AutoSuccess July 2011


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AutoSuccess July 2011

  1. 1. 2011JULY
  2. 2. The Pre-Owned Price Check The Pre-Owned Price Check Customers trust the RealDeal Ref to show them a fair price. RealDeal from vAuto helps us make deals, not concessions. — Randy Wise, President Randy Wise Auto Team Flint, Michigan RealDeal is the industry’s first pre-owned price check for dealers. Show your customers how your price compares in your live market. Prove you have a fair price and protect your margins. With RealDeal, the latest innovation from vAuto, negotiate less and close more sales. Call 1.877.988.7648 today or visit to schedule a live demo.
  3. 3. 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 THE #1 SALES-IMPROVEMENT MAGAZINE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220. 2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Kentucky 40299 | p 877.818.6620 / f 502.588.3170 | | Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution marketing solution leadership solution sales & training solution social media in The workplace: are you proTecTed? direcT mail, TexTing, TelemarkeTing and any oTher how To geT The feedback you didn’T wanT To hear maTching your experTise To your perfecT markeT leveraging The voice of The cusTomer To gain whaT everybody oughT To know abouT e-mail, how many phone calls can and should your The new digiTal paradigm: Three equals one 5 sTeps To sTop “under delivering” in The inTerneT sTar alignmenT deTermines The dealers find mobile apps help capture and retain customers craigslisT Top 10 faqs for car dealers how closing your mouth can help close more sales 7 Tips To handle The issue of price The ‘pr’s’ of greaT salespeople understanding the new ecommerce model inTerneT deparTmenT make? direcT markeTing sTraTegy success of your business (buT really need To know) car dealer promoTions: beware of The drp Trap more Than angry birds compeTiTive advanTage accelerate your sales success service deparTmenT an interview with nickiAllen silence pays 26 24 20 36 42 18 38 16 14 32 40 10 30 34 08 28 marshBuice mattBaker TracyMyers scottJoseph mattLamoureux daveDunn markTewart JoelleJay skipMurphy brianPasch lonLeneve JohnCarpenter seanv.Bradley dougBurkert susanGivens chadPolk 12 0 6 32 1 1
  4. 4. SusanGivens marketing solution more Than angry birds dealers find mobile apps help capture and retain customersA mere 12 months ago, if your dealership As more people continue to migrate from a Approximately 78 percent of people planninghad a mobile Website designed for multiple standard mobile phone to a smartphone (40 to buy a vehicle in the next 12 months will usetechnology platforms such as iPhone, Android percent of the U.S. population owned at least some sort of touch smart Web device (iPhone,and Blackberry, and if your dealership employed one smartphone by the end of 2010), app usage iPod Touch, Android) during the purchasetexting in its marketing, you confidently could will continue to skyrocket. process, according to a recent study by mobilesay your store was cutting edge. ad platform GreyStripe. It’s not just Angry Birds or other popularBut if that’s all you got today, you’re already games designed for smartphones driving app The study also shows 48 percent of people whobehind. Mobile Websites and texting are usage. At least 78 percent of smartphone say they will use a mobile Web-enabled deviceyesterday’s news when it comes to mobile owners use their device for shopping, in their vehicle search will use them to conductstrategies. according to an Ipsos Study at the end of last initial research into vehicles, 44 percent will year conducted for Google. compare prices of different dealerships while onThe latest technology development dealers the lot, 32 percent will find a dealership usingshould jump all over is mobile apps. Mobile “It’s happening faster than all of our internal their mobile device and 23 percent will actuallyapps are compact software downloaded to the projections,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt use their mobile device to contact a dealership.smartphone that perform specific tasks. Why noted at the Interactive Advertisers Bureauare mobile apps important to your dealership? Leadership Conference in April of this year., which developed a mobileBecause they are becoming more important to application four years ago, gets 18 percent of itsyour customer. By 2015, more than $119 billion in commerce traffic today from mobile devices – and much will be conducted over mobile devices, says of that on the weekends, which indicates peopleApp usage jumped a whopping 90 percent in investment firm Morgan Stanley. Several are using the application for actual car shopping.2010, and as of the fourth quarter of last year, studies show much of that commerce will68 percent of smartphone owners used apps. happen in automotive., meanwhile, is getting08
