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

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

AutoSuccess, magazine, sales, new, used, selling, salespeople, vehicle, dealer, dealership, leadership, marketing

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  • 1. The 2009 Synergy Sessions - Details on page 19 June 2009
  • 2. every department in your dealership. That means more profit potential for starting as low as campaign you initiate... distancing Packages Unlimited DMS UPDATE DMS system you will be reaching Updatingcustomers who aren’t 1-866-702-1566 customers with every marketing yourself from your competition. By having current data in your 199 per month $Are you looking for DMS system (such as ADP or R&R) is current, accurate, and in DMS Update automatically insures all of the information in your compliance with the latest government regulations. physical addresses on a monthly basis. email addresses, phone numbers and Your customers are on the move. Are you keeping up with them? We provide the most currentthere? AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Sales-Improvement Strategist John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution Increase Reporting Capabilities and Boost Relevancy and Response, Part 2 STILL STANDING: WHAT DO YOU DO NOW? MOVING THE NEEDLE TOWARDS POSITIVE EIGHT WORDS TO HELP YOU NEGOTIATE TIME IS UP THE RED FLAG RULE IS HERE Local Charity Golf Tournaments Reach Important Target Markets How a Houston Internet Department Jumped 45 Spots in CAR SALESMAN MAKES $200,000 IN START REBUILDING RELATIONSHIPS USING GOOGLE ANALYTICS WITH WHAT WAS THEIR NAME AGAIN? MAXIMIZE MARKETING DOLLARS SELLING OUT OF A RECESSION LEAPING TOWARDS THE TOP: BEWARE OF FALSE PROFITS WEB MERCHANDISING: 8TH HABIT LEADERSHIP: How Does Your Staff Measure Up? Is the Lemon Worth the Squeeze? SALESPERSON QUIZ: SURVIVE OR PERISH MORE EFFECTIVELY E-MAIL MARKETING Internet Sales 20 Group XVII Leading the Whole Person THIS ECONOMY MOMENTUM Let’s Get Emotional National Rankings . ROI 25 34 09 27 32 36 16 18 08 14 17 22 26 30 28 24 10 By DalePollak TomBear MattBaker KirkManzo DrakeBaerresen TimJames PaulCummings PatrickColbert SeanStapleton PeterMartin SteveCottrell MichaelThomas DavidBook StephenR.Covey An Interview With JoeHealy SeanV.Bradley MarcSmith DougBurkert 2 8 4 pg2 pg1 pg1 June 2009 joe healy david book tim james
  • 3. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey PaulCummings leadershipsolution 8TH HABIT LEADERSHIP: SURVIVE OR PERISH Leading the Whole Person “Every great A few issues ago, I said that too many Many leaders make minimal use of the capacity of their people, seeing them as “job leader attends to all four What separates those dealers who survive We must devote ourselves to a bigger and better purpose than profit above all else. The managers are still stuck in an Industrial Age descriptions.” They fail to see each person dimensions of the and thrive from those who panic, pullback trappings of success have created a flawed mindset that treats people as things. as a unique and precious asset, loaded with untapped potential. whole person and ultimately perish? In my opinion, the answer is simple. Dealers who still have that approach where the money mattered more than people. An era, in fact, where we were Many think we put the Industrial Age behind if she hopes to truly lead twinge of excitement in their stomach when lulled into complacency by the shimmer and us. Many think we’re in a new “Age of the By contrast, great leaders treat their people them — and to they get up everyday will make it through shine of our own achievements. We must Knowledge Worker.” Many think the bad as whole people — not just as “human leverage their great these troubled times. Dealers who wake up realize that activity without accomplishment old days of robotic workers and hierarchical resources.” The whole person has four capacities.” with a feeling of fear in their gut and worry is meaningless. mindlessness are over. dimensions: the body (physical capability), in their mind will make decisions that will the heart (passion), the mind (knowledge and lead them down a disastrous path. Which We need a fundamental change of But these damaging attitudes persevere — in skills), and the soul (meaning and purpose). dealer group are you in? This is a tough — perspective and attitude. A change like this some ways worse than ever. Consider these but fair — question for you to ask yourself. starts with you and cascades consistently instances: A leader who neglects any of these four through your people to your customers into • The fast-food worker whose cash dimensions inevitably treats people as Ask them about the four dimensions of their Earlier this year we hosted an amazing event your community. Yes, we must rekindle our register blinks “too slow” if she takes things. If she neglects the hearts of her lives — at least once, and maybe often. Ask: at the House of Blues in New Orleans. More spirits and relentlessly pursue our goals and too many seconds on an order people, she will never engage their passions than 1,700 dealers, automotive vendors dreams with a renewed level of passion. The Body and manufacturers attended our event. I • The nurse required to wear a “locator in their work. If she neglects their minds, she We must drive ourselves to a new level of badge” that rings every few minutes will never capitalize on the innovative ideas • Is your “economic engine” in good had many conversations with clients and commitment. We must make a commitment even when he is trying to calm a patient they could bring her. shape? industry-related people who all wanted the to do “whatever it takes” to win without or put a child to sleep • Are your family’s needs being met? answer to the same question: What do you sacrificing our integrity and character. We • The required “annual performance Every great leader attends to all four think is going to happen to our industry? must make a commitment to invest in our The Heart Uncertainty has the ability to foster doubt review” system that creates division, dimensions of the whole person if she hopes people even while we build our investment destroys morale and motivates people to to truly lead them — and to leverage their • What have you always loved doing? and drain people of their confidence. When accounts. Yes, we must commit to becoming leave great capacities. • What job-related opportunities are you times like this slap us in the face, people look real “difference makers” to others. Why? passionate about? for hope and search for solutions. Because the truth is simple: If we want to During the Industrial Age, a worker at least Captain Mike Abrashoff exemplifies a great So where do dealers find the hope they need make a difference in this world and in our The Mind had a supervisor to talk to. In many cases “8th-Habit” leader. He inherited a ship that to push through their doubts? Where do they communities and to our people, we can. today supervision is done digitally and at was sinking — figuratively. When he took • What are you really good at? • What opportunities do you see for find the confidence they need in order to long distance. command of the USS Benfold, the Navy continue to believe in their business when We must have the spirit of the pioneer. We warship had the worst performance record growth and development? must have the curiosity and ingenuity of the bad news is swirling all around them? Contrast this kind of dehumanizing in the fleet. Within a couple of years, the How can they prevail when so many around the inventor. We must have the strength and The Spirit management with the kind of leadership that Benfold turned in the best performance them fall and fail? Where will they find the resolve of the farmer. We must have the truly leverages the worker as a whole person record in the fleet. • Do you have peace of conscience? same willingness to fail and continue to try • What contribution would you love to inspiration they need in order to make the — who values the minds, hearts and spirits right decisions in the coming months? How again and again of a great scientist. We must of his people: How did he do it? By getting to know make here — something of real meaning have the initiative and drive of the world- to you? can they drive their business forward when • The pizzeria manager who huddles with his people— deeply and thoroughly. He they find themselves in the midst of continual class athlete. Most importantly we must his employees once a week and asks, interviewed each sailor, asking about their predictions of doom and gloom? individually and collectively have passion for “What could we do this week that we’ve hopes, dreams, frustrations, goals, likes and Think of the power of a leader who knows and pride in what we do. We must love the never done before?” dislikes. He found that many wanted college these things about her people — about their I have been on the road since the House automobile business, the people we lead and • The Navy captain who interviews each degrees; he arranged for long-distance untapped passions and skills. A leader who of Blues Event visiting with our clients. I the customers we serve. sailor to find out about his or her most learning opportunities. He found they hated doesn’t know the answers to these questions have talked with people at every level of cherished dreams in life painting the ship; he modified the deck is like the farmer who doesn’t know he is the business. My conversations have been Yes, the times are tough, but we are tougher. • The division head who deeply plating to cut back on painting. He got their scratching out a living on top of an acre of full circle … from porters, service writers, It is in our moments of decision that our understands what each of her people are brains working on doing things differently, diamonds. receptionists, sales professionals, department destiny is shaped. What decisions will you really good at — and capitalizes on it better, faster. managers and dealer principals. As we make? Do you have the courage to reinvent Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 talked and discussed their current business your business model because you need th 8 Habit Leadership starts with a deep th To become an 8 Habit leader, you must Habits of Highly Effective People. He can results and future plans, I was encouraged to? This era is a brave new frontier that is understanding of your people as whole practice the 8th Habit: Find your voice and be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e- at what I uncovered. It was a simple and begging for a brave new approach. Bob and people. help others find theirs. Hear their voices. mail at clear distinction. Where there is leadership Betty are gone. They have been replaced by a and positive expectancy, I found hope, generation of socially aware, Internet savvy, enthusiasm, excitement and energy. I also discerning, demanding, highly educated found positive results. consumers. What will you do? How will you do it? When will you get started? I believe with every ounce of my being that I know the answers to all of the questions in this article. In fact, I know for certain Paul Cummings is president and CEO of that success leaves evidence. I found such Paul Cummings Enterprises. He can be contacted at 866.865.3171, or by e-mail at evidence during my travels over the last 100 days. We must bring an end to an era0 where greed rules over common goodness. 