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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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AutoSuccess .nov10 AutoSuccess .nov10 Document Transcript

  • 2010NOVEMBER
  • There’s a Reason Why More Dealers Choose Dealer.com... “From technology, to innovation, to support, I’ve had an extremely positive experience with Dealer.com. One of Dealer.com’s greatest advantages is the reporting. The speed of the reporting tool, the ease of use and the timely, relevant data allow me to make changes on the fly.” Andrew DiFeo, General Manager Hyundai of St. AugustineSEARCH MARKETING | DEALER WEBSITES | LEAD MANAGEMENT | PERFORMANCE ANALYTICS 888.785.5418 | www.dealer.com | sales@dealer.com2010 Top Rated Web 2010 Net Promoter® 2010 Diamond Award 2010 AutomotiveProvider, DrivingSales.com Score Survey “Best Website Provider” Website AwardsTop Awards for Websites, Top customer service Auto Dealer Monthly Pinnacle Platform AwardSEO, and Internet ranking in the nation’s 2010 Dealers’ Best Online AdvertisingLead Management software industry Choice Awards Tool Award
  • THE #1 SALES-IMPROVEMENT MAGAZINE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or info@autosuccessonline.com. Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220. 2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Kentucky 40299 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | AutoSuccessOnline.com / AutoSuccessPodcast.com | info@autosuccessonline.com Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com design@autosuccessonline.com ddavis@autosuccessonline.com super6@autosuccessonline.com shorne@autosuccessonline.com jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution turning your reviews into a marketing machine penske revolutionizes online marketing with you’ve gathered those 100+ positive reviews, now put them in motion what’s your best price? i’m glad you asked , turning customers into buyers through build-up and take-away the death of the traditional dealership penskecars.com + penskesocial.com how to land a sale on a strip-line three steps to building a dynamic automotive dealership websites empowering your sales staff successful dealership part 1 workforce in the dealership 14 traits that exist in every tax season is growing again , and digital marketing unfair? you bet it is... an interview with davidWithnell part 5 18 22 26 24 14 20 30 10 28 32 08 markTewart terrySheridan mattBaker scottJoseph chipWiley seanv.Bradley richardWinch howardLeavitt susanGivens JimRadogna marshBuice 4 6 2 pg1 pg2 pg3 terry sheridan howard leavitt chip wiley
  • SusanGivens marketing solution penske revolutionizes online marketing with penskecars.com + penskesocial.comBy offering consumers a one-stop shoppingportal to thousands of vehicles, a recentlylaunched Website is bringing together dealersfrom across the United States and increasingtheir visibility to the car-buying public.Penske Automotive Group has launchedPenskeCars.com, a national Website thatmakes it easy for consumers, employees andpartners to research, shop and maintain theirvehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week.And, by combining traditional marketing witha social media component, Penske properties,their partners and thousands of employees arelooking to build a national network by creatinga fully integrated social media platform.“We did a lot of testing and took our timebefore we did the launch,” said Terri Mulcahey,Vice President of Business Development atPenske. “Consumers wanted lots of photos,vehicle history reports and multiple searchoptions. Now they can browse through ourone-of-a-kind inventory 24 hours a day, sevendays a week when it is convenient for them.”PenskeCars.com allows consumers to view By creating a contest thatand compare nearly 25,000 new, certified and consumers can enter topre-owned vehicles, representing more than win smart phones and VIP40 brands located at 173 of its retailers across racing experiences, thethe country. The site also provides consumers company has created a virala simple method to schedule maintenance social media event to spreadand repair services at their local Penske the word about the portalAutomotive dealership. in ways that traditional marketing cannot. TheThe complete consumers experience includes contest platform usesextensive vehicle information including sophisticated technologyphotos, videos and Carfax history reports that allows a contestantfor pre-owned vehicles and warranties. “Not to increase their chancesonly can consumers browse the more than of winning by sharing25,000 new and used vehicles, but they can the contest via Facebook,even schedule service appointments online,” Twitter or e-mail.Mulcahey said. “The Penske brand is perfectPenskeCars.com also is designed to integrate for social media because it iswith social networks so consumers can interact a name people trust, and thatand connect with each other while sharing is the foundation of a successful social medianews, events, photos, videos and promotions strategy,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of the Susan Givens is the publisher of AutoSuccess.from all of the company’s dealerships in the marketing company that launched PenskeCars. She can be contacted at 877.818.6620, or byUnited States. com and Penske’s Social strategy. e-mail at sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com.08 autosuccessonline.com
  • MarshBuice sales & training solution what’s your best price? i’m glad you askedNot a day goes by that a salesperson is not comes when preparation meets opportunity.” presentation is not geared specifically towardsasked, “What’s your best price?” If this Discipline will beat talent every time. Building your customer’s wants and needs, it could resultquestion is handled in an insincere way (if the proper foundation of knowledge is critical in a lost opportunity for a sale. You shouldanswered at all), it could send a customer toward becoming successful. As it is written, present your product that will address questionsin a rage with smoke billowing out of their “It is like a person building a house who digs such as: Who is the main decision maker?ears ready to pummel the salesperson for not deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. What is the need for your product? Why is youranswering the question. Price has very little to When the floodwaters rise and break against product superior to your competitors’? Whendo with making a sale. Don’t believe me? If that house, it stands firm because it is well will they need your product? How will yourprice had anything to do with purchasing a cup built.” If you are disciplined to study not only product serve their needs?of coffee, why would anyone pay five times the everything about your product, but also theamount for a cup of “celebrity” coffee when relevant information of your competitor’s c — collate everything into athey could pay far less at the “get-it-and-go” product, you will beat the most talented, professional, tailor-madegas