  5. 5. Salespeople quickly can access product benefits that are tailored to the customers’ hot buttons (safety, performance, comfort, convenience, etc.), walk-around videos, pictures, videos about the dealership, certified programs, leasing, finance products and accessories, along with introducing the customer to the service department. “When used properly in the sales process, these showroom apps help salespeople increase their closing ratios, average gross profits and CSI because they can answer questions quickly while also building value in the dealership and the products they sell,” said Bruce Polkes, Hughes’ partner at IntellaCar. At one dealership, sales consultants using IntellaCar’s app sold at least four more vehicles per month while averaging 30 percent higher monthly gross. The team of five sales consultants return on investment was 2,676 percent. Not only did sales and profit increase, their CSI jumped 47 percent.nearly a million hits a month with its mobile enhances the ownership experience. They useapplication. Mobile users are most interested in the app to deliver service reminders, recall Dealers are also giving service customers accessfinding vehicles for sale and locating a dealer, notices, lease end tutorials, equity alerts and to these apps on iPads in the service loungeversus some of the more in-depth auto reviews specials that bring the customer in more often where they can view videos about additionaland “research and compare” functionality. Like for service, repeat sales and referrals. services like car detailing, dent removal, much of its traffic occurs on the even new and used vehicle specials.weekends. By far, the most popular tool on DealerAppVantage’s app is the ability to Consumer Driven Solutions developed two“Industry studies show approximately 17 schedule service, says Ed Louis, co-founder of apps that help customers in the shoppingpercent of the U.S. mobile audience are the company. “It’s also easier for the customer process — Car Factor and“auto-intenders” — people who will buy a to get to the dealer’s mobile site,” he says. Using Car Factor, consumers can build andnew car over the next six months,” said Sean “Customers aren’t typing the dealer’s URL into compare vehicles, view vehicle reviews andWolfington, owner of www.Tier10Marketing. the mobile browser anymore. Instead, they’re obtain “With 20 million auto-intenders in the using the app to get there.”mobile universe, and one of three of them It’s proving to be popular with customers.using a mobile device at some point during Selling customers on the advantages of Car Factor is the No. 1 most downloadedtheir vehicle search process, car dealers need to downloading a dealership app to their mobile automotive app in the world and has a four-starcapture this market.” device is easier than it was trying to obtain user rating, the highest consumer rating of any e-mail addresses a few years ago, Louis says. automotive app in the App Store.A well-designed mobile app can help dealerscapture those customers using their phones in “One, you can put signs up all over the, lets consumers scan the bartheir shopping process. dealership promoting the app,” he says. code on a vehicle’s MSRP sticker to obtain “Service advisors can promote it, or the new an immediate guaranteed low price on everyHundreds of dealers have started providing car delivery person can do it. There are a vehicle in the dealer’s inventory.apps to their customers following the number of ways. You can even promote it topurchase or service of a vehicle in the last people who visit the dealership but aren’t ready “Dealers can advertise that they can providefew months. DealerAppVantage has created to purchase by showing them how it can help Instant Guaranteed Low Price quotes in 60an app that’s been downloaded by more than them in the shopping process.” seconds or less,” said Chad Collier, president160,000 customers since last year. Using the of Consumer Driven Solutions. Theapp, customers can schedule appointments, IntellaCar, meanwhile, developed an app app will be available to theget roadside assistance, find gas stations for the iPad and other mobile apps to help 60+ million Costco, AAA and Navy Federalwith the cheapest gas, buy accessories, view salespeople promote the dealership, vehicles, Credit Union members through their autotheir owner’s manual, find their vehicle in a finance, accessories and service. “Since most buying programs that sold more than 300,000crowded parking lot and receive alerts when customers research online before visiting vehicles last year.the parking meter expires or when their kids a dealership, they often know more thanare going beyond the speed limit. most salespeople about the vehicle they are considering, and this knowledge gap can hurt Susan Givens is the publisher of AutoSuccess.Savvy dealers found the app improves a salesperson’s credibility,” says Jim Hughes, She can be contacted at 877.818.6620, or bycustomer satisfaction and loyalty because it co-founder of IntellaCar. e-mail at the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional 09
