AutoSuccess Aug06
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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 Aug06 AutoSuccess Aug06 Document Transcript

  • Increase Sales Now August 2006
  • SUMMIT V BEST PRACTICESLEADERSHIP • INTERNET • CRM • MARKETING • BDC • SALESNovember 7th and 8th2006, at the VenetianResort and Hotel, LasVegas, NV.Dealers & ManagersOnly!Two days of intenselearning. Dramaticallyimprove your results.Limited Seats,Register Today!Case studies fromsuccessful dealershipsacross the country.Speakers and times subject to changeCall today to register. Seating is limited. toll free: 866.396.7050 web: www.autosuccessonline.com
  • Avoid America’s Favorite Pastime 8 ZigZiglar The Power of Pausing 9 BrianTracy Questions Are the Answer 10 TomHopkins Top GM Dealer Talks Straight Internet Search Marketing and Why All Customers Today Are Internet Customers 12 TedLinhart The 7 Commandments of Selling, Part 4 14 DavidJacobson Create an Elevator Conversation, Part 3 Going Up 16 PattiWood An Effective Voicemail Will Get You the Call Back You Want 18 DavidKain Two Schools of Thought 20 KirkManzo It’s Still About Selling 21 MikeParsons How Do You Measure Wealth - People or Profit 22 RichardLibin The Importance of Payments 26 RaquelSmith A Business Dedicated to Making a Difference 28 JesseBiter Actions Speak Louder Than Words With Women Car Buyers 29 DeborahRenshaw Scott’s Individualized Consultation Transcripts, Part 3 30 ScottJoseph What Your Employees Don’t Know Can Hurt You The Link Between Education and Compliance 32 CharlesArrambide Record Sales Don’t Mean Much, Record Profits Do 33 RobMancuso Key Performance Indicators 34 HeatherConary 10 Great Investigative Questions 36 JeffMorrill People Buy From People 37 12 MarkTewartcover Effective E-Marketing 38 BrianEpro The “Be” Attitudes 40 SeanWolfington Managing Time in the Business Office 41 TonyDupaquier Rick Case Auto Group - The Value of Technology How Technology Enhances Our Dealerships, Employees, and Community 42 PhilCohen Patrick Luck, Editor & Publisher Courtney Paris, Sales-improvement Strategist luck43@autosuccessonline.com courtney.paris@autosuccessonline.com Susan Givens, Vice President Brian Ankney, Sales-improvement Strategist sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com super6@autosuccessonline.com 3411 Pinnacle Gardens Drive Louisville, Kentucky 40245 Thomas Williams, Creative Director Brian Balash, Sales-improvement Strategist design@autosuccessonline.com bb11@autosuccessonline.com toll free: 877.818.6620 facsimile: 502.588.3170 Dave Davis, Creative Strategist Charlie Tierney, Sales-improvement Strategist web: www.AutoSuccessOnline.com ddavis@autosuccessonline.com cpt2@autosuccessonline.com helping to promote... Psalms 57: 2 “I cry out to God...who fulfills for me.” Job 34: 21 “For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all His goings.” God is the source of all supplyAutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3411 Pinnacle Gardens Drive, Louisville, Kentucky, 40245; 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 $75 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 thismagazine 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 inwhole 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 thatnames be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3411 Pinnacle Gardens Drive, Louisville, Kentucky 40245.
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis ZigZiglar sales and training solution Avoid America’s Favorite Pastime What is America’s blame others for our condition, our problems, that the snake didn’t have a leg to stand on. favorite pastime? our state in life. We do it all the time: We are responsible for our thoughts and Some people would “Boss, it’s not my fault the customer our actions. We are responsible for our have you think it is didn’t buy. I showed up at 1:45 … for hits and our misses. We are responsible for baseball. Afterall, the 1:30 appointment.” our success and our mistakes. If others areit is called the “National Pastime.” True, responsible for our success, then we need toa lot of people attend all types of baseball invest in those people. We need to send themgames…from little league to major league to schools and to seminars and to educategames. Some people think baseball is a bitslow. Someone once said that baseball is 15 We are them. Once they are better, we will get better. Once they are great, our lives will be great.minutes of action packed into three hours.Some people believe golf is the national responsible for No, I don’t think so.pastime. It certainly has continued to gainpopularity and participants over the years. I our success You know that it doesn’t work that way. We must stop blaming others. We must standam proud to say that recently I shot my ageon the golf course. That sounds impressive and our on our own and make our own way in this world. We all need to avoid the pastime ofuntil you realize that it only took me 14 holesto do. mistakes. transference of blame. If it is to be, it is up to me.There is another pastime that Americans are Of course it’s not our fault that we do this. Zig Ziglar is the chairman of the board ofcrazy about; sales people have it down to a The blame goes to Adam and Eve. They Ziglar Training Systems in Dallas, TX. Thisscience. Despite its popularity, this pastime started it all. God asked Adam if he’d eaten article was reprinted with permission. Allshould be avoided at all times. the fruit. Adam said, “Lord, let me tell you rights reserved. He can be contacted at about that woman you gave me.” Eve said it 866.873.0026, or by e-mail atIt is called “transference of blame.” It is easy to was the serpent’s fault … and we all know zziglar@autosuccessonline.com. 8 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis BrianTracy The Power sales and training solution of Pausing All of the top sales silence tells the prospect that you are giving people ask good careful consideration to what he/she has questions and listen just said. By carefully considering the other carefully to the person’s words, you are paying him/her a answers. One of the compliment. You are implicitly saying thatmost important skills of listening is simply you consider what was said to be importantto pause before replying. When the prospect and worthy of quiet reflection. You makefinishes talking, rather than jumping in with the prospect feel more valuable with yourthe first thing that you can think of, take three silence. You raise his/her self-esteem andto five seconds to pause quietly and wait. make him/her feel better.Become a master of the pause Understanding with greater clarityAll excellent listeners are masters of the The third benefit of pausing before replyingpause. They are comfortable with silences. is that you will actually hear and understandWhen the other person finishes speaking, the prospect better if you give his/her wordsthey take a breath, relax and smile before a few seconds to soak into your mind. Thesaying anything. They know that the pause is more time you take to reflect upon what hasa key part of good communications. just been said, the more conscious you will be of their real meaning. You will be more alert to how his/her words can connect with When you other things you know about the prospect in relation to your product or service. pause, not The message you send only do you When you pause, not only do you become a more thoughtful person, but you convey this become a more to the customer. By extension, you become thoughtful a more valuable person to do business with. And you achieve this by simply pausing for person, but you a few seconds before you reply after your prospect or customer has spoken. convey this to Action steps the customer. Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:Three benefits of pausing First, take time to carefully consider whatPausing before you speak has three specific the customer just said and what they meanbenefits. The first is that you avoid the risk by it. Pausing allows you to read between theof interrupting the prospect if he/she has lines.just stopped to gather his/her thoughts.Remember, your primary job in the sales Second, show the customer that you reallyconversation is to build and maintain a high value what they have said by reflecting for alevel of trust, and listening builds trust. When few moments before you reply.you pause for a few seconds, you often findthe prospect will continue speaking. Hewill give you more information and furtheropportunity to listen, enabling you to gathermore of the information you need to makethe sale. Brian Tracy is the chairman & CEO of Brian Tracy International. He can beCarefully consider what you just heard contacted at 866.300.9881, or by e-mail atThe second benefit of pausing is that your btracy@autosuccessonline.com.august 2006 9
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis TomHopkins sales and training solution Questions Are the Answer When you work with any one client, just enough to get the “yeses” example of this is getting an appointment. a new car prospect, flowing. Experiment with your existing The average sales person will say to their don’t you agree that presentation until you find a comfortable prospect, “When can we get together?” This you should try for number of tie-downs to use without sounding allows the prospect to say, “Never,” or, “I’m several minor “yeses” repetitive. too busy just now, I’ll call you later.” Now, before you go for the that won’t get you an appointment today,big “yes” buying decision? It makes sense, Another way to keep these tie-downs from will it?doesn’t it? It would be helpful to learn a sounding overused is to use them in otherspecific technique that would begin a string forms: “Inverted,” and “Internal.” I’ll use In using the alternate of choice question youof “yes” answers, wouldn’t it? You’re the same example as above to demonstrate would say, “I have an appointment openingprobably getting tired of all these questions, them. this afternoon at 3 p.m., or would 4:30 bearen’t you? more convenient for you?” You’ve given STANDARD: A reputation for excellent your prospect two choices, one of which theyIf you answered “yes” to these four questions, service after the sale is important in making will most likely agree to. If they cannot makeyou’ve just proven the effectiveness of the this decision, isn’t it? either appointment, they’ll tell you and you“Tie-down” questioning technique. Let me can counter with another alternate choice.begin by defining the term “tie-down.” A tie- INVERTED: Isn’t a reputation for servicedown is a question at the end of a sentence after the sale important in making this This is also a good technique to use whenthat calls for a positive response. Here are decision? you try to get a delivery date from yoursome examples: prospect once they show signs of going INTERNAL: A reputation for excellent ahead. “You mentioned wanting to remove • “A reputation for excellent service after service after the sale is important, isn’t it, in some things from your current vehicle. How the sale is important in making this making this decision? soon would you want to take delivery of your decision, isn’t it?” new truck? Today? Or, would tomorrow be • “I can tell you are happy to hear that we The inverted and internal tie-downs allow better?” Just remember to use it whenever have a wide range of financing options, you to hide the fact that you’re using a you have two alternatives you can give to aren’t you?” technique while adding warmth to your your prospect, and both of them require a • “You can see how our evening service statements. By utilizing all three types, positive response. hours would make your life easier, you’ll have a good mixture of them to build can’t you?” into your presentation. Once you’ve learned These two simple questioning techniques them and worked with them, use of the tie- are the first steps to turning your existingThis technique works most effectively when down will become a speech habit that will presentations into positive momentumyou tie-down a positive statement about the improve your business and your earnings. builders. Please remember, a quick readingbenefits of your services that you know your of these techniques will not do. You needprospect needs. The key is not to over-use Another form of the tie-down you might to read them, study them, learn them andthem so your prospect won’t suspect you’re consider using is the “Tag-on tie-down.” practice them until they become a naturalusing a technique. Here are 18 standard tie- It can be used in a variety of ways. The part of your speech. If you have to stop anddowns that you’ll find useful: simplest is to tie-down a positive statement think before using these techniques, your your prospect has just made. For example, if prospect will suspect you are using a salesAren’t they? Don’t we? they say, “Having a good extended warranty technique and will try to fight you. OnceIsn’t it? Aren’t you? is important.” You would say, “Isn’t it?” They they’ve become a natural part of your speech,Shouldn’t it? Isn’t that right? make a positive statement and you agreed, they will flow smoothly and add warmth toCan’t you? Wouldn’t you? but asked for another positive statement. The your presentation. All it takes is one “yes” toDidn’t it? Couldn’t it? statement being the word, “yes.” turn a prospect into a satisfied client.Haven’t they? Wasn’t it?Doesn’t it? Hasn’t he? Another useful questioning technique is the World-renowned master sales trainer TomWon’t they? Hasn’t she? “Alternate of Choice” technique. An alternate Hopkins is the chairman of Tom HopkinsWon’t you? Don’t you agree? of choice question is one that suggests International. He can be contacted at two answers, either one will confirm that 866.347.6148, or by e-mail atYou don’t want to use too many of them with your prospect is going ahead. The easiest thopkins@autosuccessonline.com. 10 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • fs feature solution TedLinhart Top GM Dealer Internet Search Marketing and Why All Talks Straight Customers Today Are Internet CustomersDominion Automotive Group - comprised Linhart: A lot of Internet search marketing the results, and compared to traditionalof two campuses and nine franchises inRichmond, Virginia - is anything but a There’s no such is common sense, but that doesn’t mean you want to try to do it on your own. Many advertising. You know, we just dropped our Yellow Pages ad. We tracked the