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AutoSuccess Dec08

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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

For similar content visit http://www.autosuccesssocial.com/

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  • 1. AutoSuccess Best of the Best NADA 2009 – Details Page 4 December 2008
  • 2. WARNING DEALERS DON’T SPEND ANOTHER DOLLAR ON ADVERTISING UNTIL YOU GO HERE...WWW.TKENADA.COM ® USPS PREMIER ACCOUNT The Driving Force Behind 866-476-7748 Event Advertising Copyright © 2008 Turn-Key Events and its licensors.
  • 3. December 2008 CLOSING THE EXECUTION GAP 8 StephenR.Covey address: 3834 Taylorsville Rd. CLOSING THROUGH THE BUYER’S EYES 10 TomHopkins Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 9 WAYS TO BETTER MANAGE MARKETING COSTS 12 LarryCochran phone / fax: 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 LOSSES INTO LESSONS Four Fail Safe Strategies 14 PaulCummings web: AutoSuccessOnline.com AutoSuccessPodcast.com ADDITIONAL BUSINESS WITHIN YOUR DEALERSHIP? 16 RichardVanderport team: Susan Givens CHANGE - THE ONLY THING THAT REMAINS CONSTANT 17 PaulSnider Publisher sgivens1@autosuccessonline.comOUTWIT, OUTPLAY AND OUTLAST THE CURRENT MARKET 18 MattBaker Thomas Williams VP & Creative Director design@autosuccessonline.com WIN BY PUTTING YOUR PEOPLE FIRST 22 JohnBrentlinger Dave Davis Editor and Creative Strategist WELCOME TO THE MARKETPLACE OF SLOPPY SELLING 26 MichealYork ddavis@autosuccessonline.com Brian Ankney 28 INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP XII SeanV.Bradley Sales-Improvement Strategist super6@autosuccessonline.com John Warner GENERATING MORE REVIEWS: Six Steps to Building Your Dealership’s Online Reputation 32 MichelleOldershaw Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.com IMPROVISING YOUR APPROACH TO IMPROVEMENT 33 Dr. JohnC.Maxwell general information: info@autosuccessonline.com GET A GRIP ON YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS: Tips for How to Better Manage Your Web Analytics 34 AlCarl eNewsletter: enews@autosuccessonline.com LOYAL CUSTOMERS MEAN DOLLARS FOR YOU 36 SeanStapleton AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or 38 info@autosuccessonline.com. Subscription rate is $69 per year. TURNING NON-BUYERS INTO BUYERS RichardF.Libin 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 40 contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views THE BEST PRICE GUARANTEE MarcSmith 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 42 of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked EMPLOYMENT VALUE PROPOSITION BrookeSamples from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.12 36 28 helping to support...
  • 4. StephenR.Coveyleadershipsolution CLOSING THE EXECUTION GAP In an earlier column, I pointed out a vast FIGURE 1: Execution Gap Magnitude xQ Question – % of 11,000 respondents “execution gap” in most organizations. I clearly understand my organization’s important goals – 44% So many crucial initiatives fail, so many We set goals that we have passion about – 19% change efforts collapse, due to this yawning Percentage of time I spend gap. Several months ago, FranklinCovey working on my organization’s most important goals – 49% asked 11,000 people in the U.S. workforce I have clear “line of sight” between my own to tell us about their execution discipline. tasks and the organization’s most important goals – 9% Figure 1 details the magnitude of the execution gap. If the typical organization is like this, execution is obviously at high risk. one thing at a time. Nevertheless, we ask Scoreboards motivate people. The our people to “multitask.” The result is scoreboard must be created by and be visible The execution gap is a human issue. It frustrated workers and poor results. The to everyone. One firm I am acquainted with has little to do with market strategy or leader’s job is to make crystal clear those helps people save money on prescriptions. technology, or with any of the issues that few goals that are “wildly important” and Their goal is to save their customers a typically occupy the time of executive get everyone focused there. certain amount of money this year, and leadership. It has to do with people. Either every day they post their progress toward they execute, or they don’t. To close the Some objectives are clearly more critical this goal. No one in the firm questions what gap, organizations must practice the four than others. As I watch the security is “wildly important,” because together they disciplines of execution. people at the airport process passengers, have decided what it is, and they never take I am impressed with their courtesy and their eyes off the score. Focus On the Wildly Important Goals efficiency. But if one terrorist gets through People are genetically wired to focus on the system and disaster results, the courtesy, Translate Goals into Action professionalism Goals that have never been achieved require and efficiency behaviors that have never been tried before. will count for little. That’s How often do leaders announce a new because these goal without giving thought to how it will YOU SELL CARS. workers have one wildly important be executed? One company I know of announced that every store in its retail chain was to increase sales revenue by 15 percent WE HELP YOU SELL goal that must that fiscal year. Store managers and staff be achieved. accepted the goal, but had no notion of how MORE CARS. How crucial it to execute. Leaders must involve the front is, therefore, line in defining what everyone must do that everyone differently to accomplish the new goal. agrees on what is “wildly Engage the Team Weekly important” and It isn’t enough to meet once a year and focus on it. decide what the work group is going to do. In the most effective teams, people meet Create a weekly to account for their commitments, Scoreboard examine the scoreboard, resolve issues and People can know decide how to support one another. Former the goal, but if Mayor Rudy Giuliani, widely credited with Get a handle on your electronic marketing they don’t know the renaissance of New York City, met with IMN Loyalty Driver. the score, they daily with his staff to do these things. Re- are working engaging less than weekly allows the team in the dark. to drift off course and lose focus. Imagine going to a football Originally ran in CLO Magazine. game without Innovative e-newsletter solutions. a scoreboard. Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of 866-964-6397 imnLoyaltyDriver.com Everyone must FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 know the score Habits of Highly Effective People. He can all the time to be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e- know what to do. mail at scovey@autosuccessonline.com.8 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 5. TomHopkinssales&trainingsolution CLOSING THROUGH THE BUYER’S EYES Years ago, I spoke Always keep in mind that people don’t just your current vehicle? Is that an important at a banquet for buy your vehicles. They buy the dealership aspect of your decision today?” top salespeople. Before I gave my talk, reputation. They buy the brand credibility. the speaker introduced someone in the And, they buy you. They need to feel that Do you see how these types of questions audience and said, “This man earned you’re a product of the product — that you help you mentally filter through the twice the national average in sales last truly believe in what you sell. hundreds of vehicles on the lot? Even if year….” The speaker’s manner suggested Jim Martin comes in saying he wants a new that it was quite an achievement. But, People will say “yes” to you based more on 4-wheel-drive truck, you may learn that considering the large number of successful your conviction and enthusiasm than your Jim’s wife is expecting their first child soon sales professionals in the room, that feat product knowledge. If you don’t truly love and that they’ll need an extended cab at wasn’t all that impressive, so everyone the vehicle brand and models that you sell, the least — something young Jim may not craned their necks and looked at the man you need to either fall in love with them or be thinking of because he’s always had a in puzzlement. The next words out of the find another brand to represent. Your lack single-cab truck and likes them. speakers’ mouth made all the difference. of love for what you do will show through He said, “and he’s totally blind.” and instill something other than confidence Mary Porter may come in wanting in your potential buyers. something sporty, but in drawing her out, There was a burst of applause. Then, the you learn that she has two big dogs that speaker said, “I’m sure many of us are Don’t Tell Them What You Like she takes along on trips out of town on the wondering how you got into the top third in About the Vehicles weekends. In that case, the definition of sales achievement with your handicap.” Stop turning potential buyers off by saying, “sporty” just went from being a two-seater “What I like most about this feature is…” to something larger, didn’t it? “Wait a minute,” the blind man replied, “I As I said, they don’t care what you like. don’t have a handicap. I have an advantage They need you to care about what they like, You are an expert advisor in the automotive over every other salesperson in my field. I and want and need. industry. When people talk about their have never seen a product I’ve sold, so I have needs, you think solutions. Most of to close through my buyers’ eyes. What I do The only way to learn what their needs your potential clients will make vehicle is what all of you sighted people could do. are is to ask questions. Typical automotive ownership decisions once every two or And you’d make more money if you did.” salespeople think their job is to capture the three years. You are involved in those clients when they walk in, ask generally decisions daily and know so much from He was 100 percent correct. You must see what they’re looking for and quickly start the experience your clients have with their the benefits, the features and the limitations walking in the direction of those models. vehicles. You think beyond basic wants and of your vehicles from the buyer’s needs and go deeper into what’s truly going viewpoint. You must weigh them on their Champion automotive salespeople don’t do to be the best choice. scale of values, not yours. that until they’ve gotten the buyer talking about what their new vehicle needs to do There’s an old saying that “Knowledge Get Yourself Out of the Way for them. The only talking you should be is power, when properly applied.” Keep Potential clients don’t come to your doing at this point in the sales cycle is that in the forefront of your mind when dealership to find out what you like. They asking questions. you speak with potential buyers. The more don’t know you and don’t care what you knowledge you gain about their needs, drive — unless you drive a competitor’s “What brought you in to our dealership wants, desires and financial situation, the vehicle. If you do, don’t mention it. It will today?” more likely you are to help them make a make them doubt your sincerity as you tout “Are you interested in a new vehicle, or wise decision about their next vehicle…and the benefits of Brand A when you’ve just were you thinking of something used?” the one after that. told them you drive Brand B. Also, if you “What type of driving do you do? Mostly would drive a Brand A vehicle but can’t in town? Or longer highway driving?” World-renowned master sales trainer Tom afford it, don’t tell them. They’ll wonder “Do you typically carry a lot of cargo? Or, Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins just how good a salesperson you are. Don’t are you more likely to have a car full of International. He can be contacted at do or say anything that might raise their passengers?” 