Digital dealer magazine september 2009


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Digital dealer magazine september 2009

  1. 1. Welcome to the digital edition of Digital Dealer magazine! Just as you are trying to keep your store(s) on the cutting edge, we are doing the very same thing as we venture into a new frontier in the publishing biz. We can get this digital version in your hands 2-3 weeks faster than the print version, giving you the freshest information possible. You can click on links at the end of each article to email the author of such. And you can click on the ads to link to that advertiser’s website (and you’d REALLY be helping us out by doing just that). It’s quite intuitive…I don’t think that someone who uses the Internet to make a living will have any trouble easily figuring it out. Please let me know what you think about it… Michael Roscoe Editor-in-Chief
  2. 2. September 2009 The Technology Magazine for Dealers & Managers Internet Sales: The Social Networking Gut Check JEFF page 12 page 12 Developing a Killer JONES Internet Strategy page 14 page 14 Technology Trends: Five Easy Steps to Getting INTERNET SALES the Data you Need MANAGER page 22 page 22 Al Serra Auto Plaza BDC/CRM: page 18 The Character of a Dealership is Defined by its People, not its Walls CIAL FF I O page 23 page 23 e e ottiiv o v tom alls om a s Autess on ff Auffessiio n no on o Pro org rg o iattiioales P rnlie.e.o a es nlin n oc i so c Sa l N Assernett S.AAISPo Ast erne wA AISPo n t ww . IO IIn w ww PU B L I C AT
  3. 3. T ABLE OF CONTENTS CIAL FF I O vee oti v mo ti ls uto m na ls uto io na off A fess io o A ss on Profe .o tion Pro .org rg ciatiSales o line e ociatt Sale sPonnlin N Ass orne .AAISP s Astern e w AIS In te ww .A IO In w w w PU B L I C AT FEATURE The Technology Magazine for Dealers & Managers SEPTEMBER 2009 Digital Dealer Cover Story MANAGING EDITOR 18 Jeff Jones LINDA DI PIETRO Internet Sales Manager Al Serra Auto Plaza PUBLISHER GREG NOONAN 607-264-3359 COLUMNS ART DIRECTOR JOE BIRCH AAISP Notes 10 Mike Roscoe PRODUCTION MANAGER ELIZABETH BIRCH Internet Sales Jeff Jones PRINT PRODUCTION DAVID MANTHEY 12 The Social Networking Gut Check Al Serra Auto Plaza Joe Webb DESIGN CONSULTING PUBLICATION DESIGN, INC. COVER DESIGN 14 Developing a Killer Internet Strategy JOE BIRCH Phil Sura COVER PHOTOGRAPHY WUJCIAK & HESS, INC. 16 Making the Connection Jason Ezell CIRCULATION SUBSCRIPTION RICH JARRETT 314-432-7511 Technology Trends 22 Five Easy Steps to Getting the Data you Need NATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES Sandi Jerome 607-264-3359 Dealer magazine makes every attempt to BDC/CRM ensure the accuracy of all published works. 23 The Character of a Dealership is Defined by its However it cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied herein. People, not its Walls Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Chuck Barker All rights reserved. The publisher encourages you to submit suggestions. Submitted materials become the property of Horizon Communications, Inc. and will not be returned. Send material for 25 Improving Customer Retention and Loyalty publication to 330 Franklin Rd., Suite 135A, PMB 386, Brentwood, TN 37027. The editor with Net Promoter reserves the right to edit material; submission of material constitutes permission to edit and Mike Esposito publish that material. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter DEPARTMENTS covered. It is presented with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering 6 Digital Dealer E-mail legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is 8 News required, the services of a competent profes- sional person should be sought. From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers. A PUBLICATION OF DD 4 September 2009
  4. 4. D IGITAL Dealer E-MAIL Digital Dealer welcomes your letters and you and reading more great articles in I am presently working in a dealership after verification will run them signed or Digital Dealer. much like the ones you described in the unsigned. Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Send letters to Thanks, article, with one exception. We have a Pat Bowen Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and Smart store Internet Sales Manager all on the same piece of property. We are Stoops Automotive Group down compared to last year, but Phil Sura, Muncie, IN compared to the rest of the market we are Let me start by saying I enjoy your doing great. That is why we are even more articles on Internet sales in Digital at risk of keeping that “oldtime dealership Dealer magazine and that I am back in Hi Pat, mentality.” I have been the lone squeaky the auto business after a three-year I appreciate the compliment and thanks wheel telling the upper management that hiatus in another sales industry (having for reading my articles. Welcome back to the we need to adopt the changes you previously been in the auto business for retail world. As you know, the industry has describe. I am not a newcomer here; I 19 years). changed tremendously over the past three have been in the car biz for 36 years and I am now the Internet manager for years. The digital space is where the game is have held almost every front-end our dealership and this is my sixth day today. My article in this issue should help management position and presently back. Needless to say, any and all help you develop a strategy. Simply use this as a oversee the Internet department. I have will be greatly appreciated. guide, starting with the message that you are been given a lot of responsibility from the I am a little overwhelmed at the delivering in the market in the way that you GM but little authority to make changes moment, answering to the clients that handle leads to the metrics that you use. If in how we do business and consequently are currently coming through the you have a plan for each section, you will be spend a lot of time trying to get managers pipeline, but I have had some success well on your way to establishing a “killer to change. In most cases, that is like trying already with two clients already taking Internet strategy.” I hope that this helps. to change a country’s culture. I am with delivery of their choice of automobiles. Phil Sura you on what we need to change, from our I will add that I think we are sitting focus pertaining to customers to our on a gold mine with the Internet being Chuck Barker, processes so please send me a copy “must a source of drawing more clients to our What a great article! (June 2009 do” checklist, it might help me. Thanks dealership; the problem is we are sitting Digital Dealer, “Rules for the New for all of your great articles. on it! Market Players.”) Simply stated, you Skip Shakely I look forward to hearing back from “hit the nail on the head.” Corporate Trainer Hi Skip, Thanks again for the narrative descrip- tion of your dilemma. It always amazes me how old school the natural default is for auto dealers. Corporate America would not tolerate an ounce of it I have attached the “CRM Essential Elements of Training,” which my clients utilize to make their dealership a better place for growth and profitability. It involves line item narrative descriptions I use in delivering new CRM initiatives in my curriculum packages so it may have some things you are not familiar with. If you should have some questions feel free to contact me. It also involves some items it sounds as though your management team needs as it relates to leadership. Hopefully, it will give you a tool for your upper management to have some things to think about as they endeavor to create something that can withstand the test of time. The important thing here is to establish new ways to do business and then stick with them. Adopt them as the new store culture and watch things improve quickly. Hope it helps. Chuck Barker DD 6 September 2009
