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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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AutoSuccessNov05 AutoSuccessNov05 Document Transcript

  • Read this month’s and previous issues online at New, Fully Integrated Technology is Key to More Sales and Higher Grosses John Palmer, CEO Dealer Marketing Services, Inc. ProMax Online SoftwareP.O. Box 43611 PRSRT STDLouisville, KY 40253 US POSTAGE PAID LOUISVILLE, KY PERMIT NO 879a division of Systems Marketing, Inc. November 2005
  • One business deal that will lead to millions of is now the exclusive listings provider for has forged another important partnership. Now is the exclusive new and used car listings provider for, which makes the biggest audience of car shoppers at even bigger. Because now when you list with, you’ll also reach millions of additional car shoppers at—all of which means more traffic and more sales for your dealership. To learn more, call 1-888-249-6860. ® ©2005 is a trademark of TPI Holdings, Inc. and is used under license.
  • We ask if you’re hitting allyour numbers with Cobalt. Buzz Rodland, Owner and GM, Rodland Toyota, Everett, WA. Past Chairman AIADA and Cobalt customer since 1998. Since we started using Cobalt CRM solutions our sales have gone up 19%, CSI is up to 97.09 from 91.25 and our Internet closing ratio is up to 15.8% from 3.3%. Absolutely, positively yes we’re hitting all our numbers out of the ballpark with Cobalt. Get real results from the company thousands of dealers turn to for automotive retailing solutions. Call 877.553.1700 or go to today.
  • How to Position Yourself to Turn Objections Into Reasons for Buying 8 BrianTracyINSID What is an ‘Expensive Campaign’ The Follow-Up Timeline Improving Communication Skills Mail and E-mail Follow-Up 9 10 12 13 ScottJoseph ChrisHanson SeanWolfington JimAdams Learn More About Yourself and Be a Better Leader 14 CarolMartin-Ardell Not Getting a Response From Your Internet Prospects, I Can Help 16 DavidKain Increase Brand Equity 18 TomGegax New, Fully Integrated Technology is Key to More Sales and Higher Grosses 20 RobPearson Dealers Report an Additional $750 to $1000 Per Deal 22 Negotiate Like a Professional MarkTewart Boring Organizations and Becoming Uncommon 24 MichaelYork Use ‘Seuss Sense’ for Rejection 26 ChrisAlford The Importance of Training to Maintain Compliance 28 TonyDupaquier Talking Hands 30 PattiWood Search-Engine Marketing, Are You Ready 32 ToddSwickard The Secret to Selling 384 Extra Cars in One Month 33 ScottGruwell How to Win Back Your Service Customers 36 KarenDillon Dealers Get a ‘Power Boost’ Through Automation 37 RandyBarone Why I Should Buy From You 38 AnthonyHall Ephesians 6:16 “Take up the shield of faith.” 3411 Pinnacle Gardens Drive Louisville, Kentucky 40245 ! Toll Free: 877.818.6620 " Facsimile: 502.588.3170 Patrick Luck, Editor & Publisher Psalms 31:3 • Susan Givens, Vice President “For thou art my rock and • my fortress; therefore for thy Courtney Paris, Sales-improvement Strategist • name’s sake lead Brian Ankney, Sales-improvement Strategist • me, and guide me.” God Bless America Thomas Williams, Creative Director • AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3411 Pinnacle Gardens Drive, Louisville, Kentucky, 40245; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $75 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. 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, 3411 Pinnacle Gardens Drive, Louisville, Kentucky 40245.
  • BrianTracy How to Position Yourself to Turn Objections Into Reasons for Buying In golf, there is a how good you really are as a sales person. of the sales process that sales people dislike saying: “You drive the most and which customers find the most for show, but you putt This is perhaps the most stressful and stressful. The end game of selling must be for dough.” In selling, challenging part of the sales process. It’s carefully thought through and planned in you prospect and where the rubber meets the road. It is your advance so that you are thoroughly prepared present for show, but ability to answer the questions that the to bring the sales conversation to its naturalyou overcome customer skepticism and gain prospect puts to you and overcome his or her conclusion at the earliest and most appropriatecommitment for dough. Your ability to answer natural reluctance to make a commitment that moment. Fortunately, this is a skill, like ridingobjections and get the sale is the true test of wraps up the sales process. It is also the part a bicycle or typing with a typewriter, and you can learn it through study and practice. Handling objections and closing the sale are two different parts of the sales process but There is only one they are so close together that this chapter will discuss them as a single function. Just as there are reasons people buy a product, “FACTOR-Y” that there are reasons they don’t. Often answering an objection or removing an obstacle is the controls sales at your critical element in making the sale. You can answer the objection and close the sale dealership... YOU! simultaneously. Objections can be turned into reasons for buying. Just as there is a primary reason for buying a product, a hot button, Our dealers increase market share in a down market there is a primary objection that stops the person from buying it. If you can emphasize No new incentives? Low inventory? Depressed market? one and remove the other, the sale falls Call Heidi Martincic NOW to discover the ONE thing you together naturally. need to sell more cars... and how you can get it TODAY! In selling smaller products or services, with which you can prospect and make a complete Larry John Wright is the #1 Automotive Advertising Agency in North America. presentation in the first meeting, your We work with dealers nationwide. This year we will produce nearly 6,000 approach to closing will be different from that commercials from our state-of-the-art studios. We give you unlimited, high required if you are selling a larger product in quality campaigns and promotions. We have negotiated and purchased a multi-call sale that stretches over several media for hundreds of dealerships. Our media buying strategy is specifically weeks or months. In the shorter, smaller sale, designed for auto dealers and can deliver as much as 30-40% more the prospect knows everything necessary to efficiency than you are currently getting. make a buying decision at the end of your presentation. Your aim should be to answer If you need results, we’ll show you how to get them. Guaranteed! any lingering questions and then ask for the order. In the larger sale, you may have to meet with the prospect several times before the prospect is in a position to make a buying decision. You will have to be more patient and persistent. Now, here are two things you can do Larry John Wright, Inc. immediately to put these ideas into action. Automotive Adver tising, Inc. First prepare yourself in advance for the Larry John Wright. Twice as good. Twice as fast. Half the price. endgame of selling by anticipating anything the customer might offer as a reason for not Contact Heidi Martincic buying. Be ready. 800-821-5068 or Second, look for the hot button, the reason the customer will buy, and press it. Meanwhile, find out his or her major reason for not buying “ I’ve personally consulted with hundreds of automotive and remove it. dealerships. You WILL sell more cars through advertising if Heidi Martincic you focus on getting the ONE thing you need.” Senior Vice President Brian Tracy is the chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International. He can be contacted at 866.300.9881, or by e-mail at 8
  • ScottJoseph What is an MEET YOUR NEW ‘Expensive Campaign’ Imagine two direct Analyzing your results on every campaign E-PLOYEE... mail campaign and testing new ideas, headlines, offers, lists, proposals. One costs etc. also will help protect you against one of $8,000 and the other the direct mail industry’s biggest challenges costs $12,000. Which – market saturation. WORKS 24/7 WITHOUT A is more expensive?. If you are one of the many dealerships who SICK DAY OR VACATION!From the information provided, you can only used to run direct mail campaigns but stoppedtell what a campaign costs. It’s impossible to because it stopped working, or maybe you stillsay which campaign is more expensive. run but you don’t quite get the same results you did on your first couple of campaigns,The true measure of any campaign is its then think about the sales and money youeffectiveness at generating results; therefore cost yourself by not analyzing the results andthe most accurate way of measuring a testing new approaches.campaign must be the cost per up and the costper deal, not the cost per campaign or cost per If you analyze the results of every campaign,piece. then you should know exactly what aspect of your campaign worked and what did not. YouOn that basis, the $12,000 campaign that then continue to do the things that worked andgenerates 180 leads and sells 45 cars is much TIMEHIGHWAY.COM replaces remove what does not. This is the only chancebetter and less expensive than an $8,000 you have to produce consistent results or even telephone-based scheduling withcampaign that produces 75 leads and sells 18 have a realistic opportunity to improve your internet technology that enhancescars. But that’s still only half the equation. the effectiveness and customer advertising performance.Most dealerships fiddle around with their satisfaction of your dealership. Think about it for a second. What if you couldmarketing until they find something that quickly and easily identify, without a doubt in By scheduling appointmentsworks reasonably well. Having found a your mind, what works with your advertising directly through your web site,workable solution, they run it on a consistent your customers make conÞrmed and what does not? How many more leadsbasis. or opportunities could you create for your appointments instantly withoutThat could be one of the most expensive things sales staff? How many more cars would you call-backs. TimeHighway.comthey ever do. What they’re failing to realize is sell? How much more profitable would your puts your service department’sthat another campaign might generate a 1 dealership be? schedule on your web site,percent, 20 percent or better response. What if you were analyzing your campaigns making it possible to scheduleThe real cost of that adequate campaign, then, for the last three to five years? How much appointments 24 hours a day, 7is not just the hard cost of the campaign – it more cost effective would your advertising days a week, from anywhere.also includes the opportunity cost of the sales be now? Would your sales staff make morethat could have been made, but were not. money? If you answer “yes” how much easierWhat if another campaign could generate 50 would it be to retain sales people? Would you • Your 24/7 Revenue invest less time trying to find good people andmore sales opportunities and sell an additional more time trying to sell more cars? Building Tool10 cars? Given that an ad that works willgenerally continue to be run, that’s an awful You need to make the decision to start • EfÞcient and Simple to Uselot of money being lost by sticking with the analyzing every campaign you run. The • Automatic ConÞrmationadequate campaign. reality is it may cost you a small amount up front to do so but think about what it costs you and Reminder EmailsThe only way to protect yourself from thispossibility is to consistently analyze the not knowing which half of your campaign • Cost Effective: Only 54 works and what half does not.results of your campaigns. cents an hour By making testing and analyzing a passionBy analyzing the results you achieve in every and a requirement for all your campaigns,campaign you do, you can set benchmarks or you’ll quickly find the small changes you For More Information Contactcontrol packages against which to measure can implement. The list of improvements is Karen Dillon at 800.901.3054 oryour future performance. endless. kdillon@TimeHighway.comThe mere existence of the benchmark forces And by implementing those changes, you’llyou to acknowledge that there is no best quickly and completely change the shape ofcampaign – there is only a best campaign your whole dealership.discovered so far. Without exception, a betterapproach is just waiting to be discovered. Scott Joseph is the president of J&L 5633 Strand Blvd, Suite 302And while the improvement might not Marketing Inc. He can be contacted Naples, FL 800.901.3054be dramatic when that new campaign is at 866.429.6846, or by e-mail at www.TimeHighway.comdiscovered, it is still worth looking for. 2005 9
