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AutoSuccess Jul08
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AutoSuccess Jul08

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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. Visit us online at www.AutoSuccessOnline.com July 2008
  • 2. July 2008 HOW TO MULTIPLY TIME 8 TomHopkins Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. PLEASE STEP OUT OF THE LINE 10 D.J.Harrington address: 3834 Taylorsville Rd. WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BEST SALESPERSON 11 JohnBrentlinger Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 GET TANKED The #1 Direct Mail Campaign in the Automotive Industry 12 JimmyPeters phone / fax: 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 CHALLENGING THE CORE INVENTORY CONCEPT 14 DalePollak web: AutoSuccessOnline.com 15 ADOPT AN OPEN SERVICE DRIVEWAY AND GarySimmons AutoSuccessPodcast.com GENERATE $200,000 MORE THIS YEAR team: 18 SERVICE: PROFIT CENTER OR ChuckPatton Susan Givens ADVERTISING INVESTMENT? Publisher & TriciaPatton sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST - TOUGH PEOPLE DO 20 PaulSnider Thomas Williams VP & Creative Director FIGHTING MURPHY’S LAW 21 SteveBrazill design@autosuccessonline.com Dave Davis THE FORMULA FOR WINNING - FOUR FAIL SAFE STEPS 22 PaulD.Cummings Editor and Creative Strategist ddavis@autosuccessonline.com SEE SPOT RUN - SEEN SPOT LATELY? KEEP READING 26 MichaelYork Brian Ankney Sales-Improvement Strategist super6@autosuccessonline.com ONE TOOL = THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS 28 LauraNoonan Scott Schaeffer Sales-Improvement Strategist WHAT’S IN A TITLE 29 MarcSmith sschaeffer@autosuccessonline.com general information: PREPARATION TIME IS NEVER LOST TIME 32 JoeCala info@autosuccessonline.com eNewsletter: ENEWSLETTERS Building a Stronger Relationship With Your Customers 34 DaymondDecker enews@autosuccessonline.com AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., ONLINE MEASUREMENT 36 Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. DennisGalbraith Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or What Your Lead Management System Won’t Tell You info@autosuccessonline.com. Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP VII 38 for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing SeanV.Bradley 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 TRAINING, NEGATIVITY AND ADVICE 40 FranTaylor 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 41 from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing EASIER ACCESS TO SERVICE CONTRACT MikeHoffey changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess INFORMATION Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent 42 from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names THIRD PARTY LEADS AND BDC BrianHall available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of Now More Than Ever 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. 1B12 Louisville, KY 40220. 20 38 helping to support...
  • 3. STS TomHopkinssales&trainingsolution HOW TO MULTIPLY TIME Time is as precious workday world. I know it can be hard to Successful people in the automobile industry a commodity force yourself to do this, but believe me, always jump on the most important thing as money. I’ve written many articles the benefits are incredible. first. What is the most important thing that specifically about how to make sales you should do right now? Learning to answer (translated “making money”). Now, let’s When you are involved with opportunity that question quickly then acting on it will explore some ways you can get more sales time, you need to be tough about it. It’s increase your productivity ten-fold. If you productivity out of the time you have to amazing how much of our working life can have a weekly sales goal, start working on it invest in your automotive sales career. be eaten up by trivial interruptions unless as early in the day as your potential clients you make a conscious effort not to let that are available. Don’t wait until you take care Everyone knows you can make twice the happen. Successful people are tough about of other things before you start selling. The income by working twice the number the types of interruptions they allow during weight of that goal will crush you by day’s of hours, putting forth twice the amount productive business time. They’re always end. Start doing this every morning, keep on of effort. The secret to true success is in on the lookout for busy work and finding doing it, and you’ll soon discover that you’re making the time you currently invest in ways to eliminate it. not worrying anymore. You’re enjoying the our your business twice as productive. work, you’re feeling good about yourself, est in y and you know you’re winning. the se To begin with, you must understand that ntly inv there are two entirely different kinds of If a challenge arises that you don’t know cr time. The first is opportunity time, during what to do about, do your best to come et to t u curre which you achieve your goals such as up with an answer, but don’t dwell on it internalizing information on new vehicles, too long. If you’re not satisfied that what time yo rue su getting your hands, eyes and ears on those you’ve come up with is the best solution, new vehicles and providing follow up write down how you’d like to resolve it, service to existing clients. The second is even if what you write seems totally absurd. king the ccess replenishment time, during which you Then, set it aside and commit to returning rebuild your strength through exercise, to it later that day. Let your mind work is in ma recreation, relaxation and sleep. bus ine on other things for awhile. Then, when ss you come back to the challenge, you’ll twi ce If you can’t get the hang of switching from as pro likely have a fresh perspective on it and opportunity time to replenishment time, duc find a better solution. If it’s still not the tive you’ll soon face a period of burnout where . ideal solution, do your best in handling it you’re neither successful nor in sound today. The longer you let challenges lie physical condition. You’ll run out of fuel. unresolved, the more likely they are to grow Then your flame will go out, your power into something that will be very difficult will shut off and you’ll drop like a stone. to resolve. Just tell yourself, “I’m going to Busy work is usually pointless stuff that handle this to the best of my ability today People who appear to be highly productive you don’t mind doing because it’s easy, and will learn from this experience.” often suffer flameout. Many have lost and doing it makes a marvelous excuse several years as a result. Some have for not tackling the hard things you know Stay tough about your opportunity time. quenched their flames so thoroughly that you should do. The key is to figure out the Don’t fritter it away doing busy work or they never managed to get their engines best time of day each day for selling and to engaging in unnecessary activities. When it’s going again. They gave up on their dreams focus your efforts on sales activities during time to sell, sell! But when it’s time to kick of having a successful career. that time. Don’t do filing or clean your back and relax, do that with gusto as well. desk during sales time. Yes, it needs to be The dangerous part is that flameout sneaks done, but not during selling time. World-renowned master sales trainer Tom up on you. Don’t try to fly high when your Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins tanks are low. Touch down and refuel If you’re going to be a winner, you will International. He can be contacted at your spirits — spend a few days away in a always have time for the tough end of your 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at completely different atmosphere from your job because that’s what produces results. thopkins@autosuccessonline.com. 8 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 4. IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW A BETTER WAY TO BRING IN CUSTOMERS,THEN YOU DON’T KNOW CHIT. CING…IN TRODU HEELER CHIT W IT IS THIS EASY! Some people say attracting customers to your service department isn’t easy. I say they don’t know Chit. I have discovered a patented way of actually scenting your dealership that causes customers to flock into your service departments. It also works for sales because we all know if we can get them to buy service then we can get them to buy a car. It truly is that easy and you don’t have to do anything but Spray and Pray. OUR PRODUCT IS GUARANTEED* * Guarantee includes shipping only. Long term effects may be questionable, may not work on all species of customers, or in every environment. May work worse in some parts of the country. VISIT WWW.CHITWHEELER.COM TO SEE A DEMONSTRATION OF THE JOIN OURChit Wheeler Customer Scent® “CHIT HITS THE PATENTED TECHNIQUE BY CHIT WHEELER FAN CLUB” AND GET A FREE BOTTLE OF THIS SOLUTION AS AN ADDED INCENTIVE FOR REGISTERING, Chit YOU WILL ALSO BE REGISTERED TO V Wheeler CHIT T Customer Scent® RECEIVE A $500.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THE HUNTING STORE OF YOUR CHOICE. ALL FOR JUST VISITING WWW.CHITWHEELER.COM
  • 5. STS D.J.Harringtonsales&trainingsolution PLEASE STEP OUT OF THE LINE Processionary procession found himself nose to tail with flower pot for seven days and seven nights caterpillars travel in the last caterpillar in the procession, forming and until they died from starvation and long and wavy lines, one creature behind a circle without an end or a beginning. exhaustion. There was an ample supply of the other. A French entomologist once led food close at hand and very visible, but it a group of these caterpillars onto a rim of Through sheer force of habit and, of course, was outside the range of the circle, so the a large flower pot so that the leader of the instinct, the ring of caterpillars circled the caterpillars continued along the beaten path. A lot of us often behave in a similar way. Habit patterns and our ways of thinking GET MORE PHONE CALLS - become deeply established and it seems easier and more comfortable to follow them rather than accept change — even when SELL MORE CARS! food to live by is right there. I know if someone shouts “FIRE,” it is automatic to blindly follow the crowd, and many thousands have needlessly died because of it. How many stop to ask, “Is Custom 800® numbers are PROVEN to: this really the best way out of here?” So many people “miss the boat” because it’s Get higher recall rates from your radio & TV ads easier and less demanding to follow without questioning the qualifications of the people Improve consumer response to your print ads just ahead of us and just maybe do some independent checking and thinking. A hard thing for most of us is to fully understand is that people in such a We have dozens of powerful Custom 800 Numbers for automotive large number can be so wrong (like the sales and service departments. Numbers like: caterpillars going around and around the edge of a flower pot with food and life just a short distance away). It’s sad, but 1-800-NEW-CARS® 1-800-NEW-RIDE most people are living that way. If we do 1-800-NEW-CREDIT 1-800-NEW-WHEELS a little checking, you will discover that throughout all recorded history, the majority 1-800-NEW-DEAL 1-800-NEXT-CAR of mankind has an unbroken record of being 1-800-NEW-LEASE 1-800-PRE-OWNED wrong about most things — especially the important things. ...and many more. ® Custom 800 is a registered trademark of 800response. | ® 1-800-NEW-CARS is a registered trademark of an affiliate of 800response. It’s difficult for people to come to the understanding that only a small group of Call people ever really understand about life, about living abundantly and successfully. Some people wait passively for success to 1-800-NEW-SALES come to them, like our caterpillars going around and around, following nose to tail today and get the thinking that other people must know how to live successfully. perfect number for Please remember, it’s a good idea to step out of the line every once in a while and look up your dealership! ahead to see if the line is going where you want it to go. If it’s not, step out of the line. D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, More Calls, More Sales, More Profits and marketing consultant. He can be 10 contacted at 866.855.5781, or by e-mail at djharrington@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 6. MS JohnBrentlingermarketingsolution WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BEST SALESPERSON There are three get it yourself. If you want perfect general criteria computer records every day, hire a bunch for “best” salesperson: They do their own of computer nerds who love computers work, they have constant high margins but couldn’t sell water in the Sahara. and they have high volume. Those are Leave your best salesperson alone. They the standards. We’re not talking about the don’t need you to silly-small-talk their favorite child who skates others, who is customers, they don’t need you to call their fed by the manager and who sacrifices customers, check their figures, desk their margin for volume (volume is vanity; profit deals and close their sales. That’s why they is sanity). Your best salesperson meets the are the best. Leave them alone. They will standards and encourages other salespeople sell more and earn more, and so will you. by his or her work ethic and example. 