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at sales resistance. “What type of gas mileage do you get in thopkins@autosuccessonline.com. 10 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 6. featuresolution 3. Implement a Live Chat Service management, but also can take advantage they can reach the Internet. These tools to Build a Stronger Bond with of discounts by consolidating their use Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Dealership Customers marketing buys. The right dealership Customer Relationship Management More than 30 percent of the Internet choice for a provider would be the vendor (CRM) functions to help take full leads go unanswered by an average that can deliver an entire digital marketing advantage of their prospect and customer dealership and 23 percent of online car system, not just the Web site with a few databases. shoppers took their business to a different add-ons. When dealers purchase a holistic brand due to unresponsiveness. To take system provider, they can ensure that all 9. Measure Your Advertising advantage of these opportunities, dealers of the prospect and customer management Many dealers are enhancing sales need a cost-effective way to keep in bases are covered, including the ability to performance and reducing cost per unit touch with consumers. With a Live Chat find consumers, bring them to the Web site, sold by measuring the effectiveness of their solution, customers get the same engaging convert them into customers and continue advertising campaigns with innovative experience online as when they visit the to market dealership services to them in a call tracking and monitoring tools. This dealership. With most services it is a tight closed-loop process. Another aspect priceless information allows dealers matter of simply adding a “Chat” button of a successful vendor choice is how the to clearly see which ads are the least LarryCochran to a variety of areas on the Web site, provider can integrate all of the customer productive and which ads generate the and it is ready to go. In many solutions management interactions including most leads for the money. They rely on the “chatters” are part of an outsourced phones, showroom walk-ins and service this intelligence technology to powerfully dealership showrooms, completed lead solution so dealers can establish this special drive ups. Finally the right provider will manage leads by utilizing a unique toll-free forms on dealer Web sites, and telephone communication channel without adding the help provide the tools and consulting that number with each targeted ad campaign calls into business development centers. cost of additional staff. enable a strong follow up. Today, many of that allows them to analyze results and And best yet: These leads belong only the consumers who provide information micro-manage information about each to the dealership doing the advertising, 4. Use eNewsletters to to dealers through the Web site are never initiative. and are not shared like those purchased Communicate Your Sales and contacted, leading to significant lost from third-party lead providers. In other Service Specials — and Cut Print opportunities. The implementation of any one of these words, display advertising generates good- and Mail Costs ideas could have an immediate impact on quality leads from “in-market” consumers eNewsletters deliver increased awareness 7. Consider Your Search your costs. By considering all of them, interested in what your dealership has to that helps in developing a relationship with Engine Options dealers can build a successful formula offer, not some generic inquiry made by a consumers, as well as providing them with Search is no longer a generic, one-size-fits- for weathering these current challenging consumer who doesn’t really know what current and relevant information that will all offering. For example, there is Search selling conditions and setting up their they are looking for or who they want to drive more dealership revenue. Monthly Engine Optimization (SEO), in which dealerships for future growth. buy from. With the killer combination of content can include OEM-specific news, the dealership tailors its Web content to the right message, the right placement, and the right marketing strategy, automotive vehicle-relation information, service improve rankings in key search engines. topics, lifestyle articles, regional news, There is also Search Engine Marketing Larry Cochran is the vice president and retailers make every online ad initiative general manager of digital marketing pay off with increased sales and profits monthly dealership specials and dealership (SEM), in which special locations can for BZ Results. He can be contacted at in all areas of the dealership. The power custom articles. be purchased to improve the number of 866.456.1296, or by e-mail at behind the optimal digital advertising consumers seeing the dealership links. lcochran@autosuccessonline.com. solution includes a premier advertising 5. Move Functions Such as Credit The right combination of SEO and SEM network, which encompasses hundreds Approval to the Web can strongly improve the traffic flow to According to a recent study, nearly eight to use your Web site as a profit center for of popular Web sites to accomplish the In this economy, many car purchasers are dealer Web sites. The right SEO provider percent of money that a dealer spends is all areas of the dealership. State-of-the-art following: struggling to get credit, but there is still a also utilizes the most advanced tools in used on marketing and advertising costs. Web sites include virtual salespeople to • Provides maximum exposure for your large group who can qualify. By utilizing the automotive industry including It is more critical than ever that these costs assist navigation through the site, online dealership a guided online credit application and rules-based management (day are properly managed and used in a way inventory that delivers a comprehensive • Generates high lead conversion rates pre-approval process for online consumers, parting and ROI Bidding), that will help win sales without losing your description of all available vehicles, and • Provides geographic and demographic dealers can improve F&I productivity click fraud monitoring overall gross. the ability to sell parts and accessories in optimization while also generating qualified leads. as well as aggregate real-time with secure shopping carts. • Guarantees premium placement on Some of the features of a successful online campaign creation, For decades, dealerships used a the sites your shoppers visit most finance site include a “virtual presenter” bid management and combination of radio, TV and newsprint to 2. Begin the Transition from frequently that guides customers through the process reporting. communicate with consumers. Today, many Traditional Marketing Sources to of completing an online application from dealerships are still reliant on these media Digital Advertising Every dealership must spend money to sell the convenience of their home, utilizing a 8. Improve Lead to deliver their message. With the advent of A study by Capgemini showed that 83 cars, and that’s why successful dealers are secure environment for sensitive customer Management digital marketing, and the challenges of this percent of “in market” car shoppers visit realizing that online marketing provides the data, and a customer account that saves Using the Web current selling environment, these methods the Internet first to research vehicles. In best return on investment and are shifting the finance application for review, edit or To better manage are simply not enough to lead to successful the age of the Internet, online advertising budgets from traditional media to online withdrawal. Internet, phone selling. Here are nine ways where the use clearly can broaden a dealer’s sphere initiatives including digital advertising. You and showroom of digital marketing can help dealerships of influence, and go far to attract and do not have to increase your advertising 6. Consolidate Your Vendors leads, dealers can better spend their limited dollars. engage consumers the way traditional budget to take advantage of digital Many dealerships use as many as six or implement Web- advertising vehicles — newspaper, radio advertising — you just have to allocate seven different vendors to manage their based applications 1. Improve Your Web Site with and TV — cannot. Research continues your current budget in the areas that will customer communications initiatives. that allow sales teams Impactful, Interactive Content to prove that digital ads consistently draw the most attention to your Web site By consolidating to just a few providers, to access leads and There are many options available today generate the highest conversions into and leads to your store: the Internet. dealerships not only save time in vendor reports from anywhere 1312
  • 7. PaulCummingssales&trainingsolution LOSSES INTO LESSONS Four Fail Safe Strategies This article is written eventually it will subside and something after the loss, do something that stokes specifically for individuals who have a else will take its place. If I quit, however, it your emotions in a positive way and then burning desire and a willingness to do the lasts forever.” move on to Step Two. work in order to achieve at the ultimate — Lance Armstrong level. I always laugh when you see a Reduce the Loss to Writing speaker ask this question “How many Now it is time to explore the “Loss to First things first, you need to go purchase a of you really want to win?” I’ve often Lesson” formula for success. I have shared hardcover journal, unless you are organized wondered if the speaker really expected this with many people and I will tell you and savvy enough to do this on your someone to stand up and shout out “Not only two percent take massive action and computer. Any time you experience a loss me, man — I want to lose!” So, let’s accept utilize the process. I am very proud of this of any kind, a setback or disappointment, that we all want to win. That’s really select group of people because they are the at the end of the day write a one-paragraph not the point, in my opinion. The key is students of mine who have accomplished explanation of what happened. The key is to simple: Wanting to and being willing to and miraculous achievements in many areas of be brutally honest with yourself about what actually doing what you must in order to their lives: happened and why. Our goal is “to kill the be the best requires completely different • A struggling salesperson on the verge loss monster while it is little” and actually levels of commitment. This article is about of quitting who now owns his own turn the experience into a learning