  5. 5. D IGITAL Dealer they receive each month. Dealers can opt out of the program at any time with a 30-day notice. AutoUSA’s used car inventory lead program employs the same stringent PMDS announces AutoUSA introduces filtering and scrubbing process used to Mobile Mailroom, generate its award-winning new car a new DealerUps new classified vehicle leads. The system eliminates duplicates listing service and filters out leads with missing or CRM Internet lead AutoUSA, a provider of the highest incorrect contact information such as management tool quality, Internet-generated consumer phone and e-mail addresses. Parayil & Mann Dealer Services leads to auto dealers nationwide, has Inc. (PMDS), a leading retail automo- announced the launch of a new service tive consulting and technology that allows consumers shopping online provider, has announced the release of for a vehicle to immediately contact Mobile Mailroom, a new DealerUps dealers by phone when viewing a classi- CRM Internet lead management tool fied vehicle listing. The new phone lead for retail automotive dealers. Mobile service is part of AutoUSA’s used car Mailroom lets dealers receive and inventory lead program, and available respond to any incoming e-mail leads for vehicle listings on sites such as using web-enabled cell phones, PDAs, AOL Autos and AutoSoft named or iPhones, with full data capture by PMDS’ popular DealerUps CRM “Down funnel buyers that are certified DMS provider system. The new mobile tool speeds researching vehicles often want to for Kia Motors up Internet lead response time by contact the dealer by phone if they’re America allowing dealerships to immediately interested in a listing – which makes AutoSoft International has respond to e-mail inquiries at any time phone leads extremely valuable,” said announced that it had received a certifi- and from any location. Phil DuPree, president of AutoUSA. “Until now, mobile ILM applications cate of satisfactory integration for the have only provided alerts when an e- Through the new service, AutoUSA KIA Web DCS interfaces from Motive will provide unique phone numbers for mail lead has been received. Someone Retail, as authorized by and on behalf still has to sit down at a computer to each dealership. Incoming consumer of Kia Motors America. respond to the inquiry,” said Stan phone calls are automatically tracked The AutoSoft dealer management Thomas, CEO of DealerUps. “With and routed to the dealership for system, for this certification, success- Mobile Mailroom, you can respond to handling and recorded for the dealer’s fully passed a comprehensive suite of the e-mail lead directly from your review. Dealers are only charged for the test cases and performed a live dealer mobile phone. It’s fast, easy and all of call if the consumer hasn’t phoned the pilot, which collectively demonstrated the data is captured and pushed directly dealership within the last 30 days, and that AutoSoft’s DMS meet the dealer into DealerUps.” if the call is longer than 65 seconds. management system integration Dealers can use Mobile Mailroom to “Customers can call a dealership for requirements of KIA Web DCS. receive Internet leads on their mobile reasons unrelated to a specific vehicle. Interfaces for which the AutoSoft phone, PDAs and iPhones from any We don’t want dealers paying for those DMS has been certified include source, including third-party lead types of calls,” says Mike Shawd, Delivery Reporting, STAR DTS providers. AutoUSA’s director of sales. Version 1.7; Parts Order, STAR DTS Incoming e-mail leads are first logged AutoUSA’s used car inventory lead Version 1.7; Parts Return, STAR DTS in the DealerUps CRM customer program lets dealers post their used Version 1.6; and Repair Order, STAR record. A personalized link to the lead is vehicle inventory at top automotive DTS Version 3.5. then sent to the designated mobile sites. Used car inventory data is pulled “Motive Retail was pleased to work device, where it can be viewed and through the dealership’s existing polling with the AutoSoft team to integrate and responded to through a secure environ- partners with no additional effort on certify their DMS with Kia Web DCS. ment. Dealers can reply with their own the dealer’s part. With this integration, U.S. Kia dealers are e-mail message, or use pre-formatted or Dealers who sign up for the program now able to choose an integrated DMS custom Mobile Mailroom e-mail reply can have their used vehicle inventory from one of the largest North American templates. The response is sent to the appearing online within a week. The dealer system providers,” said Dan Seats, customer and simultaneously saved to program includes a pay-per-lead managing director at Motive Retail. the customer record. pricing structure where allowed by law, in which dealers only pay for the leads DD 8 September 2009
  6. 6. D IGITAL Dealer AAISP NOTES Mike Roscoe 7TH Unless you have been hiding under a rock you are probably already aware that the 7th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition will take place on November 1-3 at the Nashville Convention Center in downtown Music City, USA. CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION November 1-3, 2009 • Nashville, TN EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN! Here is just a small sampling of the sessions and workshops How Video Can Help you Stay Ahead of the Pack we have in store for you: How to get ahead by leveraging video Two peer networking sessions: one at the start of the How to Use Social Networking to Get Ahead by Building conference and one at the end. You will be seated at a table your Brand and to Stay Ahead by Protecting Your Online with eight or nine other individuals with similar titles to Reputation yours and from similar-sized operations, but from different Learn how to monetize social networking by building relation- markets. Two hours of sharing problems and solutions with ships online to improve profits in both sales and fixed operations people in virtually the same boat as you. This was a big hit last time, so big in fact, we’re also doing it at the end of the con- Web Merchandising: Let’s Get Emotional! ference so you can compare notes on what you learned the Why spend money on an expensive web site, SEO, online classi- previous 48 hours. fieds or any online marketing effort if you aren’t going to create emotional ads that ‘sell’ the consumer once they are there? Web Analytics and Breakthrough Lead Generation How to use analytics to maximize lead development Selling to the Online Car Shoppers’ Buying Motivations Use consumer perceptions to increase dealership traffic and out- Facing the Giant of Automotive e-Business – You sell the competition Already Own the Tools! Fixing your Internet department for free! How Does Your Online Advertising Measure Up? Tools and techniques that will empower you to take control of Digital and Traditional Marketing: Creating the Optimal the effectiveness of your online advertising Marketing Mix Maximize your sales and service traffic by making certain your Get in Shape, be Fit and Stay Ahead of the Curve – The digital marketing compliments your traditional marketing One-hour a Day Social Media Workout Plan Following the training plan for 60 minutes daily will get you Getting to the Inbox is No Longer Enough into the desired ‘web 2.0 shape.’ What’s hot in e-mail marketing now Compliance and your Online Marketing Strategy The Secrets to Driving Used Car Profits Are you protected from identity thieves when conducting your Are you making the right inventory decisions for your dealership? online transactions? The Dealer’s Evolution – Internet Department to an This represents roughly one fourth of the sessions being Internet Dealer offered. Go to to see the entire Yes we can! It’s absolutely necessary to stay ahead of the curve agenda and speaker/session list, as well as video testimonials and thrive from past attendees. You don’t want to miss this one. Unless you intend to not get ahead today and stay ahead tomorrow... Data Mining Made Easy How to find and use customer data Go to to register. Move Ahead of your Competitors with Content Based I’ll see you here in Nashville. SEO Strategies By leveraging free and low-cost web publishing platforms, deal- ers can target any search phrases with effective content-based SEO strategies for Google page one dominance Automotive Consumer Engagement Techniques for your Michael Roscoe Web Site and Social Media Platforms Editor-in-Chief Leverage online conversations to turn anonymous consumers into engaged shoppers DD 10 September 2009
  7. 7. E DITOR’S NOTE Cliff Banks Tell Mike to Get Back to Work T he boss, Michael Roscoe, is on hiatus this month. That’s why If dealers don’t show up at the convention, NADA will be weakened I’m writing his column – as our production manager is beating significantly in the future and will be much less effective protecting me for missing another deadline. your flanks. If dealers don’t come, vendors won’t come – vendors who Michael, who signs my paycheck, says he’s not going to write are a major source of revenue for NADA. anymore columns until you register for the National Automobile Supporting NADA is reason enough to attend. But the benefit Dealers Association Convention and Exposition this year – which extends far beyond helping an association. means, it’s up to me to write it. He’s passionate about the association The NADA convention, simply put, is for winners. The dealers and the convention (maybe a little too passionate, if you ask me – who attend are the ones who constantly are looking for ways to tongue in cheek, sort of). improve their business and make more money. They want to beat He spent his entire column last month urging you to attend NADA, their competition. which is scheduled for February 13-15 in Orlando this year. Now, it’s Every year, on the exhibit floor, “The truth is, you my turn to take up the baton. are the latest and greatest solutions need a strong I know the questions – Can we afford it this year? Is it worth it? designed to help you be more prof- What do we really get out of attending the convention? itable. And often, dealers at the association in Legitimate questions, true. You have to do what’s right for your convention get the first look at business. But the truth is, you need a strong association in Washington what’s new. I often hear of dealers Washington fighting for your interests. And attending the convention is one way who negotiated in a vendor’s booth to help NADA remain strong. at NADA an exclusive territory fighting for your There is no question NADA was bloodied this year. I’ve heard the for use of a new product or solu- criticisms that the association didn’t do enough to protect its dealers. tion, and thus, keeping it out of interests. And My opinion is, the criticism isn’t valid. Yes, we lost way too many the hands of the competition in attending the dealerships in 2009, but there was little NADA could do to reverse their direct market. that, even though its officers and directors tried hard. And don’t forget about the convention is one In the last six months, NADA has won some big battles. It, more workshops. Some are better than than any other organization, was responsible for getting Cash for others, but you will always find way to help NADA Clunkers off the ground. great ideas you can take back to It also managed to keep dealerships from being included in the your stores. remain strong.” oversight by the Consumer Protection Financial Agency. A quiet So, in attending the convention, win to be sure, but a big win. You probably would have seen your you’ll help an association that pro- F&I profits dwindle to almost nothing in the next couple of years if tects you to remain strong, and, you’ll come away with some new NADA doesn’t succeed there. products and ideas that will help you make more money. And for Another win is the recent legislation that grants eliminated Chrysler those of us in the great white North, the Orlando sun in February and General Motors dealers the right to seek arbitration and possible is an added bonus. reinstatement. A month ago, that legislation was dead with no chance There’s one more thing – by attending, you’ll be telling Mike to of making it to the Senate floor for a vote. get back to work…. NADA also has worked hard, going back to September of 2008, to We’ll see you on the exhibit floor at booth #582. pry floorplan capital from the banks. It was instrumental in crafting several strategies that are now being employed by various govern- ment agencies to loosen up credit for dealers. It’s slow going, but once the banks get religion, these measures are going to help dealers who need it most. Cliff Banks The question you should be asking is how can I afford not to go Vice President and the convention? Editorial Director 6 Dealer January 2010
  8. 8. D IGITAL Dealer INTERNET SALES Joe Webb The Social Networking Gut Check T “Businesses are here are no bigger buzzwords in 4. Consistency in the message the automotive industry than If your dealership is promoting one social networking, social climbing aboard the sale on its web site, another in their media, or social marketing. newspaper, and a different one on the Apparently, the whole world loves social profitability networks, they are hurting themselves. being social so we the people have Some think that having multiple decided to lock ourselves behind bandwagon, but marketing messages is similar to casting closed doors, demand some peace and a bigger net to catch more fish. It isn’t. quiet, jump online, and have discon- most need to look It is diluting each and every advertise- nected conversations. ment or marketing agenda. A dealer or Even I do not utilize social network- before they leap.” vendor fishing in the social media ing sites as well as I should. Yes, on ocean should be using the same bait on these sites I have befriended a countless —Joe Webb every line. many of you fine Digital Dealer readers 5. Have the right person managing – as well as our very own Mike Roscoe. Let me preface this by saying that the account A problem I have is that I personally social media doesn’t remedy all that ails While I mentioned above that one have two communities to appease. I you. It should be used as one of the unified front can be beneficial to a have the automotive realm and all of many marketing tactics to achieve vendor or dealership (provided the my comedy connections. If I were as success…but it isn’t a pot of gold. message is delivered correctly), you smart about the medium as I claim to 1. Create a strategy must have the right person in charge of be, I’d have two separate accounts, but Here is where many dealerships fail. the primary business account. This I do not. Thankfully, I have earned Without a goal to reach and a method cannot be an entry-level specialist, but myself the reputation as the “comedian” to achieving it, you will end up being should be a decision-maker at