callsnewcomer: The company celebrated its 50thanniversary last year. Chairman and CEO thing as an powerful techniques are discovered through sophisticated research, and you need a partner coming in to that number, and to the phone number on our Web site. The Web site wasTed Linhart is no newcomer, either. Thegreat-nephew of the company’s founder, he’sbeen with Dominion for 35 years, having Internet customer that can bring that sort of knowledge to bear. There’s a lot of collaboration between us and our partner. We bring to the table what we beating the ad in the phone book by 100 to one. It just didn’t make sense any longer.come on board straight out of college. - there are only know about our business and our market, and they offer what they’ve learned from There’s one big lesson we’ve learned as we’ve worked to keep all our campaignsA long-established, family-owned dealershipmight not seem like the place to look for customers, and their own experience and experimentation. coordinated. We hired a company that specializes in such matters to help us with that, and our marketing director stays on toptop-flight advice on the Internet side of theautomotive business, and particularly not thecomplex world of search engine marketing. In the Internet is Here in Richmond, people are just as likely to refer to a part of town as they are to the name of the city itself. Our campuses are located of this, too. But it’s not just a question of coordinating things. Sometimes we find thatthis regard, Dominion is an exception, and sois its leader. Though Linhart’s sport is fishing, the way more in Southpark and Short Pump. When we said we wanted to bid on “Chevrolet Short the Internet actually has a say on whether a given campaign makes sense. A while back,not poker, he uses a poker term to describe hisbusiness’ Internet commitment: “All in.” and more of Pump” or “GMC Shortpump,” for example, naturally our PowerSearch rep wanted to we used a tag line in a TV commercial, and later we found that Googling this tag line took users to some really ... questionable links. So know what the heck “Short Pump” was. ButAutoSuccess: Ted, we appreciate yourgiving us this chance to talk with you. How your customers he got us those keywords, and they’re paying off. That’s an example of knowledge the now we always test our tag lines on the search engines first, to make sure they’re safe, and todid you arrive at your perspective on theInternet and its importance for automotive are going to dealership can contribute. Our partner has insights into things outside our immediate make sure it’s feasible to bid on them.retailing?Ted Linhart: I’ve always approached it as a find you. expertise. For instance, if our ranking on a certain keyword suddenly drops, they can figure out why and make an adjustment. AS: Ted, it’s striking to find the head of a large dealership so knowledgeable about Internet search, and so involved. Care touser. I use the Internet every day in my work, They’ve also been instrumental in getting us comment on that?of course, but also in many other ways. At that make them different from the people who feel we’ve found the level that gives us the often your ad appears, and where it’s ranked. placement as one of Google’s “featured Web59, I’m probably a little bit behind the curve. walk onto the lot. The fact is, the people who maximum ROI. It’s just a question of what you’re willing to sites.” These are ads that appear just above Linhart: Well, again, it’s a product ofBut once I realized just how great a role it visit your Web site are the same people who, spend, and how much it makes sense for you the organic search results and seem less like my own experience with the Internet. Iplayed in my own purchasing decisions, five or 10 years ago, would have walked onto AS: That’s the paid search side of your effort. to spend. Improving your organic rankings ads to users. They deliver great value. personally understand how the Internet canit was easy to see the future - the growing your lot. Now they don’t have to—or rather, Do you optimize your Web site to ensure that through optimization is therefore extremely be useful, and the ways it can be uselesspercentage of people who have grown up that’s no longer their first step. it gets high rankings in the search engine’s valuable, but here you can’t buy your way AS: Do you have any advice you’d like to and even annoying. When someone doeswith the Internet, and who naturally make it organic results? to the top. You have to design your Web offer dealers who are just beginning to think a search and finds us, I know that they’rea part of their auto-shopping process. AS: Dominion markets itself heavily on the site so that it gets the right kind of attention about making a concerted effort to market looking for information. If our Web site major search engines. When did you start Linhart: Absolutely. In fact, I feel very from the search engines. And that’s not all. their dealerships on search engines? doesn’t give them what they want, thenAS: How has this personal insight shaped the doing that, and how has it turned out? strongly that the two things go hand in hand. Ultimately, your ranking is determined by we’re doing something wrong. And if weway Dominion thinks about Internet sales? A dealership might start out with organic how often users visit your site when it shows Linhart: I’m happy to offer advice to anyone ask visitors for information before we’ve Linhart: We started in October, 2005. The search before moving on to paid search, but up in their search results. So your Web site and everyone - as long as they’re outside our given them any information, we’re drivingLinhart: In the auto business, there’s a first thing we learned was that, for a modest ultimately you want to be doing both, and really has to be what you want the search market. them away. Dealers who are just gettingwrong-headed tendency to think that there amount of money, you can buy yourself you will need the help of a single-service engines to think it is. It has to be useful to started need to trust their own experienceare these people out there called “Internet a huge amount of exposure and the ability provider who can handle both together, in a the people who find it based on the search One point I’ve already made bears repeating: and common sense and use it actively whencustomers.” Well, when I go to Amazon.com to measure what it brings you. Our first cohesive and systematic way. strings you target. There’s no such thing as an Internet they work with their partner.to buy a book, I’m not an Internet customer. month’s budget was tiny—just over $150— customer—there are only customers, and theI’m just a customer who’s using the Internet but the results were very encouraging. In AS: Can you give us an example of the AS: What are some of the issues that have Internet is the way more and more of yourto buy a book. And the same is true in our May, we spent about $1,300, brought 1,589 synergy you perceive between the two? come up as you’ve worked on your paid customers are going to find you. Ted Linhart is the chairman and CEO ofindustry. The biggest mistake you can make people to the Web site, and converted 39 search campaign, and on organic search? Dominion Automotive Group in Richmond,is to think that the people who visit your Web of them to sales. We’ve experimented with Linhart: With paid search, you have a What’s it like working with a service provider I said this before, too, but the cost of organic Virginia. He can be contacted by e-mail atsite have some special qualities, good or bad, different monthly budgets, and right now we tremendous amount of control over how in these areas? and paid search is very low, compared to tlinhart@autosuccessonline.com. 12 13
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis DavidJacobson sales and training solution The 7 Commandments of Selling, Part 4 You now know what collisions, his/her family will be as safe as check.” You then come back and say, “Great the customer is looking possible. In addition, these safety features news, it’s still available and I am excited for for, what is important lower insurance costs. you because it’s one of the hottest colors this and what is essential to year. Let’s go take a look.” them. This system demonstrates the value of your product to your customer. Moreover, if the You make the difference in everything thatYou have found the car that best fits their competition does not use this approach, you happens. You cause the excitement andneeds. How do you present your product in will clearly have the advantage of earning energy. Do you have to be a “bounce-off-a way that separates you from the crowd? the sale. the-wall” type of sales person to have thisGreat sales people do many things to turn impact on a customer? No. You just need toa prospect into a buyer; however, it is the Let’s say your customer is shopping for create the environment that is conducive totrue professional who can present his or her many different vehicles and they all have emotion.product in such a creative and effective way similar qualities. It is the sales person thatas to fit the customers’ needs and passions. finds this out and then clearly defines the Is it a blue car or “the ‘new for this year’ pearl benefits who will earn the sale. Remember blue clear coat?” Is it beige or “platinum mistUsing the feature, function and value one very important statistic that you will not - a color you never need to wash because itsystem is the greatest way of marrying the find anywhere: The sharpest person along hides the dirt so well?” Then you rub yourcustomer’s wants and needs to your product. the way gets the deal. Whether you are the hand across the hood to show the dirt theyIf a customer had told you they plan to use first or last stop, if you fulfill the customer’s couldn’t see on the car. This is real-worldthe car as a family vehicle and take trips emotional and technical needs, you will earn stuff and it works magic.several times a year, it is important that you their business.build your presentation around these points, You have one car left and it is a popular-stressing, for instance, the safety features, Most cars today have a power seat. This equipment package car. It has powergas mileage, roominess and versatility of doesn’t sound like a very exciting feature, windows, locks, cruise tilt and a CD player.your vehicle. but it is how you explain the feature that will A customer walks in and says they want a grab the customer. basic car. They explain they have a limitedIt is important to explain how they will budget and want to save money by stayingbenefit from having such features and the Consider, is it just a power seat or “a six-way with a bare car. Another customer walksease of their use. adjustable luxury feature that enables you to in and wants a fully loaded car. A top sales get comfortable with the touch of a button? person will be able to fulfill both customers’For example, if a customer showed an Whether you travel around the block or take wants and needs with the same car.interest in the safety of a vehicle, how would a day trip, these power seats will make ityou present the feature, function and value more pleasurable.” How?system? Let’s break it down. Sell, don’t tell. To the base-car customer, this is the basicWhat are the features? They may include, A brochure gives dimensions and statistics. package with mostlyfor instance, crumple zones and a drop-out You give benefits. standard equipment. To the other fully loadedengine. Open the hood and show the features customer, you rattle off all the equipment,to your customer. It’s the end of the year and you have one even the basics such as power steering and car left. You have had it for many months; brakes.What are the functions? Explain that on you know, the ugly one in the back thatimpact, the crumple zones collapse the front nobody wants. How do you describe it to Remember, the sharpest sales person alongend of the car to absorb the hit, and the engine the customer? If you say, “I have one left, let the way gets the deal.is designed to drop under the car so it will me show it to you,” or something of that ilk,not be pushed into the driver and passenger then you are losing business.compartment. David Jacobson is the founder and Try telling the customer: “I think I saw one president of GrooveCar Inc. He can beWhat is the value to your customer? that just became available and I must check contacted at 866.663.9038, or by e-mail atEducate your customer that, even in serious to see if it still is. It probably isn’t, but let me djacobson@autosuccessonline.com. 14 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis PattiWood sales and training solution Going Up Create an Elevator Conversation, Part 3 In the first article on grabbing or memorable. This conversation elevator speeches you could last all of 20 seconds; you don’t have determined the value time to repeat points. Instead, be original. of a quick conversation If you’re concerned about trying a unique to create business. In introduction, ask yourself if a unique the second article you statement suits your personality, your learned how to capture the attention of a company and your audience. If it does, stranger or a colleague. In this third article follow these steps: you will write your elevator speech step by step. Realize as you are delivering each • Be memorable - create a mental picture point you have prepared, you want to create of what you do. we’re this close to a cure a back-and-forth flow of questions and To be memorable you need to create an image comments with the other person so that this of what you do that can be held in the right is truly an elevator conversation, rather than hemisphere of the brain of the person you are an elevator monologue. talking to. That is where strongest links to memory lie. You can do this by making up 1. Ask them who they are and what they do. a new word, using metaphors and analogies, It is often up to you to initiate the conversation. playing with the description of what you Get into the habit of talking to strangers and do, thinking of what senses your product or saying. “Hello, my name is _____. What do service uses, or describing the end result or you do?” your product or service. 