station? Customers pay for two things: undisciplined salesperson. Talent is what you sales presentation:experience and value. When experience and can do naturally; discipline is a regimen thatvalue outweigh price, a purchase is made. An develops or improves a skill. “Nothing is more You must, must, must display enthusiasminvestor — a.k.a. customer — questions what common than unsuccessful people with talent.” when presenting your product. Zig Ziglarthe potential gain will be for the risk taken. maintains, “For every sale you miss becausePut another way, will the return exceed their r — remember: you are too enthusiastic, you will miss ainvestment? It is time to stop being defensive Patricia Fripp put it best when she said, hundred because you are not enthusiasticon price and begin to embrace the thinking “Remember, it’s not your customer’s job enough.” Preparation breeds confidence;behind P.R.I.C.E. to remember you. It’s your obligation and confidence makes way for enthusiasm; responsibility to make sure they don’t have enthusiasm paves the road for the sale.p — prepare: a chance to forget you.” Your stage is anHenry Hartman said, “Success always opportunity to showcase what you and your e — establish a relationship product can do for with your customers: your customer. This is the most important stage in the sales Keep in mind that process. Customers do not want to know even though you what you do; they want to know you care have performed about them. Selling is just like dating — a your show (product transference of feeling. When you meet presentation) many someone, you work hard to establish rapport, times each day, six credibility and trust. If you can establish those days per week, the key ingredients, you may get a second date. In customer has not his new book, The Sales Bible, Jeff Gitomer seen your show. Think as a Las wrote, “If you make a sale, you can earn a Vegas performer commission. If you make a friend, you can — perform for the earn a fortune.” audience as if every night is opening So the next time a customer asks for your night. Create best price, confidently respond by saying, a carnival-like “I am glad you asked!” Know that your best atmosphere for your price comes from all of the preparation in customer that will your product, remembering to make their be enjoyable to both experience unique and fun by identifying their you and them. wants and needs, collating all of it together onto your “Vegas-style” stage, all the while i — identify the remembering throughout the sales process you needs of your are establishing a personal relationship with customer: them. As long as you walk on this earth you Each customer’s are going to be something; you might as well needs are as unique be successful. as a thumbprint — they are all different. Do not make the mistake of Marsh Buice is the sales manager of Mark giving a “canned” Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep. He can be contacted presentation to every at 866.535.5006, or by e-mail at customer. If your mbuice@autosuccessonline.com.10 autosuccessonline.com
  • Withnell Dodge looked to a familiar place for assistance. With direct help from their CRM partner, Withnell and their CRM consultant designed a strategic marketing road map. They integrated numerous digital strategies into one cohesive plan that not only made sense, but was easy to implement and execute. “Combining various media in different ways gave us the flexibility to reach our customers in a method that best suits them,” Withnell said. “With the availability of eNewsletters, digital Web ads, timely equity alerts, permission-based marketing, and managed campaigns, along with the help of our consultant maximizing the use of each piece, this has proven to be the right and profitable approach.” The overall strategy that Withnell adopted changed with the implementation of their marketing solution. David began meeting weekly with his GM and others to hammer out their messaging and target audience. Once this is decided, their consultant does all of the work for them — determining timelines, media selections and execution strategies, all the while keeping ROI top on the list. the results In the last two years, Withnell Dodge has seen an explosion in improvement. From 2009 to 2010, they generated a 358 percent increase in campaign-related sales. “A utilization of everything available to us, along with the drive for success from our consultant, has made this happen,” Withnell said. They have already executed 14 campaigns in 2010 and are actively planning more; this will push their sales even further and encourage the level of consistency in customer touches the dealership so desperately needed. “Consistency in customer touches, coupled with the pattern in which they are sent has been the single greatest improvement to our execution since moving to a digital-the challenge based marketing strategy,” Withnell said. The dealership has proved thatIn recent years, few have been untouched by the challenging downturn in sending the right message, to the right customer, at the right time is thethe economy. Withnell Dodge in Salem, OR was no exception. Learning biggest component to the entire strategy.from past mistakes and embracing new efforts was the only way thatDavid Withnell felt he would be able to turn things around and remain Along with improved sales, Withnell Dodge is also seeing an increase incompetitive in his market. The days of waiting for the doors to swing and gross from customers sold through their business solutions campaigns —customers to flock to his store had long passed. a nine percent increase in new car sales during the last three months, to be exact. “Maintaining contact with our customers generates loyalty andDiscovering how to change this ineffective model by looking in the a level of comfort that breeds trust, and results in better sales,” Withnellmirror may have been the hardest part. Improving customer retention, said. The dealership maintains its presence, but doesn’t overwhelm itsmaintaining long-term contact through the customer life cycle, customers, as there is a fine line between advantageous and annoyingchanging the haphazard approach to follow-up and advancing into the that constantly has to be monitored. “Customers will let you know whenmodern era of digital technology were all things that needed to happen they are getting too much,” Withnell said. “You have to listen and keep a— simultaneously and soon. ‘quantity vs. quality’ thought when designing the message.the solution “In today’s world,” Withnell continued, “no one product will solve“Once all of our needs for improvement were clearly identified, we all problems; however, the combination of effectivewere able to move forward,” said David Withnell. “Finding a solutionthat worked with much more consistency and accuracy, while providingmeasurable ROI, was the only answer for us.” Withnell Dodge decidedto take matters into their own hands and manufacture sales. “Waitingwasn’t an option; we had to make it happen.”
