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  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 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