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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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AutoSuccessNov09 AutoSuccessNov09 Presentation Transcript

  • 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B PRSRT STD Louisville, KY 40220 US POSTAGE PAID FARGO, ND PERMIT 684November 2009 Check out our New Classified Section on page 37
  • With nearly 100 year end events available choose from conquest, database, super sale and internet events. End the year strong with Turn-Key Events. Booth #2927 We’ll deliver you a fresh holiday ® pizza the same day just for calling. No purchase necessary.The Driving Force Behind Event Advertising 866-476-7748 In order to qualify for a free pizza you must be a General Manager or Dealer. Minor details apply.
  • Protective Acquires The Prizm Group Protective is proud to announce the acquisition of Prizm’s service contract business. A strong base of 3,000 dealers supported by an experienced agent group have joined the Protective family. We look forward to this exciting new partnership! Vehicle Service Contracts I GAP Coverage I Credit Insurance Dealer Participation Programs I F&I Training I Advanced F&I Technology Serving Automotive Dealers Since 1962 866.924.5341 Service Contracts (VSCs) and GAP are backed by Lyndon Property Insurance Company in all states except NY. In NY, Old Republic Insurance Company backs VSCs, and GAP is not available there. Credit Insurance is backed by Protective Life Insurance Company in all states except NY, where it is backed by Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company.
  • AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | Ken Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Sales-Improvement Strategist John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution CARS: TRAFFIC COUNTS, ATTITUDE AND BASICS MAKES THE SWITCH AND WHY... Don’t Let Your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter Account Get Your DECIDE THAT WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS REALLY REPUTATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY, PART 2 WANT A ‘GOOD DEAL FOCUS LESS ON PRICE BUILDING A TOP-RATE SERVICE DEPARTMENT THE ONLY CONSTANT IS THE ART OF SELLING HOW THE TASCA AUTOMOTIVE GROUP LEVERAGES POS VISUAL MEDIA ADVERTISING - THE BEST CREDIT CARD PROCESSING TODAY - WHY IT BEST-IN-CLASS TECHNOLOGY AND WORLD-CLASS WHY DEALERS NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA AND SIMPLE STEPS TO ESTABLISHING RAPPORT TASCA AUTOMOTIVE GROUP CHOOSE TO WIN OR CHOOSE TO LOSE THE POWER OF A POSITIVE ATTITUDE IS CRITICAL TO YOUR DEALERSHIP WHY VELOCITY MANAGEMENT? NOTHING FAILS LIKE SUCCESS AND MORE ON OUTCOME WHAT YOU WANT TO DO DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY CONSULTING TO DRIVE RESULTS BANG FOR YOUR BUCK SALES FORMULA 2009 ’? Dealership Into Trouble BE CAREFUL: 36 09 32 20 14 16 08 15 28 18 22 30 10 34 26 By ErikStuttz RichardLibin SteveBrazill GeorgeDans RalphPaglia StephenR.Covey MarkTewart PaulCummings TomHopkins KirkManzo ChuckPatton MattBaker EricSelby DalePollak AdamDaniels SeanV.Bradley November 2009 pg 0 pg 4 pg 2 pg1 pg1 pg3 george dans dale pollak chuck patton
  • leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey SteveBrazill leadershipsolution NOTHING FAILS DEGREE OF LIKE SUCCESS “As you ponder your challenges, consider if you DIFFICULTY Are you struggling based on the evidence of results or lack of need a new One of the useful customer makes his or her first-ever visit Perhaps you will want to run a simple score to make changes or results, we need a new approach. mindset, a new features of running a to your dealership. This should be a joyous on your operation. For every employee you respond to changing conditions? I know skillset or toolset. business is the frequency with which we get event in the life of your business – an have who makes difficult work appear easy, many people right now are being forced to As you ponder your challenges, consider to “go to school” on other businesses. We opportunity to create a favorable first give yourself a point. For every employee change the way they work or live because if you need a new mindset, a new skillset You may need to get many opportunities to be someone else’s impression and launch a relationship that who makes difficult work appear difficult, of our turbulent environment. What we or toolset. You may need to adjust your adjust your view, customer, and it’s instructive to observe will provide a revenue stream that lasts for give yourself zero points. And for every might all consider in these times is what the view, try a different perspective or a new try a different how they treat us. decades and, when managed well, leads to employee who makes easy work appear great historian Arnold Toynbee once said: way to think about it. You then may need to perspective or referrals that spawn even more multi-decade difficult, subtract a point. (If you have any “Nothing fails like success.” acquire some new skills or tools to tackle a new way to I recently had an experience reminding me revenue streams. employees in that category, please ask the problem. Whatever the case, you may think about it. that an employee’s customer service skills yourself a simple question: Why?) It goes What does that mean exactly? Well, if you need to find a new model to drive success. You then may can generally be categorized into one of So what happens when that new customer without saying that your score should be a This can be an exciting proposition because three levels: consider the challenges you’re facing, you need to acquire 1. Makes easy tasks look difficult enters your dealership? Are your people positive number. Congratulations if your might just be using an old approach that you will most likely find new growth some new skills so preoccupied with their “difficult” jobs score is equal to your number of employees. isn’t equal to the challenge. In other words, and development in the process — this is 2. Makes difficult tasks look difficult that they muff the opportunity to create a If it is less than your employee count, you success! or tools to tackle 3. Makes difficult tasks look easy when we have a challenge and the response good first impression? If a new customer, have work to do. is equal to the challenge, that’s called the problem.” Employees who make difficult tasks look being unfamiliar with your business (as success. But once we have a new challenge, Remember: Nothing fails like success. Be new customers tend to be), wanders into A final thought: At which level do you vigilant and be ready to continually learn easy are worth their weight in platinum. the old, once successful response no longer They serve as role models for others in your the wrong department, asks the wrong perform? You can bet your employees are works. That’s why it’s called a failure. and adapt to new challenges, which will questions or shows up without an important keeping score on you! surely come your way. organization, calmly put out fires and slay problems while spreading confidence and item of paperwork, how will your people We have to examine our paradigms (our enthusiasm in their wake. As powerful as respond? Picture a fork in a road. Now Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder view of things), our tools and our skills to of FranklinCovey, and is the author of their impact on other members of your team picture an employee who routinely makes Steve Brazill is the chair of automotive determine if we’re approaching the problem The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. can be, that is nothing compared to their everything appear so easy that a new marketing for Northwood University, in the right way. As a first step, we may even He can be contacted at effect on your customers. customer’s transition to your store feels like Texas Campus. He can be contacted at step back and make sure we’ve correctly 866.892.6363, or by e-mail at a no-brainer. Now picture an employee who 866.861.1515, or by e-mail at defined the problem. Then we need to see if, Consider what happens when a new makes that process feel difficult. 08 9 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • marketingsolution ChuckPatton BUILDING A TOP-RATE SERVICE DEPARTMENT In down times, can when they drop off their car. Maybe like we’ve all just customers realize that, or they have more experienced, dealerships often rely on service time, or more people are not working. The departments and fixed operations to ride number of waiting customers used to be about out the storm. I recently sat down with Pat 25 percent. It’s now more than 50 percent, Arnotte, service director of Delaware’s Porter and it’s pretty steady across the board with Automotive Group, an organization that has people I’m talking to. If you want volume shot to the top ranks of service departments coming through your store, you need to bring in the northeast United States. in more of these waiting customers. The more waiting customers you bring in, though, the Chuck Patton: Pat, tell us a little bit harder it is to load up your shop, because about your background, and how you’re constantly pulling techs off of big jobs you came into this industry. to get these customers in and out. It’s just Pat Arnotte: Well, my mother was actually really tough with the waiters. “The biggest thing that I see most dealers a controller in the car business for more than not utilize is their own database. 40 years. From the time I was 12, I washed CP: How have the marketing needs They have names, addresses, phone cars in the summertime until I got a driver’s of service departments changed in numbers, years, makes, models and license and started to deliver parts and work recent months? mileage. In my stores alone, we have my way up the parts side. At 22, I was a parts PA: There have been big changes. Things that information on 22,000 people. manager, and was parts and service director have worked in marketing for years just aren’t What I do with that information by the time I was 26. I’m 43 now, and have working now. We’re trying to come up with been doing it ever since. new and different ideas to drive some traffic is what drives traffic in my store.” through marketing, but there isn’t a “get rich CP: Tell us about your dealership, quick” scheme like there used to be. I used makes, models and mileage. In my stores Porter Automotive Group. to be able to throw out “20 percent off” in a alone, we have information on 22,000 PA: We’re located in Northern Delaware, direct mailer, and my shops just flooded with people. What I do with that information and are part of the Philadelphia market. Our work. Right now, will it drive some traffic? is what drives traffic in my store. I talk to group includes Nissan, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Sure, but not like we were used to. service managers who say, “I bought a Polk Ford and Mitsubishi franchises. Our Nissan List.” Why would you buy something when store is the store I originally took over seven CP: Why do you think that is? you have plenty of information on your years ago. They were No. 6 in a district of PA: The customers want to get in and out own to extract from your own database. 