AutoSuccess .dec10.2


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

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AutoSuccess .dec10.2

  1. 1. 2010DECEMBER
  2. 2. THE #1 SALES-IMPROVEMENT MAGAZINE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Kentucky 40299 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | info@autosuccessonline.comSusan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution gm finds thE right crm for his staff, dEalErship salEm ford hyundai up 65 pErcEnt in salEs and thE dEath of thE traditional dEalErship part 6 arE your policiEs and procEdurEs working? 100 pErcEnt in sErvicE in Just thrEE months an alBatross around thE nEck of thE dEalEr taking advantagE of thE papErlEss officE , intErnEt salEs 20 group rEviEw, part 1 failing is thE assurancE of succEss how hillsidE honda is staying ahEad how doug sold 40 cars in his first your top social stratEgy for 2011 two months in thE auto BusinEss thE sEarch gamE has changEd: succEssful dEalErship part 2 what arE pEoplE looking for thE powEr of paraphrasing 14 traits that Exist in EvEry whEn looking at your sitE? the lowdown on the new “google places” Engaging your prospEcts , an interview with ryanGill 16 30 28 22 10 14 18 20 24 38 42 26 32 36 40 08 markTewart BrianBrowning seanv.Bradley marshBuice scottJoseph JimFranco marcSmith dalePollak ErinEhrling richardWinch BryanAnderson kendallBillman franTaylor susanGivens howardLeavitt JeffHicks 4 0 2 pg1 pg2 pg4
  3. 3. SusanGivens marketing solution salEm ford hyundai up 65 pErcEnt in salEs and 100 pErcEnt in sErvicE in Just thrEE monthsRecently Salem Ford Hyundai, a memberof the Key Auto Group, implemented a newtargeted marketing strategy that has shownimpressive results — a 65 percent increase insales and a 100 percent jump in service ROswritten, from 1890 to 3925, as compared to thesame three-month period in 2009.Located in southern New Hampshire, SalemFord Hyundai serves customers in bothsouthern New Hampshire and northernMassachusetts with the majority of its businesscoming from a specific geographic area. Re-evaluating their marketing practices, SalemFord Hyundai sought a more targeted focus.They determined that it did not make economicsense to advertise to the broader NewHampshire and Massachusetts region, and theywanted a strategy that would help them reachtheir local customer base.“Why should we spend our marketing dollarsto reach an entire region when 90 percent ofour sales come from a limited local area,” saidSalem General Manager Tania Pulkowski.“We do have phenomenal prices. Our ‘Hassle-Free Zone’ guarantees the lowest pricesaround, so customers will drive an hour or was down by 13 percent the previous three owner trades that are not easy to find and canmore to save a few hundred dollars to buy months before starting this new strategy, and be expensive at auctions,” Pulkowski said.a new car, but the lifetime value of these now it’s up 87 percent since September – that’scustomers is much lower than a local customer, a 100-percent turnaround.” To help effect their used inventory, Salemdue to the lack of service and repeat business.” Ford Hyundai created a special trade-in “We wanted to help Salem Ford Hyundai target campaign that offered to buy-back usedWhile carefully defining their ideal target areas the perfect prospects with the highest statistical vehicles at above Kelley Blue Book value. Thewithin their local market, Salem Ford Hyundai probability of buying or servicing with their campaign was successful and they plan to usealso wanted to streamline costs by combining dealership,” said Budd Blackburn, owner of similar campaigns a few times a year to keepsales and service messaging to their current the targeted marketing company that Salem inventory up.customers and potential new customers. They Ford Hyundai uses. “By conducting an in-developed a combination sales and service depth, five-year historical assessment of their “It’s not just about sales,” Pulkowski said. “Wemarketing communication platform that data and researching the local market trends, want to create a customer who will continuewould speak to everyone in their database, we helped them target the best audience.” to come back to service their vehicles with usproviding current service offers that matched and eventually buy with us again, and again —the customer’s unique service status. They Their goal is to positively affect all five creating a greater lifetime-value customer.”also aggressively targeted Ford and Hyundai departments — new, used, finance, service andowners in their market who were not yet Salem parts — with their new marketing strategy tocustomers. get the absolute most out of the money they spend. “Another key factor for us is used cars“Since starting on this new strategy, our sales – 50 percent of our market comes from used Susan Givens is the publisher of AutoSuccess.are up 65 percent,” Pulkowski said. “What’s sales and we needed a way to continue to build She can be contacted at 877.818.6620, or bymore amazing is that our service department our pre-owned inventory with quality, one- e-mail at
