A SPECIAL ISSUE NADA SPECIAL ISSUE NADA SPECIAL ISSUE NADA SPECIAL ISSUE NADA SPECIA
756 South 1st Street PRSRT STD
Suite 202 US POSTAGE
Louisville, KY 40202 PAID
PERMIT NO 879
a division of Systems Marketing, Inc. www.autosuccess.biz
• BZ Results 3124
BZ Results is a digital marketing & training company that has a great new system that helps dealers sell & service more vehicles proÞtably.
TOP 10 BZ’s clients include United Auto Group, Group 1, Herb Chambers, Red McCombs, Sheehy, Paul Miller, Larry Miller, Courtesy Chevrolet,
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NADA tour of this new system visit: BZResults.com
• J&L Marketing 4731
Established in 1991, J&L Marketing is without equal when comparing automotive direct marketing companies. Their philosophy is simple - there are only three ways to
grow your dealership: 1) Increase your number of customers, 2) Increase your average gross per deal and 3) Increase the frequency of repurchase – get more residual
value out of each customer. With a customer base of over 6,000 dealers and managers nationwide their ground-breaking J&L Marketing Growth Strategy™ is producing
staggering results and has eliminated the number one challenge for most dealerships - trafÞc.
• Dealix 5415
In 2005, Dealix is expanding their quality and service initiatives, continuing to help dealers sell more cars, more efÞciently. Their combined efforts with The Cobalt Group will
bring an even more dynamic product to their customers to increase sales and help improve dealership efÞciencies. Dealix has been rated the number one lead provider in
studies by J.D. Power and the Dotcominsider. Their goal is to continue to win over customers with high quality leads and superior service. The Dealix Quality Team enhanced
their lead scrubbing and call veriÞcation technologies to ensure customers receive leads only from the most serious car buyers. Dealix is committed to provide even better
one-on-one service and has expanded it’s Lead Acquisition Network, adding hundreds more of the best auto sites on the web.
• Autobase 4819
Autobase, Inc. has provided the automotive retail market with premier customer relationship management (CRM) solutions since 1988. Autobase Sales Center™, the ßagship
of the Autobase suite, is now in its sixth generation of development, boasting 17 years of successful implementation in dealerships of every demographic. Over 15,000 auto
professionals go to work every day and use Sales Center™ to sell more cars. Newly-released and already manufacturer-endorsed for it’s innovative approach to business
development, the Autobase Loyalty Center™ is the most recent addition to their suite of solutions. Their rich history, strong reputation, comprehensive industry knowledge,
and pioneering work in feature-rich CRM and BDC technology have long impacted the bottom line for proactive dealers nationwide.
• TimeHighway.com 4430
TimeHighway.com is the premier, on-line solution for service department appointment scheduling, allowing dealership customers to make a conÞrmed service appointment
24 hours a day, seven days a week. BeneÞts to the dealership include: replacing telephone-based scheduling with Internet technology that enhances the effectiveness
and customer satisfaction of the dealership, reduces in-bound telephone calls and drives trafÞc to the dealer’s website. Customers prefer the ease and convenience of
the Internet to do their banking, shopping, make travel arrangements, etc. and now with TimeHighway.com, they can schedule their service appointments online, no more
waiting on hold to make an appointment.
• The Joe Verde Group 931
JOE VERDE • Your Training Partner Since 1985, the Joe Verde Group has been helping dealerships improve their sales and gross by providing the best sales and sales
management training in the automobile business. Joe Verde’s up-to-date sales training helps dealerships implement effective sales training that works to build a solid sales
team and long term, satisÞed customer base. Joe’s management training addresses today’s challenges and tomorrow’s needs by helping dealers build top performing
management teams. The bottom line… the Joe Verde Group provides a dealership with clear-cut solutions that boost their sales, proÞts and customer satisfaction.
• ProResponse 3058
ProResponse, Inc. CRM with proven results, represents nearly 300 dealers nationwide. Their services are geared toward total showroom control with ProScan® Touch
Screen driver’s license reader, prospect tracking (phone, ßoor and Internet), and sold customer follow-up for Þve years. ProResponse is a service company assisting dealers
each day with database management, data cleansing, data mining, and effective target marketing. They are e-mail enabled and FTC compliant, running prospects and
customers against the “Do Not Call” list daily. They provide on-site training and monthly service visits “In Your Dealership”. Their programs are also written in Spanish and
French. They seamlessly integrate with Who’s Calling, Call Source, Call Bright, Call Command, EPencil and many others.
• American Auto Exchange 5755
Founded in 2001, American Auto Exchange is revolutionizing the way dealers conduct business by Þnally assembling all the pieces necessary to running a streamlined, high
tech used car operation. Through the use of the aaXchange tools, dealers are dramatically improving the way they operate their used car departments.
American Auto Exchange works with thousands of dealerships across the United States who have chosen to utilize the American Auto Exchange Real Time Vehicle Trading
Network, the aaXchange proprietary Vehicle Management System (VMS) and a new integrated intelligent vehicle launch product with Ebay.
• Ultimate Warranty Corp. 1411
Ultimate Warranty Corp. provides leading-edge service contracts and ancillary F&I products. More than 7,000 dealers have recognized the advantages and have beneÞted
from selling Ultimate Warranty Corp. products. Ultimate’s package has proven that it can propel its client base to the front of the pack in terms of quality, proÞtability,
compliance, customer retention, and CSI. Stop by the booth, and Ultimate Warranty Corp.can show you how they are making a great thing even better in 2005. Ultimate
Warranty Corp. has some great new things to offer to its clients at no additional cost. Ultimate Warranty can truly show you how to do more with less.
• The WolÞngton Group 527
The WolÞngton Group produces high performance sales events on behalf of new car dealerships across the country, with no outsourcing or subcontractors. The Þrm maintains long
term relationships with dealerships, providing marketing territories and strategies that help The WolÞngton Group dealers outperform their markets. A WolÞngton Group produced
event brings an atmosphere of fun and excitement to the dealership, creating a great buying experience for the consumer and a positive selling experience for the dealer’s sales team.
Harry WolÞngton, President, provides his insight and experience to auto dealerships through his six sales teams. “Being a small company, we are more focused on each individual
event. Our dealers get an attention to detail from our staff paralleled by none.” It’s this philosophy that has earned The WolÞngton Group a spot in this year’s “Best of the Best”
TOP 10 BEST OF THE BEST
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ProResponse is the only system I have ever used where
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Available in Spanish www.ProResponse.com
sf special feature
Has the Drive to Succeed
Thousands of young difference to ensure this type of violence
men and women who stops in America in his lifetime.
will be graduating
high school or Orrin left behind his successful car
college this spring dealership, which he had owned for 10
are looking forward years. He focused every personal asset, and
to the ultimate graduation present. Mom all of his savings to launch his grassroots
and Dad have promised a trip to the local crime prevention program, Be Someone
dealership to pick out their ﬁrst automobile Inc. He targets crime where it begins, in
upon graduation. the inner cities of our country disguised as
poverty, sickness and hopelessness.
There are, however, thousands more young
adults who will never realize that American Orrin has developed several mentoring
dream. Their lives are starkly different from programs that teach children life mastery
mainstream America. Many at-risk children skills, using chess as a metaphor. Using
living in the inner cities of our country his personal resources, dedication and CNN, Orrin and his life changing programs
have no hope of ever ﬁnishing school, passion for his dream, he has touched the have been featured on Fox News, CNN,
or attending college based on the current lives of more than 15,000 children and their TBS Superstation, as well as having been
deplorable circumstances in which they families. His programs have been taught in highlighted with a full-page article in USA
ﬁnd themselves. more than 30 schools in ﬁve states. Today. He has been interviewed and his
programs featured in countless media and
One man has vowed to change this grim Dramatic changes occur in the lives of news outlets.
prediction by dedicating his life to the these children when someone who is as
fulﬁllment of his personal dream. Orrin powerful a mentor as Orrin Hudson appears Although the recipient of numerous
Hudson, a leading nationally recognized in their lives. They immediately respond to community service and leadership awards,
chess champion has turned his dream of his charismatic personality and energetic Orrin remains humble and thankful for
mentoring children through the game of teaching style. Upon completion of Orrin’s the opportunity to serve his community.
chess into a life-long pursuit. classes, reported improvements include His personal reward is in the achievement
extended concentration time, improved of the children throughout the country
In 2001, Orrin was shocked, as was the rest grades, more positive social skills and currently enrolled in his programs. He has
of the country, to hear of the incident in concern for others. Students exhibit the recently received the 2004 Martin Luther
Queens, New York in which a young black ability to think more clearly and apply King Jr. Community Service Award, 2004
youth terrorized the patrons of Wendy’s problem solving skills. They develop a TBS Superstation Pathﬁnders Award
Restaurant. He ultimately herded several clearer understanding of consequences and for Education, and 2004 Atlanta Braves
of them into the cooler and shot them in the ability to recognize patterns to increase Leadership Award, among others. As a
the head for a paltry sum of $2,000. As a forward thinking. testament to his selﬂess achievements, he
former U.S. Air Force and Alabama State is currently the subject of an upcoming
Trooper veteran, Orrin vowed to make a Dubbed the “Piped Piper of Positivity” by screenplay expected to be released next year.
What does Orrin Hudson have? Heart. His that results. If they can’t ﬁnd a way to win and share with your employees and their
passion for learning, and burning concern at life, we all lose,” Orrin Hudson said. families the powerful success mastery
for the students he mentors, keeps him skills that he has taught to thousands. He is
working long and hard even when his If Orrin and Be Someone, Inc can reach a dynamic personal coach.
personal resources are depleted. He needs them before its too late ... we are all
our support. winners. To learn more about Be Someone Inc. please
visit the Web site at www.besomeone.org.
As an author, trainer, coach, educator and “It is not just about the game of chess. It is To donate, sponsor children or sponsor a
motivational speaker, Orrin has amassed about the game of life, and learning how to school in your hometown, please contact
some hefty accolades. win at every level.” Orrin Hudson Orrin. Be Someone Inc. is a non-proﬁt
“I salute you on your quest to develop To thank you for your consideration and Orrin Hudson can be contacted
yourself in order to make a difference in help with his programs, Orrin has agreed at 800.901.3057, or by e-mail at
others’ lives. We are kindred souls in that I, to appear at your dealership for no charge firstname.lastname@example.org.
too, have always had an insatiable hunger
for knowledge and excellence. Live with
Passion!” Anthony Robbins, No. 1 best
DEALERS MUST BE
selling author, motivational speaker
“I am extremely impressed with your
organization, especially since our youth
are desperately in need of leadership and
guidance. I admire your zeal, and your
enthusiasm is contagious.” Brian Tracy
No. 1 best selling author, motivational
“Orrin C. Hudson is destined to inspire
See why over 100 dealers nationwide have
our youth in a positive and extraordinary INCREASED SALES MORE THAN 30% IN
way. I like his tough-minded optimism and
charisma.” Mark Victor Hansen No. 1 LESS THAN 90 DAYS WITH TELEVISION!
best selling author, motivational speaker
We produce nearly 4,000 commercials
“I enthusiastically endorse the work of a year from our studios. We give you
Orrin C. Hudson, founder and president
of Be Someone Inc. and all that he does
unlimited, high quality television campaigns
for our children.” Jane Fonda, actress, and promotions FREE. With computerized
director media buying technology, we buy television as
much as 30%-40% more effectively than any
“Orrin, you amazed me with your ability
to get results!” Jack Canﬁeld, author,
media buyer in the nation and give you
motivational speaker UNLIMITED TV CAMPAIGNS
You can partner with Orrin and Be
Someone Inc. Through your tax-deductible Call for a FREE demo tape and information.
donation you can sponsor a child or several
children today by offering scholarships to
the program. You will positively change
the life of a child forever. By partnering Larry John Wright, Inc.
with Be Someone Inc., you will be ﬁghting
crime, illiteracy and hopelessness for
thousands of American children.
“America’s Premier Automotive Advertising Agency”
“The future of our country and our youth
depends on what we do today. If we ignore
this generation and allow them to continue
to travel their current path through inner
city poverty and despair, we are also
responsible for the crime and desperation
january 2005 11
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
Are You an IMPACT Player
How can we become P = Passion modeling and our passion and our actions.
IMPACT players Passion is doing what makes us feel the We must enjoy our journey, not just the
in our companies, most alive!!! We must develop a passion arrival. Along the way we must remind
organizations, for what we do. This passion will get us out ourselves to have fun, loosen up and laugh
c h u r c h e s , of bed in the morning when we don’t feel out loud. We shouldn’t take ourselves too
communities, and like it. Passion sets ﬁre to discouragement. seriously. Remember: Angels ﬂy because
families? Here are a few ideas: Passion creates excitement in those around they take themselves lightly.
us. If you light yourself with passion,
I = Intensity people will come from miles around to T = Trust
We must be focused on our goals and watch you burn. We must learn to trust ourselves. Too often
dedicated to put forth the effort necessary we are waiting for all the lights to turn
to achieve those goals. Intensity doesn’t A = Action green before we leave home. There is an
mean being so serious you aren’t enjoying By turning passion into action, we will adage that states: trust your gut. We should
the process. It does mean being serious surely make an impact! Oftentimes, this learn to trust our feelings.
enough to overcome obstacles that stand in is the biggest challenge we face - putting
the way. Remember: you are either intense our passion into action. There are times By becoming an IMPACT player, all those
… or you are past tense! when we don’t feel like being impact around you will beneﬁt. Go out there today
players. Our passion is at a low level, and and knock’ em alive!
M = Model the correct behavior the feelings have gone. The key is this: We
Yogi Berra once said you could observe must “act” our way into feeling and not
a lot by watching. We should observe wait to “feel” our way into acting. Zig Ziglar is the chairman of the board of
positive role models and “steal” the Ziglar Training Systems in Dallas, TX. He
effective aspects of them. We should then C = Comedy relief can be contacted at 866.873.0026, or by
model that behavior on a consistent basis. We must enjoy our intensity and our e-mail at email@example.com.