the in both worlds and am now often all social and no marketing. Linking establishment. You must have a dedi- expected to give my skewed view on the to individuals and businesses without cated executive to guarantee industry through blogs, postings, and rhyme or reason is not getting the accountability. No one wants some the like…even if it is an occasionally message out. Being devoid of strategy base-level employee with a grudge sarcastic comment. It is the role that in the networking sites will cost you single-handedly destroying your repu- I’ve carved out for myself so any poten- potential results that could be earned tation. I feel someone with authority tial profile visitors online that disagree in other areas. You must have a plan and who is synonymous with the store, with my views can let it be known or of attack. must be at the helm of your social click to the next page. That is the 2. Will the consumer be there? marketing efforts. One person must be beauty of being an individual within This is actually the first step in deter- in charge to ensure the agenda stays in the social media environment. There is mining whether to test the waters of place, the audience is the target, and the no need to masquerade as more than social media. Is it advantageous to goal is attained. you are. However, this article is dedi- spend the time, money, and resources 6. Stand at attention cated to businesses entering this social to become a part of this landscape if Your business is going to be spread- networking platform in hopes of you cannot ensure you are reaching ing your message across the land, which expanding their brand awareness and your target audience? leaves the door open for anonymous putting themselves in the best light 3. Make sure there is buy-in from remarks, reviews, postings, and gripes. while communicating their unique ownership and management Negativity can override any marketing marketing message. If the powers in charge at the dealer- message and there are those in the Businesses are climbing aboard the ship are not supportive of the medium industry, hate to say it, that are such social profitability bandwagon, but or if they undervalue your dedication to head cases that they have no other most need to look before they leap. the platform, look elsewhere. The social recourse than to tear you down to make They need to take a gut check and marketing efforts that appear to have themselves feel better. Yes, sadly, social consider the six important steps to the biggest impact are those that are networking sites can resemble real life successful social networking for supported by the company as a whole businesses. rather than just one sole individual. continued on P-DD15 DD 12 September 2009
  9. 9. D IGITAL Dealer INTERNET SALES Phil Sura Developing a Killer Internet Strategy To build a great strategy, it starts with great content. If you are yelling, but you don’t have anything to say, no one listens. I have played golf four times each year Great content MySpace, Linked In, RSS feed and for over 20 years. My score reflects Great stories: What’s your story? Twitter? the real lack of passion that I have for How does it distinguish you from your Mobile (PDA): Provide content the sport. I can dress the part and try to competition? And is it integrated and consistent with mobile devices so copy the swing of the pros, but I still consistent throughout your web site customers can view your inventory have a hard time breaking a score of 93. and all other customer touch-points? This is similar to the Internet manager Great photos and videos: A Web site or general manager looking for the one minimum of 15 high quality photos. Web site: Is the site easy to navigate, idea that will take their Internet depart- Consider a staging area with high- leveraging the dealership in organic ment to superstar status. That one idea density lighting with a controlled search, professional look and feel, doesn’t exist. The market is too complex. background. Consider video walk- colors/photos and appearance? Does The retail leaders in the automotive arounds. the web site flow or does it have 30 Internet space are constantly making different themes? adjustments to modifying their Driving traffic approach since the market is evolving. Organic search: How many unique Lead management You may have the perfect SEO strategy visitors are hitting my web site each DMS: Is it compatible with CRM? one day and Google changes the analyt- month? What is my goal? How do my Are the internal status codes for units ics and three dealers across town jump numbers compare with the competitors consistent with web site codes? This is ahead of you with the key searches. I in the area (see Is the hardest by far to change. This is the would suggest that it is research and time it geo-targeted for my area? What is my foundation. on the “course,” which leads to a better Google page rank (Google tool bar CRM: Who is managing and moni- understanding of the game, which leads feature)? toring to ensure 100 percent to a stronger scorecard. Pay-per- click: What am I paying per compliance and accountability with This article will serve as an overview click? What am I paying per delivered the sales team? Does it have a good that will allow you to grade your effec- unit? Do I have a maximum dollar marketing center, which allows data- tiveness with key parts of building a amount that I will pay? Is my ad copy base mining for e-mail campaigns? solid Internet strategy. You may choose distinctive? Have I overlooked some Can you easily check and change the to use this overview as a report card to low cost phrases, which every other status of each account. Is it easy to inte- be scored by your management team, dealer isn’t bidding on? grate html code? Do the salespeople the people in the Internet department Third-party sites: What is the ROI easily understand the functionality? and even trusted vendors. Please note with AutoTrader,, Car Soup, Does the CRM allow you to match that some areas are much more founda- etc.? Am I listing cars with Craig’s List? opportunities? Ex.: A fresh trade tional than others. To change the DMS How are you distinguishing yourself on appears which was a desired unit by is a major undertaking, but dealers will these sites? another customer. do it if they believe that this critical tool Video and YouTube strategy: How Structure of department: Clearly is holding them back. To build a great effective is my video strategy? Am I understood by all front-end employees. strategy, it starts with great content. If linking video content and tagging the Options include: appointment booker, you are yelling, but you don’t have video with key meta tags? Am I using appointment booker with Internet sales anything to say, no one listens. From video across multiple channels (web rep, Internet sales answering leads and content, the next key area is driving site, AutoTrader, YouTube,, selling cars, full-fledge BDC, specialty traffic followed by the first impression Car Soup, and FaceBook)? Am I lever- BDC with key focus or all salespeople of your operation formed by your web aging user generated content and are trained on handling Internet leads, site. You should then consider lead professional grade video content? Am I as well as walk-in traffic. management, retention and measure- using video with e-mail campaigns Am I taking full advantage of the ments. The final key step is an and/or monthly newsletters? Am I digital customers? Should I consider a improvement plan. It doesn’t matter if sending video out as a response to e- different structure? Review this article you are at the top of your game. If you mail inquiries? for additional details: http://www.digi- stop the process of improving, you will Social sites: How am I leveraging the lose your edge and actually lose ground. opportunity available on FaceBook, continued on P-DD15 DD 14 September 2009
