with envy. Suddenly, every themselves to the limit, learning how to death: “Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant watercompany clamored in hopes of having his overcome failures and a long-term objective to loses its purity and in cold weather becomesbrass pipes promote their product. Like most become world class. frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor ofpeople whose fortunes have changed instantly, the mind.” Choose not to walk around andTed’s heaven turned into his own personal • becoming requires you W.I.S.H. (“What If Something Happens?”)hell, spiraling him from fame to family feuds, to be attractive I have news for you: It won’t. The Be-Backto rehab; the weight of his past and present If you want to become befitting of success, you Fairy will not show up and sprinkle be-backcausing him to revert to his old, bad habits. must attract it. Remember success is reciprocal dust all over prospects with 700 credit scores,Most lottery winners end up worse than before — attractiveness attracts success. The same nor will the Up-Bus crash in front of thewinning; a large percentage of them losing is true for negativity and defeat. You are what dealership ejecting disoriented, credit-worthyeverything and becoming bankrupt and even you think, eat, say and do. customers wishing to sign paperwork andhomeless in just a few short years. not negotiate. Instead, believe that what you • becoming Takes discipline choose to be will come to you. To becomeLong-term success is attributed to becoming You cannot get away from this one. This requires you to BeCOME:who or what you desire to be instead of is the main reason why many people quit.wishing which can have the life span of lit Motivational icon Zig Ziglar said, “Most be clear with what you want to achieve.flash paper. Author Darren Hardy illustrates people fail in their dreams not from lack ofbecoming with that of a thermostat. Set your ability, but from lack of commitment.” If own up to your decisions and tweak thetemperature as high as your expectations and you want to become a better parent, get out results good or bad — you don’t have toyour opportunities will adjust accordingly. An of debt, lose weight, be a master closer or a live with results.oven doesn’t suddenly get hot, it takes time to better communicator, it requires you developheat up to the desired temperature; so too are a regimen in order to improve your skill Make a move. Don’t just sit there andyour successes. in that particular area. Think of discipline wish for something different. as encompassing the very word; becomeA wish is a want or desire without the legs a disciple in what you wish to become encourage yourself and others. Successof action. It only takes a thought to create a (DISCIPLinE). comes by positive affirmation.wish, but a wish can vanish if no action istaken. Everyone has had a wish while taking a • becoming Takes responsibilityshower; it is the one who dries off and seizes You are accountable for what you become.those opportunities of becoming his desires The economy, weather, your childhood or Marsh Buice is the sales manager of Markwho succeeds. Many find it difficult to become Martians on Mars have nothing to do with Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep. He can bewho or what they want because it takes a long- who you want to be. You are in complete contacted at 866.535.5006, or by e-mailterm perspective. There will be short-term control of you. When you recognize your at mbuice@autosuccessonline.com.10 autosuccessonline.com
  • The Marc Heitz Auto Family boasts three locations in and around Oklahoma City, housing nine American-made brandsbetween rooftops — with their showcase being the group’s new Chevrolet store. Built completely “green” in 2008, the Chevy dealership inventories more than 1,000 new and used vehicles. The Marc Heitz Auto Family prides itself on a loyal customer following, community involvement and an incomparable team of professionals dedicated to customer service. We sat downwith General Manager Chad Baker and Internet Director Pat Hayes to reveal the strategy credited for creating the No. 1 Chevy Dealer, the “Biggest Little Ford Dealer,” and the most customer-centric Cadillac Dealer in Oklahoma.autosuccess: Tell us about the Marc heitz auto family; as: how many sales do you average per month?what brands do you carry? cb: In March we sold just over 500 cars between all three locations, withchad baker: Marc Heitz Auto is truly a story rooted in family. approximately 175 coming from online customers. That was a record for us.Marc’s grandparents owned the Heitz Dairy Farm in NortheastNorman and his father managed a Norman grocery store for 30 years. as: 35 percent internet sales is huge from an alreadyThey taught him that the people in his community are a businessman’s impressive month. what do you attribute that to?most valuable asset. He took those values as he first entered the cb: I would say it is a combination of hard work, good process andautomobile industry at 19 years old, where he learned at an early age superior technology. We have a centralized BDC that operates tothat satisfying customers and meeting their needs was the key to a inquire, check and follow through on our customer’s expectations, andsuccessful career. The Marc Heitz Auto Family was established just less that helps us every day.than 10 years ago with three physical locations, serving nine lines ofvehicles; Chevrolet, Ford, Cadillac, GMC, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep as: how did you find the “right person” to runand Ram Trucks. Marc continues to live in Norman, Oklahoma with his a bdc of this scale?wife, Pamela and their four children. cb: Our BDC is run by Pat Hayes. It was a difficult process to find the right person, even through a national search and a few hiredas: you have an amazing store at the chevy location; professionals. We found Pat in Virginia with a great foundation of BDCgive us a quick tour. knowledge and a tremendous track record of success. We recruitedcb: We designed this facility to not only sell vehicles, but to be a real him on the spot. He helped us narrow down our list of vendorsdestination for our customers and employees. It was built based on a considerably and made some dramatic changes by replacing multiplefew simple principles: kids, pets, community and cars. From a distance, pieces of technology with one integrated platform. Putting thoseit looms as a huge log cabin, exactly the motif I had in mind when we recommendations into action has reduced cost and increased revenue.engaged our architect. It is friendly, rustic and compelling. as: pat hayes, tell us about your experience;As a pet lover myself, the Chevy store features two dog parks to engage where were you before coming to Marc heitz?owners and keep them entertained while waiting for service. We also pat hayes: I’ve been in the car business for 11 years, first in sales andhave three playgrounds — one inside and two outside — for the rest of then in Internet sales. I had the opportunity to setup an Internet department/the family and a 40-foot-tall waterfall feeds a 4,500 gallon fish tank in BDC for a smaller multi-store group, giving me my first chance to forge athe middle of our showroom. Customers come in just to get a peek. BDC hybrid; combining the concepts of a centralized BDC with that of an Internet department so that the sales staff would handle the customer fromWe have several “green” features that we consider a big part of start to finish. It is the same system that I run today.our commitment to the community. Designing and sustaining anenvironmentally sound site is an important part of representing what is From there, I ran the Victory Automotive group, with 20+ locations thatpossible when conducting business in the 21st century. The Marc Heitz annually grew between 10 to 15 percent using an adapted version ofAuto Family are pioneers in this area with power generated by windmill, this system. I made the move to the Heitz family in 2010, a personallynatural rainwater irrigation and solar glass efficiency, just to name a few. fulfilling endeavor. I am really excited about our progress to date. WeWe are always working on leaving a smaller carbon footprint. face new challenges daily and are eager to solve them.We host many community events, from dog costume contests, as: what differences have you found between the MarcJamba Sales and our annual Corvette shows, to bands playing in our heitz family and other groups?amphitheatre. We love to serve and continue our role as an active ph: One of the most obvious things that differentiates Heitz frommember of our community. any other dealership is the state-of-the-art facility and the progressive, productive environment. This place is an amazing destination store andas: if you had to choose one thing that has contributed to provides an experience truly second to none. Our success is due to loyalyour success more than any other, what would that be? customers created by a unique culture, enhanced internal managementcb: Above all, it boils down to one thing: “Do the right thing all the and external marketing through technology.time because it’s the right thing to do!” Our entire team approacheseach day with this mission statement. We strive to meet each of our as: so you made some changes in technology.customer’s perceptions and expectations as our reality. Thanks to this Tell us about that.philosophy, we have a high number of repeat customers. ph: One of my first challenges was finding a centralized BDC with
  • and inventory management to give our sales team a best in class total solution. They provided all that and more. It seemed to be a very good fit and, looking back, it was the right decision. as: was it an easy change? ph: Change is never easy, and this was a huge change! But the payoff was well worth the effort. We’ve set records in sales from the Internet/ BDC team since we launched. One of the most important aspects of the transition was our Websites. We now have tools as part of the CRM and Website integration thatthe capacity to cover nine brands at three locations. The existing CRM positively impact our day-to-day business and ROI. The immediatewould not allow me to manage a BDC to its full potential. To really result is the visibility I now have to a customer on my Website atlook across our stores, my team had to use multiple logins and screens. a granular level. We can see a customer step foot into our virtualAs you can imagine, the process was neither efficient nor effective showroom and know that they will never slip through the cracksin our daily operations; two things that are tantamount to success. because their data is captured and follow up happens automatically.Something had to change. With full integration, we can even evaluate our efforts to re-engage lost customers and strategically tailor our plan to close sales.We started the search for a new technology partner and a system thatwould maximize my team’s productivity. We interviewed numerous This intuitive marketing applies not only to sales but also our servicevendors and saw a few things we liked, but in the end, it came down department. For example, we used to spend thousands of dollars withto one company that could not only help us with the CRM but also various re-marketing companies sending out e-mails and print mailers.consolidate the eight vendors we had into one integrated system that With live Website traffic analysis and reporting, we can now focus onencompassed our BDC, CRM, ILM, Websites, inventory management, what works and truly calculate an ROI. Now we can e-mail market to theservice CRM and marketing efforts — no small task! customer and watch the actual clicks from the e-mail to our Website live.My personal focus includes all customers, not just digital customers, as: That sounds very focused.and that has presented another challenge in itself. The main change ph: We have found that we actually do a better job of marketing to ourwe’ve