  6. 6. ChadPolk marketing solution craigslisT Top 10 faqs for car dealersCraigslist has been an incredible source of 4. i’ve been banned from craigslist. IP address. Your IP address can provideleads and revenue for car dealers, but doing how can i continue listing on the site? the geolocation of your network. Now thatbusiness with the site hasn’t come without Assuming you have been banned in every way craigslist knows your geolocation information,peril. There are a multitude of posting issues: (IP Address, MAC Address, craigslist account, it can serve up the nearest city and know prettyover-posting, posting too quickly, listings get and duplicate content), you will need to create accurately where you’re located. Don’t believeflagged, accounts get banned, certain computers a new craigslist account with a new e-mail me? Go to andget blocked, entire dealerships get banned from address and then post from a different location see for yourself.posting… and the list goes on and on. The (a different computer on a different network).bottom line is that craigslist was not created for 9. who can i call at craigslist tocommercialization, but instead as a community 5. can i post my cars directly to the talk about my issues?service — so they have absolutely no desire to site without a template? Nobody. Amazingly enough, there aren’tcater to businesses using their Website. Yes. In fact, it is a good practice to vary your any service agents for you to speak with. listings so you don’t get flagged for “duplicate Earlier this year, I tried calling the phoneSo how do you conduct regular business on listings.” After logging in, simply click the number listed on their WHOIS informationcraigslist? I’ve unpacked the top 10 Frequently “post to classifieds” link and follow the wizard. for After navigating the autoAsked Questions about craigslist from our It is a bit more work to copy and paste content attendant for an hour, I finally got a billingdealers to help you make craigslist a successful and then upload photos, but it’s well worth the person on the phone, who then sent me topart of your marketing efforts (and ideally, diversification of listing templates. “some guy” who told me exactly “we have lessdrastically increase your sales). than 30 people working here and don’t have 6. how can i post to multiple time for this phone call. Click.” True story.1. how come i can post from home, cities on craigslist?but not from my dealership? We get this question all the time from dealers, 10. is there a better time ofCraigslist has either blocked your dealership’s but even still, we do not recommend this day to post?IP address or MAC address. An IP address is a strategy. The best strategy is to post in your No one has reliable data to show that certainnumerical label assigned to any network device specific (or nearest) city and play within the times of day are better to post. Prior to the(a computer or network router, for example) policies of craigslist. If you want to try to beat April 22, 2011, changes made by craigslist,and is used for communication on the Internet. the system and try multi-city posting, then much of the monitoring of the site wasGenerally speaking, every computer inside you’ll need to use a unique e-mail address for manual or done by the community. The theoryyour dealership network goes out to the each account. Make sure that each account was that posting earlier in the morning wasInternet with the same external IP Address. If is always tied to the specific e-mail address advantageous, because most of the site policeyour IP address has been blocked, then any associated with it. You’ll also be better volunteers were on the west coast. As of thecomputer using that IP address will be unable off posting to each city from different IP update on April 22, we now believe that manyto post to craigslist. addresses. of the monitoring and security measures have been automated, so posting at certain times toA MAC address is a unique identifier assigned (Note: Multi-city posting is the fastest way to avoid manual detection is no longer your computer for communication on a get banned from craigslist. They do record the Our recommendation is to diversify yournetwork. If your MAC address has been location of your IP Address for each post, so listing times (morning, afternoon and night).blocked, then that specific computer is banned eventually they will detect the over-posting.from craigslist. The monitoring technology It’s like playing a clam shell game — you I can sum up all of these issues with oneused by craigslist can detect abuse and block might get lucky a few times, but in the end, question: “Why is it so difficult to workeither (or both) options. you’ll lose.) with craigslist?” The answer: craigslist is an online classified community. The biggest2. i could post earlier today, 7. why are my listings getting flagged? misunderstanding that dealers have aboutbut now i can’t post. why? Several conditions can contribute to your posting is that craigslist simply doesn’t careCraigslist issues temporary bans on accounts listings getting flagged, but the two main that you are there — period. The site deemswithout notice. They don’t send you an e-mail contributors are most likely other community itself a “community service” for individuals,or call you; you’ll just suddenly wonder why members flagging your listings (because they’re not