2. Listen carefully to their response. Decide which is more engaging and Being a good listener helps develop rapport memorable: and helps you discover their challenges or • “I run a car dealership,” or “I help put people problems. After you have rapport and insights in their dream car at my car dealership.” about them, you can then tell your story, • “I am a financial planner,” or “I am a money showing your expertise in solving just those doctor.” types of problems. It’s important to let them • “I am a pharmaceutical sales rep,” or “I am know you want to help them and you have a a health pusher.” Juvenile Diabetes genuine interest in hearing more about them. • “I am a project manager,” or “I help teams affects millions Being the best listener is sometimes the best solve problems.” Mary Tyler Moore way to sell • “I am an event planner,” or “I create the International Chairman and causes long- perfect business party.” term complications like blindness 3. Introduce yourself. • “I am a teacher,” or “I help shape our and kidney failure. Not to mention It is important that you know what your country’s future by teaching children.” pain and worry no kid should have goal is for the conversation. Be clear. For • “I am an executive recruiter,” or “I help to live with. But we’re closer than example, often my goal for an elevator find the perfect people to make business speech at a convention is to get stories, grow and make money.” ever to a cure. Your help makes examples and problems from the people I life-saving research possible. Call meet that I can add to the speech I will be • Be specific about what you do. 1.800.533.CURE or visit giving to them. Are you looking for future Another way of making what you do more www.jdrf.org. employees? Do you want people to come engaging, impressive and memorable is down to your dealership? Set a goal and you to be specific about what you do. Make a will achieve it. quantifiable statement about your work. 4. Make your introduction memorable, Decide which is more impressive and specific and simple. memorable: Try to introduce yourself in a unique way • “I am a cars sales man,” or “I have helped that catches their attention. Saying the old, over 200 people drive their perfect car.” ”Hello, my name is Jeff Smith, and I am an • “I am in human resources,” or “I am in engineer from company XYZ.” is not the human resources and I hired more than 100 worst way to introduce yourself, but the great people in the past 10 years.” “name, rank and serial number” introduction • “I am an IT specialist, or “I helped my is used by most people, so it’s not attention company use technology to be 30 percent16 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • continuedmore profitable in the past year.” service or concept you provide to the customer.• “I am a construction engineer,” or “I have There are all sorts of catchy names for thishelped build the new Georgia Aquarium, the statement: the unique selling proposition,Georgia Dome and the Atlantic Civic Center.” value proposition, benefits statement, competitive advantage or deliverables. IfYou notice the focus is on accomplishments, you’re going to a particular event, you cannot just dry duties and responsibilities. prepare responses in advance for the people you will be talking to. Let’s say you’re going• Be simple. to a small chamber of commerce meeting.Use simple language rather than industry You can get a list of attendees in advance.jargon. You may think that impressing the Identify the people you want to meet. Youperson with your knowledge is a great way may even be able to research them and theirof selling yourself, but it may just make them company on the Web. Now you can preparetune you out. Remember: analogies, stories the benefits portion of your elevator speechand metaphors are more memorable. to match their requirements.5. Share what business you’re in. To create benefits, ask “What can I bringWhen you talk about the business you’re to them?” Can you save them time, money,in, the tendency is to ramble on about the and stress, or give them success, prestige,features the company provides rather than efficiency, well times or more business?the benefits that the listener can get fromusing the business. Remember, people are Brainstorm a list of the benefits you offer.always asking, “What’s in this conversation • How can you I do it better than anyonefor me? Why should I care about what you’re else? How am I unique?saying?” • Pick one of the benefits. Pick the one that is the most compelling reason for the audience/Decide which sounds more enticing: customer to buy the product, service or• “We are XYZ Dealership,” or “Every concept.month we help 200 people like you drive the • Quantify it. Don’t use jargon; use simplecar of their dreams.” concrete spoken word language. Or, if you• “We are a printing company,” or “We create want to really grab the listener, paint vividfull color printing from business cards to word pictures.brochures so you can paint your businesses • Describe the emotional impact. Describesuccess story.” how the benefits will make them feel. “Call me Dealers using• “We are a small business financial service,” Benefits include how you can save an the “I Likeor “We help small businesses like yours plan employer time and money, help people feel today! Thatfor their success.” good, or expand markets. You’ll Payment” • Give them proof. Provide evidence that like the programNotice how each business introduction has support your claims through examples or are doinga “you” statement. Research shows that stories. results!” awesome!”people’s attention level goes up when their • Keep listening to them. Don’t just dumpname or the word “you” is said. out the speech and think that’s it. Pause as you speak. Watch and listen to their reactions6. What group of people do you service? and improvise the best responses to theirYou may be talking to someone who cannot interest.personally use your services or buy from • Create possibility for future contact. Hand RAQUEL SMITH, VP SALES/MARKETINGyou, but they know someone who can. Be them a card and ask for theirs.very clear about who your perfect customeror client is.7. Share what benefits your customers Patti Wood is a motivational speaker andreceive from your services. communication trainer at CommunicationPeople are thinking, “Why should I do Dynamics. She can be contacted atbusiness with you?” So you need to state the 800.849.3651, or by e-mail atbenefits - not the features - of the product, pwood@autosuccessonline.com.august 2006 17
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis DavidKain marketing solution An Effective Voicemail Will Get You the Call Back You Want If you talk to Internet this data you should determine if you for the call is often overlooked but specialists about the have the product they want to buy, it is essential if you hope for a call challenges of their job, whether your dealership likes their back. You may want to try something one common concern trade in, whether they are a previous like this “The reason I am calling is is the lack of response buyer (cross reference in your DMS or to review the specifications on the to voicemails left for CRM tool) and what you will need to Camry, and make sure I have all theprospects. This seemingly simple task is provide in the message to address any information necessary to provideactually quite complicated when you consider comments. you with a price and to ensure weall the elements that come into play - timing, apply the best possible manufactureryour message, the speed of delivery, your 2. Timing – The first call should be incentive”.phone number, your name, your dealership right away if the lead came in duringname, response to the prospects comments working hours and as early as possible c. Trade-in Mention – If the customerwhen the lead was submitted…. It’s not just if it came in when the dealership was was kind enough to have mentioned apicking up the phone and calling the number closed. You will want to be sensitive trade-in, then I think you should workprovided with the lead. to their actual typed comments if they this information into the message. It noted they would like you to call at demonstrates to them that you are onIn conducting mystery shops for hundreds a particular time or if they note they the ball and have read their request,of dealerships, we have learned that there is would not like you to call at work. and it provides an opportunity to bea reason some people should never expect Otherwise, it is fine to call at anytime different than your competition. Ia call back, and we have learned why some you deem appropriate for your market. recommend: “I noticed you have apeople nearly always get the response they Remember, the key is to contact the 2002 Camry to trade and I wanted torequest from their prospects. I think the key customer, and finding them is part of learn more about it, because I thinkdifferences are preparation and delivery. By the equation. I have someone who is interestedlistening to multiple voice messages, you in one, which would help us to givecan detect those messages from Internet 3. Message – The message is actually you a better trade value. If you have aspecialists who really have your best interests quite simple and should cover the digital photo, could you e-mail that toat heart versus those who are going down information the customer requested me?”the tick list of prospects just to complete the when they submitted their lead.task. Like so many things in life if you don’t Identify the reason for calling, talk d. Call to Action – If you don’t provide ahave time to do it right, it is sometimes best about the vehicle, mention interest call to action, you can rest assured theyyou don’t do it at all. I feel the same about in the trade and provide a next step will not likely call back. Try this: “Ivoicemails; best not to leave one if you are you would appreciate them taking to would really appreciate a quick call togoing to leave a bad one. move the process along. You want go over this when you get a chance – I to convince them that you are there promise it will just take a minute,” or “IfVoicemails are like a free radio spot for your to serve them and it is in their best you would prefer responding by e-maildealership. If you consider that you have an interests to call you back. please do so and I will provide a promptopportunity to leave a 30-second impression reply.”with someone who has expressed an interest a. Opening – A typical opening line Iin your product outside the influence of hear is “Hello – my name is David e. Closing – Thank them for their time andothers, then you will realize an effective Kain with Kain Automotive. I am slowly give them your call back numbermessage is really important. I also feel it calling….” This is OK, but I feel the and then repeat it. I cannot tell you howis important to leave multiple messages customer could shut down too quickly often I have to replay a message threeif you do not get a response, and to feel when they hear the equivalent of or four times just to capture the number.comfortable if you leave professional, well- “Hello, I am a car sales person calling Your customers may not be as patient.delivered messages. I hope to cut through from a car dealership.” Try this opening Make it easy and they may reward youthe clutter and perhaps become dinner table and see if it works for you: “Hello, I with a call.conversation at the household I am calling. am calling for Julie Smith about theIt would make me proud to know that the request she made over the Internet for Even your best efforts may not end with afamily is talking about the sales person from a new Toyota Camry – my name is call back but I can assure you that a well-my dealership and encouraging the buyer to David Kain with Kain Automotive.” prepared and well-delivered voicemail willcall that person back. The reason I like this opening is that put you at the top of the list when they it focuses on the customer and the consider who they should call back.Let’s break down an effective voicemail and fact that you are responding to theirfocus on getting the call back you desire: request instead of opening with an introduction from someone they don’t 1. Preparation – Look at the lead in even know. This opening may earn David Kain is the automotive Internet detail. Note the source, the time of day you the extra few seconds necessary training specialist at Kain Automotive Inc. it was submitted, the make, model, to get your message across. He can be contacted at 800.385.0095, or trade in and comments, as well as by e-mail at dkain@autosuccessonline. the personal data provided. From b. Reason for the Call – The reason com, or visit www.kainautomotive.com. 18 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis KirkManzo sales and training solution Two Schools of Thought Robert Frost wrote, they’re actually more likely to DISQUALIFY all the worksheet figures. And if you are “Two roads diverged in someone. It’s not about what people want to going to start the deal, why not start at all a wood, and I – I took pay (frankly they would like to get something the money. Customers are not going to offer the one less traveled for nothing) rather it is about, what they are to pay you more than you ask of them. While by, and that has made able to pay. most will not oblige your request for full all the difference.” price, the good news is some will (5%-10%). Consider this. How many times has someone If you have not sold a vehicle at full list inWhile there are numerous variations on the told the sales person (and Sales Desk) there the past 60 days, there is only one reason….Road to the Sale, there are two fundamentally is no way I could ever pay more than $425 a you have not asked, statistically someonedifferent philosophies to managing the sale month, yet they leave the F&I office at $515. would have said, “OK, I’ll take it.”of an automobile. You have two choices, sell the DEAL or sell Ask yourself this simple question, “If weOne, the sales person is allowed to operate the CAR. Premature discussion of figures aim higher, will we do better?”independently. They discuss all aspects of will cost your dealership more profit thanthe purchase terms freely and openly, often almost any other single component of the You can be a player coach or you can be aeven asking the customer questions like: sale. Not to mention with today’s scrutiny disciplinarian. Each approach has merit. The of dealership’s selling process by AG’s, you later is much more effective when controlling So what kind of monthly payment are you can ill afford an audit. the sales process at a dealership. Remember looking for? to mean what you say when instructing