  10. 10. Internet Sales, Sura (continued from P-DD14) Internet Sales, Webb (continued from P-DD12) Measure and adjust to these miserable souls so stay dedi- article=1521. Metrics being tracked and meas- cated to turning away potentially Am I properly staffed? Each Internet ured: Unique visitors to site, phone ups damaging posts or remarks. Delete the salesperson can effectively handle 75 to tracked from site, web leads from site, comments promptly and remove your- 80 customers. You will sell more units if closing ratios with both and goals, time self from their crooked line of sight. If you watch the ratios. on site, bounce rate, page visits, sold you cannot, much like a bad consumer Point person: Do we have the right units, sold units – Internet sales as a review on DealerRater, you must leader? Someone who is progressive, percentage against total sold, total address the post, neutralize it, and hands on, hardworking, open to ideas, digital budget, percentage of digital convert it into a positive. able to implement and execute ideas budget versus total ad spend, cost per So many dealers are already a part of quickly, achieves sales goals, and keeps lead comparisons by source, cost per the social networking sites, many others senior management informed with unit sold by source. You should have are entering it as I type, and some updates. Does the entire department goals for each of these areas. simply do not see a fit for their dealer- have written job descriptions? Do Adjustments: Make adjustments ship. As I mentioned before, social people understand their role and do based on metrics: Adjust copy, ad media marketing is not the end all, be they feel valued? Do people receive placement, creative, and frequency. all of business development. A smile, written job performance reviews at least Basically be willing to adjust and test shake of the hand or hello on the phone once a year? Are people having fun? new initiatives. remains the strongest form of commu- Pay plans: Motivational and direc- nication and that, I hope, never tional. Are the pay plans realistic? Improvement plan changes. With that in mind, please do Process: How do you handle leads? Regardless of how good you are, me a favor. As much time and effort as How long does it take for the first there’s always room for improvement. you dedicate to the online community, response—after the automated Do you have a plan that holds people I ask that you dedicate even more to response? (10-15 minutes is a great accountable with key dates? your local community. I promise that goal) How many days do you follow This is only a starting point. The you will see a greater impact in the faces up with the customer? What do your most progressive groups have worked of the local folk than you will in the pics response templates look like? How well beyond these points. The top of your profile friends. many and how often do you follow up groups are hiring skilled specialists to That being said, there is still plenty to with each customer opportunity? focus on the next level of reaching learn and achieve from social networking How do you grade the effectiveness of and connecting with people in the sites so take these six steps into consider- this activity by each Internet sales market place. This document can ation when planning or revamping your consultant? easily be modified. If you score low social media marketing. Ongoing training: Do we have a strat- today, create a plan to attack the egy to train the Internet team and entire areas that need the most attention Joe Webb is the president of DealerKnows sales team on the digital customer? Hint: and review the results in three LLC, an automotive digital marketing send a team to the next Digital Dealer months. Focus and vision are critical consultation firm. It specializes in assist- Conference in Nashville. Bring in a components to building a killer ing dealers with their online advertising, digital consultant for training. Internet strategy. lead management, e-commerce market- “You are not here merely to make a ing, and Internet initiatives. Webb also Retention / cultivation living. You are here in order to enable recently founded Dealer Signage Inc., E-mail newsletters: Do you have a the world to live more amply, with where he is the acting chief operating offi- newsletter and how are you adding rele- greater vision, with a finer spirit of cer. Dealer Signage is a progressive, digital vant content that gets the attention of hope and achievement. You are here to advertising network and signage company your customer? Is the newsletter of enrich the world, and you impoverish that allows dealers to manage the media interest or does it simply focus on how yourself if you forget the errand.” on their own televisions and deliver tar- great you are? ~ Woodrow Wilson geted digital messages to their loyal E-mail campaigns: What is your customers within their own dealership. strategy to gather e-mail addresses? Phil Sura is a VP of the Automotive Webb's primary goal, as he always states, What is the goal as a percentage of sales Division of UnityWorks Media. is “to better the culture of car sales.” and service customers? Are the service cashiers asking for e-mail addresses? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn: Do you have a focus on connecting with If you wish to discuss this article with If you wish to discuss this article with your customers through the social other dealers, or with the author, other dealers, or with the author, media opportunities? please go to the “Discussion Forums” please go to the “Discussion Forums” Mobile: Provide customer updates at at for service and sales via the customer’s and enter the “Internet Sales” forum or and enter the “Internet Sales” forum or preferred methods (phone, text, e-mail, e-mail him at psura@DigitalDealer- e-mail him at jwebb@DigitalDealer- direct mail). This will become a major opportunity for dealers. September 2009 DD 15
  11. 11. D IGITAL Dealer INTERNET SALES Jason Ezell Making the Connection Help shoppers find their car with your online inventory A s you’re wrapping up a hopefully spiders crawl your web site, they’ll see You also need to include the vehicle’s successful summer sales season, the alt text and know how to properly price on the vehicle’s details page. Vehicle now is a good time to focus on index the image. pricing is one of the top pieces of infor- the backbone of your web site: your To enhance your existing linking struc- mation shoppers are looking for in their inventory. ture, try adding videos to YouTube and search, and having no price listed can In order for you to connect your linking those videos back to the appropri- actually deter leads. shoppers to their next vehicles as ate vehicles in your inventory. This will For example, many dealers opt for quickly and painlessly as possible, it’s help build trust with the search engines requesting a call for pricing, but this crucial to maintain your inventory by and give your website another point of method often backfires when consumers keeping it up-to-date and chock-full of visibility. simply move onto another dealership that information. lists vehicle prices on its web site. A good There are three main focus areas within 2. Provide consumers with a approach is to list a price that is below the the inventory section