10 stores in customer-paid labor. That store fast and not spend any money. Even when Mine it! You can do model-specific mailers, is now the No. 2 customer-paid dealer in you show them that their brake pads are mileage-specific mailers, “lost-souls” mailers the whole New York region, or the eastern metal to metal, some people just don’t have – whatever you want. It’s information you region, which runs from Maine all the way the money and aren’t buying. I’d like to already own and can easily get. Data mining down to the bottom of the state of Delaware compare the amounts of tickets over $1,000 is what really can make you a fortune if you — that includes all the Philadelphia, New this year to those last year at this time. I think can figure out how to do it. York and Boston stores, and our sales we’re doing a lot more of those tickets than volume is nowhere near what some of the we were before, but what we’re not getting is Next month, we’ll conclude our interview other stores are. We do a very good job with that mid-range, the $300 - $500 maintenance with Pat Arnotte, and talk about the changing retention. jobs. The customers aren’t getting the 30,000 expectations of service managers, some of mile service – they’re just getting the oil the most common mistakes service managers CP: Describe how the changing changed. can make, and some words of advice. market has changed the way service departments do business. CP: What opportunities exist for Chuck Patton is the founder and CEO of PA: One of the craziest things I’m seeing dealers that are easier to realize than Traffic Builders, Inc. He can be contacted right now is the number of customers who they might think? at 866.859.8520, or by e-mail at wait while their vehicles are being serviced. PA: The biggest thing that I see most dealers When a customer comes in and waits, you not utilize is their own database. They have really can’t sell them as much work as you names, addresses, phone numbers, years,10
  • to the commitment and loyalty of their fans. as a nationwide in-dealership consulting with a customer and ensure every customer gets a Tasca experience. Since our custom CRM The NHRA is known for its open-pit policy, company, to partner with a company that process is spelled out — most of it is automated and all of it is measurable — I have access which allows fans an up-close and personal delivered dealers a proven solution, as well. to every report I need to manage my people. We can continuously improve our consistency, view of the race cars and crews. You can So, we aligned Tasca University with the professionalism and customer loyalty. watch firsthand how mechanics can rebuild same CRM company, VinSolutions, that an engine in no time, or feel the power of a Tasca Automotive now uses to help other AS: Why is it important to measure and track performance? fuel-burning engine when the team test fires dealerships throughout the country combine ES: The best part about our new custom VinSolutions CRM application is that everything is the engines. It’s not unusual for the drivers this custom technology with the people and measurable. The biggest mistake that dealers and managers make is failing to use the reports to be found in their pit areas mingling with processes within automotive dealerships. they have available to them. A few minutes a week, or even once a month, can provide a great the fans and signing autographs. It’s no snapshot of how things are going, who is excelling and where your process needs fine-tuning. wonder that NHRA continues to have one of At Tasca University, we are unlike most We use these numbers to refine and adjust our strategy so we can continue to improve our the most loyal fan bases of any sport. training companies in that we develop a business. Our CRM application has certainly become the primary focus of our operations, and curriculum built around two perspectives. it really encompasses the whole dealership. When it comes down to it, whatever we’re doing Likewise, at Tasca Automotive Group, is working. Our general manager, Carl Tasca Jr., might have said it best: We are excited about their continued growth and success can First, we deal with the procedural and what we have accomplished, but we are most excited about what the future holds. be attributed to the “Tasca Way” of doing mechanical aspects of implementing a business, which focuses on customer CRM initiative within a dealership. Second, Whether in the pits or the showroom floor, whether you are a racing fan or a dealership satisfaction. While the organization has had we look at the implementation of the customer of the Tasca family, you are sure to get a feel of their passion for leveraging some of the highest CSI scores in the nation, technology, people and processes to create incredible industry-leading technology and their genuine loyalty to those individuals Tasca Automotive has been able to increase a success or desired result. Certainly, both who are the sole reason that organizations like the NHRA, Ford Motor Company their sales and CSI further by leveraging play an important role in the overall success and the Tasca Automotive Group continue to thrive. best-in-class customer relationship of any CRM and training program, but they rarely play a role in developing the culture Erik Stuttz is a partner and vice president of Tasca University. He can be management (CRM) technology and contacted at 866.402.0697, or by e-mail at their internal Tasca University consulting necessary to win in the long term. program. These factors have driven their For more information about VinSolutions, contact Sean Stapleton at This is what makes us different at Tasca 866.396.5266, or by e-mail at people, processes and technology with University. Bob says that everything we measurable results. do at Tasca University is principle based, and that principles don’t change over time We recently sat down with Erik Stuttz, and are the fundamental building blocks partner and vice president of Tasca necessary to establish the culture needed to University, to learn some of the secrets of win in the long term. He reminds us that, their success. at the end of the day, the customer will not “By combining these core values developed remember much about what was done or over the years with best-in-class CRM AutoSuccess: How did you get even said, but they will never forget how we technology, and then couple that with our started leveraging technology to made them feel. Tasca University consulting, we can provide increase CSI and sales? dealers a proven solution that drives proven Erik Stuttz: We researched the best By combining these core values developed results. It’s the ultimate combination CRM providers in the country, looking over the years with best-in-class CRM to partner with a company that had necessary to operate now, and in the future.” technology, and then couple that with a proven automotive track record of our Tasca University consulting, we can delivering results. We wanted a CRM provide dealers a proven solution that that was designed to help our sales and drives proven results. It’s the ultimate service departments maintain an ongoing combination necessary to operate now, and relationship that fits with the Tasca Way. in the future. After researching what the best dealers were doing, we signed up with VinSolutions, a AS: How did you tie together company that we believed could help us VinSolutions’ CRM technology and achieve our goals our way. your own people and processes at Tasca Automotive? AS: How does this new CRM ES: Technology will help maintain technology tie in with your consulting communication with your sales and service company, Tasca University? ownership base, but that is only as good as ES: Our new CRM provider gave us a way the people, process, training and support to maintain ongoing communication with that comes with it. When we launched our What does a hot rod and a drag racing organization have in common with a rural family- our sales and service customers within our new CRM initiative internally within Tasca operated dealership nestled in the quiet timberlands of Cranston, Rhode Island? entire automotive group. We now have a Automotive, we took the entire management seamless, customized program to enable us team off-site for two days to clearly define In a name, it’s “Tasca.” Tasca Automotive Group, a third-generation family business, shares to communicate with our client base, and our mission and vision, and created a step- the expertise and enthusiasm of their vice president, Robert “Bob” Tasca III, with the world’s that is important to us because we don’t do a by-step action plan for getting there. As a largest and loudest auto racing organization, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). Bob, ton of advertising. result, we’ve developed a sales and service a hot rod enthusiast and pilot of a Ford Motorcraft Quick Lane Nitro Funny Car, has been model that defines exactly what needs to racing as a professional for two years. In that short period, he has already won two major Our philosophy at the dealership for more be done, how and when it needs to be done national events —The Gator Nationals in March and the Toyo Tires Nationals in August. And than 65 years has been to rely on repeat and and who is accountable, as well as defining don’t let the name fool you — it’s no laughing matter when the funny car that Bob is driving, referral business, and our new CRM system the performance results we need in order to a modified ’09 Shelby Ford Mustang, makes 8,000 HP and accelerates to 310 MPH in just from VinSolutions provides us a better way measure how well we’re doing. over four seconds. to serve our customers. We’ve created sales and service playbooks1 But the NHRA, Ford Motor Company and Tasca Racing have more in common than just a We wanted Tasca University Consulting, that clearly define, in detail, how we2 manage the entire life of our relationship vibrant presence. The continued growth and success of these organizations can be attributed the division of Tasca Automotive that serves