companies, so they don’t care aboutyou can’t post listings. In many cases, this trying to keep companies off the “community” making it easy for you to brought on by over-posting or posting too Website) or a competitor is probably flaggingfrequently. your listings to reduce competition. Best If you’re already using craigslist, these practices to avoid flagged listings are to not post guidelines will help you improve your listing3. why aren’t my listings showing the same vehicle twice in less than seven days, strategy, and if you’re not using craigslist, thisup on craigslist? randomize your posting template, and not to list will help you drastically boost your sales.In most cases, craigslist will take 15 to 20 post 100 percent of your inventory every day.minutes to add a new listing to the site. If Your best option is to post less than 15 percentyour listings don’t appear after 20 minutes, of your inventory each day, with no more thanthen something is going on. They’ve probably 10 cars posted daily.placed a temporary ban on your account, butthey continue to let you post on the site. Our 8. how does craigslist know Chad Polk is the CEO of AutoRevo. He canrecommendation is to take a break from listing what city i’m in? be contacted at 866.873.0031, or by e-mail attoday and try again tomorrow. Whenever you post, craiglist records your
  7. 7. Search Engine Optimization • Social Media • Reputation Management • BDC Marketing • Leads by 50% • Sales by 20% • Your Online Reviews • ROI of Your Ad Budget • Your Digital Skills Tune-Up Your Sales & Digital Marketing September 21 Seattle The PCG Pit Stop® format is 1.5 days and designed to give dealers the opportunity to invest in educating their sta . The Saturday/Sunday dates are designed to minimize time out of the o ce. (888) 697-4167
  8. 8. “Serious buyers don’t just drive to car lots to randomly look anymore. They know what’s there before they go. Your online Web presence is critical to your dealership’s success.” Nicki Allen, of Classic Mazda and Classic Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Denton, Texas (in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area), knows that the behavior of the car-buying public has changed; those who are willing to adapt and stay ahead of the game will reap the rewards, while those who continue to do “what’s always worked in the past” will find themselves irrelevant or even extinct in the near future. “I think that 100 percent of my Mazda customers have had some contact with us online,” Allen said. “From the information we track, I’d say close to 70 percent of my overall sales come from Internet sources monthly.” Classic has a strong Internet presence and Nicki understands the key to success is the sales processes. “I believe we’re currently fifth highest in the nation for our Mazda close ratio with between 32 and 37 percent closing average. We put a lot of focus on using our technology to provide a consistent message.” While the Internet numbers from her Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealership don’t currently add up to that level because of the consumer target audience of those models (“Dodge customers will still pick up a newspaper,” she said), it still makes up about 40 percent of total sales with this number climbing. “Our used sales are about 30 to 35 percent Internet driven, but again, I’d say that 100 percent of those had at least touched us online in some way, shape or form,” she said. While Allen has only been in the industry full-time since 2006, she’s seen how it has evolved through her entire life. “I grew up in the automotive industry,” she said. “My grandfather was a dealer and my father has been very successful as a dealer, winning several Presidents’ awards along with serving on dealer councils. I swore I would never join the business, I hated the hours, the stresses and the ups and downs I saw my family go through for so many years.” Nicki and her father discussed the changes in the industry and how technology was going to be the key. “He basically said, ‘This is your opportunity if you want to get in the car industry and make a difference.’ I was determined to make car selling and buying an easier, more efficient road to navigate and endure. I started in finance, and I’ve done a little bit of everything throughout the store since then.” The Classic Auto Group has been in a state of change ever since. “We built the Mazda building in October of 2006, and were the first ‘Retail Revolution’ store (a Mazda- led program that empowers the customer) in Dallas/Ft. Worth,” she said. “We also revamped and remodeled our Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram building that added 4,000 square feet, which we completed this February.” It wasn’t long after Nicki got into the business that the global recession chilled the entire industry. Fortunately, she said, her auto group rode out the storm. “The market is turning back around and everything is falling back into the normalcy of what it used to be,” she said. “We are doing about 175 to 200 a month between all three buildings.” While sales might be returning to “normal,” the way those sales are conducted are different from the way it was done in past generations. The Internet has been a game changer, and the customers coming to the dealership now are a different breed from those who came before.“When I first got into the automobile industry, it kind of amazed me that the industry, as a