  • ChrisHanson The Follow-Up Timeline We have spent some since we know that 83 percent of customers note. Send them everything you send your time talking about were never contacted again, we also know sold customers. why we should follow that 33 percent if contacted will come in. up and the different Unsold customers are just money waiting Sold Customers ways we can follow to be put into the bank. I would also like to Ninety-six percent of people bought their car up. Now lets talk point out that if you follow a proven process because they liked the sales person. So whyabout the timeline in which we do this. Lets every time you can easily raise that 33 is it that 82 percent of people after one yearlook at my specific follow-up timeline that I percent even higher. forget their sales person’s name? Becauseuse with every customer. they didn’t follow up! Scrap the haphazard 1. Same Day: You must get the customer’s phone calls and notes and let’s get down toUnsold customers name, address, phone number and e-mail business. Our name and face always needs toUnsold customers are very time sensitive address every time! be in front of them.because 90 percent will be making apurchase decision within seven days. And 2. Same Day: Be-Back CD – give this to 1. Same Day: Send out a “Thanks for your the customer as he or she leaves: “I put business” card. together some information about myself, the dealership and what our customers have 2. Same Day: Send them a video e-mail to say on this short audio CD. I know you’ll thanking them for their business. find it useful and it will answer any questions you may have.” 3. Call the customer within a few hours after delivery. “Hi John, Chris from Hibbing 3. Same Day: Always leave the door open. Chrysler. I just wanted to make sure you As they leave say: “You know, I just thought figured out how to work the cruise control of something. You like the car, right? I’m on your way home and if you had any other going to talk to my manager about about questions about your new van?” something. Can I call you later today?” 4. Two weeks: Send them a “you’re on my 4. Same Day: Send the customer a “thanks mailing list” note. for the opportunity” note. 5. Three weeks: Send them the last issue of 5. Same Day: Send the customer a video your newsletter. e-mail right after they leave. This is a very powerful technology that has a huge effect 6. Put them on your monthly e-mail on the customer. newsletter list. I incorporate my video e-mail in each one so they also get to see and hear 6. Later that day and the next day: Call the me each month. person. Every time you call the customer you must always give new information. 7. Put them on your quarterly newsletter Examples: Service records of the vehicle if list. it’s used or a one-owner local trade. Maybe a service contract that can be cancelled 8. From here on out: and used as a down payment. Give them a. Every 45 days I send different mail alternatives, such as using a different trade- pieces in, model down, new-to-used etc. Most of b. Every 90 days I call. I have several phone the time you need to think outside of the scripts I use. box. Be creative. Figure out how to get the deal done. The main object of the phone call If you would like to learn more about is to set another appointment and get them to creating your own be-back CD, using come back in. video e-mail, monthly e-mail newsletters, mail pieces, quarterly newsletters or phone 7. From here on, the phone calls that you scripts, please e-mail me and I would be glad have made will determine where you go to assist you. from here. Don’t wing the phone calls. There are many different phone-training programs out there that you can take to improve your phone skills. 8. If they don’t buy or they buy from Chris Hanson with Hibbing Chrysler can someone else, put them on your mailing list. be contacted at 800.901.2862, or by Start with the “you’re on my mailing list” e-mail at 10
  • SeanWolfington Improving Communication Skills Our ability to influence characteristics in others and in yourself and confirming or restating, in your own words, the lives of others is you’ll improve your ability to communicate. exactly what you heard them to say. It may only as great as our help to use a lead-in statement before you ability to communicate Passion: paraphrase what you just heard, and some with them. Consider Every great communicator has a passionate examples you can use are: the possibilities. Every belief that his or her purpose is founded inday we have the opportunity to: solid principles and has the ability to change 1. “If I heard you correctly, what • Help family, employees, colleagues the world. Cultivate a burning mission to you mean is …” and customers make wise decisions share your message with others and you 2. “So you’re saying …” • Convey ideas and concepts that are cannot fail. Even if they don’t agree with 3. “When you say …”. important to us and to them the content of your message, when others • Prevent and avoid mistakes; either can sense your passion and appreciate your Clarify: today or down the road purpose you are on your way to connecting Once you’ve demonstrated to the other • Lift their spirits, give them hope and with your audience, and that’s the first person that you’re actively listening, it may bring them comfort hurdle. help to clarify what they mean by asking an • Strengthen their self-image and exploratory question or making a statement boost their confidence Attitude: that will help you both to gain clarity. It • Improve our team’s effectiveness It’s not about you. Seek to understand. Be shows that you care, builds rapport and and results. interesting by being interested in them. Seek trust and creates that environment in which out other people’s ideas and build on them. people want to hear what you have to say.Our ability to communicate determineswhether our interactions bring us closer Examples are:together or drive us further apart from others. 1. “Tell me more”Before we can articulate our views, we need Persist. If you’ve ever 2. “What do you mean by that?”to create a climate in which others want to read an autobiographycommunicate with us and want to share of someone you Persistence:our thoughts, plans and ideas. Last month,I wrote that others will go along with your admire, chances are What happens when you’re on fire with a sense of purpose, you’re becoming proficientideas if they get along with you as a person, they failed a great with the communication skill of C2 and stilland this holds true for communication, many times on their you’re not the powerful communicator youas well. Think about a person with which way to success. With had dreamed you’d be? Persist. If you’veyou enjoy working. When he or she hassomething to say, do you listen? If he or failure comes an ever read an autobiography of someone you admire, chances are they failed a greatshe has a new idea, even one that may be opportunity to learn, many times on their way to success. Withcontroversial or risky, do you at least hear and persistence is failure comes an opportunity to learn, andthis person out or do you shut them down and what sets the best of persistence is what sets the best of the besttune them out? Now conjure up an image of apart from those who are satisfied with thea person to whom you have a difficult time the best apart from path of least resistance.relating. If these people came to you with those who are satisÞedthe same idea, who would you support? with the path of least Practice:Great communicators understand thatcommunication starts before the message resistance. Perfect practice equals perfect results. Great communicators are like great athletes; they’reis sent. It starts with everyday relationships not born, they’re made, and they practiceand being interested in the other person, and their gift to build the most from what they’vewhat’s important to them. Skill: been given. Seize the opportunity today to A common misconception is that great practice improving your communicationWhen we focus on the other person and communicators are born. And while it may skills with the next person you encounter.on creating an environment that makes our come more naturally for some than for others, You might be surprised with the results.audience comfortable and eager to hear rest assured that powerful communicationwhat we have to say, we’re better able to skills are something you can learn, practicestrategically position our ideas for success. and become proficient in. When speakingWe’ve all heard the old adage that “a man one on one with an individual or even inconvinced against his will is of the same a small group, it helps to employ a simpleopinion still” but what can we do to keep listening skill called C2 for “confirm and Sean WolÞngton is the owner offrom falling into that trap ourselves? For clarify.” Confirm: While many sales people He can be contacted atstarters, I’ve outlined the four characteristics are great listeners, the challenge is to let the 866.802.5753, or by e-mail atof a powerful communicator. Foster these other person know that we are listening by swolÞ 12
  • JimAdams Mail and E-mail Follow-Up Who can remember person’s name that sold them their last customer immediately. Cell phone numbers the eight ingredients of vehicle. and e-mail addresses are the two most a Big Mac sandwich? important pieces of information that you That’s right, two all • 80 percent of fresh ups are never followed can obtain from your customer. The minute beef patties, special up by their sales person. your customer leaves the dealership, log your sauce, lettuce, cheese, opportunity and send the customer an e-mail. • 78 percent of the customers that shop for apickles, onion on a sesame seed bun. The There is a good chance that the prospect will vehicle buy one.reason we can remember these items 20 check his or her e-mail the same day that theyyears after McDonalds ran those spots is • 75 percent said the sales person was one were on your lot. Because you took the timerepetition. The golden rule of advertising is of the major reasons they purchased the get your name and your product back in frontthat “advertising works through repetition.” vehicle. of the customer you will have the advantageFollow-up is advertising. Owner follow-up over the competition. Here is an example ofreminds the customer who you are. New • 67 percent is the average closing ratio on a an e-mail:business contact introduces new clients to be back.your master list. Hot prospect follow-up “Thank you for taking the time to considerlets your customer know that their business • 60 percent is the average closing ratio on a the new Optima. I know that where youis important. So is follow-up really that repeat owner or referral. buy is as important as what you buy. I willimportant? Let’s take a look at the math. be in contact soon. Thank you again for the Let’s explore the different types of follow-up we must perform on a daily basis. opportunity to serve you.”• 99 percent of your customers will buy morecars. Hot prospect• 90 percent of our owners never receive The most important prospect that you have Jim Adams is the general manager atregular follow-up calls from the sales person. is the one that just left the dealership without Roper Kia in Joplin, MO. He can be purchasing. This fresh opportunity is in the contacted at 800.905.0627, or by e-mail at• 82 percent can not remember the sales market. You must make contact with this Announcing e-PULSETrak Version 5.0. Announcing e-PULSETrak Version 5.0. Now, 5 times faster for more efficiency. e-PULSETrak, the leader in Web-based Customer Relations Manager programs, has continued to evolve with a changing market. This fifth-generation program offers new and exciting features such as: • Campaign marketing to potential customers using virtually limitless characteristics. • Customer profiling to maintain historical data on all customers. • Service integration for improved customer data and referrals. • Value-added partnerships provide extra benefits such as liability protection with SecureTrak. 1-800-996-1952 The Power of Trackingnovember 2005 13
  • CarolMartin-Ardell Learn More About Yourself and Be a Better Leader This is the second always ran smoothly, you’d probably be out structured, direction-seeking colleagues may in a three-part series on the street, looking for work. panic and do nothing rather than risk making on how specific a mistake. Leave very specific instructions leadership styles One of your many strengths is your ability and underline your objectives; if you’ll be affect different to concentrate and follow through in unavailable, offer alternative resources for members of a work prolonged situations. Under your guidance, quick answers or advice. Cautious workersteam. Our previous AutoSuccess article, subordinates who seem scattered can need input on how to handle ambiguous“Beyond the Vision” discussed ways to become more organized and effective; situations; when you, as their manager, forcemaximize the benefits of traits associated help those who take on everything at once them to fend for themselves, they may seewith the Entrepreneur, a type of leader and are easily distracted, to focus on their you as an inattentive leader or one who isknown for being - among other things highly work. Show them how you set your own abandoning not only them but also theirpersonable and time driven. This month, our priorities. You’re a natural when it comes problems.focus is on authority figures who are more to determining which projects need attentionreserved, pensive and methodical in their all- first. Your streamlined, systematic approach Flexibility is keyaround business approach -- but still looking can make you invaluable as a leader. You’re probably an objective, fair-mindedto reach beyond the goals! person who weighs the pros and cons of Bear in mind, though, that people who are situations, assumes nothing and takes littleThe Persistent Leader Personality more hurried than you also become bored at face value. Those who know you likelyYou’re very driven, confident, serious and more quickly. Find ways to keep the level admire your ability to hold your ground andtechnically minded; you tend to establish of energy high at your dealership. Your not flinch, cave in to pressure or waver inroutines and work within schedules, and antsy staff members need to stay busy or your personal beliefs. Be careful, though,you expect subordinates to do the same. You their attention diverts to areas that may or as you may have a stubborn streak thatconsider yourself more listener than talker, may not be work-related. Cross-train them, needs to be addressed. Make it a practice toyet you have no qualms about speaking if possible, so that when their own work is be a little more flexible; give at least someout when others fail to follow you. You’re slow they’ll still have plenty of other tasks to consideration to what might at first seem likea leader who typically keeps a distance keep them occupied. an impractical idea. Sometimes it is worthfrom subordinates, does not micromanage it to make a change, take a break from theand appreciates it when people catch on You