3. Increase their commissions. The What you do with your best salesperson salesperson who does the most should be determines the vitality of your dealership. paid the best. This one thing will raise All of the other salespeople are watching the standard for all the other salespeople. your best salesperson. If you treat your Anyone who complains about how much best salesperson poorly, the others will not the best salesperson makes should be aspire to greatness, and they will remain fired immediately. If other salespeople mediocre for as long as they work for you. complain, fire them. If the person who If you want mediocre salespeople, the writes the checks complains, fire them. If formula is simple: Hire anyone, micro- a manager complains that best salesperson manage everyone and train no one. makes too much money, fire them. The salesperson who does the work and makes What To Do with Your Best the money should be treated like a rock Salesperson star. If you can’t, don’t or won’t treat your 1. Do not make them team players. All best salesperson as your best salesperson, salespeople are not equal. Conventional you won’t have to worry about how to treat nonsense about everyone doing everything your best salesperson, because you won’t the same way leads to mediocre madness, have one. ie: “We have a system and you will learn it and follow it or else.” Oh goody, let’s all be 4. Do not make them managers. There mediocre together. Think about a baseball is no commission on management. All team. Every player has different strengths commissions come from selling a product and abilities. They are not the same, they at a profit. Don’t take your best earners, are not equal, they are paid differently and your best workers, your best examples some are better than others. Imagine a team to the rest of the salespeople and make where everyone hit like the pitcher, squatted them work longer hours for less pay, less like the catcher and scratched like the satisfaction and less incentive. Great manager. That is your mediocre sales force salespeople are great because they love to when you try to make them all do all of the produce, to sell and to meet the goals they same things in the same way. That has not set for themselves. Don’t ruin your sales worked, is not working and will not work. force by showing them that if they be the Be brave enough, be smart enough, be best they can be, they will be rewarded by secure enough and control yourself enough being made a manager. Let them sell, let to let your best salesperson think differently, them grow, let them earn. work differently, sell differently and while doing differently, produce great profit for Let your best salesperson be as great themselves and the dealership. Your greatest as they want to be. Don’t make them test as a manager is this: Do you have the team players, don’t micro-manage them, ability to lead great salespeople? pay them more and just let them sell. Treat them like rock stars, and the entire 2. Leave them alone. Don’t micro-manage dealership will benefit. them. Don’t make them follow all the silly rules that the six-car-a-month people John Brentlinger is a sales and follow. Silly rules make mediocre teams management trainer, executive coach who can follow silly rules but can’t sell and author. He can be contacted 11 anything. If you want the name, address at 866.859.6504, or by e-mail at and phone number of every prospect, jbrentlinger@autosuccessonline.com. the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 7. FSfeaturesolution GET TANKED The #1 Direct Mail Cam paign in the Automotive Indust ry JimmyPeters The current economic clim With gas prices over ate, with banks $4 a gallon regardles Why do gas mailers work? customers. Using a gas ma my marketing efforts s of what I was doing tightening stipulations for The gas mailer iler will get were losing their cat ch and my ROI was loans and mail campaign hits a nerve. the downturn so I tur ned on gas prices soaring, has ma Everyone in your customers emotiona weeks ago to see if the to a longtime marketing partner a few de effective lly motivated and y could help turn thin marketing more importan the United States is feelin create a strong call to act have they! Jimmy sug gs around and boy t than ever. Every g the pinch from ion. A great way gested I try out their marketing dollar must hav high gas prices in one wa to stand out is with a follow that offers my custom new Get Tanked mailer e maximum y or another. -up postcard ers a $50 gas vouche impact. Banks have becom Everyone opens a gas ma to remind them that they one of our vehicles (wi r just for test driving e very tight iler simply need to visit to have been seeing clo th no extra expense because it offers some rel get their $50 in gas. Use to us) and so far I lending to those with the ief at a time when se to a 4% response 480 to 559 credit a message such reps an opportunity which gives my sales scores. These deals are not gas has hit $4 or more per as, “This is your last notice to do their job and sel getting bought gallon. Who to stop by and pumped and our ma l product. My staff is wouldn’t open it? rketing ROI has skyroc without $2,000 to $3,000 take a test drive to receiv keted with us seeing down. The hedge e your $50 gas deals make as much as 5 or 6 grand a cop fees of 15 to 20 percent ma certificate.” This will inv y! ke these deals oke the fear of very difficult — if not im The motivation is the me loss and push many potent possible — to ssage. Fifty ial customers Clint Rainer structure. Dealerships are dollars in free gas motivate over the edge and drive the General Sales Manag looking for ways s people. m to your er to increase sales from the Imagine if you put a bunch dealership. Bill Heard Chevrolet ir marketing of big dollars and drive in more billboards up that said, “C Union City, GA high-score traffic ome Test Drive that can be more easily fi Any of Our New or Pre-O Compound the effect of you nanced. One great wned Vehicles r gas mailer “WOW!!! Get Tanked way to do this is to increa and We Will Give You $50 and last-chance postcard mailer has delivered se response rates Worth of Free with a voice significantly better-th great and target your desired cus Gas!” How many people broadcast. Use a voice ma an-ever GROSSES to success and tomer type. would respond to il broadcast My market is a tough one, but GET TANK our dealership. New ideas in direct mail, this message and be on you while your sale is going on in quality traffic that ED MAILER brings like gas mailer r lot to get that the possibilities? Well, the to remind them gets SOLD. I recom campaigns, are helping inn free $50 of fuel? Your lot chances are not to miss out. Use a sim mend it for your next ovative dealers would be a mad that, even with the marke ple pre-recorded direct sales event.” achieve up to a 5 to 10 per house. The message would t in its current phone message asking the cent response. motivate tons of condition and gas prices m to come to people. The problem with sky high, you your dealership and take the billboard is could very likely have a rec a test drive and Michael Mancano that you cannot target the ord month at pick up their $50 gas certifi General Manager individuals you your dealership — just lik cate and tells want to visit your dealershi e many other them of the specials you Honda City p. You simply dealerships have been abl have going on. cannot target the exact dem e to do by using There is no way for you to Chicago, IL ographic you gas mailer program campai lose with a want to have visit your dea gns. properly planned and imple The get tanked mailer lership with mented gas I did with Jimmy gave any form of mass media mailer campaign. response as well as gre me a tremendous advertising such With this mailer, you sho at gross per copy. I ran as a billboard, newspaper uld target people $4218 a copy , television or with a 580 to 679 credit sco and had a 2% show rati o. Thank You” radio. It is important to rem re who have The bottom line is you hav ember that you 70 to 99 percent of their aut e to make sure can generate tons of floor o loan paid that you get ups on your traffic to your off. These are the people lot who can buy, Barney Lopez dealership in any market whom the banks and that is why you need General Sales Manag with the right are willing to finance. Th to make sure Cloverleaf Chrysler Do er message and call to action ey have had their your lists are less than 24 dge Jeep . vehicles for awhile, and the hours old and y’re ready to go are targeted to the criteria Decatur, AL home in one of yours. Th you can sell. Now, think if you take thi ese motivated and When the market is hard, s highly effective able buyers are the ones wh we must be more call to action that solicits om you want aggressive to make sure we an emotional to visit your store. You wo get our share; “With the economy response and desire from n’t be struggling ask yourself if you are doi the way it is to be ho your target to hang these deals on Mo ng what you anything was going to work the same as nest I wasn’t sure if customer and condense it nday morning need to do, or are you jus I was wrong as Jim it did in days past bu into a form of or calling people to unwind t standing by? my Peters has prove t advertising such as direct deals you with the Get Tanke n to me once again mail. With direct can’t get done. You will jus d piece I did that I can always depend mail, you can specifically t have happy my advertising comp target your any to give a boos on desired customer, a custom customers driving in you t to my monthly sa er the banks will r cars. Jimmy Peters is the pre les.” still buy. Imagine the sales sident of Big Time numbers from Promotions. He can be Robert S. Cook co a showroom full of emoti With any campaign, it is important to stand 866.850.6926, or by e-m ntacted at General Sales Mana onally motivated out and use emotion to mo ail at ger customers who can buy a tivate your jpeters@autosuccesson Brewbaker Motors car. What are line.com. Montgomery, AL 1312
  • 8. STS DalePollaksales&trainingsolution CHALLENGING THE CORE INVENTORY CONCEPT OK, I’m going to However, the truth is that the used car do what my friend has done at his Infiniti go out on a limb market place, by definition, is anything store? I think that the answer lies in the fact to challenge a conventional dealership but steady and, in fact, is extremely that we are all more comfortable operating notion. I’m really troubled by the concept unpredictable. There are hundreds of in a zone of comfort and familiarity. Think of “core inventory.” I’m not saying that factors that are at play in our environment about how hard it would be for someone each store doesn’t have a certain natural that influence consumer’s purchase very knowledgeable and familiar with the traffic profile based on its brand, location preferences and they are anything but Infiniti to say, “there might be something and community, but I am suggesting that steady and predictable. Fluctuating gas better out there, and I’m gonna give it the notion of a “core inventory,” while prices, interest rates and weather patterns a try.” It’s a lot easier for us to go with appealing and comforting, is fool’s gold. are just a few causes that constantly the inventory that we know, rather than befuddle those that attempt to stock venturing out and taking the risk associated The idea of “core inventory” suggests inventory today, based on what has worked with buying something different. that there is a fixed profile of used vehicle in the past. inventory that produces optimal results. The good news for the industry is that there In other words, if you stock certain types For example, every day, we are all watching is now technology that can analyze any of vehicles, you’ll be well on your way to gas prices skyrocket. There couldn’t be market and tell a manager, at the level of success. This notion makes the assumption any environment that more dramatically year, make, model and specific equipment, that the automobile market place is steady highlights the fact that the theory of dealers which are the hottest vehicles at the and predictable. Without the assumption stocking based on their “core inventory” moment, based on volume and/or gross. of steadiness and predictability, one could is just plain wrong. If any dealer today This takes much of the risk and uncertainty not legitimately suggest that dealers should stocked their lot based on their past core out of the equation. So if you haven’t seen stick to a defined core of inventory mix. inventory, they’d be purchasing gas this, you need to. In my opinion, it’s the guzzlers and, quite possibly, avoiding the only way to stay in tune with the market. purchase of today’s hot selling, gas-sipping vehicles. It seems insane to keep doing the As uncomfortable