  • tools throughour CRM solutionenables us to best meet ourcustomer’s needs. This is seen in thesales we are able to manufacturer month aftermonth.” One such tool is their professionally designeddigital Web ads. Created with dealer involvement, these highlyengaging e-mail marketing pieces feature specific, monthly messagingthat speaks directly to each target audience. Follow-up campaign Thistactics are then employed to generate immediate, and best of all, renewed andtrackable results. collaborative approach has given Withnell Dodge a leadingOne such campaign recently featured 10 vehicles less than $10,000. edge. Generating sales during even the worstSearching out the best demographic with interest in this specific category economic times kept them from struggling like manyof vehicles, along with a custom-designed Web ad resulted in a 98 in the industry. Maintaining their market presence instilled trustpercent delivery rate, 12 percent open rate (well above the industry in their clientele, creating lifelong loyalty that is so desperately soughtaverage) and a gross of almost 50 percent higher than that of a normal after in any industry, but specifically that of the automotive world. Theysale. The return far exceeded their expectations. “Our ‘10 Under 10 now have a better understanding of a customer’s life cycle and canCampaign’ was a huge success. We couldn’t be happier with the results, therefore market to it more effectively.and can’t wait to do it again,” Withnell said. “Web ads allow us topinpoint a single message to a targeted group regarding everything With the right partner, industry leading tools, and customized approach,from events, vehicles, incentives, products and more. This level of Withnell continues to manufacture sales through the best digitalindividualized messaging extends to both the topic and recipient as they technology available to auto dealers today.feel it was custom designed for them, proven by the results from our ‘10Under 10 Campaign.’” For more information about David Withnell or Withnell Dodge in Salem, or, visit www.WithnellDodge.net.And the success continues each month. Their March campaign resultedin 10 sold vehicles with a 14 percent increase above the average gross, For more information about Autobase, contact the director of marketing,while a June service campaign resulted in 139 repair orders, averaging Steve Lausch. He can be contacted at 866.626.7128, or by e-mail at slausch@autosuccessonline.com.more than $200 per person. “Without the professional efforts of ourCRM consultant to help drive these campaigns, we would have neverseen such great results,” Withnell said. “I attribute a lot of this successto the partnership we have developed, which will further drive ourefforts for a long time to come.”
  • ChipWiley marketing solution tax season is growing againFor years, car dealers have looked to the first minutes or less. Funding of a tax refund has The traditional refund season of January andquarter and tax season for a boost in cash flow. also dropped from days to a matter of hours. February is still strong. Over the past couple ofRetailers who are not prepared to capitalize are Truly, a lot has changed. years however, November and December havemissing the boat on this once-a year cash-grab become prime selling seasons. Dealers whothat arrives every January. Before 2006, obsolete technology made the possess more flexibility in their financing options process painstaking and time-consuming. are even moving cars in the fourth quarter inDo you realize how much free money is out The upgrades over past few years have anticipation of the upcoming tax refunds. Theythere for your customers? rejuvenated the once-disenfranchised dealers, simply estimate the customer’s tax refund to-be who are now thrilled with the speed and ease and move the vehicle on that figure.A general rule of thumb is that a family with of current tax programs.two children making $25,000 to $30,000 a year Using a pick-up payment is just one way towill get a minimum of $5,000 back as a refund. These improvements make car dealers faster make this program work. It just depends onIncomes as low as $16,000 can yield refunds of than the national tax chains. Customer’s can your individual state. The more helpful tax$10,000. Most of that refund comes from the sit in a tax office waiting area for up to two companies, who specialize in dealer-customers,Earned Income Tax Credit, which does not phase or three hours. Car dealer customers can be will assist you in setting up such a program.out until a family earns nearly $50,000 a year. serviced immediately. Remember, the customer is already makingThe customer already knows this money is The vast reduction in the time invested relates plans on how to use their big tax refund checkcoming. In fact, they are already planning on mostly to a minimum amount of data entry and that comes every January. Any dealer who wantshow to use it. processing. No actual tax experience is needed to succeed must work their way into that existing to run a tax refund program from a dealership. mind-frame and think outside of the box.In the tax business, drastic improvements to All responsibility and work is being taken ontechnology and the use of the Internet have by the tax service provider. Chip Wiley is the GM and senior marketingsaved dealers more time and money than ever. advisor for Tax Refund Services Tax Max. HeInstead of a tax refund deal taking one or two As far as tax season is concerned, the actual can be contacted at 866.387.7217, or byhours to complete, many can be finished in 10 tax refund season is expanding. e-mail at cwiley@autosuccessonline.com. AutoRaptor CRM • • • • •14 autosuccessonline.com
  • JimRadogna leadership solution unfair? you bet it is...“Buyers are liars.” express consent to purchase the product • Over-allowing on a trade-in, thereby • Informing or suggesting to a consumer that increasing the sale price of the purchasedI don’t think I was in the car business one hour vehicle or failing to properly disclosebefore I heard that catchy little phrase. Sure the price of any F&I product is included in the price of the motor vehicle negative equityenough, over the course of my retail career, Isuspect I was lied to over and over again by the • Informing or suggesting to a consumer that • Misrepresenting the amount of rebatesbest of them. the sale or lease of a vehicle subject to credit available to a customer approval is a final or completed transaction • Engaging in payment packing, i.e. inflatingI’m not going to pontificate about what buyers payments, inflating down payments,lie about and why — many of us could easily • Altering documents without the knowledge and permission of all parties extending the contract term or in any waywrite a book on that subject. Instead I’m going disguising the actual charges for goods orto bring up what I think is an important point: • Obtaining a credit bureau without proper services.Buyers can say pretty much whatever they authorizationwant without fear of recourse; dealers cannot. • Knowingly delivering a vehicle where • Failing to sell a vehicle at or below an the lender or lessor will not approve theYep, that’s right. Buyers can outright lie advertised price, whether or not the consumer for financing according to thethrough their teeth, but dealers are not allowed consumer knows about the advertisement terms set forth in