probably possess the tenacity needed to routine or consider someone else’s complex material quickly. You can be persevere on tedious tasks or work toward Keep an open mind!practical, objective and steadfast in your long-term ambitions; your quick-pacedbeliefs; you might classify yourself as a bold workers do not, though. To better hold Persistent Leaders tend to focus on the bigdecision maker who not only earns, but also their attention, break lengthy or tedious picture and may not always relate well tocommands, the respect of others. assignments into smaller segments; this gives people who dwell on the particulars of them the sense of quick accomplishment any given situation. You may find yourselfBecause Persistent Leaders value their they crave. Set short-term goals for your surrounded by detail-oriented workers, thoseprivacy and tend to keep to themselves, impatient salesperson; don’t plan objectives who feel compelled to check, recheck andthey often need to consciously enhance their for him or her that extend far into the future, sometimes even triple-check their skills. Very strong determination and a because these will almost certainly be cast If your administrative assistants, financialdirect style of communicating can sometimes aside, forgotten or ignored in favor of more analysts and support staff tend to scrutinizemake them seem stern or aloof. They’re readily attainable end results. small points, be patient with them. Showarguably among the best analysts and most them examples of work you deem acceptableadept troubleshooters, but are sometimes so You have an uncanny ability to detect flaws, so they have some objective to work toward.immersed in their own thoughts that they spot errors, and you likely offer candid Keep in mind that they need specifics; this iscome across as distant, removed from or remarks when critiquing subordinates. Learn just how they’re wired!uninterested in situations that seem exciting to praise their efforts as well, however, andor important to others. try not to reserve kudos for extraordinary Knowing more about your own behavioral accomplishments only. You probably have traits helps you better meet the needs ofIf you’re a Persistent Leader, you need to several people on your team who would your staff. You may be surprised to findensure that staff members can always feel appreciate a verbal -- if not physical – pat on that simple modifications of your owncomfortable discussing critical problems the back from you. management tactics can alleviate problemswith you. Communication is key when and increase productivity. Your unique assetsit comes to heading off trouble before it Helping those who seem clueless empower you and when utilized correctlywreaks havoc; however, if everyone’s afraid You’re likely confident about your own they become the building blocks needed toto talk to you, all lines will be down. Great business decisions and, therefore, may not lead a winning team!leaders are strong and resilient, but they’re feel compelled to discuss your pendingnot unapproachable; be accessible. And actions with anyone. However, rememberdon’t be afraid to occasionally point out your that some people are less independently Carol Martin-Ardell is a senior consultantown shortfalls, or see the positive side of an minded and may be reliant on you for with the Omnia Group. She can beotherwise gloomy situation. A large part of guidance and direction. When you’re contacted at 800.601.3216, or by e-mail atyour job is to restore order to chaos; if things unable to respond to their dilemmas, your 14
  • DavidKain Not Getting a Response From Your Internet Prospects, I Can Help A common challenge 2. Patience you are extending for their benefit. Some among Internet Being capable of calmly awaiting an simple examples tend to work the best but sales people is that outcome or result is difficult especially as often we forget to employ them because we customers don’t you are trained in traditional floor sales. think the customer is after the best price and respond to their e- Not being hasty or impulsive really assists that’s all. Research has shown price to be a mails or voicemails. Internet professionals. When I was selling big factor but not necessarily the first filterThe Internet sales role is a tough job; cars on the floor I knew how the numbers for the average customer. Try providingprobably the toughest selling role in the worked. I had to have enough ups working customer testimonials in your early e-mailsdealership. The Internet role reminds me of to get a few to end up buying. On the floor a (with permission, of course).a customer of mine that joked when he said 20 percent close rate is good performance so“the game of business is tough – that’s why to sell 20 you’ve got to work 100. Right? If For example:they don’t play it in short pants.” you are good at follow-up you are probably Here’s what a few of our customers had to say working more than 100 at any given time, so about our dealership Internet experience.To truly be successful and enjoy your role it is difficult to say which 100 the 20 sales “It was quick and easy – Jenny was soas an Internet sales professional, you must came from. Same with the Internet, only professional.”benefit from having some or all of the the numbers are a bit lower. A great close Mike and Mary Jones - Local Town, USAfollowing attributes. rate is 15 percent, so to sell 15 you have to work 100. Once again, which 100 are “I admit I was hesitant when Internet1. Empathy you working? If you do effective database Motors called me, but after I answered a fewIt really helps when you can identify with marketing with your lead management questions they guided me toward the rightand appreciate your customer’s situation, tool you could be working several hundred vehicle and I am really pleased.”feelings and motives. A fair question to ask or even several thousand, and it is hard to Dr. Rita Smith – Local Town, USAis how can I empathize with a customer that predict which one will raise its hand andonly provides a few pieces of information? decide to buy. Be patient – market to them Other ways to be persuasive includeIn a lot of cases you can mimic the path your all and when they are ready you will get your providing alternative vehicles to their initialcustomer took to get to your inbox. Identify chance. Be prepared and you’ll be the one selection that are similarly equipped but arethe lead source if possible and then take the they buy from. less expensive, or mentioning “sale” vehiclessame path and read what the lead source that provide exceptional value.conveyed to your customer. You only haveto do this a few times to see the promises Internet 4. Creativethat have been made to your customers alongthe way. marketing is a Internet marketing is a great way for the creative among us to express originality and great way for the come up with new and imaginative ways • “Click here for your free price quote” • “Hassle free Internet experience – no creative among to communicate with Internet prospects. Pictures, animations, creative writing, questions asked” us to express creative offers or whatever you can think • “Get the lowest price within minutes” • “Take delivery of your car in one originality of should be tried in your quest to stimulate the customer. The important thing to hour” and come up remember is your customer is more likely with new and to open your e-mail if they anticipate that imaginative waysOnline prospects have high expectations it will be good information or humorous orwhen they click the submit key and send interesting. Once you set the stage that thetheir private data over the World Wide Web. to communicate information you provide is worth looking atI like to approach this with the old salesadage of feel – felt – found. Use this to your with Internet you separate yourself from the other dealers in the market.advantage in writing your personal response prospects.or making your first call. Work on developing these attributes and you’ll get the customer to respond. OfFor example: 3. Persuasive course, being the best is helpful, too!“It must be exciting to consider the new___ Being persuasive is getting closer to the______. I felt the same way when I bought tactical action of creating an e-mail or amy last vehicle. I have found it to be a much word track. Your e-mails, voicemails and David Kain is the automotive Internet training specialist at Kain Automotive Inc.better experience for my customers when I phone conversations must be designed to He can be contacted at 800.385.0095, orcan ask just a few quick questions to help persuade the customer to accept your offer by e-mail at, oryou make the best possible decision.” of an appointment, a price or whatever it is visit 16
  • TomGegax Increase Brand Equity Marketing is the only to customer service. Four steps create big- better than the others, but a choice has to way to pull potential league recognition and market share: be made. The low-price, bag-your-own- customers toward groceries niche has been staked out by the you. From there, it’s 1. Differentiate. likes of Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Motel 6. like a relay team. You Most differentiation decisions focus on Plant your flag in the middle of the spectrum have the opportunity where you want to land on the price-quality- and value-conscious customers will payto pass them to sales and, after the purchase, service continuum. One isn’t necessarily a little more to get a little more — think Banana Republic, Applebee’s, Crate & Barrel. Customers of premium-positioned We specialize in helping auto dealers companies — Mercedes, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus — will shell out top dollar around the country achieve their goal: for top-quality products and white-glove service. SELLING MORE INVENTORY! A hybrid position is “low-price, nicer experience.” Look at Target Corp., Best 1. Our unique techniques of purchasing multi-media placement satisfy all of Buy, IKEA and JetBlue. Early on at Tires your advertising requirements, resulting in greater promotional exposure for Plus, this is how we differentiated ourselves your brand and dealership. to compete with the big boys. Some competitors could match our prices. But 2. We strive to provide you with more comprehensive geographical coverage nobody else was offering upscale stores with with increased frequencies, as well as directing you to a more cost effective use clean-cut sales consultants in dress shirts and of your existing advertising budget. ties, cappuccino machines, framed art, VCR movies and children’s play areas. 3. We help our clients gain valuable time and better use of their resources by not having to concern themselves with any advertising issues that distract them 2. Put your identity on the couch. from their Goal: To Sell More Inventory! Each and every exposure to a strong brand — a succinct, powerful name; a memorable tag line; a bold logo (think Nike swoosh) — cements your market position and produces free advertising. The name Tires Plus told people exactly what we did. Our tag line — “Warehouse Prices. World-Class Service.” — told them exactly what to expect. Any time people heard either, our brand message sank deeper into their consciousness. If your name doesn’t describe what you do, your tag line had better. 3. Tie your offering to your point of differentiation. Good companies never stop trying to make their offering more appealing. But that doesn’t mean they stray from their differentiating factors. Ryanair, the Dublin, Ireland–based no-frills airline that raised the low-airfare bar, continues to find ways to drive prices even lower. Freebies? Forget about it. Weary passengers “rent” pillows and blankets. They even pay extra for air- Call us today! Your goals will be met tomorrow. sickness bags. Instead of installing seat-back TVs, Ryanair will be renting handheld mini- 866.871.0245 entertainment centers. Continually scrutinize your offering. 18
