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Dealix Ralph Paglia Automotive Marketing Interview Part2
 

Dealix Ralph Paglia Automotive Marketing Interview Part2

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Dealix Ralph Paglia Automotive Marketing Interview Part2

Dealix Ralph Paglia Automotive Marketing Interview Part2

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    Dealix Ralph Paglia Automotive Marketing Interview Part2 Dealix Ralph Paglia Automotive Marketing Interview Part2 Document Transcript

    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 CONTENTS On Ad Budgets, Common Internet Sales Mistakes & More Interview with We’re bridging 2006 and 2007 by continuing Automotive Sales our chat with Ralph Paglia, CRM/e-Business Expert Paul Miller Director at Phoenix’s Courtesy Chevrolet. Ralph Paglia of Courtesy is consistently one of the top Courtesy Chevrolet Chevrolet dealers in the country, and Ralph’s Interview Part 2 immense success has made him a nationally known expert in online automotive sales. In The Future of Dealer this second installment, Ralph talks about Websites advertising budgets, common Internet sales Ask Gilbert: Should I mistakes, “slurping,” and the dealership of the Invest in a Spanish future. Language Web Site? Start 2007 Sales in Dealix Dealer Newsletter (DDN): Ralph, I High Gear! can imagine that smaller dealerships would do just about anything to have the advertising budget you have at Courtesy. What New Developments advice would offer to help them make the most of their more limited means? for Third-party Sites The Top Ten for Q4 Ralph Paglia (RP): The most effective marketing strategies will usually scale up 2006 or down as budgets grow or shrink, and that’s true of our approach at Courtesy Chevrolet. The first thing we do is to buy every available new car Internet lead Internet Training and that we can get from reputable lead providers such as Dealix. There’s simply no Industry Reminders better value than being able to engage with a “hand-raiser” for around $20. The Dealix Dealer next thing is to buy used car leads based on our inventory. The principle here is Newsletter Best of exactly the same. 2006 View a Movie to See After taking care of new car and used car leads, I would use any remaining How Dealix Can Help Internet money to advertise the dealership’s website. We place a lot of graphical You Sell More Cars ads on major automotive websites and get a lot of exposure and a lot of traffic. But search engine marketing gives dealers a lot of flexibility in exactly how they SUBSCRIBE advertise and how much they spend. The critical thing is to link your advertising directly into your inventory. DDN: In a recent story about you in Ward’s, you mentioned a growing practice you called “slurping.” It seems that ISMs sometimes follow up with Internet customers to see why they didn’t show up for an appointment, and the customer will say, “I did, and I bought a car.” It turns out that floor salespeople are stealing these prospects and making the sale. What do you do to prevent this? RP: This has always been a problem, and it’s more of a political and organizational issue than a technical one. We address it in a number of ways. Our Internet sales specialists are trained to insist that the customer call the ISS’s cell phone when they’re a block or two away from the dealership. We also have two http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht (1 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:43 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 Subscribe to the Dealix full-time CRM administrators who work at the showroom reception desk. They’re Dealer Newsletter. bonused based on how many customers they greet and introduce to the Enter your email appropriate sales rep, so they have a strong incentive to prevent slurping. address in the box below and we'll add you to the list: What’s most effective is having our sales process tied closely to our CRM system, which is set up to prevent salespeople from creating an entry that matches the name, telephone number, address, or email address for an existing entry. Our salespeople can’t work a deal without a customer number, and they can’t get a customer number for an Internet lead without exposing themselves as a thief. Add Remove Submit Ultimately, this problem won’t go away until we develop the discipline to terminate employees who stoop to this. A lot of dealerships wind up giving a half deal to someone who gets caught skating, just to keep the peace. This is the worst possible response, because it rewards and encourages the practice. I find it interesting that, with 30 people handling Internet sales, we almost never have a problem with the Internet salespeople skating each other. They are remarkably good at splitting deals, getting the customer to the right person, and even handling minor customer needs for their teammates without asking for half a deal. DDN: What’s the most common mistake Internet sales professionals make, in your opinion? RP: Withholding information that the customer explicitly asks for or has been promised in exchange for submitting a lead. Sometimes it’s laziness, but sometimes sales reps actually believe that the customer is more likely to speak with them if they refuse to email specific answers. It never fails to amaze and delight me when I mystery-shop our competitors and, in response to a specific, direct question, am told, “I’ll go over that with you on the phone.” Most customers will not let you get very far with them if you play games and withhold information about pricing or anything else. If you provide all the information the customer requests, and more, they’ll see that you are taking their inquiry very seriously and that you genuinely want to give them great service. The customer’s yearning for attention and great service has not changed. If you use email and phone calls to meet their needs and expectations, they will come to the dealership to meet you in person. If you’re fundamentally committed to this, even your missteps can turn out well. We resolve over 70% of our lead- handling complaints with a sale. Every customer gets an email with my name, direct phone number, and email address, asking if they are completely satisfied with how Courtesy Chevrolet’s ISS handled their inquiry. DDN: What about GMs? What should they avoid doing that could undermine the success of their Internet sales efforts? RP: Lack of involvement or genuine commitment on the part of a GM can really hurt. GMs need to understand the Internet sales process as well as they understand the dealership’s other processes. They also need to hold people accountable for their performance. That means they have to know how to pull reports from their CRM tools and measure the activities of their staff, so they can kick butt when Internet sales reps do what all salespeople tend to do - let their process execution deteriorate. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht (2 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:43 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 The only good alternative is to have someone like me operate at a director’s level and do all this for them. Luckily, Courtesy Chevrolet doesn’t have a general manager, so I get to keep my job! DDN: Ten years from now, what are things going to be like for a typical dealership? RP: Sales originating from various types of digital inquiries will continue to grow and represent a larger and larger portion of dealerships’ total sales. Newspapers became worthless as a retail automotive marketing tool two or four years ago, and more dealers will discover this fact every year. Overall, I believe the level of professionalism within the world of automotive sales will increase and managers will become savvier about everything that goes into the buyer’s decision-making process. If you want to see what most dealers will be doing in five years, come to Courtesy Chevrolet and visit our multiple Internet sales departments and our brand new state-of-the-art business development center. We don’t understand why it’s taking so long for other dealers to catch up, but when we see some of our local competition asleep at the wheel, we are thankful for it. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht (3 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:43 AM]
    • Dealix Corporation : Auto Dealers : Become a Member Dealer Home » Products & Services » Auto Dealers » Become a Member Dealer Become a Dealix Member Dealer. See how our lead process works. Why should auto dealers use the Internet to sell more cars? (PDF) What our customers say: We introduce thousands of serious vehicle buyers to our dealers every day. Find out how many quality leads are available in your sales territory, and how we 2006 – #1 Provider to Ward’s e- can help you expand your advertising opportunities. Please fill out this form and a Dealer 100 and Auto Dealer Dealix regional sales manager will give you a call. Or call us directly at (800) 213 - Monthly’s Top 100 Internet 0439. Retailers 2005 - Highest in Overall Dealer Satisfaction among Primary New Your Name: * Independent Services [View Results] Your Title: * - J.D. Power and Associates Dealership * Name: 2005 – #1 Provider to Ward’s e- Dealership Dealer 100 and Auto Dealer * Address: Monthly’s Top 100 Internet Retailers City: * 2003 - Highest in Business State: -- Please Select -- * Generation, Lead Quality, and Lead Quantity Zip: * - J.D. Power and Associates Telephone: * ext. Fax: Email: * Notes: Is this the first time you have heard of Yes No Dealix - Home of InvoiceDealers? Are you New Car Leads interested in: Used Car Leads Both http://dealix.com/Dealer/Contact.aspx?ckSRC=emailnewsletter.jan.07 (1 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:31:46 AM]