the installment sales orto stretch the truth even a little. • Advertising vehicles with intent not to sell lease contract, with the intention of re-Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Well, it’s not. All them as advertised writing the contract at a later datemay be fair in love and war, but it sure isn’t • Failing to properly disclose deferred down • Misrepresenting discounts in advertising andfair on a car lot. For the most part, when payments not disclosing important limitationsbuyers lie to a dealer, they get to go on theirmerry old way. But if a dealership is accused • Advertising claims such as “everyone • Knowingly misrepresenting a vehicle’s priorof being dishonest with a customer, either by financed,” “no credit rejected,” or similar history or condition, either by commissioncommission or omission, they may end up in a claims when the dealer is unwilling to or omissioncourtroom or worse. extend credit to any person under any and all • Forging documents circumstancesWhen you look at actual enforcement actions • Knowingly misrepresenting a vehicle, • Engaging in false or misleading advertising, products or the terms being offeredand court cases against dealerships, there is either orally or by way of mediatypically one common element: the perception • Falsifying, or allowing to be falsified, anythat the dealer was less than completely honest • Advertising “no money down” or “zero information on a credit applicationwith a consumer. The laws allow for a very drive off” when there is actually some money needed to achieve the advertised • Knowingly allowing a consumer tobroad interpretation of what is considered payment amount (such as tax, license, participate in a “straw purchase”to be unfair or deceptive. Here are somecommon examples of accusations by plaintiff’s acquisition fee, etc.) • Misrepresenting the scope or extent ofattorneys and regulators: • Representing to a consumer that a vehicle is coverage under a service contract or• Making false statements or failing to available for sale when it is not warranty disclose material facts to a consumer • Informing or suggesting to a consumer that It’s more important than ever to be very careful• Oral promises made to the consumer that the an F&I product is a required purchase when dealing with customers. Plaintiff’s dealer fails to deliver upon attorneys are constantly on the prowl for cases • Informing or suggesting to a consumer that• Misleading statements about APR, such as purchase of an F&I product will increase and regulators who recognize the political “You won’t be able to get a better interest the likelihood that the consumer will be capital in going after dealers. There’s just no rate than this,” when the buy rate is being approved for financing or that financing will upside to being accused of lying. marked up be approved on more favorable terms to the consumer The good news is that you can feel free to lie• Communicating information in a manner to car salespeople in your spare time. that may be misleading, either by • Increasing the selling price of a vehicle to commission or omission cover a bank acquisition fee Jim Radogna is president of Dealer Compliance• Adding the cost of an F&I product to a • Intentionally overstating a vehicle’s value by Consultants, Inc. He can be contacted at consumer’s purchase agreement or lease supplying an incorrect book-sheet or due bill 866.704.8657, or by e-mail at without first obtaining the consumer’s to a financial institution jradogna@autosuccessonline.com.18 autosuccessonline.com
  • SeanV.Bradley marketing solution automotive dealership websites and digital marketingDigital marketing has to start somewhere, but there are so many layers to it that it can be NADA says that you have a six percent OEMconfusing. Where do I start first? What is the best campaign? Should I focus on third-party closing ratio (within 30 days), and eightproviders or SEO or e-mail blasts? Let’s make some sense of it all. percent third-party provider closing ratio, and a 16 percent or better closing ratio to yourFirst and foremost, with digital marketing everything needs to be thought out and calculated. We dealership Website, plus higher gross profitare trying to create an opportunity, but what type? A phone call? An e-mail? “Internet Walk In”?These are fine, but the best opportunities come from your Website. Why? It is a waste of money, however, if you spend money driving traffic to your Website and your Website sucks. And what do I mean when I say a Website sucks? I mean it doesn’t have a strategy. Many dealership’s sites look like they were mass produced on an assembly line; there is no uniqueness, and there is no unique value package proposition. There isn’t a crystal clear reason from the start why someone should buy a vehicle from that dealership. Here are some more facts: • More than 88 percent of Americans go online before they step foot into your dealership • The average prospect searches between five to seven other Websites or dealerships besides yours • The average buying cycle is 45 to 55 days • Average prospect spends more than six hours online doing research Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you are the average prospect in the market for a vehicle and you are researching online, you are getting bombarded by a myriad of dealers who are aggressively trying to sell you a vehicle. How do you differentiate which dealership to do business with? One way to decide is researching the dealership’s Website. If you go to the dealership’s Website and you find nothing but generic, cookie-cutter information and none of it gives you a clear reason why you should buy a vehicle from that particular dealership, how inclined are you to actually buy a vehicle from that store? Let’s redirect here and look at it from a different perspective. How much more successful would you be if the client was able to go to your dealership’s Website and see right there, clear as day, “Why you should buy a vehicle from ABC Motors?” If you have any questions about creating a value package proposition for your Website or you would like me to review your Website for free and give you my opinion, please feel free to call or e-mail me with the information below. Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry. He can be contacted at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at sbradley@autosuccessonline.com.20 autosuccessonline.com
  • Hansel Auto Group used inventory turn 100% increase 14 7 Before After vAuto vAuto How did we top four generations of success in our used vehicle operations? We applied the power of the vAuto franchise ... the results speak for themselves. — Justin Hansel, Vice President Hansel Auto Group Santa Rosa, CaliforniaBeyond the leading-edge technology. Beyond the exclusive features. Beyond the data-driveninsight. For a select set of dealers nationwide, vAuto has become much more. It has becomeall the power and the privilege of a franchise — refocused on used car operations.License to proprietary software proven to drive profitability. Access to the VelocityManagement™ playbook and coaches. Entrance to a community of like-minded, highlysuccessful dealers. Contact with customers predisposed to buying from you. It’s“the franchise”— reinvented for today’s used car market. vAuto is The Franchise 2.0.Get a live demo today. Visit www.vAuto.com/nextfranchise or call 888-365-1032.