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
10 Steps to CRM Success
A successful CRM 4. Build value into every customer record through the cracks any longer.
implementation will with processes
produce a tremendous You want your CRM feature-rich, and 7. Execute a strategic plan of business
return on investment. make sure those features work within every day.
Let’s examine 10 the framework of the sales process. Your Aim at nothing and you’ll be sure to hit it
fundamental steps to sales people will be able to take an up every time. CRM provides each sales person
achieving CRM success. and move through the sales process with with a daily business plan based on clear,
ease. Real-time Web-based services concise rules for every type of customer
1. Present to your staff the beneÞts of (such as reverse lookup technology and (appointments, leads, prospects, owners,
using CRM compliance with the Do Not Call Registry) renewals, etc.). It’s an automated list of
Sales people will save time because will enhance customer records. In addition calls to be made plus letters and e-mails to
worksheets, appraisals, credit apps and add to basic contact info, the customer record be sent. CRM ties into your phone system
ons are automatically and professionally will show all prospect history, all sales to measure outbound call compliance and
laser-printed. They will be able to move history (including gross proﬁt), all service to report on the calls your sales associates
through the sales process effectively and history, all after-sale history, a complete log. All of this data is analyzed in a report
with greater ease. It provides a simple, customer proﬁle, all credit information, format, allowing you to interactively view
but powerful, ﬁrst-pencil tool, credit complaint management (keep track of their each customer record.
bureau processing, inventory look-up, and concerns), all e-mail history and the DMS
appraisal management with Blackbook customer number (to create real-time data 8. Clearly identify customer types and sub-
lookup. Sales people will enjoy automatic synchronization). Finally, the process will types within your CRM
follow up, as if each had his or her own conclude with a complete analysis of all Unsold customers cannot be grouped
personal assistant who printed daily letters, data through interactive reporting. together. A customer who was unable to
sent daily e-mails, and strategically built secure ﬁnancing is different than the unsold
a plan of business 365 days a year. It will 5. Seek the immediate beneÞts of a real- customer who told his or her sales person
offer real-time integration with your DMS, time environment that he or she bought elsewhere. A be-back
Internet leads and phone leads. You’ll Reap the beneﬁts of a real-time environment that is ready to buy in days is different than
get total buy-in of your sales staff. When in which people, process and data are a prospect that is ready to buy in months.
sales people properly use CRM as a tool to managed. At any given time, your managers With a more detailed approach, you will sell
success, they all sell more cars, which will are able to see which customers (and sales more cars.
increase their income. associates) are in the dealership. At a glance
they are able to see today’s appointments, 9. Appreciate and acknowledge personal
2. Attack your database on a daily basis ups, prospecting/owner calls, tomorrow’s lead production (PLP)
Managers can easily create targeted appointments and sold units, both for today Your CRM can clearly categorize prospects
advertising campaigns. They now engage and the month. Managers are able to tell found through a sales person’s personal
in a daily review of the ﬂoor trafﬁc as who is responsible for the numbers (who is networking. It tracks referrals received
well as those deals that can be saved. doing their job and who isn’t). First-pencil during calls to sold customers. Teaching
Sales people log in every day to ﬁnd a ﬁgures are seen at the tower the moment your sales force to produce these prospects
planner full of opportunities from today’s they are created. On any deal not closed, will increase revenue in all departments.
appointments to prospecting for referrals a manager is prompted to follow up with Reward your sales staff for their own
and closing renewal business. Produce a call to save the deal. Now put this kind personal lead production.
results every day. of power into the hands of your BDC, and
you’ll see your call center, sales team, 10. Create a data collection process to
3. Prepare and service team work together in ways capture 100 percent of customer information
Your CRM provider is able to efﬁciently you never could outside of a real-time Successful CRM has less to do with cutting-
pull every DMS record possible, for both environment. edge features and more to do with how
sales and service. If a customer’s name and those features are designed to ﬁt your sales
number has been recorded somewhere at 6. Implement a speciÞc process for pipeline process. Attention to process is the main
some point, that customer will end up in management component a successful CRM incorporates
your CRM. These records are scrubbed Every customer record has value. When and the main reason why many solutions
against the National Change of Address sales people reach a barrier with a succeed in dealerships.
(NCOA) database to ensure that your data customer a trigger prompts a manager to
Bryan Anderson is the founder and
is accurate. Then each record is matched step in. When managed in a dynamic and president of Autobase Inc. He can be
with a current sales person and a plan for interactive process, dealerships save money contacted at 800.350.9683, or by e-mail at
follow-up. in a short amount of time. No one slips firstname.lastname@example.org.
january 2005 13
sts ms ls ﬁs lr AdamDeGraide
On Becoming a Servant Leader
How do you deﬁne servant leader is aiming to go beyond success in servant leadership depends on
leadership? Ken success and social signiﬁcance and how clearly values are deﬁned, ordered and
Blanchard, co-author approaches leadership as an act of service lived by the leader. Living out these values
of “The One-Minute from the perspective of what we can give and core beliefs is where most leaders and
Manager”, “Raving rather than what we can get. Sounds easy, dealerships can get into trouble. You cannot
Fans” and now the but leadership for the purpose of serving just talk the talk, you must walk the walk.
“The Servant Leader”, deﬁnes leadership others will fail if we fall prey to false pride Effective implementation requires turning
as “an inﬂuence process – any time you are and fear. the traditional hierarchy of a dealership
trying to inﬂuence the thoughts and actions upside down so that the customers and
of others toward goal accomplishment in Close examination of failed leadership the folks on the front line are at the top of
either their personal or professional life, efforts usually reveals a self-serving leader the organization with all of the tools and
you are engaging in leadership.” It makes who has been drawn by pride into taking too resources needed to do their job, while the
sense to measure our success as a leader by much credit, showing off and demanding leaders serve the needs of the employees;
our ability to shape what others think, do attention or by fear that compels a person helping them to accomplish the vision and
and say as they try and ﬁnd meaning and to protect him or herself, hide behind a direction of the dealership.
their purpose in the world. It can also help title, intimidate others, discourage honest
to ask if we are being selﬂess or selﬁsh. feedback and ultimately become known as Putting it into action
The answer to this question compels us to a control freak. In preparing your heart it Once you feel and understand the concepts,
search our inner motivations and measure is important to treat others as if they are as are you really willing to change your heart,
our actions and habits in light of the goal of important as we are. Why? We treat people your mind and your behavior to become a
being a better servant leader. In this article the way that we see them, and if we see better servant leader? Once you step out it
are some ideas for preparing our hearts, them as inferior we will treat them that is important to step up and stay the course.
bringing clarity to our minds and applying way. When we treat everyone as if he or Change is a given, it will happen. Your
and putting into action servant leader she were valuable and worthy of our time, organization will adapt or die, and you as a
principles within our dealerships, families respect and attention, what do you think person will either grow or go. By becoming
and communities. would happen in our relationships? Do unto “other focused,” we can truly begin to lead
others as you would have done unto you is the right way and others will want to follow
the Golden Rule, and it works. out of faith and hope instead of fear and
Prepare your Cleaning out the mind
manipulation. It’s been said that if life is all
about you, than you is all you’ll ever have.
heart, clear Garbage in - garbage out. It’s time for us In order to work at taming an addiction to
out your mind
to take out the trash, wash out the cans. personal pride it helps to ask some hard
When we allow our minds to be ﬁlled with questions:
and put it into so much junk, we truly need to ﬂush out
the garbage and bring in the fresh air of • Do I think of myself more often
action. As a balanced thinking. All great leaders have a than I think of others?
speciﬁc leadership point of view and belief • Have I developed a habit of giving?
system that deﬁnes how they see their role • Can I participate in a group without
you can and their relationships with those they seek taking charge?
to inﬂuence. Our belief system is shaped • Can I enjoy the successes of others
accomplish by our past experiences, our attitudes and or does everything have to be about
feelings, our perceptions, our capacity for me?
critical thinking and our education. What • Do I use plain, honest speech,
we think is impacted by what we feed our letting “yes” be yes and “no” be no?
mind. To make a positive impact on what • Do I do what I ask others to do?
Preparing the heart we think, it helps to surround ourselves with
Regardless of your title and position in the positive people and positive experiences. Prepare your heart, clear out your mind and
dealership, any one can be a leader. It has put it into action. As a servant leader, you
nothing to do with your job and everything You are who you hang with, never can accomplish anything.
to do with your character and your forget that. As a result, it helps to ﬁnd a
intent. Whether you’re the title clerk, the role model who has the vision to do the
receptionist, a sales person, a desk manager right thing and, from an implementation Adam DeGraide is an owner of
or the dealer, people in the dealership can standpoint, has the ability to do things BZResults.com. He can be contacted at
feel it when we have a mission and we’re right. Values are also important because 800.526.9804, or by e-mail at
seeking to lead for a higher purpose. The they deﬁne what you stand for, and true email@example.com.
Our consultants will help
your dealership achieve:
• Industry Leading
• Sustainable Sales
• Maximum, Compliant
• Power Negotiation
• Accountability and
Give Ziegler and
his team a call!
You want warm and fuzzy? We got
your warm and fuzzy right here.
Ziegler Supersystems • www.ZieglerSuperSystems.com • 800-726-0510
Call today to speak to a Ziegler Representative
In-Store Consulting - Management Seminars - Video Sales Training - Support Products
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
Almost $600,000 to the Bottom Line
An effective inventory management and inventory wholesale time data from NADA, Kelley Blue Book,
management system acquisition and liquidation. Black Book, MMR, CarFax, AutoCheck,
coupled with real-time DealerBasics and other services, many times
productivity tools, Most of the companies (vendors), who have within the same screen.
based on accurate entered the industry of pre-owned vehicle
market conditions management, aspire to meet the demand of A trade desk tool is utilized to assist those
and real-time pricing, will beneﬁt your those three areas with the ongoing feedback with multiple dealerships. This tool matches
organization because it gives the dealership from dealerships. The goal in mind is to surpluses and needs between dealers in
management team and the sales management beneﬁt multiple aspects of used vehicle a group that can be managed and traded
team the knowledge needed to properly operations and encourage the repetitive by a single group manager. You need
evaluate deals scientiﬁcally with little or no management processes for every used accountable key people operating the
guesswork. vehicle. management system, working with dealer
groups to customize backend fulﬁllment
Software systems have been coupled with A signiﬁcant aspect of used vehicle processes, including title processing and
the correct level of training and support so operations involves customer appraisals and transport notiﬁcations, to make the trade
that these new productivity tools are simple trades. Trade-ins account for approximately process efﬁcient.
to use, easy to implement and based on real- 60 percent of the pre-owned automobiles
time data in an ever-changing market. retailed by a dealership. There is also a mechanism for dealers to send
alerts out to other dealers for a vehicle they
Management systems for auto parts are a When the dealership knows at the time of are appraising or have in inventory with a
standard business practice at dealerships. the vehicle appraisal that this model tends requested buy-now price. Dealers receiving
It make sense to manage millions of dollars to retail for a strong proﬁt, or that another these alerts can counter with a different price
in pre-owned vehicle inventory as well. dealership within his group could use that for the vehicle or request to purchase the
Wouldn’t you agree there is a need? vehicle, the dealer can offer the potential vehicle at the buy-now price. This is ideal
customer a premium for their trade-in and for dealers to shop potential or recent trades
There are sophisticated systems for managing subsequently make another car sale – at a to a network of dealers.
pre-owned inventory. All systems have good proﬁt.
similar goals: eliminate wholesale loss and Some systems help to compile the
unproductive inventory, achieve consistent Use of these systems and processes can dealership ideal inventory model and gives
under-30-day turns, real-time inventory improve a dealership’s ratio from trading ideal and actual inventory calculations,
management control at the dealership level, for two out of 10 vehicles to almost ﬁve recommendations, aging reports, retail vs.
maintain proper inventory mix, provide out of 10. For an average sized dealership, wholesale reports and a quick-glance at a
instantaneous buy/sell recommendations, this could mean almost 30 additional new or dealership’s sales history with all makes and
provide more scientiﬁc appraisal tools with used car sales in a month, or approximately models. This makes the selection process
real market values and increased trade $45,000 in additional front and back-end for trades and the appraisal process more of
opportunities. gross proﬁt. a predictable, accountable process.
The biggest challenge for the used car Vehicle inventory management systems will There are tools that provide a trading network
manger can be adopting and embracing help the dealer and the used car manager that matches inventory needs between
change. Robert Kennedy said, “Progress is determine individual marketing strategies. dealers, thus creating a real-time channel
good but change is its motivator and change Some systems provide consistent inventory for dealers to shop vehicles over the network
has enemies.” The improvements of a used recommendations for each vehicle being while a trade is being evaluated. This can
vehicle management system will increase evaluated, as well as data that will help replace the system whereby the used car
proﬁts in all departments. make better decisions for each car deal. manager calls other used car managers, one
The consistent use of these tools will guide at a time, to see if they would purchase the
A dealership that instituted one of these managers to stock what will sell best at that vehicle, call wholesalers or purchase the
systems experienced the following. particular dealership. Consistent compliance trade unit at a conservative amount and
Before implementation, retail pre-owned with the inventory recommendations will later take the vehicle to an auction. Used car
vehicle volume was 97, after 116. Before result in increases of gross proﬁt and an managers are able to identify and purchase
implementation, the average retail pre- improvement in turn time of about 15 vehicles they know will retail well before a
owned front end was $953, after $1,220. percent. vehicle ages, therefore reducing wholesale
Before implementation, the retail pre-owned losses.
turn time was 25 days, after 21.5. This These systems provide daily inventory
translated into an average increase in front- management tools, such as book-out sheets,
end proﬁt of more than $49,000 – almost inventory recommendations, past history,
$600,000 to the bottom line that was laying vehicle condition history, book values and Bruce Thompson is the chief executive
dormant at the dealership. appraisal sheets. The appraisal portion ofÞcer and founder of American Auto
provides tools for dealers to track appraisal Exchange. He can be contacted at
Three main areas of pre-owned operations performance and trade rates and to work 800.901.3017, or by e-mail at
are appraisals and trade-ins, inventory deals with customers. It incorporates real- firstname.lastname@example.org.