    • Dealix Corporation : Auto Dealers : Become a Member Dealer Submit Top » Home » Products & Services » About Dealix » Contact Information » Dealix Dealer Newsletter ©2004 Dealix Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Copyright & Disclaimers New Car Buying Service Automotive Affiliate Programs Used Cars http://dealix.com/Dealer/Contact.aspx?ckSRC=emailnewsletter.jan.07 (2 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:31:46 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 NEWS Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller On Ad Spends, Rural Markets, and Domestic Brands Paul Miller began his career in the automotive industry cleaning cars at an Illinois dealership at age 16. Today, as a consultant, he leverages his 15 years of experience as a salesperson, Internet manager, BDC manager, finance manager, and sales manager to help dealerships around the country. We spoke with him recently about key topics, including: selling domestic brands; working in rural markets; and building trust and cooperation between the floor and the Internet department. INSIDE [FULL STORY] Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 Ralph Paglia of Courtesy On Ad Budgets, Common Internet Sales Mistakes & More Chevrolet Interview Part 2 The Future of Dealer Websites Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! New Developments for Third-party Sites http://news.dealix.com/index000158788.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 4) [1/11/2007 9:31:48 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales The Top Ten for Q4 This month, we continued our chat with 2006 Ralph Paglia, CRM/e-business director at Phoenix’s Courtesy Chevrolet. Courtesy Internet Training and is consistently one of the top Chevrolet Industry Reminders dealers in the country, and Ralph’s Dealix Dealer immense success has made him a Newsletter Best of 2006 nationally known expert in online View a Movie to See automotive sales. In this second How Dealix Can Help installment, Ralph talks about You Sell More Cars advertising budgets, common Internet sales mistakes, “slurping,” and the SUBSCRIBE dealership of the future. Subscribe to the Dealix [FULL STORY] Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email address in the box below and we'll add you to the list: The Future of Dealer Websites Key Topics from the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Roundtable Add Remove Submit At the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable held in Las Vegas last November, a panel including ARCHIVE The Cobalt Group’s vice president of applications and services Kevin Root; Barry Brodsky of Dealer Web Tools; and Jason Effective Online Automotive Sales Ezell of Dealerskins discussed the Future of Dealership December 2006 Websites. This panel of online automotive veterans gave a Effective Online glimpse into the trends that are likely to grow significantly in Automotive Sales the next few years. November 2006 Effective Online [FULL STORY] Automotive Sales October 2006 Effective Online Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Automotive Sales Web Site? September 2006 When to Meet the Demands of this Growing Market [MORE] by Gilbert Chavez Visit us at: Gilbert Chavez is Internet director for the Phil Long dealerships of Colorado, the largest privately-owned dealer www.dealix.com group in that state. Gilbert frequently shares his responses to to see how dealers rank the new car questions he gets from other Internet dealers on how to run lead providers better Internet departments and general best practices with and to get more success strategies the Dealix Dealer Newsletter. Here's the latest. from experts in online auto sales. [FULL STORY] http://news.dealix.com/index000158788.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 4) [1/11/2007 9:31:48 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! View a Movie on How Dealix Can Help You Sell More It's a new year and with that comes new sales opportunities. To start 2007 off right, make sure you are connecting with as many car buyers on the Internet as possible. Dealix brings you the highest quality leads from premium sites like Yahoo Autos, Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, and more – directly to your in-box. Click here to see a short movie on Dealix's award-winning New Car Leads Program, and learn more about the provider that dealers rated Highest in Overall Dealer Satisfaction in the 2006 J.D. Power and Associates Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services StudySM. View the movie. New Developments for Third-party Sites Ward's Dealer Business Editor on the Latest Trends by Cliff Banks Someone mentioned to me that very little new information came out of a panel discussion I recently moderated for J.D. Power and Associates held in Las Vegas. After listening to the tape of the session, which focused on the next big thing from third-party websites, I beg to differ. According to the panel, higher Internet lead costs for dealers and a system allowing customers to rate dealers are just a couple of new developments dealers may see by 2008. This article was originally published in the Dec. 20, 2006 issue of Ward's Dealer Business. [FULL STORY] http://news.dealix.com/index000158788.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (3 of 4) [1/11/2007 9:31:48 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales The Top Ten for Q4 2006 Most Requested and Highest Close Rate Vehicles by Carl Montgomery To kick off 2007, we’re looking back at the fourth quarter of 2006 to see which cars generated the most leads and which had the highest close rates. BMW and Ford demonstrate that it's not just about Toyota and Honda! [FULL STORY] Internet Training and Industry Reminders Upcoming Events Cobalt's Breakfast of Champions and the 2007 NADA Expo: Upcoming industry events you won't want to miss. Click Full Story for details. [FULL STORY] Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of 2006 Most Popular Articles of the Past Year In 2006, thanks to many great contributors and feedback from our dealers, we covered the hottest topics in online automotive to help dealers sell more vehicles more efficiently. Here is a list of our most popular articles of 2006 - worthy of a review to help you start 2007 strong. [FULL STORY] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights Dealer Newsletter reserved. The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/index000158788.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (4 of 4) [1/11/2007 9:31:48 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller CONTENTS On Ad Spends, Rural Markets, and Domestic Brands Interview with Paul Miller began his career in the Automotive Sales automotive industry cleaning cars at Expert Paul Miller an Illinois dealership at age 16. Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Today, practically everyone working Interview Part 2 in online automotive knows his name The Future of Dealer and track record of success. As a Websites consultant, he leverages his 15 years Ask Gilbert: Should I of experience as a salesperson, Invest in a Spanish Internet manager, BDC manager, Language Web Site? finance manager, and sales manager Start 2007 Sales in to help dealerships around the High Gear! country. We spoke with him recently New Developments about key topics, including: combating the struggles of domestic for Third-party Sites brands today; how rural dealers can avoid common selling The Top Ten for Q4 2006 mistakes; and the importance of building trust and cooperation between the floor and the Internet department. Internet Training and Industry Reminders Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of Dealix Dealer Newsletter (DDN): Paul, thanks for taking the 2006 time to talk with us. Let's start with your background. How did View a Movie to See you get started in automotive, and how did you wind up where How Dealix Can Help you are? You Sell More Cars SUBSCRIBE Paul Miller (PM): I started cleaning cars in an Illinois dealership at age 16. That was back in 1991. At 17, I moved to the body shop, where I prepped vehicles for the painters. At 18, I started selling cars. I tried college, but I quickly that realized that the car business was my true passion. All in all, I spent 15 years in retail as a salesperson, Internet manager, BDC manager, finance manager, and sales manager. I have been involved in every aspect of dealership operations, from ordering inventory to advertising. In 1997, I started one of the country's first dealer websites and http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726597.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 6) [1/11/2007 9:31:51 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller Subscribe to the Dealix BDC departments. That was for Capital Ford in Raleigh, NC. Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email When I left Capital, they were the #1 online Ford dealerships in address in the box the country. Today I have my own software and consulting below and we'll add you to the list: company, DMi (Dudley-Miller, Inc.). My business partner and I, along with our staff, handle many levels of consulting and software needs for dealers nationwide. Add Remove DDN: There's probably no such thing as a "typical" consulting Submit project. But can you paint us a picture of what you do and how you work? PM: The foundation for DMi was laid while I was still at Capital. I got started doing websites and online applications for businesses owned by friends and family, and later on for non-competing dealerships. By the time I went out on my own, the workload was overwhelming, and it continued to grow. My business partner and I managed it by expanding our staff, which is now up to six, and teaming with an advertising agency in Greenville, SC. As we've grown, one thing we've worked hard to maintain is an individualized approach that develops the right solution for every client. I handle virtually all initial visits myself. The principal value that I personally am able to offer is the ability to dissect everything about the way a dealership does business and propose a process that will work for that particular store - as opposed to a cookie-cutter process that forces the store to make changes that may not make sense for it. For every request, I do a site assessment and investigate inbound emails, phone calls, and outbound marketing efforts. I interview all personnel and also evaluate all systems, lead providers, and advertising efforts. Afterwards, I prepare a report for the dealer. I present my findings in person and offer a proposal that will make it possible for the dealership to meet identified goals. We always develop steps to completion and make sure that each step is complete before proceeding to the next. This is a way to prevent the dealer from taking a shotgun approach that produces immediate results but ultimately ends in failure. DDN: What advice do you have for dealerships trying to strike the right balance between traditional advertising and online marketing? http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726597.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 6) [1/11/2007 9:31:51 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller PM: Our main goal is to get the most buyers for the least amount per vehicle. This will vary from market to market and season to season. The key is to have a plan in place and do real forecasting instead of panicking on the fifteenth of the month when you see that your sales are down. We work with our ad agency partner to create a balanced campaign that takes the current market into account. For example, the summer is the time when TV advertising delivers the least value. We have our clients back off of TV advertising and put their money into radio and e-marketing. We may run a banner campaign in outdoor events venues and publish a series of summer email newsletters. All of this varies according to the dealership, the market, and the season. But one thing we emphasize strongly in every case is the need for synergy between traditional and interactive media. We want the customer to see the same message and brand online and offline, with no exceptions. Another special effort we make is to keep dealers from spending to force a market that is simply not there. It's very difficult and very expensive to create buyers. But it's easy and economical to purchase all the available buyers in the market through companies like Dealix. DDN: What are some of the biggest mistakes that you commonly see GMs making? PM: One is mistaking an Internet geek for an Internet manager. Internet managers and BDC managers are among the most important people in your dealership. Their true purpose in the organization has almost nothing to do with technical expertise and almost everything to do with an understanding of the car business - in particular, how to apply the technology at their disposal to increase business and retain existing customers. The same attitude that leads GMs to favor technical over sales knowledge when staffing these positions also leads them to keep the Internet department or BDC out of the loop when it comes to the dealership's overall marketing efforts. This is a huge mistake. Many dealers don't tell the BDC about a TV, radio, or print campaign until the day it hits - or, even worse, until the BDC asks. During my site assessments, it’s not uncommon for me to hear a BDC rep ask a caller, "Are you sure that's our ad?" http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726597.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (3 of 6) [1/11/2007 9:31:51 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller This sort of thing should never happen. You wouldn't ask your quarterback to go into a game without knowing the game plan, and the same goes for your BDC. DDN: When you go into a dealership, what's the hardest problem to correct? What's the one thing you're always hoping not to see, not to have to deal with? PM: Finding that someone is simply the wrong person for the job is probably the hardest thing I have to deal with. For one thing, it's not fun to be the bad guy, the guy who says, "Hey, this isn't working out." But there's also the question of how the wrong person got into this position in the first place. A lot of dealerships move under-performing employees to the BDC rather than letting them go. The attitude behind this is really difficult to correct. Why would a dealer spend tens of thousands of dollars a month on advertising to generate calls or email only to route those leads to a person who lacks the ability to handle them? Most of my clients prove adaptable enough to change their thinking and staffing practices, but, when they resist, it makes my job a lot tougher. DDN: What's tends to be the biggest mental block for dealerships? Is there a problem that's actually fairly easy to solve, logistically, but which dealerships just hate facing? PM: The biggest, definitely, is a lack of communication and trust between departments. It shouldn't be that hard to see that a true BDC is a support center for the sales department and not an enemy. Sales managers in some stores actually show animosity towards the Internet department when it has a better month than the floor team. A true BDC does not sell cars; it sells appointments for the floor. A true Internet department does its job by putting the best people in the right place to handle the customers that come its way. Logistically, it's fairly easy to give a BDC or Internet department everything it needs to succeed, but dealers can undermine their efforts by allowing the animosity to continue. One of the first things we do after a dealer agrees to our proposal is to have a town hall meeting with all managers, and then another with all salespeople. We want them to know from day one why we're here, what we're doing, and how they and http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726597.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (4 of 6) [1/11/2007 9:31:51 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller the business will benefit. DDN: The conventional wisdom is that domestic dealers have a tougher time with Internet marketing than import dealers. How do you view this issue? PM: My belief is that domestics should actually perform better than the imports in this regard, given that they have so much more freedom from their manufacturers. Many import dealers are hobbled by their forced reliance on CRM systems, websites, and other technologies that, in my opinion, are inferior to what can be obtained on the free market. Our philosophy is the same, whether a client is a domestic or import dealer. Use the best tools that your situation allows, and spend your advertising dollars in the most efficient way possible. In many cases, this involves identifying and targeting the most realistic customers for your particular store at a particular moment in time. A Toyota dealer shouldn't waste time trying to capture F150 buyers if he has four Tundras on the lot. Go after what will produce the most sales for you rather than going head to head with your competition. Be realistic, set goals, and achieve them. DDN: In the world of Internet sales and marketing, what are some key issues for rural dealerships? PM: A lot of rural dealers make the same mistake over and over. They think every Internet inquiry is a nothing deal that they will lose to the big city boys because they lack selection or their manager won't let them sell the vehicle at a low-enough price. Rural dealers need to be proactive in their community and present their customers with compelling reasons for keeping their business local. As a rural dealer, you have to own your market and not worry about the other markets. Selling outside your market is a nice achievement, but if you make it a goal, it will turn into a distraction. An interesting problem crops up for rural dealerships that are located in somewhat more dense areas. They tend to get more Internet leads, and their response to this volume is to rely too heavily on automation. They have a great personal touch with walk-ups and phone-ups, but with Internet leads they forget who they are and what has made people want to buy from them in http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726597.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (5 of 6) [1/11/2007 9:31:51 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller the past. They can also forget the sales skills that they use all the time when working on the lot. Finding out what the customer really wants, for example. Someone can email them about a Ford Explorer, and they go into order-taking mode, not bothering to discover that the Explorer is number 25 on a list of 25 cars that the customer wants. Number 1 might be a Lincoln Navigator, and maybe that's out of the customer's price range. But if you take the time to learn this, you may be able to sell an Expedition, while your chances of selling that Explorer - the car the customer inquired about - are actually zero. The lesson here, of course, is a good one for all dealerships, and not just rural or semi-rural stores. Via email, it's easy for the most experienced sales professional to occasionally lose sight of buyer psychology and to take an inquiry too straightforwardly. This is one reason that it's important to pick up the phone and make a real connection when email doesn't seem to be going anywhere. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726597.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (6 of 6) [1/11/2007 9:31:51 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 CONTENTS On Ad Budgets, Common Internet Sales Mistakes & More Interview with We’re bridging 2006 and 2007 by continuing Automotive Sales our chat with Ralph Paglia, CRM/e-Business Expert Paul Miller Director at Phoenix’s Courtesy Chevrolet. Ralph Paglia of Courtesy is consistently one of the top Courtesy Chevrolet Chevrolet dealers in the country, and Ralph’s Interview Part 2 immense success has made him a nationally known expert in online automotive sales. In The Future of Dealer this second installment, Ralph talks about Websites advertising budgets, common Internet sales Ask Gilbert: Should I mistakes, “slurping,” and the dealership of the Invest in a Spanish future. Language Web Site? Start 2007 Sales in Dealix Dealer Newsletter (DDN): Ralph, I High Gear! can imagine that smaller dealerships would do just about anything to have the advertising budget you have at Courtesy. What New Developments advice would offer to help them make the most of their more limited means? for Third-party Sites The Top Ten for Q4 Ralph Paglia (RP): The most effective marketing strategies will usually scale up 2006 or down as budgets grow or shrink, and that’s true of our approach at Courtesy Chevrolet. The first thing we do is to buy every available new car Internet lead Internet Training and that we can get from reputable lead providers such as Dealix. There’s simply no Industry Reminders better value than being able to engage with a “hand-raiser” for around $20. The Dealix Dealer next thing is to buy used car leads based on our inventory. The principle here is Newsletter Best of exactly the same. 2006 View a Movie to See After taking care of new car and used car leads, I would use any remaining How Dealix Can Help Internet money to advertise the dealership’s website. We place a lot of graphical You Sell More Cars ads on major automotive websites and get a lot of exposure and a lot of traffic. But search engine marketing gives dealers a lot of flexibility in exactly how they SUBSCRIBE advertise and how much they spend. The critical thing is to link your advertising directly into your inventory. DDN: In a recent story about you in Ward’s, you mentioned a growing practice you called “slurping.” It seems that ISMs sometimes follow up with Internet customers to see why they didn’t show up for an appointment, and the customer will say, “I did, and I bought a car.” It turns out that floor salespeople are stealing these prospects and making the sale. What do you do to prevent this? RP: This has always been a problem, and it’s more of a political and organizational issue than a technical one. We address it in a number of ways. Our Internet sales specialists are trained to insist that the customer call the ISS’s cell phone when they’re a block or two away from the dealership. We also have two http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:52 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 Subscribe to the Dealix full-time CRM administrators who work at the showroom reception desk. They’re Dealer Newsletter. bonused based on how many customers they greet and introduce to the Enter your email appropriate sales rep, so they have a strong incentive to prevent slurping. address in the box below and we'll add you to the list: What’s most effective is having our sales process tied closely to our CRM system, which is set up to prevent salespeople from creating an entry that matches the name, telephone number, address, or email address for an existing entry. Our salespeople can’t work a deal without a customer number, and they can’t get a customer number for an Internet lead without exposing themselves as a thief. Add Remove Submit Ultimately, this problem won’t go away until we develop the discipline to terminate employees who stoop to this. A lot of dealerships wind up giving a half deal to someone who gets caught skating, just to keep the peace. This is the worst possible response, because it rewards and encourages the practice. I find it interesting that, with 30 people handling Internet sales, we almost never have a problem with the Internet salespeople skating each other. They are remarkably good at splitting deals, getting the customer to the right person, and even handling minor customer needs for their teammates without asking for half a deal. DDN: What’s the most common mistake Internet sales professionals make, in your opinion? RP: Withholding information that the customer explicitly asks for or has been promised in exchange for submitting a lead. Sometimes it’s laziness, but sometimes sales reps actually believe that the customer is more likely to speak with them if they refuse to email specific answers. It never fails to amaze and delight me when I mystery-shop our competitors and, in response to a specific, direct question, am told, “I’ll go over that with you on the phone.” Most customers will not let you get very far with them if you play games and withhold information about pricing or anything else. If you provide all the information the customer requests, and more, they’ll see that you are taking their inquiry very seriously and that you genuinely want to give them great service. The customer’s yearning for attention and great service has not changed. If you use email and phone calls to meet their needs and expectations, they will come to the dealership to meet you in person. If you’re fundamentally committed to this, even your missteps can turn out well. We resolve over 70% of our lead- handling complaints with a sale. Every customer gets an email with my name, direct phone number, and email address, asking if they are completely satisfied with how Courtesy Chevrolet’s ISS handled their inquiry. DDN: What about GMs? What should they avoid doing that could undermine the success of their Internet sales efforts? RP: Lack of involvement or genuine commitment on the part of a GM can really hurt. GMs need to understand the Internet sales process as well as they understand the dealership’s other processes. They also need to hold people accountable for their performance. That means they have to know how to pull reports from their CRM tools and measure the activities of their staff, so they can kick butt when Internet sales reps do what all salespeople tend to do - let their process execution deteriorate. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:52 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 The only good alternative is to have someone like me operate at a director’s level and do all this for them. Luckily, Courtesy Chevrolet doesn’t have a general manager, so I get to keep my job! DDN: Ten years from now, what are things going to be like for a typical dealership? RP: Sales originating from various types of digital inquiries will continue to grow and represent a larger and larger portion of dealerships’ total sales. Newspapers became worthless as a retail automotive marketing tool two or four years ago, and more dealers will discover this fact every year. Overall, I believe the level of professionalism within the world of automotive sales will increase and managers will become savvier about everything that goes into the buyer’s decision-making process. If you want to see what most dealers will be doing in five years, come to Courtesy Chevrolet and visit our multiple Internet sales departments and our brand new state-of-the-art business development center. We don’t understand why it’s taking so long for other dealers to catch up, but when we see some of our local competition asleep at the wheel, we are thankful for it. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (3 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:52 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: The Future of Dealer Websites January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME The Future of Dealer Websites CONTENTS Key Topics from the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Roundtable Interview with Automotive Sales At the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable held last Expert Paul Miller November, a panel including The Cobalt Group’s vice president of applications Ralph Paglia of and services, Kevin Root; Barry Brodsky of Dealer Web Tools; and Jason Ezell of Courtesy Chevrolet Dealerskins discussed the Future of Dealership Websites.” This panel of online Interview Part 2 automotive veterans gave a glimpse into the trends that are likely to grow significantly in the next few years. Here are the hot topics: The Future of Dealer Websites Ask Gilbert: Should I Reputation Management Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? At its broadest, “reputation management” refers to everything a business can do Start 2007 Sales in to control the reputation it has among consumers. This doesn’t sound like a very High Gear! high-tech concept, but today the Internet has a lot to do with the making - and breaking - of reputations. Websites such as judysbook.com and angieslist.com New Developments give consumers the collective power to recommend particular services or stores. for Third-party Sites At the same time, individual bloggers are wielding more power as their The Top Ten for Q4 readership grows. For dealerships, the website - which is already a key place 2006 where identities and reputations are developed - will increasingly be thought of Internet Training and as a tool for reputation management. And this thinking will guide a lot of choices Industry Reminders made by dealers as they evaluate new technologies and web practices. Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of “Relevance” 2006 View a Movie to See This term was used a lot, particularly by Kevin Root, who expects a surge in How Dealix Can Help dealers’ ability to present customized, highly relevant content to website visitors, You Sell More Cars based on detailed knowledge of the search history that brought them to the site. One intriguing result: the phase out of the traditional homepage. In the near SUBSCRIBE future, the landing page shown to a given visitor will be customized for that particular person, with content and features based on how they searched for that particular site. Video Still having a hard time keeping your inventory photographs up to date? It is predicted that there will be an even stronger move towards video. This may take a number of forms. Video can be an effective way to show a website visitor what it feels like to drive a given vehicle. And, especially for used cars, it offers the possibility of “virtual walk-arounds.” A lead can schedule a time with a sales rep who will walk around the car with a video camera. Thoroughly documenting the http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727518.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:54 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: The Future of Dealer Websites Subscribe to the Dealix car, including any nicks and scratches, will be an excellent way to build trust. Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email address in the box Content Syndication & “Push” below and we'll add you to the list: Today, the dominant model is to build a website and drive people to it. Tomorrow, this model will be effectively complemented by “push” technology, including RSS feeds, which will allow you to syndicate portions of your website for consumption by subscribing users. A car buyer who visits your website but Add Remove doesn’t see exactly what he wants in inventory might elect to have you push Submit inventory updates to him. This buyer may be using a program that consolidates all his auto-related feeds on a single, customizable web page - something he constructs for himself as part of his car-shopping efforts. Collective Intelligence Ever look at a book on Amazon.com and notice the recommendations you’re shown, based on the books other buyers of the original book have bought? If you’ve ever found these recommendations helpful, then you - and Amazon - have benefited from “collective intelligence”: knowledge constructed based on the behavior of a large group. Collective intelligence will be one of the ways dealer websites enhance the relevance of the content they present to users. Imagine a car buyer searching your inventory and finding the car they want, along with vehicles frequently purchased by others who searched for this car. Shared OEM Assets OEMs are pumping a tremendous amount of money into building Internet assets that help them brand themselves, and their vehicles. The pressure to share these assets with dealers - whose budgets are much more limited - is growing. Expect to see movement on this front, in part thanks to efforts by service providers that work with dealers and OEMs. Partial Online Transactions No one on the panel felt it would soon be possible to complete a deal entirely online. But possibilities for carrying out specific portions of the transaction online are blossoming. Expect to see software that helps dealers and buyers negotiate over price, for example. More Vehicle Info Online If a buyer visits your site, and fails to find the vehicle information they need, so then goes elsewhere in search of it, the chances you’ll see them again fall precipitously. As a result, there will be a strong focus for dealers to begin providing more vehicle information to capture (and keep) a larger share of these visitors. Owner Marketing http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727518.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:54 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: The Future of Dealer Websites In the November ’06 issue of the Dealix Dealer Newsletter, we covered the topic of “owner marketing.” The term refers to the practice of marketing to your customer base - usually via email. In the near term, the ability to do this in a more targeted and customized way will grow, and dealers will increasingly think of owner management as a method for managing their overall reputation among car buyers. Services like The Cobalt Group’s OnStation focus on helping dealers maintain and expand upon relationships with their existing customer base via email “owner” marketing. Increased Focus on Dealer Branding/Identity Dealers spent much of the first decade of online automotive retailing simply getting online and refining their sites and processes. Now the task is to use websites to address the question, “Why me?” Why should car buyers shop with you rather than the guy down the street? You can answer that question with text and photos, of course, and even with the design of the site. But, increasingly, useful technologies will play a role. Consider video, discussed above, and the opportunity it provides for dealers to show used car blemishes and thus build trust. At the end of the day, it’s still about the relationship that the dealer can build with their customers based on the dealer’s ability to know their interests and show them relevant content. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727518.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (3 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:54 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web CONTENTS Site? When to Meet the Demands of this Growing Market Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller Gilbert Chavez is Internet director for the Phil Long dealerships Ralph Paglia of of Colorado, the largest privately-owned dealer group in that Courtesy Chevrolet state. Gilbert frequently shares his responses to questions he Interview Part 2 gets from other Internet dealers on how to run better Internet The Future of Dealer departments and general best practices with the Dealix Dealer Websites Newsletter. Here's the latest. Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? Dear Gilbert, Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! We’re thinking about getting a version of our dealership’s New Developments for Third-party Sites website in Spanish because our dealership is located in an area The Top Ten for Q4 where there is a large Spanish-speaking community. Our 2006 management team has been discussing the idea of investing in a Internet Training and Spanish website for a while because we have been reading and Industry Reminders seeing reports on TV about this growing market. We do have Dealix Dealer some sales people who speak Spanish, but the fact is that very Newsletter Best of few of the customers we deal with are unable to speak English – 2006 they can do a deal in English, no problem. What do you think? View a Movie to See Should we invest in having our website in Spanish as well as in How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars English? SUBSCRIBE Thanks, Curious George Dear Curious, I get this question all the time. (Must be because of my Irish sounding last name.) This is obviously a loaded issue, so, let’s try to put politics aside, and focus on the fact that you’re just http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727496.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:59 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? Subscribe to the Dealix trying to “meet your market” on their terms and sell cars. Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email address in the box While I don’t have exhaustive demographic statistics at my below and we'll add you to the list: disposal, I can tell you what I’ve learned from my own experience, and that is - the online Spanish speaking market is an emerging market – it’s not totally there yet, but it promises to be big. You need to assess your particular market today to Add Remove decide just how much - and how soon - you want to invest in Submit this. But first, you need to ask yourself – am I doing everything I can with Internet leads and search engine marketing to fully tap into my existing market? Here’s an example of what I’ve experienced: Colorado, where our dealerships are located, has a significant Spanish-speaking population. Our dealer group has two Spanish language conversion sites, and I have seen little to no traffic on these sites. Additionally, our group has a Spanish language converter on our online used vehicles displays that gets essentially no play at all. Furthermore, I recently worked in an area of New Mexico where 44.3% of the population speaks Spanish, and experienced the same result. However, I have heard from other dealers, particularly in areas like Houston and San Antonio, Texas, and they’ve gotten good traction by having web sites in Spanish. Know Your Particular Market – Notable Stats Here are some statistics I’ve found on the Web from e- Marketer.com and Internet World Stats.com, that may help you make the decision on when to invest in a Spanish-language site, if at all. • In most cases, second-generation Americans of Spanish-speaking parents are online; however, many are bilingual and surf English-language search engines and web sites. • The Spanish-speaking population is the largest and fastest-growing ethnic segment in the United States, and is expected to grow to 17% of the domestic population by 2010. • There were 15.7 million Spanish-speaking Internet users in the US in 2005. And, this total will rise to 16.7 http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727496.