as it is, we need to let same things and expect different results. go of our security blanket or, in the words of Thomas Friedman, our “olive tree” Today, I spoke to a highly successful used and accept the fact that, in the words of car director of a large multi-franchise Bob Dylan, “times, they are a’ changing.” organization. His comments made We must embrace uncertainty and accept me realize that the absurdity of “core the fact that what worked last year, last inventory” goes well beyond the issue of quarter or last month may not work today. gas prices. He said that, as an experiment, This means that we must keep our finger they stopped stocking used Infiniti’s at on the pulse of the market place and take their Infiniti dealership. They experimented our cues from it in “real time” rather than with high volume, off-brand vehicles, such from history. Our present inventory must as Impalas and Malibus. I asked him if always reflect the market at the moment. he was sure he knew what he was doing, If gas prices are way up, we have to dump and he told me that they were selling like gas guzzlers in favor of compacts. If “hotcakes.” we’re experiencing unusual amounts of snowfall, we must quickly respond with He said that we all get hung up on the more 4-wheel drives. If silver cars lose notion that we should stock according their appeal, we must quickly respond to our past sales and/or in accordance by changing our preference of color with our franchise brand. Yes, it may be choices. We simply can no longer afford true, he told me, that there is some natural the convenient comforting thought that traffic for these vehicles, but that does not what worked in the past will work today or necessarily mean that they are the most tomorrow. The only things that are constant demanded products in the market. Properly and predictable are death, taxes and used, the Internet allows dealers to be change. Let’s wake up, smell the coffee and successful with products that are hot, but realize that the notion of “core” is rotten. not necessarily their brand or part of their past core. “Remember,” he said, “no used car manager ever got fired for selling the Dale Pollak is the chairman and founder right mix of used makes and models.” of vAuto. He can be contacted at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at 14 So why is it hard for many dealerships to dpollak@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 9. STS GarySimmonssales&trainingsolution ADOPT AN OPEN SERVICE DRIVEWAY AND GENERATE $200,000 MORE THIS YEAR In today’s tight entire day, including Friday. Currently many “Your service market, most service advisers stop scheduling same-day dealerships are losing money on both new appointments at 10 or 11 a.m. because they and parts and used vehicles. Staying out of the red get overwhelmed with numerous open departments is possible, though: Look to your service repair orders. An overwhelmed adviser will are your and parts departments. These departments schedule appointments for 24 to 48 hours should be your revenue-generating stars, but after the customer calls, causing your no- revenue- if they’re not, you’re not alone. The service show percentage to jump to more than 30 generating department, primed to run at maximum percent as customers turn to another shop. efficiency, often is stymied by overwhelmed No only are you losing revenue, you’re stars, as long service advisors who prematurely shut off alienating customers. The hardest part to as they are the daily flow of customers, “closing” the swallow is that many service technicians structured and department and costing you as much as will be finished with their work before the $200,000 in revenue each year. The good day is over, meaning customers were turned run by an news, however, is that you can reap those away only because the number of open ‘open’ profits by cultivating an “open” service repairs orders seemed too daunting. Tell your driveway, increasing efficiency, profitability advisers to keep the driveway open for just policy.” and customer satisfaction, without costing four additional repair orders per day, and you undue time and money. can collect that missing $200,000 per year. service Web page is also “open.” Open Your Service Driveway Accommodate Your Customers, If a customer goes to your appointment for the Entire Day Not Your Dealership page and is denied the appointment time slot Your first step in generating more service If you’re thinking, “If I tell a customer to they want, they’ll simply jump to the site revenue is to open your driveway for the bring in their vehicle but we cannot repair of another shop. Make it clear that you are it today, they will be there to accommodate your customers by just as disgruntled as ensuring that your online appointment menu FOR SALE if I made them wait tells customers to call if they cannot get for an appointment.” their requested time slot. Again, it is about Revenue Generator Not necessarily. Your proving to the customer that they come first. customers need to Approximate Train Your Service Advisors to know that their needs Investment: $2,000 come first. By taking be a Part of the Team immediate action The changes above will obviously affect and telling them to your service advisers, so put in the time come in right away, upfront to get them on-board with your you are proving that. new strategy. Make sure they know they The key is clear are an integral part of building a successful communication: tell dealership. Outline for them the structure of them you want to your dealership, where the greatest amount Approximate determine the problem of revenue is coming from, your dealership immediately, that you goals, and how they can make these goals Monthly Return: a reality. Invested employees are your $50,000 !! may not be able to repair the problem that best weapon against a down market and ■ Integrated Email attrition. Also consider that you may need Powerful, proven revenue generator. same day, but once Excellent service history. Used by ■ Email Collection to hire additional service advisers to reach you know the nature dealerships across the U.S. Perfect ■ Direct Mail maximum department efficiency. of the problem you can for sales, customer satisfaction and ■ Voice Messaging bottom line. Runs like a dream. give them an excellent Your service and parts departments are your ■ eNewsletters estimate of the time revenue-generating stars, as long as they ■ Online Appointment and labor involved. are structured and run by an “open” policy. Call Now Scheduling 866.628.6245 The principle of When your department is open, you’ll www.autorevenue.com gain increased efficiency and customer accommodating your customers first satisfaction. Most importantly, your revenue also applies to your may just increase to more than $200,000. service department Gary Simmons is the founder of We do all the work... SM Web page. With so Management Consulting Services, Inc. You make all the money! many consumers He can be contacted at 15 turning to the Internet 866.491.3806, or by e-mail at first, ensure that your gsimmons@autosuccessonline.com. the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 10. Call Today for your Complete Registration Packet 888.490.0909 www.2008sfconvention.com Preliminary Agenda 2008 Special Finance Convention August 17th – 19th, 2008Sunday – Day One Monday – Day Two Tuesday – Day ThreeRegistration Breakfast in Exhibit Hall Breakfast in Exhibit Hall1:00 pm – 8:30 pm 7:00 am – 8:45 am 7:00 am – 8:45 amExhibit Hall Booth Setup General Session Educational Sessions1:30 pm – 5:30 pm 9:00 am – 10:15 am 9:00 am – 12:00 noonReception in Exhibit Hall Beverage Break Beverage Break6:00 pm – 9:00 pm 10:15 am – 10:30 am 10:15 am – 10:30 am Legal Jeopardy Lunch in Exhibit Hall 10:30 am – 12:00 noon 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm Lunch in Exhibit Hall Roundtable Discussions 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm Educational Sessions Conference Adjourns 1:45 pm – 5:00 pm 3:00 pm Beverage Break 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Reception in Exhibit Hall 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Moderators and Speakers Emily Beck Kevin Day Greg Goebel Tom Herald Tom Hudson Kris Wright
  • 11. MS ChuckPatton & TriciaPattonmarketingsolution SERVICE: PROFIT CENTER OR ADVERTISING INVESTMENT? Is your percent of total dealership operating known as “your brand.” Remember, service profits, and that number is rising. if the customer is making a purchase department a profit center or advertising decision, they will start by listening to investment? The answer is “both.” Chances 5. If you consider any of the forecasting someone they like and trust. are, the manufacturer you represent was about the economy and how that will down for the month of June. These market effect your retail department, it makes 6. Be careful about which advertising conditions are unprecedented for many sense to concentrate your advertising experts you listen to. Service of us, and we are trying to re-adjust our investment in the area that makes marketing doesn’t work like the one- strategies in order to adapt and keep our you the most money — the service event wonders that may have been numbers up. One trend remains, however: department. proposed to you. We all depend on our service department to level off the front-end sales loss during 6. Your service department is definitely a 7. How many customers bought from a down sales cycle. The good news is profit center. you but are not servicing? If you use service can still be there for you. Challenge direct mail and they are dialing into yourself to look at things in a new light and Now, here are a few ideas HOW to expand your database, they should be able to start assessing the importance of reinvesting your service department vision from just a tell you who you are retaining and who in your service department just as you profit center to an advertising investment: you are not. would your personal financial profile. 1. Take control of your service advertising and make sure you are 8. Monitor everything, such as the Most dealers set a goal for their service marketing YOUR dealership, not number of loyal customers, number department to achieve the highest the manufacturer. Service marketing of customers who service between absorption rate possible. If you have the is typically a communication that 0-24 months, and number of defecting right perspective, your service department occurs four or more times a year, and customers. Send a message according can achieve this and double as a prospect some programs you might be using to known behavior, not just the year base to build strong sales. This is because spend more time talking about what and model. the larger your customer base is in service, the manufacturer offers and less about the stronger your prospect base is to sales. what your dealership offers. Depending on what statistic you follow, a So, is your service department a profit loyal client to the service department will center or is it actually an advertising 2. Don’t cut the budget. Most give you a chance to sell them their next investment? Increased loyalty in your dealerships invest less than 10 percent vehicle about 75 to 85 percent of the time. service department will eventually lead to of their total advertising budget in This means if you have a loyal customer a larger customer base to mine for sales. the very department that produces 77 base of 3,000 customers, you will have But, first you must set it as a priority, and percent of the profit. That might be 2,550 ups or 850 per year over the next second you must mine it for potential. So, too low. Typically the only soft sale, three years. if you are thinking of cutting back on your customer relations branding you will service advertising, think again. do is in service. So, is your service department a profit center or an investment in advertising? Here is a clear argument for making your 3. The key customers for prospecting This example shows that there are at service department an investment — go are those who have serviced their least 70 quality ups per month from through the most current financial numbers vehicle within the past 12 months your dealership customer base of 3,000 and trends at NADA.org and read between and have a three- to four-year-old customers, and your closing ratios should the lines: vehicle. Don’t be surprised if that be high. 1. The following numbers were down number stretches to five or six years, two years ago: total dealership sales, given the down economy. We are always looking for a magic pill or net profit before taxes and new vehicle the next new idea for advertising that will sales. 4. Look to make your less loyal clients sell more cars. However, the largest profit more loyal and build your primary center is under our nose and is easy to 2. The largest increases in income came purchase base. Try marketing to market to. Expenses will become more of from the used car department and the service customers who have not been an issue for 2008 and into 2009. Service service department. to your dealership in 12 to 36 months is looking to be a pretty good investment in a completely different way than within your portfolio! 3. The average dealership achieves loyal clients. Get aggressive about around $31 million in sales. Just under your offers and approach the marketing $4 million of that comes from service conversation differently. department. Chuck and Tricia Patton are the founders 5. Sell yourself. Keep a consistent of Traffic Builders Inc. They can be 4. In 2006, the service and parts message of quality and talk about contacted at 866.859.8520, or by e-mail 18 department profits accounted for 77 what you have to offer, or, what is at patton@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 12. The Best Staffed Events Start With The Best Teams.More Training. More Professionalism. More Gross.More Energy.That’s our specialty.Frustrated by continual poor results from your advertising?Worn out from the lack of energy & enthusiasm at your store?Worried about your store’s future profitability?Need a strategy to increase revenue in a tough market?Since 1993, thousands of dealerships have relied onG&A Marketing to deliver winning solutions to these World Class Staffed Promotions and Direct Marketing for the Automotive Industryproblems and more. 1-800-688-1370 • info@gamarketing.comIf you’re serious about seeing what the best car guysin the industry can do for your store, call us. www.gamarketing.comContact Matt Baker anytime: 1-800-688-1370mbaker@gamarketing.com