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
Silence is Golden
Sales people need test all accessories, i.e., windshield wipers, • How many miles on the current
to bring out the true radio, heater, air conditioning, power seats, tires?
condition of the all power windows, etc. Record all defects. • Is this car equipped with a spare tire
customer’s trade- and a jack?
in professionally Next, drive the car with the customer and • Does the car have an environmental
because by not doing check for any mechanical problems. Helpful protection package?
so, we are leaving gross proﬁt on the table hint: Always ask the customer, “What is • Do you have both sets of keys and
due to over-allowing on trade-ins. that noise?” The customer will always the key fobs?
respond with an explanation. Make one
This can be corrected with a silent trade quick trip around the block. Once back at “And if you had to rate you car, Mr. or
evaluation (condition, not value). The the dealership, park the trade-in as close as Ms. customer, on a scale of one to 10, with
process starts after a quality demonstration possible to the vehicle they are buying. This 10 being absolutely perfect, showroom
drive and commitment to buy if all terms is a great opportunity to show the difference condition, how would you rate your car?”
are agreeable. between old and new. Most people respond between six and eight.
Where would it rate on the scale?
Once the commitment to buy has been
established, proceed to your trade This whole In consideration of this rating, the buyer has
evaluation. Ask the customer if there is three prices in mind for their trade-in:
a vehicle they would like to sell to the
dealership. “Help me, help you, sell your
vehicle to ABC Motors. Show me.” less than 15 to 1. Asking price.
2. Liking price.
With clipboard in hand and a trade
20 minutes and 3. Taking price.
evaluation form attached, start by having produces huge Through this process, the sales person
the customer read the mileage on his or her
vehicle. Record it on the form. No words returns. It also has can bring the customer from an asking
price, which always equates to a huge
from you, but you may want to do the wince
and ﬂinch (a very effective tool). Also, ask
a positive effect over-allowance based on actual cash value
of the trade, all the way to a taking price.
on yours and the
him or her to activate the hood release while The difference can be as much as $1,000
they’re in position. Proceed to the front to $2,000. This is the difference between
of the vehicle and lift the hood. Record a little or no gross to a much more fair and
any oil leaks, over spray, or worn belts
(Silence, touch and feel). Proceed to the scores. reasonable gross. It has the ability to take
a lot of the confrontation out of negotiation
front bumper, touch any scratches, dents, when it is time to present trade ﬁgures.
cracked headlights, etc., and record them. Then, bring the customer inside and sit him
Move to the passenger side, recording tire or her down in the negotiation area. This A customer’s perception can be summed up
wear (at this point, you may want to use the is the point where we ask them some key this way: I’m going to pay this much for the
“penny-tire wear gauge”). Hold a penny so questions: car I’m buying. I am going to get this much
you can slip it between the tread. If you can for my trade-in; all I have got to do is pay
see the top of Abe Lincoln’s head, the tire • Do you have the title? the difference.
wear is beyond the point where it will pass • Is this a salvaged title?
state inspection. Touch every dent, scratch, • Is the title free and clear? It is the sales person’s job to increase the
or defect and record them. At this point, wait • Lien holder – pay off? perceived value of the car they are buying.
for stories on how each dent happened. • Has the vehicle ever had any (Walk-around, November article) and
collision damage? If yes, what type respectfully decrease the perceived value of
Move to the back of the car and at this of damage and what was the cost of their trade-in. This is where the gross and
point, ask for the keys. Open the trunk, the repairs? your commission are.
hatchback, etc. Check for the spare tire jack, • Has the vehicle had any mechanical
look for any ﬂuid bottles, i.e., brake ﬂuid, repairs? If yes, what type of repairs? This whole process takes less than 15 to
transmission ﬂuid, oil, etc. Pick up each • Was the vehicle purchased new? 20 minutes and produces huge returns. It
bottle, hold it close to your ear and shake it, • Has the vehicle ever been smoked also has a positive effect on yours and the
looking for half full containers. Move to the in? dealership’s CSI scores.
driver’s side, also recording any defects, and • Has it been used for towing?
get in and ask your customer to do the same. • What is the date of the last tune-up? Good Selling!
Go over the interior thoroughly, checking • What was the date of the last oil
for wear and tear, cleanliness, etc. Record change?
side glass and windshield condition. • Has the oil been changed every Anthony Hall is a training consultant
4,000 miles? at Ziegler Supersystems. He can be
While in the driver’s seat, start the vehicle • Do you have all the required contacted at 800.610.9047, or by e-mail at
and turn on every piece of equipment and maintenance history? email@example.com.
18 successful solutions at www.autosuccess.biz
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
How to Identify and Sell to
the Entrepreneur Personality
If you could connect take the upper hand in situations and have
with your prospective an innate ability to convince others to see
buyer, would it help things their way. Outwitting, outdoing, or
get the sale? Would overpowering them can prove to be a tall
you want to know task, as they usually have good answers for
how to speciﬁcally everything and are not the least bit afraid to
sell a customer who is outspoken and speak up. They are win-driven, competitive
demanding? What if you could create and and determined to stay in control of
pique genuine interest in a shopper who situations. They will probably relate well
seems unmotivated? Have you ever made to you if you seem equally enterprising and
a sale when a prospect said he or she was self-assured; they respect and appreciate
just looking? your competitive drive.
This article is the ﬁrst in a three-part While all entrepreneur personalities share
series dealing with how different buyer the same general characteristics and
personalities respond to various sales display overall behavioral patterns that are
presentations. You’ll learn how to read your similar, it’s important to know that there
prospect, detect subtle buying cues, and are different levels of each deﬁning trait.
tailor your presentation to trigger a positive Some entrepreneurs have exceedingly
response from even your most challenging strong and determined personalities. These
customers. entrepreneurs can be charming, but they
can also be outwardly bold and impatient.
Part 1: How to identify and sell to the If your customer seems highly aggressive
Entrepreneur personality and antsy, be prepared to be a little less
Part 2: How to identify and sell to the forceful when talking business, so as to
Technician personality avoid bumping heads and thus triggering
Part 3: Will the Accommodator an unwelcome and, perhaps, deal-breaking,
personality ever, in your lifetime, confrontation. Consider these strategies
actually buy a car? when working with an entrepreneur:
Entrepreneur personalities will usually be • End your sales pitch with a sentence
talkative and fast-paced. They’ll also be like: “Of course, it’s up to you whether
friendly. True entrepreneurs like to make you want to take advantage of this
their own decisions, and they may seem special, because you have to make that
to have a very clear idea of which vehicles decision”
they do, and do not, want to buy. In terms
of dollars and cents, do not hesitate to • Make his or her ideas seem like
negotiate with them. your own. For example, point out an
obviously positive feature about the
Some entrepreneurs might seem a little vehicle, something with which the
demanding, but they can also soften those prospect is sure to agree. Once he or
demands when they want to, by putting she does, get him or her to elaborate on
their excellent social skills to good use. it and then say something like: “You’re
They might make some small talk, establish exactly right! I never thought of it that
easy rapport, so their own business way.”
objectives can be more readily attained.
They are typically conﬁdent, assertive and Virtually all entrepreneurs can identify with
fast-paced individuals. You will probably people who are driven to win. Talk about
not ﬁnd an entrepreneur personality asking your own successes; if you met or exceeded
for a lot of help, putting himself/herself your goal last month, work that into the
down or waiting long for an answer to a conversation.
question. If you notice that your customer
seems self-sufﬁcient, conﬁdent, talkative,
quick and very proactive, you are probably
Carol Martin is a senior consultant
dealing with an entrepreneur personality. with The Omnia Group. She can be
contacted at 800.601.3216, or by e-mail at
Entrepreneurs are leaders. They instinctively firstname.lastname@example.org.
january 2005 19
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
marketing solution ScottJoseph
Discover How to Eliminate Your
Dealership’s ‘TrafÞc in the Door’ Challenges
I ask dealers and businesses, is one of the least understood training, which leads to better
general managers and most underutilized facets of business customer education.
all the time, “What today. • Track all advertisements and
is your biggest measure the ROI. Know exactly
challenge in selling In these competitive times, the importance what is working and, more
cars today?” Almost of marketing is even greater than before. importantly, what is not.
always their answer is “trafﬁc.” The more Why? In this wildly unpredictable and
I study the challenge of generating more changing marketplace, dealerships must 2. Increase customer retention by:
trafﬁc and staying ahead in competitive have an edge or they will not survive • Communicating frequently with
times, the more I am convinced it boils – they’ll lose their share of market to their customers.
down to one principle – marketing. As competitors. • Provide compelling reasons as to
we start 2005, now’s the time for you to why they should come back in
tune up your marketing – to make sure The simple fundamentals of marketing – the and buy another vehicle with
you’re getting new customers coming in, obvious marketing techniques that make a special offers before they are
old customers coming back and customers lot of money – are the most powerful. After announced to the general public.
purchasing more often. all, you can do all sorts of advertising, but
if you ignore the basics, the money just will 3. Increase closing rate by:
Marketing is the main spring of every not come easily. • Increase the sales skills with
business. After all, marketing is the science training.
of getting people to come in and test drive Does your dealership(s) have an actual • Develop an advertising strategy
your cars and have them try your parts and marketing plan? There are only three ways that allows your sales staff the
service departments. It persuades them to to grow your business; 1) sell to more opportunity to qualify the wants
come back again and again and induces customers, 2) increase your gross average and needs of customers up front.
them to purchase at higher grosses when and 3) increase how often customers spend • Offer great deals for the customer.
they do come back. money with you. What is your growth • Educate customers by giving
strategy to accomplish these goals? “reasons why” they should buy
Maximize A real marketing growth strategy
incorporates advertising, sales and your To increase your gross averages, focus on:
the potential corporate identity. Maximize the potential
of the marketing plan by working backward
• Use direct response ads that
attract buyers who negotiate less (it
of the – start from sales. For any marketing plan
to work the advertising element must align
can be done).
• Increase the sales skills.
marketing with the way your dealership sells cars. The
class war between marketing and sales is a
• Managers start every deal.
• Use direct response ads that
plan by primary reason for program failure. There
are direct response advertising strategies
increase the percentage of people
who talk numbers (once again, it can
that can help support your sales team – even be done).
make them better.
To increase how often customers spend
To increase sales, focus on the following: money with you, focus on:
– start from
1. Increasing your phone trafﬁc, new • Use direct response techniques
and used ﬂoor trafﬁc, parts and service to create compelling reasons
business by: why customers should come in
• Aggressively marketing products and buy another vehicle from you
and services by using direct right now.
response advertising rather than the • Run special events such
Marketing is not just advertising. normal institutional advertising. as “clearance and new model
It incorporates sales, advertising, your • Run special sales events. introduction” events, and so on.
business identity and a host of other • Develop a unique selling • Special offers for sales.
ingredients that are less obvious. Without proposition and a corporate • Monthly parts and service
marketing, you lose customers. And identity. This identity must be offers to induce frequency.
without customers, you lose business. recognizable in all communications
and convey your unique selling Scott Joseph is the president of J&L
Marketing can make the difference between proposition. Marketing Inc. He can be contacted
the life and death of your dealership. Yet, • Increase the perceived value of at 866.429.6846, or by e-mail at
marketing, which is the prime mover of the product through better sales email@example.com.
Service Manager Uncovers $10,500
of Hidden Net Proﬁt per Month...
(details on Þle)
With the help of KEEPS, we increased our net proÞt
after attending the
Finding & Keeping Hidden
by $104,287 in one year. We did this with the same
number of techs and less customer pay RO’s than
the previous year.
Sam Lilly, Fixed Operations Director
Royal Chevrolet, Lynchburg, VA
Net ProÞts in Your Service
Prior to KEEPS, we barely made $100,000 net Department WORKSHOP
proÞt combined with 6 Service Departments. Using
the structured processes and highly motivational
pay plans of the KEEPS system our combined Discover powerful new tools for getting
net proÞt should be over $1,000,000 for 2004. Our
customer retention and repeat business has never
your Service Department to the next level.
Rusty Holcomb, Service Director
A small sample of what you will learn:
Page Auto Group, Richmond, VA
! Eight speciÞc techniques to increase your
I have spent 10+ years working with Þxed operations customer pay effective labor rate by $4.50
trainers out of Birmingham, AL. I learned more in to $6.50 per hour while improving CSI
this workshop than in those 10 years combined.
Dan Folk, Service Director ! Six techniques to design and build highly
Friendly Ford, Monroe, MI proÞtable service menus
! “R.O.A.M.S.” the ultimate technology for
achieving the next level of PROFITABILITY
Go to our website Call Today for a FREE Service
for complete workshop Department Finiancial Analysis Tool
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fs feature solution
2005 eDealers of the Year
Our January issue is dedicated to honoring the forefront of digital marketing, enabling to establish an Internet marketing strategy.
the Top 10 eDealers of 2005. The them to sell 50 to 800 units every single This person typically winds up spending
benchmark for consideration for winning month. Successful dealers recognize and a lot of time updating and maintaining a
this year’s award is results as measured appreciate the fact that 70 percent to 80 nice-looking, information rich site that is
by volume of Internet sales and by how percent of all customers who purchase a largely ineffective and when taken to the
well the dealers use the Internet and digital new or used vehicle use the Web at some extreme, these are the dealers who abandon
marketing to promote all of their proﬁt point in the buying process. Some dealers the Internet entirely. In contrast, our Top 10
centers: new, used, F&I, service, parts, etc. have even scrapped their conventional dealers tell us about personal involvement
Our goal was to seek out the dealers who advertising budget and dropped their cost in selecting the right vendors and deﬁning
are the best at using this marketing medium per sale from $300+ to less than $150 an Internet sales strategy and vision with
to generate huge increases in proﬁt for their per sale. In recognition of these and other their entire leadership teams. Some of the
dealerships. We considered the number of outstanding achievements, we devote this areas dealers consider when establishing
rooftops, the size of the dealership or dealer article to recognizing the Top 10 eDealers their strategy and vision are: technology,
group, their markets, the brands they carry of 2005 and we will share some of the best marketing, process, people, pricing and
and their Internet proﬁts as a percentage practices that have positioned them at the measurement.
of their total proﬁts. Here’s the detailed top in their ﬁeld.
criteria used to select the winners: Establishing Your Strategy & Vision by
Internet Strategy & Vision: Seeking to Answer 10 Questions:
• Proﬁt generated as a result of We found that commitment starts with Technology: How do we separate the hype
Internet marketing the dealer principle himself and cascades from what works? What vendors deliver
• New and used vehicle sales volume throughout the rest of the organization a clear return on investment and what
as a result of Internet marketing in direct proportion to dealer’s level of technology can successfully automate parts
• F&I and subprime proﬁts as a result commitment. For the award winners, of the process?
of Internet marketing the vision doesn’t start with the General
• Online service and parts business Manager or the Internet Director or Marketing: What are some best practices
for using the Web and digital marketing to
2005 eDealers of the Winners!