event. what you do after your losses. How do you dealership respond? • A dealer who had rampant turnover Question Up The Event because he was abusive to his people The next part of the formula is to answer “The key is not the will to win... everybody who now owns multiple franchises and these questions about the events or has that; winners know it is the will to has garnered the love and respect of his circumstances that created the loss, setback prepare to win that is important.” people or disappointment. What did you do well — Bobby Knight • Fathers and mothers who had let their this time? What will you do differently next careers rob them of the joy of being time in order to produce the desired result? Now it is time for some straight talk from real parents to their children, who today What will you never do again in order to me directly to you. Are you happy where have reconnected with their families produce the results you desire? What is you are in your career today? Are you and found immense happiness. the most important thing you have learned achieving at the level that fulfills you from this experience and how will you use personally? Do you feel you are coming This formula works if you follow the steps it to produce better results in the future? close to reaching your personal potential? consistently and take action. Remember, when you ask better questions, Do others look up to you and admire you always get better answers. whom you are and what you do as a sales “Action may not always bring happiness, associate, sales manager, parts counter but there is no happiness without action.” Take Massive Action Now associate, technician, general manager — Benjamin Disraeli From the empowering questions and or dealer? Are you considered a leader at supporting answers you will find pearls your dealership? What about in your state, Loss To Lesson Formula of wisdom. These pearls of wisdom will region, country or industry? How far up the allow you to reduce your future mistakes ladder of success must we climb before you Change Your State and avoid the pitfalls that created previous become unnoticed? How far must we take Anytime we experience a loss, setback or losses. Unlike most people, you will actually the questions before your impact becomes disappointment, it is only natural that it benefit from your losses because you will so distant no one even knows your name? will affect our outlook and our emotions see the power of the lessons contained These are tough but fair questions for those in a negative manner. For this reason, it is within each loss. The key is to take massive who want the highest level of success critical that we manage our state so we can action on what you learn from the loss. possible. One more question: “Can you live be more effective and efficient. Negative with the pain of not fulfilling yourself?” emotions rob us of our capacity to perform Paul Cummings is president and CEO of at a high level. The key is to interrupt the Paul Cummings Enterprises. He can be “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, negative pattern and change your state into contacted at 866.865.3171, or by e-mail or an hour, or a day, or a year, but a positive emotional platform. Immediately at pcummings@autosuccessonline.com. 14 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 8. RichardVanderport PaulSnidersales&trainingsolution sales&trainingsolution CHANGE – THE ADDITIONAL BUSINESS ONLY THING THAT WITHIN YOUR DEALERSHIP? REMAINS CONSTANT Now is a good time to The opportunity for exceptional returns has By the time you read bank, your chances are much greater. realize that there is an never been greater. The credit-impaired this, many changes additional business within your dealership sector of our economy is growing at a will have recently taken place: our country Leads that is mostly untapped. If not now, when is record pace. The Washington Post says that will have a new Commander In Chief, Stop buying from too many sources and a good time to bring additional financing to personal bankruptcies increased 40 percent new lawmakers will have been elected, the stay with industry leaders. When you work a new level? last year, and this year likely won’t be any NASCAR season will be over and hopefully with too many providers, duplicates will better. our country will be well on its way to a show up simply because consumers will The realities car dealers must face during full recovery. One thing will not change: go on multiple sites in hopes of getting a the next several years will force them The traditional secondary lenders are gone. Thousands of prospects will continue trying loan. Consider “in the market” leads that into diversification. Remember when the Plenty of new car buyers are getting turned to arrange credit in hopes of buying another can be ordered with specific criteria and finance and insurance department was a down who would have been an automatic car. During the third quarter of 2008, the score ranges that fit your finance companies new idea? “Unheard of — it will never approval months ago. Where does that number of applicants has really not gone parameters. work!” Did you ever hear those statements? leave the credit-damaged customer? These down; the number of approvals in all credit and the vast majority will need financing to people don’t want to walk to work, and categories, however, has. Cash Is King get it. All your customers want to improve Now the F&I department is a constant don’t want to take the bus, even if they Stop being afraid to ask for cash. If a deal their credit at the time of sale. When the profit center. That was an additional step could. There is a void, and you can be a What does all of this mean to automotive is structured on the right car a customer can customer cannot buy from your dealership, for your company and added additional part of a solution —instead of having an industry professionals? It means that hard- afford, and the finance company can see that they go somewhere else and get a vehicle. income to your dealership. additional void within your dealership — if working Americans still want and need good the applicant has made cash investment, it You don’t have to say goodbye to all your you know how to attack it. transportation, and we have to stop talking becomes much easier to gain an approval. credit turndowns. Who should get the So, what is the next step in the financing about all the negative and get back to basics additional business? You or someone else? world? A finance company within your You know what it takes to open a new car of selling cars. This is not the first time Buy Smart The biggest fear most dealers have is dealership. dealership: a great facility located on the credit has been tight, and for sure it will not When purchasing inventory, look for how to set up and stringently follow the right real estate, plus capitalization to run be the last. Just because it is tight, however, vehicles that work for your finance correct processes and procedures that avoid Dealers who are proactive will likely find the store right — you need a lot of money doesn’t mean that there is none available. companies and offer reasonable payments disaster and allow success. Dealers should a way to succeed. Those who wait for new to get into business. A “buy here, pay here” Below are some tips to help navigate for customers with all types of credit history. have that fear, they should know that cars to come back to previous levels may dealership can be opened for approximately through the troubled waters of automotive Remember that high payment does not “winging it” won’t work, and they should have a long wait. So now is the time you $750,000, with some of that investment sales and finance. always equate to high gross! be prepared to seek experts who know the should consider an additional business in dedicated to acquiring used car inventory. best practices and proven methods. your financing department. Consider New Finance Sources Positive Advertising Ask any dealer today, and they’re tell you Now is the time to look at every available All advertising should let customers know The risks can be high, and a dealer needs Per NADA, average profit in a new car that new car dealerships are dependent finance company in your market. Yes, you have credit available for all types of to make sure he or she has a system that is dealership for 2007 was 1.5 percent of on their manufacturers. Profitability is discounts may be high, along with interest buyers. This sends a positive message at a proven, and then make sure it’s followed sales. Yet many well-run successful “buy directly affected by inventory availability. rates. If you can pick up extra sales by time when consumers are being told by the to minimize this risk. Going forward, some here, pay here” dealers returned many Non-conventional financing dealers are adding companies that will work with media that credit is not available. Make sure will take a new fresh look at this part of the times that percentage. not accountable to a manufacturer and are various customers, though, it’s win – win. you put your toll-free loan by phone number business. Will you? free to specialize in their own segment or on all ads so calls are not missed overnight. Many franchise dealers are revisiting segments of the used car industry. What Richard Vanderport is the president of Over Advances Are Gone what they previously decided against: you stock can be based upon customer Lender to Lender Franchise System. The days of finance companies advancing Look For Ways To Get Deals Done diversifying into additional financing via demand, not quotas. He can be contacted at outrageous amounts are quickly becoming Stop thinking about how many are turned the “buy here, pay here” non-prime finance 866.455.1671, or by e-mail at a thing of the past. We enjoyed that while down; start looking at ways to get more business. All of your customers want to get a vehicle, rvanderport@autosuccessonline.com. it lasted, but now is the time to get realistic approvals and deliveries. Ask for cash, and realize that finance companies can no co-maker, pick the right car that puts your longer afford the losses as a result of over finance company in a good position, make advancing. terms attractive and, finally, learn enough about your customer’s credit history so you Present an Application can present reasons why your underwriter That Makes Sense should consider some type of approval. Slow down, go back to conducting proper interviews, build a solid case as to why the In closing, we all know that 2008 was, loan should be approved, structure deals on at best, a difficult year; there remains, cars the customer can afford plus deals that however, a market to sell vehicles and offer your finance company a comfortable dealer professionals who work smart position. and are not afraid to change. These professionals will continue selling as they Overcoming Negative Equity have for many years. The best way to overcome negative equity is this: Right Car, Right Bank with Right Paul Snider is the CEO of Voisys. He can 17 Customer. When you put a customer in the be contacted at 866.492.9209, or by e- 16 right car and structure the deal with the right mail at psnider@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 9. MattBakersales&trainingsolution OUTWIT, OUTPLAY AND OUTLAST THE CURRENT MARKET