  • 13. STS PaulSnidersales&trainingsolution TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST - TOUGH PEOPLE DO Since entering the leads are, stop pre-qualifying from and make wholesale cuts in areas that are retail automotive credit scores and call these buyers. revenue producing, i.e. marketing, sales industry in 1971, I have experienced • Work the file cabinet — In your and advertising. Track the performance of seven economic downturns. Not all were files there are hundreds of customer each advertising medium and determine considered “recessions,” but in each case references that may be in the market for which one provides immediate results with it became very tough to sell and deliver a new or used car. Commit to making excellent ROI. Dealerships today have vehicles. What separated the winners from 10-15 calls per day to former customers more choices than in the 1980’s when we losers during those times? Below are tips or their friends. had to rely on print, TV, radio or mail. that have worked in the past, and will work • Reach out to your customer database Today a dealership can contact national lead in the future. — One way to reach customers in providers and buy prospects who can be a cost-effective manner is through called immediately and turned into sales. • Eliminate Stinking Thinking — Turn mobile text messaging. off the news and stop reading negative • Think outside the box — If you keep Another area to look at is overall articles. Drive by a Wal-Mart and look doing what you’ve been doing, you performance by staff. If you have people at how full the parking lot is. will keep getting what you’ve been who are handling customers improperly • Conduct positive and motivational getting. Be creative, and work with over the phone or in person, you must sales and training meetings. good vendors who will offer different make changes immediately. During • Go Back To the Basics — Work every programs to help sell more cars. difficult times, you may only get one shot customer properly, do not base your • Review your inventory — Quite at earning a customer’s business — make decisions on credit scores alone and often, opportunities are missed because it count! Before any customer leaves, a conduct proper interviews. You will be dealerships stock the wrong inventory, manager should speak with them to make surprised how many customers have and when you try to structure a deal, sure everything has been done to make the available cash or co-signers if you will the payment for that model will not sale. Phone calls are no different; take time interview each one properly. work. to listen to how staff members are handling • Clean up your office — We all know • Rearrange your lot more often inbound and outbound calls and make sure how good it feels when we do spring — Make it look like cars are being sold you do not lose a customer before they step cleaning, and the same goes for your daily. on your lot. office. Make it a positive place to work • Talk to customers with older cars in and conduct business. for service — You will be surprised In closing, many of you reading this may • Kiss More Frogs — When times are how many prospects are in your not have experienced economic downturns; difficult, you must talk to more people dealership each day who are thinking however, successful auto and finance in order to deliver the same number. about trading cars, especially those persons including myself have, and the If 7 out of 10 customers who visit with three- to four-year-old vehicles truth is if you think positive, work smart your dealership are in some way credit that now require more service. and stay focused, you will not only survive challenged, you simply have to “kiss difficult times; you will come out a winner. more frogs.” Our company recently When we were faced with difficult times, contacted 3,000 leads that were seven the first order of business was to develop a Paul Snider is the CEO of CIQ/VOISYS days old, and 31 percent said they had solid survival and growth plan. Managers Inc. He can be contacted at never been contacted by a dealership. must look at non-essential expenses. 866.492.9209, or by e-mail at Instead of complaining about how bad However, be very careful not to panic psnider@autosuccessonline.com. 20 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 14. STS SteveBrazillsales&trainingsolution FIGHTING MURPHY’S LAW Murphy’s — maybe the most important stop. When Steve Brazill is the chair of automotive Law needs no the people who handle your money prepare marketing at Northwood University, Texas introduction. You’ve seen its result too a list of things they can imagine going Campus. He can be contacted at many times. Everything was going along wrong, though, don’t expect to laugh. This 866.861.1515, or by e-mail at just fine (you thought), then — POW. is the stuff nightmares are made of. sbrazill@autosuccessonline.com. Trouble strikes from out of the blue, catching you unprepared. And, because it’s Murphy’s Law, it does so at the worst possible time. Where do all those problems come from? Here’s an experiment. Before your next sales meeting, have each of your salespeople make a list of everything that can go wrong during a presentation and demo drive, or everything that can go wrong during a delivery. Specifically, they are to prepare a list titled “Opportunities for Error.” Tell people in advance you will pay $50 for the best list (Go ahead — you’d put a $50 spiff on a car and think nothing of it.) and make it sound like a fun exercise, which should be easy because some of the items will be humorous. Then, challenge your people to think of ways to keep those errors from happening. Don’t tell them how; just keep them on task and make them do the work — and the thinking. Next, move this operation into your service department. Be sure to have your technicians and service writers together in the same meeting. We like to split things based on job functions, but customers don’t see us that way. They either like the dealership or they are angry with the dealership. Get your people to solve problems the same way customers perceive them — as one unit. Offer a spiff for best work, just as you did with sales. Once again, make them responsible for the solutions. Parts and Body Shop come next. Don’t forget your managers. They shouldn’t need a spiff, but their thoughts on things that can go wrong are important, too. And, as with your troops, their ideas on how to prevent them — and their participation in the process — are vital. By this time you should have had a few laughs and the fertile minds of your employees should have alerted you to some unanticipated opportunities to be stung by Murphy’s Law. More importantly, your people have taken the lead in finding ways to prevent (some of) those errors from occurring in the first place. 21 Your next stop should be in accounting the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 15. STS PaulD.Cummingssales&trainingsolution THE FORMULA FOR WINNING - FOUR FAIL SAFE STEPS How would you The brutal truth is that mental preparation Show Up and Execute like to guarantee and planning are essential ingredients The last step of the four is the great that your team would beat 90 percent of for ultimate success. The fact is that separator of winners and losers in life and your competition 100 percent of the time? even though we know this to be true, we business. You can either talk the game As a leader, would you be interested in continually fail to require our people to or walk the game. Most people waste eliminating the “wannabes” from the do what it takes to win. Why? There are a enough time to be wealthy beyond their winners? If I told you the plan was too million excuses and absolutely zero good wildest dreams. Most people look out the easy for most people to grasp, would that reasons. window and blame everyone else for their surprise you? Oh, there is one small caveat: shortcomings and failures, when what they The plan is “dressed up in overalls and The Remedy: You must implement a Daily really need is a mirror. The fact is simple resembles hard work.” This fact alone Activity Report Process in your sales and stark: You must accept 100 percent serves to stop most people in their tracks. departments that you stick to everyday. responsibility for your destiny. One last thing: The plan is time tested and Require your people to present a detailed irrefutable. plan of action every morning that you The Remedy: You are given 86,400 approve, improve or disapprove with seconds everyday to use as you wish. The When young salespeople ask me what the reason. This will allow you to help focus key is to ask a better question all day: keys to winning in sales are, I always start their efforts and activities toward the “What’s important now?” Whatever the with the same advice that I am sharing results they desire. This process will also answer is, take action and execute. Simply with you today. The reason is simple — if heighten focus and mental preparation. put — stick to your plan and do the work. they do not follow this formula, everything else I might teach them is irrelevant. This Show Up and “E” Up All Day formula produces consistent and efficient When I teach at NADA every year, people Paul D. Cummings is president and performance at all levels, regardless of the always talk about the energy, enthusiasm CEO of Paul D. Cummings World Wide position. In fact, the formula is available to and excitement I bring to my presentation. Enterprises. He can be contacted at all, but the brutal truth is that the strategy I always tell them that they just need to 866.865.3171, or by e-mail at pcummings@autosuccessonline.com. is implemented by very few people in our “E” Up. Think about it this way: If you industry. Why? It is just too simple. are not bringing these three ingredients to your work, why should I buy from Show Up On Time, Ready to Work you? These are not optional I know what you’re thinking — “Hey Paul, components of winning in tell me something I don’t know.” OK. It today’s more competitive is not what you don’t know that is killing market. No customer wants you, it is what you do know and don’t to buy from a dull, boring, do. We know we need to be on time, but uninspired sales person who how many people are late at your place of lacks enthusiasm, excitement business each week? We know we need and energy. Not today, not to come to work to do the work, but how tomorrow — not ever. many people show up and spend the first hour doing anything but working? The The Remedy: First, you answer is obvious — far too many people must understand that and far too often. the “E” Up process is not hype. Second, The Remedy: Script the first 60 minutes you must create an of each day for your people. Start at 7:37 environment where a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m., for example, these principles and make the beginning of each day fun. are always openly Connect portions of individual bonuses recognized and to timeliness and set a new standard of supported. Third, you must excellence regarding how you enter the tie the work activities on day. If late and out of focus is okay with their plan of action to their you, then you must learn to live with it. personal goals and dreams, which will stimulate Show Up Mentally Prepared with a their enthusiasm, energy Plan Of Action and excitement. Last but How many of your people come to work not least, as a leader you everyday with a written plan of action? Is must live these principles the answer 10 to 20 percent? In most cases, yourself in a consistent 22 the answer is nowhere near that good. manner. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 16. STS MichaelYorksales&trainingsolution SEE SPOT RUN - SEEN SPOT LATELY? KEEP READING Last week I had Climbing Mount Everest would be “Hard.” with the all-too-available negative stuff you dinner with Megan. How about running a marathon? Hard also! hear everywhere, most everyday. Megan is blonde, blue eyed, and very cute. Getting the picture? Feeling a little silly on 2. Choose to Continue Megan is four years old. the “too hard” excuse? Reading is easy. Once you’ve gotten started with most In his book The Little Guide to YOUR any book, take a trip to the bookstore or My daughter has been Megan’s nanny Well-Read Life, Steve Leveen gives his the library and just hang out for a few for some time and periodically my wife take on how you can read just enough to minutes. Chances are pretty good you’ll and I will have dinner with our daughter, become well read. I love the book and have find something that interests you or catches Megan, and her brother, Will. We gave even given it recently as a gift to a CEO your eye or that you’ve heard someone you Megan a Disney book on “The Lion King” whom I would describe as an avid reader, respect or admire talking about. Pick it up, and “Finding Nemo,” two of her favorite mostly because he decided to become just browse through it. Books are attractive if movies. She was so excited looking that, a reader of books. He is as busy as you’ll give them a chance. through the books, then looking at my any top executive I know, yet somehow daughter and asking if she would read finds the time to invest in himself (and his 3. Make Some Notes them to her. It won’t be long until Megan is company, and his people…) by reading. Write down a few notes on what you learning to read for herself. Here’s how it In fact, I sat in on a recent dinner of chief learned from a book. Maybe it’s just one will begin: executives who spent the better part of thing that really stood out in your mind, or dinner discussing a book they had all just the main principle or idea you got from the Spot...Look. read. That’s a big clue of top performers book. See Spot. and top performance — READ. Or make a See Spot Run. commitment to reading MORE. Then make it a practice to incorporate your Run Spot Run. reading notes into conversations, like, “Hey One of the truly great “little” books you have you ever read the book Think and Remember Dick, Jane, Spot, and the whole could read in just a few minutes is Books Grow Rich? I just read that (again) and….” “Reading” family? This is much the same are Tremendous, by my friend Charles Becoming known as a reader is a powerful as it began for me (MANY years ago) “Tremendous” Jones. In it, he offers his thing in so many ways. and maybe the same for you. The real advice on why to read. Charlie says: question for most people is “when does it 4. Re-READ end?” When will Megan — or you — stop “I hope the books you discover through this How about an old favorite that you read reading to learn? book will enrich your life so tremendously once upon a time? Or a classic book that that all who meet you will sense that you you’ve always wanted to know more I know it’s been a while since second are a better person because of the books about? How about The 7 Habits? Or The grade, but we learned some valuable you’ve read. As you read, remember… Greatest Salesman in the World? Or Good lessons there we should never forget — and to Great? There are lots of reasons to read, chief among them is learning by reading. Don’t read to be big, Read to be down to but my favorite reason is to improve me. There’s more to Sam I Am than liking earth. What if just by reading you could improve Green Eggs and Ham. Reading really is Don’t read to be smart, read to be wise. you and your thinking and your attitude? FUNDAMENTAL to succeeding in most Don’t read to memorize, read to realize. The good news is you can. Why do YOU anything. Don’t read just to learn, read to sometimes read? Or why don’t you read more? unlearn. What if top performance, high Don’t read a lot, read just enough to keep In a couple of years when Megan starts achievement, big success and a richer yourself curious and hungry, to learn more, reading for herself, how many books will life were as simple as reading, listening and to keep getting younger as you grow she have to read to catch up with you? How and writing? You know, just being on the older.” many books will you read in the next two look-out for learning, paying attention and years? Here’s to reading, and to becoming writing a few notes about what you’ve How can you become as excited about a well-read student of books and life. learned? That would be easy to do, right? reading and learning as Megan? Problem is it’s easier not to do it, and that If you’d like the rest of my short list on is the option most people choose. 1. Choose to Begin how you can read more and get more from Or begin again, to read. Reading is like it than you could ever imagine, e-mail me I’ve had people say to me, “Michael, I’d most anything else in that you actually at the address below. like to read more but it’s too hard for me to have to do it to get better at it. Start with a find the time.” Tell me you won’t, but don’t book you’ve heard about, maybe a business Michael York is a professional speaker, tell me you can’t because it’s too hard. book or personal development book writer and business consultant. or book on encouragement. Encourage He can be contacted by e-mail at Just so we understand the difference yourself by reading a positive message. myork@autosuccessonline.com, or visit 26 between hard and easy: You won’t have any problem balancing that www.MichaelYork.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 17. MS LauraNoonanmarketingsolution ONE TOOL = THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS Have you been buyers to contact you to get a new car, new can come with Web-based real-time call looking for a financing or schedule their next service tracking reports that provide detailed cost-effective way to move units, increase appointment. information on your incoming calls service revenue and process more credit — what days and times are busiest, for applications — all so that you can boost Once you have that powerful advertising instance, and where your callers are your bottom line? response mechanism, the three simple steps located — telling you which markets to growing your business fall into place you’re most successful in, and which ones Look no further than the equipment right — because the vanity 800 number does the may need more of an advertising push or on your desk — the telephone. The first work for you. special offer. Tracking detail also provides challenge of course is to get that phone to caller names, addresses, average home ring. Then you must also understand which Step One: Improve Your values and average household incomes. advertising efforts are making your phone Advertising’s Performance Use this information to develop targeted ring and learn exactly what happens on Make your advertising work harder and campaigns by geographic location and by those incoming calls. bring more buyers onto your lot. You only demographic profile. You’ll discover where have seconds to make an impression, and your best prospects live, and where those First, to get the phone to ring you need to words (i.e., a vanity phone number) are customers are that may need some extra advertise – that’s easy. But, to get the most much easier for people to remember than a attention or promotional offers as incentive out of your advertising campaigns, you string of 10 random numbers. to trade in their current vehicle. should include one pivotal tool – one that generates higher response rates and brings When you leverage your vanity 800 Step Three: Record your in more calls: A toll-free vanity 800 phone number in all of your advertising, you’ll incoming calls number. see 30 to 60 percent more incoming leads. Recording calls is the best way to monitor In fact, a recent study from InfoSurv, firsthand the quality of your sales and Just look at some of the well-known Inc. shows that vanity 800 numbers are service staff. Play back recordings during businesses that currently use vanity 800 proven to improve consumer recall in department meetings and use them in numbers: print advertising by 84 percent. And, training sessions to demonstrate how to • 1-800-FLOWERS when used in broadcast advertising like build relationships and get buyers onto • 1-800-GOT-JUNK radio and television, vanity 800 numbers your lot and into your service center. • 1-800-PICK-UPS (UPS) yield a nine-time higher recall rate than • 1-800-GO-FED-EX (FedEx/Kinkos) a numeric toll-free number. So, by using Become the “go to” dealership in your a vanity 800 number in your advertising, market for sales and service. Secure a vanity These brands successfully relay to you’re including a built-in, cost effective 800 number for your dealership and include consumers what they sell, who they are direct-response tool that will bring in more that powerful and performance-enhancing and that they are the “go to” companies leads to your dealership. Just make sure tool in your advertising — in all of your for flowers, junk removal and shipping you have a good offer and strong message advertising, including radio, television, services. — something that will encourage prospects direct mail and outdoor ads. Using one to call you. pivotal tool in your advertising will bring By locating and selecting a vanity you more phone ups and allow you to track 800 number that makes sense for your Step Two: Capture the details of and monitor those increased calls. dealership, you are scaling one of the your incoming calls and build your highest hurdles. A number like 1-800- lead management system NEW-AUTO or 1-800-PRE-OWNED, All of your advertising efforts are Laura Noonan is the vice president of 1-800-NEW-CREDIT, or 1-800-NEW- incomplete if you’re not following up and marketing and corporate communications SERVICE tells people exactly analyzing how well your television and of 800response. She can be contacted at what you’re dealership offers radio spots, mailing campaigns,or print 866.388.1397, or by e-mail at and makes it effortless for ads are pulling. A vanity 800 number lnoonan@autosuccessonline.com. 28 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 18. MS MarcSmithmarketingsolution WHAT’S IN A TITLE I remember once about improving the image of the car sales A few months ago, I was working with the hearing a radio D.J. professional for some time, I interjected. fixed-operations for a large dealer group. take calls from listeners responding to trivia “Give me an example,” I said. I am known for always being politically questions. After one of the contestants correct, but this time I made reference to answered a rather difficult question One of the members took me up on this. mechanics. I was promptly reminded that correctly, the shock jock asked him what he “Well, if you were at a cocktail party, mechanics like to be referred to as “service did for a living. The caller responded that would you want to say that you sell cars technicians.” Likewise, service writers, I he was a petroleum fuel injection engineer. or that you sell real estate?” he asked. was told, have become “service advisors.” After pausing for a moment the D.J. said, “Perception is reality, and admittedly the “So, you pump gas.” The caller reluctantly title ‘car salesman’ or ‘salesperson’ doesn’t The next time you run a help wanted ad for responded, “That’s right.” sound very flattering. After all, a person a sales position, ask yourself: How would that sells real estate or insurance calls you respond to the titles “salespeople,” A similar situation played out before himself an agent. A person that sells stock “sales professionals” or “sales associates.” me several years ago. I was sitting in is called a broker. It just sounds better than How would you respond to “associate on a round table discussion for one of ‘car salesman.’” sales manager”? I’ll bet there would be the largest import distributors to the an increase in the number and quality of U.S. The attendees were discussing He was on to something. After thinking applicants simply by changing the title. everything from best practices in fixed it over, I suggested that if they were Why? Because the title sounds better. operations to menu selling in F&I. At one considering applying a different title, Many of your best prospects probably point, one of the directors on the panel they should consider “associate sales overlook the opportunity in your ads brought up the problem of the exuberant manager.” After all, that is what car sales simply because of the perception they have amount of turnover in the industry. After professionals do — they manage their of a “car salesman.” Many of your best some discussion on the topic, one of the sales. After some deliberation, all agreed prospects could already be managers or attendees concluded, “Let’s face it, the and mandated that their sales people be assistant managers in other industries and problem is no one wants to say they sell referred to as “associate sales managers” would like to make more