08 9 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 4. marketingsolution SeanStapleton SELLING OUT OF A RECESSION New car sales trends example, studies show that 70 percent vehicles from your dealership. A loyalty are lower than industry of customers stop servicing their vehicle program is a tremendous resource for: expectations for months now and consumer at the dealership they purchased from confidence continues to be very low, but after the warranty runs out. Targeting Data Collection — A loyalty program is a dealers across the country are holding their past customers who have an expiring great way to capture an e-mail address for own by committing a larger share of their warranty with a relevant message is a regular, permission-based marketing. marketing budgets to fixed operations. This huge revenue opportunity for the average Building A Brand — A loyalty program re-allocation of marketing dollars is critical dealership. However, you must approach this is your way to differentiate your dealership because of fewer new car sales. Independent opportunity with a “help me, not hunt me” from the competition for new customers, and dealers and independent repair centers have message and communicate that your offer the competition from independents for your had to become more aggressive in the market has tremendous benefit for them. current customers. place, which puts more pressure on dealers Increased Customer Communication to focus on fixed operations. Remember: Selling out of a recession requires getting — A loyalty program keeps your customer Your best customer is the independent repair a better handle on the customer lifecycle. engaged and willing to accept your center’s No. 1 target. The average first-year customer represents communication methods. less revenue-producing potential than the Maintaining Profit Margins — A customer In the past, dealers had the luxury of focusing customer in their third year of ownership. Do loyalty program helps you get away from on short-term results with their advertising you know where each and every customer discounting for a better bottom line. and marketing dollars. We are now in your DMS is at in their lifecycle? The Understanding your customers spending experiencing uncharted economic conditions following is a sample checklist to determine habits — A loyalty program can even help that require a focus on the long-term cost how well you know your customers. Which you dictate your customers spending because of losing a current customer, and the high of your customers: you are tracking when and what they spend costs of acquiring new customers. If it takes • have a warranty expiring in the next 3 their money on. $10 to recruit a new customer, it should months? only take $1, spent correctly, to keep an • purchased a warranty at the time of A customer rewards/loyalty program must existing customer. If you are not sustaining purchase? be done right. Make sure it always adds and the average new car revenue you did 12 to • are repeat sales customers? builds value. It has to be easy to use, not only 18 months ago, look at different areas of • have a lease expiring in 3 months? for the customer, but for your entire staff. your dealership and different ways to make • buy a new vehicle every two years, three up this gap. Most dealerships don’t have to years, etc.? Also, a quality customer reward/loyalty look too far to find untapped incremental • referred a new sales customer to you that program is backed by a fully adopted cultural revenue opportunities. One critical area of purchased a new vehicle? change in the dealership. You can’t just opportunity that typically gets overlooked is • are due for a major service? talk about being different; you have to be customer retention. Customer retention has • are repeat service customers? different. You have to be willing to invest always been important, but the recession has • have transitioned into your service time, money and change to develop long- compounded the significance of retaining department following the purchase of term customers. Long-term customers are the your current customers. Statistics show the their vehicle? most profitable customers and that is the best average customer retention with customers formula for selling out of a recession. that have conducted a transaction with your If you don’t have the answers to those questions readily available in a format If this information sounds overwhelming, it dealership in the past 12 months is greater really isn’t. You may need some expert help, than 60 percent. Dealerships that aren’t that is easy to understand, utilize and track, it will be extremely challenging to but in the long run, selling out of a recession attaining customer retention of 60 percent or is a simple process of adjustment, not an better can significantly impact their bottom tap into those huge revenue-producing opportunities. It makes good business sense overhaul. You can’t change the economy, but line by improving this percentage by as little you can change your approach to the way you as one percent. to run a diagnostic on your DMS and turn it into an intelligent resource that enables you look at your business and do more than just So how do you sell out of a recession? to make effective daily marketing decisions. survive. The adjustments mentioned are things First and foremost, it doesn’t make a lot of that will help your dealership prosper in a sense to quit spending marketing dollars all Want to make a huge impact on your down economy and thrive in a good economy. together. In fact, with OEM issues impacting revenue? A Deloittle and Touche automotive Don’t just to survive, make the necessary Tier 1 advertising budgets, there is more study showed that a five percent increase in changes to thrive today and in the future. pressure on individual dealers to bridge customer loyalty in the service department can mean a 25 percent increase in revenue For a customized analysis of your DMS, the gap. Instead of drastically cutting your please contact me for further details. marketing dollars, refine what you do with for the entire dealership. Develop a customer those budgets and re-allocate them to other loyalty program for your dealership — 80 revenue-producing opportunities in your percent of customers who participate in Sean Stapleton is the executive vice dealership. a rewards/loyalty program say their president of business development for membership impacts their purchasing Visible Customer. He can be contacted at Devote more attention to targeting and a decisions. Loyal customers drive higher 866.406.6337, or by e-mail at higher level of effort in developing relevant profits, are more likely to refer a friend or1 messages to your targeted customer. For family and are more likely to purchase more0
  • 5. featuresolution all of his third-party sites, Pistell found the culprit — about 185 “Today’s customers are more likely to do business with the dealer vehicles lacking photos and inconsistently priced across sites. who’s transparent online rather than the guy who makes it difficult,” he said. “The merchandising tool found a significant problem (which I didn’t know existed),” Pistell said. “Then, after it uncovered this problem, Don’t count on your brand for customers. Today’s online the tool saved me hours of time fixing it. That’s ROI that I can customers are loyal first and foremost to themselves. They want the understand.” vehicle that best fits their price and lifestyle. They’re less likely to stick to a single brand or a local dealer when they find the vehicle that OK. Enough selling. The broader point remains. You ultimately can matches what they want and need. and should control the effectiveness of your online used vehicle DalePollak merchandising. The implication of this reality is profound: At his Finish Line Ford dealership in Peoria, IL, dealer Bill Pearson’s inventory runs roughly A Northwest import dealer told me today he had just re-signed with — these are the essential ingredients for online merchandising Successful Online Merchandising Goes 50/50 between franchise and off-brand vehicles. It’s a necessity to after giving them the boot earlier in the year. success. Video clips (60 to 90 seconds) are becoming increasingly Beyond Page Views maintain his 300-unit monthly volumes and it reflects the fact that no popular as well. Effective online used vehicle merchandising is far more complicated single brand has the used vehicle market cornered. This new reality He had suspended his contract after concluding that he just wasn’t and nuanced than good pictures and descriptions for every vehicle in for stocking used vehicle inventories also means some fun, profitable receiving a sufficient return on his investment to justify the expense. And, as my Northwest import dealer friend acknowledges, “The your inventory. surprises. beauty of the Internet is that you can measure everything in order to But he decided to renew his contract after acknowledging that, in fact, know what is working and what isn’t.” When I talk with dealers and used vehicle managers who have found “We’ll try anything new if the market will support it,” Pearson says. he bore much of the responsibility for the site’s under-performance online success, our conversations don’t linger on such specifics. We “My Ford store is becoming a go-to source for Mercedes and other — low quality photos, rote-like vehicle descriptions lacking value- Reason 2: Dealers and used vehicle managers fail to “inspect what also focus on broader Internet retailing trends and what they mean for luxury vehicles.” focused comments, and inconsistent pricing. they expect” from their online merchandising efforts. our business. Your “market” knows no bounds. Pearson estimates about half This dealer’s lack of attention to his online merchandising This problem results from a lack of awareness and understanding of of his customers travel from more than 75 miles away to buy from Here are a few salient “take-aways” to help with online used vehicle fundamentals is all too common at dealerships across the country. the key metrics that really matter. It’s not enough for used vehicle his store. He also views large, online retailers as many as 1,000 miles merchandising: While many fully understand how to properly position, polish and managers, even dealers, to say “I need to ask my Internet guy” when away as his chief competition. “There’s no doubt the Internet has present used vehicles on their store’s physical front line, they fall well asked about page views and detailed page views and why they are Competitive Pricing is Critical. “I can make 15 price changes dramatically expanded the playing field,” he says. short of applying sound retailing principles to their online inventories. important. Dealers need to understand these for themselves. and sell those vehicles tomorrow,” said Craig Belowski, general sales In fact, many do not even know — let alone use — the basic metrics The Internet is a gift that keeps giving. For all the challenges The Northwest import dealer does understand these metrics. He manager at Acton Toyota of Littleton, MA. “The question is whether I vendors provide to identify and fix online merchandising missteps. the Internet creates for dealers and used vehicle managers, none of knows his monthly detailed page views run about 1,800. He also want to do that or not.” the dealers I speak to regularly want to go back to the old way of Simply stated, far too many online inventories are just flat-out knows — or at least suspects — why that number goes up or down Belowski’s comment carries a far deeper understanding of today’s business. eyesores. It’s no wonder prospective online buyers simply scroll on and what it means for sales. business than his “mark-down” oriented quote might initially suggest. past and buy elsewhere. These dealers will share knowing smiles: The Internet gives them a But this is way more knowledge than exists at most dealerships. So What he’s really saying is that for every vehicle in his inventory, he steady stream of customers who cost less to acquire than from any A Dose of Reality the question becomes what should dealers and used vehicle managers knows how to position it “price-wise” in relation to his competition, other merchandising medium. They’ve turned this power to their From my observations and work with dealers and used vehicle do to bone up on these fundamentals? while simultaneously being mindful of his potential online buyers advantage and they are enjoying the rewards. managers across the country, I have come to realize that there are two and profit expectations. Belowski’s knowledge of prevailing market primary reasons why many dealerships are missing the mark with First, they should start by taking the time to really understand the prices means he can move metal when he needs to, and only beat the My Northwest import dealer friend wants a piece of all this action. their online merchandising. metrics that third-party vendors already deliver. Next, they need to competition when he must. That’s powerful insight for any retailer. Even though he’s not through wrestling with low-quality pictures ask for help assessing the metrics in order to understand how they His comment is also a nod to the vast majority of potential online and page views, he’s already hatched a broader online merchandising Reason 1: Dealers and used vehicle managers lack the time apply to online merchandising. The vendors have representatives shoppers — they all know a thing or two about a good price in strategy. And, with his clearer understanding of how to look a whole and/or the knowledge to follow the