Congratulations, eDealer of the Year Award Year
attract more customers to the dealership?
What is the best use of my advertising
budget and how much should be devoted to
Dealership Location Website digital marketing?
Paragon Honda & Acura New York, NY www.ParagonCars.com
Dick Hannah New York, NY www.DickHannah.com Process: How can a dealer ﬁne-tune
Ralph Schomp Automotive New York, NY www.Schomp.com his process to ensure that more of his
Tasca Automotive Group Providence, RI wwwTasca.com
opportunities are being transformed into
Herb Chambers Boston, MA www.HerbChambers.com
Red McCombs San Antonio, CA www.RedMcCombs.com
Earnhardt Auto Centers Tempe, AZ www.Earnhardt.com
Courtesy Chevrolet Phoenix, AZ www.HouseofCourtesy.com People: What are the secrets to lowering
Dave Smith Motors Kellogg, ID www.DaveSmithMotors.com employee turnover? What are some best
Sheehy Virginia/DC www.Sheehy.com practices for recruiting, hiring and training
the right team?
We learned a lot about what determines another member of the leadership team;
a dealer’s success with using the Web to for the winners, commitment to an Internet Pricing: When, where and how do the
generate increased sales and service proﬁts. strategy and vision begins with the most successful dealers address pricing
We found some commonalities among dealer himself. A common mistake some on the Internet? What will work for my
the winners and some truly effective best dealerships make is to dedicate or hire a store and what are some best practices for
practices that have propelled the winners to technology person and leave it to him or her maintaining a fair proﬁt?
Measurement: What are the key metrics for what customers look for 90 percent of the
measuring performance success? time
Great Web sites: Marketing:
What makes them great? Appearance is How can you get the greatest return on
subjective, and when it comes to design your advertising dollar?
what appeals to one person can repel Trafﬁc is the secret to success in the car
another, which is why we selected our Top business, whether you’re talking parts
10 eDealers based on results. This is why sales, service absorption, F&I proﬁt, new
we deﬁne the 10 Greatest Web sites as those car sales, used car sales or the Internet. In
that generate measurable results. You can today’s super competitive market, it’s not
refer to the screen shots of these Web sites to as simple as building a great Web site and www.Schomp.com
go online and experience them for yourself selling a ton of cars; you need to let your
where you’ll ﬁnd one commonality; they customers know how to ﬁnd you. Many
are simple and easy to use. The dealers dealers start by making sure that all their
told us that common feedback from their employees are familiar with their site and
customers (and this can be true for any by tagging all conventional advertising
online transaction) is that navigation has with their Web address. The award-winning www.Tasca.com
to be simple and obvious. There’s not a lot dealers make it their business to capitalize
of extraneous information on these sites on the opportunities afforded by digital
where 90 percent of the space is devoted marketing. They buy the right URLs and
to what the customer is looking for, which they use organic search engine optimization
is to research product information, to ﬁnd a and even pay-per-click optimization to
particular vehicle in inventory or to access ensure the customer arrives at their site
service information. instead of at the competition. Successful
eDealers create alliances with regional
Dealers also tell us that a Web site will get and local sites that direct customers to
results if it is simple, easy to use, quick to their website via banners and links because
load and highly engaging with multi-media they know that compared to the cost of www.RedMcCombs.com
technology that can work fast even on a conventional advertising, online marketing
low-speed connection. Great Web sites delivers more customers for less money.
offer cool features like online coupons, Visit the local newspapers for many of our
specials, virtual test drives, online credit Top 10 eDealers, go to the car section and
applications, online trade appraisals and you’re likely to ﬁnd a banner ad whenever
a full range of pricing information. Since you research a make that dealer sells. This www.Earnhardt.com
the majority of new and used car buyers can generate lots of incremental trafﬁc for
purchase a model other than what they the dealership.
originally select, a great site will offer
an alternative if you don’t have the exact Another frequently used and highly
vehicle a customer has inquired about, effective online marketing strategy
never telling the customer you don’t have employed by our Top 10 eDealers is direct
what they want. Great Web sites do much e-mail marketing, because dealers can
more than post information online, they reach hundreds or thousands of customers
compel the customers to pick up the phone, with just a few clicks and a couple of
submit a lead or drive straight to your minutes for less than the cost of a stamp.
showroom. Dealers tell us this works best if you have www.DaveSmithMotors.com
established a database of e-mails and if you
5 Keys to a Great Automotive Web site: have access to multi-media e-mails that use
Key #1: Simple and easy to use, fast to the latest in compressed animation. Bob
load Tasca III from Tasca Automotive tells us
Key #2: Provide what the customer wants that, “Our customers are always telling us
Key #3: Incorporate high-tech, engaging, about how much they love our buzzmails www.Sheehy.com
multi-media technology that works fast on because it’s like watching a mini-movie
a low-speed connection about the product. It’s unlike anything else
Key #4: Automatic updating (inventory, out there so it gets their attention. What
specials, pricing, etc.) I love is that everything is measurable,
Key #5: Devote 90 percent of the space to continued on next page
january 2005 23
including the view rate, so we can measure visible to create excitement and top-of- When it comes to price it would appear that
how effective we are at reaching our target mind awareness. there is no magic bullet or proven formula
market. If FMCC comes out with an 9. Use automation wisely to stay in touch for success as each dealer’s pricing strategy
Explorer incentive, I can send a buzzmail to with prospects who don’t set appointments, was different. However one common
everyone who has been in on an Explorer, I don’t show or don’t close. practice for every one of our dealers is
can select just our lease renewal customers 10. Management needs to stay involved that the leadership team at the successful
who are currently in an Explorer or even and create a sense of passion for the dealerships got together to consider each
folks who were in for service. There’s no process. pricing model, evaluate the potential pros
limit to how I can target my campaigns.” and cons and created a pricing strategy
Tasca is one among many of our Top 10 People: that was uniquely their own. By analyzing
eDealers who spoke highly about “virtual “Find the right team and create an each model to establish their own pricing
test drive” technology that sends customers environment that they’ll never want to strategy, the Top eDealers told us that every
a mini-movie of a walk around presentation leave.” member of the team believed in and felt
straight to the customer’s inbox without Robert Revere of Courtesy Chevrolet conﬁdent about the strategy as a result.
requiring the customer to open an made this comment at the Best Practices Once again, we discovered that nothing
attachment. Regardless of their chosen Summit in Las Vegas, demonstrating how sells cars like belief in the value of what
vendor, the size of their organization passionate he is about hiring, training and you have to offer.
and the franchises they carry, the Top 10 retaining the right people. Our top eDealers
eDealers all spoke about the importance tell us that if you have the right people who Measurement:
of a clearly deﬁned marketing strategy for are passionate about what they do you can Tracking your performance results.
driving more customers to their Web sites. make up for a multitude of shortcomings The best part about Internet marketing
in other areas. That’s great, but what is that everything is measurable. Some
Process: can a dealer do to ﬁnd the right people technology providers will even automate
The key is implementation and automation. and combat the auto industry’s biggest the reports you need to take a few minutes
As with success in marketing, success with challenge - turnover? Whether you’ve built a week to get a great snapshot of how
your process begins by clearly deﬁning your Internet sales model around an Internet things are going, who is excelling and
what needs to happen, how it needs to Department or a centralized Customer where your process needs ﬁne-tuning. The
happen, who will be responsible and how Relationship Center/Business Development most important numbers to track are the
they will be held accountable. We learned Center, the top dealers tell us that you need following:
from the Top 10 eDealers that it’s important to seek out people who are passionate about • Number of visitors to your Web site
for the dealer and the leadership team to customer service and can shine on the • Conversion ratio
create a detailed action plan for Internet lead phone. They also tell us you don’t need a • Closing Ratio
management and sales. Thinking through team of technology experts, because with • Average gross proﬁt
the tactical details can remove some of the the right Web site and CRM tool you will • Cost per sale by lead source
barriers to process implementation while not spend much time resolving technology including your Web site and third
automation can reduce the margin of error issues or maintaining your Web site. Nor party lead providers
and free up your people to spend more time do you need people who have proven to be
doing what they do best; set appointments super successful on the sales ﬂoor as those Again, Congratulations!
and sell cars. Here are the best practices we team members will often attempt to sell the Congratulations to the Top 10 eDealers
gleaned from our interviews: car (rather than the appointment) over the and thank you for sharing your insight on
phone and usually suffer from “Attention to what it takes to use the Internet to sell more
Top 10 Process Best Practices: Detail Deﬁciency.” Since the main goal for cars. If you have any questions regarding
1. Fast, professional response increases team members within the most successful any of the best practices described in
appointment ratio and ultimately sales. Internet departments and CRCs is to sell the this article, please feel free to visit the
2. Customizable e-mail templates for appointment and make sure the customer dealers’ Web sites or send an e-mail to
every scenario (price, trade, payments, shows up, it helps to seek out people who firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure
availability, etc.) increase the speed and love working on the phone in the ﬁeld of to read next month’s cover story where
professionalism of your response. customer service. we’ll publish our interviews with the Top
3. First e-mail should set the stage for a eDealers of 2005.
phone call. Pricing:
4. PHONE SKILLS, PHONE SKILLS, How to stay competitive while protecting
PHONE SKILLS! your fair proÞt.
5. First goal is to sell the appointment, not Pricing was the one area in which we
the car. noticed incredible tactical variance among
6. Use a script for all inbound and outbound the top eDealers. We found best practices
calls. that ranged from 1. invoice, MSRP and
Patrick Luck is the editor and publisher
7. Conﬁrmation calls made by the manager dealer price offered online 2. contact the of AutoSuccess Magazine. He can be
will double the show ratio. dealer for a quote and 3. no price quoted contacted at 866.432.8276, or by e-mail at
8. Use an appointment board that is highly online, in an e-mail or even on the phone. email@example.com.
• Direct Mail Consulting
• Promotional Insurance
• Promotional Giveaways
• List Resources
• Staffed Events
• Database Management
• Live Call Center
www.accauto.com • Voicemail Broadcasting
710 Waugh Dr. • Houston, TX 77019
Bill Heard Chevrolet
Sugar Land, TX
Contact: Mike Baches
Phone: (281) 491-9000
South Bend, IN
San Antonio, TX
Contact: Dennis Carey
Contact: Lonnie Perez
Phone: (574) 876-3455
Phone: (210) 681-6601
o Pick from a Wide
array of proven mail
n 8.5x14 Four - Color
p Brown or White
# 10 Envelope
Featuring Annie Duke, World Famous Poker Champion
Check her out at www.pokerroyalty.com
PL AY AND WIN 100,000pcs OF FREE MAIL!!! *Amounts awarded vary
between each place
Two Ways to Register:
1. By Phone at 888-441-6245 Before NADA 2. In Person on Sat. Jan. 29th at Booth #1961
SHOWDOWN WILL TAKE PLACE AT BOOTH #1961 • Sun. Jan. 30th @ 9:00am
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
Management Driven Dealerships
Question: Joe, what • Satisﬁed Customers are more price Management: With even a 50¢ compass, a
do you mean by focused, and if you don’t convert them torn map, one sputtering engine and loose
Market Vs. to value buyers, they’ll turn on a dime steering, you’ll know where you are and
Management Driven? for a cheaper price down the street next can start heading where you want to go.
time around. If your goal is just good Nothing about “hope” – you have a plan, a
CSI instead of Loyalty, you’ll lose most direction, some control and momentum.
The average dealership is ﬁnding it much satisﬁed customers.
tougher to compete in today’s market. As an We’re at a crossroads in today’s market, and
industry, we’ve always been challenged to • Unsatisﬁed Customers = no more sales. your dealership’s future depends on whether
stay on the “value building” path in “Sales”. Note: More are dissatisﬁed with the buying you choose to be Market or Management
After 9/11 when the rebates hit hard and experience than the price. Driven. Becoming Management Driven
fast and never let up, a lot more dealerships is tougher because you have to think,
made the transition to price–focused selling plan and take action every single day as a
instead of value–focused selling and by Can you give me an example of Market vs. Management Team to consistently move
doing so, gave up their opportunity of Management Driven? forward. With Management you have
consistent growth in sales and proﬁts. control - with Market you have to hope for
Market: If you’ve ever had a boat, been good luck.
in the middle of the ocean and lost your
Does it matter? Dr. Edwards Deming electronics, your steering and your engines, Don’t just “hope” – plan – and have your
talks about what happens when quality you’ve experienced what it’s like to be best year ever – every year!
declines and we’re seeing it happen now. Market Driven. You don’t know where you
Even as every manufacturer is focused are, have virtually no control, don’t know Joe Verde is the president of the Joe
Verde Group. He can be contacted
on reducing the number of problems per what to expect next and you drift with the at 866.802.5455, or by email at
vehicle and CSI is high, the quality of the winds and current. You are deﬁnitely on the firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit
buying experience is dropping. Rebates “hope plan”. www.joeverde.com.
have always come and gone ... this time
they didn’t. Extended rebates equal higher
costs, so manufacturers and dealers take Market Driven vs. Management Driven
their eye off the goal: a quality product and
experience. They focus on expenses and Market Driven Dealership Management Driven Dealership
try to save their way to a proﬁt, instead of
focusing on building more value and selling • 30 percent of sales to repeat, ref., • 70 percent of sales to repeat,
their way to a proﬁt. When your focus turns internal & outside prospects ref., internal & outside prospects
to saving instead of quality, you begin • 70 percent of sales to walk-in and • 30 percent of sales to walk in and
a process that erodes your sales, proﬁts,
from advertising from advertising
customer base and long-term growth.