  4. 4. DalePollak marketing solution in the number of visitors to Windsor Castle because people can see images and learn facts an alBatross about the Queen and her doings online. There is no question that the Internet’s first major transformation had to do with commerce, around thE nEck and its current evolution has to do with social relationships. In reality, commerce and social of thE dEalEr relationships are very much intertwined. While I don’t believe that social media presently has a strong influence on vehicle sales, ICenturies ago, when someone had a message, they had to stand on a box in the middle of the believe that it will in the years to come. Astown square or pass the message along to the designated town crier. When farmers and merchants the Internet now enables commerce and socialhad something to sell, they also had to congregate in open markets. Newspapers, mail and connections, I believe that dealer real estateeventually telephones diffused the need for central physical locality to move the message or the will ultimately become an albatross around thecommerce. These communication mediums diminished the need for the physical realm. neck of the dealer.Recently, Queen Elizabeth created a Facebook page. Royal officials are predicting a reduction Under the present and future margin- compressed environment of the automobile business, I don’t believe that dealers can justify the amount of expense they have tied up in the land, building, taxes and insurance. I believe that small is the new big. Dealerships that have much less and much lower cost physical real estate will have the opportunity to sell cars at a higher profit than that of their high-overhead competitors. This is a particularly difficult and early message to dealers. This is so because dealers have derived a lot of ego and identity from their physical presence. Moreover, the manufacturers are requiring dealers to invest even more in their facilities. In my opinion, this is not the time for a dealer to get more vested in real estate, but rather less. I can imagine a scenario where a new car showroom looks like a small square-footage boutique in an upscale, high-traffic shopping plaza and/or office complex. The model in my mind for the look and feel of such showrooms is a Volkswagen and Audi display on the ground floor of their North American corporate office in Herndon, Virginia. I think the service departments should be located in clean and conveniently accessible low-cost, square footage property. The used car operation is the only part of the enterprise that, in my opinion, may still require high-traffic visibility. I think that the separation and consequential concentration of these three businesses will lead to greater productivity and lower costs. While I’m not sure that I’m completely correct on the above configuration, I am sure that the present and future retail automotive business will not support the rental factors that I see being constructed or upgraded at these new dealerships. I think that the manufacturer should be incentivizing the dealer right now to reconfigure their real estate for the purpose of getting to a much lower per square foot cost factor. As the importance of the Internet increases, the value of their real estate decreases. Dale Pollak is the founder of vAuto and a best-selling author. He can be contacted at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at
  5. 5. Sales Manager, Ryan GillChesrown Chevrolet-Buick-GMC While geography was once a severely limiting factor to dealerships located in smaller towns, the Internet has helped to create another source of customers who can easily shop their lot and find vehicles and service that attracts them to make the drive. One dealership that has taken advantage of this new way of thinking and marketing is Chesrown Chevrolet-Buick- GMC, located in Delaware, Ohio, about 25 miles north of Columbus. We recently sat down with Sales Manager Ryan Gill and asked him about the process his dealership goes through to attract customers online, and make the sale once they’ve established a relationship. autosuccess: what makes chesrown a dealership that people want to buy from? ryan gill: For one, we have an extremely friendly and respectful sales and management staff that has seen very little turnover through the years. In our unique culture, we do everything we can to kick the traditional “car dealer” stereotype by exuding an attitude of service and being very straightforward with all of our customers. Another competitive advantage that we have going for us is that my father (owner Jim Gill) and I are active in every facet of the dealership. Being a sales manager, I get involved in each sales transaction early in order to put our customers at ease and let them know that they are in good hands. Our Website has become a key part of our sales process. Customers love the simplicity and ease of finding the relevant information they are looking for on our Website, and even our repeat customers continue to come back to our site to shop for cars for their relatives and neighbors.