painstaking, detail-intensive best that are trained to be able to help with the “deeper-dive” needed to today’s Internet marketplace. lot better online, he’s taking the bull by the horns. practices that yield the results that attract today’s online used vehicle pinpoint deficiencies (e.g., missing photos, prices or descriptions) that Transparency. “It’s not uncommon for my Dale Pollak is an author and the founder of vAuto. He can be shoppers. may be costing you lost leads and sales. customers to drive in from three hours away and contacted at 866.927.3966, or by e-mail at I would put the Northwest import dealer in this category. He vAuto’s recently released Live Market Merchandising tool is an buy when they get here,” said dealer Jon Whitman understood the importance of the Internet, but fell short on crafting outstanding resource for more effective audit and management of of Whitman Ford in Temperance, the necessary compelling online presentation for his vehicles. In his online used inventory. The tool provides a comprehensive “virtual” MI, who’s tripled his monthly case, it happens to be largely a question of time because he has near- view of the dealer’s online used vehicle inventory and merchandising used vehicle volume after getting sole responsibility for his entire online inventory. across all dealer-owned and third-party sites at both the site and smart about online used vehicle individual vehicle level. merchandising. “Many dealers think if they’re on the Internet, they’re in the game,” said Howard Polirer, director of industry relations for AutoTrader. Successful dealers are using this to identify and correct online Whitman said it’s essential that com. “Unfortunately, that’s just not true.” merchandising shortcomings—missing units, inaccurate odometer online customers view him as readings, inconsistent or non-existent pricing, incorrect equipment/ the best source for used vehicles., and other third-party sites know what it trim packages, and incomplete or missing photos and descriptions. So, his online merchandising takes to be in the game. The “must haves” include quality photos, The tool allows you to “walk” your online inventory with the same includes eye-catching photos, compelling descriptions and a transparent, direct purchasing process circumspect eye you take to your lot every day. competitive prices, access to title histories, warranty information, Joe Pistell, marketing director for, recently used credit applications and other the tool to investigate a 20 percent drop in leads coming from features — all intended to create a After comparing the status of his online inventory across clean, hassle-free experience.1 12 3
  • 6. leadershipsolution An Interview with JoeHealy LEAPING TOWARDS I am the sales rep you’ve been looking for. THE TOP: I live in your showroom, and I never take a day off. Traffic Tracker How a Houston Internet Department Jumped 45 Spots in National Rankings Customers love me because I’m fun to use. I help break the Although he didn’t actually went up this year. I don’t think last year’s numbers. We’re going to be up ice, making greeting, rapport-building and discovery a start his career in the there’s any dealer in the entire nation that almost 22 percent at today’s pace, which is snap. automotive field, Joe Healy has led his team to make a mark in the industry. showed the increase that we did, so we’re blessed to have those results. unheard of in today’s environment. I branded the words “Best Internet Team in Texas” for (and I’m FREE!) I have a built-in scanner that offers every customer a this department, and they’re very proud of Healy, Internet director of Houston-based AS: You moved up 45 spots in one that. I hear them say it to people. chance to win $25,000 cash. I can print personalized Lone Star Chevrolet, and his Internet sales year, and weren’t even on the list the discount vouchers, service specials and more for each team recently rocketed up 45 spots, from 99 year before that. What do you credit AS: How do you keep people customer on the spot. to 54 in the Ward’s Dealer Business’s seventh as the major factors in your success? coming back to the dealership? annual e-Dealer Top 100 list. The list, JH: We definitely did a few things JH: We do a good job of communicating available at differently. One of the initiatives we had with our customers, and we’re not interested edealer100, ranks dealerships across the was to put video cameras on each of our in just the single sale. In fact, 40 percent of country based on sales related to the Internet. guys desks, and now they do a lot of our business is repeat and referral, and we The dealership appeared on the list for the communications via video e-mail. Most of work really hard for that. Part of it is that first time in 2007, and is shooting for a top- our competitors don’t have that advantage, we do work with integrity and don’t rip 50 showing in 2009, a goal Healy believes is and we’ve taken it a step further where now people off. I’m proud to work here. If I go well within his team’s grasp. all our salespeople have Flip video cameras, out to dinner after work, I never take my where they can do a walkaround of a car name badge off. When someone talks to me AutoSuccess sat down with Healy and talked and e-mail it to prospective buyers. That’s about the dealership, it’s always positive. about his dealership, his role as leader of his Internet department, and how his team especially useful in used car sales. You never hear bad stuff. It’s a team effort, and it’s that way throughout. We deal with TrafficTracker® achieved this success. We use the video to strengthen customer success principles that make us different relations, as well. When someone buys a from other dealers. AS: Describe your department. new car, we immediately send them a video, My touchscreen collects and organizes the information JH: I have five guys in new car sales, saying “Hey, you were really a lot of fun AS: What advice would you give to you wish you had on your showroom traffic. From a four guys in used, and one guy we call the to work with. We hope you enjoy that new someone in your position who wants customer’s phone number, zip and email address to what marketing rep, who helps keep the Web site Silverado. If you have any questions, I’m to see the kind of success you’ve they’re driving and what they’re looking for, I capture it for up to date with pictures, seller’s notes and here for you before, during and after the achieved? other items. Right now, we’re responsible for sale, and, by the way, you’re going to be JH: I hate when I meet someone and they you. about 37 percent of the store volume; we do getting a survey from General Motors, and say “Take it easy,” or “Don’t work too about 135 a month in sales. We’re averaging that’s my personal report card. If you have hard.” I think today that’s bad advice. I With my advertising barcode technology, I track every up, right about 14 percent in closings. ANYTHING you’re not satisfied with, here’s spend probably 65 hours at the dealership, my cell phone number, you can call me go home, have dinner with my family, then every sales rep, every advertising campaign. I can even AS: How do you see your role as director? 24/7.” And those videos are viewed six or go upstairs and go back to work. I’m always automatically send a follow-up email to every customer. JH: I spend the bulk of my time coaching seven times, because people get them when researching. You don’t move up 45 spaces and training our guys — everything from they are the most excited they will ever be without hard work. I have a driving passion I generate custom reports that let you know what’s work- phone skills to how to write a good template about their new car, and inevitably we know and burning desire to be the No. 1 Chevy to basically taking care of business. they show them to other people, because the dealer in the nation. It’s not just because of ing and what’s not, so you can make better decisions about views are six or seven within five hours. what I’ve done, but you lead by example. your marketing budget and sales force. AS: What are the Ward eDealer When I came here a little over a year and rankings based on? AS: How did your team react to the a half ago, we weren’t even in the top 15. JH: For us, they come right out of our ADP jump in the rankings? Now we’re No. 3, so we’re making strides. AND I’M FREE! Contact us for details. system, so it’s not pie in the sky. I looked JH: They’re proud. I told them to start using It’s definitely a team effort. at the numbers last year, and I think some the Ward’s number, that we’re in the top 54 If making the most out of every marketing dollar is impor- of them obviously just put in all their sales. and our goal is to get in the top 50. We’re not Ours, we just put Internet sales — those that that far behind. If we can just add another tant to you, maybe you should get to know me. truly came from the Internet — so it’s direct. 15-20 units a month, we’ll go from 54 to Joe Healy is the Internet director of Lone As for the rankings, we moved from 99 in the about 40. We know the market is challenging Star Chevrolet. He can be contacted at Call 1-800-688-1370 or email us at nation to 54, and we actually showed a sales right now, but we’re up. We’re having an 866.901.2082, or by e-mail at to get started. increase in a down market, so our numbers absolutely fantastic April and we’re crushing World Class Automotive Marketing Staffed Events · Direct Marketing Training · Consulting 800-688-1370 Our mission is to be the industry’s best at leading dealerships to achieve1 maximum performance through marketing, training, consulting and motivation.4
  • 7. sales&trainingsolution MichaelThomas KirkManzo sales&trainingsolution ROI Is the Lemon Worth the Squeeze? EIGHT WORDS TO HELP YOU NEGOTIATE MORE EFFECTIVELY When it comes right lead generation? Focus on efficiency of dealer-funded programs, which will create Day in and day out, applying them “live” with your prospects. were you thinking?” down to it, it’s all delivery, or efficiency of conversion. What immediate ROI and grow your market we all negotiate something, whether at home with our spouses There are eight words to help you stay on Once your customer has made an offer, and about the Return on Investment, or ROI. if you could invest 10 percent of the average base. This increases your gain to greater and children, or at the dealership with our track when negotiating. The first word to you have reacted initially with “that number How much do you have invested in your cost of a new vehicle and create 100 percent than 100 percent ROI as you convert more add to your negotiations vocabulary will be co-workers and, of course, ultimately with seems high/low” as appropriate, then you operation? How much is that creating in ROI? What if that also could drastically customers off of the same dollar spent in “High.” Example: “Mr. Customer, you are must bump their initial offer. Why? Because return? How much net are you able to reduce your floor plan costs for new vehicle lead generation. our customers. requesting $7,800 for your car. Boy, you sure people do not appreciate what they are given, realize? What amount of effort, time, money inventory and in turn create more gross and In each encounter, preparation is the key. seem high!” Then wait for a response. but rather what they earn. You must make and emotional/mental stress and strain is it more volume in your new sales at the same There are approximately six times as many Knowing what you want and need to them work for each concession to fully taking to keep the needle moving? After you time? What if your advertising dollar could used cars sold every day in the United No, not really. You don’t tell them they seem say before you need to say it will be the appreciate them. This makes for a happier take all of it into consideration, is the lemon be extended to include every customer States as new, and that number is moving high, you tell them their number seems high. difference between success and failure. buyer and higher CSI scores. Remember worth the squeeze? you currently reach and actually affect the steadily upward. I know that there is a glut Next, when you are discussing either After all, words are the choice jewels of a — value is merely a perception. monthly payment or down payment, use market, make the sale, deliver the car? of “fire sale” new car inventory hitting the salesperson, so choose them wisely. this reflex response. “You want a monthly So when working to bump up monthly Let’s hit the