• Huge ad budgets / high cost per • Low ad $ / focus: internal bus.
sale (CPS) dev. / low CPS
Why? Because you have three types of • Constant turnover of sales • Virtually no turnover of sales
customers: Loyal – Satisﬁed – Unsatisﬁed. people people
• Untrained management / no or • Well trained, effective
poor teamwork management team
• Loyal Customers keep you in business. • Price Advertising, Presenting & • Value advertising, presenting and
They may ask about price, but in the end,
they buy YOU and the value experience.
That’s why sales people who tell us they • Below average sales people: 10- • Professionals in sales: 12 units or
doubled their sales said they did it by 11 units or less more
slowing down, staying off price, building • Mgmt. blames market, sales and • Mgmt. tracks, trains and
more rapport and focusing more on building customers for low sales manages for sales increases
the value of their product and dealership. • Stagnant annual unit and proﬁt • Consistent unit and proﬁt growth
Loyal Customers are the least expensive to growth every year
get and keep, they buy more, refer friends,
and produce higher revenues.
E V E N T S U R V E Y R E S U LT S
Hotel & Resort
Las Vegas, NV
on a scale of 1 to 10
Quality & Credibility of
Would You Come Back:
We asked attendees what will
make the next Summit better:
Small group breakouts, more time to ask questions.
Great job putting this Summit together!
General Manager, Toyota, Milwaukee, WI
Very worthwhile, overall outstanding. If we make money
with the ideas, we will be back!
President, Honda/Toyota, Seattle, WA
2005 Las Vegas, NV
On whatever the topic, use real life dealer speakers as BEST
you did in this Summit to add real world practices and
General Manager, Ford/Acura/Nissan, Ellicott City, MD
I think this was great. There were several different
ideas represented in the sales and marketing
Stop by booth #6055
departments which gave us a lot of ideas on how to for registration and
grow our dealership. Thanks for all your work preparing more details.
the Summit. It was great meeting all of you.
Internet Manager, Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Dayton, OH 800.901.3062
Stop by, sign up and get a free subscription
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
Courtesy Chevrolet’s Four
Keys to Selling 380 Additional Units
Master the four keys way to generate trafﬁc was to focus our and convert a higher percentage of our
to more Internet marketing efforts on boosting the trafﬁc to unique visitors into leads. What excites us
sales and the sky’s our site in order to drive sales growth. Our most is that everything is measurable and
the limit. I say this ﬁrst step was an obvious one; we bought we know that if we continue to increase our
because at Courtesy all the Web site names and elected to tag quality leads we will continue to sell more
Chevrolet we went all of our conventional advertising with vehicles. That’s our most important metric.
from selling 45 units through our e- www.HouseOfCourtesy.com but the bulk
Commerce Department to 75, then 150, 275 of that 800 percent increase in trafﬁc can be People
and now 380. Our success can be credited attributed to search engine optimization and I don’t care how great your Web site is, if
to getting it right in four areas: Trafﬁc to e-mail marketing. you throw a lot of trafﬁc at people who lack
our Web site (we’ve experienced a 800 the skills, training and aptitude to handle
percent increase in the past two years), the People don’t use yellow pages anymore, Internet and phone leads, you will only
right Web site that is capable of converting they use search engines, and search engine succeed in irritating your customers. We
a high percentage of those visitors into optimization is the best way to ensure send all our phone and Internet leads to a
leads, people and process. that your Web site appears at the top of a dedicated team of people who operate our
list. We are able to track that we get top Customer Relationship Center or CRC.
positioning and loads of trafﬁc to our site. We have found that it is imperative to ﬁnd
... if you throw
But our best results come from multi-media people who love the phone and shine on the
e-mail marketing campaigns. I can target phone because in reality, an Internet lead
a lot of trafÞc my audience, send thousands of messages
and measure the results. Our campaigns
is just a phone up on steroids. We work
hard to ﬁnd people who match our CRC
at people who are speciﬁcally designed to include a call Specialist proﬁle, love working in customer
lack the skills, to action that links customers back into
our site, which in turn pulls them into the
relations and we work daily to ensure that
every member of our team is a blackbelt
training and buying process and sets them on the path to on the phone and a master at bringing in
scheduling an appointment. We have found customers.
that e-mail marketing has all of the beneﬁts
handle Internet of direct mail but it’s free, easier to measure
and faster to send.
Assuming you have the trafﬁc, the Web site
and phone for converting the trafﬁc into leads and a
leads, you will A Web site that can convert trafÞc into
team of superstars, your process will make
or break you. When we went live with our
only succeed in
Our site converts as high as 21 percent system, we took the time to clearly deﬁne
of our visitors into leads by devoting 90 every step of the lead management process
percent of the space to what customers to deliver a consistently professional
customers. are looking for 90 percent of the time. We
learned that our old site hurt our business
experience to 100 percent of our customers
100 percent of the time. In creating our
because it was difﬁcult to navigate and process we had to think through issues such
TrafÞc frequently qualiﬁed prospective customers as how to handle pricing and what to do
Whether we’re talking showroom visitors, out of stock by failing to offer a similar or when a customer inquires about his or her
phone leads or Internet leads, the fastest alternative vehicle if the exact one was not trade value. If there’s one thing I’ve learned
way to increase sales is to increase trafﬁc, currently in inventory. When a site shows in going from selling 45 vehicles to 380,
and that doesn’t happen by waiting for the customers that we don’t have what you’re it’s that every member of the team needs
“Up Bus.” Anyone in our dealership will looking for they will immediately eliminate to understand and support the process 100
tell you that I am not a “computer guy” you from their shopping process. percent. Get your team involved, get its
and I’d even be a whole lot happier if e- input, hold it accountable and ﬁnd a way to
mail would just go away. So I was very Our Web site not only resolves the challenge generate passion and belief in your process,
surprised when we launched our virtual of “No Car in Stock,” it automatically and the sky’s the limit.
dealership and found that our new Web sends a virtual test drive to the customer
site was actually generating increased on the vehicle they inquire about and links
phone trafﬁc and showroom opportunities. them back into the Web site to take them
This is technology I can use. After further down the road to the sale. All of
measuring the results for a few months, this includes multi-media animation that
Robert Revere is the eCommerce
we took a look at how much money we can be viewed quickly even on a low-speed director at Courtesy Chevrolet. He can be
were spending on newspaper and radio connection and has proven to successfully contacted at 866.873.0034, or by e-mail at
and decided that the most cost-effective drive trafﬁc, build value in our dealership email@example.com.
Auto Dealer Speaks Out and Reveals the Raw Truth about That “Consultant –Trainer,” Mark Tewart,
Who advertises in this Magazine All the Time.
This guy, Mark Tewart promises all sort of things to us car dealers – sales and management strategies for our dealerships that he “promises”
really pay off. Such as strategies that will increase sales without increasing your advertising. Ways to increase gross proÞt by $200 a car minimum. How
to reduce and eliminate water in used cars and so on. Every time I read one of his ads, I thought, “Who could be dumb enough to fall for this guy’s rap?”
Now, I’m going to tell you the raw truth about this guy and his ‘success secrets.’
My name is Chad Hawkes; I live in Oklahoma with my wife and child. I went to college here and became a salesperson at a car dealership. I
was a struggling salesperson with little direction and not much of a future if my results stayed the same. I didn’t know what I was doing and was frustrated
everyday with the business. I needed a change and I needed it quick.
One day our dealer hired a consultant and trainer named Mark Tewart who ran all these ads with these big claims. However, our dealer told
us he had known this Mark Tewart guy for several years going back to when he was a new manager at another dealership. Our dealer told us to hang on
to our hats because this guy Tewart was a Þreball with more real valid information on success in the car business than anyone he had ever seen and that
he wouldn’t have become a dealer before he was 30 years old without Mark Tewart.
Most of what he taught us was so different from what we had ever seen, heard or been taught by other so-called experts. As we listened to
Mark’s information, we saw a whole different way to develop a high income career rather than just make a sale here and there. We heard sales skills,
people skills and life skills and found freedom from the cheapest price, roll around in the mud, bait-n-switch ugliness. Best of all we learned actual skills
to reengineer our business (managers and dealer as well as salespeople). I even looked in the mirror and saw Chad Hawkes differently. So, skeptical and
grateful at the same time, we left the workshop with a workbook and CD’s full of ideas.
The next day I began to implement 10 different Mark Tewart strategies. Over the next couple of weeks, as I got them up and running, they all
surpassed my greatest expectations. Let me give you an idea of what I am talking about. My Þrst year of implementing Mark’s strategies, I became the
number one salesperson and my production tripled. I began to get my life in order as well. Every time Mark came to the dealership he taught me lessons
that made my whole life change for the better. After a period of big increases, I was promoted to manager and attended Mark’s Management workshops.
Once again, I was amazed at how much incredible information I got and how much it improved our dealerships sales and proÞts. Our little country
dealership, located in an economically challenged area had improved from 40 units a month to over 325 units and we had become on many months the
largest dealer of our brand in the state!
Personally, I went from struggling to winning. I became the General Sales Manager and then bought my own dealership and now own two
dealerships before turning 30 years old. How, you ask, could such a thing happen? The answer, simply, is learning how real proven and effective sales
and management systems work, from the “master”, Mark Tewart. In spite of everything you hear about business being slower and tougher, my business
is booming. Just a couple of Mark’s strategies alone has allowed me to go from 40 used cars a month to over 120 a month operating out of a trailer!
Thanks to Mark’s ideas, systems, inspiration and encouragement I have two dealerships and have bought the ranch of my dreams for my family.
What is important is that Chad Hawkes can sell a ton of vehicles, get plenty of referrals, is unaffected by competition and has ‘real’ systems
in place to realize a huge proÞt every month. I knew Mark had it Þgured out when after one consulting session he showed me over 40 ways to grow my
business and make more proÞt. He is brilliant. So here’s the raw truth about this Mark Tewart guy: Unlike most of the ‘pretend’ experts, he is a bona Þde
trainer-consultant and money making genius, who can do anything from tweaking to transforming your business, so you not only make a lot of money,
but you can make it a lot easier and more enjoyable than you can imagine.
Maybe you are already doing well already – but you could do better (some of Mark’s most ardent students make many millions per year). Maybe you
just don’t want to be sold something that’ll be a waste of your hard-earned money. About that you can relax. Mark guarantees his stuff.
I’ve got over $1,000,000 reasons why you ought to investigate what Mark has to offer. What reasons do you have NOT to look at this?
And here’s how easy it is: Mark has prepared a straight-talk, detailed report – “HOW TO RECRUIT, HIRE AND TRAIN A DREAM TEAM OF
SALESPEOPLE,” which you can have absolutely FREE of cost or obligation. Get it, read it and decide for yourself whether or not you want to get in on
Mark’s information. It’s that simple. To get your FREE Special Report go to www.tewart.com/specialreport or call our 24 hr. hotline at 1.866.432.2468.
You will hear a brief, free recorded message and be able to leave your name and address, so your report can be mailed to you. Or write “report” on your
business card or letter head and pop it in the fax machine or email it. Mark’s fax number is 513.934.4588 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org -
Either way, you will get his eye opening report rushed to you, free.
By the way, I wasn’t paid a penny to write this about Mark. I am a car dealer just like you. I did this just as a way of saying thanks to Mark for
everything he’s done for me. And I am not the only person who feels this way. With your report, you’ll get a book of actual comments from some of the
over 10,000+ other salespeople, managers and dealers he has helped. Most like me are now making more money, with less hassle than ever before. More
business that we handle ßows in everyday… proÞtably. All we can say is this, “don’t envy us. Join us”.
Chad Hawkes, Hawkes Motors, Pryor, OK.
P.S. Please don’t get my number and call me. The last thing I need is a zillion phone calls asking me about Mark. I’ve said what I have to say right
here. What else could you possibly need to know? Instead, call 1.866.432.2468 and ask for your FREE SPECIAL REPORT today. You owe it to your
visit www.tewart.com/specialreport for a Free Special Report or call
888 2 TEWART 283.9278
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The Importance and
BeneÞts of a Credit Application
One of the main the products sold in the business ofﬁce, service for an additional fee.
functions of a credit and attempting a conversion without an
application is to guard application is near impossible. The credit application is also the customer’s
the ﬁnancial interests story to the lender. With the advent of
of the dealership. services like CreditNet, many dealerships
Unless the customer The credit application have gone to a ﬁve liner instead of using
pays for vehicle using cash, actual cash is no longer an a full credit application. This short app
and not checks, the dealership becomes a does not provide enough information when
lender. As a lender, the dealership has the optional piece of speaking to a lender of a credit-challenged
right to pull a customer’s credit. paperwork in the customer. Even though many lenders use
How is the dealership a lender? If the
dealership; it has credit scores to determine loan approvals
or tiers, the information gathered with a
customer writes a check, it will take a few become mandatory for credit application becomes invaluable in
days for that check to clear and for the each and every deal, your next create-a-deal meeting. The credit
money to be transferred into the dealership’s application can show stability and the
account. Therefore the dealership is lending and its importance ability to repay a loan.
the customer money until the check clears. and advantages must
The same goes for drafting from a bank or be conveyed to the According to the Fair Credit Reporting
credit union. The loan may be only for a day Act, which went into effect in September
or two, but there is still a risk involved for appropriate dealership of 1997, a dealership is not required to
the dealership. In your next meeting, have personnel. acquire a signature to run a credit bureau.
the business manager show and explain this All the customer must do is make an overt
to the entire sales staff and desk managers. act toward purchasing an automobile. It
A credit bureau on every customer will soon is considered to be an overt act when a
One of the biggest challenges business be a legal requirement. As a provision of the customer has settled on a speciﬁc vehicle
ofﬁces face is the lack of credit applications Patriot Act, dealerships will be required to and is engaged in discussion regarding the
on customers who go to their own bank run all customers though a national security sales price or payment options in a business
or credit union or for those who pay via database called the Customer Identiﬁcation environment. A business environment
check. Without a credit application, it Program (CIP). Dealerships must do this would be a sales person’s ofﬁce,
becomes very difﬁcult to conduct a proper for every customer. A dealership can do business ofﬁce or any location within the
customer interview. Without an interview this or enlist a secondary company to do dealership where deals are discussed and
it is impossible to create the need for it. Many credit bureau companies offer this consummated.