Unfortunately, the nothing you can do to drive traffic or get task, there are times where it is a necessary ups and downs of the deals bought isn’t the mindset that will step. Rule # 42 describes this best by market have become all too familiar these keep you charging forward. You get out of stating: It’s better that one person perish days. As the media continues to hint at it what you put into it. If we opt to believe than the whole team go down in flames. the possibility of recession, the American that everything’s impossible, we’re going consumer (and in turn the American dealer) to be in for a bumpy ride. Instead, take the It’s Got To Be Guaranteed have been coerced into tightening their road less traveled and put faith in what While there are infinite ways to reach spending until things “get better.” Yet the seems to be impossible. consumers in the new marketing age, not truth is that no one really knows when all opportunities or ideas are created equal. the outlook will improve and consumer Believe it or not, there’s opportunity out purchasing will strengthen. there. The trick is that you have to look a Rule #71: Ideas don’t work; people do. little harder these days to find it. Rule # Look to partner your sales and marketing To be honest, this market has placed the 26 touches on this point by stating: If the efforts with companies that are willing to American public in a real life Survivor competition is doing it, do the opposite. put their services on the line with money- situation; complete with challenges As companies decrease their advertising back guarantees. which test the patience of each American (or decide to close their doors), coveted consumer and business owner. So how does market share goes up for grabs. For those These guarantees not only create security one outwit, outplay and outlast when things dealers who have embraced the power of a for your financial investment, but also act appear to be so dismal? It’s all in how you positive attitude, this provides an excellent as a key differentiator between run-of- look at it. opportunity to try a different marketing the-mill sales and marketing companies approach and capture competitor’s market and those which are truly confident in the Over time, my company has come to share when they are defenseless against it. solutions they provide. live by 151 different rules which help us overcome the challenges we face on When Only the Best Will Do In general, guarantees act as a win-win a daily basis. Given the current state of It’s no question that your best sales people for the dealer and the marketing company. the economy, I have singled out a few are your greatest asset. Yet when dealership Dealers gain return on investment (or key rules below, which have helped us traffic begins a steady decline, how do you their money back), while the marketing continually work toward success. hold on to your MVPs? company gains the opportunity to put their proven programs to work, generating Attitude Check Don’t let yourself give up and don’t let movement within the dealership which in We all know that attitude is everything, and your team give in. It’s true that things turn creates improvement overall. in today’s market, this couldn’t be truer. aren’t as ideal as they used to be, but it is With the continual outpouring of negative the manager’s responsibility to keep their In The End… media, it’s hard to separate yourself from sales force motivated, especially when In the long run, the market’s effects are the downer mindset that seems to be an times are tough. only as bad as you make them out to increasing trend. be. Constant negativity will produce no Rule #49: Movement equals positive results. Consider the effects of a Rule #45: The only thing you can control improvement. Consider looking into negative attitude on the performance of is your response. In this case, one person or “momentum boosting” advertising your store. Trust in guaranteed advertising business cannot control the current market campaigns aimed at driving traffic to your to make your investments worth while conditions. However, we can control the store. The burst of activity these campaigns and you’ll see results that will keep your way we respond to them. Negativity is provide will reignite some excitement on greatest assets (your people) working an infection on the verge of an outbreak. the sales floor, which is a step in the right toward success. Protect yourself and your staff by refusing direction when influencing the attitude of to give in. your team. Matt Baker is the vice president of sales Rule #23: Speed of the leader = speed of Rule #20: When you want it more than for G&A Marketing. He can be contacted the team. If the speed of the leader equals they want it, it is time to let them go. While at 866.618.8248, or by e-mail at the speed of the team, believing that there’s eliminating salespeople is often a difficult mbaker@autosuccessonline.com. 18 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 10. JohnBrentlingerleadershipsolution WIN BY PUTTING YOUR PEOPLE FIRST We are now down all, they’re just salespeople, they’re just must fire someone, fire all the managers to the last line of managers, they are expendable. Remember, who are jerks with your people. A jerk in defense in making dealerships profitable. they’re a dime a dozen, as soon as the little management or leadership can ruin your Manufacturing is down, the market is blip in the economy is over, you can go get dealership. Stop hiring jerks. Stop letting soft, traffic is sporadic and buyers are you some more salespeople and managers. jerks manage your people. Stop looking the waiting to see how low prices will go. If They of course will get the same speech. other way. Stop saying, “But he’s good for you’re struggling with what to do or which “If you are loyal, if you are committed, the bottom line.” Screw the bottom line, direction to take, I propose that that you if you are serious about coming to work because you won’t have a bottom line to Exclusive Territories Being Assigned Now For All Inflatables have one of two options. The first one is for my dealership, if you put your family worry about if you keep letting jerks run disastrous; the second one will work, if you in it’s proper place, dealership and work off your good people. have the courage and self-discipline to see comes first, you will be rewarded later.” it through. Yeah, great speech, that’ll work, should have done it six months ago. Know what? The days of terrible management and poor leadership are about over. How you treat FREE Giant 30 Foot Long Carnival Cruise Ship or Las Vegas Option Number One: Panic. Look back at the last recession, see You’re a disaster and what goes around comes around. That’s option number one. your people over the next 18 months will determine who stays in business and who Sign Inflatables & Banners with minimum order! how long it lasted, how deep it went and does not. Loyalty in a dealership works what cuts you had to make to get through. Option Number Two: two ways. Get to know your people. Learn Then, just do what you did the last time. This is your last and best option. All the how to help your people. The job of every Start with the manager who has been with you the longest, has been the most loyal, foundations we thought would always be around are gone. All you have left are your leader is to make sure that your people reach their full potential. Learn as much WE’RE SENDING YOUR CUSTOMERS TO LAS VEGAS! and decide that it is his fault. Fire him. people and your customers. That’s it. You about your people as you want your people Choose One Of Three Exciting Vacations! Wow, the bottom line looks better already. can’t count on anything else. You can’t to learn about their customers. The market Then go to the next manager who has been count on your advertising, your Web site, your Internet leads, your walk-in traffic, for good salespeople and good managers is shrinking fast. Find a way to train your *3 day Las Vegas Getaway for two (including flight) just as loyal, worked just as hard, given the your out-of-town closers, your huge sales, managers to get the most and best out of *5 day Cancun Resort Vacation for 2 best years of his life to you, sacrificed time your consultants or your location. All you the people who have been loyal to you for with his family, his wife and kids because have left is your people. all these many years. Cut anything and you told him that was necessary for him everything but your people. Put everything *5 day Carnival Cruise for 2 to advance his career. Fire him too. Looky You want to stay alive? Then put your on the block except the honesty, loyalty and here, your bottom line is looking good. people first. Your managers, your dedication of those who have spent most of Keep paying yourself the same money, of salespeople, your office people, your their adult lives in your service. Take care course; the only trick here is to make the techs, your detail, all of your employees, of them, teach them, be patient with them. bottom line look good. your people — put them first. You want Train them by example to serve better, help your people to put their customers first them become all they can be. If you take Then start with the salespeople. Fire don’t you? You want your customers to be this option, your bottom line will take care the ones you were tired of anyway, you treated like family, don’t you? How in the of itself. Put your people first, they in turn know, the veterans who just wore out their world do you think your people can put the will put their customer first. You can be welcome, the ones who just don’t have customer first if you don’t put them first? proud of this option, and this option will the fire they did 20 years ago. Don’t let keep you in business. personal feelings get in the way. Don’t You have only two things to sell — the think about all the plans in their life which product and the experience of buying the didn’t happen because they put you first. product. If you want your people to give Dealer Cost All that matters here is your bottom line. your customers a good buying experience, John Brentlinger is a sales and Don’t worry about the lives and families of those who have given their life and times to help you get where you are now. After then your people must first have a good experience to share with their customers. And that is your responsibility. It is the responsibility of your managers. If you management trainer, executive coach and author. He can be contacted at 866.859.6504, or by e-mail at jbrentlinger@autosuccessonline.com. $ 159 Minimum order required Point of sales and marketing material FREE on your 1st order! Call for your free information package:22 1 877 993 6835 www.autosuccessonline.com www.travelamerica.com