of your site: visibil- dynamic shopping experience by Kelley Blue Book price. ity within search engines, vehicle images supplying multiple images. Another important step is to make and the information you make available Viewing a vehicle online is obviously sure your inventory isn’t outdated. to consumers. vastly different than an in-person experi- Depending on the provider you use, your ence at the dealership. Instead of getting inventory listings could be refreshed 1. Create more index-able pages to sit in the car, feel the interior and take hourly, or it may only be updating every for your site by optimizing inven- in that “new car smell,” the only thing few days, which presents a problem if a tory content. online shoppers can do is view the vehicle customer calls about a vehicle you sold Many shoppers are moving away from on a computer screen. In order to make the day before. using generic search phrases such as, vehicles as attractive to buyers as possible, Take some time to focus on these factors “auto dealer in Austin.” Instead, they’re include multiple images for each car in and analyze how you’re presenting your adding precise keywords such as, “2009 your inventory. inventory to your shoppers. Are they easily Toyota Camry in Nashville.” Respond to One way to do that is to include a able to find you when searching for a this trend by optimizing your inventory variety of pictures of both the exterior and vehicle in their region? Are you giving the interior of each vehicle. To appeal to them a complete shopping experience by every buyer, whether they’re concerned providing enough images and details about “Putting in the effort with what the interior of vehicles has to your vehicles? Are your listings up to date? offer or what the exterior looks like, have Putting in the effort will pay off as your will pay off as your an even mix of images that showcases all of customers find the right car for them at the vehicle’s features. your dealership. customers find the You can easily make this visual impact with static images, but it’s also beneficial Jason Ezell is one of Dealerskins’ original right car for them at to include a 360-degree spin and the founders. Since the company’s acquisition by ability to view each car in every available Trader Publishing in 2005, Ezell serves as your dealership.” color. Seeing a vehicle in the color the national sales director. He is on the board of —Jason Ezell shopper actually wants makes it their car. directors for the AAISP and vendor represen- tative on the J.D.Power Internet Roundtable. pages with model-specific keywords, 3. Give your customers the com- including year, make and trim, in your plete picture by including all title tags and meta content. Also, provide essential details. these specifications in the descriptive text Since online shoppers aren’t able to see If you wish to discuss this article with on each vehicle’s page. your vehicles in person, you should other dealers, or with the author, Your images present another opportu- display all of the details for each vehicle please go to the “Discussion Forums” nity to strengthen your SEO campaigns. including a description with optimized at Inserting alt text on each image tells text, a list of available features and other and enter the “Internet Sales” forum or search engines more about the vehicles specifics including miles per gallon, trans- e-mail him at jezell@DigitalDealer- in the picture. When search engine mission and mileage. DD 16 September 2009
  12. 12. D IGITAL Dealer COVER STORY Jeff Jones Internet Sales Manager Al Serra Auto Plaza DD 18 September 2009
  13. 13. At the beginning of the decade, Jeff Jones, a slightly frustrated restaurateur, was looking to find a more rewarding challenge. Today, as the 38-year-old Internet sales manager for the Al Serra Auto Plaza in Grand Blanc, MI, Jones is really cooking, helping the auto retailer offset an industry-wide decline in new vehicle sales with a big increase in used vehicle leads, thanks, Jones says, to his owner’s forward thinking attitude toward the use of technology and a tradi- tion as a one-price dealership that helps translate those leads into sales. An intense focus on Internet sales has led to web site conversion rates increasing about 2 percent in the past year, while Internet sales rose 3 percent. We talked with Jones recently about how Internet sales are handled and how the business is adjusting to the current market. Jeff, tell me what first attracted anyone beat you due to a lack of effort. I was successful with producing sales you to the auto industry? The first year I made more money than from the leads I had been getting from I was in the restaurant business from I had ever earned before and I have the BDC and after five months I was 1993 to 2001 and I was looking to sell never looked back. But I often wonder offered a position as an Internet sales it and make a change that would be where I would be today if that other consultant for the Plaza. This job was to better for my family. In January of dealer would have hired me and what strictly answer and sell all of the leads for 2001, I really wanted to work at my my perception of the car business the whole Plaza. At that time it was local Pontiac, Buick, and GMC Dealer. would have been. about 350 to 400 leads per month and I I made a plan to go in and see the dealer am sure if you are reading this magazine himself. I knocked on his office door How did you land as Internet you know that was like getting your and was fortunate enough to talk to manager at the Plaza? teeth kicked in. I started at 7:00 am and him directly. After reading my resume I started working for the Al Serra Auto often did not leave until 9:00 pm or he told me to come back when I sold Plaza on November 1, 2004. A friend I later. I thought I could handle it but my restaurant; the guy would hardly had made from the Chrysler store after while I was exhausted. How many talk to me! Disappointed, I was telling convinced me this was the place I salespeople do you know that think they this story to a friend and his girlfriend needed to be. The interview took about can handle it all? I am definitely one of who was a sales manager at a small two weeks, talking to five managers. It them! About two months later we hired Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge store and she was such a large, impressive organiza- in another salesperson and we sold hired me on the spot. I will never forget tion, I was happy when I got the job together as a team. Mike Schwartz my wife and I sitting down at the opening in used cars. When I started, responded to the leads and I would help kitchen table discussing how commit- the Plaza had already had a BDC call call customers for follow up and sell ted I needed to be if this was going to center in place. The process for e-mail them when they came in. That worked work out. I wrote a letter to all my leads was to send out an e-mail through pretty well for a while but as our lead family and friends to tell them about Outlook to all the sales staff (50-plus at volume grew we needed to expand. my career change. That was my first car the time) announcing there was an e- Then we went to a three-person team marketing piece, which was really cool mail lead available to who ever and I was the Internet sales manager over and it developed results! The business responded first. I had some experience two salespeople, and the team really was fun and rewarding to me and I with e-mail leads from my previous grew from there. Mike and I often joke learned a lot fast. The first lesson was no dealer where I was the Internet manager; to the other Internet salespeople, “We sales, no pay, and second, don’t let handling a whopping 50 leads a month. are the originals!” September 2009 DD 19