high spots of the retail These are just a few ideas that we would market; we know how that works. It will payment of … or a down payment of …That operation. You have income streams that like to entertain to increase your ROI. affect the immediate market for six months Let’s consider the following scenario. payments and down payments, apply the Some error has occurred at the dealership. number really seems low. Low. Low. Low.” following words: “Mr. Customer, could you you have created through various lines of Would that lemon be worth the squeeze? or so, but will be short lived. Even with By the way, it’s OK to say things more than Upon realizing this has happened, the three be a little flexible?” or “Mrs. Customer, if inventory, as well as pre-owned; and then that, there will still be four to five times as once for emphasis. Remember this is a you needed to, could you stretch?” there is the fixed operation side of things Let’s make this simple by walking through many used cars sold in the market than new. individuals involved are asked to come in and discuss what occurred. The supervising statement, not a question. with income streams in parts, service and, one deal. The average new car costs you So, the demand is greater and, therefore All these responses can help improve manager tells Jackie that she is “mistaken.” When negotiating, rather than asking, “How for some, body shop. All of these are in approximately $25,000. Take that $25,000 the need awareness or potential for gross is your ability to handle the next negotiation, Charlie is informed that he is “wrong.” much?” it is always better to ask, “How motion, and hopefully they are moving and purchase 10 units each at $2,500, and much greater, in used versus new. whether at home or work. Meanwhile, Marty is told that he is “lying.” close?” The follow-up response to the toward profit or more profit , a.k.a ROI. create $2,500 per unit income all on a customer’s offer would then be, “It sounds In summary, the easiest way to remember What if they are not? What if they are not dealer-funded program. That is $25,000 in Take the Wolfe Organization, based in Clearly the implications for the three like you are going to be a little short. How these eight words is to put them in pairs. producing what they need to, or what you income, profit. That is not 20 percent, or Kansas City, with multiple points in various words — mistaken, wrong and lying — are short do you think you are going to be?” High and Low. Close and Short. Fair and want them to? Is it more energy? More even 50 percent — that is 100 percent ROI. cities. They pulled the ultimate coup by very different. When Jackie is told she is Reasonable. Flexible and Stretch. So the advertising? Usually the reaction in tough What else could you invest in today that shutting down all of their Saturn locations in mistaken, the weight of the word is much It is important to communicate with your next time you get ready to leave the sales times is to hit the lead generator button to would create 100 percent ROI? March and April 2009 and converting them lighter. The implications are minor at best. customer in a way that helps them understand manager’s desk to return and work with your get more people through the door. There are to pre-owned car stores. They sent over $13 When Charlie is informed that he is wrong, the need to improve their initial offer in customer, repeat the eight words out loud so a vast number of factors that affect ROI. Obviously, finding 10 units at $2,500 that million in inventory back to GM before the you can feel the severity of the consequences order to be able to purchase this vehicle. they will be fresh in your mind and on the tip escalating. And to tell Marty he is lying will There is no reason to antagonize them in the Let’s focus on a basic, like vehicle sales, as would readily retail (be in mechanically silent bankruptcy became effective. They of your tongue. Think LIFO —last in, first out. surely illicit a very strong reaction. process. Use words that are neutral and do it relates to volume and gross. strong enough condition) would be tough. have done exactly what had to be done not attack them personally, only the numbers Kirk Manzo is the president of The That is not the issue; the issue is that — removed the glass basement from the The idea is to communicate clearly and in a they are offering. Manzo Group. He can be contacted at The essence of sales is to efficiently reducing the average inventory costs to new car store, lowered average costs per non-threatening manner when negotiating 800.858.6903, or by e-mail at create volume and gross. When sales are lower than even $7,000 increases your vehicle, lowered floor plan demand, and with your customers. Your response must “Mr. Customer, let’s be fair. I’m sure threatened, the traditional response is to put ROI exponentially, as well as your volume. adopted some sort of dealer-funded program be sincere and authentic. Some of these my manager will work with us.” “Mrs. more money toward lead generation. Today, Focusing on reducing your average cost to efficiently convert customers to deliveries. strategies will require practice prior to Customer, what fair and reasonable amount we have the incredible lead generation of inventory under $10,000, or at least a machines, such as Internet applications, large portion of your pre-owned inventory ROI in franchise dealers in the last year customer management systems and business for higher volume and gross, is the new was down across the country, while dealer- development processes. “Old school” imperative. funded programs did not suffer the same certainties, like repeat and referral business fate. There is a force pushing, driving and still exist, but many do not remember or By doing this you will also have seven, bullying the market toward dealer-funded effectively encourage these. The additional eight or maybe even 10 times the inventory programs and the ROI that is associated cash demand toward lead generation and selection. The more inventory and with them. To say that the market is going normally means greater costs per customer, selection that you have, the more people this way is an understatement. The ROI, or CPC. How much money were you you can sell — volume. Now, that you have which is what it is all about, is exponentially spending five years ago to bring customers greater inventory selection, your advertising better. The properly structured dealer- through the door? How many were you dollar spent to bring in those customers funded program, with lower average cost of bringing in then? How many did you can be recycled! That CPC begins to shrink inventory and correctly managed, definitely convert to sales and, more importantly, how when you are able to convert customers makes the lemon worth the squeeze. many did you deliver? to deliveries. This effectively lowers your CPC, and ultimately can dramatically There it is. How many did you deliver? reduce the monies spent on advertising/lead Was the lemon worth the squeeze? Is it generation, as you realize more efficient Michael Thomas is president of Prime worth the squeeze now? How much is each production. Eagle. He can be contacted at delivery costing you? What is your ROI? 866.895.5155, or by e-mail at How can you improve your ROI without It is critical to capture monies that would be spending one more dollar in advertising/ spent in advertising/lead generation and use1 16 7 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 8. sales&trainingsolution DavidBook SALESPERSON QUIZ: How Does Your Staff Measure Up? It may feel like the If I were your boss, I would ask to see your 9. Do you know what your dealer auto industry is written goals and results before I wrote your expects? changing, and it is. However, some things paycheck. Understanding what your dealer expects never change. The skills that successful of you is no simple task. But, figuring salespeople need today are nearly the same 5. Are you self-supportive? it out is the only way to be sure you are as they were 20 years ago. If everyone in How many salespeople have you worked doing well for the dealer. Reminder: You your sales staff can’t answer “yes” on all with who are needy and high-maintenance? are an employee — your job is to do what 10 questions below, your dealership is in Zero bars on the cell-phone, rain without your dealer expects. If you perform like a trouble, just like it would have been 20 years a umbrella, and a Red Sox loss are professional, he’ll write paychecks with ago. Ask each of your staff members these annoying. A co-worker that can’t take care professional numbers on them. If you simple questions.... of themselves, unlock cars or blow-up perform like an amateur, he’ll write numbers balloons is downright frustrating. Solve with teenager numbers on them. If you’re 1. Do you want to be average or your own problems and don’t create new making minimum wage in the car business above average? ones for others. (lots do), you’re either way too far along in This may seem like a no-brainer. However, this quiz, you’re lying, or you’re wasting you would be surprised at the number of 6. Do you know how to use a your time. folks that are satisfied with mediocrity. Look computer, basically? at it this way: If you’re not above average, Typing is not a specialized skill (unless 10. Do you know more about your you’re not helping the store succeed. Some dialing a telephone is, too). E-mailing is not products than your customers? help, some hurt; if you are hurting your a specialized skill (unless licking stamps is, If not, why do you expect them to ask you dealer, find a new gig. too). Figure out how to use the darn thing for help? For sure, customers have access to in the most basic form and stop worrying loads of information that they only dreamed 2. Are you ambitious? Lazy about becoming a geek like me; nerds are of a few years ago. So do you. If you are doesn’t work. sometimes the best salespeople. Yes, I’m not willing to take the time to learn the ins- Claiming to be too busy to meet someone laughing. and-outs of each and every product you sell on the lot when sales are down 50 percent (there are not that many, really), you may everywhere is a total joke. You do have the 7. Do you get along with everyone as well put “order taker” on your business time, and you don’t have an excuse. Go sell at work? card (order takers don’t get paid very well in something already! If you answered no to No. 5, you already most industries). failed the quiz and shouldn’t be thinking 3. Do you utilize your specialized about this anyway. You don’t have to be OK, say every one of your salespeople took sales skills? buddies with everyone at work, but you do the quiz, and everyone failed. You may be You have spent hours and hours in the have to learn to get along with everyone asking yourself, “None of my gang can score “training closet” watching videos, reading in your organization. Don’t get me wrong, a perfect 10 on these questions — you’re books, flipping through product knowledge there will be people you genuinely don’t kidding me, right?” No, I’m not kidding. I’m materials and learning how to sell like a like; we all know the No.5’s. But, this a firm believer that a dealer is better off with professional. If you are not implementing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work very hard no help rather than horrible help. If your these valuable skills, you’re not selling. at becoming easy to get along with yourself. salespeople can’t score a 10 for 10 on this Understand objections (and why they are simple quiz, your customers are better off good), question customers until you know 8. Do you smile, always? without them and so are you. The ultimate what’s best for them, and then help them You should be smiling at work, not because question is this: Now that you know who solve their problems. you’re having a great day or anything, but does not have the basic skills required by all because it’s your job. Your dealer doesn’t salespeople to succeed, what are you going 4. Do you set and track your goals? pay you to frustrate customers, and nothing to do about it? If you don’t know what you are trying to is more frustrating for a customer than to see David Book is a technology professional accomplish, how will you know if you a disgruntled employee. Fake it if you have and partner at MyGoalTracking. He can be did? Trust me — you probably didn’t, to, but smile at work; good things happen contacted at 866.901.2082, or by e-mail at if you don’t set and track your goals. when you do.