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:59 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? million in 2006, and is expected to reach nearly 21 million by 2010. • The online Spanish-speaking population is young. In 2005, there were 9.1 million estimated Spanish-speaking Internet users under the age of 35, and this estimate is expected to rise to 12.1 million in 2010. With a segment of the population that is growing this big and this fast, dealers should definitely continue to keep their ears close to the ground in order to make a sound assessment of how to best meet these consumers’ online car buying needs. For instance, in order to successfully target this demographic online - once the market is really ready - we must appreciate its intricacies. It is going to take more than traditional web sites simply translated into Spanish. The next generation web sites in Spanish will have to demonstrate the specific nuances of the language and culture as well as the needs of this growing marketing of car buyers. The key here is to really know your market. But, above all, keep this in mind – you really only want to branch out to “emerging markets’ after you’ve full tapped your existing market. Is your dealership already doing all it can on the Internet (leads, search, etc.) to reach your current market? Master that first, then look to expansion. George, thanks for the great question. - Gilbert [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727496.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (3 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:31:59 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! CONTENTS View a Movie on How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Interview with It's a new year and with that comes Automotive Sales new sales opportunities. To start Expert Paul Miller 2007 off right, make sure you are Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet connecting with as many car buyers Interview Part 2 on the Internet as possible. The Future of Dealer Dealix brings you the highest quality Websites leads from premium sites like Yahoo Ask Gilbert: Should I Autos, Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, Invest in a Spanish and more – directly to your in-box. Language Web Site? Click here to see a short movie Start 2007 Sales in on Dealix's award-winning New Car High Gear! Leads Program, and learn more New Developments for Third-party Sites about the provider that dealers rated Highest in Overall Dealer Satisfaction The Top Ten for Q4 2006 in the 2006 J.D. Power and Associates Dealer Satisfaction with Internet Training and Online Buying Services StudySM. View the movie. Industry Reminders [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of 2006 View a Movie to See How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars SUBSCRIBE http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725638.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:01 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! Subscribe to the Dealix Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email address in the box below and we'll add you to the list: Add Remove Submit Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725638.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:01 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: New Developments for Third-party Sites January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME New Developments for Third-party Sites CONTENTS Ward's Dealer Business Editor on the Latest Trends Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller I guess you can’t please everybody. Someone mentioned to me that very little new information came out of a panel discussion I Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet recently moderated for J.D. Power and Associates held in Las Interview Part 2 Vegas. The Future of Dealer Websites After listening to the tape of the session, which focused on the Ask Gilbert: Should I next big thing from third-party websites, I beg to differ. Invest in a Spanish According to the panel, higher Internet lead costs for dealers and Language Web Site? a system allowing customers to rate dealers are just a couple of Start 2007 Sales in new developments dealers may see by 2008. Sounds High Gear! newsworthy to me, especially if you’re a dealer buying leads New Developments for Third-party Sites from third-party firms. The Top Ten for Q4 2006 Sitting on the panel were John Holt president and CEO of The Internet Training and Cobalt Group; Stephen Henson, executive vice president of Industry Reminders Kelley Blue Book; Chip Perry, president and CEO of Dealix Dealer AutoTrader.com; Mitch Golub, president Cars.com; and Jim Newsletter Best of Riesenbach president and CEO of Autobytel, Inc. 2006 View a Movie to See One thing is clear. All of the panelists agree the process with How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars which their sites move online car shoppers to the dealers needs to evolve to the next level. And that means improving the quality SUBSCRIBE of leads dealers receive. Indeed, there has been a lot of industry discussion about improving lead quality. Riesenbach, though, says talking about lead quality is a misnomer. “The notion that a consumer not ready to buy to on that day (when they visit a site) is a low-quality lead strikes me as odd,” he says. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727834.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:03 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: New Developments for Third-party Sites Subscribe to the Dealix Rather than poor quality, it is an issue of readiness, Riesenbach Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email thinks. “We need to define readiness and recognize people are address in the box coming into the funnel long before they are ready to buy,” he below and we'll add you to the list: says. “It is incumbent upon us to build (business) models that help move the consumers logically through that funnel.” “We need to take every lead that comes in and do everything Add Remove possible to pass it on to a dealer so it has as much opportunity Submit to close as possible,” says Holt. He suggests scientifically scoring leads as one way to measure readiness. Holt also believes third-party companies can do a better job of managing those leads. “We can do that with service,” he says. “We can extend our hands to the customer on behalf of the dealer.” One way is to develop sites that allow shoppers to simultaneously search for both used and new vehicles, Perry argues. “There has been an artificial separation between new and used shoppers,” he says. “But studies show 40% of car buyers shop for both. There are fundamental gaps in the car buying process on many sites.” Golub agrees saying third-party sites need to take a page from the used-car side of the business that allows shoppers to search for specific vehicles. He envisions a process that allows buyers to match their online vehicle configurations with actual inventory on dealers’ lots. Another development in the works that Golub expects will be in the market late in 2008 is a ratings system of dealers. It likely will be a touchy issue for dealers, and is one that has be done positively rather than negatively, he says. Another area third-party sites will improve is in the use of content and consumer-generated tools, Henson says. “We’ll see exponential growth in that area,” he says. KBB.com is piloting video applications and will begin rolling them out sometime next year. Meanwhile, Cars.com is launching in February a series of vehicle databases shoppers can access using their cell phones and Blackberries. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727834.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:03 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: New Developments for Third-party Sites But all this development will take money and likely will result in higher prices for those leads. Cars.com is doubling its product development for its site in 2007. The shopping experience has to change, Golub argues. “It’s a 12-year old business model in which the price per lead has not changed in eight years,” he says. But that may be a tough sell for skeptical dealers. The return for dealers, though, may be much higher closing ratios for the leads they purchase from third-party sites. If that happens, and that is a big “if,” that will be real news. cbanks@wardsauto.com This article was originally published in the Dec. 20, 2006 issue of Ward's Dealer Business. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000727834.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (3 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:03 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: The Top Ten for Q4 2006 January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME The Top Ten for Q4 2006 CONTENTS Most Requested and Highest Close Rate Vehicles Interview with To kick off 2007, we’re looking back at the Automotive Sales fourth quarter of 2006 to see which vehicles Expert Paul Miller generated the most leads and which vehicles Ralph Paglia of had the highest close rates. Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 Close Rates: Trucks and SUVs Come Out on The Future of Dealer Top Websites Ask Gilbert: Should I Every vehicle in this list is an SUV or truck, with two exceptions - two very Invest in a Spanish different exceptions. At number 4, there’s the Lexus GS, with a close rate score of Language Web Site? 990. And at number 9 there’s the Honda Civic Si, with a close rate score of 949. Start 2007 Sales in Yet, overall, in the 4th Quarter of 2006, online vehicle buyers clearly showed that High Gear! they wanted a vehicle that could "do stuff" - whether it was for work or a busy and active lifstyle - to haul lots of things - or people. New Developments for Third-party Sites Close Rate Score by Make and Model The Top Ten for Q4 Rank Make Model Close Rate Score 2006 1 BMW X3 1000 Internet Training 2 Chevrolet Silverado Classic 1500 4WD 990 and Industry 3 Jeep Commander 990 Reminders 4 Lexus GS 990 Dealix Dealer 5 Nissan Frontier 990 Newsletter Best of 6 Acura MDX 970 2006 7 Dodge Dakota 949 View a Movie to See 8 Ford Freestyle 949 How Dealix Can Help 9 Honda Civic Si 949 You Sell More Cars 10 Toyota Tacoma 949 SUBSCRIBE Most-Requested Vehicles As usual, we’ve broken these rankings into four categories: cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Among cars, the imports ruled the roost, with Ford the only domestic manufacturer to make the cut - thanks to its eye-catching Mustang. For the most part, the cars generating the most leads are a fairly unassuming lot. The Mustang is an exception, of course, as is the MINI Cooper. MINI mania is still alive and well. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726668.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:05 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: The Top Ten for Q4 2006 Subscribe to the Most Requested Cars Dealix Dealer Rank Make Model Strength Rating Newsletter. Enter your email address in 1 Toyota Camry 1000 the box below and 2 Honda Civic Sedan 679 we'll add you to the 3 Toyota Corolla 648 list: 4 Honda Accord Sedan 560 5 BMW 3 Series (default) 522 6 Honda Civic Coupe 389 7 MINI Cooper (default) 372 Add Remove 8 Honda Accord Coupe (default) 367 Submit 9 Ford Mustang 361 10 Mazda MAZDA3 360 In the trucks category, the Big Three fared much better, with all making the list - Chevrolet twice. Only Toyota had more ranked models (3). Nissan had two, but in the number 9 and number 10 spots. Most Requested Trucks Rank Make Model Strength Rating 1 Ford F Series Pickup* 1000 2 Chevrolet Silverado* 831 3 Dodge Ram* 606 4 Toyota Tacoma 476 5 GMC Sierra* 333 6 Chevrolet Avalanche (default) 267 7 Toyota Tundra 235 8 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner 163 9 Nissan Frontier 157 10 Nissan Titan 136 On to the top ten SUVs. Here, Toyota models occupied the top two spots, with a third - the FJ Cruiser - showing up at number 7. Honda placed two of its vehicles, as did Jeep. And high gas prices didn’t force Hummer off the list: its H3 held firm at number 5. Most Requested SUVs Rank Make Model Strength Rating 1 Toyota RAV4 1000 2 Toyota 4Runner (default) 869 3 Chevrolet Tahoe 631 4 Honda CR-V 617 5 Hummer H3 615 6 Honda Pilot 521 7 Toyota FJ Cruiser 516 8 Jeep Wrangler 463 9 BMW X5 453 10 Jeep Grand Cherokee 416 http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726668.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:05 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: The Top Ten for Q4 2006 It was in the minivan category that the domestics really held their own. No Asian manufacturer placed more than one model - five in all. Meanwhile, Chrysler/Dodge vehicles took up three spots, with Ford and Saturn accounting for the remaining two. Most Requested Minivans Rank Make Model Strength Rating 1 Honda Odyssey 1000 2 Toyota Sienna 738 3 Kia Sedona 421 4 Dodge Caravan 394 5 Chrysler Town & Country 345 6 Dodge Grand Caravan 240 7 Nissan Quest 193 8 Ford Freestar 110 9 Mazda MPV 86 10 Saturn Relay 73 About the Study The Dealix Most Requested Vehicles IndexSM is a weighted index based on the number of Internet sales leads per vehicle make and model that is generated from the Dealix Lead Trading PlatformSM over a set time period. The most requested vehicle per submitted leads is given a perfect score of 1000 and all subsequent vehicles are weighted against the leading vehicle. Primary data is derived from the Dealix Lead Trading PlatformSM. This study does not intend to represent data for all vehicle sales leads. The Dealix Most Frequently Closed IndexSM is a weighted index based on the number of Internet sales leads for a specific vehicle make and model generated from the Dealix Lead Trading PlatformSM that resulted in a sale over a set time period. The most frequently closed vehicle per submitted leads is given a perfect score of 1000 and all subsequent vehicles are weighted against the leading vehicle. Primary data is derived from the Dealix Lead Trading PlatformSM. The study does not intend to represent data for all vehicle sales leads. This report is brought to you by Dealix Business IntelligenceSM. An asterisk* indicates that the listed vehicle includes several models and/or trim lines that share the same name. [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726668.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (3 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:05 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Internet Training and Industry Reminders January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME Internet Training and Industry Reminders CONTENTS Upcoming Events Interview with The Cobalt Group Presents the Breakfast of Champions Automotive Sales Workshop Series Expert Paul Miller Ralph Paglia of The Breakfast of Champions seminar for 2007 is a cost-effective Courtesy Chevrolet way to help you with your dealership’s advertising and marketing Interview Part 2 strategies. A Breakfast of Champions in coming soon to a city The Future of Dealer Websites near you and it is definitely something you don’t want to miss! Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? January 16th Ft. Lauderdale, Embassy Suites Ft. Lauderdale Start 2007 Sales in FL High Gear! February 20th San Diego, CA San Diego Hotel & Marina New Developments for Third-party Sites March 13th Westchester, NY Westchester Marriott The Top Ten for Q4 2006 Click Here to register for any of these sessions. Or, call (800) Internet Training and 557 -7915. Industry Reminders Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of 2006 NADA 2007 – The Automotive Industry Event of the Year View a Movie to See How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars Need a break from the convention floor? The Cobalt Group and Dealix will be hosting a reception across the street from the SUBSCRIBE event at the Renaissance Hotel. Complimentary refreshments will be provided. We are looking forward to meeting with you and telling you more about our new products like the Used Cars Advertising & LeadsSM program, PowerSearch CompleteSM, and more. Our experts will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about our suite of products & services and the online automotive industry in general. For more information the 2007 NADA Expo, please click here. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725637.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:09 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Internet Training and Industry Reminders Subscribe to the Dealix Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email address in the box below and we'll add [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] you to the list: Add Remove Submit Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725637.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:09 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of 2006 January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of 2006 CONTENTS Most Popular Articles of the Past Year Interview with Here are the most popular Dealix Dealer Newsletter articles from Automotive Sales 2006: Expert Paul Miller Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Building Internet Department Profitability Interview Part 2 The Future of Dealer Anderson Auto Group: High Sales in Rural Markets Websites Ask Gilbert: Should I 10 Best Practices for Responding to Phone Leads Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? How to Staff Your Internet Department Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! New Developments Neil Automotive: a Big Commitment to the Internet Pays for Third-party Sites Off The Top Ten for Q4 2006 Interview with Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet - Part I Internet Training and Industry Reminders Internet Departments Still Not Getting It Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of 2006 Three Simple Things Internet Managers Should Check View a Movie to See Everyday How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars Internet Sales Training Manual SUBSCRIBE Email or Phone? Don’t Let the Customer Decide How to Maintain Gross with Internet Customers [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725635.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:11 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of 2006 Subscribe to the Dealix Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email address in the box below and we'll add you to the list: Add Remove Submit Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725635.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:11 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: View a Movie to See How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars January 2007 Effective Online Auotmotive Sales VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 HOME View a Movie to See How Dealix Can Help You Sell More CONTENTS Cars Interview with Automotive Sales Expert Paul Miller Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 The Future of Dealer Websites Ask Gilbert: Should I Invest in a Spanish Language Web Site? Start 2007 Sales in High Gear! New Developments for Third-party Sites The Top Ten for Q4 2006 Internet Training and Industry Reminders Dealix Dealer Newsletter Best of [PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION] 2006 View a Movie to See How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars SUBSCRIBE http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725633.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (1 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:13 AM]