  9. 9. whole, seemed to be about seven years behind the trends of other retail completely different experience from what most customers have, andverticals,” Allen said, “There really was this ‘good ol’ boys’ club that that’s why they always come back to us.”everyone refers to. So many times people do things just because it used towork. When I came in and started to take a closer look at things, we began Really understanding what customers are looking for has provento make decisions based on return on investment and managed what it was to be vital to the dealership’s sales process. “Everyone thinks thatactually costing us to sell vehicles. We started to base it on what makes customers are just looking for the bottom price,” Allen said. “Theysense, and busted up that ‘good ol’ boys just doing stuff to do it’ attitude. don’t necessarily do that — they will pay for a better experience. TheBeing a female and being a dealer, I have two huge targets on my back, online experience, especially with Mazda, is just enormous. Customersso it’s been interesting to dig in deep and get to know people and see how want to communicate in the way most convenient and relevant tothey think with the goal of changing those perceptions and bringing them them, and trying to fight that just doesn’t work the way that it used to.up to speed where needed in catching up our processes.” Customers are taking control of the situation, and that’s good — it’s the second largest purchase they’ll probably make.”Leveraging technology and the Internet as a tool to its fullest was one ofthe key ingredients of stepping into the modern retail age, Allen noted. Allen found that one way to make sure that customers are treated“Our Website is strong,” she said. “We dominate our area with SEO, but well, and treated consistently, was to make sure the sales processour presence is also felt in surrounding states. In the past year our Internet was smooth and uniform and their digital system helped that totraffic has more than quadrupled and we are continually monitoring be the case. “Everything goes into our CRM; it’s the backbonethe behaviors to improve the shoppers’ experience. We do SEM along of the entire company,” she said. “Every call gets logged. Wewith social media and online reputation management, and leverage do Website tracking, leads, service, appointment scheduling,what’s currently going on out there with the market, customers and the all the reporting…. It’s literally the pulse of everything wemanufacturers. It’s about providing a good experience and building a do. It takes out so much of the clutter and the way we used torelationship with customers through e-mail, video or text messaging as do things. Removing that waste gives us the time to actuallytheir preferred method of contact — the same way you would if they were produce an amazing experience for our customers and reallyright there in front of you.” make us stand out. We’re not running around scatterbrained — we know everything about a customer right there. It’s anBoth streamlining what did work and dropping what no longer worked enormous help.”proved to be an effective combination. “I stopped advertising for Mazdain the newspaper — that saved me $50,000 a month and our cost per sale This low-pressure culture works on both sides of the table;decreased 38 percent,” Allen said. Finding the right digital provider was a casual dress code and lack of unnecessary drama helpkey for getting their online operations smoothed out, and Classic went with Classic’s staff work the system the way it’s designed toVinSolutions. “When we brought in VinSolutions and their one-source be worked — to help the customer. “Customers just feelintegration for CRM, and were able to eliminate so many other products more at home with us,” Allen said. “They choose towe were using — that was a huge win,” she said. “We had one person service with us because of that. We sell so much out ofdoing one thing and another doing another in the sales process. After Vin our market into our competitor’s markets because wecame in, we were able to set those up automatically to make sure that make a huge difference with the experience. We put thecustomers got the same experience every time.” customer first and take care of them. We’re not worried about how much money we’re going to make or“Customer experience,” Allen said, “is crucial to building a sustainable anything like that; we want to build a repeat customerbusiness.” Classic’s tag line — “Relax and Enjoy the Difference” has been for life, not just focus on the one-time car purchase.changing the way people buy cars in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for around I like to tell dealers that and they kind of laugh attwo decades and sums up that philosophy. me, but our closing percentages have gone from the traditional levels to 26 percent on average.”