your What kinda money you thinkin’ about The most practical solution is to establish sales people on your expectations. But there is putting down? a centralized system of “control” with the no need for you to be mean when you say it. What’s your budget? What are you management team. All decisions regarding comfortable with? terms and condition for purchase need to Kirk Manzo is the general manager come from the desk to the customer. at Ziegler SuperSystems. He can beWhile on the surface it may appear that the contacted at 800.858.6903, or by e-mail atsales person is “qualifying” the customer, This would require that sales managers start kmanzo@autosuccessonline.com. 20 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis MikeParsons sales and training solution It’s Still About Selling So, you just finished Well, in Internet sales you have to earn the the right benefits. Hence, you earn the right sending an e-mail. right to ask for the appointment, and then you to ask for the appointment. Remove your hands have to earn the right to ask for the business. Mike Parsons is the director of from the keyboard and eCommerce at Asbury Automotive Group, take a whiff of your Asking quality questions demonstrates your Southeast Region. He can be contacted fingers. What do you professionalism and your desire to assist the at 866.446.7143, or by e-mail atsmell - honey or vomit? Are your fingers prospect in finding the right vehicle with mparsons@autosuccessonline.com.regurgitating all the information you think theprospect wants to hear? Or, are you meetingthe customer’s expectations while coatingyour message with the honey necessary to keepthem coming back at you with more dialogue,moving down the road to an appointment?Many times I see e-mails where the salesperson has provided all the informationimaginable and finishes with somethingsimilar to, “Let me know if I can answer anymore questions for you.” Where’s the honey?What reason does the prospect have forresponding to you? How much rapport haveyou built? What are the odds of your settingan appointment? Or selling a car?Remember when you were in sales basictraining? At some point your instructorprobably said, “The person asking thequestions controls the conversation.” It’s true.Take a question mark and turn it upside down.Of what does it remind you? A fish hook?The more fish hooks you drop in the water,the more likely you will be to get a bite. Inevery e-mail you send, try to ask at least twoor three questions that will prompt a responsefrom the customer. There are a hundreddifferent questions that could be asked, basedon the knowledge you have of the prospect.One example may be, “What benefits areattracting you to the Toyota Camry? Comfortand styling, or economical ownership andreliability?” You may also discover what youare competing against by asking, “Aside fromthe Camry, what other brands or models areyou considering?” Additionally, you shouldbe setting the stage for follow-up or asking foran appointment. But, you need to earn it.Back when you started selling cars, did youever up a customer, find out what model theywanted, head out on a test drive, start askingthe trial closes on the final stretch, and as soonas the words came out of your mouth you gotthat sinking feeling in your stomach? Youknew you weren’t going to get committinganswers because you hadn’t earned the rightto ask for the business. You had short cut theprocess by not qualifying the customer, anddoing a quality presentation. Maybe theyweren’t even on the right vehicle. I think atsome point we’ve all had this experience.august 2006 21
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis RichardLibin leadership solution How Do You Measure Wealth - People or Profit How do you measure shares a common culture and goals. To and include motivational, organizational, wealth - people or complement a career path, dealerships must managerial, sales, service and leadership profit? The fastest offer an attractive employment package – a skills. A host of programs are readily way to your profits longevity plan that serves as an incentive for available from auto manufacturers as well as is by increasing the employees to stay at the dealership. This specialized training organizations. people wealth of your can include health insurance, life insurance, dealership. spousal benefits and the opportunity for The ROI of Being “People Rich” substantial financial gain, regardless of the Does your dealership embrace what is calledDealers spend hundreds of thousands of position an employee holds. the “Totem Pole” perspective? Dealer atdollars each year to drive prospects into their the top, managers in the middle, and salesstores and the most successful ones, by plan, For example, if a dealer sets aside $25 for people at the bottom; it’s most prevalent inhave properly trained and educated sales every car delivered by each sales person organizations where there is little training,people and sales managers in place. to be used as an end-of-the-year bonus or no clear-cut path for advancement and high as a contribution to a 401K, it creates an turn-over. The Totem Pole philosophy addsDealerships can increase the wealth of their enormous feeling of empowerment and up to an incredible expense: hiring a salespeople with three simple steps: motivates all the sales people to perform at person who leaves within the first 90 days 1. Develop people from within their peek levels. costs an average of $25,000 to $30,000; 2. Offer a career path to every employee hiring a sales manager with the same result 3. Equip employees with the tools they Equip Employees With The Tools To costs an average of $80,000 to $100,000. need to succeed Succeed Having a career path is only part of the route To build longevity and retain key employeesDevelop People From Within to longevity and retention. It is essential that requires a different mindset beginning atWhen dealerships hire or promote someone dealers help their people develop. To do so, the highest level, use the “Funnel.” In thisfrom within, the process becomes much dealers must provide mandatory training model, sales people are at the top – they aresimpler with better results. When someone and education in the skills needed for every the ones who put everything into the funnel;is promoted from a sales position to a job function for every employee. Training managers are in the middle, controlling whatmanager position, the individual is already programs cannot be selective for several passes through to the bottom, and dealersfamiliar with the structure; he/she know the reasons: are at the bottom reaping the rewards of away the dealership does business and the 1. Training and education builds an well-structured environment that followsprocesses used; he/she know the values of understanding that part of each person’s effective business processes. In this model,the organization, what the dealership stands job is to nurture and develop people employees are viewed as an asset, andfor and everything else about the way the below them. worth investing in to perform at their best.dealership does business. When promoted 2. Training and education gives every Training and education, career paths andfrom within, the new manager is ready to employee the same opportunity to longevity programs are seen as investmentstake the next step in established structure, embrace new skills and apply them on with the potential for high returns – profitsusing familiar processes, to continue to drive an even playing field. and growth. Using this model, dealersgrowth and performance. 3. A star performer may emerge only can create an environment that makes after training and tools for success are them “people rich,” and that leads to happyOffer A Career Path To Every Employee provided. employees with high financial returns.Delineating a career path is the first step in 4. A “superstar” in his/her current rolebuilding longevity. Every employee should may not have the mindset or ability tostart as a Greeter. From there, they can embrace the skills needed to advance,move to sales, F&I, sales manager, general a fact that becomes clear throughsales manager, and so on. A career path not training. Richard F. Libin is president of Automotiveonly clearly demonstrates the opportunities Profit Builders, Inc. He can be contactedemployees have with the dealership, but also Training and education programs don’t at 866.450.6853, or by e-mail atcreates a team environment where everyone have to be complex, but be comprehensive rlibin@autosuccessonline.com. 22 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis RaquelSmith sales and training solution The Importance of Payments There are two things Often, dealers fear payment advertising strategy, you will see results. By stocking the in the retail car because, in order to have a lower payment right inventory, and using the new creative business that are not than their competition, they feel they won’t automotive finance sources available going to go away: be able to make enough gross profit to today, you can outsmart your competition, The overwhelming survive. Don’t scratch your head and wonder advertise a lower payment and, in manymajority of today’s customers are payment how that guy down the street can stay in cases, still hold a gross profit. Many dealersbuyers, and a growing number of customers business advertising and selling cars for the who do not want to advertise price rely onare using the Internet for information and advertised payments he has. He’s probably marketing value, good service, being familycommunication. In this month’s article one of the more profitable dealers in your orientated or helping their community. Savewe will address the first of these two area (the most successful dealers all advertise your money and show your customers thesecharacteristics about today’s car buyers, payments). Train your used-car buyers and attributes after you bring them in the doorand discuss how to develop a marketing and appraisers to determine a good wholesale with a great price and payment and you’lladvertising strategy that leverages these key purchase price that is based on a marketable double your business.attributes to our advantage. payment the vehicle can be sold for, not on price. Train your F&I people to search Take a quick look at Dell Computer, theRetail car buying fact No. 1 and why you out new sources and methods that reduce world’s No. 1 retailer of computers. Theycannot afford to ignore it. monthly payments. Find an ad agency that advertise and sell complete computerAccording to a recent study by C.N.W. knows how to advertise payments in creative systems ready to go for only $299. NobodyMarketing Research, 87.4 percent of car ways that your competitors do not and sells complete computer systems for $299buyers surveyed said that the monthly commit to a long-term marketing strategy; (including Dell, except to people whopayment was one of the most important you will see your sales increase. know nothing about a computer because,considerations in determining their decision although it works, it doesn’t have any of theto purchase a new or used vehicle. There If you want to be successful at marketing, just features the average computer user wants).really is no need for a market study to take a look at the world’s best retailers and Dell is a master at upgrading customersvalidate this fact; simply ask anyone who do what they do. Sam Walton, the greatest using menu pricing, but to get them in thesells automobiles for a living and they’ll tell retailer of all time, used to tell his managers door, Dell always has the $299 specialyou the same thing. The customer may say in his Wal-Mart stores, “buy low, stack ‘em visible somewhere in their advertising. Askthey are price shopping, but the bottom line high and sell cheap.” To this day you still somebody where the best place to get a buyis before they decide to buy, they’re going see the displays piled high in the aisles of on a computer is, and most will say “youto have to agree to the monthly payment. In Wal-Marts everywhere with tremendous can get a complete system at Dell for onlythe heat of the moment, when the customers eye-opening prices. People flock to Wal- $299.” This is how it is done. Advertise aemotions are running high and they are ready Marts everywhere because they remember great payment on a base vehicle with littleto take ownership of a new or used vehicle, the color TVs for $99, or the name-brand or nothing down, keep them in stock, sell ahow much a month, and how much out of baby stroller priced $40 less than they saw it few for a loss if necessary, and 90 percentpocket are all that matters. If you want to get elsewhere. The funny thing is that the people of your buyers will upgrade to more vehicle,the attention of most car buyers today, you who are going back to Wal-Mart because or another vehicle, and allow you to make amust advertise attractive monthly payments they saw the $99 TV or the stroller for $40 profit as long as you treat them professionally,in a way that triggers this emotion and gets less aren’t going there because they need a honest and reasonable in your pricing.them to visit your store. If you don’t advertise TV or a stroller, but they’re assuming thatattractive competitive payments, the majority if they sell TVs and strollers that cheap,of customers today will pass you by as they then everything must be a good buy. This is Raquel Smith is the vice president of sales and marketing forgravitate to the dealers they feel have the how it works. Call it a loss leader or call it ILikeThatPayment.com. She can bebest deals based on the payments they saw a great deal; if you incorporate this type of contacted at 866.386.5982, or by e-mail atadvertised. advertising into your long-term marketing rsmith@autosuccessonline.com. 26 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • JMsolutions™ dealers get measurable results! do you? ✔ JMsolutions Menu users average 54% more PVR! JMsolutions is a division of ✔ aaXchange® users cut wholesale losses, A $9.4 billion diversified on average, 31%! automotive company ranked onthe FORTUNE® 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for 2006, What can we do for you? its eighth consecutive year. Contact us for a live in-store demo. www.jmfe-jmsolutions.com | 888.711.3377 ™ Menu results based on 20 users for month of April 2006. aaXchange results based on same store sales of dealers who have used the aaXchange VMS since at least December 2003.