  • MarkTewart leadership solution the death of The average technician in a dealership can PART 5 have tens of thousands of dollars invested in education, tools and tool boxes. What about your the traditional salespeople? What investment is the salesperson making in his tools? What investment is the dealership dealer making in that person who, with one bad contact with a customer, can in the short term cost the dealer thousands of dollars and, in the The average dealership hires a salesperson and, to grave of their careers — is doomed to failure long term, hundreds of thousands of dollars. after a brief introduction of paperwork, allows or mediocre results at best. the salesperson to begin talking to and selling Education is not a sometime thing but an to their customers. Some dealerships may send No longer can dealership leaders allow the everyday habit. Doctors, lawyers and brain the salesperson to a meeting room to watch a idea to permeate their business philosophy surgeons don’t stop educating themselves upon series of perfunctory training videos and then that veteran salespeople can’t, won’t or graduating from school. Would you want a doctor672UsedCarDealer7.376x4.811-P1.qxp:1660 cut them loose on the showroom floor to sell. don’t need to be trained. The marketplace is 8/4/10 9:21 AM Page 1 to operate on you who has not been trained on Either way, the day of unleashing an untrained unforgiving and cares only about results. An the latest techniques and best practices? I once salesperson on a well-trained customer is dead. experienced salesperson without continual had a dealer tell me they were waiting to see if a updated information and education is no salesperson was going to make it in the business The days of counting on a steady stream better, and often worse, than an untrained first before investing in him. The only thing of traffic and allowing salespeople to train new salesperson. The meaning at the root of worse than investing in a salesperson who does through trial and error are over. The margin forthe word “sell” is “to serve.” At least a new not make in the business is not investing in a error has been erased. The customers are now salesperson usually has an attitude of servitude salesperson who does make it in the business. unforgiving in having salespeople on the job that may be lacking in an often jaded but train at their expense. The customers, through experienced salesperson. For a free special report “10 Things Your the use of the Internet and their information(2) Used Car Dealer magazine (NIADA Dealership Must Do To Be Successful” e-mail gathering, have driven the competition for their Death is a cessation of movement and an business to another level. unwillingness to adapt Assoc. Magazine, at the address below with “10 Things” in Minn. Auto Dealerand accept change. me Today’s marketplace demands that businesses the subject line. Selling can no longer be taught solely as 1/2 page horizontal, be staffed with team members who display 7.376 x 4.811 features and benefits. Selling is an educational, “teachable spirits.” Dealerships who wish to Mark Tewart is the president of Tewart experiential process won by salespeople and be in a **Deadline August 6th position to compete for a customer’s Enterprises, and the author of the best seller, dealerships who have worked diligently at business will have an intense written, How To Be A Sales Superstar. He can be becoming a category of one. A new salesperson communicated and required game plan for contacted at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at with a lack of intense education — from cradle continual education. mtewart@autosuccessonline.com. Ship Cars Port-to-Port New International Service from ShipCarsNow.com or Call 1-866-207-3360 Call 1-866-207-3360 � International or register online � Door-to-Door for our lowest rates � Online BUILDING AMERICA® ShipCarsNow.com � Easy 22 autosuccessonline.com
  • MattBaker sales & training solution how to land a sale on customers into buyers through build-up and take-away turning a strip-lineAfter a few months of sharing sales technique informed decisions and is the force by which family car. The other has a sportier look, feelarticles with AutoSuccess readers, I’ve received we manage Parent and Child egos. Your and drive to it. Is it fair to say you probablya lot of requests for additional techniques ideal sales situation will involve you and wouldn’t be interested in something sporty likeand word tracks — especially ones regarding your customer both communicating through that?”reverse selling. I’ll be the first to admit that this state. Physical characteristics of this ego Customer: “Yes, I would. I want somethingthis concept isn’t for everyone. Of course, include attentiveness and non-threatening sporty.”many who’ve put forth the effort to master this gestures. Verbal communication from the Adult Salesperson: “Aren’t you interested in a moretechnique have been well rewarded and feel ego is straight-forward with a tone of equality a family-oriented car?”less pressure when selling. For most, however, and friendship, often using questions such as Customer: “No way”it will require lots of practice, commitment and “Why?” What?” “How?” “Who?” Salesperson: “Why is that?”time to comprehend. That’s usually why moststop short. the child Note the beginning of the conversation in This is our emotional state where anger, fear, this example. The salesperson approachesToday we’ll be digging deep into the reverse insecurity or despair will dominate. People the customer in an Adult frame of mind.selling technique and uncovering how to communicating from the Child ego will show The customer responds from the Childdevelop and execute strip-line statements physical signs such as whining voices, rolling portion of his ego, demanding what hethat downplay customer’s interests to of the eyes or shrugging shoulders. Verbal wants. The salesperson had a good idea thatmove you closer to a sale. Strip-lines are a communication from this ego is often in an the sportier option would be right up thecommunication tool for salespeople looking emotional tone and includes statements such as customer’s alley, but needed a way to get theto differentiate themselves from all the others. “I wish…” “I want…” “I don’t care…” “How customer reengaged in a more Adult to AdultThe type of personality or ego a salesperson come?” “That’s not fair…,” etc. conversation. By challenging the customer’scommunicates from will dictate how a wants, the salesperson helps the customer shiftcustomer reacts and vice versa. Until you’ve The ego that either the customer or the frame of mind from a Child to an Adult.learned how to identify and manage your ego salesperson will communicate through is(as well as your customer’s ego), word tracks determined by their feelings at that moment, Some additional examples of strip-lineswon’t get you far. How hard is it to identify and can easily shift at anytime. To ensure include:and manage egos in sales situations? Believe it success in sales, the state of your ego andor not, it’s as easy as P-A-C. the customer’s should remain at Adult. So “This may not wow you…” what happens if the customer’s ego is more “I don’t suppose _____________ are aP-A-C is an acronym for ‘Parent Adult Child’; Parent or Child? You, as the salesperson, must problem?”the three root states of our ego according identify and understand the ego from which the “I don’t know if you need anything from me.”to the theory of Transactional Analysis by customer is coming, then make an attempt to “I don’t know if I can help you, what are youpsychologist Eric Berne. While the name move them to their Adult. hoping for?”may seem intimidating, the concept is quitesimple. According to Berne’s theory, when a One way to accomplish this is by using an When used correctly these phrases reverse thesalesperson and a customer communicate back aspect of reverse selling known as strip- sales situation requiring the customer to selland forth, they