“(That phrase) means everything to our employees and to me,” she said.“We really do business in a different way and we carry a very goodreputation. About 80 percent of our customers are return customers.”Eliminating high-pressure pitches was one of the first things done tobring their motto to life in the dealership. “When people come in, our For more information about Nicki Allen orsalespeople don’t work interest rates on the floor, and they don’t work Classic Mazda and Classic Dodge, visit on the floor — none of that,” she said. “When a customercomes in, the salesperson’s responsibility is to provide them with product For more information about VinSolutions,knowledge on the vehicle, to find the right vehicle for the customer that contact the CSO, Sean Stapleton. He can befits their needs and to listen to the buyer to ensure they’re making the contacted at 866.240.1996, or by e-mail atright choices. The finance department then takes care of payments. It’s a
  10. 10. MarkTewart sales & training solution 7 Tips To handle The issue of priceTip no. 1: Avoid the Myth — “Salespeople Tip no. 4: Set the Stage — How do you buying patterns and preferences. You willcreate numbers and managers create gross.” This address price? Are you practicing stone-age create role reversal in the selling process andstatement is a myth. How well a salesperson sales techniques? Do you actually believe, as discover how the customer communicates.establishes a relationship with a customer many sales trainers teach, that you can avoid The customer will explain what their “hopeand asks questions that uncover wants, the issue of price? Notice I said the “issue.” for gain” is by communicating their dominantneeds, emotions, previous buying patterns, You would not stand for old-school “avoid keywords. About 95 percent of your customerscommunication styles, the customers HFG (hope and evade” techniques, and neither will your will have one or two keywords that they repeatfor gain) and more will determine gross profit customers. Try setting the stage for price over and over that will communicate what ismore than anything a manager can ever do. by addressing how you and your dealership most important to them. handles price. There’s an old saying that “YouA salesperson must create a buying can’t sweep crap under the rug and expect the After you first greet a customer and begin toenvironment and experience that transcends stink to go away.” Address the issue of price up communicate, tell them the following, “Let’sprice. The price pendulum works. When value front and with confidence. You will notice the walk over to your vehicle for a quick secondexceeds price, people buy. The value can be trust and comfort you create with customers for two reasons. One reason is I can get all theperceived in many forms and channels. Value because of this. information about your vehicle so when thecan be perceived in the 3M’s: Money, Me market value is being determined I will haveand Machine. Value can be communicated Tip no. 5: What do you say? — Don’t wing all the information necessary and that will saveemotionally, logically, experientially, it. Know exactly what to say to a customer you a bunch of time. Secondly, as I am gettingconceptually, fear based, happy based, product when the customer asks you what your best the information I want to ask you a couple ofbased, salesperson based and more. price is. Competence = Confidence. When questions about the vehicle and from this I you are competent in handling the question, usually come up with a few ideas to save youTip no. 2: Sell Apples to Oranges — What your confidence goes up and the customer some money, fair enough?”is different about your sales process that will follow you anywhere and do anything.creates “WOW?” What makes your process Example: “Absolutely! I will get you pricing Notice I am anchoring in two things: savingso much better that price becomes less of an on anything you want. The price on every time and saving money. Your customers allissue? Create “apples to oranges” choices vehicle on the lot will vary somewhat because want to save time and money. Perception isand distinctions on Money, Me and Machine. of the following: Time in inventory, supply reality. You are setting the perception of realityExample: Use a different meet and greet such, and demand of the vehicle, current factory to save time and money. You are talking theas “Hi, folks, welcome to ABC Motors. Are programs and dealership promotions. Let me language of the out beginning to look and shop around?” get you the correct price based upon on thoseThis takes the traditional response of “I’m factors. By the way, so I can get you the best Tip no. 7: Practice Give/Get — Never givejust looking” away but does so in a positive price, let me ask you…” something without asking to get something inmanner. If you receive an e-mail contact, then return. This establishes value in your price,use video e-mail to contact the customer back. step 1 – Listen your proposal of the price and you. You areYou will be unique from all other dealerships step 