  6. 6. as: why is it more important than ever to listen system assists us here through its “Daily Dealership Activity Interface”to the customer and how they buy, instead by allowing us easily to track all appointments, showroom traffic, phoneof working harder to improve how you sell? calls, Website activity and lead sources in one application. We need thisrg: It’s this simple: We are in the service industry. We have to continue in order to more efficiently focus on our lowest hanging fruit in all areasto provide information to the customer by whatever means they want to of the store.receive it. We have never before dealt with a more informed customerthan we deal with now. It’s truly unbelievable how many deals we work as: it appears that chesrown sees the value ofbefore we ever meet the customers in person. combining all of their digital tools in their sales process — not only to build value in your dealership, people andas: how have you used your web strategy to process — but also in an effort to motorize and generatecreate a more personal relationship between results and growth in each of the dealership’s profityour virtual and physical sales process? centers. how has this been most effective and why?rg: Everything is transparent. We make Carfaxes available on every rg: We are always trying to build value in our organization throughoutvehicle, we have pictures of both new and used vehicles online, and our the sales process. We feature our “Chesrown Advantage” all over ouronline negotiation tool allows us to provide multiple payment, purchase Website, we disclose all repairs made in our reconditioning processand lease figures with multiple term and down payment options. We and we make sure that our in-dealership first-class sales and serviceeven have personalized pages on our site for each member of our staff, experience mirrors our online experience.allowing any customer to get in touch with any of us, including the owner. as: what is the most pro-active part of youras: what features on your website are contributing factors measurement strategy?to the conversion rate you have seen from your visitors? rg: Accountability. Every morning we have a managers meeting. Onrg: Our Website is an absolute conversion machine. Between any given day we look at previous appraisals, response times on leadsthe live chat and online negotiation features, it allows customers and all deals desked. We believe that those are the most vital items thatto communicate with us with “no strings attached,” which we find is constantly need addressed.exactly what they prefer. We talk to so many more people than we didwhen our Website only featured “form fill” customer lead generators. as: what have you found to be the most effectiveThose methods simply turn people away. method in speaking effectively to your customers? rg: In the past, we had little to no way of knowing anything about theas: Explain how chesrown has created an effective customer when they first arrived on the showroom floor. Today, we useand efficient sales process from the moment a the “cyber sonar” function of our CRM and Website, which “surveys”customer steps onto your virtual lot and/or your physical lot. every prospect we receive through our Website. This unique toolrg: It all starts with a quick and relevant response. From there, we supplies us with detailed information on where the shopper came fromprovide as much information as necessary to set the appointment, and specific to their search method. Once on the site, it tracks every search,we’ve thought out processes for the events we encounter. We have a every page and every car they research. Not only does the system attachprocess for sight-unseen trades. We have a process for people with all of this data to each customer’s record, but it also lets us know if theycredit issues. We have a process for everything. have been active on our site in the past so we can better provide them with information that speaks to how they buy and less how we sell. Ifas: do you believe in the world of crm and ilm tools? there has been a shift in the car business over the last year, this is effective is yours within your sales process andwithin your continuous, ongoing follow up? how do For more information about Ryan Gill or Chesrown Chevrolet-Buick-you measure which tools are most effective? GMC, visit Today, you don’t have a choice. Now, more than ever, we need tohave eyes on every prospect who comes across our lot. From there, we For more information about Widestorm, contact the president andcan go back to unsold prospects and reevaluate the appraisals, the founder, Jock Schowalter. He can be contacted at 866.456.3180, orvehicle, the figures and whatever else needed to make a deal. Our CRM by e-mail at