  • 9. marketingsolution TimJames WEB MERCHANDISING: Let’s Get Emotional Every day, thousands unique features of a car that builds value, - Create urgency with was/is and special upon thousands of justifies price, creates urgency and sells the pricing! consumers shop online for a car that might car. If you would “sell” a feature of a car to a be sitting on your lot, but is never seen consumer on the lot, photograph it and make 2. Create this ad quickly, with “the because you still haven’t created an ad for it a part of your online ad. day it hits the lot” as your minimum that vehicle to distribute to the Web. Sure, goal. you may have sent some photos and vehicle • Vehicle Description — Again, highlight Besides the fact that you pay your Web information, but if all you are doing is what is unique about each car. If you took a site provider and online classifieds a lot uploading information about your inventory photo of it, talk about it. Don’t just tell the of money, thousands upon thousands of to your Web site and online classifieds, you consumer about the car; sell it to them. consumers are visiting the Internet in your have to hope that you have the exact vehicle market every day looking for vehicles to someone wants, when they are ready to - Describe “their” car, not “the” car. purchase. Every day that you have a car buy. However, when you create emotionally - Stress the features that fit the consumer sitting on your lot without a good emotional charged ads for each individual vehicle, you based on the type of vehicle: ad for it on the Internet cost you a lot of motivate online consumers to want the cars Minivan: Family, Safety, Room, money. Fact: more consumers could see that you have. Convenience, etc. your online ad for one of your vehicles in Sports Car: Performance, Reliability, etc. just one day than could see the car on your How do you create emotional ads for the Sedan: Comfort, Reliability, Practical, lot in an entire week/ Internet? First, if you are responsible for Fuel Mileage, etc. creating the ads, you should know your Luxury: Comfort, Status, Ego, 3. Distribute the emotional ad to all inventory better than anyone else. You Performance, etc. online media as quickly as possible. should personally walk the lot and touch Pickup: Power, Performance, Now that you are creating emotional ads, every car, learning what is unique about each Toughness, etc. getting those ads distributed to each of your car so you have the information necessary marketing partners can be time consuming. - Create mental ownership: Remember, to write a truly emotional advertisement. Utilize a centralized inventory system so emotion sells! What would you say To you, a vehicle in your inventory may that you only do this work one time for each to the consumer if you were standing be just another car; however, this is a very car. Remember, each marketing partner may beside them trying to sell them that same emotional purchase for the consumer, and have different times in which they update vehicle on the lot? Write it down and to the consumer, every car is different. their files, and some may even offer real- make it a part of your online ad. Learning to maximize that emotion, the time updates. Find an inventory management same way you do on the lot, will greatly - Create urgency: Use “Was - Is” pricing partner that can get your ads updated enhance your conversion rate and generate (“Just Arrived - Won’t Last Long,” multiple times a day if possible. Remember, significantly higher sales. It is impossible for “Manager’s Special,” etc.) The same the closer you can get to real time, the better. you to write the emotional ads necessary for phrases “call to action” that you use on your dealership to have the best vehicle ads the lot. The days of the Internet manager are over; on the Internet if you don’t know the details now is the day of the Internet marketing of every car. - Create trust & reliability: Use terms manager. The skills needed in the Internet like “Low Miles,” “One Owner,” department have entered a new era and the Next, let’s prioritize the elements and goals “Non-Smoker,” “Certified,” “Warranty dealerships recognizing these facts will be needed to be successful: Information,” etc. the clear winners in conversion ratios and sales volume. 1. Create an emotional ad for every • Price — In the consumer’s mind, “no price vehicle on your lot: = highest price”; however, being the “highest • Photos — The biggest mistake dealers price” isn’t bad if you have created value. Tim James is the director of sales with make is having the same nine to 12 photos HomeNet, Inc. He can be contacted at that every other dealer in town has, and that - Utilize tools that help you compare your 866.924.6573, or by e-mail at are shown on every other car in your market. prices to similar vehicles on the Internet Every vehicle is not the same and it is the and in your market.22
  • 10. marketingsolution DougBurkert TomBear leadershipsolution MAXIMIZE MARKETING BEWARE OF DOLLARS Local Charity Golf Tournaments Reach Important Target Markets FALSE PROFITS With any business fits the tournament. With some tournaments, service coupons to the participants from In this latest series of While I have always strongly supported One of our clients has talked to his CPA in this market, you you may benefit the most by placing a your dealership 20 Group meetings, internal rates for labor, parts being at full firm and, it is my understanding, he is going must find ways to maximize your return on luxury automobile, while others you may • And, most importantly, they team up there have been discussions on cost cutting, retail rate, and for reasonable hard packs, it to reverse all credits on the final statement marketing dollars. In the auto industry, each prefer trucks or maybe a hot hybrid. To with a prize insurance company who rightsizing for the current volume, inventory may be time to relook at all of these “false for 2008, and start taking all of the credits dealership is competing with every other reduce costs further, you could offer a will pay for the vehicle if the ball goes control and other tough decisions that profits.” as the units are retailed. Another client has dealer for the same customers: people who lease or you may offer the prize as a down into the hole. owners/operators are having to make in been taking the credits at the time of sale for still have disposable income, individuals payment on a vehicle the customer selects today’s environment. These conversations Is it time to take the credits for floor plan a number of years. who are buying a new car every two to from your inventory. You can fit the prize Making it Work are timely and lively discussions. and/or advertising when you sell the vehicle three years or those who have a new driver and the cost to the audience. Allen Cadillac GMC, a 61-year-old family rather than when you book the vehicle into So this may not be new to the industry, but in house. Successful dealers need to find a owned Dealership in Laguna Niguel, One of the most interesting — and probably inventory? the dealers who are currently taking the new and more efficient way of marketing to What are other additional opportunities California has been doing all this and more the most controversial — conversations has credits up front as the factory has trained us, those prospective clients. With fluctuating can dealers do to get the best return for for more than 10 years. They sponsor more been regarding the recording of floor plan Is it time to look at the accessories, packs far out-number those taking the credits at inventories, limited marketing dollars and their marketing efforts, and drive more than 40 tournaments a year. Scott Allen, co- and advertising credits. This topic, for the and other items you load the new vehicle the time of sale for a number of years. time, you want to be sure that you are people to their showrooms? First, sponsor owner with his brother Mitch, said, “We’re most part, consisted of “We have done it the inventories with? getting your name and product in front of more then one tournament a year; we see in an area where there are golf tournaments way the factory wanted us to do it.” Look at your options. Check with your willing and able decision makers when it several dealerships sponsor more than 50 12 months a year.” By doing this, it plays I am familiar with a dealer group that, in the CPA. There may be a number of advantages comes to buying a new vehicle. You need to tournaments and many more than 30 a year. right into Allen’s business model, which The factory has trained us well, and last couple of years, decided to not record for changing the way you are taking your get your vehicles in front of the right people. They also sponsor other golf contests like includes a heavy dose of community they even penalize the controllers/office the floor plan credits until the unit was sold. “false profits.” How do you do this? Simple — meet buyers shootouts, putting contests or “closest to the involvement. Allen adds a special twist to managers if the credits are not shown Was it painful at first? Absolutely, but it also at the golf course! pin” competitions. participating in the tournaments by going a properly on the financial statement. took away two of the general manager’s Tom Bear is the executive conference step further with a former salesperson whose reasons for ordering too much inventory moderator for NCM Associates. He can be By sponsoring local charity golf On the day of the tournament or contest, interest and expertise are in community When we had better control of our new — floor plan credits as well as advertising contacted at 866.904.4458, or by e-mail at tournaments, you directly reach an important they: outreach. “He comes down to the dealership inventory, and the days supply was at 75 to credits. target market. There are plenty of benefits: • Bring the vehicle out and place it by the before each tournament, gets a car, takes it 90 or less, the way we recorded our floor You receive free publicity from the event hole for the contest making sure that it is to the event and helps out at the desk where plan and advertising credits did not really organizers to potential buyers during their clean and has a full tank of gas. everyone checks in,” Allen explains. “Then matter. We had a fairly consistent inventory player solicitation, whether the invitation is • Bring out business cards and literature to he’ll go to the hole during the tournament level, and credits were at approximately the made by mail, newspaper, radio or television give to the participants and gallery. and talk to everybody, telling them their same level from month-to-month. Inventory news reports made prior to the actual • Have a salesperson by the car during second best drive of the day will be when in and inventory sold were about the same. event. During the event, you get additional the tournament to talk about the vehicle; they drive the car home.” He answers We had consistency. mileage in your advertising by placing a the dealership and give test-drives in the questions, engages potential buyers, and Now, jump to today’s market. Inventories little “showroom” at the golf course and parking lot. boosts interest in the dealership and its letting golfers dream about winning your prize. After the event, you might receive the • Collect names and numbers to go back to the dealership to use as hot leads. products and services. The goodwill generated is tremendous and breaks down are the highest we have seen in years. We have stopped taking, or reduced the number YOU HAVE CUSTOMERS players’ list for a follow-up or by having the tournament distribute a flyer in their • Work the registration desk to also have access to the names and numbers of the barriers to going to the lot. of vehicles we are receiving monthly on a consensus/allocation. Our new vehicles AND PROSPECTS. are aging and our inventories are growing. goodie bag. Best of all, you can get this for participants. Doug Burkert is the president of the Compound this with the fact that the floor an unbelievably low cost per impression. A • Play in the tournament and meet the National Hole-In-One Association. He can plan interest being paid out monthly is WE HELP YOU GET great feature of this type of program is that golfers. be contacted at 866.859.6407, or by e-mail increasing. Then compound this with the you get to select the advertisement that best • Give out free oil change and/or discount at fact that we do not have the credits to offset the additional interest. A LOT MORE MILEAGE Therefore, the topic of “Beware of False Profits.” OUT OF THEM. Take a look at the number of new vehicles you currently have in your inventory. You Let’s roll. have taken the floor plan credits, advertising credits, internal profits on accessories (pro packs, pin stripes, paint sealing, clean up, nitrogen, bed liners, etc.) and any other adds you put on your new vehicle inventory. Your year-to-date bottom line profit includes 866-964-6397 all the above and more. If you have hard packs on your new vehicles, some of this hard pack has probably landed on your2 bottom line. 24 5 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 11. marketingsolution DrakeA.Baerresen PatrickColbert leadershipsolution STILL STANDING: WHAT TIME IS UP THE RED . DO YOU DO NOW? FLAG RULE IS HERE OK, you are one of certificate at a local restaurant when you test multi-channel promotion approach that The Red Flags Rule Key Elements of an Identity Theft theft and management’s response the lucky Chrysler or drive and/or purchase a vehicle.” You can incorporates a Web site to bring in Internet is here and U.S. Prevention Program • Recommendations for material changes GM dealers who did not get a “Dear John” come up with incentives and promotions leads, a print component to hit the market automotive dealers are mandated to comply It’s important to understand that there is to the program letter. You have a dealership and inventory, that make sense for your market. Print 4 x 6 area in your local area, and then e-mail with the new requirements effective August no specific list of Red Flags — defined as but in many consumers’ minds you are still postcards (5,000 cost less than $300 to print and onsite teasers to create excitement. 