  • sales&trainingsolution DalePollak MarkTewart leadershipsolution WHY VELOCITY CHOOSE TO WIN OR CHOOSE MANAGEMENT? TO LOSE For the past several operating to remain profitable. a “must have” for a Velocity dealer. Traffic is slow, Did you allow your expenses and debt to years, I’ve been business is weak, the get too high? Did you allow weak processes making a case for a new method of used The need for such a profound change is The technique that Velocity dealers use has economy stinks and banks aren’t buying. and accept less-than-favorable results? car management that I call “Velocity.” The very difficult for many dealers to embrace. two steps. First, the Velocity dealer takes Repeat this mantra 100 times and see how Did you create an on-going relationship- basis for needing a new strategy for making Instead, many continue to price vehicles in special care to know the individual physical you feel. I promise you that if you replay based marketing program to your existing money in used cars is the fact that the the hopes of capturing the large grosses of qualities of each and every vehicle. Some this message enough, you will believe it as customers, or did you ignore your most Internet has transformed the used car market the past. In reality, this is the worst possible vehicles are special, some ordinary, some absolute truth and become depressed and valuable asset — your customers? Did into an efficient market. strategy to achieve profitability in today’s replaceable and some simply one of a kind. desperate. No matter what circumstances you neglect to install and enforce daily used car marketplace. Such qualities certainly matter in making the are at present, the choice is simple: You education? Have you massively self- In an efficient market, buyers and sellers pricing decision. After the physical qualities choose to win or choose to lose. educated yourself on a daily basis to stay have relatively equal knowledge of choices Once – and only once – a dealer comes to of the vehicles are assessed, the second abreast of all developments in marketing, and alternatives. With the Internet providing terms with the reality that the old front end remaining consideration for knowing which The one single ingredient that is always technology, social media and marketplace shoppers the ability to see every vehicle in grosses of the past will not return, the only vehicles should be priced high and which present in any success story is self- changes? Have you created a marketing the market and how they are priced, why remaining question to be answered is how should be priced low is an understanding of determination. You are always responsible. plan based upon measurable direct response should we believe that we will get lucky the lost profits will be replaced. The obvious their current supply and demand. Vehicles You are responsible for the good and you media that you continually tweak? Do you as often as we used to? Do we believe that answer is that they can only be made up with with high demand and short supply can be are responsible for the bad — it’s just that allow excuses and surround yourself with better negotiating tactics will overcome additional volume. Achieving additional priced with thousands of dollars of mark- simple. If you will allow any excuse for excuse makers? customer’s knowledge of identical choices volume, however, requires a dealer to stop up while vehicles with high supply and failure — no matter how overwhelming the and alternatives? Do we think that blowing pricing every vehicle with a large mark-up in low demand need to be priced aggressively evidence — you have sown the seeds for Success is based upon certain fundamental up more balloons in the showroom or an attempt to recapture the large gross profits for a quick sale and a possible finance more excuses to follow. truths. Install and adhere religiously to those putting a bigger gorilla on the roof will of the past. To do so is like shutting the opportunity. truths without fail and you will succeed. make the difference? Simply stated, the oxygen off to a patient that is in desperate To succeed in good or bad economies Although everyone has setbacks, setbacks business has changed, average front end need. The correct approach is the Velocity Equally important, the Velocity dealer must takes the exact same ingredients, but in are not failures and are only temporary signs grosses will not be what they once were, method of management, which advocates change the negotiating culture of their tougher times it takes more resolve to keep to adjust and plan accordingly. Always ask and we need to change the way we are opening the valves wide by pricing vehicles showroom to support their new pricing producing the successful ingredients. Your yourself, “What’s next?” Keep moving and at or close to their strategy. The salespeople need to recognize success or failure is based upon your beliefs adjusting. Success and failure are ultimately true transaction that an approach more oriented to volume and philosophy. If you do not have a belief a choice. The choice is yours. point. Under than extraordinarily high average gross is system to support success and a personal GET MORE SERVICE BUSINESS these conditions, traffic and sales needed. Therefore, sales managers must fully comprehend that the dealership’s philosophy of self-determination, you are subject to all forces that cause failure. Mark Tewart is the president of Tewart Enterprises. He can be contacted at AND REDUCE COSTS immediately vehicles are priced to sell, not to negotiate. 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at WITH VIDEO E-MAIL! increase and used To this extent, documentation replaces You must create an impenetrable mind car operations negotiation in the showroom experience. — a mind that can sustain all attacks of experience a Information is powerful and the Velocity negativity and philosophies of randomness. “You must create an vitality and vibrancy that had dealer can use their superior knowledge about each and every competitive vehicle in The dirty truth is that most people do not believe in self-determination. Most people impenetrable mind $3500 COMPLETE PACKAGE been long lost. their market to demonstrate to the customer are excuse makers, and have philosophies of — a mind that can In order to that the offered price is truly a great value. luck and a welfare belief system. sustain all attacks Stay in front of your customers successfully The move from a traditional used car model In the United States, which is the richest of negativity and implement the to a “Velocity” model is a journey. Habits country in the world, with resources and philosophies of in a personal and unique way Velocity strategy, and practices that were successful in the past opportunities that can only be imagined by randomness. The dirty dealers must have need to be replaced with new ones. The good people in some parts of the world, people truth is that most people It’s trackable and costs less than direct mail! new technology and information news is that today, many hundreds of dealers are making the Velocity journey. These make excuses everyday as to how they cannot control their own destiny. It is much do not believe in Service specials presented in a video format to make better decisions. dealers have found value in networking with one another. Their shared experiences, easier make excuses than to take control of your own destiny. After all, how can it ever self-determination. Customers just click to print a coupon Specifically, challenges and successes help them navigate be your fault? The economy is so bad, and Most people are excuse they must know and serve to reinforce the rewards. The you certainly don’t control the economy. makers, and have CHECK OUT AMP-MAIL AT A which cars can be growing community of Velocity dealers philosophies of luck and www.advertisingm ti priced high and is enjoying the rich rewards that are still The economy is made up of single micro- a welfare belief system.” reduced slowly available to those that are willing to adopt economies that create a larger macro- if necessary, and the necessary new strategies and tactics. economy. You do control your economy, which vehicles and it starts between your ears. When you need to be listen to the news and hear that things are priced low and Dale Pollak is an author and the founder not good, do you allow that to be your 70 702-5 702-597-1091 reduced quickly of vAuto. He can be contacted at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at destiny? After all, if you hear it on the news, david@advertising if necessary. it must be true, right? Knowledge of Please contact Lor Feiro or David Moline Lori this difference is Let me ask you a few questions. 1 1 4 5 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  • marketingsolution AdamDaniels POS VISUAL MEDIA ADVERTISING - THE BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK A recent study showed media can be confusing. What works? What into the rest of your advertising. Besides a majority of car buyers is allowed by my city? How long should a attracting passing traffic, the visual media you verified that it was on-site advertising signage product last? Everyone you speak to telling display is the final advertising your customer that affected their walk in and purchase you something different can begin to seem sees. Coordinate your on-site advertising decision. Whether it is stickers, banners, flags like an insurmountable task. Working with with the rest of your advertising, send a or giant inflatables, visual media advertising knowledgeable, professional people who consistent message and customers you initiate is one of the most cost-effective and just plain offer proven products help make these from other forms of advertising will convert effective forms of advertising. decisions easier and your investment more to sales at your dealership, rather than at a effective. competitor. For example, if you are running a If you are not using visual media at your “hot buys” clearance sale, have a “hot buys” dealership, there has never been a better time Investing in the right quality is equally banners and flags to identify your lot easily to invest in this powerful form of advertising. important. A banner, for instance, can pay so that customers who decide to come check If you already use it, now is the time to for itself more and more with each day that out your sale stop in at your dealership. There look for more innovative low-cost ways it is displayed. If you invest $200 for a 10’ are other ways to tie in your advertising, too; to advertise your location, inventory and x 5’ banner, every day you have the banner for example, buying a giant inflatable. Once services. Visual media offers unrivaled return displayed its ROI improves. For example: you display a custom giant inflatable, you on investment and targets those customers Assume that the banner generates 10 leads on can reference your location by the spectacle. who are already on your doorstep waiting for the first day — the banner’s ROI is $20 per When giving directions over the phone, or in an invitation to walk in and buy a car from lead and, so far, its cost is $200 per day. On any other advertising, you can reference the you or have their car serviced. the second day, consider you have the same inflatable: “we’re just off the 