  7. 7. ErinEhrling marketing solution how hillsidE honda is staying ahEadIn the Internet age, dealers who do not keep possible trim level choices, so they can assess can see plenty of vehicles they are lookingup are going to be left behind. The Internet what they can afford to spend. The pre-owned to purchase. We are currently working withDepartment of Hillside Honda often is the vehicles will also give them added options Reach Local for our pay-per-click campaigns,first point of contact between the dealership of vehicles they would like for an even search engine optimization and search engineand the customer, and while keeping up with better price. Since we have created our own marketing. Originally, we had a budget ofnew trends and technology can be tricky, it’s e-mail campaign with good results, they have $5,000 per month because we thought the morewell worth the effort. The Internet is where integrated it into their best practices. we spent, the more visitors Hillside Hondamany consumers begin their car-buying would receive. We now know that it is notresearch and our Internet Department is here Our modified approach has produced great how much a company spends, but how theyto make sure they are finding us and getting results with respect to our closing ratio for our spend it. I trust that search engine visitors areinto the right vehicle. Internet customers. Over the past couple of much more likely to select an organic link, months, our closing ratio has stayed relatively rather than a sponsored link. Internet users areBefore customers even think of stopping by steady and healthy, around 10 percent. We’ve aware that search engines will pull sites andour dealership, they use the Internet as a tool seen an increase in our closing ratio, to about information that is a close match to what theyto aid in their purchasing decision. Consumers 12 percent, since testing this type of e-mail are searching. Our focus is to trend organicallyare more aggressive than ever, and we are campaign, from April 2010 to May 2010, for key search phrases, but we also understandusing all our efforts to ensure that they are and in June 2010, our closing ratio was at to keep an appropriate budget for pay per click.leaving happy. We utilize the landing page an amazing 19 percent. Our team has sinceon to promote specials, decided to continue this campaign because of More so now than ever, consumers want tonew inventory, advertising and other fun the success that our Internet sales team has trust a business and feel comfortable with theinformation. Selling cars is our business, seen. It is vital to stay ahead of the times and organization they are doing business with.but consumers come first. We want to share try new methods to see what really works for There are many ways that we make sure ourinformation they would enjoy hearing about your dealership. customers feel comfortable coming to us forand keep bringing them back. their car purchasing needs. Hillside Honda is We’ve recently launched a Website created an accredited business by the Better BusinessTo aid the Website with aggressive pricing, specifically for our pre-owned car shoppers. Bureau (BBB). Having our BBB accreditationwe have implemented a different approach Not only does it display our used inventory, on the Website shows customers they can trustfor client. Our business development center is but also informs our consumers why Hillside Honda, and it solidifies our businessresponsible for contacting Internet customers purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle is practices and reassures customers they shouldand bringing them in to purchase a vehicle. such a great decision. The Website layout choose us over other dealerships.It has always been a rigid format to never is specifically designed to be very clear anddisclose pricing to the customer prior to simple. We have two locations, and on the By using all these elements, we have been abletheir showroom appointment; however, to homepage the addresses and pictures of what increase our profitability. Our Website presencecompete in an aggressive marketplace and each location looks like are displayed to make and proper customer follow up is what allowsservice price-savvy customers, we are trying it easier for our customers. Not only will this Hillside Honda’s business to grow and flourish.a different approach. We have created a series help our customers, but it has also assisted us It is vital for all dealers to have accurateof e-mails for our best selling vehicles that in many ways. information, aggressive pricing and properdisclose an aggressive new vehicle price, plus customer care follow up in order to increaseseveral pre-owned vehicles that would also In the auto industry, many consumers use sales and happy the needs of our customers. Our business Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search enginesdevelopment center has always been timely, to locate the vehicles they are looking tofriendly and accurate responding to customers. purchase. Having more than one WebsiteTheir priority is to have strong communication. helps us in our organic searches, as consumersOur follow-up approach with the customer are much more likely to select an organic Erin Ehrling is the Internet marketingis to stay in contact with them and provide Website than a pay-per-click ad. If they are manager at Hillside Honda. She can bethem with information they are seeking. The searching for a used Honda Accord in Queens, contacted at 866.871.0247, or by e-mail atnew vehicle prices show the customer three they will be brought to a Website where they OFFER A SERVICE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS THAT MOST OTHER DEALERS CAN’T PROVIDE! Give your customers an alternative to high interest rate financing and owning a liability. With RTO/LTO® your customers will own Freedom & Flexibility and have YOU to Thank! 1-800-879-3433 www.northlanddealers.com14