1, 2009. The good news is that many of the the pattern, practice or specific activity that Lastly, an Identity Theft Prevention Program damaged goods. The first actions you need — artwork is extra) with your messaging Many times dealers will have a multi-day key solution providers are up to speed on indicates possible existence of identity theft is only as good as the people who implement to take involve taking steps to show your and offer, and give every employee stacks event and invite prospects in to inspect the the new regulations, such as compliance — which every dealer must address. This it. The Rule requires that you train your staff community and market that you are alive of these to handout when they are out in the auction vehicles before the actual day of the software companies, consumer data means that you are expected to design and to effectively implement the program and and well, and looking forward to getting community. auction. Naturally, you can sell any of these providers and other industry vendors. But implement an individually tailored Identity exercise appropriate and effective oversight. back to focusing on selling, servicing and “auction vehicles” if you have a customer the real question is, are you? Theft Prevention Program based on your repairing vehicles. Dealers should also look for speaking that doesn’t want to risk losing the vehicle dealership’s unique profile of risk. Setting Up Your Program — opportunities at civic clubs such as Rotary, to another high bidder. The Bottom Line You’re Not Alone Creating the hype is important but Kiwanis, Optimist, Lions and others. Often In a nutshell — as defined by the new Your written program must contain It seems like a lot, I know. But fortunately newspaper and TV ads are much too they invite local business people to speak It is also important to get complete buy- regulations — the Red Flags Rule requires reasonable policies and procedures to: there are many reputable vendors out there expensive and not drawing in the volume at lunch or breakfast meetings and this is a in from your team. Make sure all your financial institutions or creditors (yes, that Part 1: Identify Red Flags: Your program who have been working hard to develop of customers you need to justify the cost. If great chance to connect with and share what managers and salespeople understand and includes automotive dealers) to develop must consider company-specific risk factors turn-key product solutions to help you you are in a market that has been hit hard is happening in the auto sector with other really commit to the event. Before you know and implement a written Identity Theft — those used to identify Red Flags that are satisfy your obligations under the Red Flags by the mortgage crisis, or there’s a local members and influencers in your area. This it, they will all be really jazzed for the big Prevention Program. relevant to your dealership. Rule – quickly and easily. company that had some layoffs, the first takes care of the organic component. day. Pre-sale training for the event is critical Part 2: Detect Red Flags: Your program order of business is to reinforce your market as you want everything to go smoothly. I know what you’re thinking — there’s must detect relevant Red Flags in the Companies have combined several powerful presence. Now, you need to jazz up your marketing yet another compliance regulation on ordinary course of operations. consumer information solutions and to bring some volume of customers in the Then, on the day of the auction event, roll your radar. But when you consider that Part 3: Respond to Red Flags: Once reporting tools to help automotive dealers I recommend using a holistic process. door. One way many dealers are leveraging out the red carpet and go all-out greeting the number of identity fraud victims has identified, Red Flags must be evaluated and get on board with Red Flags compliance. That means a combination of organic this opportunity is with on site advertising each customer when they come on the lot. increased from 8.1 million Americans in resolved. activities and some pro-active high visibility sales events to bring shoppers back to the Reaffirm that this auction is indeed a big 2007 to nearly 10 million in 2008, the Red Part 4: Update the Red Flag program: They include: promotions to re-establish your marketing showroom. Plan a “Grand Re-Opening” deal. This validates to the customers that Flags Rule is a good thing — both for your Your program must contain a detailed Identity Verification: Helps dealers quickly prowess and build more market confidence event and pull out all the stops. Use the event is legitimate and builds on the customers and for your dealership. So aside process for periodic updating to reflect confirm their customer’s identity with a in your community. advertising to really create some visibility excitement you created in your pre-event from our personal feelings about the new changes in risk. simple three-digit numeric score along for the event. Create excitement, a sense auction marketing materials. requirements, it’s time to embrace the facts with easy-to-read explanations for any ID Your Red Flag Committee inconsistencies. Organically, you need to be visible at of urgency, and the potential for vehicle and implement a compliance program. Once you have your Identity Theft every community function, club meeting shoppers to get really great deals on quality, You should also put some extra incentives OFAC Screening: Dealers can Prevention Program outlined, you’re automatically screen buyers against the and social activity you or your people fuel-efficient cars and trucks. Spring and out for your salespeople. Consider a spiff Where to Begin required to obtain approval of the initial can attend. Gather all your managers and summer are the perfect time for advertising on each customer a salesperson registers for Depending on the relative sophistication OFAC list of terrorists, drug traffickers and written program from either your board of money launderers prior to any sale. employees and create a list of organizations super sales and with some signs of the auction and another spiff for converting of your current fraud and identity theft directors, an appropriate committee thereof, they are active with in the area. This means employment picking up in various markets a prospect into a demo ride. If you have prevention processes, complying with Credit Reporting Services: Offers dealers or a designated employee at the level of a convenient prequalification credit tool that anything from church groups, sewing consumer confidence, while still wary, is sales teams, maybe a friendly competition the Red Flags Rule may or may not be a senior management. The committee oversees circles, quilting clubs, bowling leagues, starting to come back. with prizes for winning team members big undertaking. The Rule is somewhat provides FACT Act fraud alerts. implementation, reviews compliance reports Reporting Tools: Dealers access a monthly Kiwanis, Rotary or any other civic or could move them to put a little bit extra flexible and allows you to build on existing and approves modifications to the Program volunteer association. Develop a single GM and Chrysler have ramped up into the event. The goals are to build traffic, requirements, including the PATRIOT Act, report that summarizes potential fraud as necessary to address changing risks. activity and related trends over a period of message for your team to share with their customer incentives to almost obscene increase sales, and have fun. Sounds like a so it may be just a matter of coordinating neighbors and associates in these groups. levels. Many Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep solid plan to me. and combining policies and procedures A report should be submitted to the time for their dealership. vehicles have $2,000 to $4,000 discounts. that are already in place. Regardless of committee at least annually, which should Online Compliance Applications: The message should be something like: That puts many of these units into the where you’re starting from, the compliance address program material matters and Automated process solutions to help you “Our dealership is still here, we’re planning certified pre-owned price range, making it approach is the same for everyone. Here’s evaluate the following: set up and monitor your Identity Theft for long-term growth, and we have new and very attractive to contact customers in two- Drake A. Baerresen is the vice-president what you need to do: • The effectiveness of the policies and Prevention Program. exciting vehicles coming in all the time. As or three-year-old vehicles and bring them of sales and marketing and co-founder of 1. Organize a Red Flags team procedures in addressing the risk of Turn-Key Events. He can be contacted at Patrick Colbert is the senior vice president a good neighbor, we are offering coupons to back in for a new model. 2. Learn and fully understand the Red identity theft in connection with new of First Advantage CREDCO’s Automotive 866.900.7714, or by e-mail at invite you to our store for a free car wash, Flags Rule and existing covered accounts and Specialty Markets Division. He can be discount on vehicle purchase or service, Auctions are one of the events drawing 3. Conduct a risk assessment of current • Service provider arrangements contacted at 866.924.9971, or by e-mail at and for a limited time we are offering a gift the biggest crowds. You can utilize a accounts • Significant incidents involving identity 26 7 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • 12. MarcSmithsales&trainingsolution “There are a lot of dealers that are not sure what the future holds for them, WHAT WAS THEIR but they still have to sell cars and we want to be a part of the solution.” Richard Valenta, CEO NAME AGAIN? How many times have you found yourself in this situation? Shortly after said, “Because it’s on the name tag you’re wearing.” I began to laugh and quickly removed my tag. when simply avoids them altogether because they can’t remember their name. Remember, improving communication More Traffic, More Leads More Sales being introduced, you can’t remember a skills will always increase productivity. As salesperson’s name. Not to worry; you are In thinking back to that experience, I for comfort, the latest name badges have not alone. This happens all too often and has remember how it made me feel when people magnetic backing and are easy to remove a simple solution. called me by my name, and what a positive without harming your clothing. effect it must have had on them to be able A few years ago, I was running late leaving to call me by my name. If the sales process Name tags are effective tools to improve both a workshop in Kansas City. Upon reaching is all about the customer’s experience, internal and external customer satisfaction. the airport, I sprinted to the airline counter then anything we can do to make the Think about your favorite restaurant, or a to make them aware that I had arrived, customer more