implemented is the Hybrid BDC — allowing dedicated Internet customers than most of the “marketing companies.” We’re utilizing thesalespeople to be in place and ready to respond, helping to have the campaign functionality in our new system to generate, execute and thencustomer and the main salesperson interacting together in real-time link sales and service marketing campaigns to our database.and early on. This design builds trust immediately and satisfies thecustomer’s demand to identify their salesperson during a sale. The If you really think about it, who knows our customers better than weability to maintain follow up sometimes gets put aside. This hybrid do? It’s just common sense that we are best able to market to them.really succeeds in filling those unavoidable gaps. Our CRM is set to We have been able to decrease our advertising budget because we areautomatically queue the right ad campaign with an associated budget, much more precise in our message and we know what is working on anthen shows measurable results with no user interaction, leaving my busy almost real-time basis.sales staff to focus on meeting the buyer’s expectations with face time. as: have you seen an increase in websiteas: it looks and sounds like your stores are up to date traffic and conversion?with the newest and the best. how much of your process is ph: Our visitor count has doubled on our Websites in less than a yeartechnology based? and opportunities for both service and sales continue to grow. We areph: Technology is a critical component of everything we do; we very close to a 20 percent closing ratio — an objective we work towardsrecognize and respect it as the cornerstone in growing a successful daily. Website visitors have increased from about 10,000 per month todealership. Because of this and our all-digital business and accounting now almost 20,000.offices, we’ve had to solicit technology that would be simple yetextremely versatile. Our new CRM provider helps us tremendously Live Website traffic monitoring with VinLens lets us study ourin this area due to their all-in-one software that can be accessed from customers’ behaviors, allowing us to better tailor our SEO and SEManywhere Internet access is available. budgets to be more precise in our marketing spend. We analyze which pages track the most visits and which calls to action attract the mostIn particular, all of our sales transactions run through this application; conversions. Using that data, we can revise the customers’ Websitefrom the time our customers meet us online through to the business office, experience based on what they want. This gives us a chance towe have one unified platform that we utilize for all our sales, service and strategize and develop specials based off of what really resonates withtechnology needs. Phone calls, e-mails, text messaging and more — our the customer. I can’t imagine speaking to a lead now without having thisnew provider plays a vital role in every format we use to communicate information. Getting leads from third parties now seems cumbersomewith our customers in the 21st century. The moment data enters our and, quite simply, not as accurate.radar, it all completely digital. We have the capacity to scan and createcomplete digital signatures of everything we do and most importantly, our Another competitive advantage is the notification from our CRM whencustomer’s records are protected with maximum security. lost customers revisit our Website. This, combined with the marked lost sales process, gives us the opportunity to breathe new life into a wholeas: so you chose to partner with vinsolutions? group of customers that we may never have attempted before. It’s beenTell me how you made that decision. a game changer.ph: It was not an easy choice. I had heard good things and seen a few For more information about Chad Baker, Pat Hayes or the Marc Heitzarticles in AutoSuccess so I decided to learn more about the company. Auto Family, visit www.MarcHeitz.com.I made a detailed list — I called it my “wish list” — and went aboutthe process of asking questions of the VinSolutions team and dealers For more information about VinSolutions, contact the CSO, Seanthat were currently using them. I wanted a cloud-based system that was Stapleton. He can be contacted at 866.240.1996, or by e-mail atalso mobile compatible. I wanted to consolidate CRM with Website sstapleton@autosuccessonline.com.
  • RichardF.Libin leadership solution saLes educaTion Today: PART 2 E The reality vs. The idealWhen working in a challenging sales First they are educated in the classroom andenvironment, as dealerships are finding given knowledge of the laws, cars, safetythemselves in today, an educated sales force is and other topics. Then they are taken into thea must. When people were spending without a field with an instructor where the educationsecond thought in a hot economy, a lack of basic continues behind the wheel. Parents or otherskills could be overcome. These days, however, licensed drivers continue the education until ffective changeit’s critical. Last month, we began the discussionof a manager’s role in this education process. the student takes and passes a test. If a driver forgets some of what they learned (aka, gets a is not something you doToday, let’s take a look at the concrete steps ticket), they are sent back to school. In some to people; it’s somethingmanagers need to take to make this happen. states, every few years, drivers are required you do with them. Our to take a new test based on new information job as managers is toEducation changes behavior by giving people and laws they should have learned, ensuringthe knowledge and skills they need to be that the education continues. help people win. If oursuccessful. It is a process that must be led by salespeople win, ourand participated in by managers. It cannot be Do sales managers follow the same formatdone alone. Effective change is not something with their employees? Most do not. If customers win, we winyou do to people; it’s something you do with anything, they have their teams memorize and the dealership wins.them. Our job as managers is to help people a bunch of information the customer cares many of the old ideas still work but are under-win. If our salespeople win, our customers little about and tells them they are ready. utilized. Education does not necessarily meanwin, we win and the dealership wins. When Managers must help their salespeople develop finding something new — the latest trend. Starteveryone wins, management is an enjoyable an attainable projection of their goals, which with and stick to the basics.and profitable experience. becomes a roadmap guiding them to success. This comes through well-planned and Keep it relevantThink about how students learn to drive. consistent education. Without this, it is like If someone wants to work in construction, telling a driver to should you teach them how to paint a mural or go to a specific to build a wall? Authentic learning — learning location simply that is functional and meaningful — is most by heading west. likely to occur when the problem, issue or topic Unless they have is tied to the salesperson’s job responsibilities a roadmap, they’ll and goals. Include a series of experiences, never arrive at the conversations and activities that allow destination. salespeople to learn in the context of answering the question, “Why is this relevant or important get involved for me in my job now and in the future?” Managers must actively participate Make it practical in their team’s Education, above all else, needs to be practical. education. They If the content is not linked to the salesperson’s should model day-to-day tasks, the return on investment behavior, observe, will be low. It is important to thoroughly coach and continue understand the challenges that staff face and to provide new build an educational program to guide problem information on a solving and/or suggest solutions. daily basis. They have to involve Done this way, education includes four distinct their teams so they elements: gaining knowledge, practicing or understand the applying the knowledge, integrating feedback goals, and gain the and coaching to enhance performance. Keep in information and mind, there is no future in any job; the future is processes needed to in the person who holds the job. By providing attain them. continuous opportunities for education — not simply providing quick-fix training — never stray managers will reap the rewards of successful from the basics salespeople who cultivate loyal clientele. Most businesses don’t suffer from a lack of new ideas. Richard F. Libin is president of APB- They suffer because Automotive Profit Builders, Inc. He can be they lack the contacted at 866.450.6853, or by e-mail at understanding that rlibin@autosuccessonline.com.14 autosuccessonline.com
  • Providing TheLIVE ADVANTAGEin AUTo AUCTionSL OCATIONADVANTAGECHOICEADVANTAGEINNOVATIONADVANTAGEBUYERADVANTAGEEXPERIENCEADVANTAGELIVEADVANTAGEThe iAA hybrid Auction Model combines live and live-online bidding into one auction event selling ®to buyers from more than 100 countries. Let us show you how our live auctioneers, iAA run & drivelanes, and onsite previews promote your vehicles’ full value for high retentions.Contact us or visit www.iaai-advantage.com to learn more about IAA’s Live Advantage!remarketing Center888.839.4220 • 207.426.9034 (Fax)groupnrC@iaai.com www.iaai.com one Car one difference turns donated vehicles into charity dollars. Make a difference in 2011 – visit 1car1difference.com © 2011 Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • MarkTewart sales & training solution creaTe a river Cross-promote between businesses such as restaurants, body shops, car washes and insurance agents. You promote their business of Leads and they give out a coupon for yours. Make the coupon a two-stage mechanism by providing something of value, such as information or a free gift, rather than a discount or special deal.Every salesperson is really in two businesses: There are several techniques to get leads. One Go to the reference desk at your public librarythe people business and the marketing way is to create a special report. For example, and study the SRDS: Standard Rate and Databusiness. If you are great with people but don’t this report may have a title of “Ten Things Service Guide. You will find endless streamshave any customers to demonstrate this quality Every Car Buyer Must Know.” It’s always best of information and ideas on how to access liststo, you’re in trouble. Marketing must become to create a simple report that walks customers and groups of potential customers. You maythe No. 1 function of any business, including through the process. Paint a picture of the “do’s buy subscriber lists from magazines that appealsales. Marketing precedes sales. and don’ts” of car buying. Be an advocate to to your potential customers. the buyer in order to create trust. When youBegin to think in terms of leads, not sales. You write the report, follow some important, time- Create a “Be-Back” CD and give it to everyneed marketing that will generate leads. Most honored advice: “Enter into the conversation person who does not buy from you. In thesalespeople think only in terms of advertising. the customer currently has in their mind.” In CD, give them the reasons to do business withSalespeople either wait for their business to other words, TLC — think like a customer. you and create a hook. Get a list of inactive oradvertise, or take a blind “stab-in-the dark” orphan owners from your business and beginapproach to advertising. Usually, the results are Next, think of how you can get the potential to send a three-stage mailing sequence tryingminimal to non-existent. customer to learn about your report. Where do to get them back into the fold. your customers hang out? Where do they live?One-stage advertising asks people to buy now. What do they do? Where do they go? Where When you create a river of leads, your pipelineFor most salespeople, this technique is too do they belong? You may pass out the reports. of sales never dries up.expensive and will lead to too few results. A Run an ad in the local newspaper publishingbetter technique is two-stage marketing. Two- an “800 hotline” number for people to receivestage marketing is designed to get interested the report. Create an alliance with other Mark Tewart is the president of Tewartparties to raise their hands, so to speak. businesses to give reports out to benefit their Enterprises, and the author of the best seller,You just want to create leads from qualified customers. Always think of ways to benefit How To Be A Sales Superstar. He can bepotential customers. Lead generation = dollar other businesses as well, so they will want to contacted at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail atcreation. give out your report. mtewart@autosuccessonline.com.16 autosuccessonline.com