A casual discussion between the customer
and the sales person while walking on the
lot or a customer wanting to take a test
drive of a vehicle does not constitute an
It is a requirement of the credit bureau
companies and many of the lenders, that
dealerships have customer authorization to
run a credit bureau.
The credit application is no longer
an optional piece of paperwork in the
dealership; it has become mandatory for
each and every deal, and its importance
and advantages must be conveyed to the
appropriate dealership personnel.
Tony Dupaquier is the director of
F&I training for American Financial &
Automotive Services Inc. He can be
contacted at 866.856.6754, or by e-mail at
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
Across the Board Increase
in Service and Parts Revenue
Place emphasis on they can’t be loyal and not satisﬁed. Culture change in the service department
retraining service has resulted in across-the-board increases
managers and A professional walk-around will result in in service and parts revenue for dealerships
service advisors in additional labor and parts sales on a monthly that have embraced and applied this proven
a more customer- basis. This additional revenue comes from approach to serving customers.
friendly approach. items that customers may normally do or Joseph Schmoke is the president and
This retraining and continued education is buy elsewhere, such as wheel alignment, founder of University Consultants LLC. He
resulting in dealerships numbers going from batteries, wipers, tires, mud ﬂaps and light can be contacted at 800.901.3058, or by
35 percent to 56 percent increases in labor bulbs. e-mail at email@example.com.
and part sales in only a few months.
Six or eight days of training seldom imbeds
new habits. Dealerships experiencing
success with new methods ﬁnd that training
and education must be ongoing to be
To affect culture change in a dealership, the
dealer-principal and the general manager
appreciate that customer patterns have
changed. Customers expect to be treated
well, and have trouble-free automobiles.
Customers in for service, cannot be simply
written up and routinely sent to the waiting
room. Customers must now be shown
a higher level of service while building
assurance that the dealership is the place to
bring their vehicle for all things automotive.
The components of culture change in a
dealership’s service department are easy to
master, which creates customers-for-life. The
ﬁrst step is the appointment process. When
the customer calls and the appointment is
set, a ﬁle is prepared and reviewed the day
prior to the appointment. In it is detailed
information on the customer and the vehicle’s
history, along with recall information, if any,
and recommended service intervals. A call is
made to conﬁrm the appointment and prep
the customer for anything they need to bring
with them. When the customer arrives for
his or her appointment, the service advisor
greets him or her with a smile and a cheery,
“Good morning, Mrs. Smith, we’ve been
expecting you.” Customers react positively
to being greeted by name by someone who’s
been expecting them.
The next step is the walk-around, which
entails walking around the car with the
customer, pointing out the condition of the
tires, opening the hood and checking the
ﬂuids right in front of them. The walk-around
serves more than one purpose. The most
important goal it accomplishes is to create
a friendly relationship between the service
advisor and the customer. A large amount of
trust can be built to ensure customer loyalty.
Customers can be satisﬁed and not loyal, but
january 2005 31
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
Huge Dividends in
Happy, Loyal Customers
Franchised dealership 3. Provide a tool that offers ease and recommended services with the customer,
service departments convenience for those customers who prefer explain his or her vehicle is due for such
have experienced to use the Internet to schedule real-time, on- service, what the service entails and how
increased competition line, conﬁrmed service appointments. The it beneﬁts them. This open communication
from independent use of such a tool: creates trust which results in increased
repair facilities and • Increases customer loyalty. proﬁts, CSI and customer loyalty and the
quick-lube centers over the past several • Increases customer satisfaction. frequency with which they spend money at
years. A startling statistic shows nearly 70 • Increases customer frequency. your store.
percent of new car buyers choose service • Increases customer retention.
facilities other than the selling dealership • Increases service department efﬁciency. An example of the right way and wrong way
during their ownership cycle. Capturing • Increases service department revenue. to sell additional services:
this business is critical to the dealership, • Saves time on in-bound telephone calls. (Wrong Way) You haven’t had your tires
both in service department revenue and • Drives trafﬁc to the dealer’s Web site. rotated for over 9,000 miles. Should be
customer retention. done every 6,000 miles. Want us to do
Along with the competition, another factor that?
Dealers have attempted to address customer in reduction of service department business (Right Way) The last tire rotation performed
perceptions that competitive facilities is the change in manufacturer-recommended on your vehicle was at 30,000 miles. The
are more convenient and less expensive maintenance schedules. The three months, manufacturer recommends tires be rotated
by offering express-lane service for 3,000-mile oil change is a thing of the every 6,000 miles. This is an inexpensive
maintenance items and posting their pricing past. Manufacturers are recommending way to reduce tire wear and extend the life
in the service department. Many have also maintenance services at 5,000 miles, 7,500 of your tires. We could do that today in
extended their service department hours, miles or even more extended intervals. conjunction with your other services for
offering more evening hours and, in some only $_______. Wouldn’t you like for us to
cases, weekend hours. These factors reducing the number complete this service for you as well?
of vehicles coming across the service
Dealerships can be proactive and devise a drive make it imperative for the service The ﬁrst impression is very important, and
system to re-capture these customers. Some department to maximize the revenue from just as important, is the last impression.
recommendations include: those customers they do see. As always, When the customer comes in to pick up his
1. Regularly reinforce to the entire staff only necessary services should be sold. You or her vehicle, again reinforce the fact the
the importance of retaining customers in never want the service department to gain dealership values his or her business. This
service. a reputation of recommending unnecessary is certainly communicated by the attitude
2. Establish a process and hold key people services. of each dealership employee, along with
accountable to ensure the service department either a vacuumed, washed car, a coupon
is presented fully to each customer at the The initial contact with the customer for a free car wash or a coupon for the next
time of delivery of his or her vehicle. At when he or she enters the service drive scheduled maintenance. An effective and
that point, the sales person should: is of utmost importance. This is where inexpensive idea is a note from the service
• Communicate that all dealership the service department relationship can manager thanking them for their business.
associates are aware the customer has many be established and nurtured. Be certain These can be printed in advance, attached to
choices for purchasing and servicing their the customer is greeted promptly and each repair order and, in case the customer
vehicles and emphasize the dealership’s pleasantly. Make sure someone is available has any questions or concerns, provide
commitment to earn the customer’s business to greet every customer as he or she enters either the service manager or customer
in both sales and service. the service drive. Complete attention needs relationship manager’s contact information.
• Introduce the service manager and/or to be directed toward each customer in for
service advisors. service. How good does it feel when you Spend the time and effort necessary to be
• Discuss the dealership’s highly trained arrive at a place of business and you are certain everyone in your service department,
technicians and explain they are specialists greeted by name? whether it be the service manager, service
for the particular vehicles the dealer is advisors, cashier and anyone else who has
selling. Continually train your service advisors contact with the customer, either in person
• Discuss the dealership’s investment in in sales and customer service techniques or via telephone, appreciates the importance
specialized tools and equipment to enable so they are prepared in advance for each of each and every customer being treated as
it to properly maintain and repair today’s customer as he or she enters the service a “Very Important Person.” This will pay
vehicles. drive. This includes reviewing all service huge dividends in happy, loyal customers;
• Review the normal maintenance required history on the vehicle, conﬁrming all repeat business and additional revenue in
to keep the factory warranty in effect and necessary parts are available, researching your service, parts and sales departments.
explain the dealership maintains all service vehicle recall status and planning to offer
records. services for which the vehicle is due that the Karen Dillon is the president of
• Schedule the customer’s ﬁrst service customer had not requested when making TimeHighway.com. She can be contacted
appointment, thus beginning the customer’s the appointment. The most effective at 800.901.3170, or by e-mail at
relationship with the service department. approach is to take time to discuss the firstname.lastname@example.org.
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M “How To Sell A Car And Keep It Sold Part 2 - Commencing the
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M “IRS Bank Secrecy Act and Form 8300” M 2004 NIADA Leadership Awards
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M Preview “How To Break A Car Deal” M Legal, Legislative, Regulatory Affairs Forum
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sts ms ls ﬁs lr
Sophisticated e-Newsletters Create
Interest, Detect and Qualify Buy Signals
Smiles, discussions of form between the e-newsletter and your you to contact them. If they provide you
terms, holding hands dealership’s Web site) at the end of an with a phone number, then you already
with the spouse, etc., article, in a promotional offer or both. know what to do. If they don’t, respond
are buy signals sales When the reader clicks on it, the form right away with an e-mail that compels
people pick up on as pops up and provides an opportunity to them to make a showroom appointment
customers progress request more information about the topic before a promotion expires.
toward buying. A customer walking or offer. E-newsletter services can track
into your showroom is the ultimate buy this behavior and provide a detailed lead Assessing e-newsletter solutions
signal. What if you could determine if report showing you who in your subscriber There are in-house software products,
your customers are sending you buy base is ready for a response from your sales turnkey e-newsletter services and ways to
signals before they ever set foot on your team or business development center. integrate e-newsletter services with your
showroom ﬂoor? Web site, CRM and DMS systems. The
Qualifying the level of interest key is to make sure that the information
Well-written e-newsletters are powerful Not only does content tracking monitor captured by the tracking is as actionable as
customer retention tools, keeping who is interested, it helps dealers qualify possible. Reports should be automatically
dealerships top of mind between showroom and prioritize prospects by the level of buy generated and easily interpreted. Ideally,
visits. They deliver even greater value by signal. If a recipient reads the ﬁrst few individual viewing behaviors should
driving customer interest in new products paragraphs of an article but doesn’t click be mapped to corresponding e-mail
and promotions and then helping dealers through to the more detailed information addresses.
to detect and act upon buy signals arising on a jump page, then he or she may be only
from the customer’s interaction with the mildly interested and not really sending a Gain advance knowledge
e-newsletter. buy signal. of customer preferences
Continuously ﬁne-tune your e-newsletter,
Content creates interest and action However, if a customer or prospect reads with buy signal capabilities, to deliver more
E-newsletters are marketing tools an entire article, perhaps more than once, valuable feedback. Your customers walk
that help you create and then elevate or clicks through to a related promotional into the showroom having done extensive
customer interest levels. The ﬁrst step is offer, then he or she is sending a real buy research on their vehicle purchase,
to add content that pushes customers and signal. your dealership and perhaps even your
prospects to take action. inventory. E-newsletter buy signal reports
Recipients who read articles or promotions give you advance knowledge about your
For example, you can run factory or then click through to your Web site or ﬁll customers.
dealership offers to help convert shoppers out a shadow form, are sending very strong
into more of a buying mode. Certain time- buy signals and qualify as hot prospects. Example: You have several 30-year-old
driven offers can boost interest even more customers who have previously purchased
by creating a higher level of urgency. Content tracking functionality not only coupes or sedans. Content tracking shows
Good examples are limited-time ﬁnancing enables you to detect these different levels they recently spent a lot of time reading an
promotions or early lease termination. of buy signals, it does so on a recipient- article on mini-vans for growing families.
When a reader engages with this content, by-recipient basis. Some e-newsletter Now you have the advantage. You can
he or she is in effect sending a buy signal. solutions provide e-mail addresses mapped anticipate their needs and send an e-mail
The next step is to capture, measure, and to a speciﬁc individual’s interaction with promoting a mini-van offer just for new
act upon it. content as part of a sales lead report. This parents — perhaps you offer a car seat to
makes the tracking information easily and customers who respond within a certain
Detecting buy signals instantly actionable. timeframe. You’re now in a position to
The right content is necessary for creating have a trade-in, upsell and ﬁnancing
and elevating interest, and it becomes Respond immediately strategy mapped out by the time the
more valuable when you can tell which It’s important to have a systematic approach customer comes in.
readers are engaged and what is their level to following up on buy signals generated
of interest. by content tracking reports. Identify who Information is power, in this case, selling
on the sales force or marketing team owns power. And you get this selling power by
There is e-newsletter tracking available the responsibility and require immediate extracting the most value out of your e-
that shows how recipients interact with follow-up. A prospect who is clicking newsletter — driving interest, detecting
articles and offers. It can tell whether around your e-newsletter and Web site for buy signals, and then following up with an
or not a recipient reads an article and information can easily click to competitors’ offer your customer can’t refuse.
how far he or she drills down into it. It sites, too. Keep them interested in what
can also tell you if a customer reviews a your dealership has to offer.
David A. Fish is chief executive ofÞcer
promotional offer once or multiple times. of IMN (iMakeNews Inc.) He can be
Taking it to the next level, you can embed Recipients who ﬁll out a shadow form when contacted at 800.871.0012, or by e-mail
a “shadow form” (an offer-speciﬁc inquiry they click through a promotion, intend for at dÞsh@autosuccess.biz.
34 successful solutions at www.autosuccess.biz
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
The Value of
a Professional T.O.