56 freeway, look lead generation as the first day (you have now for the 30’ giant Viking.” What is it that you wish you could relay to had 20 leads over two days); your ROI is now your customers? Imagine you could have a $10 /lead and its cost is only $100 /day. For a The bottom line is that if you want, increase salesperson unobtrusively relay your specials long-term message or promotion, a banner’s your advertising presence and decrease your and deals to everyone who passed by your cost is amortized over the number of days it advertising costs, spend your advertising dealership. Imagine you have someone is displayed, and this reduces the cost to just budget where you are getting the best explain to every person who passes your pennies per day. For long-term promotions return on investment. Whatever your door every day your company values and or messages, good quality materials, inks needs, whatever your budget and whatever your dealership achievements. Maybe you and production methods are of paramount restrictions you may have, there is POS want to remain in contact with the countless importance. On the other hand, not every advertising media that is a must for your satisfied customers you have served and just banner, flag sticker or pennant needs to last dealership. Using these products is a proven thank them or remind them it is time for a year or longer. Occasionally you will run method of increasing traffic and sales for scheduled maintenance. That is what visual a month-long promotion or a weekend-long relative minimum investment. media covers for you and more. clearance sale. In these cases, it may not be necessary to pay top-dollar for media, inks Adam Daniels is the president of Get the right quality and work with the right Ads4Auto. He can be contacted at and production methods that will last years. people, and POS advertising will pay for 866.803.0665, or by e-mail at itself over and over again. Buying visual Tie your visual media advertising products
  • sales&trainingsolution EricSelby CREDIT CARD PROCESSING TODAY - WHY IT IS CRITICAL TO YOUR DEALERSHIP The use of plastic well. The offering of credit and debit card cardholder data is required, such as ZIP as a core source of processing provides customers an avenue to code, expiration date and/or the security payment for purchases is here and is here to purchase and/or secure a vehicle “over the code, when processing a transaction. The stay. The first widely accepted credit card phone” that they viewed via your Internet more cardholder data required to process was issued in 1958, while the first recognized listings. Providing a platform of payment a “keyed-in” transaction, the less the debit card was issued in 1978. Since the choices for your customer or prospect is a likelihood for potential fraud. introduction of these cards in the American step in providing the pleasurable experience • Equipment — The quality of your society, there are in excess of 984 million they expect when they visit your dealership. processing equipment is one of the of these cards in circulation today and this biggest prevention measures a merchant number continues to rise on an annual basis. Cash-Flow Acceleration can take. Many merchants do not want Today, our society uses credit or debit cards Cash flow has always been a critical piece to replace aged equipment, but it is well for approximately 50 percent of all consumer of the financial operations of a dealership, worth the expense. There are industries purchases and this trend is increasing; in but in today’s economic times, it is even standards for both terminals and pin fact, debit card usage is outpacing credit more crucial to the daily operations of your pads, and dated terminals typically card usage for the first time in our history. dealership. Your payment processing partner do not comply with these standards. We are a society that is on the go, lives for can either be a benefit or detriment to your The intent of these standards is to convenience and in today’s economy, strives cause. On average, all batched credit and prevent any and all fraudulent activity to save every dollar we can. Credit cards and debit transactions should be received within from occurring, as it relates to your debit cards provide all three of these caveats, 24 to 48 hours. By providing credit and payment processing. As it relates to with the plentiful rewards programs offered debit payment options, you will guide some your equipment, I ask you this question: and ease of use. In short, the era of plastic parties who would typically issue a check Isn’t it worth the small expense to have is here and, as with all other aspects of your for payment to utilize their credit or debit equipment that can both accelerate your business, you must prepare for it. cards instead, which accelerates receipt cash flow and decrease potential fraud of payment. In terms of accepting checks activity? So what do these statistics mean to you? for payment, these can be converted to an They mean that there’s a high probability electronic transaction, much like a credit Savings that the potential buyers on your lot or the or debit transaction, which will further Obviously, cost savings in this environment customer picking up his/her vehicle from the accelerate receipt of funds. In short, subtle is essential to your dealership. Now is the service department will use a credit card or changes to your credit card processing time to look at all aspects of your business debit card for their purchase, bill or repair structure can greatly accelerate your for cost-saving opportunities. Although it order. It means that it is imperative for your dealership’s cash flow. is simply a small part of your dealership’s dealership, both from the sales and service overall makeup, your credit card and departments, to have the best credit card Security payment structure can and will yield material processing partnership in place. The proper While accepting credit cards, debit cards cost savings, when structured properly. partnership can and will provide several key and check instruments is essential to the Take the time to review this partnership and benefits to your dealership. operations of your dealership, doing so while compare for what is best for your dealership. minimizing potential fraud is critical. Credit Customer Service card-related fraud costs consumers and In today’s economic times all aspects of All existing and potential customers enjoy businesses in excess of $1 billion annually, your business should be subject to review. It choices, and this applies to how they choose and the types of fraud techniques continue to will be the dealerships that take the time to to pay for major purchases. Some customers grow. While fraud will never be 100 percent review the smallest aspects of their financial will choose to use a credit card out of need, preventable in this industry, there are two key operations that will continue to streamline while others will do so to leverage the components to focus on when considering operations, continue to grow and maintain a rewards program attached to their card. Some your credit card and payment processing: successful path. will utilize their debit card for payment, as • Terminal Programming — While they are adverse to any credit card usage. processing transactions with the card Eric Selby is with the Northeast Merchant Group. He can be contacted at Lastly, there is the group of customers and present is preferred, it is not always 866.407.3104, or by e mail at e-mail prospects that still choose to provide a check able to take place, based on a variety of as a source of payment, and this can be factors. In these instances, when a card facilitated by your credit card processor, as is not physically present, make sure core18
  • marketingsolution RalphPaglia WHY DEALERS NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA AND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY, PART 2 Simply put, social this way: In less than a week, these negative hand, if your dealership has been directing media is changing the online reviews and customer ratings of your best customers to a designated way people get their information about the their experiences at a dealership can reverse dealership review and rating site, and there stuff they are thinking about buying. It is also the positive impact of a $100,000 monthly are more than 50 reports entered over a span moving customer information sources further advertising campaign. of many months, those same bogus reports away from marketers and their advertising look inconsistent and exaggerated at best, channels (that would be you), and closer to Automotive consumers trust the reports, and outright lies at worst. Wouldn’t it be the people they relate to, and interact with, in reviews and ratings posted online by other better to have dozens of raving fan-written their online communities. Social networks, consumers far more than the information reviews show up in a search for dealers user-generated content (UGC) sites, and all and messaging produced by dealers and their selling your make? their variations make up what people call employees. A rapidly increasing percentage “Web 2.0.” of car buyers and service customers So ask yourself these questions: Are you are making buying decisions based on aware of what customers are saying about What is Social Media Marketing? what other customers report on sites like your dealership? What about ex-employees? Dealers should consider social media Edmunds, Yelp, Kudzu, MyDealerReport. What about competing dealership employees marketing to be the tactics that can be used to com, and DealerRater. posing as consumers? Information travels engage automotive consumers in a positive com. The Nielson Company, for example, quickly across the Internet. Have you set up way when they are spending time in various reports that 76 percent of car buyers rely Google Alerts for the name of your dealership social networks and UGC sites. Social media most on what their friends and family tell so that you get an e-mail every time someone marketing also includes the creation of a them about vehicle makes and models publishes it online with a link to the Web plan that identifies the sites to target and the considered during the shopping cycle. page it appears on? If “no,” then why not? nature of the dealer’s presence on each of Meanwhile, only 22 percent of car buyers those sites. This can be as simple as placing report basing their selection on what they Bottom line: Start listening to the online an advertisement on Facebook that targets read in a magazine or newspaper. Another conversations about your dealership and people in the dealer’s local market. research study, done by the Yankelovich the people who work there. Better yet, firm and published by J. D. Power, asked car you should be leading, stimulating and As we have seen