  8. 8. HowardLeavitt leadership solution arE your policiEs and procEdurEs working?“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength; I have written before about empowering your employees or your clients. It all has toone is pushing down, the other is pulling up” your sales staff in negotiating with clients make sense in the way you operate. — Booker T. Washington, 1856-1915 and customers. Before that happens, though, you should first empower your management A number of years ago, I became the GMDo you have clients that keep coming back as team. Knowledge is the most empowering of a well-established luxury dealership.ambassadors and repeat buyers? If the answer tool you can give your staff. Educate your The economy was stagnating, the productis “no,” then you need to review your sales and management team on the store’s mission and acceptance was declining and the attitude ofservice process. This could be a very painful how you would like them to be part of building the staff was depressing. Policies were in placeexercise, but, if done correctly, will increase the dealership’s reputation. Micromanaging that accumulated over a 20-year period and allyour sales and customer satisfaction. We all get your operation will reduce the potential of the employees were afraid to make decisionscomplaints and, as good business people, we real growth and profit. Let your management for fear of getting in some sort of trouble. All Itackle those complaints head on with the goal team do what you hired them for, to manage heard for the first week was “we can’t do that; itof a positive solution that does not break the your business effectively. In order for this to is not what the owner wants.” The dealership’sbank. You must consider why you received the happen, they need a clear understanding of the policies and procedures were focused on whencomplaint in the first place and what is your what, why and how to perform correctly. something went wrong instead of policies thatlimit in give back to keep a customer happy? aided sales but protected the dealership. ThesePoor policies, poor decisions and management Not all dealer principles can manage, but as little changes over a period of time were creatednot being held accountable are usually the principles they want to be involved. If you to solve a failure in management. In turn, thereasons you give money away. are a working owner, then make sure you built up policies impacted the dealership’s manage smartly and are clear to the staff ability to compete.There are preconceived notions about auto what you expect in performance and workdealers and your goal should be to change your ethics. Are you consistent in your messaging? I decided to clean the slate and start frommarket, not the national obsession about how Sending mixed messages is just as bad as scratch with the management team that wasbad we are as a group. Build relationships one micromanaging. Get started internally with in place. The excitement that was shown asat a time with strong, structured foundations. your employees and their attitudes. they started to use their experience to create a better work process was amazing. As a group, Do you have we went step-by-step analyzing every policy an employee and procedure to see if it had any merit. It handbook? It is the did not take long to weed out the bad policies simplest way to let and to institute solid work structures and your employees procedures. No one really knew how some know how you want business practices evolved; they just did. It just your dealership happens over time and if you do not review run. If you already your procedures annually, you end up clogging have one in place, the business engine. review the contents and decide if In our case, we started to see immediate the policies and results in the number of units sold and how procedures that you the customer perceived the process. Did the have established economy get better? Did the product get for your employees better? Did traffic get better? None of the create the business above changed; the only difference was that results you are the employees understood what we were seeking. Unhappy attempting to do and they performed under the employees make new structure and policies. unhappy customers. There is no cookie- Policies and procedures are not etched in stone; cutter structure they need to be reviewed periodically. Put in that works for place a yearly review and adjust to the changes every dealership, in business practices and customer expectation. so it is best to stay Consumers can buy cars anywhere, so give flexible. Dealerships them a reason to buy at your dealership. reflect the owner’s Structure your policies and procedures so that personality, as the consumer gets the experience that keeps do individual them coming back for more. businesses that relate to the life of the community. Howard Leavitt is the president and founder Structure does mean of AutoRaptor CRM. He can be contacted that you cannot at 866.618.9053, or by e-mail at have flexibility with