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis JesseBiter leadership solution A Business Dedicated to Making a Difference We hear it all the everyone who asks you to give the reason for about being served with too much excellence time. It’s typically the the hope that you have.” or a team member griping about being second question we 1 Peter 3:15-16 supported with too much care? The fact is are asked right after that these core Christian principles worked the requisite, “Is it The short answer is the core belief that we for Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago and they legal?” The question must honor God by observing Christian continue to work for organizations of allthat almost certainly follows, whenever we principles in every area of our lives. It’s a kinds today.mention to someone that our company is shame to think that a profit-driven companybased on Christian principles, is a simple must inherently exclude faith and morality “Whatever you do, work at it with all youryet genuinely curious, “Why?” It’s a simple from the workplace. Hypocrisy and greed heart, as working for the Lord.”question to which there is no simple answer. are never good business practices. We Colossians 3:23 even incorporated this conviction into ourQuestions like this come with the territory. company’s purpose statement. It reads: As our business continues to grow, I wantAfter all, the secular society in which we live “Serve customers with excellence, manage our company to help make a difference. Notis hardly a steadfast supporter of religious assets with diligence, build team members just in our bottom line, but in the lives of ourfreedoms. With the constant negativity with care, and honor God in all we do.” employees, customers and vendors. It mayreinforced by the mainstream media, it’s only sound overly optimistic, but I believe wenatural for even the most passive observer of Does anyone take issue with “serve customers really can make a difference. I believe we cancurrent events to be wary at the concept of with excellence?” Of course not. Same goes achieve this by honoring God in everythingfaith entering the workplace. After I explain for “manage assets with diligence” and “build we do - all week long.that the laws of the country actually protect team members with care.” These are actuallyChristian-based companies, the conversation fundamental Christian principles. When Jesse Biter is the president and CEO ofprogresses to “why?” executed properly, they provide a positive HomeNet Inc. He can be contacted at experience for employees and customers. 866.239.4049 or by e-mail at“Always be prepared to give an answer to Can you imagine a customer complaining jbiter@autosuccessonline.com. 28 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis DeborahRenshaw sales and training solution Actions Speak Louder Than Words With Women Car Buyers Last month I outlined stock a few “extra necessities” to show a few suggestions for you appreciate their “waiting time.” dealerships to consider 5. Women want to be respected as savvy on how to improve their consumers; support and educate her verbal communication during the sales process, rather than skills with women take the role of the “know-it-all” expertbuyers and create a better buying experience car guy.for women. Communication can be verbal 6. When women come in to your dealershipand non-verbal. Let’s look at some non- with their husbands, be sure to greet,verbal ways to communicate with women speak and make eye contact with botheffectively. husband and wife equally, rather than directing your questions and comments1. Smile and look women in the eyes when to the husband. In many cases she will you greet them. Keep your gaze above actually be the one to make the final the shoulders. buying decision.2. Pay attention to her non-verbal “cues.” 7. Go at her pace during negotiations. She came to shop for a vehicle and Rushing her to close the deal “today” wants to feel “in charge” - try not to rush might backfire; women generally take to open doors and be the gentile escort. longer to make a buying decision. Ask her if she would like you to get the However, once satisfied with their door for her. Being the “gentleman” purchase and experience with your is appropriate behavior on a date; dealership, women are typically more however, these gestures may undermine loyal than their male counterparts. her confidence and dilute her feeling in control during the sales process. Women purchased 50 percent of all vehicles3. Provide a nice assortment of women’s sold in 2005, and represented approximately magazines in your customer areas. $425 billion dollars in annual revenue for4. Have separate, clean and pleasant new-car dealerships. Women consumers restroom facilities that include a are a huge revenue opportunity for your "Processing vehicles to the Internet changing table for young mothers with dealership. Get busy to gain a larger market has never been easier. We take small children. Keep it well stocked share in your local market. multiple photos of each vehicle and with supplies. Go the extra mile and save time with the VinStickers system. • What are you planning with your The photo uploading is seamless, marketing and advertising budgets simple and cost effective. Our sales to attract, sell, retain and increase data is accurate and powerful. We loyalty with women consumers at your dont wait for someone once a week dealership? and the savings are enormous. We • What, if any, specific training and give it our highest marks." education is your dealership providing for you and your sales, service and finance departments to increase your dealership’s skills with women buyers? • Do you have a program to recruit, hire and train women for sales, service and finance positions? • Have you mined your DMS to identify and segment your female customers and Dustin Zeck - GM - Danny Zeck Ford create retention or loyalty programs? Lincoln Mercury, Leavenworth, KS • What kinds of women’s initiatives are you working on for 2006? In part three of this series, I will discuss additional ways to increase your results with women. Deborah Renshaw is the highest-ranked female professional NASCAR race VinStickers.com car driver. She can be contacted at 866.662.1984 866.476.4389, or by e-mail at sales@vinstickers.com drenshaw@autosuccessonline.com.august 2006 29
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis ScottJoseph marketing solution Scott’s Individualized Consultation Transcripts, Part 3 John (real name not mean a thing when it comes to sales or First, you have to increase the amount of omitted to protect the your bottom line. Getting these people to come people that buy from you. Right now you’re store’s identity) is the back and buy from you is all that matters. If trying to do that but almost all of your effort owner of a Chevrolet you’ve doubled your sales and you continue is in trying to acquire new customers. When dealership on the East to bring in the same amount of new business we get into your marketing strategy and your Coast. His customer each month but sales have flattened out, then ability to optimize, we will get into moresatisfaction scores are above average, but you’re losing as many previous customers as detail about all the ways you can grow yoursales are flat. you’re gaining. active customer base.His television ads were bringing in some J: So, what can I do to fix that? The second way to grow your dealership is bybusiness, but weren’t conveying the uniqueness increasing your average transaction value. Weand high quality his store has to offer. They S: Good question. The first thing you have to need to find ways for your customers to paywere also using direct mail, but felt the list do is change your mindset. you more money.contained a lot of “deadwood.” J: How do you mean? And the third way is we have to increaseIn this consultation, I gave John a wide range S: Well, it seems to me that you do a very the frequency of your active customer baseof innovative ways to approach prospects, good job of keeping your staff focused and spending money with you. We have to getshowed him how to resell existing customers, excited about selling cars every day. That’s them buying from you more often.and told him how to word a compelling probably one of the main reasons you weremessage to convert his “deadwood” into In all my seminars or the consultations I do able to double sales so quickly. In my opinion,live buyers. with my private clients, changing their focus you are so focused on selling a car today that and mindset to growing these three goals you’ve lost sight of the big picture or at leastIf you want to reach more prospects or convey always has the biggest impact. what it takes to really get where you want toa stronger and more compelling message read be. What is the main reason you want to sell Earlier you told me you had right at 8,500this transcript. more cars? previous customers and you average just over(Continued from July 2006 issue of J: So I can make more money. Plus, I take a lot $2,000 per copy when you sell a car, right?AutoSuccess…) of pride in what I do. I want to be considered J: That’s correct. the best Chevrolet dealer in the Northeast.Scott: In your opinion, why have salesflattened out? S: Do you know how often people come back S: That’s a big goal. What has to happen in order for you to know you’ve accomplished in and buy from you?John: I’m beginning to think we’ve hit that? J: I really don’t know. I would guess aboutour potential. I’m not sure this market willgenerate any more sales. J: Well, it starts here. I’d have to have the every three and a half years. highest market share in my immediate market.S: OK. Your sales are still double compared S: I assume that’s just on the sales side, and Customer satisfaction scores are a must andto the prior owner, so you’ve grown your not parts and service, right? we should continue to grow in sales and profitcustomer base by quite a large margin in the every year. In down times I want to be the onelast two years. If the new business continues J: Yes, just for sales. What if they’ve bought dealer that continues to grow and get the job more than one vehicle from us?to come in at the same rate, why aren’t you done regardless of the market or economy.selling more cars over the prior year? What S: Then the number would be higher. For theI mean by that is every dealership has a S: So really selling more cars is just one of thepercentage of repeat business and referrals. If sake of keeping it simple, let’s just talk about ways to accomplish your main goal, and that’syou have a lot more customers, you should be sales and the one vehicle for a moment. One to see substantial growth every year, right?getting a lot more repeat and referral business year divided by 3.5 comes to almost .29. Thatto add on to all that new business that has J: Yes. means your customer frequency average isremained consistent. Your satisfaction scores .29 times per year.are high; wouldn’t you agree that even if the S: That’s what I mean by changing your mindset. There are three key categories I Let me show you a quick formula I show allamount of new business you sell each month my private clients...has flattened out you should still be selling recommend you focus on that will have moremore cars? impact on your dealership’s performance than anything else you can do: your marketing Over the next several months the rest of thisJ: That’s a good question. I agree we should strategy, your mindset and your ability to private consultation will be printed. If yoube selling more cars. optimize and get the highest and best result would like it in its entirety now please e-mail from a situation, action or effort. Scott Joseph at the e-mail below.S: Exactly. What most dealers don’t realize isthat, regardless of their satisfaction scores or Let’s start with your mindset. You only have Scott Joseph is the president of J&Lhow long they’ve been in business, they lose three ways to accomplish your goal of growing Marketing, Inc. He can be contacted atover 50 percent of their active customer base your dealership. In fact, there are only three 866.429.6846, or by e-mail atin less than five years. Satisfaction scores do ways to grow any business. sjoseph@autosuccessonline.com. 30 www.autosuccessonline.com
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  • sts fos ls ms sf fis CharlesArrambide leadership solution What Your Employees Don’t Know Can Hurt You The Link Between Education and Compliance Every point of Free information • Independent consultants are contact between Available at no charge, these consumer available to assist in your training and your dealership and education materials will give dealership certification efforts. consumers is an personnel a good introduction to vehicle • Your state attorney general’s Web opportunity to make a financing: site – Occasionally visit this site for sale and satisfy another • NADA’s Understanding Vehicle the latest developments (check thecustomer. Unfortunately, these points of Financing booklet is available in press releases). You may read about acontact come with the risk for compliance- English and Spanish at www.nada.org. settlement reached with an auto dealerrelated errors. How can you increase your • NADA’s Financing 101, available at or staggering fines assessed againstopportunities for success and decrease the www.nadaguides.com, offers extensive a dealer for alleged unfair saleslikelihood of errors? One way is by providing information on purchasing new and practices.your employees the training and certification used vehicles. • Your insurance company – Yourthey need. • Americans Well-informed on insurance company may be a great Automobile Retailing Economics resource for training information.Education and compliance (AWARE) offers auto financingFrom a compliance perspective, what your information at www.autofinancing101. Continuing educationemployees don’t know can hurt you. You org. Employees are the backbone of yourmay have sound business practices in place, dealership, and how you train and developbut if your employees don’t know how to them is paramount to the success of yourfollow them, you could have compliancegaps. Employee education is a critical part ofensuring compliance in your sales and F&I Give your business. You work in such a dynamic environment – consider how quickly things change in F&I and sales. Keeping youroperations. employees employees on top of those changes requires ongoing training and education. Give yourHow do you determine whether youremployees have received adequate training? what they employees what they need to succeed and you will be rewarded.I recommend conducting a self-audit of yoursales and F&I areas. (See the July 2006AutoSuccess for tips on conducting self- need to What’s ahead? Frustrated by the publicity, costs and delaysaudits.) During your self-audit, you maydiscover a compliance gap. The next step is succeed and associated with the court system? There is an alternative: binding arbitration. Is it right forto determine whether insufficient training isto blame. you will be your dealership? In September, I will give you the facts about binding arbitration.For example, suppose customer files aresitting out in the open throughout the rewarded. This information is presented for risk management purposes only. It is not to bedealership. Why aren’t employees taking construed as legal advice or legal opinions.appropriate measures to safeguard customer Other sources Consult your legal counsel for assistance.information? Do they know they need to Here are some additional sources you can Universal