    • Effective Online Automotive Sales: View a Movie to See How Dealix Can Help You Sell More Cars Subscribe to the Dealix Dealer Newsletter. Enter your email address in the box below and we'll add you to the list: Add Remove Submit Published by Dealix Corporation Click here to Tell a Friend about the Dealix Dealer Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. Newsletter The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://news.dealix.com/e_article000725633.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht,w (2 of 2) [1/11/2007 9:32:13 AM]
    • Article from Effective Online Automotive Sales Article from Effective Online Automotive Sales (http://news.dealix.com/e_article000726616.cfm?x=b8LNmL3,b4bG84ht) January 9, 2007 Ralph Paglia of Courtesy Chevrolet Interview Part 2 On Ad Budgets, Common Internet Sales Mistakes & More We’re bridging 2006 and 2007 by continuing our chat with Ralph Paglia, CRM/e-Business Director at Phoenix’s Courtesy Chevrolet. Courtesy is consistently one of the top Chevrolet dealers in the country, and Ralph’s immense success has made him a nationally known expert in online automotive sales. In this second installment, Ralph talks about advertising budgets, common Internet sales mistakes, “slurping,” and the dealership of the future. Dealix Dealer Newsletter (DDN): Ralph, I can imagine that smaller dealerships would do just about anything to have the advertising budget you have at Courtesy. What advice would offer to help them make the most of their more limited means? Ralph Paglia (RP): The most effective marketing strategies will usually scale up or down as budgets grow or shrink, and that’s true of our approach at Courtesy Chevrolet. The first thing we do is to buy every available new car Internet lead that we can get from reputable lead providers such as Dealix. There’s simply no better value than being able to engage with a “hand-raiser” for around $20. The next thing is to buy used car leads based on our inventory. The principle here is exactly the same. After taking care of new car and used car leads, I would use any remaining Internet money to advertise the dealership’s website. We place a lot of graphical ads on major automotive websites and get a lot of exposure and a lot of traffic. But search engine marketing gives dealers a lot of flexibility in exactly how they advertise and how much they spend. The critical thing is to link your advertising directly into your inventory. DDN: In a recent story about you in Ward’s, you mentioned a growing practice you called “slurping.” It seems that ISMs sometimes follow up with Internet customers to see why they didn’t show up for an appointment, and the customer will say, “I did, and I bought a car.” It turns out that floor salespeople are stealing these prospects and making the sale. What do you do to prevent this? RP: This has always been a problem, and it’s more of a political and organizational issue than http://www.imakenews.com/eletra/mod_print_vie...58788&lid=b8LNmL3&uid=b4bG84ht&XXDESXXpower=F (1 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:15 AM]
    • Article from Effective Online Automotive Sales a technical one. We address it in a number of ways. Our Internet sales specialists are trained to insist that the customer call the ISS’s cell phone when they’re a block or two away from the dealership. We also have two full-time CRM administrators who work at the showroom reception desk. They’re bonused based on how many customers they greet and introduce to the appropriate sales rep, so they have a strong incentive to prevent slurping. What’s most effective is having our sales process tied closely to our CRM system, which is set up to prevent salespeople from creating an entry that matches the name, telephone number, address, or email address for an existing entry. Our salespeople can’t work a deal without a customer number, and they can’t get a customer number for an Internet lead without exposing themselves as a thief. Ultimately, this problem won’t go away until we develop the discipline to terminate employees who stoop to this. A lot of dealerships wind up giving a half deal to someone who gets caught skating, just to keep the peace. This is the worst possible response, because it rewards and encourages the practice. I find it interesting that, with 30 people handling Internet sales, we almost never have a problem with the Internet salespeople skating each other. They are remarkably good at splitting deals, getting the customer to the right person, and even handling minor customer needs for their teammates without asking for half a deal. DDN: What’s the most common mistake Internet sales professionals make, in your opinion? RP: Withholding information that the customer explicitly asks for or has been promised in exchange for submitting a lead. Sometimes it’s laziness, but sometimes sales reps actually believe that the customer is more likely to speak with them if they refuse to email specific answers. It never fails to amaze and delight me when I mystery-shop our competitors and, in response to a specific, direct question, am told, “I’ll go over that with you on the phone.” Most customers will not let you get very far with them if you play games and withhold information about pricing or anything else. If you provide all the information the customer requests, and more, they’ll see that you are taking their inquiry very seriously and that you genuinely want to give them great service. The customer’s yearning for attention and great service has not changed. If you use email and phone calls to meet their needs and expectations, they will come to the dealership to meet you in person. If you’re fundamentally committed to this, even your missteps can turn out well. We resolve over 70% of our lead-handling complaints with a sale. Every customer gets an email with my name, direct phone number, and email address, asking if they are completely satisfied with how Courtesy Chevrolet’s ISS handled their inquiry. DDN: What about GMs? What should they avoid doing that could undermine the success of their Internet sales efforts? RP: Lack of involvement or genuine commitment on the part of a GM can really hurt. GMs need to understand the Internet sales process as well as they understand the dealership’s other processes. They also need to hold people accountable for their performance. That means they have to know how to pull reports from their CRM tools and measure the activities of their staff, so they can kick butt when Internet sales reps do what all salespeople tend to do - let their process execution deteriorate. http://www.imakenews.com/eletra/mod_print_vie...58788&lid=b8LNmL3&uid=b4bG84ht&XXDESXXpower=F (2 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:15 AM]
    • Article from Effective Online Automotive Sales The only good alternative is to have someone like me operate at a director’s level and do all this for them. Luckily, Courtesy Chevrolet doesn’t have a general manager, so I get to keep my job! DDN: Ten years from now, what are things going to be like for a typical dealership? RP: Sales originating from various types of digital inquiries will continue to grow and represent a larger and larger portion of dealerships’ total sales. Newspapers became worthless as a retail automotive marketing tool two or four years ago, and more dealers will discover this fact every year. Overall, I believe the level of professionalism within the world of automotive sales will increase and managers will become savvier about everything that goes into the buyer’s decision- making process. If you want to see what most dealers will be doing in five years, come to Courtesy Chevrolet and visit our multiple Internet sales departments and our brand new state- of-the-art business development center. We don’t understand why it’s taking so long for other dealers to catch up, but when we see some of our local competition asleep at the wheel, we are thankful for it. Published by Dealix Corporation Copyright © 2007 Dealix Corporation. All rights reserved. The Dealix Dealer Newsletter is sent to Dealix members and anyone who has expressed interest in our services. To unsubscribe, enter your email address in the subscription box appearing within the newsletter and choose the Remove option. Or, just click one of the links below. http://www.imakenews.com/eletra/mod_print_vie...58788&lid=b8LNmL3&uid=b4bG84ht&XXDESXXpower=F (3 of 3) [1/11/2007 9:32:15 AM]
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