money but don’t cars,” despite the fact that most everyone from then on. After being properly trained want to take a step down in position. Using there, including senior management, had at and obtaining an acceptable degree of sales a title with the word “manager” in it would one point sold cars. performance the title could be changed to make it easier for them to not only accept “sales manager,” I added. And what would the position but also save face. I also sold cars for years, and am proud of the sales manager be called? Well, how it. When he heard of this, however, an old about “director of sales”? If simply changing one’s title improves the friend just couldn’t believe it. He became way he or she feels about themselves and even more concerned when he was told You see, when asked, most people tend to results in more sales, then it may be worth that I sold used cars. I was amused by his agree that recognition is just as important considering the change. So, are you a “lot reaction. Did he realize that he made far as money, if not more. Therefore, your title boy,” “lot person,” “lot porter”? Consider less money than I did yet worked twice simply makes a difference. It makes your this: perhaps what you are is an “inventory as hard? Even the fact that I made more image and helps you garner recognition. manager.” money selling cars than most of the people Think about it. The person that serves up from which I took credit applications didn’t your Grande Caramel Macchiato at your seem to change his image of my profession. local Starbucks is called a “barista.” The term “barista” refers to one who has acquired Marc Smith is the senior vice president Image. How interesting, I thought. The some level of expertise in the preparation of of The Cardone Group. He can be businessmen at the round table had a espresso-based coffee drinks. Which sounds contacted at 866.665.4479, or by e-mail similar thought. After listening to them talk better to you, “barista” or “waiter”? at msmith@autosuccessonline.com. 29 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 19. STS JoeCalasales&trainingsolution PREPARATION TIME IS NEVER LOST TIME Anyone who has to Bible school, I began to see the value of an exchange. What are you willing to achieved success not only finishing something, but also what exchange? Whether it’s money for a did it by preparing for success. No one condition am I in when I finish something. product or service, or time for training and has ever achieved success on accident This time around, I started not only with instruction, write down what you have, — success is achieved on purpose. It is the end in mind, which was graduation what you need, what needs to be improved, reached by a prepared process of successful time, but the condition I wanted to be in at what needs to be changed and what needs habits, actions and disciplines applied to graduation time. So instead of preparing for to be removed so you can reach your goals. that specific area of success. So if we want below-average results to graduate with the to be successful in any area of life, we are bare-minimum requirements needed to walk 1. Personal Goal to have a goal in mind to prepare for. The down the aisle, I prepared, studied and paid second habit of Stephen Covey’s book, 7 attention, with the intentions of graduating Habits of Highly Effective People, says to above average and with stellar grades. So, “Begin with the end in mind.” When you at the end of Bible school, not only did I begin your journey with the end in mind, it graduate, but I graduated with a 4.0. will affect not only where you end up, but also the condition you’re in when you get So what’s the reason for these stories? To there and after you arrive. illustrate the success achieved based off of this principle, no matter what area of I live in New Jersey. New Jersey in January life you apply this to. Whether it’s in the can be extremely cold. If I am going to work place, in the sale, in training, in your be taking a trip in the month of January personal life or in any journey you take, as to St. Lucia in the Caribbean Islands I am you allow the end to influence your starting going to begin with the end in mind while point you’ll achieve great success. Here’s I’m preparing for my trip there. Even some steps to take: though I would need to wear long sleeved, sweatshirts, sweaters and winter clothes The 1st Step — Define Your End to keep me warm in New Jersey, I am not What is the specific target you’re aiming to going to pack the same way for St. Lucia. hit? What is the specific goal you want to Where I am going affects the way I pack achieve? 2. Work-Related Goal my clothes and prepare myself. 1. Personal Goal A runner also begins with the end in mind. When he enters a race, he has his sights set on the finish line. However, when a runner enters a race, he does so with the intentions of not just making it to the finish line 2. Work-Related Goal but making it to the finish line first. The preparation for this race will not determine whether he finishes the race or not, rather what place he is in when he finishes the race. How you value the end of something The 2nd Step — Set Your Parameters will determine the level of preparations and Clearly lay out the time frame in which you contributions you give to that matter. want to achieve this goal. Have a starting point and a deadline. I didn’t realize this principal while I was younger. I knew there was going to be 1. Personal Goal an end to high school but I never really cared about the condition I’d be in at the end. I failed to see the value of the end so As you apply these steps into your life you I didn’t do much to apply my best efforts will see the end results you desire, reach and abilities to affect the condition of 2. Work-Related Goal your end in above-average condition and my graduation. So instead of finishing become a success on purpose. with stellar grades and above average accomplishments, I performed below Joe Cala is an author, seminar leader, average and did the minimum requirements and Internet/Fleet sales manager of needed to just barely graduate. Preparation The 3 Step — Count Your Cost rd Gateway Toyota. He can be contacted at time is just as important as graduation Everything worth having in life costs 866.859.6402, or by e-mail at 32 time. Now a few years later when I went something. Everything comes with jcala@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 20. MS DaymondDeckermarketingsolution ENEWSLETTERS Building a Stronger Relationship With Your Customers 63% Consumers today of dealership staff, meaning you are receive a great prospecting — and even closing — when deal of information through a number of your dealership itself is closed. With channels, including direct mail, phone, and hundreds of design concepts, you can tailor of eNewsletter e-mail. The challenge for your dealership your eNewsletter to emphasize the brand or subscribers are more likely to purchase is to break through this clutter by providing style of your dealership. a vehicle from the your prospects and customers the detailed dealership. information they want in a way they want Capturing Leads and Brand to receive it. Awareness There are many benefits to eNewsletters eNewsletters can be a key part of your including: customer communication programs by providing in-depth education about your dealership in a format that can be easily accessed by consumers. • Increased customer awareness and loyalty by keeping your dealership top of mind • Enhanced brand and image by 77% of eNewsletter subscribers are differentiating yourself from your more likely to use the eNewsletters, sent out on a monthly basis, competition dealership for service. can keep your customers and prospects • Increased organic leads by driving informed of your latest news, promotions more traffic to your Web site and dealership specials. The most effective • Increased fixed ops revenue with eNewsletters contain features including coupons and promotions subscribers are more likely to purchase a navigation bars that drive traffic to your vehicle from the dealership that sends them Web site, links to video test drives that Depending on how you have your a newsletter, and 77 percent are more likely provide vehicle data, and discount coupons eNewsletter structured, your dealership can to use the dealership for service. to drive sales inquiries. eNewsletters be provided with insights into key metrics can also contain service and safety tips, with monthly reporting features. You’ll be Roy Reutter, of Sheehy Auto Store lifestyle articles and embedded live chat able to track metrics such as: in Richmond Virginia, said Sheehy’s capabilities, all built with navigation to • Open rates customers receive a digital newsletter that contact the dealership with a mere click of • Click-through rates can be measured by tracking every single the mouse. • Popularity of content person who reads it, what they read, and • Coupons downloaded how much time they spend on the articles. The eNewsletter can be an invaluable • Number of chats engaged “New or used vehicle sales are our main tool in maintaining direct contact with • Opt-out percentages objective,” Reutter said, “but our biggest your customer base. An automotive group • Hot-spot analysis of articles featured benefit has been in the parts and service in Rhode Island, for example, recently revenue that is generated as a result.” launched their first eNewsletter with These reports will help you target the amazing results. Within the first 24 hours right customers with follow-up campaigns The bottom line is that your customers they achieved a 27.2 percent opening rate by showing you exactly what interests will feel more informed of the value of from their more than 12,000 customers. them. This information will continuously your dealership, driving a higher degree of improve your newsletter’s effectiveness loyalty. All the features of the eNewsletter and your dealership revenue. Daymond Decker is the product can be edited by you to tailor your marketing manager for ADP Digital communications to match the reader’s Elevating ROI Marketing. He can be contacted at interests. Additionally, customers are A recent study of newsletter recipients 866.860.6287, or by e-mail at supplied this information independent found that 63 percent of eNewsletter ddecker@autosuccessonline.com. 34 www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 21. MS DennisGalbraithmarketingsolution ONLINE MEASUREMENT What Your Lead Management System Won’t Tell You Evaluation of • Not all new-car leads are equal, process, shoppers are deciding both our business is and they can’t be measured as if what and where to buy. If you’ve often so focused on e-mail leads and call they were. Until recently, nearly effectively marketed your store, buyers metrics that we tend to lose sight of the all new-car leads were the result of will come into contact with your brand larger objective – traffic and sales. When online quote request products that at multiple touch points, including we place an ad online for either a new or drove e-mail leads to the dealership. listings, search engine results and your used vehicle, the ultimate goal is to match Buyers interested in a particular make Web site. It’s in that process that they consumers to the right inventory and drive and model would e-mail the store to are evaluating your dealership. If they them into the store where they ultimately learn more about your price and you like what they see, most shoppers make a purchase. The most effective online could easily track these prospects will walk through your door to learn advertising drives quality traffic in multiple through your lead management system. more about a vehicle, take a test drive ways and on all types of inventory. Whether New-car value from online services or inquire about financing. Because in the form of an e-mail, a phone call, a was easily measured — you’d simply walk-in customers in most cases visit to your store’s Web site or a step into divide your monthly cost by the total don’t identify themselves as Internet your showroom, effectively placed online number of vehicles sold based on shoppers, your lead management tool ads should deliver in-market shoppers who leads received to arrive at an accurate never knows they took the bait. How are progressing toward a final purchase cost per sale. While this is still the will you source the sale? A postsale decision. While e-mail and phone leads right way to measure lead generation survey administered in the F&I office is tracked through your lead management services that deliver quote requests, it recommended to better understand the system are the most concrete evidence of will not give you an accurate measure true sources of your walk-in traffic. this impact, they only represent a fraction of of performance when advertising new- what online advertising delivers. vehicle inventory online. • Engagement matters. The average online shopper spends approximately Getting the Whole Story • New vehicle inventory is rapidly 60 seconds with a detailed vehicle To get the complete story and to better displacing