are doing so from one of three lines. Strip-lines are all about building up the the salesperson. After all, the most effectiveego states: parent, adult or child. customer’s ideal situation, then gently taking it sales pitch will always come directly from away. For instance, let’s pretend you’ve spotted the prospects mouth. Strip-lining is one of thethe parent a male customer on your lot in his early forties, most effective ways of accomplishing this.The Parent ego is our voice of authority. People dressed sharp but sporty. He’s told you whatcommunicating from the Parent ego will show price range he’s looking for, and you have a If you are interested in learning additional strip-physical signs such as angry expressions or good idea of the cars in your inventory that line role plays and word tracks, e-mail me atimpatient body-language. Verbal communication will suit him based on his apparent interests. the address below with the subject line STRIP-from this ego is often in a demanding, But the two of you seem to be struggling to LINE and I will send you a copy of G&A’sauthoritative or frustrated tone and includes get any closer to a sale. Why? Because you Guide to Improving Sales Talent: Strip-Lines.strong, judgmental language such as the words and the customer are communicating on non-“always,” “never,” “should” and “must.” compatible P-A-C levels. Here’s how you Matt Baker is the vice president of sales for might fix this situation: G&A Marketing. He can be contacted atthe adult Salesperson: “We have two sedans in the 866.618.8248, or by e-mail atThis ego encompasses our ability to make price range you want. One is a nice spacious mbaker@autosuccessonline.com.24 autosuccessonline.com
  • TerrySheridan leadership solution three steps to building a dynamic workforce in the dealershipWith the recession moving into the rearview understand the time that can be wasted and the disruptions to the work place, liability issuesmirror, many dealerships are eager to put the money lost during the hiring process. and the potential financial loss that may resultpast year behind them and be ready for the from employing the wrong person.prospects that lie ahead. However, one of Assessment screening solutions can helpthe most important opportunities for success dealerships get ahead of the curve – before 3. employee satisfactiondealers may be overlooking is located within a candidate sits down with you for the job day-to-day means a bettertheir own four walls — with their employees. interview. Assessment screening solutions: business for your dealership • Provide a streamlined system for tracking Maintaining accurate employee files andFrom finding and hiring new talent to keeping and vetting applicants to identify those managing career path through every aspect oftrack of all the activities and paperwork related who have the right personality, cultural fit, employment is a critical aspect in developingto managing employees, personnel costs are work habits and motivation that match the a workforce that is prepared to achieve successeasily the No. 1 expense item in the dealership. dealership for the dealership. However, handling thatIn the automotive retailing industry – where • Allow dealers to work quickly and large amount of workforce data is becoming andealerships can experience employee turnover effectively through the hundreds of increasingly complex process.rates as high as 50 percent or more – the ability applications they may receive for a jobto manage employee relationships effectively opening Employee management systems today are farcan go a long way toward helping a dealership • Provide dealers the luxury of interviewing more sophisticated than in years gone by. Fromreduce costs while improving productivity and only the best-matched candidates for the job speeding up the payroll process, to trackingbusiness operations. • Help reduce the time required to manage the vacation and sick pay, to logging benefits and hiring process employee training, to monitoring employeeA Cornell University study showed small certifications and licensures, to developingbusinesses that hire workers who fit the 2. know who you are hiring – and managing career path progression, thesecompany’s culture achieve 22 percent more background screening helps systems help eliminate time spent manuallyrevenue growth, 23 percent more profit growth, eliminate surprises logging data, improve dealership complianceand 67 percent less employee turnover. Now, In the interest of filling a position, many with government employment regulations andapply those numbers to your dealership and dealers understandably may want to rush increase employee satisfaction on the job.you can begin to see the impact your hiring and the process of getting a new person hired.employee management practices could have on However, hiring without conducting the Today’s challenging environment requires thatyour business. proper background screening of a candidate dealerships have good, productive employees. could result in problems that are costly in both Following best practice processes in employeeIf you’re ready to foster a workforce that time and money. Who today has not heard management will help dealers identifysupports growing your business operations, stories of employers who learned too late that who will be the best fit for the jobs at theirhere’s a best practice approach that’s proven to an employee hid a criminal history or a bad dealerships, hire those who will be the mostbe very effective for helping to find and retain driving record? successful at the job, and who, in turn, will bequality employees. the happiest in that job. Together, this increases Background screening services for bringing the likelihood that dealership employees will1. find the right person for new employees on board – and for ongoing be more productive and satisfied at workthe Job – screening assessment screening for existing employees – is a critical and will stay longer with the dealership.tools are essential element of best practice employee management. Ultimately, all of this contributes to the bottomAccording to June 2010 U.S. Department of These typically include drug and alcohol, line of the dealership.Labor statistics, after months of job loss in reference, motor vehicle record, criminalthe automotive retailing sector, hiring has background and other essential screenings. Consult with your dealership managementbeen on the rise in dealerships. For dealers system provider to learn more about toolsin the market to hire, the store closings that Web-based background screening systems that are available to help you build a dynamicoccurred in the past year have created a flood make it easy to order, track and review a full workforce that can help to grow your business.of potential job candidates. However, while range of personnel checks in order to makethe supply of applicants may be higher in this informed employment decisions.economy, it takes more than luck to hire the Terry Sheridan is the product planning managerright person the first time. If you have ever Hiring just one wrong applicant can cost for Employee Management Products at Thespent an afternoon interviewing applicant a dealership thousands of dollars or more. Reynolds and Reynolds Company. He can beafter applicant, only to realize that not a single In the long run, it is less expensive to do contacted at 866.440.3445, or by e-mail atcandidate was a good fit for the position, you a background check than to deal with the tsheridan@autosuccessonline.com.26 autosuccessonline.com
  • Providing the automotive industry with cutting edge digital sales solutions that utilize technology to stay ahead of the competition.Are you effectively advertising yourproducts and services? V-Active gives you the ability to change advertisements, promotions, and specials throughout your store. Let us design your custom campaign. $1,995 AutoSuccess promotional offer* Call today for details. Text VACTIVE To 41411 *$1,995 includes initial production, setup, and required hardware. A signed 24 month contract for $299 a month is also required. This monthly feeincludes hosting, repairs, maintenance, and one promotional update a month. Monitor not included. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