happen over the years with buyers “What is the best source of advice on providing the venue for the majority of these traditional media, online media has evolved a new car?” A full two-thirds (67 percent) conversations affecting how automotive to better serve people’s wants and needs. responded with “another consumer.” consumers view your dealership. Since 2001, the cost of server-based storage has steadily declined, paving the way for Additionally, in 2005, it was found that 92 For car dealers, more than most business cheap and plentiful online hosting of free percent of automotive consumers reported owners, it is imperative that you have Web sites provided to consumers in exchange that “word of mouth” was their best source of systems in place to actively listen for for the revenue from advertisements that information on new products. anything being posted about your dealership, appear on their blogs, profiles, forums, and a process for immediately addressing photo and video pages. Further technology Even the competing dealer on the other side anything being said online that is negative or developments such as broadband Internet of town can spread malicious rumors about defamatory. That’s reputation management access and Web-based applications your dealership and in the hopes of stealing versus reputation chaos. (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) have your market share. It is important to realize Next month, we’ll examine a dealer’s social created easy-to-use, fast and robust features that, in the absence of a dealership exerting media and reputation management action plan. that streamline the online establishment of some level of control and influence over these sites. their online consumer reviews, just a few Ralph Paglia, is the director of digital bogus reports can become your dealership’s marketing at ADP Dealer Services. He can Today, automotive consumers spend a lot new reputation when there are no other be contacted at 866.883.9250, or by e-mail of time online visiting their social networks reviews of your dealership. On the other at and UGC sites, such as YouTube and Flickr. In other words, with social marketing you Top Online Member Communities Destinations Ranked By Unique Audience are “fishing where the fish are.” Just imagine Site June 2008 June 2009 Y-O-Y both the potential that these communities can provide to your dealership, or the loss to your Member Communities Category 108,341 138,635 28% dealership if you fail to connect. Facebook 29,292 87,254 198% 59,549 62,831 6% What is Online Reputation Blogger 40,553 42,922 6% Management? 1,033 20,950 1,928% In today’s world of UGC sites, customers 17,201 16,922 -2% can quickly air their opinions. Because there Classmates Online 15,474 16,224 5% are so many sites soliciting consumers’ LinkedIn 9,583 11,417 19% viewpoints, a negative review or dealership Six Apart TypePad 11,189 10,079 -10% rating may be instantly seen by thousands of Yahoo! Groups 9,801 8,364 -15% local customers before a dealer is aware that2 the negative report even exists! Think of it 2,867 7,625 166%0 Source: Nielsen NetView, June 2009, (U.S. Home and Work)
  • sales&trainingsolution TomHopkins SIMPLE STEPS TO ESTABLISHING RAPPORT Before qualifying they may bring up. At the very least, you planned appointment, then a handshake or beginning your and they are drivers on the same streets is appropriate. However, if they are just presentation, it’s wise to invest some time and likely live in the same area. Just find popping by, a handshake may be too forward establishing rapport. Just a few minutes something they can agree with you on that’s and not comfortable for the other party. will usually be enough, though. Stay in this not about vehicle ownership early in your By the way, there is no difference between step too long, and your potential buyers will contact. a man’s and a woman’s handshake. A begin to think you don’t care about selling handshake should never be limp. It should them a vehicle — you’d rather just make Something else you can discuss is a non- be nice, deep and firm. No pumping; just a new friends. controversial topic. It may be the weather or nice, firm handshake. a sporting event. Just make sure it’s topical. During this time, your goal is to help your Just don’t bring up politics or religion. Pay Attention to How They Speak potential clients relax with you, to like you I always like to give a sincere compliment. When you first start listening to them, adjust so they’ll trust you and listen to what you If the condition of the vehicle they arrive in your rate, speed and volume of speech to suggest as a solution for their automotive is excellent, they are proud of that. When match theirs. You don’t want to be talking in needs at the end of the selling process. If appropriate, acknowledge this and pay a loud volume at a fast rate if your client is you rush through this step of the selling them a compliment. You may be able to a soft-spoken individual. If you’re speaking cycle, they’ll likely balk at making a buying compliment them on the amount of research too fast, it can be difficult for him or her to decision later. they’ve done prior to meeting with you. follow your presentation which can lead to These days, people get a pretty good idea frustration on the buyer’s end. Let me introduce you to a few ways you of what they want online. Coming into a can work down their natural wall of sales dealership is more a formality or a way to When you have established rapport and are resistance. see the vehicle they think they want “up ready to move into the step of qualifying close and personal.” them as to their needs, put them at ease First, Always Use the Clients’ Names with an introductory statement. It might the Way They Give Them “When you meet someone new, always go something like this, “Let me begin by If your client introduces himself as thanking you for the time that we’re going to “Anthony,” don’t call him “Tony.” Don’t call share. Let’s consider this meeting somewhat James, “Jim” or Margaret, “Maggie,” “Meg” exploratory, meaning I’d like to analyze or “Peg.” Some folks just hate derivatives your needs and get a feeling for what you’re of their names, so use their names as they looking for. Oh, by the way, I don’t think we give them. Others just go by nicknames like should be in any hurry.” “Butch,” “Kitty,” “Deb” or “Bill.” When it’s time to fill out the paperwork, you have the The words, “somewhat exploratory” relieve right to ask for their legal names, but it’s not pressure and help them relax. The words, “I necessary to use any version other than what don’t think we should be in any hurry” lets they give you at the beginning. No one wants to be around an unpleasant person, your client know that you aren’t a typical much less go through with the time it takes to invest high-pressure auto salesperson. You’re Next, Make Good Eye Contact in a vehicle with them. Give a nice smile — you’ll find there to serve their needs. Demonstrating There is an old adage that if “you can’t look people will respond to you the same way.” this level of professionalism will make me in the eye, I can’t trust you.” I don’t them comfortable with you, want to work know if that is necessarily true, but if they When you meet someone new, always smile. with you and, hopefully, send you referral believe it, it is. No one wants to be around an unpleasant business. person, much less go through with the time it Find Some Common Ground takes to invest in a vehicle with them. Give a Between You and Them nice smile — you’ll find people will respond World-renowned master sales trainer Tom We’re all human. There must be hundreds to you the same way. Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins International. He can be contacted at of things we have in common with nearly 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at everyone on the planet. This can be done in Be Careful About the Handshake various ways. It can involve talking about There is a tendency to want to reach out mutual acquaintances or a similar situation and shake people’s hands. If it is a pre-22
  • sales&trainingsolution SeanV.Bradley BE CAREFUL: Don’t Let Your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter Account Get Your Dealership Into Trouble I recently got a call person was not going to happen. But what on social media sites like Facebook, from a frantic dealer. really hit the dealer hard was when she said MySpace Twitter etc, or I asked the dealer, who’s one of my clients, she was so disappointed with the dealership • if you choose to have crazy things on what was the problem. He proceeded to tell because they have that type of person your profile, you must set the profile to me about a phone call he received from a working there, representing the dealership. PRIVATE, or not for the public to see. disgruntled prospect. What kind of a dealership hires that type of individual? It is serious and important that you all So far, this was not totally foreign to me. understand that dealerships spend hundreds I have been in the car business for more What was the dealer to say, except “I’m of thousands or sometimes millions of than a decade now. As a manager, I have sorry”? He had no idea. The woman, dollars to advertise and build their brand in received my share of none-too-happy people however, would not hear any of that. She the community, and it can all be destroyed calling my store. So, I probed a little deeper told the dealer that she in her 50s and was by accident. into why my dealer friend was so upset. He not a computer savy person, but she was said he received a call from a very unhappy smart enough to “Google” her salesperson’s I doubt that the sales person in this scenario person who said they will never buy a car name! A serious business, such as a car ever dreamed of a prospect seeing his from him. They came into the dealership dealership, could do the same. profile, being offended and contacting his and were working with a salesman and, boss to complain. But, she did, he lost the after several days of working with him, they What could the dealer say or do, except deal, and the dealership got a huge black were close to making a decision. to feel very embarrassed and totally eye in the community. So, we all can learn unprepared for this type of conversation. from this mistake. So far, so good, right? Well, they This was negative word of mouth went online and “Googled” as well as advertising in the worst way, but it wasn’t Managers, create a policy in your dealership “MySpaced” the salesperson’s name and from something the dealership did directly; for ethics online, especially for social were utterly shocked at what they found. rather it was something a salesperson did. media. Social media is now the No. 1 form The salesperson had posted photos to Since the salesperson is a direct extension of communication for people on this planet. MySpace literally taking hits from a bong of the dealership, the salesperson is the So, we must be careful of the image we — his page was the page of a party animal, dealership in the prospect or client’s eyes. put forth online of the dealership as well in the very worst sense of the phrase. as the online image we have of all of the This is a true story — not a hypothetical, dealership’s employees! This was shocking for this prospect, to say or a what-if. You have to be careful at the least, who was going to entrust a major your dealership. If you are a salesperson, Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO purchase to someone like this. She rightfully Internet/BDC representative or anyone who of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in told the dealer that this is one of the most represents a business in any way, shape or the automotive industry. He can be expensive purchases she was going to make form, you must either: contacted at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at in her lifetime, and trusting this type of • not have inappropriate content at all