request-for-quote leads as listing page. That means your store measure the holistic value of online the dominant model in automotive and your inventory are the focal point campaigns, it’s time to look beyond lead Internet. Consumers want to see actual of attention with an in-market buyer management tools and the data they offer. new cars available on dealer lots. This for a full minute. Online shoppers are We must start understanding what the shift has consequences and requires engaged in the process, and most take limitations are of online tracking, and start a shift in measurement that your lead the next step toward purchase without placing value on the intangibles that often management tool won’t fully be able ever contacting you by phone or e-mail. do not readily reveal themselves. So what to capture. Just as with used-vehicle Despite the fact that online engagement else do we need to look at? Here are a few listings, consumers are free to link and activity is often behind the sale, things to keep in mind when evaluating from new-car inventory to the physical your lead management system won’t online performance that your lead store by means that can be tracked, ever give you details on engagement management system can’t and won’t know. such as phone and e-mail. But they can levels, nor will it look for a correlation also simply walk into the store with between recent online activities and 80% of shoppers no traceable online activity. How will your lead management system track these buyers? Chances are, you may sold vehicles. To better understand the value of engagement and its impact on sales, look to your online providers for not be able to. Therefore, the next time detailed reports on what customers are you compare new-vehicle advertising doing online, how often your vehicles sources, be sure you are not comparing appear in detailed search results, and apples to oranges based on the numbers how many times buyers print your in your system. You can evaluate listings and directions to your store. one request for quote service against another, but you’ll be giving inventory Regardless of what you choose to track services the short end of the stick if and what can be effectively measured, it’s you only measure them on e-mail value clear that online advertising has proved its delivered, a fraction of their total worth. value beyond the leads that can be clearly demonstrated. Isn’t it time we turn our • Internet customers don’t come attention to the big-picture results? with labels. Nearly 80 percent of all “...only a small fraction of shoppers now go online as part of their automotive research process, Dennis Galbraith is vice president of them will send an e-mail lead but only a small fraction of them will advertising products at Cars.com. He can or call a traceable phone line.” send an e-mail lead or call a traceable be contacted at 866.487.4022, or by e-mail 36 phone line. During the online research at dgalbraith@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 22. STS SeanV.Bradleysales&trainingsolution INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP VII Last month we attended an off-site week-long powerful • We had the team mystery shop their discussed the Internet director immersion program. Reed dealership and fill out report cards awesome success of the Synergy Sessions Lallier Chevrolet chose to make a serious based on the quantative and qualative and I promised to go over my interpretation commitment to achieve the absolute fastest measurements of the phone call. of Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits response times for their Internet prospects. • They went through full analytics of of Highly Effective People. I have come their departments, such as reporting and to realize that there is no way I can do Dr. They also created the new position of third- ROI calculations. Covey’s book justice with a simple article, shift coordinator. A staffer actually works • They went into their CRM tool and so I decided to turn it into a seven-part from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. The dealership has broke it down. They learned how to series. Each month I will focus on one of literally 24/7 coverage. The new program analyze their ILM/CRM for information Covey’s “7 Habits.” This month I will begin has been well received by online visitors; that can help them evolve their the series with the first habit: Be Proactive. and has delivered four additional units department. There are several interpretations for this, just last month from these new initiatives. • We had four senior executives, each but for this article we will focus on one, and The dealership promotes their services to with more than 10 years of automotive that is take initiative; don’t wait on things to soldiers at nearby Fort Bragg. Soldiers in experience, drill down different “just happen.” Iraq are online viewing the dealerships’ components such as process, human Web site and the third-shift coordinator resources, management and technology In life you have two choices: to be reactive has e-mailed them personally minutes after analysis. or to be proactive. It is much better to they were on the Reed Lallier site. But, the be proactive. I want to acknowledge a success has not been solely from soldiers. On the fourth day, the class took a field trip. very proactive dealership — Reed Lallier You would be surprised how many people We went to a dealership just outside the city Chevrolet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are online those hours researching and that consistently delivers over 100 units a led by Mike Leechford. Mike’s Internet shopping for a car. What has resulted from month from their Internet department. In the department consistently sold 20 units a these efforts? Reed Lallier Chevrolet has afternoon they went to another dealership, month. Mike realized that just having a gone from 20 units a month to 60 units this one in New Jersey, that went from 60 Web site, lead management tool and some a month with this new Internet structure. units a month to over 131 units a month on leads did NOT mean he was an Internet Don’t just wait for things to happen; make the Internet. sales department. Reed Lallier Chevrolet them happen. Take a proactive approach. completely redesigned all of their tools to be The group said this was very powerful much more strategic. They created a whole Internet Sales 20 Group’s Internet for them to actually see it done the right new branch of their Internet department, Director Immersion Program way. Each dealership was unique, but both and set up Internet sales coordinators. I recently hosted an Internet Sales 20 Group had tremendous success with their efforts. These people sell the appointments, NOT in Philadelphia with dealers coming in from Attendees said that most training is theory the cars. These coordinators aren’t simple all over the country. It was based on the and some strategy, but they never have been telemarketers or receptionists, but highly traditional format of used by NADA and in a session where they could see everything trained Internet and phone ninjas! They have NCM for their 20 groups. The first section taught being implemented first-hand in the been trained in the art of automotive Internet went over the philosophy and strategy of dealership. They got a lot out of seeing sales, and handling objections and rebuttals. Internet sales. The next day the participants teams in action. Reed Lallier modified the compensation spent time in our corporate office in plan in the department to make sure they Philadelphia to get a behind-the-scenes look The final day was a brief summation and were amply compensated for their efforts, at how analysts conduct their audits and then testing, which they all passed with but more importantly they were rewarded mystery shopping calls. Next we spent six flying colors. Then we had an in-depth recap for specific and relevant achievements. straight hours going over the three-square of the week and action planning for when exercise (I wrote an article several months they get back to their dealerships. Many said This was no “on the job” training effort; ago in Volume 6, Issue 6 of AutoSuccess they couldn’t wait until the next Internet everyone was trained and certified. These explaining in detail the three-square Sales 20 Group! folks were put through an intensive on-site concept). We couldn’t believe that six hours five-day training program that went into passed on one exercise, but with our focus, detail about their tools, resources, online the time went by quickly. Sean V. Bradley is the CEO and founder marketing, standard operating procedures, of Dealer Synergy. He can be contacted intensive role playing, practice drills and On the third day we hit the throttle. All of the at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at 38 coaching. Additionally, Mike Leechford, participants were back in class, but this time: sbradley@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 23. We don’t have cars.We have customers.80% of our customers will have a check-in-hand,and ready to buy a car. Preferred Dealer is a national networkof quality car dealers with a desire to gain new, ready-to-buycustomers. Our pre-approved car buyers arrive with financingand all you have to do is put them in the driver’s seat.If you prefer selling cars, become a Preferred Dealer®.Each month, we approve hundreds of car buying customers in yourarea, mail them a check and send them to a Preferred Dealer.Contact us to choose your spot on our exclusive Preferred DealerNetwork and start getting these customers.Toll Free: 866.625.2668Email: contact@preferred-dealer.netInternet: www.preferred-dealer.net Complete Customer Contact Details Exclusive Territories Approved Customers, Check-in-hand Subprime Auto Finance Leads 24/7 Online Dealer Access REAL LENDERS - REAL LOANS - REAL TIME
  • 24. STS FranTaylorsales&trainingsolution TRAINING, NEGATIVITY AND ADVICE Sales training should shouldn’t be in the class — and should be how to get the gold. Teach the others, and be fun, with great out of the car business — because of the when younger salespeople start to sell more attitudes and accurate advice. Most people damage their negativity does to others. They cars and have bigger paychecks, the old pros would say advice doesn’t cost you anything; are defending why they sell fewer than 10 became open minded. it does if it’s bad advice that creates negative units a month. attitudes. You can put up with people selling 10 units A few classes later in the same dealership, a month, as long as they aren’t negative. Training starts with open-minded people. phone calls came up. The trainer was If negativity continues, drive them to the A friend was training in a large dealership. teaching about going out prospecting dealership down the road and recommend The range of people went from rookies to every day at lunch, and that handing out them for a job. If there isn’t any problem, 12-year professionals. Professionals? The cards will give you leads, and how staying keep up the training. trainer was attempting to teach the benefit of in contact with your customers on the Good training works best without negative a longer demo to show feature benefits; turn whole family’s birthday will generate objections or obstacles. Just be very picky on a favorite radio station, talk about the leads and sales. More money and fun will on where you get your advice. Don’t let customer’s favorite hobbies, do a trial close be the results. someone with a lot of years of experience and have fun. and delivering 10 or 12 units a month help Another old pro said, “Just get me the destroy someone’s future. The old professional said, “It’s not how long customers and I’ll show you how to sell you go on a demo; it’s what you say.” He cars.” People who want to learn at the class There are always three types of people then folded up his hands across his chest started to ask themselves “Who do I listen to in class: rookies, people who say “prove as to say “I told you so.” This “pro,” who – the old pro or this trainer?” The gentleman to me that it works,” or people who say delivered nine units the month before, just also delivered nine units the month before, “I tried that and it doesn’t work here.” took all the positive and accurate advice and never considered the trainer might have Obviously, the third type can be a pain in out of the training. Guys with this attitude been right all along. your backside, but don’t fire them unless they are negative. Do regular training and, These people when others go by them in sales and the should be kept out size of their paychecks, do not rub it in their of class. A good face. Instead, say, “Let’s talk and see what Wish your coupons could manager can take a rookie and deliver we can do to get you to the next level.” If hook more customers? 