  • HowardLeavitt sales & training solution empowering your sales staff “The reason why so little is done is generally attract smart, personable people who like a sale with the customer when a turn over occurs because so little is attempted.” challenge and are financially driven? Dealers because the salesperson did not know what - Samuel Smiles 1812-1904 somehow feel that requiring 50+ hours with they were doing. Closing is simple if the turn late nights and no holidays or vacations will over is done correctly. Trained and empowered How many owners and managers are attract the best of the best applicants. If you salespeople make managers look like stars. By dissatisfied with their sales staff? I would put in little effort to hire and train, you will get empowering your sales staff, you will give your venture to say there are more who are the least qualified staff in return. Many dealers managers the ability to close more deals by dissatisfied than satisfied. There is a whole have come to the conclusion that they need to using their skills to see and win the deal. industry of sales training companies and hire non-car people, and spend the time and facilitators that exist simply to provide services resources to teach them the sales process that Before you can empower your staff, you need to to improve the capability of your sales staff. they want in their stores. This eliminates any understand the skill level of your sales staff. If The solution to helping unqualified salespeople old habits or built-in reluctance to change. you do not evaluate each salesperson, you will is much deeper than simply providing training never know his or her potential to bring the deal seminars. It goes to the heart of what I see as a Usually, the first employee to meet a new up is to a close. Management’s daily involvement mindset in the industry. one of your sales staff. Why would you want in the sales process is essential. It is not just the numbers; it is about accountability and the If you speak to your peers who run sales floors, your staff with the least amount of training to be effective use of the sales process. you will probably hear a common theme. the one creating the customers’ first impression? Salespeople are lazy, and if you empower them Think of the money you spend on training for The most important part of your workday you will lose gross profit. If you do not attempt technicians and the levels of certification they should be spent with your sales staff. Reviewing to change the mindset, little will change and we have to attain to work on today’s vehicles. New each up sheet, whether digital or paper, with will continue to have unqualified sales staffs. sales hires are told to read the brochures and each salesperson should be your priority. We watch what the other salespeople do in the sales all have vehicles to order, inventory to manage, To change the culture that exists, we need process. advertising to schedule and 99 other tasks to start with the hiring process. How do we That happens every day and then we wonder that stop us from working with our sales staff. why we are unhappy However, when your sales team is empowered with the results. to work the deal within parameters that Hiring mediocre have been established, then your manager is salespeople to fill empowered to close more deals. Salespeople can be the best of the best; it is a simple idea Phone? positions creates mediocre results; we are reluctant to that requires discipline and perseverance. Stop today — think about what comes first on Smart! look for the best. It is not to say that all your sales staff your agenda. Ask yourself about your sales process: steps of the sale, presentations, follow up and demos. If there is no clear policy, make fall into the above the changes and document the changes. Loyalty Driver category, but I would venture to You can start by: E-newsletters are say that the majority • Setting standards that all of your staff has to now available on do. We can change maintain as an industry only • Having the courage to replace salespeople all smartphones if we change as who do not perform to the standards you individuals and treat have set the sales position • Evaluating monthly in an open atmosphere. I at the professional am a believer in using peer pressure to raise level it deserves. everyone’s goals To have a • Instructing your sales staff on how to professional staff, properly turn over a customer to a manager Just another way to reach customers on the go. you must conduct and the importance of collecting all the formal training: in contacts’ information Now that’s smart. Really smart. • Most importantly, correcting any negative the sales process, in the structure, in the thoughts and creating positive attitudes by dealership policy, encouraging excellence over mediocrity Innovative E-newsletter Solutions in the product and For more information, visit our website, or give us a call: in the methods of Do it today to compete effectively in our new AutoSuccess.LoyaltyDriver.com | 866-964-6397 turn-over to your economy. managers to close the deal. Many Howard Leavitt is the president and founder managers have of AutoRaptor CRM. He can be contacted at to start from the 866.618.9053, or by e-mail at beginning of the hleavitt@autosuccessonline.com. 28 autosuccessonline.comIMN-3.6875x4.875-v4.indd 1 9/17/2010 9:47:58 AM
  • RichardWinch marketing solution turning your reviews into a those 100+ positive reviews, now put them in motion you’ve gathered marketing machineUnderstatement: Online reputation presence physically remind your customers at Google Local or at the review sites,management has attracted a lot of buzz this how great you are, but when you ask for a where your dealership’s/salespeople’syear. And it’s great news — many dealers have review, they will have already seen great positive reviews “tell the tale” against yournow begun to take their online review presence models, while noting how many other competitors.as seriously as their customers do, and are customers have already reviewed you.) • Have them compare your/their reviews toputting in place systematic review monitoring, your competitors’ directly.management and gathering processes that are deploy reviews across your websiteleading to significantly more “online referrals” • Build easy-to-find/access dedicated use video testimonials:and sales. testimonial or review pages at your Website. they’re powerful and relatable • Rotate short, glowing testimonials on your • Video is an extraordinarily powerful way toThe inevitable downside of all concepts with homepage, or use a streaming “ticker” of communicate with your customers, becausemajor buzz, though, is the tendency to think reviews crawling on your homepage. “people like people like them.”