  • leadershipsolution PaulCummings THE POWER OF A POSITIVE ATTITUDE & One of my favorite “I believe that an accomplishment is made with 10% 90% quotes comes from Henry Ford. I read it when I was doing a report with one of my kids for his fourth- grade class. He said, “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.” ABILITY ATTITUDE I truly believe in this philosophy and make use of it in all aspects of my own life. I believe that an accomplishment is made If you have the right attitude about the task at hand, with 10 percent ability and 90 percent there is nothing you can’t accomplish.” attitude. If you have the right attitude about the task at hand, there is nothing you can’t will be perceived to have a bad attitude hold that position. She knew a degree was accomplish. You just have to believe in about your job when, in fact, you may out of the question because she was a single yourself and approach it with the right actually like your job. You also will not do mom and she didn’t have the money or time frame of mind. as well at your job, even though you have to go back to school. She had been in the all the talents and education it takes to be car business for many years and had a great In the workplace, attitude is extremely successful. deal of on-the-job experience. She would important. How you convey yourself to help me with anything I asked her to do, just others is the way your team members and Another quote that comes to mind that really to learn the job and be a team player. She customers perceive you. If you attend a puts attitude in perspective is from Dennis always did it with a positive attitude and meeting with a fellow salesperson or wait Waitley. He says, “The winner’s edge is never complained about any task whether on a customer and have a frown on your not gifted at birth, a high IQ or in talent. big or small. She knew it all mattered. face, complaining and show up late, you The winner’s edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude. Attitude When I informed my company that I was is the criterion going to resign to take time off to stay at for success.” home with my kids, they asked for my Therefore, quit input on who should fill my position. I Phone? making excuses for yourself and start thinking like immediately suggested that they hire from within and let this woman take over my job. They, of course, brought up the point that Smart! a winner! In all my years in she did not have a degree and said it would not work out. She had an incredible attitude at work, and never said “no” to anything Loyalty Driver the automotive you would ask her to do. She was definitely industry, I have a team player and wanted the job. After enewsletters are much debate and several interviews with seen many now available on examples of other candidates, they finally gave in and both positive said they would give her a chance. She has all smartphones been in that position for 10 years now and is and negative attitudes. Let me still doing a great job. share a quick story with you This story just reaffirms the fact that that demonstrates attitude is important. She doesn’t have the the power of a same education as a lot of comptrollers, positive attitude. but she was willing to work with a good I was working as attitude, and accepted that it wasn’t going Just another way to reach customers on the go. a comptroller at to come easy. It took a lot of hard work, determination and a great attitude to Now that’s smart. Really smart. a dealership and had an employee accomplish her goal. It just goes to show who wanted you that if you believe you can, you can. to become a Innovative Enewsletter Solutions comptroller but | 866-964-6397 did not have a college degree. Paul Cummings is president and CEO of She was told by Paul Cummings Enterprises. He can be contacted at 866.865.3171, or by e-mail at t corporate that you needed a college2 degree in order to8
  • sales&trainingsolution KirkManzo SALES FORMULA 2009 As 2009 comes to which stated that “only 4 percent of total car Realizing that not every appointment you a close, many will sales in the United States take place online.” set will actually show up at the store, what breathe a sigh of relief having endured the How are we to interpret this data? level of conversion should we use? While difficulties of the past year. Certainly there I accept that each salesperson’s skills will were challenges for everyone associated Many consumers, myself included, have vary, applying an appointment show rate of with our industry. Some brands like Kia, a threshold on how much money they 50 percent seems reasonable. (Feel free to Hyundai and Subaru experienced entirely will spend sight unseen for a product. adjust the number up or down as needed.) new levels of consumer acceptance, while Purchasing small electronic devices like a With a 50 percent show rate you will other brands struggled for their very camera or digital music player are decisions need 40 appointments, or approximately existence. easily made due to the small size of the item two appointments per day, to secure 20 and the relatively low cost (a few hundred additional ups in the showroom. This will It is important to understand the past to dollars) for the device. bring the ups count to 40, allowing for the prepare for the future. Our industry is more sale of the 10 units. than 100 years old and many of the import If you think about it, we all have a brands have celebrated their 40th and 50th dollar amount where we just don’t feel The next variable to consider is how many anniversaries in the U.S. market. So what comfortable purchasing an item sight outbound communication attempts will be has changed, and what continues to endure unseen, regardless of the 100-percent needed daily to secure the 40 appointments? over time? return policy. Based on the Deloitte study, E-mails may be used as a substitute for clearly purchasing a $30,000 automobile telephone calls to achieve your daily Clearly, technology has played a role in sight unseen falls in this category for the activity target. Keep in mind that not every consumer behavior. We have developed vast majority of the population. Even if the outbound telephone call or e-mail will into a society that has grown so impatient current number were to double in the next produce a call back or a response. This is that we place cups of instant coffee into a few years to 8 percent, this still means more where you will need to work with your microwave and have the audacity to stand than 90 percent of consumers “prefer to managers to develop and track results from there tapping our fingers on the top of see, touch and test drive their car before the group’s outbound activities to help the appliance willing it to accelerate the buying.” establish the conversion rates for your store. process. (Guilty parties need not confess. Hopefully, your CRM can do most of the You know who you are.) Realizing that, in the end, people buy from heavy lifting. people, your core selling skills and product All of the data available indicates that the knowledge will be the necessary tools to With the data in hand now, you should be vast majority of buyers will use technology succeed in 2010 and beyond. Your customer able to set a minimum number of daily via their phones and/or their computers to must feel that you have their best interests appointments at one or two per day, with the assist them in the process of purchasing a in mind, not that you’re just trying to sell understanding that, to achieve that outcome, new vehicle. While this behavior is well them something. In the end, they need it may require as many as 40 or 50 outbound documented, does this one dynamic then to like and trust you in order to make a calls and/or e-mails daily to supplement govern the rules of the game? Well, yes decision to do business with you. your floor traffic. and no. The often-discussed formula of “4 Ups This would create a new model that might Yes, your sales process cannot ignore to 3 Demos for 2 Write-ups to achieve 1 look like this: 1,000 outbound telephone/e- the fact that consumers will often choose Sold” will still serve you well. The key is to mail communications per month (50 per to contact your dealership using the expand this formula to include activities you day for 20 days) should produce 100 telephone or e-mail. So does this mean the measure to achieve the four ups. Following conversations, or 5 per day. This should conventional sales model of the “Road to the the formula above, in order to sell 10 units yield 40 appointments and, at a show rate Sale” has become obsolete? No, it does not. you will need to have 40 face-to-face of 50 percent, this will provide the 20 This fact was reflected in a 2009 Automotive encounters in the showroom to produce the additional ups needed to supplement the Industry Report conducted by Deloitte, desired result at month’s end. The question current floor traffic to reach 40 face-to-face you must ask yourself is will the 40 ups opportunities. The old model then applies: (approximately two per day) show up 30 demos to get 20 write-ups to sell 10 units. automatically based on your current flow of Low tech meets high tech. Now the past can floor traffic? For most people, the answer is be updated to account for the future. “no way.” Good luck and good selling. See you in This means you will need to establish Orlando at NADA. benchmarks and targets for activities that will supplement the difference. For ease of conversation, let’s say that the dealership Kirk Manzo is the president of The can provide you with half of the ups needed Manzo Group. He can be contacted at (20) to achieve your unit goal. This will 800.858.6903, or by e-mail at leave you with a target of 20 extra people to get into the showroom.