  • continuedStudying your competitors’ offerings Something about your company (an imageprovides perspective on how to optimize ad)? Something about a specific offer (ayour strengths and neutralize theirs. To the direct response ad)? The former is good whenextent you can, shed your passion for your you aren’t well known; the latter is goodindustry and look at your products and when you are. Helping your customers getservices through your customers’ eyes. Ask to know you is as crucial as getting to knowyourself, if I was happy doing business with your customer. People want to know and likeone of my competitors, what would it take you before they’ll part with their get me to switch? Price? Speed? Service?Warranty? All of the above? I liked that • Find the right media mix.customers would come to our stores armed Do you know who and where your customerwith detailed competitive analyses. It gave is? Until you do, you’re wasting your money. we’re this close to a cureus opportunities to gain further insight into You gotta know whether to rifle (narrowour guests’ needs and desires. market) or shotgun (broad market). Ad agencies and PR firms hike up the quality of4. Promote, promote, promote. your promotions; just make sure their loyaltyOne thought bounced around my brain as is to you and not the media they purchase.I walked into our brand-new Burnsville,Minn., store: Where the heck are all the • Track the metrics.people? It was years ago, when we were Three of the most important measurementsstill the new kid on the block. But we had for TV and radio ads are:great people, competitive prices, better • Reach — the percentage of your targethours and a perfect location. We just had market you’re get our message out — I knew there’d be • Frequency — the number of timesno stopping us if we got people in the door. your targets see or hear your messageBut we were caught in a budget bind. Our in a given period. The term “3+ reach”advertising and public relations resources — often referred to as “effectivewere slim. Yet, if we didn’t juice up our reach” — refers to the percentagepromotional wattage, we couldn’t bring in of your audience that will see orenough revenue to cover costs. The only hear your spot at least three times. Juvenile Diabetesway to drive revenues up was to achieve top- Generally, it takes three or moreof-mind awareness in the marketplace. That exposures to a message to prompt an affects millions Mary Tyler Moorecalled for a promotional blitz. individual to act on it. International Chairman and causes long- • Cost per point — the cost to reach term complications like blindnessNot long afterward, we had an opportunity 1 percent of your target market. and kidney failure. Not to mentionto plaster our logo on the largest sign at the Calculate it by dividing your total costHubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, home by your reach. pain and worry no kid should haveto the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. The to live with. But we’re closer thanpackage also included 60 seconds of big- Reach and frequency numbers will vary ever to a cure. Your help makesscreen ad time for our tire mascot races at according to your offer and objectives. For life-saving research possible. Callall Twins games. My executive team thought instance, are you trying to drive traffic toI was crazy to commit $1 million over 10 your stores or focusing on branding? Are 1.800.533.CURE or visityears, particularly since the cost equaled our you launching a new product or advancing profits. They said we couldn’t afford a long-term campaign? Is your message timeit. “Guys,” I said, “we can’t afford not to.” sensitive?I pointed out that the contract would giveus the exposure and credibility our youngcompany needed. I swung the bat and didn’tlook back. It was a grand slam.Some advertising and PR promotionpointers: Tom Gegax served as the chairman and CEO of Tires Plus and is the founder of• Clarify your objective. Gegax Management Systems. He can beImagine sitting down with all your customers contacted at 800.723.2601, or by e-mail atat once. What would you tell them? 2005 19
  • fs feature solution An Interview by - RobPearson New, Fully Integrated Technology isThe following four dealerships have one 3. Quick quotes With much of our business coming from thething in common: they use an Internet-based, Quoting payments is much faster and easier; Internet, we get 50 to 75 e-mail inquiries afully integrated, front-end software system. the whole deal process can be done much day. This is great, but it presented a challengeIn the interviews below, they describe some more quickly than before we purchased the to our sales department. By the time we couldof the ways that using one system to handle system. It makes everything easier for us, get back to a customer who had e-mailed us,the entire sales process helps them sell more and this convenience is passed on to the the car he or she was interested in had oftenvehicles and satisfy more customers. customer. been sold. We needed one system. A single system for prospects, follow-up, desking 4. Access from anywhere and our Web site. Now the sales process isRicart Automotive Group, Columbus, Ohio I can be at home, I can be at our Ford store, simplified from responding to the first e-mail• our Mega Mall, our used car factory or even to finding and delivering the right car to the• 6,000-vehicle inventory, averaging 1,000 the airport, and still access the system. right customer. car sales per month• Interview with Rick Clark, Director of Car Vision, Norristown, Pa. Q. Has your new system affected sales? Internet Sales • • 450-vehicle inventory, averaging 180 car We have seen a big improvement in sales.One of the largest dealerships in the country, sales per month In September alone, about 35 sales wereRicart Automotive has come a long way from • Interview with Tom Schnader, General attributable directly to more effectivethe corner store opened by Paul Ricart in the Manager management of our follow-up activities.1950s. “We do everything, from pre-owned Before, we would send out one thank youvehicles at our used car factory, to franchises Car Vision just celebrated its 10-year at a time, one e-mail note at a time. Now weincluding Ford, Jeep, Mazda, Mitsubishi, anniversary with a move to a new six- send out a month’s worth, about 240 e-mails,Hyundai, Chrysler, Chevy, Isuzu, Nissan acre location and a grand re-opening. It every day. The system helps us send lettersand Kia,” Internet sales director Rick Clark specializes in pre-owned, imported vehicles, to sold customers thanking them, and thensaid. Ricart Automotive signed up for a new from Honda Accords to Mercedes Benz. continues to send sold customers a letter atsystem in January, at the NADA convention monthly intervals for the duration of theirin New Orleans. Q. What is the most important thing to loan. Not only are we hitting the people consider when choosing a technology who have bought from us, but we’re alsoQ. How does Ricart benefit from a complete provider? following up with the people who didn’tfront-end system? buy. We have substantially increased our Training is the most important thing. The be-backs, which have a 50 percent closingWe’re selling more cars at higher grosses best technology in the world is useless if ratio.because the system makes everything easier your people don’t know how to use it. Afor us. For example - system needs to be simple to use, and plenty Rhoden Automotive Group, Council Bluffs, of training must be available. We are 60 Iowa1. Automated follow-up days into a new system, and today we have • www.rhodenauto.comBecause we are such a large organization, a trainer on site helping us maximize our • 100-vehicle inventory, 50 to 60 car salesit can be hard to keep track of customer investment. In fact, he even helped us sell per monthfollow-up. Now follow-up is done daily a car to a customer who was $7,200 upside • Interview with Chris Belair, Generalby our system. It prints out the letters, pre- down in her trade and had only $500 to put Manageraddressed, ready to send. You set up when down. She said she had been to four otheryou want to call customers and it pops up on dealerships and found nothing. We put her Rhoden Auto Group specializes in late model,your screen and reminds you to call them - parameters into the new system, ran a scan pre-owned vehicles, 2004 to 2005 models.on their birthday, for example, or when they of our inventory, and came up with a 2003 The main lot is just across the Missouri Riverhit their one-year anniversary with us. Nissan Altima. She couldn’t believe it – “I from Omaha, and a large part of it’s business can have that?” She drove it away, one very comes from there.2. Easy data input satisfied customer. The right technology withSales people can swipe a customer’s driver’s great training is helping us close more deals General manager Chris Belair has beenlicense through a scanner and it loads the and satisfy more customers. using a complete front-end system sinceperson’s name, address, everything off their 1995. “I attribute approximately 30 to 40license, and searches the data base to see if Q. Why did you feel you needed a new percent of my success as a top high grosserthey’ve been here before. system? through the years to our system. Since we’ve 20 AutoSuccess
  • Key to More Sales and Higher Grosses Dealers Report an Additional $750 to $1000 Per Deal had it, we make an additional $750 to $1,000 Sales manager Mark Myers enjoys selling John Palmer at Quad Cities Suzuki per deal. And my job has gotten a lot easier.” cars for “fun and profit” at the Steve Austin Davenport, Iowa Auto Group, where he works with a sales Q. How does Rhoden Automotive use the staff of nine to help customers purchase all-in-one technology? new and pre-owned Chevrolets, Cadillacs, Pontiacs, Buicks and other makes of used I use it to maximize inventory - In addition vehicles. to our main lot, I have five different locations that I can draw from. It would be hard for me Q. What were your priorities in selecting a to walk the inventory every single day. But front-end system? with a couple of clicks I can know exactly what’s out there at all times. We maximize I was looking for greater efficiency and the inventory we have and generate the liked the simplicity of handling all sales highest possible profit per customer. department operations with one system. I use it to do everything I need to do to run If you don’t have software that simultaneously the dealership. It handles desking, submitting scans lenders and vehicles, it’s very difficult apps, rehashing, follow-up and inventory to find the best possible deal. With booked-out control much more efficiently than using inventory and updated lender programs it’s several systems. easy to identify your best profit opportunities. I’ve seen how other dealerships do it, and it’s In fact, the new technology has made kind of hit and miss because it is difficult to business development a one-person job for know all the bank guidelines and parameters, us. I put in exactly what I want to happen retention. The new system saves me time and and how they apply to every vehicle in stock. with a particular type of customer. Then makes me money. That’s the bottom line. I can select the most profitable vehicle and every morning my letters are automatically lender combination for every customer in printed for me, e-mails are automatically just seconds. sent out and I get a daily work plan that tells Managers are faced with many tasks and can me who to call and why. The program does manage them effectively with a little help. Steve Austin’s Auto Group, Bellefontaine, it all. A complete front-end solution can provide Ohio this help. Prospects and follow-up can be • Q. Have your sales been affected? managed by the same system that manages • 170-vehicle inventory, 85 car inventory, desks deals for maximum gross, sales per month Our sales have increased, with an additional submits apps, rehashes, updates the Web site • Interview with Mark Myers, Sales 10 sales in the last month, and we’re also and prints window stickers. Manager seeing better customer retention and service In addition to the benefits of using a single, Mark Myers, Sales Manager, fully integrated front-end system, the dealer Steve Austin’s Group, saves money because he or she doesn’t need Bellefontaine, OH to deal with multiple vendors. One system provides all the tools needed, a software solution for every step of the sales process. For help in implementing a system or to have your questions about this technology answered, please contact Rob Pearson. Rob Pearson is the national sales manager at ProMax Online. He can be contacted at 866.870.2760, or by e-mail at Feature Solution 21
  • MarkTewart Negotiate Like A Professional Negotiating can be Sales people should be taught the expected death of John Kennedy Jr. might have been done in a professional procedures. Call these routing procedures. prevented with more preparation. Although manner that can Routing procedures will define everyone’s negotiating may not be life or death for a increase customer responsibilities, from the moment a customer sales person, it can feel like life or death to satisfaction while is greeted until they are delivered, including a sales person that wants to help his or her helping to protect both the necessary paperwork and who initiates customer and doesn’t know how.parties’ interests. what. Included in the routing procedures are items known as, black and white items. The following are few simple negotiatingLet’s first look at some of the problems Black and white items are the things that techniques:that give negotiating a bad name and then should never vary at your dealership.look at the solutions. A lack of training in These items are to be defined by your top 1. Flinch - always flinch at any proposalnegotiating in the automotive industry has management and can include such things as or counter proposal.put sales people at a disadvantage. Usually, not quoting discounted prices on the lot ora sales person is taught how to negotiate never low-balling on price. 2. Split the Split - When customersin a learn-as-you-go method. Although all offer to split the difference, offerlearning must be accomplished by doing, Another source of problems in negotiating back to split their proposal again.some preparation has to be done to make is the misuse of traditional negotiatingthe learning experience more effective. techniques. The “higher authority technique” Example: $3,000 apartAll sales people and managers should go is a technique of always deferring to a higher $1,500 split offeredthrough a course on basic and advanced authority for a decision. The technique is a $ 2,250 your counternegotiating. Assuming that sales managers solid negotiation tactic that has been run intocan automatically teach your sales people to the ground by automotive people. Having 3. Bracket proposals - If your desirednegotiate professionally is asking for trouble. your sales people run to the manager more gross profit is $3,000 and theHow did the managers learn to negotiate? than once or twice in negotiations is a crime. customer offers you $1,500, propose Not giving the sales person any latitude or back as much above your desired decision-making capability in negotiations profit as they proposed below, STOP wasting $$ leads to the yo-yo effect that creates mistrust example: $4,500 gross would be in the sales person and customer. the same $1,500 amount above your on big recruiting desired gross, as they had offered When is the last time a sales person in below. Most likely they will offer to your dealership was taught what to do split the difference and it also lends boards! when a customer asks for a lower down payment, lower payment, higher trade credence to your offer. values or a reduction of the sales price? 4. Give/get - Try always to get When Þshing, Most veteran sales people in dealerships something in return for giving go where the Þsh are: all over the country could not verbally and something. This will stop the written give you at least three or four steps customer from nibbling and eroding 19,400+ to an objections. How many objections in negotiation are there? Most objections fall your gross. If you don’t use give/get, you will not only give away all your Techs Online into only a few categories. Have your sales gross but will also create a shopper. people role-play often on objections and the potential answers to them. Example: “Mr. Everyone negotiates everyday. Whether it’s Customer, we would be happy to lower your on vehicles, houses, relationships or pay2,800+ Car Sale monthly budget $50 a month. Did you want to go 60 months instead of 48, or put $1,500 plans etc., everyone negotiates on things we sometimes didn’t even realize we had People Online more cash investment, or look at the car with negotiated on. Somehow people walk about $50 a month less in equipment, or look away from negotiating things other than at a lease/Smart Buy program? Which would automobiles feeling extremely positive about12,000+ Dealer be best for you?” Whether you like my the process. Why? Ask how you would feel words or there are some others you prefer is negotiating at your dealership and what you Mgrs. Online not as important as having a way to handle could do to make it better for the customer, the objections and practicing them over sales person, manager and dealership. and over until the sales people know their negotiating skills. www.ACTAutoStafÞ “He or she who prepares the most, wins the Mark Tewart is the president of Tewart most.” A large part of negotiating is knowing Enterprises. He can be contacted when and how to negotiate, as well as at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at being prepared for all situations. The tragic 22