Underwriters Insurance Company,protect that information? Identify what has check to obtain information about legal its affiliates, agents and employees assumeto change and develop a training plan to issues affecting dealerships, help identify no responsibility or liability for making thischange it. training programs that work and those that information available. don’t and much more:Training resources • State automobile dealer associations Charles F. Arrambide is assistant viceMany formal training programs are available, – Many offer educational materials, president and associate risk officerbut you do not have to rely completely on training programs and news about for Universal Underwriters Insurancethem to close every gap. There are several issues affecting dealerships. Company. He can be contactedexcellent resources, some of which don’t • 20 Groups are good sources for at 866.347.5019, or by e-mail atcost a dime. finding training solutions. carrambide@autosuccessonline.com. 32 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis RobMancuso leadership solution Record Sales Don’t Mean Much, Record Profits Do No one knows better not only on past sales, but also taking In addition, as the number of multi-point than automobile into consideration market conditions organizations continues to grow, most dealers that it’s not and opportunities. dealers find the challenge of replicating how many you sell, it’s • Acquisition/disposal guidelines – a their management staff to be one of the what you make. state-of-the-art inventory tool will give most difficult hurdles to overcome. Utilizing you real time suggestions on what analytical tools can often provide theWith the average dealer generating over $30 vehicles to order or purchase, and which foundation for new managers to grow intomillion in sales and $4 million in gross profit, units to dealer trade or dispose of. their positions.it’s all about expense control and revenueretention. How many times has a dealer For many years, successful dealers have Record sales don’t mean everything; recordbeen shocked when getting the first look at depended on experienced and knowledgeable profits do. Make certain you’re doinghis or her financial statement, having just managers to make inventory investment everything you can to retain the maximumfinished a record month in volume, only to decisions. For most, this has been a level of gross profit that you’ve worked sosee expenses taking away what should have successful approach. Today, however, with hard to generate. An inventory optimizationbeen record profits? the increased number of models, occasional tool is a critical first step in that process. pressure from manufacturers, rebates andLook at inventories when considering incentives, and expansion of off-brandimprovement opportunities with your offerings in the used-vehicle department,expense control initiatives. With new vehicles the equation is more complicated than ever Rob Mancuso is the senior vice- president of marketing/communicationsaveraging almost $30,000 per unit and used before, and even the most seasoned manager for Resource Automotive. He can bevehicles approaching $15,000, floor-plan can benefit from adding a little science to the contacted at 866.386.5991, or by e-mail atexpense can quickly get out of hand. art of inventory control. rmancuso@autosuccessonline.com.The counterpoint to controlling yourinventory investment dollars is making sureyou have what the customer wants, whenthey want it. With the genesis of inventoryoptimization tools, a new approach to capitalefficiency is possible – without the need foradvanced analysis or computing skills.When considering an inventory optimizationtool, several key elements should play intoyour decision: • Learning curve – Like any other process, if your team struggles with getting up to speed, you’re losing effectiveness and > Scott Haynes, Penske Chevrolet and Honda impact. • User interface – Since most managers IMN Loyalty Driver™ is a turnkey e-marketing service that aren’t computer geeks, the user interface drives interest, sales and customer loyalty. Customized, should be inviting, simple to understand trackable email communications provide tangible results and intuitive. for dealerships across the country. A couple of examples: • Data targets – Sometimes, too much information is worse than • 15 test drives scheduled within the first hour after an IMN Loyalty Driver e-newsletter was sent. no information. Make sure that the system you’re considering gives you • Web traffic spiked to 2.5 times its normal rate the information you need to reach the after a dealership’s first e-newsletter. objectives at your dealership. For many, Looking for results like these? Call 866.964.6397, ext. 214 these include identification of best- or email ASGSales@imninc.com. selling units, identification of highest- Drive customers in…For sales, for life. grossing units and identification of quickest turning units. • Retrospective versus prospective data points – reviewing history is of value, but predicting future needs is critical. 866-964-6397 imnLoyaltyDriver.com Make sure your choice does both, basedaugust 2006 33
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis HeatherConary marketing solution Key Performance Indicators If you’re a regular The number of leads you received on should be able to give you basic statistics reader of AutoSuccess that vehicle (how many people viewed each page, how Magazine, you don’t many leads were submitted, etc.) Some need to be told that To calculate the conversion rate, you divide Web site providers offer a more advanced you need a Web site, or the number of completed actions (leads) by statistics package that shows how people why you need it. Most the number of people who started the action travel through your Web site, how long theylikely, you’ve already invested money on (views). For example: spend on each page, and other data.your dealership’s Web site, but do you knowif it’s really making you money? How can Five leads ÷ 20 views = 25 percent Depending on your host, you may be able toyou tell? generate these for any length of time (daily, Which actions do you want your customers weekly, monthly). How long of a span youUsing real measurements, called “Key to take on your Web site? Do you want more use depends on how much traffic your WebPerformance Indicators,” to track your Web leads, more job applicants or more service site gets – if you’re a high-traffic site, yousite’s activities is the next step to a more appointments scheduled online? Do you may want to gauge your performance weekly;profitable Web presence. want to increase floor traffic, move aged if you’re a mid-traffic site, you might want parts and vehicle inventory or increase your to track monthly. The most important thingA Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is used accessories sales? is to pick a time frame that works for yourto define a goal and measure your progress dealership and be consistent with it.towards it. In basic terms, a KPI is a gaugethat tells you how well your Web site is Tracking the conversion of offline resultsperforming for you. There is is important as well. If you offer printable coupons, for example, you would need aIn the case of a dealership Web site, mostsales are not typically made directly fromthe Web site. Because of this, one of the no right or count of how many customers redeemed a coupon, compared against how many customers downloaded the coupon.most important KPIs to start measuring andtracking is conversion rate. wrong answer There is often a multitude of reports andThe conversion rate on your Web site is to deciding information available in dealerships. Which sources of information you use will varydefined as how many customers completethe action you wanted them to take on yourWeb site. which KPIs to depending on which KPIs you decide to track.Some examples of conversion rates you use. The best use of your conversion rate analysis is not to compete against other dealers or ancould track are: industry benchmark, but to compete against your own previous statistics. Try to make • The number of customers who There is no right or wrong answer to deciding continuous improvements from your own submitted leads on a particular vehicle which KPIs to use. It is ultimately what numbers, and you’ll soon be able to see the • The number of customers who requested information is important to your dealership. results. permission-based marketing from you (for example, an e-mail newsletter) If you need some inspiration, e-mail me for Next month: Using your KPI analysis to a list of KPIs we use to track how our own make improvements to your Web site basedIn the first example, the number of customers dealership’s Web site is performing. on good decisions.who submitted leads on a particular vehicle,you need two pieces of information: To calculate your conversion rates for each item, you will need reports for both online • Beginnings of the desired action: The and offline activities. Heather Conary is a Web developer at number of people who viewed the page Downeast Toyota-Scion-Buick. She can for that particular vehicle For online activities, you will need statistics be contacted at 866.386.4914, or by e- • Completions of the desired action: from your Web site. Most Web site providers mail at hconary@autosuccessonline.com. 34 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis JeffMorrill sales and training solution 10 Great Sell. Investigative Questions Save. Just as a doctor can’t cure a patient without asking “where someone should buy a car from us, and that’s fine. But don’t forget that there are other valid emotional reasons that may be Simplify. does it hurt,” you even more compelling to someone than the can’t properly serve rational reasons. customers’ needs until you have a thorough understanding of their 6. “Do you prefer light or dark colors?” situation. Ask the following questions early in Rather than asking for a favorite color, the sales process to get the insight you need. this question increases the likelihood that 34 In response to these questions, customers often give much more information than you asked for, which gives you key information to select the right car and close the sale. you’ll have something in stock that fits the customer’s taste. 7. “How have you been disappointed with 50 of theHighest Volume 1. “Is this your first time in?” You’ll learn whether customers are already working with another sales person, and how familiar they are with your company and prior experiences purchasing cars so I can make this one more pleasant for you?” You’ll learn how to avoid doing anything that the customer finds objectionable (going to see the manager too many times, taking sales system. Wouldn’t you like to know too long to appraise the trade, etc.) Also, early on that someone already bought four this question helps the customer discoverAutomotive Groups cars from your dealership over the years? that buying a car is more than just price; it’s about the quality of the experience. That of 2005 are 2. “What motivated you to come see us might help you later during closing. today?” P owered B y Consider just a few of the reasons why 8. “What kind of fuel economy are youHomeNet folks want a new car: accident, lease-end, enjoying or suffering in your current breakdown, boredom, fuel bills, etc. This vehicle?” question helps you find hot buttons. This question is usually good for a laugh. You’ll also gather info that may help you 3. “What’s the most important thing to you select the right vehicle/engine and later in a vehicle?” close the deal on fuel economy.Inventory OnlineTM This will help you pick the right vehicle and tailor your walk-around. After the customer responds, always follow up with “What 9. “What is your monthly budget range for a car?” The Secret to Selling does ________ mean to you?” If the most important thing is “safety,” you can imagine This is far superior to “What do you want your payment to be?” which, of course, More Cars Online a customer who thinks “safety” means “speed” (so they can get out of the path of would be “zero.” You will learn a lot about a customer’s financial situation. trouble quickly). 10. “Are you interested in a new car or one Free Consultation: 4. “On the car you might trade, how much with a few miles on it? have you spent on repairs/maintenance in Better than “New or used?” because it 866.402.0691 the last year?” gets a new car customer thinking about Since repair costs drop to near-zero on a demos, program cars and pre-owned, which new car, you can later close the sale on the increases the number of ways you can fit aHomeNet savings. Divide the customer’s number by budget. 12 and you can show that the customer’s cost of ownership will remain the same or diminish even though the payment might be going up.www.homenetinc.com 5. “Are you looking at a newer car because Jeff Morrill is co-owner of Planet Subaru in Hanover, Mass., and Planet Chrysler JeepGet. Edit. Deliver. you deserve it, or for some other reason?” We tend to gear our sales presentations towards all the rational reasons why in Franklin, Mass. He can be contacted at 866.872.8699, or by e-mail at jmorrill@autosuccessonline.com.36 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis MarkTewart sales and training solution People Buy Turn Your Internet Leads From People into Showroom As a sales professional, it can be an eye-opening barrage about the product. They have no idea what that something might be. Appointments... experience when you go shopping for yourself. This method lacks specifics, empathy, warmth, Weaknesses in other’s personalization, communication and listening presentations can teach skills, just to name a few problems. Imagineus lessons about how to strengthen our own. a different approach. A sales approach whereOne common theme you might notice is that the sales person would have asked the somemany people don’t seem to recognize that of the following questions:people don’t buy products or services. Peoplebuy from people. • “Who will be primarily using the hot tub?”People buy solutions to perceived or real • “How many people will usually use it atproblems. Good sales people assist buyers a time?”in solving their problems through emotions, • “Will it be used for recreational purposes,visual imagery, and proper logic and people therapeutic or both?”skills. The one component of sales that makes • “Will kids be using the hot tub?”everything come together is people skills. • “Do you currently have or have you hadYou may be great at product knowledge, a hot tub in the past?”presentation, demonstrations or closing skills, • “If so, what did you like and dislike?”but none of those things will matter if you don’t • “Where will the hot tub be located?”create a relationship with your customer. • “What kind of foundation will it be on?”A catalyst is an agent of change. There’s not a • “Will the area that the hot tub is located “WorldDealer hasbetter way to describe sales people. When your at be enclosed or open?” helped us with allcustomer begins to shop, they are beginning a • “What is the most important thing to facets of our webprocess of change. If you are the sales person you about a hot tub?” initiative and we havewho makes the sale, it will usually be because • “How long have you been shopping for had significant andyou were better at assisting the customer to a hot tub?” consistent growth formake that change. Let’s look at some ways to • “During this shopping process, what the past six years.make those changes happen in a positive way has been the No. 1 thing about a hot tub Their customer servicethat