  • 73 percent increase in used car gross profit 2011 year to date 34 percent increase in used car sales 2009 to 2010 18 used inventory retail returns 2010 1 solution to master the marketWhen Andrew Walser took over the family businessfrom his father, Jack, he knew he had some bigshoes to fill. Walser Automotive Group had a historyof success that went back decades. Andrew startedusing vAuto’s Live Market suite of tools at his 13dealerships in 2008, and their sales and used grossprofit continue to exceed expectations.“vAuto is part of the Walser Way of doing business.Our customers appreciate our haggle-free pricing,and it kept us in business these past few years whenother dealerships closed around us. I can’t imagineselling cars without vAuto.”With vAuto, Andrew is now a Market Master.You too can become a Market Master.Visit vAuto.com/aw or call 877-828-8614to learn how. Andrew Walser, President Walser Automotive Group Bloomington, Minnesota
  • ShelleyMcBride marketing solution TsunaMi’s waKe Leaves chaLLenges for The auTo businessIn a global economy, when something affects the meantime, there are going to be challenges. have parts. Most already do that, but this is aone area of the world, other areas often feel time where they should really step it up.the effects, and perhaps no other industry We are already experiencing shortages ofdemonstrates this as much as the automotive cars and parts. You can’t build their cars here Manufacturers are already dialing backindustry. When the earthquake, tsunami without key components and parts, and Japan allocations from Ford to Toyota and Nissanand nuclear disasters hit Japan in March, supplies many of our domestic parts and and more. The past three years has been likerepercussions started to be felt down the components. Some dealers are already feeling the road to perdition, and many dealers havesupply lines and dealerships of this country. the pinch and are concerned about inventory. already made serious adjustments — thisThere are steps, however, that dealers can take In many cases when front-end sales drop, for is why those who have are enjoying betterto position themselves after these tragedies. whatever reason, dealers depend on service as business and cash flow. a backup. In this case, without needed parts, itFor the U.S. market in new car sales, there will could become challenging. While it’s hard to look for silver linings inbe huge issues, both for stateside dealers and situations like this, some dealers — such ason the world market for suppliers and dealers As far as the used car market, it is already those selling domestic, Korean and Europeanalike. This was as close to a knock-out as any robust and, without the new models in vehicles — will improve in sales becausedisaster. While disasters of this magnitude seem abundance, used cars will certainly rise in of the possible vacuum. This will be a hugeto happen more often in countries that have price, demand and availability. You could opportunity for aggressive dealers and groupsan almost-zero economy, Japan is our largest actually see some tsunami vehicles that have to create competitive advertising that positionsautomotive trading partner, and this goes well been refurbished hit our markets. There are their products as comparable in quality for lessbeyond car manufacturing. The good news thousands of affected vehicles that were money. Domestic dealers are already leadingis the Japanese are one of the most resilient in loading areas bound for the U.S. It’s no the MPG battle with convincing success.people in history and they will recover and be different than Katrina cars in 2005. CPOsstronger as a nation and a U.S. partner, but in could be affected because people wanting a Domestic used car dealers will find their sales deal on a new car of at about the same level, but will possibly the same brand may be paying more for their cars at auction. It’s hang on longer for simple supply and demand. One would think inventory levels to that Ford, Chrysler and GM would boost recover. production and make a big deal of it. Example: “Cars when you want them,” or “Why look Parts departments at a few when you can shop hundreds?” A can also expect good creative copywriter can pen some great repercussions from conquest campaigns. You will, however, need the struggles in to be delicate with your message. You certainly Japan. The Japanese don’t want to be offensive or appear insensitive not only supply the during this time. The fact is, dealers could vehicles highest make a positive impact by supporting relief in demand in our funds through their cause marketing. country, but they also provide U.S. Since no two dealers are the same, have a manufacturers parts marketing expert review your unique situation and production to determine conditions on the ground before materials for some coming up with a marketing strategy. If you of our domestics. don’t already have a good agency that works A customer could like a partner, find one. When I was a younger take their car in man getting started, I ask an older friend for for a needed repair some sage advice on what a man needs the and have to wait most. He said “a great woman, a great tailor, for weeks for barber, mechanic, bartender, banker and a the service to be caddy with better eyes than his.” I would add a performed. great marketing person or firm to that list. You only have 24 hours in a day and if you want to Many affected be successful, you’ll need combat-trained help. dealers could offset the loss, however, Shelley McBride is the owner and managing by advertising they partner of RadioVision Advertising. He can perform service on be contacted at 866.842.1638, or by e-mail other brands that at smcbride@autosuccessonline.com.18 autosuccessonline.com
  • BrianPasch marketing solution Studies show that multiple consumer touch Measuring conversion points and communication tools influence a conversion. With multi-channel funnels, you will infLuence in auToMoTive be able to see that your newsletter e-mail was adverTising channeLs read, which encouraged your customer to click on a link to your blog, where they read an article which encouraged them to click on a link to your Website where they decided to submit a lead.A promising new feature in Google Analytics will show which combination of Websitesinfluenced consumer behavior prior to a conversion action on your Website. The feature is called With multi-channel funnels you can see all themulti-channel funnels. “players” that assisted with the conversion. Google has produced a video (search GoogleThis new data-reporting tool inside of Google Analytics will give business owners tremendous for, “Multi-Channel Funnels in Googleinsights into the top influencing Websites or media platforms that yield a Website conversion. This Analytics”) to describe this new feature, usingdata will help dealers fine tune online marketing decisions based on which channels assisted and/or the analogy of a basketball team. The playersproduced more conversions. will assist the shooter, so when you find the right “team” that makes more goals, you want to replicate that organization. In the same way, once you see which communication channels (blogs, videos, press release, Facebook, etc.) are involved in producing the highest conversion paths, you can focus on enhancing that success funnel. From the Google Website: “Multi-channel funnels reports are generated from conversion paths, the sequences of interactions (i.e. clicks/referrals from channels) during the 30 days that led up to each conversion and transaction. Conversion path data include interactions with virtually all digital channels. These channels include, but are not limited to: • paid and organic search (on all search engines along with the specific keywords searched) • referral sites • affiliates • social networks • e-mail newsletters • display ads • any custom campaigns that you’ve created.” I’m excited about this new opportunity because it will start to shed light on how your digital marketing investments are influencing your customers. For example, you would be able to see if a consumer visited Cars.com or Autotrader. com, which introduced your dealership name in the past 30 days prior to coming to your Website and submitting a lead. You would be able to see if consumers watched your videos, visited your Facebook page, or read a press release prior to coming to your Website and submitting a lead. With the multi-channel funnel, you’ll be able to start ranking and rating your top-influencing mediums, Websites and advertising partners. This new opportunity to analyze your Website visitors and behavior is being rolled out on a limited basis. After you view the video mentioned above, you can request early access to multi-channel funnels by clicking the “Sign-up for early access” button to the right of the video. Brian Pasch is CEO of PCG Digital Marketing and the founder of the Automotive Internship Program. He can be contacted at 866.849.1560, or by e-mail at bpasch@autosuccessonline.com.22 autosuccessonline.com
  • RichardWinch marketing solution recenT deveLopMenT iMpacTing deaLerships: googLe’s +1 More changes at google in the Last 6 Months Than in the Last decadeThe sheer number of moves from Google in the connections in Gchat, Gmail, Google Reader, search results, they will be prompted tolast six months has been astounding. In fact, Buzz and soon Twitter). Searchers will see all create a Google profile (they can adjust theirthere have been more important Google changes the +1 votes that business (or ad) has gathered, privacy settings the way they want).impacting dealerships in the last few months along with the names and photos of the “likers.” • If they press +1, they have the ability tothan in the last 10 years. Consider this flurry of +1 represents Google’s most aggressive move to undo it immediately.new features and platforms since the fall: date into social search and it’s the first time they • If people want to see who they’re connectedGoogle Places — The “mother” of all changes, will bake direct social recommendations into to in Google’s eyes, they visit the “Sociala dramatic shift in how local search results are search results. Most analysts agree that Google Circle and Content” section in the Googledisplayed will soon integrate +1s into their overall search Dashboard.Boost — New PPC option launched with algorithm, so these simple human votes willPlaces impact your organic search rankings. It’s a significant move dealers need toPreviews — Lets users view Websites beforethey clickGoogle Instant — Auto-generates searchresults as you typeHotPot: New social, location-based platformfor posting/accessing reviews“Panda” algorithm changes — Punishinglow-quality, duped content and other SEOscams facts about +1 understand and get proactive about. AndPersonal Blocklist — Users block Websites • +1 votes also apply to search ads, and it’s another sign of where the Internet inthey dislike from future search results. Google tests show they increase clicks, general, and Google specifically, are headed: and higher click-throughs improve quality interweaving