  • MichaelYork Boring Organizations and Becoming Uncommon How does it happen? Got your attention yet? If so, how do you the “emotional economy?” They’re out there, How, as an get the attention of your customers? And I working for you or against you. And most organization, can you mean your customers inside the organization organizations are too busy going under to get from wherever you as well as outside. Chances are if you’re in notice that help really is available. are now, be it ordinary, an under-performing organization, you’re u n d e r- p e r f o r m i n g , boring, and your customers and workers are Let’s go to the list and see if any of this soundsstagnant, boring, etc., to remarkable? Is it bored, or soon will be. familiar.really possible? Sure is, it’s already beendone. Did you know that right now there are Do something amazing, quickly. Common mistakes of “common”selling organizations that are at double-digit organizations:revenue growth? Month over month, year And it doesn’t matter how big you are, 1. Poor performance environmentover year? Begin by looking for the clues that because as the book says, it’s not the big that 2. Neglecting things that are easy to dosuccessful (read: uncommon) organizations eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow! 3. Wanting or wishing instead of takinghave left behind and start making a few the needed actions for changedecisions in that direction. You’ve got questions: the marketplace has 4. Not challenging workers to continue answers.When was the last time you looked improvementSounds easy. Feels hard. But it’s the start up from the day-to-day grindstone to see what 5. Leadership not focused on commonthat’s the hardest part. the landscape looks like? When was the last outcomes or strategic plans time you actually spent some time on being 6. Thinking “sales training” instead ofAfter that comes momentum, and the law “pro-active” instead of just reacting to all of “revenue generation”of inertia begins to work with you and not the day’s problems? 7. Not getting help from independentagainst you. First things first. Whatever you thinkers/outside is boring unless you do something to make Quick sand is slow to pull its victims under,it remarkable. Remarkable in the way you say but there is time to escape if you know you’re Poor performance environmentit, sell it, service it, make it or deliver it. Go! sinking. Ever hear of the “surplus society” or Expending major time or energy on minor TM iDeal Subscription $72/year • Access information instantly by tapping the screen • Email notifications when updates are available • Capture sales leads and manage appointments • Available for Palm OS and Pocket PC platforms A U T O M O T I V E Car Subscription $53/year PRICE BOOK Truck Subscription $89/year • Used daily by over 55,000 sales professionals • Updated books or inserts are sent automatically • Pocket-size with quick-access thumb tab index • Free replacement books for lost or worn books 24
  • continuedthings, negative attitudes, gossip, grumbling As a consultant, or what the marketplaceor complaining. Bare walls that provide little refers to as a trainer when I’m asked toor no inspiration or positive environment. improve an organization or team or group ofWhat does your office environment say about individuals with sales training or leadershipyour company? Inside reality vs. outside training. There are certain steps to making theperspective. What do your customers think? greatest impact with the time available.Neglecting things that are easy to do. That time could be an hour, a day or multipleMaking the routine amazing! (How do you days, but the formula remains the same.answer the phone?) Creating action teamsthat can address attitudes and provide more 1. Expose the need for improvementsuggestions (ideas). How do you wow 2. Create awareness and understanding ofyour customers? Your workers? Interested the needspectators? 3. Inspire the desire and commitment to improveWanting or wishing instead of taking the 4. Provide tools, assistance and coachingneeded actions for change. toward the improvementChange is uncomfortable but necessary for 5. Review, evaluate, implement andachievement and improvement. The greatest continue improving.obstacle to top performance is the status quo.If you know something should or must be Experience and training are over-rated indone, do it (long vs. short term). today’s marketplace. One is used as a crutch - “I’ve got 10 years experience; why am INot challenging worker to continuing here?” And the other is like medicine - youimprovement. don’t want to take it and you’re pretty sure youHow about offering a $100 bonus for a book won’t like on a must read best-seller? Creatingcelebration and reward for accomplishment It’s more than just training … it’s creating aand top performance (individual). Create learning experience. An overall improvementexpectation. Offer incentives to attend process or event with information that’sseminars. Change the way your people think! delivered in a way that they can understand and gain from. It should challenge theLeaders and managers not focused on individual personally to be better!common outcomes or strategic plans.Very common! Everyone has a different idea, To improve skills, abilities, understanding,vague idea or no idea how we win! performance, efficiency, attitude or any combination of the above.Training is boring, learning is controlled bythe individual and generating revenues should Different individuals need different promptsbe understood and developed on a broader to create a need (or awareness of that need)scale than just sales training. to commit to personal development and continuing improvement.Independent thinkers and outside consultants.Who needs ’em? We all do. Someone who And your 10 years of experience is not a freecan see the forest and the trees that can be pass that says you already know everythingchopped down, or the ones to leave standing. and this training stuff must be for someoneHow are you changing the way individuals else. If the customer doesn’t get somethingthink in your organization? How negative has remarkable from your organization (product,the small talk become? Can it be changed, or service, buying experience, etc) then it’sare you resigned to just deal with it as part of everybody’s fault!the routine? Training alone is not enough to improve thatTough questions all. And the common process or your performance. Why?denominators of under-performingorganizations. If you’d like my short list on “The 4 Factors of Improvement” send an e-mail to theThat’s it. The list of common mistakes in a address below.boring marketplace. Making mistakes is aclue to radical success; making the same onesis a sign of stagnant and failing attitudes andperformance. Michael York is an author and professional speaker. He can be contacted atFor the sake of time, that’s the short list. 800.668.5015, or by e-mail atRecognize anything that looks familiar at, or visityour place? 2005 25
  • ChrisAlford Use ‘Seuss Sense’ for Rejection “Never, never, never embodies persistence, as he refuses to take you can say to a mountain, ‘Move!’ and give up.” “no” for an answer from his customer, a it will.” Professionals know. Rejection -Winston Churchill grumpy curmudgeon of a client, mentally isn’t personal. Professionals never endorse unshakable to trying something new. negative opinions. Therefore, “I do not like The greatest killer of green eggs and ham” is NOT an “I do not the spirit of a sales In “Green Eggs and Ham”, Sam calmly like you,” –it’s merely a red flag that says,person is the fear of rejection. While many presents old inventory to the Cat. Sam “You haven’t built enough value”. Usesales people report few lost sales from it, makes sixteen different closes, stays “Seuss Sense!” Slow down, build value, andrejection by design, usurps a fundamental focused, denying rejection as it comes, and ask for the sale again. You must know yourneed that sales people have to maintain finds success after an amazing seventeenth product in order to build value. When Samemotional momentum, to be accepted attempt. “OK. Maybe you wouldn’t like it gets rejected after his box and the fox story,and liked. Sales managers report lack of in here or there, but would you like it in a he doesn’t give the Cat a business card. Hepersistence as the number one cause of lost house or with a mouse?” Sam never gave finds a new angle, creates mental ownershipsales. Globally, dealerships scream follow- up. He never made excuses because he was and discusses the advantages of owning theup is the culprit for the number one loss of prepared, Sam consistently tells the Cat he product in a house with a mouse. Sam issales. Who is right? Could it be an initial WILL like it, and the customer respected Sam ready. We can all do that.rejection, and the fear of more rejection for it. Not only did the customer eventuallythat kills confidence and discourages sales see value and buy the eggs, he also bought “Seuss Sense” two- When the rapport ispeople from being persistent and following the ham. Because of Sam’s belief and love warm you’ll weather the storm.through in closing a sale? for both products, the customer ultimately With rejection, too often we prematurely told Sam that he too, loved both. abandon the value of rapport building andVeteran sales people know to instinctively doubt our sales skills, perhaps running for aremain calm, confident, and persistent The customer also agreed to give Sam brochure or manager. Not Sam. Green eggswhen presented with rejection in sales. referrals. and ham had spiffs on it, so Sam buildsThis calm, but confident response-ability is more rapport! He maintains eye contact, hea key component for all successful people It doesn’t matter what you sell, use “Seuss never once stops smiling, and establishesactually taught to most of us as children. Sense” when confronted with rejection. the kind of rapport that picks the locks ofWhile rejection may clearly be Beyond Your closed minds. Like getting a toddler to eatControl, one famous Dr. believes how you green foods, Sam looks his customer inrespond to it is not. Believing in your self the eye, believes that “new green” must bePerhaps in youth, your parents taught you is paramount before given a chance, and his rapport weathers the rejection. Sam does what we should all see certain events as inevitable – “Only gaining customertwo things are certain, death and taxes” conÞdence. Customers “Seuss Sense” three- Believe in what– that you should accept life and move on.You should accept the rained-out game and can sense a sales you’re selling Sam, like all sales people, understands thatnot freak-out when a flight is postponed. (A person’s level of value is important. Green eggs and hamcommon trait of the novice flyer) Keeping personal conÞdence, may fly off the shelves on St. Patrick’s Daythat in mind, rejection continues to put anoverwhelming chink in the proverbial armor and respond when “green” is easy, but the other 364 days “green” must be SOLD. Sam’s belief inof today’s sales people. accordingly. I read a green eggs and ham allowed his customer famous book that says, to believe in them too. Sam proves beyondSales people fear rejection only if they arenot prepared to handle rejection. Train “If you believe strongly the shadow of a doubt, when you know you’re your selling and believe in whatyour sales people to be ready. Dr. Seuss enough, you can say you’re selling, your customer believes inwrote children’s books about four decades to a mountain, ‘Move!’ you. In sales, enthusiasm and confidenceago. Seuss simplified in story form, howto overcome and by-pass rejection. His and it will.” will never go out of style. Are you building it everyday?understanding of the dynamic allowed him toaddress rejection in one of the most popular “Seuss Sense” one- Believe in yourself Young or old, the timeless lessons are thebooks ever written for children, “Green Eggs Three times on the first three pages Sam best. Believe in yourself, your product andand Ham” (first published in 1960). In this tells the world “I am Sam”! Why? Seuss persistence will instinctively follow. It justsimple book, Seuss coupled the relationship knew the importance of knowing who you makes “Seuss Sense”.between selling and rejection in a most are before selling a customer and he madeinteresting way. sure we understood too! Believing in your And it’s just that simple. self is paramount before gaining customerIn “Green Eggs and Ham” you meet Sam, confidence. Customers can sense a sales Chris Alford is the president of Moivatea scruffy, funny looking salesman facing person’s level of personal confidence, and America and Chris Alford Concepts. Hethe undisputed number one killer of sales respond accordingly. I read a famous book can be contacted at 866.881.9315, or by--strong rejection. Sam, a.k.a. “Sam-I-am,” that says, “If you believe strongly enough, e-mail at 26