  9. 9. RichardWinch marketing solution thE sEarch gamE has changEd: the lowdown on the new “google places”In late October, Google unveiled major the “apples” (Place Listings) were ranked phone traffic (particularly if you have a greatchanges to how it automatically displays local on aspects including reviews, citations and “online reputation”) should increase. So,search results, rolling out their new “Google content quality on the Google Places page. make sure you have dedicated “800” andPlaces” format. Local searches, of course, are local numbers at Google Places and a highthe ones dealerships care desperately about: actions to take: converting phone-handling process in youri.e., “Honda Dealers San Francisco,” etc. • optimize your google places listing: store.The search community has been filled with If you haven’t created your dealership’sspeculations about how the new algorithms Google listing, it’s imperative to do so • re-think ppc placement:work, and many dealers are asking themselves (go to: Place Pages Because right-side PPC ads take a visibilityhow it will affect their placement and business now supports longer descriptions, so make hit, we’re already seeing increasedgeneration at Google. sure your address, Website, photos, hours, competition for the top three sponsored details about services provided, awards, spots, and they’re likely to get morea summary of what happened: logos and all the relevant details that paint expensive. Dealers should investigate• With local results, instead of the listings/ the best picture of your dealership are set “Google Boost,” a new tool in the PPC links and map on top with organic results, up properly. Add as many categories as armory: the single premium spot on the page first-page results are now heavily dominated allowed, and do the same thing at Yahoo! just above the organic results, mimicking by “Google Place” pages for local businesses, and Bing. the look of the new Places listings. Google marked with a prominent “red pin.” claims it costs “as little as $100,” to up • gather positive reviews across to “a few hundred dollars a month.” Only• Google created a “Place Page” for each many sites: available in some markets today, it’s local business (whether the business set With a dealership’s reviews now exploded expected to launch widely soon. themselves up or not), with basic info all over first-page results — and your and “algorithmically-chosen” snippets of performance at numerous review sites one the upshot: reviews culled from online review sites. click away — your reviews are right in a There’s still a lot of revisions going on (with searcher’s face. You need to set in place listings appearing differently in different• At each Google Place listing, a business’ systematic, ongoing online reputation regions, etc.), and I think it’s safe to say that number of reviews, overall “star” rating management (ORM) to gather a high with such a big change in Google’s search/ and links to individual reviews sites, are volume of authentic, positive reviews business model we can expect more surprises now intensely visible/clickable on first- across numerous sites – also for sales, along the way. page results. service and parts. But it’s clear Google is making “local” a• The map moves to the right side of the • focus on great sEo: major priority, and that the model is to erase search results, and scrolls with you. Right- Google raised the bar on the necessity for the distinction/algorithms between organic side PPC ads are pushed below the map, and strong SEO technology for the dealer’s and Google Local results. So, it will be very are covered up as a searcher scrolls down. Website now that they’ve integrated Places hard for any dealership to dominate in search The top three sponsored listings remain. listings into organic results. If you’ve been without great SEO and a well-optimized Remaining organic listings appear below focusing on “rounded” SEO — good design, Website, a claimed, optimized Place Page (and sometimes throughout) map listings. great content/content code and online and a high volume of positive reviews across marketing — and you’re local, you’re in many sites.• On left side, users can click the “Places” tab, great shape. If not, find a great SEO partner. and only Google Places results are displayed. The “merge” reduces the number of the Dealerships can tend to conceive of SEO and remaining Page One ORM campaigns as separate. But with the new organic results. And if Google Places this isn’t an option, given the your dealership doesn’t “merged” algorithm for organic and Place Page have a physical location rankings, and the new, intense visibility of in a targeted market, reviews in search results. you’re now more likely to get pushed off the The world may have too many acronyms, but page, and your SEO it’s actually high time for a new one: Say hello efforts must redouble. to SEORM, the search strategy of today and tomorrow. • watch your phones: For a free report on whether your dealership The new layout is ready for the new Google, contact me at the encourages searchers number or e-mail below.Essentially, Google has created a new hybrid to click on Place Pages, rather than youralgorithm that merges the old “Google Local” Website. Because info like addresses andlistings with organic results. You could call it phone numbers are now easier to find (and Richard Winch is CEO and founder ofcomparing “apples” to “pears,” pears being the a significant percentage of people hitting eXtéresAUTO. He can be contacted at“normal,” organic listings (ranked based on your site simply seek contact info), your 866.476.4389, or by e-mail atWebsite content, links and other signals), while site traffic could decrease. Conversely, your
  10. 10. The New PlatformEmpowering Connections “We connect to our customers using’s one platform.The less vendors you have, the less logins, the easier it is to operate. I need it to be easy, and I need it to work. It’s made a big difference.” Craig Belowski General Sales Manager, Acton Toyota of Littleton +43%Acton Toyota’s Boost in Performance +20% +25% New Visitors Traffic LeadsTo learn more, visit or call us at 888.785.5418Come by and see us at NADA Booth #4516N and see for yourself why is Empowering Connections.