search results, consumerIn just the last couple weeks we’ve seen scores, which means advertisers could recommendations and social connections intoGoogle: ultimately pay less for keywords/positions. new platforms that will change the way people• Nix “HotPot” as a name and separate • +1 adds a whole new, super-targeted social select businesses. And sure, it sounds like platform, rolling the review system into element to search and will likely impact another opportunity for system gaming. But Google Places (where it belongs) page rank. remember, Google has been getting sharp at• Nix the brand-new “Tags” ad option, where • Don’t expect Google to include a user’s filtering out gamers, so keep it real with +1 at businesses paid a small monthly fee to Facebook connections in +1 — Google and your dealership. promote themselves with a short message/ Facebook are wildly competitive, and won’t bright yellow marker in Places be collaborating on anything in the near Google’s recent moves with new products• Expand “Latitude” to smartphones, letting future. like +1 clearly show how reviews, ratings and users check into locations to access local • Only people logged into their Google social content are getting way more crucial deals account see the +1s. to the search giant. And whether it’s +1, or• Launch “MapMaker,” a Wikipedia for maps, • In weeks ahead, +1s will “appear in many the social-review-platform-formerly-known- allowing users to add places/businesses to more places and Google products and sites as-HotPot, how big an impact it will have on Google Maps, even drawing the outlines of across Web.” your dealership will ultimately come down buildings, etc. • Google said reporting will soon be available to consumer adoption. For +1 the call is out, in AdWords accounts under the “Dimensions because users have to be logged into theirDealers are scrambling to understand all these tab.” It’s unclear what that reporting will Google account to post and see them (and haverapid-fire developments, and their search consist of, but hopefully it will show which their contacts updated at Google). Essentiallypartners are, quite frankly, scrambling to keep keywords and ads best generate +1s. people’s minds will have to shift, and startup, too. These moves (taken together) clearly using Google like a social network. Of course,reveal how crucial “local” and “social” are to +1 becomes a part of your online there has been endless speculation that GoogleGoogle’s future plans. Space doesn’t permit reputation Management: will soon launch some version of a full-blownexplaining all these developments here, but I Obviously, with such powerful first-page social network, so that would speed up thethought I’d delve into one new local-social- visibility, getting +1s for your dealership’s adoption process of tools like +1.rating tool: Google’s “+1” and what it means Website (and even ads) becomes part of yourfor dealerships. online and social reputation management. All I know is, when Google makes (and sticks Hence, you need to do what all reputation to) changes, it transforms consumer behavior.+1: google’s ‘Like’ button for management requires: Find appropriate, And I know that dealerships win or losewebsites and ppc ads authentic and natural ways for your happy depending on whether they accept and addressGoogle launched +1 at the end of March, sales and service customers to +1 you and your changes in consumer and search behavior.and it’s designed to let people share their pages/sites. You can see how it could be quite Dealers should experiment with authenticallyrecommendations (their “likes”) for businesses, impactful: Somebody’s searching X brand gathering +1s from happy customers at GoogleWebsites, articles and search ads by clicking a dealership in X market, and the dealer Websites — and keep a watchful eye on all the newnew “+1” icon when they find something cool, that people “+1” are going to stand out! Google curveballs sure to come around the bend.useful or just plain recommend at Google. These Richard Winch is CEO of eXtéresAUTO. He+1 recommendations then show up to their explaining how it works to customers: can be contacted at 866.476.4389, or byfriends, family and social connections (i.e., their • The first time they click on a +1 button in e-mail at rwinch@autosuccessonline.com.24 autosuccessonline.com
  • SeanV.Bradley marketing solution i have an inTerneT deparTMenT. now whaT?By now, most dealerships have an Internet out of the department. Let’s say that you areDepartment but are perplexed why they still at a single-point dealership that delivers 100aren’t selling vehicles or making gross profit. units per month (new and used) and you wantThe numbers say that between 88 to 98 percent to increase your overall units to 140. That is anof Americans go online before they step incremental increase of 40 net units. So, youfoot into the dealership. Then why are most figure one of the best ways you can do this isdealers still not successful with their Internet out of your Internet Department. This makesDepartment? sense considering that the vast majority of Americans go online before they step foot intoRecently, I moderated an extremely diverse your dealership. It is not enough to have an interestInternet Sales 20 Group, which ranged froma small single-point, family owned and First, understand that if you want a net increase in building an Internet Departmentoperated Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership to of 40 units, you cannot build an Internet or BDC. It isn’t enough to spend amultiple dealer groups to one of the top import Department that sells 40 units and expect to ton of money building a department.dealerships in the country. This session was see a net increase at the end of the month. Thisinteresting for me because I was able to see might not make sense at first, but follow me You need to have a strategy.that in 2011, even with all of our advancements here. Based on the 50/50/50 rule to sell 40 unitsin our industry and in technology, dealerships out of your Internet Department, you will need Next, you are going to need to have the rightare still not engaged fully into Internet sales to have 80 people show up for an appointment amount of people working and managing thoseand digital marketing, and therefore not and have 160 appointments made — 160/80/40. 500 leads. The average person can handlemaximizing on all of that potential sales and You will, in fact, sell 40 units out of the between 100 to 150 leads. So, we are talkingservice business. department, but you most likely will not see a about four or five people. They need to be net increase in the overall store of 40 units — trained properly and have a standard operatingI am, however, starting to see a change in the reason being that some of those “Internet” procedure for what to do, when to do it andthe tone with dealers. It seems that more and deals might have come through another how to do it.more dealers are receptive to Internet sales source, (walk in, local, radio, direct mail, priorand digital marketing; the problem is that customer, referral, etc.). This happens to a lot With 500 fresh leads, they will makethey don’t know where to start or how to of stores. A lot of dealerships spend a ton of approximately 200 appointments, and 100begin. It’s not just the “import” dealers, or the money in their department and sell cars, but people will show up for the appointments.Internet managers or the younger dealers, or all they are doing is “shuffling” money from Of those, they will deliver 50 units out of thethe dealers’ kids who are showing interest; it’s source to source and exerting a lot of energy. department. You will be able to count on 40dealer principals and GMs across the board This doesn’t move the overall needle. They out of the 50 units to be incremental to thewho are coming around. There are dealers who don’t net increase on volume or gross. bottom line.I spoke to as recently as last year who wereliterally saying “The Internet is the Devil,” and Here is a quick tip on fixing this issue: Pack I have numerous examples of this model innow they are calling me up asking to join the the numbers. If your goal is to net increase 40 effect of every kind of set up. Large stores,Internet Sales 20 Group. Talk about a complete units, set your projections on selling 50 units. dealer groups, small mom and pop stores, etc.paradigm shift. If you sell 50 units out of your department, The model works and you can count on it. then you will net increase the 40 that you areBut that brings me to the meat of this article. It counting on. Follow my example: If you have any questions about this article oris not enough to have an interest in building an would like some examples, please feel free to Based on a 10 percent closing ratio, if youInternet Department or BDC. It isn’t enough to e-mail or call me with the information below.spend a ton of money building a department. want to sell 50 units, you are going to need It would be my pleasure to help you anywayYou need to have a strategy. As Dr. Stephen 500 leads. These leads can be organically I can.Covey would say, you need to begin with the driven from search engine optimization (SEO), Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEOend result in mind. video search engine optimization (VSEO), of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized social media, online reputation management training and consulting company in theHere’s an overall operational strategy in (ORM), SEM, third-party leads, third-party automotive industry. He can be contacted atbuilding an Internet Sales Department. Ask aggregators, classified listings, OEM leads and 866.648.7400, or by e-mail atyourself how manyAd_BKyou want to deliver 4/22/2011 2:34 PM marketing. 110420_Strip units Financing.qxp other forms of digital Page 1 sbradley@autosuccessonline.com. Want sub-prime bankruptcy customers? Want PRIME bankruptcy customers? Ideal Direct Ad Group is working with a lender who is buying open and discharged bankruptcy auto Did you know captive lenders are buying BK customers? Offer a BK loans. Deliver 5 to 50 extra sales per month! If you need an aggressive BK lender with low fees customer a car loan at a competitive, captive finance interest rate. and easy approvals and/or you need an aggressive BK marketing company, call now. How many open • Auto loan re-established • Time since BK discharged and recently discharged BK customers are searching for a car and financing in your market area? • BK with auto fico 620+ • Auto loan pay history/equity position26 autosuccessonline.com
  • How about a brand new, hi-tech, impossibly easy to sell product that sets your store apart from the competition? How about a new high margin profit center for your F&I department? How about a product that prevents lost sales by notifying you of low battery levels? How about all this AND being able to locate every car in inventory, at any time, from anywhere? Introducing VehSmart™, distributed by G&A Marketing. What is VehSmart™? It’s the newest and most advanced in-vehicle communication system. It combines the power of GPS/Satellite with cellular technology, so your customers can connect with emergency services, roadside assistance, or get live help 24/7. VehSmart™ has more advanced safety & security features than the most popular “on-demand” service. And it can be installed quickly and easily on any vehicle - new or used.* Plus, VehSmart™ gives you the ability to locate every vehicle in your inventory, accessible anytime, from anywhere. VehSmart is a registered trademark of VehSmart Services, Inc. For free information, details and exclusive pricing, send an E-mail to info@gamarketing.com. Put “Smart” in the subject line. No purchase necessary, no obligation. *VehSmart™ can be installed on any vehicle manufactured 1996 or after (866) 460-0539 www.gamarketing.comOUR MISSION: To be the industry’s best at leading dealerships to achieve maximum performance through marketing, training, consulting and motivation.