  • 11. MichaelYorksales&trainingsolution WELCOME TO THE MARKET- PLACE OF SLOPPY SELLING Seems it’s getting a chemical and janitorial company and a What can you do about it? For starters… easier to be cheesier. media company to put five of their selling professionals (“professional” just means 1. Stay Positive Feeling down is up and down and out is IN. you’re doing it for pay — look it up) in the Fundamental to success and easier to There’s lots of talk about how bad or down front of the group and sell me something. do than buying all the negative stuff, or sad or off “things” (meaning you?) are Actually, I asked them to give me the first especially when you’re trying to sell me now. Let’s review…. five minutes of their “selling show” or something. Top performers get top pay, presentation. contrary to some of the “share the wealth” What’s the prevailing mood in the stuff you’re hearing lately. That is not how marketplace right now? The amount of The results? Even from experienced the free enterprise marketplace-of-ideas negative attitudes and information must and seasoned selling veterans — brutal! (and winning attitudes) operates. Profits be approaching some all-time high. And They stuttered and stammered and tried are better than wages, and if you get better there is certainly a time to address negative to “clever” their way through it, but the at winning profits and helping people buy, news, but there is also a right time and bottom line was that none of them had any you’ll command more money for the value place to do it. idea how their “show” started. If we go to you bring. a Broadway play or some other show or And if that’s true, then there is most concert, do you think they’ve rehearsed 2. Commit to Your Craft certainly a time and place to read, listen, how it begins? This one should be simple too. If selling is hear and speak positive messages that your chosen profession, how can you not get us and the people around us focused Right. And it begins the same way every be reading and studying and learning about on positive results. Without focusing on time. It’s called “the Law of the Dress the best in selling history and having a positive actions and attitudes, selling has Rehearsal.” And it’s why parades are coach or mentor or teacher you’re learning gotten just plain sloppy. going on at 3 a.m. at Disney even though from now? And if you’re depending on no one else is there. When the real show some manager to fill that role, you’re I’ve seen it over and over in the past few begins, everyone knows what to do, where cheating yourself. Sometimes getting better weeks. Salespeople and store clerks and to stand, and what to say. In acting, it’s means getting paid instruction. Buy some servers and owners, all negative and not- called blocking and it usually involves a books, attend some seminars or maybe paying attention to paying customers, or script. Not in sales, though; it’s all about join a coaching or mastermind program those trying to become paying customers. experienced individuals winging it as – try it; you might be surprised how your So don’t underestimate insulating yourself they do that “hoo-doo-that-they-do-so… investment pays off in greater sales and from all the negatives around you. Does SLOPPY.” profits. attitude matter when it comes to profits? Champions do the basics very well. 3. Don’t Follow the HERD Recently in a selling publication, Mark Fundamentals win. And even champions People are sheep. For the most part, sheep Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken can get sloppy with their fundamentals and do what other sheep do who are doing Soup for the Soul book series that has forfeit their success. what they see other sheep doing. Don’t sold over 120 million copies to date, was do it. Become uncommon; go upstream. if featured in an interview with the headline, Dale Carnegie, in timeless selling wisdom all around you seems negative, kick your “STAY POSITIVE: It’s the Only Way to that most salespeople have never read or attitude up a notch and see who notices. Win!” Suppose he knows anything about heard, once wrote that “It is useless to try winning and selling? and sell something to someone without first If this list seems easy to do, that’s because having made them want to listen.” it is. But it’s easier not to do, and that’s When it was easy (whenever that was, the option most will choose. If you’d like you decide) sales rocked along, managers Have you felt that lately when someone my short list on becoming uncommon as a stopped training to do more managing. was trying to sell you something? For the selling performer, e-mail me at the address next 30 days, take this test. Pay attention to below. Now it’s not as easy; conditions have how the selling presentation or the “show” changed in the market and most selling opens. Just for the first couple of minutes. Let’s help stamp out sloppy selling in our professionals are unarmed and unprepared, You’ll see sloppy in action. lifetime. proposing little more than price incentives and giving little or no or sloppy Unprepared and under-achieving selling presentations. professionals giving boring proposals or half-baked presentations that are little more Michael York is a professional speaker, As a consultant and coach for selling than “Well, would you be interested at this writer and business consultant. He can organizations and masterminds, I’ve asked price?” or worse “What’s it gonna’ take be contacted by e-mail at the leaders and managers of an insurance to get your business today?” Save your myork@autosuccessonline.com, or visit 26 company, a business machines company, strength…not today, and not ever. www.MichaelYork.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 12. SeanBradley sales&trainingsolution INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP XII Start seeing your The 6th habit in Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book 500 leads. You are looking at a residual flow factor of 750 to 800 leads within 60 days. business differently. is the habit to “Synergize.” Let me break that down for you. Synergy is defined as Now, let’s go back to all of those leads that “two or more agents that come together were dead for price, distance, trade, credit, are greater than their individual effect.” bought elsewhere, no answer, etc. Who In effect, one plus one equals three. My TOs those dead leads? Who verifies that favorite way to explain synergy to my they really are dead? Who tries to revive children is to say that peanut butter is good, and jelly is good, too. But, if you put them? For most dealerships the answer is no one. Let’s take it a step farther here for Shar on them together, they make an even better a moment. I have stores that are literally sandwich. Synergy is such a powerful word receiving thousands of leads per month. I chose it as half of my company’s name. If you are a dealership that receives 1,000 leads a month, those probably cost your Unfortunately, most dealership’s Internet dealership about $20,000. If you close 10 departments operate as silos in the percent, that will be 100 units sold, and dealership. They are an island. Even going 900 leads not sold. There were probably into 2009, there is still not 1,000 percent at least 450 leads deaded that month. That (not a typo) buy-in. On the flipside, the is $9,000 dead money. Multiply that by ISM or Director has to MacGyver the 12 and that’s $108,000 in lost money for department in order to keep things afloat. the year. Doesn’t it make sense to have { I highly suggest that dealerships work someone at least go over those leads, more towards full cooperation and buy in check them, and try to resurrect them? Just Buys a car every 6 years from the top down in their stores. Have the like there should be 100 percent TO on entire management team involved in what the showroom floor, there should be 100 Current Car has 34,618 miles is going on. Have the floor sales team work percent TO in the Internet department. with the Internet team, making phone calls, Spent over $1,500 in service setting appointments too, TOing deals, lost Dealerships should create strategy department in the last 32 months opportunities, etc. for their Internet departments — their Internet Dealerships — that will utilize I’ll give you an example. I have a large the resources of all of its team members, Honda dealer in Virginia that was tracking from the Internet coordinators to the their “dead deals” from their Internet Internet sales managers and directors, to the department. They were floored at just how many of these deals were getting salesman on the showroom floor to all of the managers in the dealership. Effective selling starts deaded. The problem was that there wasn’t a high level accountability. Seeing this, With 87 to 97 percent of people going with great relationships. the dealership created a process protocol online before they ever step foot into a that whenever an Internet coordinator dealership, it is important that there is no Your business is all about the relationships you build with each and every customer. By treating your customers deaded a lead, it went straight to one of the us/them mentality between the Internet as your most valuable asset, you can build relationships that promote your dealership and improve your profits. designated floor sales team members that department and the rest of the dealership. Visible Customer brings your customer database to life—helping you market to customers at a time and in a went into lead revival mode. The result? There is no Internet department, but They sold seven units last month due to an Internet dealership mentality. There manner that matters. Start seeing your business differently. Start seeing your customers. lead revival initiatives. needs to be full buy in from top down, full communication and participation to Get to know your customers at visiblecustomer.com/as or call us at 800-673-9870. Let me break down the math. Let’s say you maximize success for your initiative. have an Internet department that is buying or generating 500 leads a month. If you sell to 10 percent of these, or 50 units, you will BOOTH #6153 have 450 leads left over. Some are bogus, Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO some have bought elsewhere and about 250 of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in to 300 will carry over to next month. So, the automotive industry. He can be Visit Visible Customer At NADA you go into next month with 250 to 300 contacted at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail In New Orleans!28 leads, plus that month’s additional fresh at sbradley@autosuccessonline.com. January 24–27, 2009www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 13. MichelleOldershaw Dr. JohnC.Maxwellmarketingsolution sales&trainingsolution GENERATING IMPROVISING YOUR MORE REVIEWS: Reputation APPROACH TO Six Steps to Building Your Dealership’s Online IMPROVEMENT Building an from authentic reviews provided by your Make the Ask Our well-being and ourselves with discipline, we opt for diet online reputation customers. Dealerships need to work First, simply ask. Encourage your sales happiness are tied to fads or speculate in the stock market. When through third-party review Web sites directly with customers to have them and service team in face-to-face meetings the notion that our lives can improve. We we don’t see long-term improvements, we takes commitment and patience, but is provide thoughtful, detailed reviews. There and during phone conversations to ask hope for a better future for our dealership discard one fad in favor of another. important. More and more customers are several actions that you may take to customers to review your dealership on and sales career, our kids and ourselves. rely on the experience of other customers help guide the customer toward writing review sites. You may choose to hand out We dream of a tomorrow that’s better and In life, there are two kinds