  11. 11. JeffHicks sales & training solution gm finds thE right crm for his staff, dEalErship As a general manager with 11 years of the best tool available. I’ve tried several CRMs, have tried different products to try to get better experience, Jeff Hicks has seen sales technology and this is the best comprehensive tool that I’ve and more accurate data for follow-up and for evolve to fill gaps that weren’t even known seen on the market. us to be able to manage their customer base to exist before. When Crown Honda of — the cost of advertising your own customer Greensboro, North Carolina — where Hicks as: describe the role your base is so much less than to try and conquest has been GM for the past four years — was crm plays in the path to the sale. customers from other manufacturers or other looking to introduce a CRM that would meet Jh: The CRM in our store is utilized by stores. I have always struggled in trying to their needs, he knew that it could be a challenge. everybody involved. It’s a consistent road to find a way to get the customer’s information, Fortunately for him, and his dealership, the right the sale that we are able to use with every get it loaded into the system and us being able solution presented itself. We recently spoke with customer, by every salesperson and every to utilize the system to help us pull customers Hicks to find out what he was looking for in a sales manager. It’s easy for us to use, and it’s out where applicable. eLEADs has made CRM, and what he found. easy to train new salespeople using it because this easy for us. They’re able to provide us it’s visual, and it’s almost an “A-B-C-D” type with customer names and e-mail addresses autosuccess: Jeff, how did of process. and we’re able to track and utilize all those you go about searching for a crm? addresses for e-mail blasts. Customers may not Jeff hicks: Over the last couple of years, as: how does the crm fit into the overall want to be contacted by phone now, but we’re (Crown Honda’s owner) Asbury Automotive marketing strategy for your dealership? able to use the different mediums that we have Group has made a point of communicating Jh: Crown Honda has been able to reduce because of the good information we get up with their GMs that they were committed to our advertising expenses utilizing our CRM, front. If we have a good cell number, if we get providing us with the best possible tools for because it gives us a much more pinpoint- a good e-mail address and if we get a good us to operate our stores. We looked at multiple accurate opportunity to find the right address, we can text, e-mail, call or even send CRMs and began to narrow it down. We’re able customers for the right program. We base a letter; we’re able to utilize and communicate to test pilot the eLEAD program and felt like it most of that off of our current customer base with customers now the way they want to could accomplish the goals that our corporate because customer loyalty is such a big part of communicate — not just the way we might office had set up, which was to provide us with our business. We’re able to deliver messages want to communicate with them. to customers that they’re actually as: describe the training your interested in people get on your crm system. hearing. Jh: We have support from eLEADs — they Phone? as: what kind of results are provide in-store training, and they also provide WebEx applications and training on the telephone where we can dial into a Smart! you seeing? Jh: I can only speak for our store, meeting situation and get trained on specific information. Also, the system itself is simple; when you look at it, you know what but at Crown Honda you’re doing. It’s almost intuitive. Our sales Loyalty Driver of Greensboro, managers, and even our sales staff, can train we have had an new sales staff members on how to use it E-newsletters are because of its ease of use. increase in sales now available on and at the same all smartphones time we’ve reduced as: what advice would you have for a our advertising gm or dealer who is looking for a crm? expenses. Jh: Make sure that the CRM integrates with your DMS. Full integration of your CRM with as: how has the your DMS is critical for success. Then it’s use of the crm just a matter of whether or not they have the evolved in your management staff that will commit to utilizing dealership? a CRM. If they get the tool but don’t fully Just another way to reach customers on the go. Jh: From utilize it, you might as well save the money not a historical get the tool. Now that’s smart. Really smart. perspective, I believe it’s one Innovative E-newsletter Solutions of the biggest For more information, visit our website, or give us a call: challenges we’ve had — that | 866-964-6397 For more information about Jeff Hicks or we’ve gone from writing names Crown Honda, visit down on a pad to For more information about eLEAD CRM, using a computer contact director of marketing, Melissa Maxey. application. She can be contacted at 866.922.0175, or by Through the years, I e-mail at 20 autosuccessonline.comIMN-3.6875x4.875-v4.indd 1 9/17/2010 9:47:58 AM