  • leadershipsolution GeorgeDans DECIDE THAT WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS REALLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO Decisiveness is the the old saying, “If you are killing time, you to serve and sell again. Everybody needs founding point of should be arrested for murder.” a pump up; we shower everyday, but we achievement. Being wishy-washy will hardly take any time to cleanse our mind Have you ever felt like you were mak- Tewart Enterprises Inc is helping us ately and I guarantee those results. never lead you up the success ladder. Make Be humble when it comes to change. or hit the “refresh” button. You can either ing little mistakes that are costing you to make our entire business more a decision today that what you are doing Most people hate change and would rather go through life or grow through life. It’s tons of money at your dealership? Do sound. With years of successful ex- • Sell more vehicles without spending is what you really want to do. Too often take a beating then change, though most your choice. If you have a bad attitude, it’s you feel like there are hidden profits perience, this team is innovative and $1 more on advertising people can’t decide and they want to keep people wish they had more change in their your choice; if you are poor, you choose • Increase your gross profits any- pocket. Have an open mind to listening to in your dealership that are just waiting up-to-date presenting fresh ideas their options open. Some people still need a to be poor; if you aren’t a good leader, it’s where from $300 to $800 a vehicle security blanket in life. Let go, grow up, be new but old ideas. If your purpose is to be because you choose to. to be uncovered? If you are like most to keep up with our ever-changing successful, then you will probably need the dealers, the honest answer is, YES, business. I would recommend Tew- • Make an extra $100,000 or more in the man or woman and grow on in life. help of others to achieve your goals. Don’t I can give you one great tip on leadership: Absolutely! art Enterprises Inc. to anyone who your service profits in 90 days or less Most people just seemingly never grow up. be afraid to ask for help when it comes to Use common sense and treat people well. • Double and even triple your sales growing in your life and sales. Everybody in life is looking for two things wants to improve their business. They allow their issues to have issues and It’s a shame for YOU not to make – Doug Mathers and service customer retention live a life with their hurts, hang-ups and — love and respect. How can you go wrong I am a motivator; my job is to motivate with that? more money, when these dealers do Russwood Auto Center, Lincoln, NE • Double your appointments and hates. How many times have you heard people to live a life of their passion, goals it so easily… sales conversion from Internet leads, people say, “Oh, I had a rough upbringing.” and dreams. Motivation is an inside job, and George Dans is the chief motivational Who cares? Let it go! Most of us have officer for the World’s Greatest Closer My name is Mark Tewart and I am the Web site leads, third party leads the best way to stay motivated is to keep organization. He can be contacted at Our association with Tewart En- President of Tewart Enterprises Inc. • Increase your F&I Product pen- what it takes, and it’s within us to be as your goals in front of you. That is why the successful as you want — all you have 866.861.5169, or by e-mail at terprises has been nothing short For almost two de- etrations by 25% windshield of life is big, while the rear-view to do is go after it. If you are waiting for of extraordinary. Our sales volume something better to come along, then most mirror is tiny. Who cares what was? We need to focus on what is. The word “focus” F Faithfully increased over 30% in the first sixty cades I have been helping dealers There are a few things immediately one • Discover the likely you will miss out. I call those people “hold outs.” They play the waiting game has a few different meanings: O C On Course days of implementation. More find hidden prof- that every dealer secret that will Until importantly, our sales gross in- and just seem to stand on the sidelines while life is passing them by. It reminds me of If you are the dealer or a manager, read this article to your team, get them excited U S Successful or Sold creased an average of over 68% its and correcting should be doing to make your dealer- little mistakes that ship an additional over the first five months of imple- were costing those make money, million dollars mentation. The bottom line result was an increase of over $350,000 dealers hundreds of especially in this or more over the thousands of dol- next five years — net to the Dealership Operation. I lars. These almost- economy. We have several have used many sales systems over magical solutions clients who have the years and none of them have turn little mistakes into instant cash already experienced this and it will ever provided the success that we machines of bottom-line profit. make the hair stand up on your neck are experiencing with the Tewart when you hear this. System. Because I have not met you and do not Walter Alfaro, GM know anything about your dealership, I Perry Ford can’t say how much money is being left Call 888 2 Tewart (888 283-9278) or unrealized at your dealership. However, e-mail to schedule Our grosses went up 30% on the I can say FOR CERTAIN that the a private and confidential interview. front end, and we added almost 50% number of dollars is substantial and ***We will share candid and specific in the back end. The best part of that would shock you, if you knew. information that will prove to you with- is that our sales also increased over out a doubt what I am saying is true. You 25% and continue to increase. There are a few things that every will see real dealer examples that support Gary Minneman Jr, GM dealer should be doing to make these results. Because of time constraints, Sunshine Toyota money, especially in this economy. there will only be a limited amount of Working with Tewart Enterprises is The Great News is that I have identified dealers accepted into this program. different from other consultants and those little mistakes and have big solu- P.S.: Please, only Dealers or General trainers. We are getting results with tions for them. NO BS, just real measur- Managers may very satisfied customers. In addition, able results that start happening immedi- respond.32
  • marketingsolution MattBaker WANT A ‘GOOD DEAL’? FOCUS LESS ON PRICE AND MORE ON OUTCOME It’s that time of year by more ambitious competitors. realizing he had spent more money testing again. Thanksgiving vendors than those vendors had helped him is just around the corner, marking the start While getting something for a cheap price make. Had this dealer stuck with his original to yet another financially, emotionally and may be exciting, it means squat if what direct mail company, he would have likely physically demanding holiday season. When you purchase provides no true value over gotten a better deal and a more positive adding this to the enormous stress brought time. The trick to keeping your budget in long-term result. on by our gloomy economy, who has time to balance is keeping your business in balance. plan for 2010? Chances are, not that many. That means you must weigh the benefits Sound familiar? Many, if not all, of that come from meeting your needs just as us are guilty of leaving at least one Now I know “planning” is a bit of a heavily as you weigh your costs. established vendor relationship simply dirty word in the auto industry. And, for because someone else’s deal seemed a a period of time, I couldn’t have agreed Let’s say a dealer is talking to a direct mail little sweeter. But continuously bouncing more. Focusing today on a strategy for vendor and decides to pressure the sales from one provider to the next often leads tomorrow always seemed like too big rep on price instead of focusing on an to more problems and less profit. While of a task, requiring time (and, in some aspect that could convert more prospects this dealer’s original direct mail vendor instances, patience) I didn’t have. But, into buyers, (I’ll admit that I, too, am a admitted to making an error, don’t overlook after making a few bad decisions in the culprit). Over-negotiating with the sales rep the fact that everyone is capable of making heat of the moment, I have learned that ultimately puts the dealer and the vendor at a mistake. What if someone in your simply flying by the seat of my pants does odds. Working against each other like this dealership “accidently” sold a car for less not ensure smooth sailing. In fact, in my decreases the probability of achieving either than you thought it was worth? Would you efforts to push off planning, I’ve passed up party’s goals and increases the possibility of immediately fire them? If that employee had some amazing opportunities to grow my vendor underperformance. Instead of getting a good track record prior to this mistake, business, ultimately costing me valuable a solution that will truly solve their needs, chances are you wouldn’t. How we treat our vendor relationships and a lot of money in the dealer receives a “bargain basement” vendor relationships should be no different. the long run. deal that returns little traffic and/or profit. Of course, the benefits of establishing long- Now I’m not saying you should let vendors term commitments with vendors aren’t So how do you stay clear of making the make as much money as they want. Just be same mistakes? Yes — it involves prior limited to direct mail. Take TV and radio cautious of what effects over-negotiation companies, for example. For those willing planning, but believe it or not, it won’t be as can have on outcome. Your goal is to get bad as you may think. This article focuses to stick with the same media provider the vendor working for you, with your best over an extended period of time, the better on the mistakes I’ve made when it comes interest in mind; not to get the cheapest to building a business strategy, in the hopes chance you run of getting the same spots at product they can sell you