of pain: the pain when deciding where to buy their next a review about their experience at your cards to all sales and service customers brighter than today. of self-discipline and the pain of regret. The vehicle. The strongest reputations come dealership. with a reminder of the review Web site pain of self-discipline involves sacrifice, addresses. The address information may be Here are a few improvements many of us sweat and delayed gratification. Thankfully, added onto the back of your business cards desire to see: the reward of improvement softens the pain as a gentle reminder. Train employees about • We hope to lose weight and improve of self-discipline and makes it worthwhile. each review site and show them where to our fitness The pain of regret begins as a missed find your dealership’s review page. • We hope to earn more money and opportunity and ends up as squandered improve our financial standing talent and an unfulfilled life. Once the pain E-mail Reminders • We hope to argue less with our spouse of regret sets in, there’s nothing you can do Follow the first ask by sending customers and improve our marriage other than wonder, “What if?” an e-mail reminder. The e-mail may be Over the next year, if we knew our health Admit Mistakes a targeted e-mail or may be part of other would deteriorate, our economic situation When trying to improve, we not only risk service follow-up communication. By would worsen and our closest relationships failure — we guarantee it. The good news including a link to the review Web sites would unravel, then we’d be depressed. In is that mistakes generally teach us far more with the suggestion to “Add a Review” in fact, even if we knew our lives would stay than success. There’s no sense pretending your e-mail message, your customers will the same, most of us would feel unsatisfied. we’re perfect. Even the best of the best have the next step at their fingertips. We’re always looking to improve the have moments of weakness. That’s why it’s Promotional Reminders quality of our lives — it’s human nature. important to be honest when we fall short, Incorporate the “Add a Review” message learn from the mistake and move forward Unfortunately, many of us never go into existing printed materials. This with the knowledge gained. beyond hoping for improvements to suggestion may be placed on service actually making them. I’d like to share Measure Progress reminder letters, promotional flyers, desk some insights to help you improvise your toppers and showroom posters. You may You cannot manage what you cannot approach to improvement both for your life measure. Identify the areas in which consider adding a link directly from your and sales career. Web site to the review Web sites. improvement is essential to your success and find a way to track your progress. Develop Habits Follow the Rules Keeping score holds you accountable and The secret of your success is determined Be careful to adhere to the terms and gives you a clear indicator of whether or not by your daily agenda. Leaders who conditions of each review Web site. Some you’re actually improving. make successful improvements share a maintain strict policies about family common denominator: They form habits Change Continually members of dealership employees writing of daily action that most never develop. Continual change is essential for reviews. Some sites will also filter out As my friend Andy Stanley says, “Your improvement. One of the great paradoxes reviews that are written at the dealership. direction determines your destination.” The of success is that the skills and qualities steps you make each day, for good or ill, that get you to the top are seldom the ones Thank Your Customers eventually chart the path of your life. Thank customers for taking the time to that keep you there. The quest to improve review your dealership. Respect customers forces us to abandon assumptions, embrace Consider the analogy of saving for who decide they are not comfortable adding innovation and seek new relationships. If retirement. Financial advisers counsel us their review comments and work with those complacent for too long, we’ll fall behind to invest for retirement early in our careers who have had a negative experience. the learning curve. Once this happens, it’s a and consistently throughout life. If we do, steep, uphill climb to get back to the top. we can quit working at 65 with a sizeable Promote, Promote, Promote nest egg. However, if we neglect funding The desire for improvement has a degree of As you see your reputation building, share our 401(k) each month, then we end up with discontent in it. Personal growth requires the good news. Promote your review status nothing. We may still “hope” to win the apparently contradictory mindsets: humility and review quotes on your dealership Web lottery and secure our financial future, but to realize you have room to grow but also site, in printed material and advertisements. we’ve lost the ability to control our fate. confidence that improvement is possible. Customers will want to participate when they know their voice is recognized. Befriend Discipline John C. Maxwell is an internationally We live in the ultimate quick-fix culture. recognized leadership expert, speaker Michelle Oldershaw is the director of Everyone wants to be thin, but few people and author, and the founder of EQUIP and marketing for DealerRater.com. She may be eat healthy and exercise. Everyone wants INJOY Stewardship Services. He can be 33 contacted at 866.411.3222, or by e-mail 32 contacted at 866.414.0058, or by e-mail at financial stability, but many refuse to be moldershaw@autosuccessonline.com. bothered by a budget. Rather than trouble at jmaxwell@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 14. AlCarlmarketingsolution GET A GRIP ON YOUR MARKETING Your Web Analytics Tips for How to Better Manage EFFORTS: With any dealership other major players such as Omniture, system will uncover these trends and give marketing campaign, WebTrends and Core Metrics. These major you the ability to make the necessary gaining a better understanding of the results players deliver more robust data, but also adjustments to your Web campaigns, will show you where and what to plan require an investment to use their services. making them more effective and profitable. for in the future — and likely gain more There are hundreds of analytic systems success for your business. This fact is true available today with varying degrees of Track the Performance of whether your campaign is in a newspaper data elements and cost. In fact, nearly Keyword-Specific Traffic or on your Web site — measuring results every major dealership management Pay-per-click ads run on keywords, and is a fundamental and essential part of any system provider who offers a Web solution the difference in conversion rates can vary marketing effort. has a Web analytics system available dramatically from keyword to keyword; with that solution. Selecting an analytics where one can sometimes deliver 200 to Savvy dealership Internet and marketing program and learning how to use it prior to 300 percent more than another. Once you managers have learned that paid (pay- implementing your paid search campaign is are able to evaluate the performance level per-click) ads on search engine sites yield a wise investment of your time. of keyword-specific traffic, you will be able more valuable visitors than free (organic) to make adjustments to your bid rates and listings. In fact, a 2008 online retailers’ So what’s important to measure with an emphasis accordingly, focusing on the most study conducted by Engine Ready showed analytics system? In a word, everything! cost efficient and useful keywords. Keep in that paid traffic converts at a 20 percent Every element of information has the mind that the more productive a keyword is higher rate and results in an 18 percent potential to be of value in a Web campaign the more you should be willing to pay for higher order value on average than free and needs be studied and analyzed. Here it, and that any non-performing keywords listings. The results of this survey — and a are a few key points to consider for should be eliminated from the campaign. multitude of others — illustrate that using measuring with your analytics system: paid search has grown in prominence as Working with a good analytics system an important component of successful Conversion Rate will also help you identify keywords that Web marketing. However, while creating Conversion rate speaks to the number of current customers are using to find your a pay-per-click campaign with one of the visitors that come to your site and act in a site through organic search, and can help major search engine sites is a simple task, manner you desire out of the total number you identify keywords used on your site’s maximizing the return from one is fraught of visitors. For your dealership, this would internal search engine. Using these search with challenges. include visitors who filled out a lead form, terms in your pay-per-click campaign will requested a bid quote, made a phone call give you the opportunity to capture new Maximizing the return on your paid search or scheduled a service appointment online. customers similar to your existing ones. investment begins with knowing where You can effectively generate traffic to Web traffic comes from and whether it your Web site, but if you cannot identify Paid search is an extremely effective way “bounces” or not. The answer is found in what that traffic does once it arrives, you to market your dealership, but it’s only Web analytics, which is simply cannot effectively manage or grade the as good as your performance tracking the study of online behavior in performance of your paid search efforts. tool. If you don’t know the results order to improve it. Answering the questions “How many leads you’re getting — and why — from your did we see out of our efforts?” and “How Web campaigns, then you are wasting One of the better known much did it cost to generate x number of money and opportunity. Proper use of an – and free – analytic programs leads?” will enable you to place value on analytics tool and ongoing performance is Google Analytics, with the campaign, and tracking the conversion assessment will help dealership Internet rate will accomplish this. and marketing managers generate value for their dealerships, and better understand “So what’s Tracking the Source of the Lead what works for their business. Spend important to The lead source can speak volumes time getting to know and understand your measure with about the quality of Web traffic. Studies analytics system of choice. Review the an analytics have shown that the most productive and information on a daily basis. Modify your system? In a profitable traffic typically flows in this order: campaigns accordingly, and, ultimately, word, everything! • Directly to the Web site • From paid search traffic add more to your bottom line. Every element of • Other sites referral traffic That’s what any marketing campaign is all information has • Free (organic) traffic about. the potential to be of value in a Web Additionally, search engine traffic can campaign and vary in quality from one search engine to Al Carl is the search engine optimization needs be studied another, with one providing a significantly (SEO) / search