  • TonyDupaquier The Importance of Training to Maintain Compliance Look at some of the state is not always legal in another. sorry on this issue. Remember: the Buyer’s areas that could lead Guide only tells the customer who warrants to legal concerns and 7. How important is a menu when it comes the vehicle, regardless if it is the dealership profitability issues to ensuring that every product is offered to or the manufacturer. within a dealership. every customer? How many of these 11. How important is it for a businessare you aware of? The easiest way to ensure that every manager to be aware of all the stipulations customer is offered every product is to use concerning the FIN/CEN IRS 8300 form?1. Is the base payment supposed to be either a paper menu or a customizable menu,quoted using the rate and term only, with such as MasterMenu. The most predominate It is very important. The form must be filledno additional products included, to every advantages are legal compliance and out when cash in excess of $10,000 is givencustomer, every time? profitability. A menu alone, however, does to any business. There are a few more parts not ensure 100 percent legal compliance to it, however. Perhaps the one that is theIf the base payment is not fully disclosed or maximize profitability. It is the process least known is that when any amount overto your customer using the rate and term leading up to the menu that also ensures $10,000 is given to a business in one year,only, you could be accused of packing the compliance. the money must be reported. Does yourpayment. dealership’s operating system have the 8. Does every customer who wants to ability to track how much money a customer2. Does the customer need to be aware that purchase a vehicle need to be submitted to gives your dealership in one year? If it doesall products are optional? a lender? not, does your provider intend to pay the fines when the IRS finds out you did notYes. report all the customers you should have? It is solely up to When in doubt, fill it out. A good practice3. Who is the lender when the contract is the dealership to is to fill out a FIN/CEN IRS 8300 form forsigned? every customer who puts down any sizableThe dealership is. The dealership’s name, ensure customers’ amount of fact, is stated right on top of the contract. identities before 12. Does a dealership need to check everyThere are only a couple of states where youcan have the customer re-sign a contract. consummating a customer against the SDN list?However, in most states, when customerssign the contract – whether it is approved or transaction. According to the USA Patriot Act, no U.S. business can conduct transactions withnot – the customer has a valid contract, and anyone on the OFAC SDN list. If you arethe customer can hold the dealership to it. Every customer who wants the dealership to unfamiliar with what this means, it is the secure a loan must be submitted to a lender. Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC)4. Does every customer need to be offered If not, you are in violation of the Equal Specialty Designated Nationals (SDN) list.every eligible product? Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). Regardless To learn more about this subject and to of how ridiculous the deal may look, you view the list, visit To checkYes. If every product isn’t offered to must still submit the application to a lender. a customer’s status on the list, there areevery customer, you are susceptible to a several electronic options you can use, but itdiscrimination lawsuit. 9. Must a business manager use the same must be done by every dealership. starting price for the same service contract?5. Does a contract or waiver need to be 13. Does a dealership need to ensureincluded in every deal? Yes. If he or she does not, it could be customers’ identities? considered discrimination. On any productYour paperwork needs to be your alibi in the that is sold, there must always be a pre- Identity theft is just the newest in a longevent of legal action. If you do not have a determined starting price. list of concerns facing the business office.contract or waiver, who is to say you even It is solely up to the dealership to ensureoffered a product to a customer? 10. Must an “As-Is” Buyer’s Guide be customers’ identities before consummating signed by a customer for every pre-owned a transaction. If the dealership does not6. How important is it to have a waiver and demo vehicle that is sold? and a person uses a stolen identity or stolenapproved by the dealership’s legal council? credit information to purchase a vehicle, the The law clearly states that a Buyer’s dealership will be 100 percent responsibleWaivers are easy to come by and easy to Guide must be signed on any pre-owned, for full restitution to the lender.make, but is the waiver legal? In many demonstration, or any other vehicle that hasstates, a legal document, as in a waiver, miles exceeding a normal test drive. What is Tony Dupaquier is the director ofmust have a minimum font size, specific a normal test drive? The FTC doesn’t clearly F&I training for American Financial &wording and be on a specific colored paper. state what normal is. Many dealerships have Automotive Services Inc. He can beYour lawyer should approve the waiver that a mileage boundary for all vehicles, some as contacted at 866.856.6754, or by e-mail atis used in your store. A waiver used in one low as 500 miles. It is better to be safe than 28
  • Ever wonder where your new dealership went after the bank said no?Don’t let your dreams end up in the dumps. At Chrysler Financial, we understand that in order for your business to grow,sometimes your dealership needs to grow, too. In fact, we understand it better than anyone. From capital loans and lines of credit tofloorplan programs and training, our people, products and services are solely dedicated to helping you sell more vehicles. In fact, we’recompletely invested in your long-term success. So choose us for all of your financing needs. Together, we’ll build a stronger dealership. Chrysler Financial is a member of the DaimlerChrysler Services Group.
  • PattiWood Talking Hands Understanding in the left hemisphere of the brain so you recalled on average 20 percent more items gestures can help you can explain things logically and rationally. than people who were not. In a discussion increase your sales; Using the left hand stimulates the emotional of this research another author, Dr Howard they help you think right hemisphere, so you can communicate Nussbaum, said, “These findings suggest and help you read everything from excitement to frustration. that gesture reduces the cognitive load of what other people are Caution, this may be dangerous as the right explanation, freeing capacity that can bethinking. The first thing they do is show hemisphere’s only accessible verbal language used on a memory task at the same time.”your personality to your prospect. Because is cuss words. Translation: Gesturing frees up our brain.your arms come out from your heart theyshow how open and receptive you are to Research shows bilingual people tend to useeveryone you meet and interact with, so more gestures when they’re speaking in theirwhen you open your hands wide and hold Research shows non-dominant language. They use the gesture bilingual peoplethem high you show you are open to your to help them think. So you see again if you’reprospect when you hide them behind your having a hard time expressing a point orback or glue them to your sides you showyou are not willing to embrace the person or tend to use finding the right words to say as you speak one on one, using gestures lets your arms andsituation you’re in. Personality tests say that more gestures hands help write out your message.the more outgoing you are as a person, themore you tend to use your arms and the more when they’re Not sure if your prospect or clients is reallyyou gesture broadly. The quieter and moreintroverted the less you move your arms speaking in their understanding what your saying? Read their gestures. How would you know if someoneaway from your body. How do you gesture non-dominant you’re talking to needs more explanationand what does it say about you? language. They or is ready to buy? Look for a mismatch between their gesture and their words whenMaking it perfectly clearWe use more gestures when we’re excited or use the gesture they explained the information. If someone says they see where the interest rates will gotrying to communicate a difficult message. to help them down if they sign with your plan, but theirThere are more than 100,000 possible handsignals using different combinations of think. hands gesture upwards they are confused. If your prospect is repeating a point you’vepostures, arm, wrist or finger movements. made and the gestures don’t match, or seemAs a professional speaker, I use an enormous out of sync with what they are saying younumber of gestures. Research says lecturers know you need to clarify or risk loosing themake twice as many hand gestures as people Help me remember sale. If you want to know if your prospectwho are talking one on one. Gesturing Gesturing may even help you remember is truly excited you can gain insight fromactually helps you access information in your things and let your brain rest. In the looking at their gestures. Sometimes theybrain and helps you form your messages. study, led by Dr Susan Goldin-Meadow, a will use hands to create an exclamation mark psychology professor at the University of in the air, or they will do little choppingOne night after a week on the road, my body Chicago, shows one way our gesturing helps movements up and down or sideways. Asand mind were especially tired. As I began an us remember information. In the study 26 always, you have to look at the whole bodyafter-dinner speech, I noticed I was having children and 32 adults who were observed to tell you the whole truth of a nonverbaltrouble thinking and wasn’t as animated to use gestures went through a five-step message, because if the chopping motionsas usual. This was not good news as the exercise. First, they solved age-appropriate are overly forceful and aren’t accompaniedaudience had just finished a large steak and math problems. Then they had to memorize with a smile they should be read as symbolicbaked potato dinner preceded and followed by a list of items. In the third exercise they weapons. They are chopping you to pieces!an open bar. They needed every bit of moxy were asked to explain how they had solvedI could muster. I increased my animation the math problems. That was a tricky part So as you go out this month notice that handsand gestures, and suddenly had no trouble of the research, having to explain increased talk and do the crazy hand jive!speaking the words. They came out smoothly the amount of work their brain had to doand effortlessly, when only a moment before I in addition to remembering the items, afterwas struggling. And my animations energized that they were tested on their recall of thethe audience. If you are ever in a situation memorized items. Finally, they were askedwhere you are struggling for the right word, to give the explanation again, this time Patti Wood is the president of Communication Dynamics. She can betry to move around and gesture — even a little keeping their hands still on a tabletop, contacted at 800.849.3651, or by e-mailmovement will help you verbalize. Using and were tested again. The research found at, or visitthe right hand stimulates the speech centers that people who were allowed to gesture 30