allows your customer to buy. Take notice or any features that has excited you the is outstanding and I would recommendof the phrase “allows your customer to buy,” most?” them to any dealer.”rather than “you selling the customer.” • “During your shopping process, has there been anything you may have wanted - John Taylor, Findlay Auto GroupImagine, for example, going to shop for a hot that you have not seen or anything intub. You go to a nationally known store thathas obviously conducted sales training for particular that has disappointed you?” Call for a FREEtheir sales representatives. The sales personhas a very specific sales presentation. He also You can think of a ton of questions that would allow specific answers and enable the evaluation to see ifhas considerable knowledge about his productand the competing products. The sales person customer to experience the change they are looking for. You can use the keywords and you qualify for ouris enthusiastic and energetic. In other words,he has a lot of good things going for him. answers the customer supplies you to laser in on what they want to accomplish, using IBDC program specific examples that involve active andHowever, the sales person has a fatal flaw in present-tense ownership imagery. • Call Center Serviceshis approach that probably costs him lots of • Dynamic Web sitesbusiness. The sales person tries very hard tobe a sales person but he misses being just a When you are doing these things, you are relating to your customer in an empathic and • LMSperson by a mile. What’s the difference? personal way that separates you from all the • SEO/SEMThe sales person begins to immediately show other sales people. Never forget that you were a person before you became a sales person, • Media Buying/you the hot tubs and begins his process without and that people buy from people. Productiontaking the time to ask any questions and builda rapport that creates trust. When someonestarts off a sales process in this manner, theyare beginning what could be called the “Spray Mark Tewart is the president of Tewartand Pray Method of Selling.” They spray out www.worlddealer.net Enterprises. He can be contacted ata presentation and pray that the customer 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at e-mail: info@worlddealer.netgets excited about something in their verbal mtewart@autosuccessonline.com. 866.429.6826august 2006 37
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis BrianEpro marketing solution Effective E-Marketing “The horse is here to if they get some value - discount coupons, 1 percent. Second, recipients will respond to stay, but the automobile advance notice of sales, etc. - in return. Once the e-mails, visit your showroom and spend is only a novelty - a you’ve built your database, you can start their auto dollars at your dealership. fad.” This was the putting those e-mail addresses to effective advice the president of use. E-marketing service providers will not Reach more of the right people. the Michigan Savings only help you to develop targeted e-mail There’s a documented shift taking place inBank gave to Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace campaigns, but they will measure and report how and where consumers receive marketingH. Rackham, when he sought counsel about on how well each campaign is received. messages. As a result, businesses, includinginvesting in the Ford Motor Company. This way, you can fine-tune and better target auto dealerships, need to rethink how andRackham chose to ignore this advice and your online marketing efforts over time to where they spend their marketing dollars.bought $5,000 worth of stock, which he sold most effectively reach the limited pool of People will always read newspapers, right?several years later for $12,500,000. prospects in your area. Actually, newspaper readership is on the decline. Only 41 percent of people betweenOf course, hindsight is 20/20. Knowing what Get more bang for your buck. the ages of 24 and 31 read the newspaperwe know now, it’s easy to shake our heads in Direct mail is one way to keep in touch with daily. For dealers who rely heavily ondisbelief at those folks who turned their backs your customers, but it can be expensive. With newspaper advertising, this means that sixon an obvious winner like the automobile. e-mail marketing, you can stay in regular out of every 10 people in a key demographicHorses were dirty, temperamental and touch with your customers and prospect base are not being exposed to your marketingexpensive to maintain. The automobile by sending targeted e-mails or e-newsletters messages. Where’s that other 60 percent?offered unprecedented cleanliness and that cost pennies on the dollar compared to They’re online. Over 80 percent of U.S.reliability. Picking that winner is a no- printed direct mail. adults between the ages of 18 and 49 activelybrainer, right? The truth is that breaking out use the Internet.of the status quo and embracing “the next big Cut through the clutter.thing” is not always easy. Upon discovering the comparatively low Like the automobile, e-marketing is much cost of e-mail marketing, many overzealous more than a passing fad; it’s a soundWhen it comes to e-marketing, are you the dealers started to send mass e-mails to business investment. Many dealers havebank president or Horace Rackham? Auto customers and prospects on a daily basis. already embraced e-marketing, mastered thedealerships rely on printed direct mail and e- Experience has shown that this tactic tends basics and are now in the process of takingmail marketing to build market awareness and to backfire. Too much e-mail gets lost in their efforts to the next level. As they expandto advertise sales events, special financing the clutter, and, if poorly executed, can do and enhance their e-marketing programs,rates and new inventory to prospects in more harm than good. Each time you hit the many dealers are turning to e-newsletters.their areas. But when it comes to adopting “Send” button to mass distribute a wordy, Hooking recipients with engaging industrya more sophisticated, targeted e-marketing homegrown e-mail, as many as 10 percent and lifestyle content, e-newsletters enjoystrategy, some dealers are still hesitant to of recipients are likely to respond by opting remarkably high open rates and low opt-outtake the leap. While some initial resistance out of future e-mails from your dealership. rates—typically in the low single digits. Plus,is understandable, it’s important to recognize If you keep this up, you’ll have lost most they provide effective built-in mechanismsthe significant advantages that e-marketing of your e-mail marketing data asset within by which recipients can indicate interest inoffers over more traditional methods: a year. booking service or purchasing a vehicle— making it easier than ever to close the sale.Better target your marketing campaigns. Effective, professionally developed e-Effective e-marketing starts with building a communications cut through the clutterrobust list of customer and prospect e-mail by providing rich, relevant content that Brian Epro is director of the automotiveaddresses. When people call your dealership recipients actually look forward to receiving. services group with iMakeNews, Inc. Heor stop by your showroom, ask them for their How do you know if your e-mail marketing is can be contacted at 866.393.3919, or bye-mail address. Most will be happy to oblige working? First, opt-out rates will stay below e-mail at bepro@autosuccessonline.com. 38 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis SeanWolfington leadership solution The “Be” Attitudes To be or not to be. That truly desire to be, which ultimately enables own interests for the benefit of others. An is the question. us to effectively lead others to a higher place effective leader seeks the best for those he Leadership involves while reaching our desired goals. serves, even at the greatest sacrifice. being. Here are the “Be” Attitudes of Leadership: BLESSED is the leader who develops People willingly leaders while leading. Leadership involvesfollow leaders who know who they are and BLESSED is the leader who considers always being available to mentor those whowhere they are going. Therefore, in order leadership an opportunity for service. The are attempting to follow.to effectively lead others, you must first greatest leader in the world came not to beevaluate your own attributes and strive to be served, but to serve. BLESSED is the leader who does so bywhat it is that you desire from others. example. Integrity is the quality of being BLESSED is the leader who lays a solid complete, being bound by firm adherenceIf you know a successful person, odds are that foundation upon which to build. A leader to a code of ethics and morals. Teach theseyou desire to be like him/her, not materially, whose philosophies are founded on solid truths to others, use words when necessary.but interiorly. The definition of a successful virtues will lay a foundation for yourleader is someone who possesses attributes dealership, department and family that will BLESSED is the leader who walks with histhat reflect higher levels of motivation and not be shaken. group and feels the pulse of his followers.moral development which gives them the These connections will allow a good leader toability to affect real and intended change. Now BLESSED is the leader who has not sought correctly interpret the signs of the pathwaysinsert “attitude” in place of “attribute” in the the high place, but who has been drafted into that lead to success and results.above definition, and you will be thinking in service because of his ability and willingnessthe right direction. We are what we think, so to serve. BLESSED is a leader with clear vision.having the right mindset transcends into the Always develop and communicate aright attitude and forms us into the person we BLESSED is the leader who lays down his crystal-clear, long-term vision of where the organization is going and know exactly what is needed to attain the vision. Keep your head in the clouds, but your feet planted firmly on the ground. BLESSED is the leader who has not seen, but believes. Be persistent, do not waiver if you have not yet achieved your desired results. Just as a precious stone cannot be polished without friction, nor can we be perfected with adversity. Leadership is a higher calling. It involves a dynamic journey based on mutual influence and common purpose between leaders and collaborators, in which both are moved to higher levels of motivation and moral development as they affect real, intended change. Leadership begins with developing an attitude of being all that we ourselves desire to be. Believing is becoming. This positive attitude will be the difference that makes all the difference in the success of your organization and your life. Be a transformational leader. Being all that you should be will inspire others to follow you and to transcend their own self-interest for the good of the organization. Leading others to a higher place will ultimately be your success in this world, and your glory in the next. Sean Wolfington is the owner of BZResults.com. He can be contacted at 866.802.5753, or by e-mail at swolfington@autosuccessonline.com. 40 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis TonyDupaquier f&i solution Managing Time in the Business Office Time is a precious Go to meet customers instead of having Time is money. Taking a few extra steps commodity in every the sales people bring the customers to the to streamline your F&I process for your dealership. This holds business office. This starts the process on customers will really pay off. especially true for the the right foot. Start by introducing yourself, business office, where then state your responsibilities and inform Tony Dupaquier is the director of F&I customers seem to be the customer of the time frame needed Training for the Automotive Trainingin a frantic rush to leave as soon as they enter to complete the transaction. This type of Academy. He can be contactedthe room. Learning how to overcome this introduction allows customers to come to at 866.856.6754, or by e-mail atissue plays a big part in ensuring compliance your office with their guard down. tdupaquier@autosuccessonline.com.and maximizing profit.Preparation is the KeyThe first step in managing the time functionis educating the sales staff on how longit takes to complete a presentation. Fromstart to finish, a presentation should take 30minutes. If sales people tell customers theprocess only takes five minutes, then they aresetting the dealership up for failure. It is alsoimportant to explain the other implicationsthat occur when a customer does not receivea full presentation. Discrimination and properpattern of practice should be mentionedduring this conversation.Preparation is the next - and perhaps themost important - key to effectively managingtime in the business office. Make sure allpaperwork is properly filled out and that allrequired documentation has been gatheredbefore meeting the customer. Print all formsthat are generic to the deal. In most states,this means everything with the exception ofthe title application, purchase order, productcontracts, and retail or lease contract. All state,dealership, factory and delivery paperworkcan be printed beforehand. A big word ofcaution on pre-printing paperwork: Theinformation received from the salespersonmust be correct. If a wrong name, address, orany other detail slips through, the time spentpreparing will have been lost.Practice Makes PerfectA business manager must continuouslypractice to reach and maintain sellingsuccess. In addition to boosting confidence,practice also increases speed and consistency.However, do not use customers as anopportunity to practice. Instead, practice witha co-worker, manager or family member.Time with CustomersTry to eliminate having customers sit in thewaiting room before their turn in the businessoffice. This prevents customers talkingto each other and “cooling off” on theirpurchases. If the business office is backedup, have the sales people start the deliveryprocess with the customer. This should take30 to 45 minutes, which should give thebusiness office time to catch up.august 2006 41