By making sure wandering through the inventory he or she
your managers are can approach the customer with a ﬂy by
controlling the sales early T.O. The sales manager should brieﬂy
process and taking introduce themself in a non confrontational
one last chance to way and begin the process of asking
close the sale, you investigating questions that will lead to a
will increase gross proﬁt and sell more product demonstration.
units. Sales people must appreciate that
a professional T.O. is a step of the sale Identify the customer’s wants and needs
not a sign that they have made a mistake. and help the sales person move the
Professional T.O.s increase closing ratios customer on to a demonstration. Remember
and gross proﬁt. the key to the sale is a professional
product demonstration and presentation.
It is the sales person’s responsibility to give Fifty percent of customers will buy on
the customer an effective meet and greet, the spot, given a great demonstration and
investigate the customer’s wants and needs, presentation. Get the customer and the sales
build rapport and select a product. It is also person headed in the right direction and get
the sales person’s responsibility to provide out of the way. It is important to remember
the customer a professioanl demonstration that the T.O. does not replace the process.
and presentation and ask test closing It is an effective way to move the process
questions through out the sales process to along.
move the customer closer to the sale. The
T.O. can come in any part of the sale to help Depending on your sales process, the next
move the process along or at the desk to aid T.O. can move at different times. To ensure
in closing the sale. the total effort with every opportunity,
every customer that is prepared to leave the
dealership without buying must be turned
Fifty percent of
over to management.
customers will A professional T.O. is easy and non
confrontational. Sales person, “Before you
buy on the spot, folks leave I would like to introduce you
given a great to Jim Adams because he is our general
sales manager and in case I am not here
when you come back, I want you to know
someone else at the dealership.”
presentation. At this point the sales person will shut up
and let the manager clarify the objection,
isolate it, overcome and close the sale.
The manager may even send the sales
There are two basic types of T.O.s. The person on a mission. This means getting the
early T.O. and the desk T.O. sales person out of the picture so that the
customer can speak freely without losing
The early T.O. should come early and often. face. The customer wants to buy the vehicle
A focused desk manager should pay close or he or she would not be at the dealership.
attention to the opportunity that is at the Many times a second face will be all it takes
dealership at all times. Many managers get to close the sale. It is a powerful part of the
side tracked by daily activities and are not professional sales process.
focused on the most important event that
is happening in our dealerships right now. A professional T.O. of every opportunity
That is the opportunity in the showroom. that enters our showroom will increase
By monitoring the showroom trafﬁc, the closing ratios and gross proﬁt, which means
sales manager can watch for and identify to you that your income will increase and
problems on the lot that can lead to a lack ultimately your quality of life too.
of product demonstration. Remember, 99
percent of the customers that leave your Jim Adams is the general sales manager
showroom without a demonstration drive at Roper Kia in Joplin, MO. He can be
will not buy. When the sales manager sees contacted at 800.905.0627, or by e-mail at
that a customer and the sales person are email@example.com.
january 2005 35
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sales and training solution
Building Your Business
Have you made the a marketing web. List every way you Automate your follow-up using technology.
commitment that presently acquire leads such as walk-ins, E-mail, Autoresponder e-mail and Sequential
automotive sales is phone prospects, be-backs, referrals, repeat Autoresponder e-mail are all ways to follow-
your career choice? customers. Then begin to list new ways up and add value that can be done while
Unless you commit, you could begin to acquire leads and how you sleep or on vacation. Video e-mail
it’s impossible that you can strengthen or add to your existing and personalization are keys to making a
you will take the necessary steps to create methods of generating leads. connection, removing the impersonal nature
the business you desire. Long-term thinking of e-mail and adding the wow factor.
in addition to short-term goals are keys to
continued success. Business cards All sales people need their own personal Web
also need the sales
site. The site should include sign-up forms
When you ﬁrst enter into a sales position, that collect e-mail addresses. The site should
80 percent of your time is spent acquiring person’s Web site, be personalized with your picture, family
customers and 20 percent of your time picture, your own personal story, rewards for
is spent maintaining those customers. visiting the site and helpful information for
Eventually, with the right efforts, that model and slogan. Put a the customer. Your Web site should include
call to action on
should be reversed. Eighty percent of your an audio introduction link.
time should be spent maintaining your
customers and 20 percent to acquire new
your cards for the Do your business cards look like 99 percent
of others sales people’s business cards?
customer to come
Don’t use a picture of a car, use your picture
You face a paradox of time management
in building your business. The paradox is
see you, call you or or caricature. Business cards also need the
sales person’s Web site, e-mail address and
that you must work in the business and also visit your Web site. slogan. Put a call to action on your cards for
work on the business. When you are face- the customer to come see you, call you or
to-face with customers you are working in visit your Web site.
the business but no matter how busy you are, Do you presently have a software program
you must ﬁnd time each day to work on the for following and managing your leads? Maximize trafﬁc by creating a be-back CD.
business, as well. Working on the business Not the dealerships program, your program? Create a CD that you give each customer
includes marketing, prospecting, follow-up, Don’t trust anybody or anything to manage who does not buy and invite them to play
networking, delegating, automating etc. your most important resource – your it on the way home. The CD should include
customers. information about you, your dealership and
Insurance sales people, real estate sales product that would beneﬁt the customer.
people and sales people from many Secondly, do you have a set follow up Include testimonials and a reward for the
industries continually think and act on strategy? How often will you follow up? customer if they come see you.
building their business. However, in the auto How will you follow up. What rewards
industry the majority of sales people seem will you give, and what special offers will Create coupon swaps with businesses
addicted walk-in trafﬁc. Eliminating this you provide to bring them in for service? around you. Visit a local restaurant and offer
addiction is the key to long-term success. That creates the Law of Familiarity and to build their business on their worst trafﬁc
Obligation leading to repeats and referrals. day of the week for free. You can build their
Lead Generation = Dollar Creation. Begin to business by creating a coupon with an offer
build multiple streams of leads by building E-mail follow-up and marketing is essential. they approve and then pass these coupons
out at work from the cashier, receptionist,
and all departments to every customer who
Would You Be Interested in a Program That enters your dealership. In return ask that
the restaurant pass out coupons from you
Pays for Itself Hundreds of Times Over? approved by the dealership with a special
offer to come see you.
Would you like a cost effective way to increase your referrals?
Want to dramatically increase service visits you lose to Once you start the marketing web it will
Lube, Mufßer and Tire shops? grow and take on a life of its own. Building
a business ﬁrst requires long-term thinking
Up Service Visits by 13x a person. and a commitment to the industry as a career.
Up Unit Sales via Referral Cards. When you commit, you have already created
a business, only its shape is unﬁnished.
Call today for a FREE Sample!
Mark Tewart is the president of Tewart
Enterprises. He can be contacted
C A S H C A R D S
at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail at
sts ms ls ﬁs lr
sales and training solution
Taking the Path of Least Resistance
Sales people are the comfort zone, the drive to continue is at best
same wherever you reduced and at worst completely eliminated.
go, whether those
sales people are So as a concerned sales manager (meaning
here in the states or you are concerned about keeping your job
elsewhere. While since you are also paid and evaluated on the
recently working with a dealer group in collective sales results of the group) how do
Puerto Rico to implement a menu system you deal with this inherent limitation and
for its F&I department, it quickly became problem?
evident in speaking with the management
staff in both sales and F& I (obviously in The best solution is that you must establish you are their cure
Spanish) that the issues they are dealing minimum standards of performance. Ask
with regarding their sales force, are the same yourself these questions. Can a bad sales
issues you face every day, complacency and person (someone who sells very few cars)
inconsistency. still make a living at your dealership? Is there
someone working on your sales team that
In this respect, sales people are really the has no business being at your dealership? Do
same as all people: We become comfortable you keep a sales person around just because,
with our situation. This is evident when you “well, he or she is a nice person, and besides
begin to examine a sales person’s behavior who will get the breakfast biscuits for us in
as it relates to his or her sales production the morning?” Remember you are running
from month to month. If you were to chart a business, it’s not personal, but if he or she
it on a line graph and provide the printout is going to continue to work for you, he or
for a cardiologist to examine, as though it she must perform to the standards you have
were an EKG read out of a patient, most established to remain on the team.
doctors would pronounce the patient (your
sales person) as either DEAD or at the least Well then, what should be the minimum
critically ill! Why? amount? To begin implementing this process,
the minimum amount is less important when
Because the graph would reﬂect the constant compared to your willingness to do what is
peaks and valleys we all see from a sales necessary to give credibility to the program.
person’s production. One month they are Meaning, if the minimum number is 8 units These kids and
knocking down the pins as quickly as they per month (24 units over 90 days) when
can be set up, selling 15, 18, 20 units or someone sells only 23 units in 90 days will Mary Tyler Moore
more, only to ﬁnd that the next month they you have the intestinal fortitude to eliminate International Chairman have Juvenile
struggle to sell just 7 or 8 units or less. that person from the staff? Diabetes, a disease that
threatens their lives every day.
So why does this occur? There are certainly On the ﬁrst week of each month, sit down
many opinions, but the explanation David with every sales person in private and None of them can outgrow it.
Sadler, founder of The Sadler Institute, establish targets for income, units sold, But we’re closer than ever to
a sales training organization, provides is number of ups, demo drives and write ups.
a cure. Please, help us make
particularly insightful. He commented that Review their actual numbers as compared
the reason a sales person will rocket his or to their forecast numbers from the previous life-saving research possible.
her results one month only to subsequently month (this assumes you keep track of these Call 1.800.533.CURE or visit
ﬂounder the next, is due to that individual’s vital stats). At each meeting, appoint ahead
self-image and deﬁned personal worth. In for the next month’s review so you both www.jdrf.org.
other words, sales people will only allow place this event in your calendars. This will
their production (and income) to equal the ensure the consistency you need to give the
amount he or she feels worthy to receive. program the accountability and credibility
Evidence of this is found when a sales
person sells enough vehicles to achieve a Good luck, and make something happen!
monthly income well in excess of what he
or she actually needs to meet all of his or
Kirk Manzo is the general manager
her ﬁnancial obligations. Jim Ziegler calls at Ziegler Supersystems. He can be
this having the “Nut Mentality,” the idea contacted at 800.858.6903, or by e-mail at
that once a sales person reaches that income firstname.lastname@example.org.
january 2005 37
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sales and training solution
I Think I’ll Have an Idea
Today was a big or direction or idea that you’ll commit to a book? Grow a new business or provide a
idea day for me. and begin to pursue. Get going and watch solution or bring value to the marketplace?
Had one of those the law of inertia get on your side and How can you do your job better or
lately? It started out propel you in the direction of completing, dramatically improve the way you sell your
disguised as another competing or winning in whatever you’ve products and services?
ordinary day … going over some numbers, chosen.
accounting, balancing, you know. Around With what kind of “big idea” thinkers do
lunch it shifted to reading some computer Commitment is stronger than motivation, you associate? Or are you just hanging
software (not exactly my strong suite), but and new ideas require more than just an around the whiners and complainers?
suddenly…BANG! A big idea shows up! I occasional nod of “yeah, that’s a good idea.” What’s the last book you read that inspired
mean an “out of the box so big it’s scary” History conﬁrms that all great ideas were you? (Or don’t you read for inspiration?)
kind of an idea. We got excited. Ideas can pursued by individuals with an unshakeable
have that kind of affect on you. Especially commitment. From Tom Edison to Orville Once a great idea appears, it’s time to take
big ones. and Wilbur Wright to Henry Ford to Walt action. All great ideas that we now know
Disney to Bill Gates and on and on. about have one thing in common: someone
When was your last big idea? Did you act acted on them. In the beginning of new
on it? Did you even recognize it as a big Most great ideas we see from the view of information and new ideas, capture now,
idea, or just pass it off as a daydream? completed or failed, more of the ﬁnished decide later. The beginning is too soon to
Most of the big successes you and I read product variety. That we can easily say, “Oh decide whether or not your new idea is just
and hear about and contribute to in today’s sure, why didn’t I think of that one?” Or, a daydream or a whopper of a great idea.
marketplace started out as someone’s big “Man, I can’t believe he thought that would Capture it on paper. Give it some thought.
idea. And they acted on it! Not a passing work.” At the ﬁnish line it’s easy to make Nurture it. Water it. Give it a chance to
thought that sat quietly by and raised its the call on winners and losers. But the real grow. Take some action in the direction of
hand to be noticed as an idea … I’m talking courage is in the beginning. In the believing your idea and see where it can lead.
about an idea that cleared the room and and questioning. In the commitment to
ﬂipped over tables and chairs! An idea so pursue an idea. One caveat though, don’t look for
big that you could think of nothing but this conﬁrmation from those around you on
BIG IDEA! your new big idea. Sometimes it’s tough
for even successful people to see your
COOL. I’m writing this to you, to remind In the beginning vision as clearly as you, especially in the
me to ACT! And to encourage you to do of new beginning when it’s fresh. In the beginning
the same. To move on your next big thing.
Today ended with an idea that could be like
information of some radical new “thing” the crowd is
seldom right. It takes visionary individuals
that song that debuts at No.1 on the charts. and new ideas, committed to making their ideas work.
Or a book that ships as a best-seller. B-I-G capture now, Never stop asking “What if?”
Big! A big idea that doesn’t just make you
smile, it makes you laugh out loud! decide later. The Want a list that will help you get started? It’s
beginning is too my list, but it might just help you in making
I’m sworn to secrecy in the here and now,
soon to decide your list go to www.autosuccess.biz. and
whether or not
but I’m trusting that you’ll hear about it click on the box that says: Michael York’s
one day. And I’m challenging you to act BIG Idea List.
on yours, so that I’ll hear about it one day. your new idea is
just a daydream
Think. And then act. Give it a shot. Go for
it. Why not? The new year is here, why not
meet it with some new ideas? They may or a whopper of a
seem small at ﬁrst, but get you excited great idea.
about asking the “what if” question. Michael York is an author and professional
speaker. He can be contacted at
800.668.5015, or by e-mail
Not just resolutions (that are soon forgotten How can you make the world a better at email@example.com, or visit
and seldom acted upon), but a solid goal place? Have an impact on your kids? Write www.MichaelYork.com.