  14. 14. Describe what your current posi- Was the business using technol- forecast and business plan each month. tion entails. ogy smartly when you arrived? Sometimes we need to revise or bump Today I am the Internet manager for Yes, without a doubt. The best thing our forecast but we follow it and report the Al Serra Auto Plaza in a much about having leaders like Joe Serra to Denny each week in a managers different capacity than I was back in (dealer and president of Serra meeting. It is a great way to hold your the day of just the three of us. The Automotive) and Denny Dunfield people accountable for their commit- Plaza is a big place and it takes a lot of (general manager, Al Serra Auto Plaza) ments and to stay focused and on track. people to make it work. We currently is they welcome any technology that We treat the Internet sales team the have eight brands: Chevrolet, Buick, makes sense; they never keep their same way; we discuss what we have Pontiac, GMC, Cadillac, Hummer, heads in the sand. Joe and Denny have working and make the forecast for Honda, and Nissan. I would say this is told us as department managers that if projected e-mail sales. the flagship dealership of all of the we feel it is the right move, then do it; Serra stores, and I am extremely proud if it is a mistake, then quickly correct it Give me an overview of the to be here. I am in charge of handling and move on. They had been forward importance of Internet sales in the web sites for the Plaza and their thinkers long before I ever got here and your business. conversions, managing leads we get for that it is very refreshing to be with In my opinion it is the most impor- from the sites with sales staff, helping such a group. tant thing we can do right now. to teach the CRM and Internet skills Customers are not as “dealer loyal” to anyone who wants it, and all e-mail How are your stores performing anymore. A customer who has previ- campaigns. I also work with the other in this tough market? ously purchased a vehicle from a department heads of the Plaza for their We are doing just fine. Although our specific dealer in the past may instead site needs, as well as all of our vendors new vehicle sales percentages are down search online, find a vehicle they like such as Unity Works Media, we are making up for it with used and purchase it at a different dealer AutoTrader,, etc. on our e- vehicle leads. Our overall Internet some 40 miles away instead. We need advertising. I could never do all of this traffic has increased and we are adjust- to be aware that a customer could be by myself. I get a lot of support from ing to keep improving with the new searching from anywhere for any the BDC and Internet sales staff. We customer contacts. reason. If we don’t make plans to go have some great talent here and I have outside of our market area it will be managed to surround myself with How do you manage to get these tough to survive, and the Internet some individuals who make up a results? provides us with that opportunity. We terrific team. Each department manager makes a spend a lot of time working on the site DEALERSHIP PARTNERS IN PROFIT: Dealership name: BDC software/vendor: Al Serra Auto Plaza Contact Management - Yahoo! Autos Reynolds & Reynolds Web site URLs: Third-party sites;; CRM program: where inventory is; Reynolds & Reynolds posted: Vehicle video vendors: Web site provider/host: Unity Works Media Kelley Blue Book Reynolds Web Solutions Vehix Cobalt Vehicle valuation tools: Kelley Blue Book Vehicle history Web site vehicle photos reports: taken by: Online lead generators Experian Auto Check - In house not including the OEM sources: Other vendors not Vehicle marketing: AOL Autos listed above: Homenet Craigslist DMS provider: Kelley Blue Book Reynolds & Reynolds MSN Autos DD 20 September 2009
  15. 15. thinking about what a customer wants What else, technology or sales almost like watching a professional and what it would take for them to call, philosophy, sets you apart as a commercial it is so good. We have e-mail or come in. If they don’t make a dealer group? been doing that kind of stuff for call to action I feel like there is room to We have been a one-price dealer about three years now. improve. We track our conversion rates since 1992. It is nice when you can closely. I have learned a lot from Digital empower your salespeople to provide Do you have one or several web Dealer magazine and vendors however, the best price up front with no haggle sites? I have learned the most from my or hassle. The customers and the sales- We have several sites. Our Internet and BDC staff. I rely on their people both appreciate the ease of URL is our bread and feedback of what is working and what is doing business this way. Simply put, butter though, and it has all eight not. We sit down as a team and discuss they get the vehicle that fits their wants brands of the Plaza available. All of our e-mail ideas and follow up schedules. and needs in a stress-free environment. advertising is spent promoting that We communicate pretty well with each I know the way that Joe Serra and URL. It is really just a hub to direct the other and share ideas that always Denny Dunfield lead all of us we visitors to the places and brands they express the importance of getting better always have the opportunity to shine. would like to see. We also have our with our Internet business. You never hear anyone complain that Nissan, and Honda sites, and a second we can’t do something because of our exclusive GM brand-specific site. What is the process for receiving leadership. They give us the tools we and distributing Internet leads? need to get the job done, and we do it. What lead generation tools work Every e-mail lead goes through our We now try to develop rapport early best on your site? CRM. Our total Internet department on our web site. Since we have added Right now I have to give that honor is unique; I think this is what sets us video and some better lead forms, our to the Kelley Blue Book lead driver apart from other dealers. We have 50 web site conversion rate in the last year tool. We average more than 200 leads sales people in total, 10 of them are has gone up almost 2 percent. Our e- per month with this. I like it because it Internet salespeople who handle mail lead average has gone up 40 gives us something to talk about with leads on a round-robin rotation. But percent, and Internet sales have the customer. The second, at about 100 the best part of our sales force is with increased 3 percent over the last year as a month is the credit application lead years of longevity with the Plaza. At well. We have set up a new process form. We have a credit counseling web any time one of their customers with the BDC and Internet depart- page that works as a great landing page shops online we have our CRM ment just this month so I am looking on our site. assign the lead back to that salesper- forward to better results the second son automatically. Most of them are half of the year. How do you use SEO? notified on their cell phone. It is I think we started using personal- We make sure each of our web site usually a nice surprise to the ized video before it was really popular. pages have a relevant purpose to what customer when their long-time sales- I remember talking to a customer we want to accomplish with that page. person contacts and remembers them who was not able to come into the Whether it is an oil change