  • An Interview with ReeseSpivey sales & training solution onLine negoTiaTion brings ouT The True buyersRemoving obstacles to the sale is the goal of something. This tool allows them to do thatany salesperson and manager in auto sales, but anywhere at any time.sometimes this can be tricky. New tools suchas online negotiation, however, are proving to as: do you find customers are morebe a benefit to this effort, and Reese Spivey, open and eager to work with yougeneral manager of Geweke Toyota in Lodi, through this medium over traditionalCalifornia has certainly found this to be the methods? “This is the information age.case. We recently talked with Spivey to get his rs: Absolutely. The tool allows the consumer Almost all consumers do sometake on how online negotiation strategy has to negotiate directly with the person who canaffected his lead generation efforts — and his make all of the decisions. It eliminates the type of research online beforebottom line. salesperson from the entire process, and our buying a new or pre-owned customers seem to really enjoy that. Every automobile — everything fromautosuccess: how has online time we make a deal with the online reviews on a particular model tonegotiation and your overall strategy negotiation tool, customers tell me “it wasaffected your lead volume? the best buying experience I’ve ever had.” the determining a value of theirreese spivey: It has had a huge impact, We have never received anything less than trade. The online negotiationmainly because our Website now has an open a 100 percent satisfied survey from anyone tool takes it one step further.”invitation for customers to negotiate with us who has used the tool to purchase a new car.100 percent risk free without having to set Simply put, it removes the fear that comes which is not uncommon in the industry.foot in the dealership. Our customers love with walking into a dealership. Everything is Once the negotiation process has started, thethe buying experience through the online done prior to their arrival. It’s a win, win for consumer sees how easy it can be to buy a car.negotiation tool. everyone. They always give accurate information because they are trying to save time and money. BadWe have more than a 65 percent credit as: do you agree that customers “buy information will only slow down the process.application submission ratio, and 75 percent of into” using the internet to buy or tradeour customers have a trade. The most profitable their next vehicle? as: how many customers who submitpre-owned cars are always the ones you trade rs: This is the information age. Almost all intend to buy within 30 days?for — not those you buy from the auction. Our consumers do some type of research online rs: Well over 80 percent of our customersclosing ratio is well above 30 percent with before buying a new or pre-owned automobile fall into that category. Most customers are pastonline negotiation. It’s an awesome tool and — everything from reviews on a particular the research stage and are ready to make aour customers really seem to like it. model to the determining a value of their trade. decision. Once we agree on the numbers, most The online negotiation tool takes it one step customers are ready to finish the process withinas: since adding an entire online further. The customer can literally buy a car in 72 hours, or as soon as his or her schedule willnegotiation strategy to your existing his or her pajamas. allow. I really like that about this tool.tools, what is your increase of onsitetraffic conversion? as: are most of your leads as: how many of your onliners: Since making a switch in on in-stock units? negotiation site leads reply back withWebsite providers and adding our online rs: Yes. More than 95 percent the leads are the intent to buy?negotiation tool, we have seen a 75 percent on in-stock units. The consumer has done rs: I would say that number is about 90increase in form submission. The days of their research and, in most cases, has seen 15 percent. You don’t contact your dentist unlesswaiting on the “up bus” are over. We need to 20 photos of the car on my Website. From you need your teeth cleaned or have anevery advantage we can get, and the online time to time we will have to locate a unit, but issue. No one would go through the motionsnegotiation tool delivers. not that often. of buying a car unless they have the intent to make a purchase.as: describe the overall quality of your as: how many of your leads provideonline negotiation system leads. good contact information? Reese Spivey is the general manager forrs: In one word — superior. Most people rs: Around 95 percent. I have never received Geweke Toyota. He can be contacted atwouldn’t go through the trouble of negotiating a bad e-mail address. Some customers will 866.631.3037, or by e-mail atunless there was a sincere desire to buy specify “no calls please” or “e-mail only,” rspivey@autosuccessonline.com.28 autosuccessonline.com
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  • ScottJoseph sales & training solution generaTing The greaTesT iMpacT on your profiT and saLes in The shorTesT aMounT of TiMeI’ll let you in on a secret: When a dealership Day. Of course, it doesn’t work anything like gives a referral, they are essentially puttingasks us to help them generate the greatest that in the real world, but when done properly, their personal influence and credibility on thepositive impact on profit and sales in the managing a referral program does work line, and many buyers are hesitant to do thatshortest amount of time, there are key leverage effectively to draw more business. And, in before they are able to experience the productopportunities we always look for first. contrast to the often-prohibitive costs of mass themselves. Some people are reluctant to refer media or conventional advertising, this word-of- under any circumstances. More than 50 percentIn just about every dealership, there are mouth marketing works with virtually no costs. of customers are predisposed not to giveopportunities lying dormant that can yield a referrals.fast payback while still enhancing long-term What if you have 1,000 delighted clients,growth. The most powerful of these we know is and just 100 of them refer two others to your While salespeople may not consciously knowvastly untapped. We know this because almost business? Your client base would increase by this, they often experience this phenomenon asevery client we work with cites it as the best 200 people, or 20 percent — what might be “referral resistance.” They brace themselvessource of business, and yet virtually no one has called spectacular growth during any economic for it, and they lose their sales “touch” in thea system to harness it. time. It’s a technique that can generate process. absolutely amazing results, and yet, it’s soreferrals — how to harness Them to underexploited, it’s a crime. 2. There is no incentive to act.rapidly grow your sales and profit People love to “gift” something of value.Put a pencil to it: In a perfect world, if you so, why are Most referral Allow them to be the bearer of gifts, anddid nothing else but facilitate referrals, your opportunities Lost? it’s because … they’ll be out there promoting you.business would grow at warp speed. But, let’s 1. There is no “response device.”look at a more likely scenario. At worst, we as business people tend to feel Furthermore, bear in mind that you can like asking for referrals is the equivalent of afford to “gift” a great deal through theseStart with 1,000 clients. If each referred another making a “hard sell,” and we shy away from it. customers because it’s a way of contacting new10, and they each referred another 10, you’d be At best, we give out business cards to delighted clients that costs you virtually nothing. Moretalking to half the population before Father’s customers with the faint hope that they’ll pass importantly, the lifetime value of these new them on to others. clients may translate into tens of thousands of Unfortunately, even dollars for you. this falls far short of a “purpose built” 3. There is no expectation for the existing referral program. client to provide referrals. This is an absolutely critical component to On the “hard a healthy referral system. You should make sell” issue, think every effort to educate your customers to the about it like this: fact that you expect referrals. If you don’t ask for referrals, your 4. The referral system is “one-way.” clients’ friends and Acknowledge the efforts of your most devoted colleagues are going clients by developing a system to follow up to be thrown to the with whomever does the referring. It could be wolves amongst as simple as sending a thank-you letter, e-mail, your competitors. call or text — or as sophisticated as what we Let’s face it — call “instant appreciation,” a monetary gift asking for referrals thanking them for the referral. (Always be sure is not a “hard sell.” to check with your state’s regulations before Most people are just instituting an instant appreciation program. uncomfortable or There are a few states that prohibit payments inefficient at asking for referrals.) for referrals as they ask for orders. The reality is this: The reason most dealerships don’t have flourishing referral programs is that Even though on referrals are often difficult to obtain, and simply the surface directly asking for one is not the most effective strategy. asking for a referral Make the decision right now to incorporate may seem like a referral system into your overall marketing a simple matter, strategy, and watch your cost of customer it’s actually much acquisition dwindle as your profits explode. more complex than asking someone Scott Joseph is the president of J&L to buy something. Marketing, Inc. He can be contacted at As an example, 888.835.1689, or by e-mail at when a customer sjoseph@autosuccessonline.com.30 autosuccessonline.com
  • TURNING YOUR indyRELATIONSHIPS cleINTO REVENUE. atl bos nyc d.c.Join the industry’s experts on Equity Lead & Reputation Management minat this summer’s can’t miss event -- "Turning Your Relationships into Revenue." chi detWhether you currently utilize an equity lead or reputation management tool or areplanning to implement one in the future, you cant miss this highly informative, tamFREE, local, and beneficial morning seminar from May 17 through June 16. dfw"Turning Your Relationships into Revenue" will explain how to leverage relationshipsand data from customers you already own to drive significant revenue and influence layour online reputation.Discover this untapped potential at a city near you.PRE-REGISTER NOWwww.autobase.net/seminar Autobase has provided auto dealers with the premier Automotive CRM since 1988. As the most experienced CRM provider in the industry, Autobase delivers marketing and sales solutions that help nearly 80,000 auto dealers and their dealership staff to find, market, sell, and retain more customers, more profitably, every day. www.autobase.net