engine marketing (SEM) product planning manager of Web and analyzed.” higher level of productive traffic than Solutions at Reynolds and Reynolds. He another, and even this can vary by region can be contacted at 866.406.8374, or by 34 and industry. The use of a good analytics e-mail at acarl@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 15. SeanStapletonmarketingsolution LOYAL CUSTOMERS MEAN DOLLARS FOR YOU Most would agree that dealers get much more dramatic results you to the customer? Again it comes back to things in our industry with this approach. the “Know Me . . . Help Me” focus. are pretty ugly. We all know our industry runs in cycles, but this speed bump is one Customers in your database, and thus It is critical that you customize each offer that many of us hoped to avoid. As with any accessible to marketing efforts, are the you make to your existing customers. This speed bump, you want to slow down and “low hanging fruit” and a natural place to accomplishes two things. First, it shows decide the best way to approach it. start your efforts. First you must identify your customers that you know what they where they are in the lifecycle of owning need, and second, it shows you know Dealers are falling into two camps on their the vehicle and establish their current who they are and that the relationship is approach to the situation. The first camp needs. When you recognize these needs important to you and them. is the dealers who are hunkering down, before the customer takes action, you have To begin the marketing process, you need cutting staff, advertising and generally the power to change where their money is to establish clear goals and a schedule to being very cautious with their business. spent. Own the customer and you own the reach out to these customers. That means Essentially they’ve taken a “bunker opportunity. Own the opportunity and you developing a campaign schedule so offers mentality.” The second camp seems to be have the power to change your business. will be triggered based on seasonal needs, using this time as an opportunity to build anniversary of purchase dates, estimated on their strengths and look at this market While the basics of this type of marketing mileage services, lease termination dates, to enhance training, and to build or re- are pretty simple, you need to overcome F&I opportunities, and, of course, regular build their teams to be more efficient and and address some of the regulatory hurdles service reminders. productive. These dealers are also looking and identify a process to put the right offer at their most important asset; their customer in front of the right customer. Federal Do If you choose not to do all this in-house, base. They know by keeping more of their Not Call List and Spam rules must be be sure you select a vendor to provide you customers they can gain a larger “share of followed or the penalties can be steep. You with easy to read and frequent reports, wallet” and keep revenue growing. also want to respect the privacy of your accessible dashboards, and a thorough customers and communicate with them in process to target and follow up on the NADA says the biggest expense and income the most effective manner. House cleaning results of each campaign and the revenue opportunity in your dealership is the attrition should be the first rule of the day. Clean generated from these marketing efforts. of your customer base. This is one of the up the records in your dealer management The overall goal is to increase the loyalty best places for dealers to focus their energies system. The average dealership has about of your existing customers. Remember you and resources. Did you know that only 50 21,000 customer records, but upon closer spent $500+ in marketing costs to get them percent of your delivered vehicles are ever analysis and after removing duplicates and in the door; and on average customers in the likely to return to your dealership and that invalid records the list filters down to an service department spend about $300 per only 20 percent of your sales customers will average of 15,000 valid customer accounts. year — that’s an $800 value per customer. be converted into service customers? This Sending any marketing piece out to a full If you have 15,000 customers in your clearly creates an incredible opportunity to list of customers in your database before DMS and you lose 10 percent that’s 1,500 reach out to these customers. you clean it will generate thousands of customers lost. Now let’s do some quick dollars in wasteful marketing expenses. math: $800 value per customer times 1,500 By increasing the number of service customers lost means your dealership takes customers, dealers build a steady revenue Some dealers just pull a list and send out a hit to the tune of $1,200,000 annually. stream and research shows 86 percent of discount coupons for various services or service customers create repeat sales for sales promotions; but how do you think your This certainly shows how valuable time the dealership. Too often marketing and customer feels after buying three trucks and energy spent in retaining customers advertising efforts focus on new customer from you over the last few years and you and keeping them loyal to your dealership acquisition which costs around $500 to send a flyer promoting cars with factory pays off in big dividends. $600 per vehicle sale. This strategy quickly rebates this month? Or what about the Sean Stapleton is the executive vice becomes very expensive to maintain. coupon for the $9.95 oil change trying to be president of business development for Instead of using the “Find Me . . . Sell Me” redeemed by the diesel truck owner, and he Visible Customer. He can be contacted at focus, dealers need to develop a “Know is told, “Sorry that coupon is only for small 866.406.6337, or by e-mail at Me . . . Help Me” perspective. We’ve seen vehicles and light trucks”? Does that endear sstapleton@autosuccessonline.com. 36 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 16. RichardF.Libinsales&trainingsolution “Did you get my price?” This creates an few days later to test the waters again. If biggest opportunity to maximize business TURNING NON-BUYERS un-winnable situation. If the manager makes the call, he or she nothing has changed, it’s critical to add the customer to the prospect database and the salesperson should include them in his or is by turning non-buyers into buyers. How do you make sure that as many of those 75 people as possible buy a car? Keeping score, INTO BUYERS can ask, “I understand you were in our her prospecting campaigns. tracking the statistics and implementing dealership today, but you didn’t purchase simple follow-up techniques helps evaluate a car. I’d really appreciate it if you could For every 100 customers that come into the your performance and draw the customer tell me why.” This starts the conversation, dealership, 15 will automatically buy and 10 back into the dealership. Remember, we Every sport has a opportunity to close a deal, it’s important why customers didn’t buy, and could even which a skilled manager can use to make an are unrealistic and will not buy a car; but the have as much business behind us as we do scorekeeper and to understand why a potential buyer leaves be the catalyst that brings them back into appointment to bring the customer back into other 75 are non-buyers, which presents the in front of us. Why leave money on the table statisticians. In baseball, they track the without completing a purchase. With the dealership to finalize the sale. This the dealership. biggest opportunity. These are people that for another dealership to collect? pitching and the hitting. In basketball, they this information, you can understand and brings up three questions: have just started to look for a car and people keep record of the missed and completed correct any missteps, and develop a game If price was not the issue, then the that will say that they are glad to have bought Richard F. Libin is president of Automotive field goals, fouls, turnovers, steals and plan to bring those customers back into 1. Who Gets Called? Who Doesn’t? salesperson should make the follow-up call. a car today as they are driving out of the Profit Builders, Inc. He can be contacted blocked shots. In every sport, scorekeepers the store. Every dealership should have a It’s simple. Every single non-buyer that Often salespeople are hesitant to make these dealership, even though they never thought at 866.450.6853, or by e-mail at and statisticians keep track of every customer log to keep track of customers came into the dealership should receive a calls for fear of rejection. What’s the worst they’d actually purchase on the spot. The rlibin@autosuccessonline.com. opportunity to score that succeeded or failed. and to see either why they bought or not. follow-up call. The priority of these calls is thing that can happen? Some customers will Was the customer greeted properly and critical and every call should be prioritized hang up; some will criticize the salesperson In the automotive business, the promptly? Did the salesperson capture — A, B, C. First on the list, the “A” calls and dealership; some may have already “scorekeeper” and “statistician” typically critical information needed for follow-up are those that received pricing before they bought elsewhere. But, even if one decides only track the number of cars sold, and — not just one phone number, but all the left. “B” calls are those that completed the to come back, the salesperson is that much not the customers that left the dealership information? Did they salesperson help demo drive but did not get a price. Finally, closer to scoring. without buying. Yet, people don’t come to the buyer identify the right vehicle? Was the “C” calls include everyone else. 3. When Should the Call dealerships unless they intend to purchase the car demonstrated? This information Take Place? a car. So, keeping an accurate score of the helps identify mistakes and challenges, 2. Who Makes the Call? dealership’s and salespersons’ performance and enables managers to adjust processes This depends on how far into the sales Every customer who has been given a price is a valuable tool, one that can turn failure and tailor training to continuously improve process each prospect had come. If price should get a call back to see what can be into success. Unfortunately, dealers often future performance, and even entices was an issue, the manager, a new voice, a done to get him or her back in the dealership treat this process like a spectator sport. “lost” customers to give the dealership a friendly ear, should make the call. Why? If within 24 hours of the time the prospect left second chance. the salesperson was involved in presenting the dealership. Better yet, call within the Why Did the Customer Leave the price, and the customer walked out first hour after the customer leaves. Always Without Buying a Car? Bringing Them Back because it was too high, the first question go for an appointment and try to create a be- Since every customer represents an A simple follow-up call can further identify the customer will ask the salesperson is, back. Many dealerships have their business development centers (BDC) call and/or send a form letter to every prospect that came into the dealership. Then, after a few days, the BDC may make