10 units without you can accomplish this, you will have a tremendous tool for any newcomer. That any problems. person who you had patience with then will Reel ’em in with say, “I used to think that way.” You will get The same trainer ith an unbelievable amount of respect from Now w Phone was at another lot our Show Y delivery! Real Coupons ™ in a three-location other people with a lot better results. Most important, you now have a trainer that has a mobile customizable, trackable coupons. dealership, with great attitude and accurate advice. IMN Loyalty Driver™ is a fully managed a totally different e-newsletter service that helps atmosphere. The One exercise that will help make people dealerships get the most out of their 13-year pro asked change quicker is to ask your successful customer relationships. more questions on salespeople what they think they did to sell Real Coupons works with IMN Loyalty how to deliver 30 vehicles. Share this accurate information in Driver allowing dealerships to easily units a month than your morning meeting. You will hear: customize, deliver and track professionally- designed coupons electronically. You can the rest of his class • “I think the longer demo made the even send Real Coupons to customers’ did combined. This difference.” cell phones with Show Your Phone.™ pro not only helped • “You were the only one who showed us Using Real Coupons is easy, fast, and— others by asking the service department,” most importantly—delivers results. questions, but was • “You sent me a ‘thank you’ for calling Use IMN Loyalty Driver with Real Coupons truly interested in and we thought that was nice,” to improve response and drive sales. To delivering more • “You were the only one who sounded catch more business, call 866.964.6397, units. like you knew what you were doing....” ext. 214 or email ASGsales@imninc.com. Drive customers in…For sales, for life. For best results, Share your success story in every meeting. start with people People will all pick up on it. who want to go and are not a prisoner. Fran Taylor is the president/CEO of Taylor The old pros have Techniques. He can be contacted at 866-964-6397 imnLoyaltyDriver.com 40 the gold mine, but 866.848.9864, or by e-mail at most don’t know ftaylor@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  • 25. MS MikeHoffeymarketingsolution EASIER ACCESS TO SERVICE CONTRACT INFORMATION The explosion of conversations turn into revenue. If F&I the Internet and the product discussions jeopardize the entire sophisticated high-tech look of most auto sale, that conversation is most likely over. dealerships Web sites have created a need To maximize the F&I revenue opportunity, to look beyond the traditional approaches every dealership should be targeting a 100 to delivering service contract information. percent service contract sales close rate for Today’s Web shopper is moving rapidly the pre-qualified candidate pool. through the purchase process with the help of Internet managers and new concepts such How do you get there? We all know that as OCO (Offer-Counter Offer). In some this valuable revenue stream is even more capacity, not interfacing with a live body critical during this economic downturn. until it is time to work up the paperwork Expanding the outlets for general is exactly what a consumer is looking for. service contract information is a critical With this in mind, it is time to revisit the step to reach the goal. A quick Google manner in which these shoppers are learning keyword search for “auto service contract about F&I products in conjunction with their information” gives you a lot of choices and automobile purchase. does help. The real opportunity is by tying this information into the dealer Web site. In today’s selling environment, the With the explosion of good dealer Web sites presentation of service contracts still lies in and consumers shopping on those sites, the hands of F&I managers. This approach why not give them all the information they has positive and negative benefits. Certainly need right there? Some sites have it figured the F&I manager can dictate when and how out, but many have a limited amount of the sharing of service contract information information available, and it is too many occurs during the buying process. Some clicks away from the home page. So what consumers may be exposed during the do you do? Adding “Service Contracts” to test drive, while they are just kicking the the primary banner bar on a home page and tires or during the actual buying process. linking the consumer to high-quality content What really goes on in the consumer’s about service contracts is a great step in the mind during that discussion when the right direction. consumer has little if any information about service contracts? Making a $30,000 Picture this – the consumer sees the car buying decision is not easy. It is a tense they want online. They look at colors and and uncomfortable position for many. styles. Their excitement level grows. They Dealerships have made positive strides run the numbers. They want to buy. They in creating a relaxing atmosphere to help see an online message within the vehicle make the buying process less difficult, description saying “this vehicle is eligible but unfortunately not everybody is totally for a five-year service contract — Click comfortable with the whole “experience.” here!” They click, read and learn. It makes sense. They have some questions but the When you throw the service contract seed has been planted. The consumer walks discussion into the middle of this mix, it into the dealership with screen shots of the can create two very clear options — yes car they want and the service contract plan or no. Yes, means, well “yes” and you go that goes with that car. on down the road and blend the expense into the financing. Drawing on the lowest Creating a realistic view that an auto common denominator approach, with a purchase and a service contract go hand great line such as “…and that increases your in hand makes all of our lives easier. The monthly rate only $4.00 —you made a great integration of this important information decision,” makes life fun. Everybody wins. to the Web site-shopping experience is a However, behind every “no” are a myriad of perfect and natural way to get to the 100 reasons and thoughts that potentially never percent target goal — it’s a beautiful vision get fully flushed out. How much does the that can become a reality. customer know? What preconceived notions do they have about service contracts? Good Mike Hoffey is the vice president of F&I managers work diligently to bring marketing at Protective Life Corporation. He value to the service contract discussion can be contacted at 866.492.8932, or by e- 41 and with a focused effort, many of those mail at mhoffey@autosuccessonline.com. the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 26. MS BrianHallmarketingsolution THIRD PARTY LEADSEver Now More Than AND BDC Prior to the year providers — some of which simply the leads that show and close 30 percent. 2000, most auto aggregate leads from other generators and This would result in 20 sales at a cost per dealers generated prospects via newspaper, then resell to dealers, and others that both sale of $450. This performance could be radio, TV, direct mail, on-site promotions generate organic traffic and aggregate lead enhanced if your salespeople followed-up and off-property promotions. Things seemed sources for dealers. Lead quality varies on the no-shows, rescheduled appointments easier back then, but times have changed. from provider to provider, depending on AND followed-up on the shows who did Depending on the size of the advertising the type of advertising used to generate not buy. Just 10 more sales from diligent budget, some dealers were content just a consumer’s information, the type of follow-up would reduce your cost per sale running a full-page ad every weekend in partnerships providers have with other to $300. Unfortunately, most sales people their local newspaper. The large-volume generators and internal quality control are not the best phone people so this plan dealers had a larger advertising budget mechanisms designed to scrub faulty leads. most likely will not work. and were able to support their newspaper The obvious benefit to the dealer who advertising with radio and TV. The largest purchases leads from third-party providers Solution Plan B: Spend $30,000 to dealers had advertising budgets for both is that they pay on a per-lead basis and the $40,000 implementing your own in- new and used car departments, as well as risk of advertising response rests on the house BDC department. Spend $25,000 parts and service departments utilizing TV, provider’s shoulders rather than the dealer. per month for a small BDC management radio, newspaper, direct mail, liner ads and The downside is that dealers cannot control team and staff. Spend $30,000 purchasing billboards. Some dealers even had their the quality of the leads and must rely upon 1,000 leads at $30 per lead. Wait — over own in-house ad agency, and almost every the integrity of the provider. budget. Try again. Spend $7,500 per dealer’s best sales day was Saturday. Today, month and purchase 250 leads at $30 per more and more dealers are purchasing Reduce Advertising Costs and lead. Now for the BDC plan. Contact each third-party leads — new car, used car and Increase Lead Flow and every lead and schedule 99 percent subprime auto-finance leads. In today’s economic environment, it’s appointments. Then call and confirm all imperative that a dealer’s advertising scheduled appointments and make sure New / Used Car Leads — Otherwise known dollars are maximized for optimal return. 99 percent of all scheduled appointments as new/used car purchase requests, these Many dealers have been forced to reduce show up. Make follow-up calls on all consumers are typically very specific in their advertising budgets while still appointments that didn’t buy and schedule terms of make, model, equipment and color trying to maintain sales volume. Demand 99 percent of them as Be-backs. For sure, and are essentially looking for a price quote for quality, in-market leads has risen as this plan won’t work. from a dealer. Consumers usually request dealers continue to cut costs and migrate price quotes on several makes and models, their traditional advertising dollars (TV, Solution Plan C: Contract with a third- therefore, are sold to multiple dealers. radio, direct mail, etc.) to third-party party lead provider that will supply your Selling consumer information to multiple lead providers. For example, let’s say dealership with quality leads AND a dealers presents a challenge and requires a dealer spends $30,000 per month on customized BDC service. Spend $20,000 dealers to contact and follow-up more traditional advertising and generates 300 purchasing 500 leads at $40 per lead effectively in order to “win” the business. new prospects for a cost per lead of $100. including the BDC process. Dealers If you were to spend that same $30,000 should expect this type of result: Contact Sub-prime Auto-Finance Leads – Due to and purchase leads from a third-party 85 percent of all leads and schedule credit impairment, these type of consumers provider, you would receive 1,000 leads, appointments for 70 percent The BDC calls are generally seeking pre-approval prior to assuming a cost per lead of $30. But there and confirms all scheduled appointments shopping for a vehicle. In many instances, is a difference — buying a lead is just and averages an 85 percent show rate. these consumers purchase what they can that. You still need to get them into your Using these performance standards and afford, or, more specifically, a vehicle that showroom, and as mentioned previously, keeping with a 30 percent close rate on the meets the guidelines of what a lender is you are likely competing with other dealers appointments that show, you would sell 76 willing to advance. The challenge with this for the customer’s business. More than vehicles at a cost per sale of $263 — but type of lead is that only a portion of these ever, dealers need to execute consistent that’s not all. The BDC will make follow- consumers qualify for financing — contact and follow-up procedures in order up calls on every appointment who showed particularly with the current non-liquidity to convert leads to sales. but didn’t buy AND no shows. Sell just 10 of the credit markets. In addition, these more vehicles and lower your cost per sale consumers often apply to more than one Solution Plan A: Spend $9,000 and to $232. This plan should definitely work. Web site, causing the consumer information purchase 300 leads at $30 per lead. Hand to be sold more than once. Again, more than those leads out to your salespeople with a ever, dealers need to contact and follow-up plan. Salespeople are to contact 70 percent quickly and effectively. of all the leads and schedule appointments for 50 percent. Additionally, your sales Brian Hall is the president of BlueSky Lead Generation is Big Business for people are to call and confirm appointments Marketing. He can be contacted at Hundreds of Companies and execute towards a 65 percent show 866.799.3549, or by e-mail at 42 Dealers purchase leads from third-party rate. Next, your sales people are to work bhall@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com

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