comfortable is worth doing. place of business that you frequent. Maybe hoping I could still make it to the gate in We want customers to be as emotionally you haven’t been there in a while, but they Call time. involved in the purchase of their new or still remember your name. It sure makes pre-owned automobile as possible, with it more comfortable for you when you can The agent at the counter smiled and asked, little or no distractions. Having to worry easily return the gesture by viewing their “How can I help you, Mr. Smith?” about remembering the salesperson’s name name badge and using their name. can be stressful for them. Knowing the I instantly felt comforted. He had called salesperson’s name makes the transaction It has been said that the greeting is the most me by name. I thought, “I know I fly a lot, more comfortable for the customer, and important step in the sales process, and but they know my name; I think I can slow helps to bond the relationship between the that the customer determines the degree 866.618.8299 down.” After checking in, I calmly headed customer and salesperson. of likeability of the sales associate, and for the gate. if they can be trusted within the first few So what’s the solution to a customer not seconds. What follows the greeting can only When I arrived, the attendant at the gate knowing a salesperson’s name? A name be improved by eliminating any difficulty said, “Hello, Marc, I’ve been waiting for badge. It’s such a simple solution, and yet the customer may encounter in trying to you.” so many dealerships do not require them. remember a sales professional’s name. I have visited hundreds of dealerships I thought, “That’s nice. She called me by around the country and am sad to report Most places of business today have learned name.” Although I’m sure it’s because they notified her I was running late, but that I was on my way there. I thanked her and that most do not use them. When I ask why, dealers respond that they used to, but that most of the staff kept losing them. Or, the value of having their employees wear a name badge. If you make the decision to purchase name badges for your staff, and see why we’ve been voted BEST for 5 years in a row! proceeded down the ramp to the plane. they would say that most employees don’t remember that quality counts. That badge like to wear them. is as important as the sign in front of the When I got to the door, the flight attendant store. A low budget badge will reflect poorly said, “Hello, Marc. Welcome aboard.” What ever happened to accountability, I on the image of the store and the person wonder. If a NASA, CIA or government wearing it. The next time you’ve been Attention GM and Chrysler dealers: Ask about As I continued on to my seat, I thought employee showed up to work without introduced to someone and have to ask, again how odd it was for everyone to be their name badge, do you think they would “what was their name again?” Think about calling me by name. After stowing my bag let them in? I don’t think so. Creating a the power of the name badge. I am wearing and buckling myself into my seat, I said better work environment can be just as mine right now. Are you? our special transitional recovery packages hello to the person sitting next to me. important as creating a better sales process environment. I have to laugh when I think The gentleman responded with, “Hi, I’m of the many times I have heard managers Bob, and you must be Marc.” say that they can’t remember their new Marc Smith is the president and CEO of employee’s name. Think about how it must Marc Smith International LLC. He can be With a look of astonishment, because I make the employee feel every time someone contacted at 866.665.4479, or by e-mail knew I wasn’t that famous, I asked him tries to engage them in a conversation at how he knew my name. He laughed and without using their name. Or what’s worse, Search to Sold28 ©2009 TK Carsites. All rights reserved.
  • 13. sales&trainingsolution SeanV.Bradley CAR SALESMAN MAKES $200,000 IN THIS ECONOMY Internet Sales 20 Group XVII The economy has just wait for things to come to me. Instead of them into. had an effect on a taking a “reactive” approach to my career, Nowadays, lot of people, from dealerships to the sales I chose to take a “proactive” approach. For people who professionals that work at the dealerships. I example, I have an assistant who works the are buying read all of these “Doom and Gloom” news service drive every morning prospecting vehicles stories — stories of dealerships closing, for me; we have an average of 70 ROs a need to buy people getting laid off, etc. This is a different day. Orphan owners get a letter from me a vehicle. type of story: a story identifying a truly introducing me as their sales consultant. They can remarkable sales professional who has There are people who service their vehicles tell you that completely shattered the reality of a recession with us who did not buy a car from us and “it’s rough with his dedication, skill and tenacity. they, too, get a letter introducing me as their out there,” sales contact. My previous customers all get or “I’m just We are continuing our Interview with Chris a letter from me, thanking them for coming shopping Gramlich, Internet Sales Manager from into the dealership to service their vehicle. around.” Peruzzi Toyota in Hatfield Pennsylvania. Every morning from 8 to 9 a.m. (which is the They can Chris is in the top .5 percent of the prime time for ROs), my assistant is out there tell you that, automotive sales consultants in the United making sure that no one has any questions but they still States in annual income generated. Chris about their vehicles, seeing if anyone wants are looking for someone to meet their needs. made $225,000 in one year, and is on to trade them in, and seeing if we can buy And once they find a value higher than what track to make $200,000 this year, when all them for the used car department. They also they’re paying, they will buy from you. conventional wisdom is screaming that the get solicited with my card and get entered sky is falling. into my database. SVB: What is your advice to other sales professionals who are struggling right now in Sean V. Bradley: Do you have a system or SVB: Your dealership’s pretty big. Do you this economy and are reading this and thinking a set process? stand out? “No way is this real” Or “No way can I do Chris Gramlich: Absolutely. The first thing CG: Yes. The whole service thing was anything about my situation”? I do is sit the prospect down and initiate a offered to everyone a year and a half ago. CG: They need to get focused and stay needs assessment. I want to find out what As a matter of fact, it had to be assigned to positive. It might sound simple, but it really is. their wants, needs and expectations are. A lot salespeople, and they had to spend a certain The only motivational material in my office of times they might not know what they are amount of time in there. But it just wasn’t says “Stay Positive.” You have to believe after, or they may find out what they are after working out. People saw it like a chore, an you can be successful. Because if you keep won’t fit their needs. inconvenience. The owner wanted a sales telling yourself how bad it is out there, keep presence in the service drive. So my assistant blaming the economy, Barack Obama, your SVB: Is there a difference between spends an hour a day before I get into work, manufacturer, your dealership, your co- prospects? Is an “Internet Up” different from and he is my presence in there. There are workers, your spouse, your life… you will a “showroom Up”? people who prospect, but as far as the service never be successful — ever. You have to, first CG: No. An “Up” is an “Up.” Obviously, drive goes, I am the only one who really and foremost, believe you can be successful, everyone is unique, with different wants, handles that. and that failure is not an option. If you really wishes and expectations. But an “Internet believe that then you will be successful. Up” is the same as a “showroom Up.” They SVB: Tell me how your career has been Things have to be created twice for them to both breathe the same air, want to buy the selling in this economy. manifest — first mentally, then in physically. same vehicles and both want to be treated CG: This might sound crazy, but I actually fairly, respectively and get a great deal. prefer to sell in this economy. Because We’ll conclude our discussion with Chris when someone comes in to buy a car, they Gramlich next issue. SVB: I understand that you work with the are serious about buying a car. They are Internet Department. Is that the only traffic shopping around (which they always are), Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized you get? but they are “need” buyers. I have worked training and consulting company in CG: Absolutely not. This business is simple. in times when it was so good out there that the automotive industry. He can be The more you put into it, the more you get some prospects would actually just stop contacted at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at out of it. I learned a long time ago not to by on a Saturday to see what you can put
  • 14. marketingsolution PeterMartin USING GOOGLE ANALYTICS How did they do it? WITH E-MAIL MARKETING Increase Reporting Capabilities and Boost Relevancy and Response, Part 2 AutoServ of Tilton Last issue, we went into the importance Google Analytics allows you to define and track four key goals. These goals are the end goals, and conversion tracking is the most important metric for you to measure. FORD DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP KIA NISSAN SOLD 42 CARS IN 4 DAYS of tracking user behavior on your Web site, end actions that you want your subscribers But, alone, it does not give you enough using tools such as Google Analytics (freely to take, such as a completed online sale, information to understand your subscribers. available at white paper download, contact or inquiry, This month, we’ll look at how to actually demonstration or pricing request, etc. Google Analytics gives you quick and easy get started. All of your e-mail marketing activities access to information that will allow you “I have been working with The Wolfington Group for lead subscribers along a path to these to build accurate subscriber profiles. With Google Analytics, you can: over eight years. Their marketing events consistently • Tie goal conversion back to a specific e-mail address or to a link through a deliver impressive sales and profits for our new and used specific e-mail campaign car departments. Most importantly our C.S.I. remains • Gather information on the average amount of page views per visit tied to a to be high before, during and after their events. I would specific e-mail address or to a specific recommend this company to ANY new car dealer.” e-mail campaign • Capture overall conversions from a specific e-mail send • Summarize number of total visits across Dennis Gaudet, all e-mail campaigns Dealer Principal • Track goal conversions hourly so you can determine the exact time of day that 866-761-9051 you receive the most traffic and business on your Web site Wolfington Group Call Center Fielded: E-mail marketing is a step-by-step process that opens the lines of communication between a corporation and its subscribers and it bridges the gap between the 442 67% 42 subscribers and the corporation’s Web site. As technology expands, the complexities of INCOMING KEPT UNITS growing, segmenting and managing your e- mail lists and campaigns are becoming more CALLS APPOINTMENTS SOLD sophisticated. The more you know about your current subscribers, the more likely you will be to not only add them as customers, but to also find more subscribers that meet the same criteria and potential. To do that, and you must understand who your current subscribers are, what their needs are, where they came from, when they subscribed, why they continue to interact with your company, and how they will respond to your e-mail messages. Google Analytics will tell you all of these things. Call 1-800-958-0595 NOW The more data you have, the more accurate for your FREE Marketing Plan! your trending reports will be across multiple campaigns. Combining both your e-mail tracking features and Web analytics data, you’ll gain a complete understanding of your subscribers. Once you know this information, you can use it to create relevant e-mail campaigns that are essential to your subscribers’ needs. Peter Martin is CEO of Cactus Sky Communications, Inc. He can be contacted at 866.859.8052, or by e-mail at3 *Current Wolfington Group market areas excluded.