personal contact with the prospect. Unfortunately, if the customer took the time to come to a dealership, he or she had a need to purchase a car, and allowing time to pass before following up is like fumbling and giving the competition the chance to score. If the follow-up call does not get the customer back in the dealership immediately, salespeople should put together a follow-up strategy that keeps the dealership in the forefront of the customer’s mind, brings the prospect back and nurtures the relationship. It is important to keep in mind that not every customer buys within the first 24 hours. The strategy should include a follow-up letter sent three or four days after the phone call. If on the call the customer indicated they didn’t want to make a purchase, the salesperson needs to nurture the opportunity. He or she should try to find out could have been better about the experience and apologize for anything that may have gone wrong. This helps the dealership — and the sales person — save face and creates an opportunity to keep the customer as a prospective buyer and source of referrals. The salesperson should then follow up with a note — a thank you for 39 38 thinking of the dealership, coming in, etc. Then, the salesperson should call them a www.autosuccessonline.com the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 17. MarcSmithsales&trainingsolution THE BEST PRICE GUARANTEE Back in the early you don’t we’ll pay for the brand of your take you up on the offer. A friend of mine 90’s, I was training a choice.” (The Calis Promise Program) used to be in the rebate coupon business. large dealer group in Minneapolis. While He tells me that less than 18 percent of training a negotiating class one morning, “If you are not completely satisfied with the mail-in rebates were ever used by the I was bombarded with this objection: your purchase, simply return the products consumer. This has proven to be even What’s your best price? After responding and we will refund you 100 percent of the lower in many retail operations, resulting with what I felt were my best price closes, value of the returned product, including the in minimal risk for the dealer. Research I could tell they simply weren’t buying it. shipping cost.” (Canadian pharmacy) shows that the odds of someone actively In fact, the body language of one of the shopping for a better price after the managers sitting in the front row, the look “If you find a lower price, we will give you purchase are almost nonexistent. in his eyes, told me he had little faith in the a Corvette for free.” (BH Chevrolet) closes I was using. Both the manager in Minnesota and I knew Many years ago, while shopping at a local that the close I offered and ones similar He spoke up and said, “OK. What if I’m Wal-Mart I noticed a return policy board to it from other companies would have to the customer and I say, ‘Is that your bottom displayed in the returns department. The follow specific guidelines in order to meet line price? If it is, I’m leaving.’” With last item on the list read, “We will match with dealer approval. conviction, I rattled off the following close: any competitors price.” Now bear in mind “No problem. You won’t have to wait to that, back then, not too many people were A few of the dealerships that use some enjoy your new car. At our dealership, we promoting price matching. I realized, version of this type of policy are not using have a best price guarantee. If you find a customers are looking for the dealer or it properly. There must be a policy in better price over the next 30 days, we will retailer to assume some of the risk. place as to when and how to use the best refund you 150 percent of the difference. I price guarantee close. First, you shouldn’t just need your OK right here.” The old, 30-day money back guarantee advertise it unless it happens to be a part in retail industries is simply not enough. of your branding, of which I personally am After a moment, the new car manager In today’s market, the customer must feel not a fan. I believe you should build value said with a smile on his face, “Now that’ll that the dealer has more to lose. A great in the product, and then establish a price work.” example of this is the use of extended that reflects the perceived value. Second, warranties, backed by the dealership. it should be used as a last-effort close, and When it comes to making a buying They instill trust in the mind of the for the most part by a manager. Third, it decision, consumers are becoming consumer and compete effectively with should be revisited with the customer in more and more attracted to guarantees other brands that offer longer warranties. the F&I department, with the terms and these days. The idea that the vendor and “Tires for life” programs and three-day conditions of the offer fully disclosed and manufacturer should assume some of return policies all add value and create a in writing. This will instill confidence in the risk in the quality of a product or lose-win environment that make it more the mind of the consumer that the offer service plays a major role in consumers’ comfortable for a customer to make a is valid and helps reduce any pre-buying decision-making process. Have you decision. remorse. noticed that each year brings more and more advertising slogans, that shout: “We A risk on the dealer’s part is essential. It’s been said that a good deal is a frame of will beat anybody’s price”? The money- How much risk is too much risk, mind. With the best price guarantee, you back guarantee tactic is especially in style. you ask? There’s no answer for that, can help the customer have peace of mind Surely, you’ve seen tactics like these in because the positive result of such a and feel better about giving your dealership action. risk is really measured by the behavior all 10s. of the consumer. And that starts with “30 minutes or less or it’s free.” (Dominos understanding that very few people Marc Smith is the president and CEO of Pizza) will ever take advantage of a best price Marc Smith International LLC. He can be guarantee offer. The reason these practices contacted at 866.665.4479, or by e-mail “We’re so confident you’ll like Calis, if work is because most consumers never at msmith@autosuccessonline.com. 40 www.autosuccessonline.com NADA Booth #5247
  • 18. BrookeSamplesmarketingsolution EMPLOYMENT VALUE PROPOSITION Recently, a sales according to a March 2004 Robert Half those you are recruiting. Your messaging manager was International survey. must be accurate and truthful if it is to have complaining about the lack of sales. While credibility. Don’t sell work/life balance if he thought now would be a good time to Because compensation is the most your dealership cannot deliver it. “upgrade” his salespeople by replacing the quantifiable measure of value a company low-performing salespeople with better places on the employee, it is easy to Once you’ve determined your Employment ones, he dreaded deciding who should be see why managers mistakenly believe Value Proposition, use it in your quest replaced. The solution seemed simple, the primary reason employees leave an for attracting the best employees. Use “Start with the low man on the totem organization is for a higher salary. If you key points of your EVP in your help- pole.” To which he replied, “But my totem want to attract the right talent, you need to wanted ads. Would your Web site promote pole is horizontal!” With today’s business shed that mentality and develop an EVP “passive” job seekers to start thinking challenges, you may not think it’s a good that will help you attract the best people. about working for you? If your Web site time to hire, but now is the best time to has a “career tab,” does it spell out to plan for your future by making sure your To develop your dealership’s EVP Brand, potential employees why working for your team of employees is the best available. start with the question, “What would we dealership is a good career move or does it do, or say, to attract and retain people if simply say “Here, fill out this application”? Attracting the best people for your we had to pay 20 percent below market?” Do you have enough good reasons to work dealership is becoming a more To help you answer that question, review for your dealership to create a brochure to sophisticated process. To attract and the five main categories that drive an hand out at job fairs, training schools or to retain the best, you need to brand your individual’s satisfaction with their have a recruitment table at racing/sporting/ dealership. Branding isn’t just about your employer: little league events? sales departments; it’s also about defining • The organization’s success and your “Employment Value Proposition” reputation Developing an employment brand will (EVP) — a statement of why the total work • Development and advancement help you attract the people who will feel experience at your dealership is superior opportunities at home in your dealership. This should to that of other businesses. First, let’s • Work/life balance also make it easier for you to retain them. examine why employees leave a place of • Rewards and compensation A focused employer brand development employment. • Most important, the quality of the effort takes patience and commitment. people who work there Stop bribing people to work for you, and Eighty-eight percent of employees leave start defining what makes your dealership organizations for reasons other than money. To brand your dealership, which of these special. Given the competition for the best The top three reasons talented employees categories are most important to your talent, the results will be more than worth leave are: 1) 39 percent leave because of employees and to the people you are trying the effort. limited opportunity for advancement, 2) to attract? If you don’t know, conduct an Brooke Samples is the COO of Dealer 23 percent are unhappy with management, employee survey to find the answer. Next, Service Corporation, a division of NCM and 3) 17 percent leave because of lack of apply what you’ve learned about your Associates. She can be contacted at recognition. Inadequate salary and benefits dealership’s strengths and weaknesses, and 866.618.8377, or by e-mail at comes in at fourth place with 11 percent, decide on the message you want to send to bsamples@autosuccessonline.com.42 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 19. I N A TO U G HSELLING ENVIRONMENT YO U C A N N OT A F F O R D TO PA R T N E R WITH A DIM BULB TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE BRIGHT IDEAS OF BZ RESULTS Choose BZ Results , the digital marketing provider that can shine a powerful light on new ways to find more prospects, convert more sales, and keep more customers coming back. Consider all of the bright ideas BZ can deliver for your marketing: Digital Marketing System Digital Advertising Search Engine Marketing and Optimization Finance Online Live Chat Service eNewsletter ServiceBZ Results, an ADP, Inc. Company To accelerate leads, to drive2000 Nooseneck Hill Road, Coventry, Rhode Island 02816 more site traffic and to sell© 2008 ADP, Inc. – Dealer Services Group / BZ Results and more cars, call 866.413.3002the BZ Results logo are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc. or visit bzresults.com.

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