just to get your a more cost-efficient price. you can learn from what I’ve done wrong business. Unfortunately, this happens more — before you make the same slip-ups than you want to know. Although the task of planning for the yourself. coming year sometimes causes dealer’s Long-Term Commitment Pays Off heads to spin, understand that the more Focus on Tomorrow’s Outcome I was recently talking with a friend who’s you rely on and build upon your vendor Over Today’s Deal a dealer on the West Coast. He had been partnerships, the easier the planning Yes, almost everyone has a budget, requiring working with the same direct mail company becomes. Learn from my mistakes. In many of us to concentrate more on staying for quite a number of years and was happy November and December, challenge your within our cost-cutting boundaries than we do with their work. However, a slip-up in one of existing vendors to make a plan for 2010 for on the outcome we want. Over the years I’ve their recent campaigns caused the dealer to your store. You’ll probably end up with a had many salespeople call me to pitch their fish for a new company who could provide a better deal and a better outcome. latest and greatest. And, too often, I focused similar service at a much lower price. While more on how much of my money they wanted decreasing his costs in an effort to increase than what they could do for me in the long his profits seemed to make sense, the Matt Baker is the vice president of sales run. By being stuck in this deal over outcome for G&A Marketing. He can be contacted outcome of the new direct mail company’s at 866.618.8248, or by e mail at e-mail mindset, I’ve managed to pass up some really campaign was quite different than expected. creative ideas, and in turn watched available He continued to swap out companies six or market share get gobbled up seven times, and eventually gave up after34
  • sales&trainingsolution RichardF.Libin classified ads THE ONL CONSTANT IS THE Y ART OF SELLING CARS: TRAFFIC WANTED Dealers looking to take their online leads COUNTS, ATTITUDE AND BASICS to the next level. • Automatic posting to multiple websites • 250+ leads/mo from YOUR inventory Do you remember adopted a negative attitude that has become neglected, step in being a selection specialist. • NO third party leads when listening to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Words that kill The attentive salesperson knows when a • Sell an extra 15-20 units per month! music meant browsing through vinyl at the deals before they start — “no,” “don’t,” customer has truly selected a final vehicle; record store, being careful not to scratch “won’t” or “can’t” – have crept into the only then can they move to the next step. NO CONTRACT the LP when putting down the needle, or team’s vocabulary, helping to put the brakes Call 1-866-285-9986 or email to turning the radio dial to find a clear AM or on your success. Nurturing a positive Find the right car — the one that meshes FM station? How about always carrying a attitude is essential for any dealership with the customer’s preferences. dime for the pay phone, spending an evening seeking a portion of those sales. answering letters or looking at the family’s Move to an introduction — hood, trunk, encyclopedia or reading newspapers and We live on an information superhighway demo drive. This is all part of the selection magazines to find information? that has changed the way we do business. process. Today, the only two things customers can’t Today, much of this has changed. Music, do without coming to the dealership are If you try and sell a customer something movies and even television are delivered drive it and buy it — regardless of how they don’t like or want, you end up with via the computer or mobile devices. much research is done online. While it’s nothing. The key is proper selection. Protective is seeking a Divisional Vice President – Sales within our Asset Protection Cell phones, e-mail and social networks crucial for dealerships to make use of every When salespeople remember that their have become ubiquitous means of opportunity and tool to reach prospects job is to help buyers find the right car, Division responsible for the Northeast Region of the U.S. Excellent opportunity within communication. The Internet has virtually and get the information they need to spark “now” becomes irrelevant. If the customer an industry-leading company providing financial security through our suite of F&I replaced all other avenues for research and interest, the goal of all these tools should doesn’t have all the information needed products. Candidate must be able to manage dual distribution sales network; manage, information delivery; even newspapers, as help you to bring traffic to the dealership. to decide, then, how can the customer buy well know them, will be gone soon. Yet even “now”? Whether a buyer completes a deal mentor, coach recruit & train a direct employee sales force; capable of delivering though the way we engage is new, the basics What’s Your Job? today or next week doesn’t matter; what annual revenue & profitability improvements; recruit and manage an independent remain unchanged: we listen to music, watch A sales manager’s job is no different today matters is that they buy, and buy from your movies and communicate with others. than it was 20 years ago: to help salespeople dealership. Given that, if buyers want to agent distribution network; develop client accounts; create new client relationships; sell and customers buy a car. It’s not consider their purchase, the salesperson must administer regional affairs. Candidate must possess 5-7 years sales mgmt. exp. in an The automotive business is no different. The simply to sell cars. There is nothing in a gain enough information before the buyer auto environment; bachelor’s degree preferred & strong focus on customer service. ways we reach, interact and communicate dealership more important than taking care leaves to maintain contact, especially in with customers have changed; but the of customers and closing the business that the first 72-hours after the visit. Minimally, Have excellent listening, oral & verbal communication; negotiation/conflict resolution; art of selling has not. In fact, virtually is standing in front of you. A salesperson’s the salesperson should collect and record problem solving, presentation, organization & planning skills. We offer a comp. everything except the way people sell and job is to be a selection specialist who helps standard, detailed data; present the best salary with unlimited income potential; 401k w/matching co. contribution; cash based buy has been replaced with something new. customers choose the exact car that fits their possible deal on the car the buyer wants Ultimately, every customer still comes individual needs. Projections should be a before they leave the store; develop and pension; medical/dental/vision. into the dealership to drive and buy from a salesperson’s focal point, his or her daily execute a follow-up plan designed to bring For more information call 866.478.9241 or visit salesperson. roadmap, for helping a customer select the buyer back to close the deal. This and buy a car. When focusing this way, approach enables the salesperson to get the Attitude salespeople take a different approach: deal, and positions him or her to generate Salespeople and sales managers can buy-in additional revenue and referrals. to the negativity blasting Americans from Ask specific questions that are direct, but every angle, or they can actively sell cars. non-confrontational or pushy, and that draw Wherever there is a problem, there has to be Unfortunately, in virtually every dealership out specific information that builds on the a solution. Relying on the basic art of selling across the country, salespeople have stopped salesperson’s ability to move the process — the one constant in our business — will selling, managers have stopped managing forward. Find out how the customer intends enable dealerships to capture market share and dealerships have stopped thriving. to use the car — work, recreation, etc. away from competitors who only focus on We increasingly see one of two things closing the deal now. Always remember: A happening: Salespeople and managers Learn what the customer’s true preferences salesperson’s job is not to sell cars, but to push so hard that customers are intimidated are for style, comfort, color, etc., and what help customers buy them. into non-action and can’t make a decision, they like and dislike about their current car. Do you want to be a part of one of the fastest or customers aren’t given the option of They behave like selection specialists. Richard F. Libin is president of APB- growing software companies in the retail becoming a be-back — it’s buy now or Automotive Profit Builders, Inc. He can automotive market? vAuto’s pricing, appraisal, nothing. In essence, they’ve abandoned Listen to the customer’s responses. This be contacted at 866.450.6853, or by stocking and merchandising tools are an the basics — blocking and tackling — and is the most important, and often the most e-mail at evolutionary step forward for used car departments. If you have strong retail automotive and/or technology solution provider experience in the dealership industry, then we want you to be part of our tremendous growth. Send resumes to: Learn more at vAuto is an Equal Opportunity Employer.6
  • I love my old classics.BUT I’VE CHANGED MY OLD HABITS with vAuto—and transformed my dealerships. — Gary Duncan, Dealer (and Classic Car Collector) Duncan Automotive Network Roanoke, Virginia Duncan Other software is made to look like vAuto. But nothing else works like it.Automotive Network% of used vehicles sold Forget 60 days. Dealerships using vAuto are regularly turning used cars in under 45. Proof positive 72% increase that vAuto empowers you to achieve new standards. Live market data becomes investment insight. #% Extreme turn drives record profits. This is the formula for used car success in today’s market. And vAuto — the software, the people and the vision — is the only solution that can deliver it. #% before with vAuto vAuto See for yourself. Sign up for a demo of the vAuto suite at or call 888-536-4086.