  • TracyMyers marketing solution why you are The brand, sTupid! if you work at a dealership – whether you’re the dealer principal or you’re a salesperson – There’s something important you need to Know.In today’s fast-paced world, people make reasons why you should be the choice indecisions very quickly. that market. You need to build a brand that I know the idea of positioning yourself as a positions you as the go-to expert in your field. celebrity expert can seem intimidating to manyThat means if you want people to employ you people, but it’s simply the fastest, best andor buy your products and services, they first Now, you may think that brands are only for easiest way of creating a successful, highly-of all need to have heard of you and then they big businesses with huge advertising budgets. profitable business or career in any field — ifneed a good reason to choose you. But the fact is that all businesses have a brand you follow the right process. — it’s simply the way people perceive them.becoming a celebrity in your Market It’s the same for you as an individual. You have I’ve developed the step-by-step process youThe first step in that process is becoming well- a brand whether you want one or not. So why need to follow to make sure you choose theknown. The fact is we live in a world today not make the effort to develop the right brand? right market, establish a great celebrity expertwhere people are obsessed with celebrity. The brand and promote it to attract your ideal ...allpeople who sell the most records are not always I’m going to show you exactly how to create customers easily.the best singers or musicians, and the biggest a powerful brand that makes you the obviousbox office stars are not always the best actors. choice in a profitable market. Remember, as a celebrity expert, you’re not just getting publicity. You’re establishingThose who get to the top understand the power yourself as the first choice among your idealof celebrity and they work hard at building their customers (or employers). That’s the real routeimage and reputation so that they stay at the to success.top. It’s a lesson that has been learned by toppoliticians and business leaders — if you want Here are the steps you should follow:to be president of the United States, you had businesses have a brand — 1. Harness the Power of Personality for Yourbetter write a book or two first. If you want to be it’s simply the way people Branda business power broker, a TV show will help. 2. Match Your Expertise to Your Perfect perceive them. It’s the same MarketBut the power of celebrity is not only relevant for you as an individual.You 3. Defining Your Expert Brandto stars and big corporations. The exact same have a brand whether you 4. Create And Use Your Celebrity Experttechniques can be used in any line of business Personal Story— whether you work on your own, run a want one or not. So why notbusiness or work for someone else. I’ve seen make the effort to develop Over the next few issues, I’ll expand on thesethat work for real in my own life, and time and the right brand? steps, and I’ll reveal my 10 proven bonusagain I’ve seen it transform the results of some strategies for building a winning celebrityvery successful business owners. expert brand. becoming the “go-To”The power of becoming a celebrity expert can celebrity expert in your Market Don’t worry — you don’t have to be an Oprahhelp take your dealership or your sales career You know, there really is something special or a Lady Gaga. This works for everyone; youto new levels of success. And I’m going to about you — a reason why people should just need to be yourself.reveal some of the exact techniques you can choose you over the competition. You mayuse to make it start happening today. just need to work out exactly what that is. If You may already have taken some of the you follow the right process, however, you steps I’ve explained here or you may bebecoming the recognized can easily be the celebrity expert in your starting with a completely blank sheet. Eitherexpert in your Market dealership. It’s simply a matter of making way, this process will help you build a moreHowever, let’s be clear, the power of celebrity sure you define the right field of expertise and satisfying, rewarding and successful career atalone is not enough to make your business then take the steps needed to establish your the dealership.or career deliver its full potential. You need celebrity status.substance; not just glamour. That means you Tracy Myers, C.M.D. is a noted smalldon’t just want to be a celebrity. You want to You need to know how to define your market business marketing and branding solutionsbe a celebrity expert. properly and get clear about your expert status. specialist, best-selling author, speaker, car Then you’ll need to know the techniques you dealership owner and entrepreneur. He canIn order to achieve that, you need to define can use to make sure your expertise is known be contacted at 866.860.0029, or by e-mail atyour market clearly and establish genuine by the right people. tmyers@autosuccessonline.com.32 autosuccessonline.com
  • TroySpring marketing solution do noT de-brand your sToreWe all know what “branding” is. It is advertising and actions taken to “brand” your store in a when they leave your dealership and theway that will make customers think of your business when they are in the market sometime way your employees act in public all lend todown the road. Branding messages are everywhere in your daily dealership actions, and it goes long term branding. We call it DNA strands.far beyond the cute jingle you have had on the radio for years (with the hope kids are singing it They all tie together at some point and willto their parents because of how catchy it is). eventually be the reason a customer walks on your lot or not. Let’s face it: If they hadThe way your service advisors treat each and every customer, the way a sales customer feels a bad experience in your service lane, they do not like the jingle as much anymore, and it probably annoys them. Therefore, all your dollars spent on the jingle and ads for it to play over the years really has no stock value to that customer at all. In the direct mail business, it is important to take de-branding very seriously. Imagine that you do an event, and you see 500 people drive on your lot in five days and you sell 35 cars. What happens to the other 465 people, and what story are they telling their friends, co- workers, neighbors or the person on the stool next to them at the diner? If they were not happy with the “gift” they received or were not helped in a timely manner, what do you think they are saying? What if they were greeted by a salesman knowing that 90 percent of the people only want a gift and got the typical “are you here just for the gift” question? There are many reasons a customer can leave your lot unhappy, and we must all do what we can to prevent it so that the community is not being de-branded by the actions of our employees or the advertising we choose. When you are planning advertising in the future, ask yourself if putting people on the lot is important or if putting buyers on the lot is important. Everyday, more and more dealerships are making a conscious decision to forgo the 400 extra people on the lot to simply put the 100 people on the lot that want to buy cars. The reason is simple. They do not want to de-brand the store. The salespeople are much more likely to be in their own element and treat people properly as well as help them in a timely manner, etc. Oddly enough the result is the same, 35 cars sold and we all shake our heads in disbelief that it was that easy. The bottom line here: The fewer people complaining at the diner down the street, the better. Troy Spring is the president of Dealer World. He can be contacted at 866.906.7884, or by e-mail at tspring@autosuccessonline.com.34 autosuccessonline.com
  • GenaeGirard marketing solution nosTaLgia: The new goLden nuggeT of sociaL Media Michael owns a dealership that has recently industry, try talking about when cell phones started using social media. He decided to get were the size of a bread machine. on board and try to build his following through Facebook and Twitter, yet consumers who • Keep it light and humorous. People like “Like” his Facebook page keep dropping off. to laugh. Humor wins their hearts and He has been posting facts about his business their buying habits. Often in social media, including specials and new products with limited consumers are surfing Facebook or Twitter success. Michael knows that social media is in their spare time. A break of laughter important to grow his business, but is confused endears your brand to them. about consumers jumping ship. How can Michael keep his customers engaged so that he • Be a listener. As your consumer base can continue to build his social media following? responds, keep notes on what topics get the most discussion responses. Note them in a There is a new goldmine in social media that file and use them to your advantage. Use more companies are discovering. That treasure responses to tailor future posts as well as consists of a doorway that bridges the gap your marketing materials. between your brand and the consumer. That gold nugget is nostalgia. That’s right, talking don’ts about the yesteryears creates that warm fuzzy • Never pass judgment on responses to your feeling conjuring up images of childhood, fun posts. Let them unfold organically and you and remembrances of a less fast-paced hectic will be amazed at the creativity people use life. In this world of constant change where to get involved in the discussion. we are bombarded by texting, e-mails and other forms of marketing, we long for the less • Never talk about historical events like complicated times of hot dogs, baseball and politics or religion that could spark too apple pie. much negative debate. At social gatherings you often hear of people • If you are missing the creative gene, bringing up childhood games, toys or food don’t be in charge of creating the posts. with great joy and camaraderie. An old Radio Determine the focus and overall content and Flyer wagon, or grandmother sneaking them a have someone on your staff who is creative brownie before dinner brings a broad smile and be in charge of posting. instant conversation. Why not use that joy to your marketing advantage? When used properly, Need a source of information and nostalgia can be the social media glue between inspiration? United Online, Inc. has launched you and your consumer. Here are some tips on MemoryLane.com™, the largest archive of how to use nostalgia for your advantage: nostalgic content on the Internet. This Website dos allows visitors to relive the past with over 100 • Pick topics that are directly relatable to million pieces of content dating from 1940 your demographic. For example, if your through 1999. consumer base grew up in the 1980s, pick topics directly relatable to that timetable Using the tools outlined above will develop the including music, social references or trends. dialog between you and the group and endear your customer to your brand by bringing to • Ask open-ended questions about the the forefront topics that they miss from their history of your group to get them talking past. Echo their history, warm their heart and about fond moments in their lives. This solidify your brand. can be as simple as asking the question, “What was your favorite song in the ‘80s?” • Get creative. If you are in the grocery Genae Girard is a speaker, author and industry, try talking about the fact that you entrepreneur. She can be contacted at remember when generic cans were black 866.263.5696, or by e-mail at and white. If you are in the communications ggirard@autosuccessonline.com.36 autosuccessonline.com
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  • ShaneBoland marketing solution increase your MonThLy organic web Traffic froM 2,500 To 25,000 visiTsImagine, for a moment, your dealership’s Web of uncooked beans into the jar. They fill the significant momentum, but once in motion, thetraffic went from 2,500 to 25,000 organic nooks and crannies, but you can still see some “mushroom cloud” of saturation will continuevisits per month. Sounds impossible right? The small gaps between the beans. Next comes a to expand. How long will this take? Well, theshort answer is, yes, it is impossible, at least bag of sugar – which when shaken down will time it takes to accomplish your desired levelwhen considering conventional SEO solutions. fill much more of the jar. Finally, we are able of saturation in search is inversely proportionalThis type of aggressive movement in organic to pour a fairly substantial amount of water to the volume of links being produced. Thesearch is possible, however. I have witnessed it into this container of soon-to-be wasted food. more links you produce each month, thefirsthand. By doing enough of the right things, Any minute gaps in the sugar will be engulfed quicker you will saturate search results.over time, it absolutely is possible to make this by the water until the jar is truly full.type of substantial increase in Web traffic for The second area mentioned here is the issue ofyour dealership. So what is Covey’s point with this illustration? quality. The key is to create a genuinely unique Most would answer this question with, “you and beneficial user experience. Anything elsewhy conventional seo services can always find more time in the day.” This will be discarded and likely penalized byfall short common response misses Covey’s point Google. There are several ways to accomplishAccording to SEO industry experts, the three completely. The point of the illustration is this: this; however, the best technique is to manuallymost important search engine ranking factors What would have happened if you tried to put create substantial amounts of original anddo not involve changing anything on your the oranges in last? You would not have been relevant content.Website. In order, they are: able to fit them all in. If you do not put “first1. Keyword-focused anchor text from external things first” — the largest or most important This brings me to number three: relevance. links tasks before the smaller or ones of less Original content is king, but if it lacks2. External link popularity (quantity/quality of importance — you may find yourself running relevance to the page you are linking to, the external links) out of resources (time, money, etc.) to be able effort will not be effective. Google’s advanced3. Diversity