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  • ToddSwickard Search-Engine Marketing, Are You Ready Many dealerships front page inviting. Make sure your menus them. Drop an e-mail with a question about are experimenting are easy to read and understand. Make sure a car and financing. You will find out exactly with search-engine your phone number, address and hours are where you need to improve. marketing for the easy to find. More than three clicks can get first time. The everyone confused and aggravated. Make Third, understand what is happening on buzz is that search- sure that you can find anything you need at your Web site. Measure and examine trafficengine marketing offers the best return on your dealership in less than three clicks. and look for trends. Learn which vehiclesinvestment for your marketing dollars. Some generate the most traffic. Promote specialdealerships have jumped to the head of the offers for these vehicles on your Webpack and are enjoying incredible results. ...understand what is site. Increase your stock and variety ofCar shoppers are visiting their sites andsubmitting their information or just calling happening on your these vehicles. Is it important to find the price point of the vehicles that people arethe dealership directly. Other dealerships Web site. Measure and searching for on your site? Are most peoplehave been less successful on their initial examine trafÞc and looking for $6,000 trucks or are the majorityattempts. Search-engine marketing can workfor every dealership. look for trends. Learn of your Internet shoppers looking for late model luxury sedans? Learn which vehicles which vehicles generate are hottest among your Internet shoppers.Dealership Web sites are changing. The the most trafÞc. By stocking more of these vehicles you cannext generation Internet sites will look andfeel the same, but behind the scenes more Promote special offers grow your Internet sales.tracking will take place. Dealerships will for these vehicles on Keep track of the phone calls generated bybe able to measure where their Web traffic your Web site. your site. The quantities at most stores areis coming from and what percentages are staggering. For every one electronic contactconverted into deliveries. Measurement will you get from your site (e-mail, contact us,provide data to improve conversion rates Second, make sure you can handle the inventory request, finance requests, etc.);and maximize the impact of dollars spent incoming information. Make sure you have you are receiving three phone calls. Youbringing Internet shoppers to the site. a dedicated phone number and someone should track the calls generated by your answers it. Don’t let everything go to Web site and count the resulting sales whenEffective search engine marketing will voicemail, or worse, just let it go to the front calculating the return on investment for yourdrive traffic to your Web site. Be prepared desk. Make sure that someone is checking Web site and search engine handle this additional traffic the correct the e-mails frequently and responds with theway. appropriate information and level of service. Don’t type in all capital letters. Mystery shop Todd Swickard is the CEO of Auto DealerThere are three key elements to getting ready your own Web site on a regular basis. Have TrafÞc, Inc. He can be contacted atfor traffic in addition to making your Web a friend call the phone and see how long it 866.871.0247, or by e-mail atsite search-engine friendly. First, make the takes your sales department to get back with INCREASE PROFITS UP TO 500% W I T H A U T O A C H I E V E R S O F A M E R I C A Our Signature Service has been exclusively designed to increase front and back end profits up to 500%. Initially this program was limited to high-end automobile dealerships that were looking to increase their profits dramatically, without comprising CSI. 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Instead, we will teach you how to maximize profits with the products and services you currently have access to. If need be, we will help you establish relationships with companies offering top quality state of the art products and services that you will be proud to offer in your dealership. We will have you surpassing any previous profit expectations with our proven techniques that are straightforward, effective and professional. The only question you should have for yourself is, “What are you waiting for?” For any other questions or inquiries please contact us toll free or visit our website. Call Today for a Free Evaluation and to Verify Your Eligibility 877.615.1AAA (1222) 32
  • ScottGruwell The Secret to Selling 384 Extra Cars in One Month At Courtesy and system for generating traffic and turning Chevrolet, we’re traffic into leads, but the secret to success using our Business lies in your staff’s ability to turn those leads Development Center into appointments and appointments into and the Internet to sell sales. To do this, you need to find and train 384 additional vehicles the right people and give them the tools theyin one month alone. The cornerstone of our need to do their job. The right people for theBDC is our digital marketing system that BDC are those with excellent phone skillsgenerates incremental sales and drives over and a passion for customer satisfaction. Thehalf of the phone traffic to the dealership. right tools will automate much of the follow-In a short amount of time, the BDC staff up process and provide the reports to managehas learned to use the Web as an incredible and measure results. Installing a successfulmarketing medium, and as a result we’re BDC is not a simple task, but when the BDCusing the system to increase sales, F&I, helps take the gross profit from $84,000 perservice and parts business for a lot less month to $582,000 per month, it’s an effortmoney than traditional advertising media. that’s worth the investment.As a result, our cost per sale ranges from$125 to $200, which is a lot less than our The Bottom Line:traditional advertising. • Courtesy Chevrolet’s BDC sold 384 extra cars and generated $582,000The System in one month.The system includes a high-end custom • Courtesy became the No. 1 ChevyWeb site and a prospecting/CRM tool that dealer in the U.S. and finished theautomates most of the BDC’s e-mail activity. year as the No. 2 Chevy dealer inAutomation enables the team to focus its the country. you are his cureenergy on the phone, and it’s setting more • Courtesy was named one of the Topappointments as a result. Our new Web 10 eDealers of the increased our leads by more than 400 • Courtesy has successfullypercent but it was only one part of our new established a regional Internetsystem. The system also includes the e-mail Buying Service that generates highand search engine marketing tools to create quality leads at the lowest cost pertraffic and the CRM tool to manage our sale of any lead source it uses.Internet, phone and showroom opportunities • Courtesy’s cost per sale ranges Juvenile Diabetesso we can turn leads into sales. After the first from $125 to $200 since installing affects millionsmonth we sold 40 units, then 75, then 150, its new system. Mary Tyler Moorethen 200 and 380. International Chairman and causes long- Scott Gruwell is the new car manager at term complications like blindnessThe BDC Launch Courtesy Chevrolet. He can be contacted and kidney failure. Not to mentionWe found that the secret to success hinges on at 866.871.9178, or by e-mail atthe people. It’s true that you need a strategy pain and worry no kid should have to live with. But we’re closer than ever to a cure. Your help makes life- saving research possible. Call 1.800.533.CURE or visit “Our BDC took us from 40 - 384 sales” - Scott Gruwellnovember 2005 33
  • KarenDillon How to Win Back Your Service Customers Are your customers The majority of dealers today offer only a needed services, creating more revenue for returning to request for appointment on their Web site; the dealership. your dealership however, this request still requires someone for scheduled at the dealership to respond to the customer There is no question that a full-service walk- maintenance? either via telephone or e-mail. around is the most effective and powerful Dealerships have lost selling tool for the service advisor. Take amore than 80 percent of non-warranty service This request form doesn’t get used to any look at the potential for increased servicebusiness to the independents. This is a huge great extent, as the customer still doesn’t department revenue. For a dealership thatsource of potentail revenue for dealers. have a confirmed appointment until he or writes 1,500 repair orders a month, if she hears from someone at the dealership, only 10 percent of customers make theirAt an average dealership, the 20 percent of prompting them, most times, to pick up the appointments online, this would free upcustomers that do return for non-warranty telephone to call to make the appointment, 1,200 minutes, or provide an additionalservice generate $125,000 in monthly so they can plan their schedule accordingly. 20 hours (150 calls at 8 minutes/call) perparts and service revenue. If a dealer can This just does not fulfill the service month for the service advisors to spend onsomehow capture an additional 25 percent of customer’s need for convenience. the service drive. If each service advisorlost customers, this would add $156,250 in averages just $250 per RO and sees threemonthly revenue, or $1.88 million annually. At most dealerships the service advisors still customers per hour, this would provide take the incoming calls for appointments. an annual increase of $180,000 in serviceLack of convenience is the number one because they are the people who know department revenue.reason customers don’t return to the selling how, what and when to schedule. Whendealership for service. Price and trust are you use an online appointment program, it An online scheduling system can also helpnumbers two and three. If we provide the should be robust, full-featured and properly increase car sales by driving traffic to theconvenience, this will allow us to capture developed with the services you offer, the dealer Web site. A record high 67 percentthese customers and will increase our service duration and service depth of each. percent of new-vehicle buyers use theopportunity to earn their trust and educate This can simplify the appointment process Internet in their vehicle shopping processthem that we are very price competitive. by not only providing your customers the – up from 64 percent in 2004. ability to schedule from your Web site, butCustomers use the Internet for so many things also allowing any of your employees to book For this service to be successful, it must be– banking, shopping, travel, research, etc. the appointment and not be concerned about well promoted because customer awarenessThese are not just younger customers who overbooking resources. is critical. Highlight the service everywhere.grew up using the Internet, but customers of Make it clearly visible on the Web site.all ages who have discovered the convenience What does this accomplish? More time spent Include it on the dealership’s voice-recordedit offers. Provide your customers the ability by the service advisor with the customer on phone messages and those that customersto go to your Web site at their convenience the service drive, creating happier customers hear while on hold for a service advisor.and schedule a real-time, on-line, confirmed who are not hurried through the write-upservice appointment. process, and allowing more up-selling of Sell the benefits when the vehicle is purchased. Have your sales people register the customer and schedule his or her first service appointment. This allows you to capture an e-mail address for each customer. Follow-up with e-mail service reminders with links back to the online scheduling page. Brief your staff on the benefits of having the tools to do the job more efficiently, along with the potential for increased earnings. The primary reason service customers defect to other providers is a perception of greater convenience. Recapturing this business is critical to the dealership both in service department revenue and customer retention. Making it more convenient for customers to use your service department can help win back these service customers. Karen Dillon is the president of She can be contacted at 800.901.3170, or by e-mail at 36
  • RandyBarone Dealers Get A ‘Power Boost’ Through Automation Information is power. It’s easy to see how all this information, The more you have – so quickly and accurately accessed with and the quicker you the right automation system, – helps you access it, the more appraise the vehicle fairly and at the most likely you are to beat profit-maximizing amount. You also can the competition and print out a report that reflects how manymaximize success. The question is, how do similar make/model vehicles you’veyou get the information you need without appraised in the past, but did not trade for.spending a great deal of time and effort? The After a quick review of a “like history”answer is automation. performance report, you can determine how this vehicle has traditionally performed atThe power of having the right information your your fingertips is especially evidentduring the vehicle appraisal process.Without automation, the traditional “thinkand feel” appraisal process leaves a wide Take your successmargin for errors in judgment. Even the to the nextmost experienced manager can sometimes level. Empowermiss the mark when it comes to making anon-target offer and knowing the right vehicle yourself, andfor your pre-owned lot. It is particularly easy your team, withfor your staff to rely on gut instinct, instead the informationof informed decisions, when appraising avehicle that is similar in make and model needed to make theto dozens they’ve appraised before. Yet, best possible’s even easier – and much better for yourbottom line – if they can instantly tap intoupdated “master book” information for your What if this vehicle hasn’t performed soarea. An automated system enables them well? You can still close the deal withto do just that. Plus, it provides immediate optimum profitability potential, and makeaccess to past transactions on the vehicle, your trade-in customer happy. How? Youwith exact trade and profit analysis for launch the vehicle at time of appraisal todealerships in your group. The system your sister stores knowing that the vehiclemakes a comparison of sales history across has performed well there. Your associatedyour network and determines if the vehicle dealership reviews pictures of the vehicle,would trade better at a sister location. book values and detailed sales performance at their lot, and decides they want the vehicleAutomation provides instant information for more than you were willing to offerabout how many of a particular vehicle have the customer. Your sister dealership gets asold retail, the wholesale quantity sold and core vehicle for considerably less than it isthe average of the following: retail turn, running for at auction. In the end, you printcost of sale, retail profit, retail price and out a professional appraisal form that detailsmileage. And this same information is at the information for the consumer. Thisyour fingertips for your entire dealership important data is also available, now and ingroup. You can even find out immediately if the future, to your sister stores as well.this vehicle was bumped at other dealershipsin your network, as some vehicles are Take your success to the next level.justifiably valued higher at different lots Empower yourself, and your team, withbased on available sales history. the information needed to make the best possible deals.With just a click of the mouse, you can findout the price of a particular make and modelon other Web sites within a designated radius Randy Barone is vice president of sales at American Auto Exchange, Inc – aof your dealership. This provides you with subsidiary of JM Family Enterprises, Inc.the information you need, while saving He can be contacted at 800.901.3017, orvaluable time for you and your customers. by e-mail at 2005 37