2 – Agree (“Absolutely!” “Sure!” “You also establishing some pain to the practicewho reply back to the customer. First bet!”) of the customer asking. If you give withoutimpressions count. step 3 – Address (use a word track like the asking for something in return then you are one above) rewarding the act and associating the emotionTip no. 3: Walk the Wheel — Draw a circle step 4 – Segue (bridge from the addressing of of pleasure to the act of asking. Like Pavlov’sand draw a series of lines coming out of the the question to redirecting using a phrase, such dog, what gets rewarded gets all around the circle. On one side of as “By the way...”)the line, you have one option. As an example, step 5 – Redirect (ask questions about car To receive the free special report “Increasingyou could have “financing,” and then on the buying and car trading) Sales and Profits by Handling Objections”other side “leasing.” You could have a line e-mail me at the address below with the wordwith “long-term financing” and then “short- Tip no. 6: Dig Deeper, Dig Deeper, Dig “Objections” in the subject line.term” on the other. Keep doing this until you Deeper — Most salespeople go skin deepexhaust every possible scenario you can think with customers, but you could and should dig Mark Tewart is the president of Tewartof. When you think of better options, the issue deeper. Go deeper by going to their trade- Enterprises, and the author of the best seller,of price will become lesser in consideration. in first. When you go to the trade-in first, How To Be A Sales Superstar. He can beYour competition will often be very narrow in you are going to their comfort zone. When contacted at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail attheir focus. you go to the trade-in first, you unlock their
  11. 11. DaveDunn leadership solution beware of work in the door, plus exposure to customers they previously had no relationship with. The drp Trap The down side There is, however, a real downside to consider. Once the insurance company starts directing large amounts of work to you, they inevitably start exercising some control over pricing andAll too often, dealer bodyshops think that the answer to their problems is chasing and signing operations, as well. The pricing pressure canup as many DRPs (direct repair programs) as possible. Certainly there can be some positives be severe, and all of a sudden your marginsthat come from having work directed or referred to your shop. For one, the average consumer is suffer. Additionally, employee morale can befairly easy to steer or intimidate into going wherever the insurance company recommends. Since affected as the insurance directions may notthe average consumer only visits a bodyshop once every seven or eight years, they are often always be the best way to properly repair a carambivalent as to whom they choose for crash repairs. The upside for the dealer shop is more in the eyes of your technicians. The pressure to use generic parts rather than OEM parts is a real source of frustration to many on the repair side of things. The dealer should be selling Is Business Falling Through the their own parts, rather than chasing all over the country for used or aftermarket parts. CRACKS The real issues The aforementioned issues are real and almost always are debated when deciding on getting into bed with insurance companies. The real issues are more subtle, but perhaps more impactful. Bodyshop estimators must see themselves as salespeople and not simply technicians or order takers. All too often, the sales acumen of the estimators in a DRP shop becomes soft. The salesman may start feeling entitled to the business and be less inclined to improve their closing ability. Once this attitude creeps in, it is difficult to get the estimator to act like a professional salesperson. They often stop tracking key performance indicators like traffic, new sales and batting average. Should the DRP drop you for some reason, you also risk losing a large chunk of business in one fell swoop. What I see as an even bigger danger, however, is when the bodyshop manager pays more attention to the demands of the DRP- related customer and takes his proverbial eye off of the current relational customer who your dealership sells cars to. The current relational customer should never feel as if he or she is being treated as if they were a second fiddle. The decision to drp or not I am not anti DRP. I am, however, concerned at the lost good will and brand damage your Let Us Close the Gap bodyshop can do to the dealership if these priorities are not kept in order. Remember to reinforce the importance of salesmanship constantly to your bodyshop manager. Above all, keep score. Track your traffic, new sales and batting average. If you respond to this article with full contact information at the address below, I will send you an electronic sales scoreboard which will WEBSITES | MARKETING | CRM | ILM | SEO | TRAINING | CONSULTING help you track your sales performance. 877-319-9035 Dave Dunn is the founder of Masters School of Autobody Management. He can be contacted at 866.386.0042, or by e-mail at