of link sources (links from many to accomplish those items which are most algorithm will recognize the lack of relevance unique root domains) important. and fail to give your site favor for the irrelevant or “spammy” links.So, why do conventional SEO services fall intestinal fortitude requiredshort? Typical SEO providers simply offer I mentioned in the introduction of this article Finally, let’s look at the “diversity of linkservices which add keyworded content and/or that, “by doing enough of the right things, over sources.” Blogging is one of the most effectivechange SEO assets within your dealer Website, time, it absolutely is possible....” So let’s define techniques “heavy lifting” SEO providerssuch as keyworded title tags, header tags, URL what “the right things are” and talk specifically use to create a significant quantity of highstructure and page copy. While these items about what I mean by, “over time.” In the spirit quality and relevant links. However, bloggingare certainly important to search engines, this of Covey’s time management philosophy, let’s alone will fail to address the “diversity of linkeffort alone, however, will fail to produce the put “first things first” and agree that “doing the sources” factor. While there are countlesstype of fruit which can result in substantial right things” must address the aforementioned options out there that can be used to diversifytraffic gains. In fact, this somewhat basic top-three list. your link sources, my personal favorite isservice does not directly address any one of the a suite of niche focused micro-sites. Thisthree most important factors search engines use If you refer back to the top-three list, you technique will allow you to apply intelligentto determine how your Website ranks in search. should see an obvious pattern emerge. and effective strategies to your SEO efforts. According to Google, the only suitable wayThe ‘oranges first’ Metaphor to accomplish these three goals is by creating In conclusion, if you are looking to seeWhen Stephen Covey speaks about time original and relevant content which provides a unconventional improvements in search, youmanagement, he urges his audience to think useful and unique user experience for visitors. will need an unconventional approach to yourmore about what they are doing, as opposed to The original and relevant content then must be SEO strategy. Doing the basics is important;how fast they are getting it done. Making sure linked back to appropriate (and relevant) pages however, an ongoing “heavy lifting” effortthe most important tasks are made a priority is on the Web asset you are trying to optimize. is the only way to produce game changingthe only logical way to approach prioritizing results.your workload. After all, what sense does it Let’s address each of these specific areas inmake to do the less-important things before the regards to external link building. The first and For a free report with specific informationmore-important things? most cumbersome is addressing the quantity about how to take your monthly organic Web factor. In order to make huge improvements traffic from 2,500 to 25,000 visits, e-mail at theCovey goes on to demonstrate this concept in saturation, and therefore traffic, in search, address below.with the “oranges first” illustration. Imagine a massive amount of external links needs toyou have a one-gallon jar. You fill the jar as be created. This work can and should be done Shane Boland is the director of sales for BluSolutions Dealer Websites andfull as you can with oranges. Is the jar full? over time. Automotive SEO. For more information,No. Of course not. There are still gaps of air, contact him at 866.388.1397, or by e-mailso you fill in those gaps by pouring a large bag This approach does require some time to build at sboland@autosuccessonline.com.38 autosuccessonline.com
  • LonLeneve leadership solution do you Know who you are hiring? how to evaluate a screening solution Is your dealership considering an investment in the hiring process can impose unnecessary assurance throughout the organization. That’s in a screening solution? That’s a positive step: burdens on existing staff and cause you to lose a good sign. Also look for vendors that have a It means you understand the importance of the best candidates. Inaccurate or incomplete Six Sigma program in place, indicating they’re knowing who your employees are. Even if the checks defeat the purpose of screening and put focused on continuous quality improvement vast majority of your hires turn out just fine, your organization at risk. A solution that doesn’t and applying sound methodologies to that end. it only takes one unscrupulous employee to have built-in protections for your business in create a huge liability risk and undermine the the event of an investigation or litigation is no compliance integrity of your entire enterprise. Negligent bargain at any price. And a solution that doesn’t Reputable screening solutions will have a hiring can cost you big money, disrupt normal deliver results in a user-friendly way is likely to complete set of compliance provisions in place. business operations and hurt the reputation of create frustration for HR and other departments There should be automated mechanisms to your company. that monitor the hiring process regularly. ensure that your dealership meets all relevant state and federal requirements for things like Unfortunately, the screening process has speed adverse decisions, notification of applicants become increasingly complex in recent years. Does your vendor typically take more than and destruction and safekeeping of records. Checks and drug screenings are now performed 24 to 48 hours to deliver background checks? on a higher percentage of staff members, multi-Plenty of vendors will claim their checks are Drug screening should use chain-of-custody jurisdictional checks are often necessary, and “faster” than competitors’, but it’s a good idea protocols and technology to ensure accuracy ongoing changes in state and federal laws and to ask them to specify average turnaround and legal defensibility. Also, be sure to find regulations governing hiring practices can times and explain in detail how they speed out whether the vendor you are considering make it difficult to ensure your processes are the process up. Top-tier solutions will offer manages their own drug screening program, up-to-date and legally defensible. full integration with nationwide sources of rather than outsourcing it. online data like CourthouseDirect to pull the As you evaluate screening software and majority of their records, rather than relying on Does the screening firm have a compliance services, consider these core criteria: speed, third-party court runners to manually retrieve department with lawyers on staff? Can they accuracy, compliance and ease of use. Delays information. Another essential feature is real- provide access to legal opinions and keep time, 24/7 access to clients informed about changes in legal and pending, recently regulatory requirements? completed and archived reports so Remember that screening information is Introducing – Your Buyers. you don’t have to extremely sensitive. To protect the privacy keep managers or of applicants and reduce your company’s candidates waiting. exposure to risk, choose a vendor that deploys IMN Spotlight™ reports enable you to create state-of-the art data security and encryption lists of your most engaged subscribers accuracy technologies. and target those ready to buy Of course, speed from your dealership. is meaningless if ease of use Ready to sell? the information Finally, try out the user interface before you provided is buy. The system should be easy to navigate, inaccurate. Rather and report pages should be designed for eye than taking claims appeal and optimal readability. It’s especially of accuracy at face helpful to have important information value, be sure to ask summarized at the top of the screen so you can vendors about the quickly hone in on the relevant details. specific measures their organization Even with most intuitive user interfaces, it’s takes to maintain likely you will encounter a few difficulties quality and when you first implement the system. Make consistency in their sure that the vendor you select can provide business processes. convenient access to customer service Drive customers in for sales, for life. For example, if a personnel who are knowledgeable about all vendor has achieved reporting features and services. Visit www.loyaltydriver.com ISO 9001:2008 certification, you When it comes to hiring, it’s important to know they have get it right. The marketplace is teeming with Innovative Enewsletter Solutions made a formalized vendors who make a lot of promises, but it’s loyaltydriver.com | 1-800-818-4071 commitment up to you to find out whether they can deliver to quality and what you need. established a systematic set of Lon Leneve is the president & CEO of Compli. practices to monitor He can be contacted at 866.265.8516, or by and maintain quality e-mail at lleneve@autosuccessonline.com. 40 autosuccessonline.comspotlight-ad-4.375x5-FINAL.indd 1 2/25/2011 9:13:45 AM
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  • MattBaker sales & training solution “a cusToMer once ToLd Me...” how using Third-party references can help you sell MoreOnly decision makers can help people make the message, not just the words. pay for unexpected repair bills for the van Idecisions. But getting people to make a have now.”decision to purchase can sometimes seem Third-party references make a customer feel Salesperson: “I understand. I recently hadimpossible — even for those salespeople who more comfortable and confident in making a customer who had also noticed a rise inare expert decision makers themselves. the decision you want them to make. Why? her repair costs and was trying to decide Put simply: Third-party technique makes between keeping her current car or buying aJust the other day I was speaking with a highly the proposed solution more relatable to the newer version. After considering how muchexperienced salesperson. While he’s confident customer. she was driving too and from her office, herin his ability, he’s struggling to drum up new son’s soccer practice and her daughter’sbusiness. After hearing his pitch a few times I hear salespeople talking to prospects all of dance class, she realized just how much wearover, I could tell what was wrong. All he the time, often directly telling them what they she was putting on her car. Not to mentionneeded was to slightly tweak his approach. need to do. A few weeks pass and they’ve how much she was spending on gas. AfterKnowing that his ego would likely keep him sold nothing. As a result, they blame customer drilling down the numbers, it actually costfrom listening to any advice, however, I attitudes (or stubbornness) for the lack of her less money to upgrade her vehicle to aoffered him a solution in a different way. closed business. The customer’s attitude isn’t more energy efficient model than to continue the problem. It’s the way the salesperson to pay for expensive repairs and gas thatI told him about someone I knew who chooses to communicate with the prospect that accompanied her existing car.”had faced a similar struggle. This “other” gets in the way of potential sales. People don’tsalesperson addressed his problem with a like to be told what to do. When selling, this The statement, “I recently had a customer…”well-known automotive trainer who taught rule very much applies. is what makes the difference. Using third-partyhim an interesting trick. By simply replacing references like this keeps the conversation non-the phrase “have you considered...” with “a Consider the story above about the struggling confrontational, and may help the customerrecent customer of mine considered…” in salesman. I never directly told you what realize a solution for other points of pain shehis approach, customers began to feel more third-party technique can do. Instead you self may not have initially considered.comfortable and trusting of what he had to say. discovered the benefits by reading about a peer’sThe automotive trainer helped him discover experience. And chances are, if you’ve made it A salesperson not vested in third-party salesthat third-party statements make customers this far in the article, you’re willing to consider technique might have approached the situationmore willing to listen, (not to mention buy). what adopting third-party technique can do by saying: for you. Relating the use of this technique toThe salesman I was speaking with understood something you can empathize with made it Salesperson: “I understand that you don’t wantwhat he needed to do. He immediately began to easier