BEST OF THE BEST
Belinda Wortherspoon, NADA
Wolﬁngton Group Call Center Operator 2005
THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN THE
ASK YOUR 20 GROUP! toll free 800.331.9361
G R O U P PONTIAC BUICK GMC CADILLAC CHEVROLET ISUZU LINCOLN MERCURY HONDA
Just thought I would drop you a note to tell you that the promotion was a terriﬁc success. I have done many
promotions throughout the years, and the following impressed me:
1. Your people in charge were knowledgeable and were very structured.
2. The support staff were energetic, organized and had a lot of fun.
3. The majority of the customers were ﬁrst time buyers at our store so the residual will beneﬁt our
organization for years to come.
All in all, you delivered what you pitched. My staff is ready for round two!
SALES • SERVICE • PA R T S • LEASING • COLLISION CENTER
D’ELLA PONTIAC D’ELLA HONDA D’ELLA LINCOLN D’ELLA HONDA CHRISTOPHER CHEVROLET
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293 Quaker Road Queensbury, NY 12804 1011 Route 9 Plattsburgh, NY 12901 P.O. BOX 472, Upper Wicker St.
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#1 PRE-OWNED INTERNET DEALER SHARES ALL
www.DickHannah.com is the #1 pre-owned internet dealer
ick Hannah in Portland, exactly what we did. First, we re-evaluated How did you set up your strategy and
Oregon uses a new digi- our advertising budget and we realized that your people?
tal marketing strategy to we were spending more money than ever The ﬁrst thing we did was to get the right
sell hundreds of vehicles before on mass marketing but our results people and that has been the key to our
a month and has become the biggest pre- were not increasing as much as we wanted. success. We have an amazing team: Babak
owned internet dealer in the US. They used There are more television and radio stations Mohammadi is the GSM for our Kia store
this new strategy to sell hundreds of vehi- today, so it is harder to reach a large audi- and DickSaysYes.com and he also oversees
our Customer Relationship Center and Sub-
cles and this article will show you how they ence with out being on all or most of the prime department. Angie Turja manages
did it. Joe Orr and Matt Dorsett from Dick stations. In addition, the papers have con- the call center and 8 employees in the Cus-
Hannah s organization will answer ques- solidated so their prices are very high. Also, tomer Relationship Center every day. Matt
tions to give us some insight into how they the trafﬁc they generate is not the most prof- Dorsett oversees all of our internet activ-
became the #1 pre-owned internet dealer in itable trafﬁc we have because our ads are ity for the group and there are many other
the world. right next to many other dealerships and the people who are the reason we have been so
primary focus is price which drives down successful. Without great people we would
Why did you initially get involved with the average gross proﬁt. The bottom line not have accomplished half of what we
the internet? is that we were spending more to get less have accomplished so far. Most recently
We realized that most of our customers and we could not effectively measure our the department just added two more wom-
were using the web to research before they return. It became clear that there had to be a en onto the team who will handle Spanish
customers only. Dick Hannah s Customer
bought their vehicle so we wanted to make better way and the internet was the obvious Relationship Center handles all internet and
sure we marketed where most of our cus- choice for targeted marketing. Shortly after sub-prime leads and their primary goal is to
tomers were. We learned that 70%-80% initiating our new internet marketing strat- set appointments. “Our team does a won-
of our customers were starting their shop- egy, we were spending a lot less money and derful job following the process of selling
ping online and we wanted to take them attracting a lot more business that we could the appointment and our sales team then
from the web to our dealership. So that s measure. sells the car” said Babak.
After getting your people in place what so we wanted to make sure it was the best
did you do next? site in the market. Today, our website is our
We started by getting leads from a number primary source of leads and the closing ratio
of 3rd party lead providers. This helped us for our website leads is 2 to 3 times higher
get started because we had enough leads than any of our other leads we get. Also,
to keep our people productive right away. our site is very easy to use and it gives the
We also used the leads from our website as customer more information than our manu-
well. Immediately we learned that the best facturer site does. Lastly, our entire website
leads came directly from the website but we automatically updates itself so it does not
did not have enough of them. As a result, require a lot of our time or attention.
we promoted our own website to increase
the number of high quality leads that had a What do you have on your site that
20-25% closing ratio. Today we are using is different from other dealers’ web- Do you use the web to help customers
a blend of leads from our own website and sites? get ﬁnanced also?
from a select group of 3rd party lead provid- First of all, our site is getting great results. We direct every customer who is interested in
ers that give us leads that have a high clos- For every thousand people who visit our a vehicle to complete a secured online credit
ing ratio and a low cost per sale. website it converts 3 to 4 times more visitors application. In addition, we have a special
into leads compared to our old site. Most ﬁnance department that sells over 150 cars a
What lead providers do you use and technology companies who build websites month so we have a speciﬁc website for all
why? don t understand the car business and they of our sub-prime customers. You can view
We signed up with many lead providers but build sites that may look good but they don t this site by visiting www.DickHannah.com
there were some of them that gave us terrible get results. Our site builds value in our deal- or by visiting www.DickSaysYes.com. Most
leads so their closing ratio was very low and ership over our competition and ultimately of our sub-prime leads come from the web
their cost per sale was too high. Therefore, generates more opportunities through the and it has been a critical part of our busi-
we only kept a few high quality lead provid- internet, phone and showroom. Our old ness.
ers like AutoTrader, Cars.com and Dealix. site did many things that would actually
Today our primary source of leads and sales hurt our leads and opportunities because it How about Service Online?
are now from our own website but the 3rd would qualify customers out of our inven- We have a virtual service and parts depart-
party providers give us access to many buy- tory and tell them that we did not have the ment on our website where customers can
ers who initially want to start with an objec- vehicle they were looking for. Our new site schedule an appointment, buy parts or simply
tive 3rd party company. In addition, our lead never qualiﬁes anyone out of stock because view our service menu. In addition, we have a
providers have a national presence and they we have a virtual inventory that allows the personal website for each of our customers on
have exposure in places we do not. Our goal customer to pick any car they want. In addi- our Virtual Dealership. The personal websites
is to leverage their exposure while we make tion, customer s can take a virtual test drive are designed speciﬁcally for the customer and
sure that our website is the dominant online on our site which gives them a multi-media it provides them with critical product infor-
buying service in our region. tour of the vehicle they are interested in. mation including recalls, service reminders
These tours have sliding pictures, animation and so on.
How did you set up your website? and sound. The best part is that these multi-
We had some pretty good template websites
through Cobalt but they were not generat-
ing a lot of sales so we decided to get a new
“DickHannah.com has helped us sell hundreds of vehicles
website through a company called BZRe- a month and it is completely different from any other site
sults.com. BZ created our site and we used
their tools and training to establish ourselves in the market.” Joe Orr, DickHannah.com
as the primary internet buying service for
our region. The key to our new website is media tours stream on a low speed 56k con- How do you manage all of the leads
that it generates internet leads, phone trafﬁc nection so 100% of our customers on a dial your website generates?
and showroom trafﬁc while promoting all of up internet connection can view them. We use a web-based customer management
our proﬁt centers: New, Used, F&I, Service system called “BuzzTrak” that helps us cap-
& Parts. Are there any other unique things that ture and control all of our prospects in one
customers can do on your website? data base. All of our leads from every source
What has made your website so suc- Customers can research product informa- are sent into one tool and it will automati-
cessful? tion, read positive reviews, view compari- cally source and distribute the right leads to
Our old website looked good but it didn t sons, get Kelley blue book information and the right people based on their schedule. We
generate results. It was just an information much more. Also, when a customer is look- use the tool for our daily planner and it re-
center and it did not do a good job creating ing for a pre-owned vehicle they can view minds us to do the things we need to do to be
leads and trafﬁc for the dealership. Our new multiple pictures, print a brochure, view a productive. In addition, it automates many of
website is more like a marketing center and lemon check, send the vehicle to a friend the activities we would otherwise need to do
it drives trafﬁc and sales. The bottom line is and they can even view a multi-media pre- manually. The best part of our tool is that it
that it is a very important marketing tool and sentation that shows them what we do to automates the majority of our email processes
thousands of prospects visit it every month certify their pre-owned vehicle. and prospect follow up which gives us more
time to focus on selling cars.
What is automated and why is it impor- ple are doing and I can drill down to view the tomers from other sites to our sites. Search
tant? details if I want. For example, it will show engines are very important and our website
The automation ensures that the process is the salespeople that gathered email address- is optimized for all the major search engines
done right all of the time and it solves the es and the ones that don t. and key search phrases. Lastly, we have re-
problem of people not executing consistent- lationships with many regional websites that
ly. In addition, by automating most of the How did you market your site? link customers to our site. Fortunately, our
follow up it allows us to handle more leads Initially we added our website address to all marketing strategy has done an incredible
per person which saves us a lot of money in of our ads including print, direct mail and job in creating more trafﬁc to our site and in
stafﬁng. others. Then we had a lot of success with turn this has dramatically increased our leads
our email marketing campaigns. We send and sales.
Do you automate all of your email cam- out thousands of multi-media emails called
paigns? “buzzmails” to our database every month. What type of people do you staff your
No. We automate our initial response to cus- These emails are like little commercials that department with?
tomer inquiries, prospect follow up for 4 stream over a low speed internet connection. We look for people with great sales, phone
months and ongoing follow up after the sale What is unique about these movie mails is and follow up skills. The key to our people s
including CSI, Service reminders, Birthdays, that their ﬁle size is compressed so they can success is that they have been trained on the
Anniversaries, Renewals ect… However, we stream on a low speed internet connection process to sell the appointment rather than
have other types of campaigns as well. We and our customers do not need to download trying to sell the car over the phone. In par-
use Buzz Trak to send out a lot of permis- anything to view them. Most importantly, ticular, our best people follow the phone
sion based bulk email campaigns and direct they drive a lot of trafﬁc to our site and to guide and they understand how to answer all
mail campaigns to drive more trafﬁc. Our our dealership. The best part is that we don t of the customer s questions and objections.
system has hundreds of pre-packaged multi- have to pay anything to send them and I can The good part is that if they do a great job
media buzzmails that we can send out to send a campaign in a few seconds from any selling the appointment the closing ratio of
customers with a click of a button. This is computer that has internet access. We also do showed appointments is very high.
an important part of our system because it a lot of online marketing so we can drive cus-
helps market our website and our dealership
without spending any additional money on
advertising. One important thing to note is
that you cannot do email campaigns without -DickHannah.com becomes the #1 Pre-Owned eDealer in the world.
a large email data base so we have a strategy
to gather and store our emails. -Dick Hannah put the right people in place and that was the key to their great results.
How do you gather emails in the deal-
ership? -Dick Hannah shifted their advertising strategy to focus on the internet because 70-80% of their customers
There are many ways to gather emails. We start their shopping online.
began by gathering all of the emails we al-
ready had in our dealership management -Dick Hannah uses internet marketing to improve their sales and service proﬁts and to reduce their advertising
system and lead management tools. Our
expense and cost per sale.
sales and service team also ask every cus-
tomer for their email address. The key to this
process is that they always ask the customer -Dick Hannah has dominated their market on the internet by setting up their own regional buying service at
for their email and attach a beneﬁt to the www.DickHannah.com.
question. For example, the sales team asks
all of our prospects if they want us to send
-DickHannah.com, their website has won many awards.
them a “Free Virtual Test Drive.” The cus-
tomer always say yes and then gives us their
primary email. We also added the email ﬁeld -Dick Hannah hired BZResults.com to set up their e-marketing system, websites, crm tools & training.
to all of our forms and we put merchandis-
ing around the dealership with posters that -Dick Hannah uses email marketing to attract new buyers because it is a very cheap advertising medium that
say “Do you want a FREE VIRTUAL TEST
gives them a high return.
DRIVE?” In service we have posters that
offer customers a “Free Personal Website”
and the cashier has small cards the custom- -Dick Hannah has trained their people on a successful process to improve their closing ratio and sales.
ers can ﬁll out with their email. We measure
our email gathering process every day and I -Dick Hannah uses a customer management system to manage and measure all of their customer activity.
get an automated report every morning that
gives me an overview of all of our oppor-
tunities from the previous day including the -Dick Hannah uses their CRM tool to automate their email and follow up activity. This automation guarantees
type of prospect (showroom, phone, internet, that things get done and it allows the sales team to handle more leads per person.
etc.), the source, the status and more. I can
use this to get a global view of what my peo- -Dick Hannah have increased their sales and proﬁts by expanding their strategy to target Hispanic buyers.
What is your Process for handling people and the majority of our follow up is us versus our competition. In addition, F&I
leads? automated. I get a report every morning that and accessories are an important component
We ﬂow charted our sales process in our gives me an overview of all of the previous for internet sales because when it is handled
initial training meeting. We have found that days opportunities on the showroom, phone properly the internet customers back end
when we stick to the process we get great and internet along with the status of where proﬁt can exceed the back end proﬁt of tra-
results. The most important part of the pro- they are in the process and the key metrics I ditional showroom deals. In the end, our
cess is the phone and our ability to sell the need to focus on to improve our results. success de-
appointment. All of our internet leads are pends on how
automatically imported into one tool that or- How do you handle your pricing? well we build
ganizes them by source and distributes them Our average gross proﬁt is usually similar value in our
to the right people in the department. In ad- to our showroom gross proﬁt. The most im- dealership,
dition, the tool automates the majority of portant part of our pricing strategy is that people and
the email and follow up activity so our team we try to sell the appointment and not the products and
can spend more time on the phone setting price. When we do address the price we ask not just price.
appointments. We have been able to almost for a fair proﬁt and we also emphasize the
double our closing ratio by following up with unique beneﬁts they receive by buying from
“DickHannah.com has helped us sell hundreds of vehicles a month
and it is completely different from any other site in the market.”
Customers began their shopping at the dealership
Now Over 80% Start Shopping on the Net