  • 15. leadershipsolution MattBaker MOVING THE NEEDLE TOWARDS POSITIVE MOMENTUM After 18 months into important to keep only positive information steps might seem. Whether in good times this recession, the flowing to your sales force. Consider asking or bad, ensure your sales process is always continuously gloomy media forecasts have one sales person each week to be responsible implemented. become enough to drive anyone mad. At this for supplying a motivational quote of the day, point, we are all aware that times are tough, to be shared with the rest of the dealership Work With Winners. Winning Is An as many watch market share and profitability staff. This not only reminds staff members to Attitude steadily decline. However, what is often think positively, it also keeps sales personnel For winners, positive momentum is overlooked is the impact all this bad news engaged in the process of shaping the something that is found, built and maintained has on sales staff confidence, and we all dealership’s overall attitude. at all times. If you chose to subject your staff know that confidence is key to selling. to the influences of negative people or poor Likewise, keep your superiors apprised of accountability, you can’t expect a positive So what’s the secret of managing confidence any negative news. In many cases identifying return. — even when things get rough? Here are a potential problems will help you and upper few points to consider when building positive management strengthen business strategies to Positive momentum starts with personal sales momentum and ensuring your sales overcome obstacles. In the end, these efforts attitude. By acknowledging even the smallest people keep moving in the right direction. will help achieve shared goals and foster an of victories, you are reinforcing the belief empowering sense of success. that success is possible. Remember that No Good News, No Bad News — “momentum = sales,” which means little It’s All Just Information Try To Motivate With Less Money bits of improvement, over time, can lead to What makes “bad news” so bad? It’s all in and More Sense drastic change. how you look at it… Since attitude is crucial to determining what direction sales momentum will sway, it’s Look at it this way: Inch by inch, life is a Sure, the flood of depressing headlines important to consider different options to cinch; yard by yard, life is hard. Learn to makes adopting negativism tempting, but help keep sales people motivated. While look for ways to help your staff make small what good can come from that? By focusing many of us may instantly resort to using daily improvements to keep them selling on the negative we in turn believe, decide, money as a means to influence ambition, confidently as opposed to desperately. and act negative. While the media will motivation in sales does not always have to likely keep their focus on dark and dismal be financially driven. For some, however, sparking a change in headlines, don’t lose sight of the light at attitude can only be achieved with the help the end of the tunnel. Mindset is a powerful Of course the more they sell, the more they of outside influencers. This is where bringing tool. How we allow ourselves to perceive make, but goals like this can’t be achieved in motivational consultants or a responsible situations is what, in turn, fuels our beliefs. If without supplying some sensible points staffed event team can be beneficial. With we give up on believing success is possible, to help them get there. Consider closely fresh perspective, these outsiders can often we lose the power to swing sales momentum monitoring daily behaviors. Are your offer insight into solutions that may have in a positive direction. salespeople cutting corners? Have they been overlooked by the dealership. During become so focused on getting a deal that these events, one of two things can happen. To block out the effects of negative media, they have moved away from selling to go Your staff may learn a few new tricks of the turn off your TV and ignore the Internet. straight for the close? Make sure to publicly trade, or just be reminded of positive things Instead, redirect your focus to reading compliment someone who is doing daily they used to do, but have stopped doing for positive books. Believe it or not, the mind activities correctly or is following all of the whatever reason. needs to be constantly fed information that’s steps of your sales process. empowering to help overcome feelings of In the end, however, we have to acknowledge distress. Moving The Needle Towards the fact that momentum often will change Positive Momentum directions with even the slightest hint at bad Remember that the speed of the leader equals As a result, your sales staff will learn to news. While we have no ability to control the speed of the team. By putting faith in find reward in actions that are not linked negative influences; we do have the ability to an optimistic outlook, you are providing an to a financial return. Since that which gets control how we respond to them. encouraging reason to help sales people take rewarded is what gets done, your sales that first positive step. staff will be motivated to complete daily Attitude is everything. Without taking tasks while positively influencing sales necessary steps to sway sales staff in a Pass Your Negatives Up And Your momentum. positive direction, you can’t hope to reap Positives Down many positive results. While you will still come across some less- Yet when motivating sales staff — either by than-hopeful information, be mindful of sense or by money — understand that you whom you choose to share it with. can always compress time frames, but never Matt Baker is the vice president of sales skip steps. While it may be necessary to for G&A Marketing. He can be contacted Today’s sales professionals are increasingly achieve certain goals in a shortened period of at 866.618.8248, or by e-mail at pressured by the threat of bad news. Since time, it is no excuse to skip steps in the sales3 momentum is fueled by attitude, it is process — no matter how insignificant those4
  • 16. marketingsolution SteveCottrell START REBUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Dealer closings seem hygiene, start going after more business. balances on selected vehicles, looks at the to be the talk of the current manufacturers incentive programs day. Chrysler and GM recently announced You’ve just had a customer trade-in on their new vehicles and produces a list hundreds of dealer closings; our industry is appraised and were pleasantly surprised that of customers whom you can invite in to certainly taking a lot of hits and, for many it has a strong book value. You notice that see new cars and share with them that their retailers, the news is not good. For the with this strong book value, combined with payments will either stay the same or be just dealers still standing, this is both a great all the current incentives, you can offer a a few dollars more. This program has shown opportunity and a clear message that it is payment darn close to or the same as the to be very effective in generating repeat time to get busy and kick your marketing customer walked in the door with. Hmmm. sales to existing customers. into high gear. But first, most dealerships need to do some basic house cleaning in Another opportunity is to generate a list their operations area. of customers who are about to have their basic factory warranty expire. This is a great For years we have heard about database time for your F&I office to make a call and marketing. All the big consumer companies, offer these customers your extended service banks, credit card companies and mortgage contract so that “full protection” remains companies go to their existing bank of in effect and allows them to offer the next customers to up-sell more products and buyer an “in place” service agreement. services. Auto retailers to some degree have been doing this too, with varying degrees You can also leverage a program that of effectiveness; but, as we are seeing, the looks at the vehicle VIN and mileage of old ways of doing business aren’t gonna vehicles in your DMS. It then compares cut it anymore. Dealers need to be more that information with a database of strategic in their database marketing efforts, manufacturer-recommended services based and I would like to share some ideas on how on the manuals for every vehicle produced dealers can do this now. since 1984. It reports what services and parts are recommended to be replaced at the Let’s address a basic issue first, and that next scheduled interval. Dealers can then is cleaning up the bad data in your DMS. send a targeted communication such as a Recent economic and technology events postcard or e-mail to those customers with have triggered mass changes to information specials and invitations for a specific service previously entered in your data systems. Sounds like a deal to me. Now what if you or parts replacement. People are moving to take new jobs and went through your database and found all downsizing lifestyles, which is triggering of your customers who are driving a vehicle You can also do a simplified version of new addresses and phone numbers. The the same as the one just traded-in? What if this yourself by looking at the mileages of Internet explosion is causing e-mail you reached out to them with the message selected vehicles, but the offerings will be a addresses to change quicker than the mind that, if they traded-in that vehicle, you could bit more generic. Auto retailers are great at of a politician looking at poll results. Cheap put them in a brand new vehicle for about selling and maintaining vehicles but often cell phone plans mean many new cell phone the same payment they are paying now for are not proficient in handling some of these numbers too. Bottom line: If you don’t a two-year-old vehicle? This will take a marketing and database items internally. know where your customers are or how bit work, but could yield incremental sales If that is the case at your store, look to to reach them, it’s impossible to market to from your existing happy customers. establish a relationship with a low-cost, them. Start working ASAP to put a plan into high-efficiency fulfillment partner. There are effect to clean up this information. Verify If you like that concept but don’t have the a number of good vendors available to help. your phone numbers and addresses and resources, don’t worry; there are vendors append customer data with current e-mails, who can assist you in the process. They Steve Cottrell is the CEO of DMS Update, too. There are good, cost effective solutions take it to a more sophisticated level. The a division of Authenticom. He can be available, so find a vendor and get moving. company pulls historical sales data from contacted at 866.696.4957, or by e-mail at OK, now that you have done your list your system, calculates the current loan
  • 17. E motion Sells! Hurry, offer won’t last long! HomeNet makes it EASY to turn your online inventory into Emotional Online Ads!Distribute these powerful ads to your website and all of your online classifieds. You will be amazed by the results! Contact your representative for more information 877.738.3313