  • AnthonyHall Why I Should Buy From You The number one This will help you to begin to differentiate 1. Ease of doing business. Are you reason people buy you from your competitor. easy to do business with or do I, as a vehicle at your a customer, have to jump through dealership is not price, The next step is to give a six-point hoops to buy a vehicle? Are you well but the sales person. presentation that focuses on the customer’s staffed and organized, or do I have toPrice falls somewhere around number seven needs, which you learned about with the wait to be waited on?out of the top 10. Virtually every person who better questions we discussed in the previousenters your dealership has “why buy from paragraph. Rather than discuss everything 2. Staff accessibility and attitude. Areyou?” as the primary question in their mind. about the vehicle, focus first on what the you friendly and well trained inTo truly maximize your revenues you need to customer identified as being important. This customer service procedures? Dogive people a reason to buy from you versus demonstrates that you not only listened to you exhibit the mentality that thea competitor. This article will explore a few what he or she said and, it also demonstrates customer is important and comesstrategies that will help you differentiate it is important and will help you separate first or do you spend time smokingyourself from your competitors. yourself more effectively. and joking? Do you eagerly approach the customer or do you wait forFirst, it’s important to understand that customers to come up to you?people make their buying decisions ontwo levels — logical and emotional. The Take advantage 3. Product selection and availability. Dological aspect revolves around the product or of the product you have a good supply of vehicles?service and includes such things as productspecifications, warranty, color, size, ease training most 4. Dealership cleanliness and layout.of use, price, etc. This decision is usually manufacturers Is your dealership clean, tidy andalready made by the time the customer has provide, invest visually appealing? I recently visited a dealership that had cigarette butts your time inentered your dealership through previousstudy or your vehicle using the different all over the front side walk andsources available to them, such as the the on-going the sales offices were in complete development ofInternet, friends, TV commercials and disarray.brochures. Anything directly associatedwith the vehicle is a logical need. The yourself and your Lastly, equip yourself with the tools yousecond buying motivator and, perhaps themost powerful, is the emotional aspect of sales skills, to help need to properly do your job. Take advantage of the product training most manufacturersthe sale. These criteria are the less tangible you succeed. provide, invest your time in the on-goingneeds and include feelings of success, relief, development of yourself and your salespride, joy, fear, concern and safety. For skills, to help you succeed. I’ve worked withexample, a person buying a pair of jeans When presenting your vehicle be sure you a lot of dealerships and people who invest awill have specific logical needs such as discuss the benefits as well as the features. great deal of their time and money trainingwaist size, inseam length, color and style. The feature is “what it is” and the benefit and others who spend a bare minimum. TheBut, ultimately, the emotional aspect of how is “what it means to the customer.” A great difference in the overall results is alwaysthey fit and look will influence that person’s way to phrase this is to say “This vehicle is significant.buying decision, equipped with an overdrive transmission, which will reduce the RPMs (feature). Today’s business environment is moreTo uncover your customers’ emotional buying What this means for you is increased fuel challenging and competitive than everrequirement learn to ask, “What are you economy, as well as prolonging the life of before, which means you need to give peoplelooking for in a vehicle?” followed by, “Why both the transmission and engine (benefit). a clear reason to do business with you ratheris that important to you?” The first question than someone else.helps you learn the logical need while the This addresses the customer’s emotionalsecond question will help the customer buying needs, which means there is a greaterexpress the emotional reason behind the likelihood they will buy from you versuspurchase. Most sales people have a tendency your competitor who didn’t do a thoroughto leap into a poor vehicle demonstration needs analysis like you did.before they have learned what is importantto the customer. Invest the time to accurately People also make buying decisions based on Anthony Hall is a training consultant at Ziegler Supersystems. He can beand thoroughly uncover the customer’s needs their overall experience in your dealership. contacted at 800.610.9047, or by e-mail atand wants (who, what, why, when and where). Here are some influencing factors: 38
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  • Case Study: Red McCombs: 500 Extra Sales in One Month Increases sales and profit by using the web and CRM to improve business Red McCombs has ter to slide by, Red McCombs not then sell the leads to the dealership) become one of the only noticed the trend, they rose to now know that they can go directlylargest dealerships in the country by the challenge and are now leading to the www.RedMcCombs.comworking to constantly improve how the way to success by establishing buying service. Rad Weaver, Inter-they serve their customers. They are their own online buying service. net Director at Red McCombs says,quickly becoming known for how “Our goal is to make it quicker, “Customers love it because theythey are revolutionizing the way easier and less expensive for cus- can build any car they want or viewcars are bought and sold in Amer- tomers to get their next vehicle,” virtually unlimited new and pre-ica. Like many dealers, Red Mc- said Rad Weaver, Internet Director. owned inventory with just a coupleCombs noticed that more and more In the year since building their on- clicks. They can also take a virtualcustomers were using the Internet line buying service, www.RedMc- test drive with 360 degree tours,to start their shopping experience. has enabled them to view product comparisons, get fi-However, unlike many dealers who increase sales volume from 100 ve- nancing, view performance vehi-allow the opportunities available hicles per month to 500 sales in one cles, check for specials, downloadthrough the Internet Department month. Customers who in the past coupons, learn about the pre-ownedand Customer Relationship Cen- may have used brokers (who would certification process and the 1-hour
  • Success Storyvehicle purchase and even book aservice appointment or scheduleparts.” As a result has enabled Red Mc-Combs to become one of the mostsuccessful eDealers of the year.How did they do it? Rad attributestheir success to the following:Dealer and management support, agreat marketing strategy, the rightwebsite and CRM tools, tight pro-cesses and a great team. “We alsoleverage trend reports to establishnew goals for each month and ev-ery quarter. We’ve signed with “With our new online buying service, we sold 500 extra cars inoutside training to make sure that one month at a much lower cost per sale compared to tradi-our team is skilled and able to ex- tional advertising.” Rad Weaver, Internet Director Red McCombsecute the process 100%.” Rad says, they need for success, Rad pro- on how customers buy rather than“Low attrition rates are attributed vides a summary of what it takes how we like to sell. Customers areto our staff knowing that we are to be among the best in the nation. shopping online so we have shiftedhere for them no matter what they our advertising strategy to ensureneed. If your sales staff is not fir- DO’s we have a market presence whereing on all 8 cylinders all the time, 1. The Right Vision: Our vi- the customers are; on the will not get the performance sion is to give our customers more 4. The Right Technology: Weor results you’re looking for. A than what they want and to create had the templated websites fromlot of our success has come from a “Wow” experience. Since more Reynolds, Third Coast Media andtheir month in and month out dedi- than 70% of our customers shop Cobalt but we did not get manycation to helping perfect our pro- online we wanted to create the best leads from any of them. We hiredcess. A big thanks to them!” To experience possible before they a company called BZResults.comprovide more insight into what it even set foot in our dealership. to custom build our online buy-means to give your sales team what 2. The Right Attitude: The goal is ing service and they gave us all to create a lasting personal relation- the tools & training we needed to ship with our customers and we do promote, manage and measure all • Right Vision this by maintaining a focus on what’s of our customer activity. We expe- • Right Attitude important to them. By building re- rienced massive growth instantly. • Right Strategy lationships with our customers they 5. The Right Marketing: We • Right Technology know who to ask for when they get have used TV, radio, print, direct • Right Marketing to the dealership. These relation- mail and other advertising media ships have created a terrific repeat with disappointing results. When we • Right People and referral customer database. switched our advertising strategy to • Right Process 3. The Right Strategy: We focus focus on using the web and CRM
  • Success Story partment with the right people; otherwise it’s just lip service. Our people are able to provide our cus- tomers with all of their options and help them feel more comfortable in making a purchase decision. 7. The Right Process: We improve our sales when we im- prove the buying experience for our customers. Some customers don’t buy for 1-4 months and to- day, 75% of our follow up process is automated with our customer management system, Buzztrak. 8. The Right Results: We have increased our online sales from 100“Our virtual test-drives generate leads to the phone, the show- vehicles to 500 vehicles a monthroom and to our Internet department. They’re a great way to and our cost per sale is dramati-increase sales with smarter marketing.” Rad Weaver cally lower than our traditional mass advertising. Most impor-to attract more customers our traffic, 6. The Right People: We prom- tantly, we have customers wholeads and sales increased while our ise a world class experience to our absolutely love buying a car fromcost per sale decreased. We now ad- online customers. The only way us and that is our primary mission.vertise where people shop and buy. to deliver this is to staff the de- • Since implementing their new web site and CRM tool, Red McCombs is selling an additional 500 cars a month. • Red McCombs learned that more than 70% of their customers were starting their shopping online, so they adjusted their advertising to reach them, sell them and keep them loyal. • Red McCombs has increased gross profit from $60k per month to over $750k per month while also increasing CSI and customer loyalty. • Red McCombs increased their closing ratio from 3% to 19% by automating much of their follow up. • Red McCombs uses email marketing campaigns and search engine placement to attract more customers to their site and dealership for very little money. • sells more vehicles than most large dealerships and it makes more money because their cost per sale is below $200 per vehicle sold. • Red McCombs uses
  • Success StoryRad cautions that the biggest mis- their energies on using the phone now because our CRM tool auto-conception about the potential of to set appointments. We were los- matically emails the reports we needthe Internet is that it’s all about ing a lot of deals every month due daily, weekly and monthly whichhow many Internet leads you get to poor follow up and poor time makes it easy to identify issues thatand how many people email your management. Automation makes need to be resolved. In the past, wedealership. He explains, “The great it easier for us to manage our time waited until the end of the month,thing about the Internet is that ev- and maintain our focus.” Their ap- and at that point it is often too late.erything is measurable so we know pointment setting ratio is now triple It’s just one more example of howthat we get 3 times as many phone the national average and the team automation makes our lives easiercalls as email leads. For this reason, is committed to keeping that trend and more jobs more profitable.”phones have become the main focus on an upward track. Rad adds, “We The people at the dealership are ex-for our dedicated staff. We rely on firmly believe in the importance cited about what they have accom-automation to handle the email fol- of tracking and measuring perfor- plished but they’re even more excit-low up so that our people can focus mance results. This is easy for us ed about what they are going to do. 73% of buyers use web to research before buying. Therefore dealers are shifting their ad budget to attract and sell these customers.Gross Profit 2003 2005