for you to decide to continue reading. You to continue to pay to fix your car. You shouldimplement third-party stories, and sold four more established a personal connection. take a look at a newer vehicle that gets bettercars that day than he had in the previous week. gas mileage. That way you wouldn’t have to While you might find this surprising, the same worry about the expensive maintenance and gasMoral of the story: When attempting to method can and will work on your customers. bills you’re existing car provides.”guide someone through a process, don’t tell Building personal ties through third-partythem what to do. Situations like this are best technique creates greater value and helps to “You should…” is one of the worst phrases tohandled through third-party sales technique establish trust. use when selling. Approaching a customer thisor the rescue communication tactic. The directly can have detrimental affects on theexample above is testament to the power of examples of Third-party outcome of the sale. Replacing this phrase withthird-party selling. This article will focus on selling at a dealership statements such as, “I had a customer in yourways to improve customer rapport, eliminate Want a better understanding of how to relate shoes tell me…” softens the point in a way thatdefenses, and boost your sales through the use this to your store? Here is one (of many) makes the customer willing to consider whatof third-party stories and references. If you are possible situations where third-party sales you have to say.interested in learning more about the rescue technique can be used.communication tactic, please see my article in The possibilities for third-party sales techniquethe July 2010 issue of AutoSuccess. Let’s pretend a customer had been perusing your are nearly endless. If you are interested in lot for a later model mini-van. Repair bills on learning more word tracks or reading more rolewhy Third-party selling works her current vehicle are becoming more frequent. play examples, please request G&A’s GuideGiving customer advice through statements is The customer wants to consider the purchase to Improving Sales Talent: Third-Party Sellingtelling, not selling. Talking directly to someone of a new vehicle, but she’s not quite sure if it’s by submitting an e-mail to me with the subjectis a trigger for ego inflammation. People can more cost effective to purchase a newer model line THIRD PARTY.feel offended, insulted, embarrassed or even or just keep paying the repair bills.confrontational as a result of directly pointed Matt Baker is the vice president of sales forsuggestions for the choices they should make. Customer: “I don’t think I’m really ready to G&A Marketing. He can be contacted atThe third-party technique breaks down these buy a newer mini-van. It’s a big purchase and 866.618.8248, or by e-mail atbarriers, helping people to hear the content of cash is tight — especially since I’ve had to mbaker@autosuccessonline.com.42 autosuccessonline.com
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  • Up 175% in Service ROs and 22.5% in Sales Checkered FlagToyota’s Integrated Sales and Service Marketing Program Hits aHome RunWhile Toyota was down 6% nation- more customers, sell more vehicles, successfully identified where 90% ofally in 2010, Checkered Flag Toyota service more vehicles and improve our their business is coming from.actually increased their market share customer retention without spendingby 25%, increased their sales by 22.5% more money to do it.” “There are approximately 1.5 millionand serviced over 30,000 more vehicles consumers in the Virginia Beach mar-compared to the same 12-month pe- In the spring of 2010, Checkered Flag ket, but only 60,800 are likely to buyriod the previous year. Toyota ran an in-depth 5-year histori- or service their vehicle with us,” said cal assessment of their customer data- Rayfield. “We know that a sale from a“We were looking for new solutions base; then ran research and analysis on customer who lives outside our localto help us get back in the game,” said their local area market and emerging market and has to drive a long distanceTim Rayfield, General Manager of industry and market trends. The re- to buy a vehicle from us will often haveCheckered Flag Toyota in Virginia sults identified Checkered Flag Toyo- a lower gross profit and is even moreBeach, VA. “2009 was a tough year ta’s ideal market and their perfect pros- likely to have a low retention rate forfor our industry and we needed a new pects. By comparing their sales and service and repeat sales because they’replaying strategy. We were looking for service history against leading industry not close by.”something that would help us attract consumer databases, Checkered Flag
  • Success Story Checkered Flag Toyota’s market re- actly who to target,” said Rayfield. “We Marketing.com, the targeted marketing search has proven invaluable in de- used to overspend by sending the wrong company that Checkered Flag Toyota termining their perfect market and types of communications to a broad au- uses. “In the past, they’d reach out to identifying consumers with a higher dience, and as a result our pitch was less a customer who had a three-year-old probability of doing business with effective, and more expensive.” Camry with emails and mailers from them now and in the future, thus creat- sales, service, finance, plus the manu- ing more loyal and frequent long-term Checkered Flag sends targeted mail and facturer. Now they send one targeted customers who have a higher lifetime email campaigns that have a custom- campaign that promotes multiple profit value because they will continue to ser- ized message that reflects the appro- centers by customizing the message to vice and purchase from Checkered Flag priate status of the customer’s vehicle. what the customer needs at that time,” Toyota. Plus, having a clearer picture of They communicate a consistent, cohe- Blackburn explained. “When the three- what was happening in their immedi- sive message that positively affects all year-old Camry owner gets one direct ate local market enabled them to refo- their profit centers: New, Used, Finance, mail or email campaign to extend their cus their advertising efforts, and costs, Service and Parts, and has steadily gen- warranty or trade-in at above market away from the typically more expensive erated better returns. Not only are the value for their in-equity Camry it’s more broad mass marketing platforms like customers targeted successfully, but effective because the personalized mes- radio and television, to more targeted they speak to them with the right mes- saging is exactly what they’re in the mar- and cost-effective marketing. sage based on the status of their vehicle. ket for.” “We found that we could talk to more of “Checkered Flag Toyota has been very Checkered Flag Toyota’s service has our current customers, as well as, ‘true’ successful at sending the right message seen the greatest impact for this targeted prospective customers with a more ef- to the right customer,” said Budd Black- messaging. Between March ’09 and Feb- fective message because we know ex- burn, owner of www.TeamVelocity- ruary ’10 they serviced 17,543 vehicles In a Nutshell Checkered Flag Toyota increased their market share by 25%, increased their sales by 22.5% and serviced over 30,000 more vehicles, up 175%, compared to the same 12-month period the previous year.• Checkered Flag Toyota conducted exhaustive market research that included a 5-year historical analysis of their sales and service transactions, the local area market and emerging industry and market trends to identify their perfect market.• Checkered Flag Toyota works with a targeted marketing company, www.TeamVelocityMarketing.com, to target customers who have the highest statistical probability of purchasing or servicing with their dealership.• Checkered Flag Toyota consistently speaks to in-market same-brand prospects, and consumers who drive brands with a historical trend of crossing over to Toyota, resulting in a healthier overall trade pattern. Over the last year their top-traded Toyota model year went from a 2000 to a 2007 with much higher resale values.• Checkered Flag Toyota monitors all in-bound calls by using 800 numbers on all their advertising so they can maintain a high-level of customer service and responsiveness that is critical in today’s fast-paced and competitive market.• Checkered Flag Toyota successfully attracts, sells, services and retains more customers for less cost while affecting all their prot centers, New, Used, Finance, Service and Parts more protably by implementing a dynamic new targeted marketing program in early 2010.
  • Success StoryCheckered Flag Toyota Promotional Materials
  • Success Storyand from March ’10 to March ’11 they year our top-traded model year was a someone wanting to schedule a servicehave serviced 48,321 vehicles. That’s 2000, today our top traded model year appointment, or a customer who has a30,778 more vehicles or an increase is 2007. That’s a significant improve- concern. We have to be hyper-responsiveof 175%. “Needless to say my service ment and I don’t have to tell you that to our customers, there are too many op-department is sold on this marketing fetches a much better resale price,” tions out there today and people are quickprogram. Plus, we’ve seen a 124% in- added Rayfield. to move on – we work too hard to let thatcrease in customer service retention happen.”since implementing this new strategy,” Checkered Flag Toyota also soughtsaid Rayfield. to elevate their brand image by pay- Cohesive, consistent communication is ing more attention to what they were crucial to Checkered Flag Toyota’s success.Another objective of Rayfield’s was to putting in front of their customers. Their marketing program talks to custom-grow his active customer base by tar- “There was a time when we had mul- ers from the moment of purchase withgeting those perfect prospect consum- tiple vendors contacting our customers welcome messaging, through the 5-yearers identified by their research. “We’ve with different offers and inconsistent life-cycle of the vehicle with maintenancebeen reaching out to prospective in- messaging. It began to confuse our reminders, mail and email communica-market consumers driving Toyotas or customers and potentially hurt our tions that positively affect all their profitconquest vehicles that have a histori- brand,” said Rayfield. “We are more centers: New, Used , Finance, Service andcally-high crossover percentage, and cognizant of the messaging that we Parts. It’s a smart, strategic approach to at-the rate of response has been amazing. promote these days. We make sure our tract, sell, service and retain more custom-Our goal is to reach these in-market marketing positively reflects our brand ers profitably for less cost.consumers before our competitors do, image. We have a more sophisticatedso we can take them out of the market look and feel that tends to help gain “When you communicate with your cus-before they buy elsewhere and make credibility within the brand and gets a tomers, you keep your customers,” saidthem a customer of ours for life,” ex- more positive response.” Rayfield. “This works because we are mar-plained Rayfield. keting more efficiently to customers that Checkered Flag invested a lot of energy are likely to continue buying and servicing“A surprising bonus to this marketing into finding a marketing program that with our dealership.”program is that we’re cashing in on a would drive traffic and increase saleslot of great one-owner trades for con- and service more profitably. With thesiderably less than we would have to average cost of generating a single leadpay at auction, which has significantly ranging somewhere in the ball park ofimproved our certified pre-owned $150, Rayfield wanted to be certain thatbusiness,” explained Rayfield. “Earlier their marketing and advertising effortsthis year we ran a ‘Silver Bullet’ cam- produced results and were not lost onpaign that offered above market value missed opportunities. Checkered Flagfor trade-ins when they purchased a uses multiple toll-free 800 numbersnew vehicle. We took in 107 trades on all their mail and email campaignsfrom that campaign and 52% of our to monitor and track in-bound calls.new car deals had a trade. It was a very This helps assure that every customereffective campaign,” said Rayfield. “We is treated with the best customer care,have a healthier overall trade pattern. courtesy and professional service andWe trade more single-owner, family- that appointments are set and followeddriven Toyotas which beats paying for up on quickly. “We have to seize thethe ‘unknown’ at auctions any day. Last moment whether it’s a potential sale, 4x6 Silver Bullet