“next.” Dealerships are so bombarded with • Follow up with customers who have alreadyonline flavor-of-the-month strategies that just incorporate in all outgoing e-mails written a great review for you; most arewhen they start implementing a real digital • In all of your outgoing e-mails and follow- willing (and excited) to be on camera.backbone, some new “digital siren” calls up templates, include one or two short, • Buy a Flip video camera ($149), and recordand they leave the work unfinished. Online interesting prominent reviews. Keep these testimonials at that exciting time of delivery.reputation management is one such backbone. fresh: If you have a scheduled or automated • Unleash these video testimonials in diverseAs long as there is an Internet — and follow-up e-mail process, the customer ways: Posting at YouTube, in your e-mailconsumers placing a huge value on the real- should see a new review each time. campaigns, in your Website content, etc.world experiences other consumers have had • Feeling bold? Add a couple of live links to You can loop video testimonials on yourwith products and services — it will remain Google Local or the review sites where you showroom/service department TV screens/the highest-ROI social media a dealership can really shine, and that specifically illustrate monitors.implement. your competitors’ poorer reviews. use text and video testimonialsSo, many of you have probably begun to tackle employee e-mail correspondence in traditional advertisingyour online reputation. You’ve gathered those • Add a link to view dealership/salespeople • Use your new video testimonials in50 or 100 new, positive reviews for your sales reviews in the signature lines of every one traditional TV adsand service departments, and now you need to of your employee’s outgoing e-mails (i.e., • Center newspaper ads or flyers aroundkeep building out your campaigns. One crucial “Click here to see what my customers have testimonials, or feature a concise,way to do this is to start mobilizing those said about their buying service,) etc.” compelling review in every newspaper ad,reviews — to turn them into a real marketing • Train salespeople to add that link to all of flyer or newsletter.and closing machine. Here are some ideas that their outgoing e-mailsI found really work: Breaking out and mobilizing your positive social media sites such as reviews across your physical store and acrossdisperse reviews throughout the facebook and twitter the Internet and other media pretty muchshowroom & service departments • Encourage customers to write reviews about means that wherever your potential customers• Buy freestanding whiteboards and put short, your dealership on Facebook. There are glance — or click — they’re confronted with interesting, glowing reviews on them near free “Review Tab” applications that you can real, impactful validations of your business where you work your car deals. integrate into your Facebook page. and salespeople. And remember, customers• Put a whiteboard with short, exceptional • Encourage your employees to post their generated from reviews act a lot like old- service, parts and accessories reviews in favorite and most interesting positive fashioned referral business: They’re the highest- your service waiting area. reviews at their personal social media closing and grossing leads you will get.• Try restaurant-style table toppers throughout accounts (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, the store featuring short reviews. LinkedIn, etc.)• Use indoor and outdoor banners featuring Richard Winch is CEO & Founder of concise testimonials. let reviews do your selling eXtéresAUTO. He can be contacted at • When working deals, have a system where 866.476.4389, or by e-mail at(Note: Not only will this saturated review salespeople can easily pull up live pages rwinch@autosuccessonline.com. OFFER A SERVICE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS THAT MOST OTHER DEALERS CAN’T PROVIDE! Give your customers an alternative to high interest rate financing and owning a liability. With RTO/LTO® your customers will own Freedom & Flexibility and have YOU to Thank! 1-800-879-3433 www.northlanddealers.com30 autosuccessonline.com
  • ScottJoseph sales & training solution they didn’t lower their standards. These are highly successful people who feel great about 14 traits that exist PART 1 the way they got there. Taking the high road and operating in an ethical way intimidates in every successful competitors. It attracts the highest quality of employees, vendors and professionals and dealership it serves like a magnet to bond you to the community or the industry in which you operate. 6. belief and commitment.I have spent the last 20 years trying to all managed to triumph over their obstacles Persistence does not work without a clear,improve our products and services to dealers. through a common philosophy. strong belief in your right to have a goal andIn doing so, I’ve invested countless hours the reward you are after.interviewing the top dealers, managers and 3. turning negatives into positives.their salespeople. I realized that in virtually The super-achievers I’ve studied did one 7. focus and unstoppable drive.every successful dealership there are 14 traits thing better than anyone else they competed Persistence, belief and commitment are allthat were always present. against: They reframed every problem or essential to success. Yet, without clear focus disappointment they faced into a solution or and unstoppable drive, you’ll only accomplish1. people setting and achieving opportunity for greater success. a fraction of your true potential. Focus istheir own lofty goals and the ability to never let diversions get in yourliving their dreams. 4. persistence. way. It’s the ability to cut to the “bottom lineThe successful people I’ve studied did what Everyone experiences failures. The people I essence” in everything you do. Drive is thethey wanted — the way they wanted to do it. studied never let that get in the way. They tried force you generate in your mind and businessThey didn’t hold back or follow the status quo. again, again and again until they succeeded. that lets nothing, no one, and no excuse standThey reinvented the game and made all their The people who do this succeed and succeed between you and achieving your goal. Timecompetitors follow their lead. The people I massively. They have a very empowering belief doesn’t hold you back, either. Because whenstudied had the ability to form a clear vision of system that a vision is real and deserved. These your drive mechanism is properly engaged,what was possible and pursue it relentlessly. people found the best way to realize their vision you accomplish more in a day than your and circumvented every obstacle in their path. competitors can achieve in a month.2. easily and effectivelyovercoming obstacles. 5. ethics. Check back next month for traits 8 through 14.Obstacles come in many forms: competitive The people I’ve studied have the highest ethicalchallenges, financial setbacks, health problems, standards. They took firm stands on what Scott Joseph is the president of J&L Marketing,cash flow difficulties, ignorance of advertising they believed in and did what was right. They Inc. He can be contacted at 888.835.1689, or byor marketing, etc. Yet these successful people didn’t compromise, they didn’t sell out, and e-mail at sjoseph@autosuccessonline.com.32 autosuccessonline.com
  • J&L Marketing is looking for Business Growth Strategists to sell our multi-channel direct marketing products and services. They will prospect for new customers as well as manage leads from J&L Marketing’s growing national accounts. This is a full-time B2B outside sales position. www.jandlmarketing.com kkasun@jandlmarketing.com Do you want to be a part of one of the fastest growing software companies in the retail automotive market? vAuto’s pricing, appraisal, stocking and merchandising tools are an evolutionary step forward for used car departments. If you have strong retail automotive and/or technology solution provider experience in the Join the ActivEngage sales team! dealership industry, then we want you to be part The largest automotive chat software and web analytic provider is actively seeking regional sales professionals. of our tremendous growth. Send resumes to: If you have automotive industry experience and a vautocareers@autosuccessonline.com. pre-existing account base, send your resume to jobs@activengage.com to join our growing success. Learn more at www.vAuto.com. vAuto is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We offer competitive salary, great benefits, and commission plan. Learn more at www.activengage.com/careers.shtml.Automotive News AdvertisingFile name: 1978_AutoNews_Ad_5.125x3.875_FNL.indd cmykTrim: 5.125” x 3.875”Bleed: 5.375” x 4.125”Live: 4.625” x 3.375”Inks: 4cp $2/sq ft • Any Size • 13 oz Vinyl • Hemmed with GrommetsFile built at 100%10/09/09