  • sts fos ls ms sf fis PhilCohen sales and training solution Rick Case Auto Group - The Value of Technology How Technology Enhances Our Dealerships, Employees, and Community A different dynamic always strive to assure the consumer that best part is that it does this automatically, The largest automobile our actions are consistent and supportive of communicating the right personalized complex in the world. these ideals. message to the customer no matter what The Rick Case Group stage in the sales or service process they are boasts a complex Technology and our “digital native” in. The automation that our system providesthat comprises over half a million square customers for us allows our team to focus on the mostfeet, houses 1500 vehicles inside under the The idea of “go look customers in the eye” important daily revenue-generating tasks likeshowroom light, and has an eight-pump gas is no longer effective in a fast-moving attacking the phones for appointment settingstation. The dealership serves as a voting dealership that is populated increasingly and customer satisfaction follow-up calls.precinct for 3,800 people for local and by people accustomed to building andnational elections, includes a Clerk of Courts maintaining relationships online and using Technology and our communityoffice where you can pay your traffic ticket, the Internet to assess a vehicle’s quality and Our founders, Rick and Rita Case arerenew your drivers license, obtain a marriage a dealership’s reputation. The CRM at the unique because they differentiate themselveslicense, and then hop next door to the chapel Rick Case Group is on the cutting edge of from the competition by their visibilityfor the wedding. Yes, you read right - about technology. This technology, coupled with in the community through their extensive40 to 50 people get married here each month a targeted e-mail campaign, has had a huge charitable donations and fund-raisingafter they get their marriage license from the impact on helping us to communicate to ventures and generosity with relief funds forclerk’s office next door. our customers. The e-marketing campaign, those who are struggling. The technology or online tutorial, performs as a mini-Web that our dealership employs for our salesFrom the start site that we can customize according to our and marketing efforts is powerful. We haveThis amazing enterprise began to emerge special criteria. This marketing technique learned to repurpose these tools to deliverwhen Rick Case sold his first car at the ripe allow our customers to view our inventory, community-service messages in campaignsage of 14 years old. It was an old “fixer- see our specials, build a new car, apply such as Rick Case Bikes for Kids, whichupper” which he purchased, tweaked and for credit approval, and even more… all provides thousands of bikes each year tothen sold for a profit. Rick claims he made online. This interactive message, which we needy children during the holidays.We aremore on that one car than he had made all send via e-mail, engages the new “digital able to send out bulk e-mails to all, or just ayear as a paper delivery boy. By 1965, Rick native” consumer, and facilitates in helping specialized group, of our dealership databasehad opened his first Honda vehicle franchise, us communicate our message. The best of customers, inviting and encouraging themand established his stature as having a part is that everything the customer does is to support the different causes. Literally,keen eye for how innovation can lead to instantaneous, tracked, and automatically within five minutes and a few clicks of aopportunities. calculated and reported by our digital traffic mouse, we are able to select a complete control system. list of our most valued customers and sendRita Case was raised in the car business - her them a personalized invitation to join us infather was the first Honda dealer in the U.S. Technology and our team reaching out to help those in need.When Rita graduated college, she began to Technology has enhanced our productivitymanage her father’s dealership. Rick and and has empowered all of our employees. Case in pointRita met while attending a Honda NADA By providing accessible technology, Rick Unprecedented changes in technology over20 Group Meeting in 1978. The two were Case dealerships foster an environment the past few years have led to fresh patternsmarried in 1980 and the rest is history. that facilitates instant collaboration and of thinking in our prospects and customers. communication among all employees within This new generation of customers harnessesAlong their journey together, Rick and Rita our organization - whether it be the lot the power of technology and the InternetCase have built one of the most successful attendant or the general manager. Technology to purchase and service their automobiles.automobile dealership groups in the U.S., provides an instant channel of communication We have found that this group of connectedspanning across Florida, Georgia and with tools like e-mail, access to the OEM sites customers has been an enormous drivingOhio. They have earned the respect of their and a bird’s eye view into our competition. force for positive change and success withincustomers, and gained a reputation as being the Rick Case Automotive Group.a dealership founded in the core value of Technology also generates manypersonal customer service. opportunities for our team. Our Web site is really a marketing machine that generatesThe values and practices of Rick Case a tremendous amount of daily leads, and isAutomotive Group reflect and convey the a critical component that generates phone Phil Cohen is the national director of eCommerce at the Rick Case Automotivebeliefs and values of Rick and Rita Case traffic, showroom traffic and many Internet Group. He can be contacted atand what they aspire for their employees to leads. Once we receive these leads, our CRM 866.473.7901, or by e-mail atbe. At Rick Case Automotive Group, we greatly assists us with our follow-up, and the pcohen@autosuccessonline.com. 42 www.autosuccessonline.com
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  • Success Story plan to determine how they should address their customers’ wants and needs. I.D. Ponciano states, “BZ Re- sults has essentially co-authored our ‘playbook.’ We live by the processes we built with BZ’s help. It’s a culture change; it is the future of car busi- ness!” New City Nissan has increased its cus- tomer service staff and implemented a two-fold training plan. The first part of the plan, with the expertise of BZ Results, was to truly understand the expectations and concerns of cus- tomers when they came into the deal- The Internet department has went from 30 to 100 for the past three ership. The second part of the plan months, and BZ has helped us understand more about the 21st century involved taking that understandingSuccess Story customer and their expectations. We’ve work together with BZ to build processes to meet those expectations.” Ryan Takata, Marketing Director and training the staff to effectively interact with their customers. The than ever before on mass marketing the customer’s questions and objec- New City Nissan customer interaction with little return and few results. Tra- tions. The advantage of great perfor- processes are heavily influenced by ditional media such as newspapers, mance in selling the appointment is the technologies that are taught by BZ television, and radio are expensive, evidenced by a very high closing ratio Results. and New City Nissan was unable to of showed appointments.Case Study: target specific audiences. New City Game Day- Nissan’s blanket marketing depart- Practice- How To Form The Team What Drives Digital Strategy ONLINE SUCCESS IN PARADISE ment was spending too much money BZ Results’ philosophies and training According to Marketing Director, Ryan for little return that was ultimately techniques have helped the New City Takata, the New City Nissan digital strat- hard to track and measure. The ob- Nissan team to assemble a targeted egy can be summed up in the following: ention the word it up best. “It’s just a dream. It was inning. In this article, we will take vious decision was made to re-direct “team” and watch John our premise that after 10 years in the a closer look at how an import dealer advertising budgets toward on-line In a Nutshell Uekawa’s eyes light automobile business, we wanted to group in the highly competitive mar- advertising to target markets at a re- up. John is part owner give back to the community.” John ket in Honolulu transformed an aver- duced cost. Shortly after initiating • New City Nissan is the largest Nissan dealer in the state of Hawaiiand president of New City Nissan and his teams are truly winners! age Internet Department into a com- their new internet marketing strategy,in Honolulu, Hawaii. John knows pletely new profit center. New City Nissan was spending a lotthe dynamics involved with devel- A huge win for New City Nissan is less money, attracting more business • New City uses email marketing to increase sales and lower costsoping and training people whether that they have lit up the Island of Ha- The Field – and generating more profits.it is in the dealership, on the court, waii with their online vehicle market- Where The Game Is Played • New City Nissan uses their CRC and eCRM system from BZ Results to sellor on the pitching mound. A sports ing and strategy. In just three short 70% to 80% of New City Nissan’s The Draft -How To Pick Your Team 70 extra vehiclesfan and coach, John has made a huge months, New City’s Nissan’s internet customers are using the web to re- The team at New City Nissan is madeinvestment in his community by co- department has knocked the ball out search vehicles before they buy. Al- up of people with great sales, phone, • New City Nissan sells 3700 cars per year, and generates more than 500ordinating and sponsoring sporting of the park by catapulting their inter- though their customers are starting and follow-up skills. The key to their new interenet leads per monthevents like the New City Nissan State net depart from 30 sales a month to their shopping online, only a fraction team’s success is that they have beenVolleyball Championships, and his well over 100 per month. The beauti- of New City Nissan’s adverting bud- trained on the process to sell the ap- • New City Nissan uses Search Engine Optimization to appear up top forlatest endeavor, the New City Nis- ful thing is that this new found mo- get was being used for internet adver- pointment rather than trying to sell free when a customer googles a popular search phrasesan Softball Classic, a tourney sanc- mentum is exactly the shot in the arm tising. New City Nissan re-evaluated the car over the phone. The best team • Newcity Nissan is one of thirty-eight Circle of Excellence award winnerstioned by the Hawaii High School that the dealership needed to get to their advertising budget and realized members follow a phone guide, and for Nissan USAAthletic Association. John sums the next level, and it’s only the first that they were spending more money they understand how to answer all of Success Story Success Story
  • Success Story Success Story eliminating the monotonous daily 1. Website tasks that most sales people dread do- Our customers love our website be- ing. New City Nissan is able to sat- cause it’s user friendly and easy for isfy more customers because of our them to get exactly the information automated processes. BuzzTrak not that they are seeking. We have the only automatically follows up with capability to customize and modify our customers; it even automates the the Website on the fly to keep up with generation of reports to upper man- new advertised specials and all of the agement. Another powerful aspect Nissan incentives. Our website always of the BuzzTrak CRM tool is the con- has a fresh look and feel and is easy to venience of keeping communicationt maintain and keep up to date. Our old with our customers in one place. Wef provider did not afford us the flexibil- can follow up with customers over a ity that we are now accustomed too. longer period of time without losing Our BZ site allows us to get the jump track of the relationship. on our competition. At New City Nissan we feel that our approach to As we’ve grown with our internet department, there’s no doubt we Victory – The Pay Off “The goal of e-mail marketing is to attract more quality traffic at a lower cost, customer satisfaction is unique, so we need to parlay our great customer experience and processes with Increased sales and profits are one as- how easy it is, how inexpensive it is to contact our clientele, and best of all, even more customers…that’s where Search marketing will come in!” everything we do is 100% measurable.” Ryan Takata, Marketing Director have designed our site to highlight pect of the victory; however, superior Ryan Takata, Marketing Director this with our “Why Buy” BuzzMail customer service has created loyal country have earned the award and philosophies go hand in hand. To- multimedia presentation that high- the top for the most effective search website too! These branded messages fans at New City Nissan. On May it’s a source of pride for the compa- gether, our partnership will help us lights our desire and commitment to terms. New City Nissan uses a com- help build New City Nissan value in 19, Nissan North America’s District ny’s 150 dedicated employees. move forward with our business plan satisfy their needs. It basically states bination of organic and pay- per-click the eyes of our clients because all of Operations Manager, Dave Frick, pre- for continued growth!” that we will do whatever it takes to search marketing. We appear at the our advertising mediums and mes- sented New City Nissan with the Cir- “Working as a team in all aspects is ensure total satisfaction. When you top of the search engines when a cus- sages mesh. cle of Excellence Award. This award the key,” says Uekawa. “Earning the go to www.NewCityNissan.com you tomer Googles a popular search term is an honor given to dealerships that Circle of Excellence Award means will see that we make it easy for the like ‘Honolulu Nissan’. As a result of The goal of e-mail marketing is to at- are not only a top volume sales deal- that teamwork is what it takes. Tak- customer to get exactly what they are this increased visibility, we have seen tract more quality traffic at a lower ership, but also one that excels in cus- ing care of all of our customers is looking for with just a few clicks. a huge increase in the traffic to our cost, so we love how fast we can reach tomer satisfaction in both sales and important to everyone at our dealer- Bottom line, our website engages the phones, our website, and on our show- the customers, how easy it is, how in- service. According to John Uekawa, ship. BZ Results was exactly what we customer and leads them right down room floor. expensive it is to contact our clientele, president of New City Nissan, only 40 are looking for in a partnership. New the baseline straight to the phone to and best of all, everything we do is of the 1,152 Nissan dealerships in the City Nissan and BZ Results business call us, greatly increasing our floor 3. Email Marketing 100% measurable. traffic too! With our customer database we can Increase in online sales from bulk email thousands of customers. 4. Customer Relation 30 to 100 in 90 days 2. Search Marketing We have over one hundred pre-pack- Management (CRM) If we can’t get customers into our aged multimedia Buzzmail email It’s important to capture all the criti- 100 showroom , it would be impossible for marketing campaigns that we can cal data on customers and prospects, us to generate sales. Customers today send to any segment of our customers record all the information that is im- 80 Online Sales are using internet search engines like with just a few clicks of the mouse. portant to a car deal, and follow up Google during their buying process There are campaigns for every event; with all prospects (both hot and cold) 60 when they are researching vehicles every month, every season, and ev- to sell them a car and keep them loyal and dealerships. To attract today’s ery marketing theme you could think to New City Nissan. BuzzTrak CRM 40 shoppers, New City Nissan relies on up…like year-end clearance, invento- tool makes it easy to manage and their technology and training partner ry reduction sale, fresh start financ- measure all of City Nissan’s customer 20 to help them come out on top of the ing, holiday events, and more. These activity. The Virtual BDC Manager most popular search results. Our ven- Buzzmails have become the core el- provides the assurance that all daily 0 dor, BZ Results.com optimizes our ement of our marketing efforts, and activities and routines are automati- web site to help ensure we appear at they can even be displayed on our cally programmed and scheduled, 0 18 36 54 72 90 Days Success Story Success Story