page or while providing the information. dealership until the evening and she inventory search we don’t muddy the Therefore I like to think of all of our would not make a decision until she waters. Our goal has always been to salespeople as Internet salespeople. I saw the vehicle. It was the last day of have rich content with the appropriate have been asking the salespeople who the month and if she bought after subject matter. Then we monitor and have been here 20- to 30-plus years, 4:45 pm the sale would count for next test our work with the search engines. If “Was there a newspaper or radio month. I was trying to get another it doesn’t work we go back to the page department 20 years ago?” Obviously sale for the Internet department and figure out why, and we update as not, so all Internet leads should not before the cutoff. I went out with a much as possible. We have been just go to an Internet department. digital camera did a two-minute working with Unity Works Media with The way customers contact us now is feature and benefit presentation in VSEO and have seen some positive different than it was back then. Since one take, then e-mailed it to her at results with this; they do a great job for the customers needs have changed, work. She was so impressed she us in this area. we all need to make sure we are started e-mailing it to her friends and prepared and change as well. co-workers before she even came in How are you finding those better showing them the video e-mail of the key words for SEM? Does it differ at individual stores? truck she was coming here to buy. My We used to spend about $2,000 a Not really, the Plaza has five build- goal was to sell her a vehicle sooner month with SEM and we were able to ings; there are two Internet salespeople than later, but what it taught me was identify that a lot of our customers in each building for the fresh customer we could develop a very strong would have searched us out naturally leads. For the Honda and Nissan leads rapport this way. We didn’t beat the anyways. So we have eliminated a large we keep salespeople brand specific to deadline but were happier with the portion of SEM, however, we do have it that building, however, any salesperson bigger lesson. We still send personal with our GM endorsed site. I work at the Plaza can sell any make or model. video as much as possible when the with our account advocate to make sure All GM leads we handle on a round- right scenarios present themselves. she understands our area since she is in robin basis amongst eight ISP and used Mark Siefert, one of our Internet another state. I really just discuss key vehicle leads between two Internet salespeople has taken this to a whole salespeople. new level with editing software, it is continued on P-DD26 September 2009 DD 21
  16. 16. D IGITAL Dealer TECHNOLOGY TRENDS Sandi Jerome Five Easy Steps to Getting the Data you Need T he recent “Cash for Clunkers” tried to trade in a 1989 F-150 pickup grab the e-mail field. Since there are caught some dealers off guard. that he purchased from you four years only three ways to contact today; They wanted to quickly con- ago. He is now credit-challenged and phone, e-mail, or mail (text messaging tact the customers in their database ended up as a non-buyer in your CRM just isn’t there yet), then if you grab driving clunkers, but found that get- database. The good news is that he those fields, you should be okay, along ting that data and working with it was liked your Ford dealership enough to with the fields required for the quali- harder than they thought. This limited come in for service over the next few fiers and filtering. If you are storing offer is what I consider a “campaign” months. He might be in your data- “do not call” data, you’ll need to filter similar to a special rebate or subsidized bases four times: as a service customer, on that field too if the contact method financing rate. a sales customer from four years ago, is phone. The final step is to output There is more to getting ready for a CRM prospect in your third-party your data and again, it helps if you campaign than you think, but if you software, and a failed F&I prospect. know how you will contact your use your technology, it can be a snap! I Your field for determining if they are customer. The best method to contact have five simple steps to get a all the same John Ducks is the VIN customers is for your salespeople to campaign going and let’s use the “Cash call their customers, but in this for Clunkers” as an example. The first campaign, I’ve seen lists that exceed step is to determine who would be “You don’t want 30,000 names. If instead you are using interested in this campaign. That is bulk e-mail software, an automated not as easy as you think, since the to contact phone service, or a direct mail government didn’t say that all SUVs provider, they will normally have very qualify; instead you need a list of the a clunker owner specific guidelines for how the output year, make, and models that fall within file should be formatted. I’m accumu- the government’s guidelines. Once you that purchased lating a list of some of these providers have that list, then you need to do in case you need a quick way to some more weeding out. They have to the car contact customers and e-mail me if have owned the vehicle for the past you want a list. As I flip through last year, so you need to filter on last date last month.” month’s issue, many are our advertis- sold. You don’t want to contact a —Sandi Jerome ers, so please pick them first. They are clunker owner that purchased the car ones that let me use this space to help last month. This first step is consid- you get that data you need to sell ered filtering or selecting that data. more cars! That leads to the next step, and that is number of his owned vehicle (or to determine where the data resides. proposed trade-in). That is your third Sandi Jerome is a former controller, For some of you, you have many step to determine which of these CFO, system administrator, F&I, assis- different databases; your DMS system records “win” and get contacted. Since tant GM, and fixed operations manager customer database, service vehicle he might have four different addresses, with over 20 years experience in the auto- database, F&I sales database, CRM you need a qualifier to pick the best motive industry. She is the owner of Sandi database, or third-party provider data- contact record and that would be last Jerome Computer Consulting. base. You want the most clean and service date, last sales date, or last recent data for this campaign and it contact date. You could use the MAX might include those customers that function in Excel or Access to find the didn’t purchase from you but wanted latest date. Your fourth step is to deter- If you wish to discuss this article with to. Those would be non-buyers. This mine how you will contact him. I other dealers, or with the author, means that you might need to normally like to know this before I please go to the “Discussion Forums” combine your databases into one data- start the project, since if I went at base and then determine a sort routine through all the steps and extracted all and enter the “Technology” forum or that picks the one with the best infor- the dealership data and then found out e-mail her at sjerome@DigitalDealer- mation. As an example, you have a they wanted to e-mail the customer; customer, John Duck that came in and I’d be upset with myself if I forgot to DD 22 September 2009
  17. 17. D IGITALBarker Chuck Dealer BDC/CRM The Character of a Dealership is Defined by its People, not its Walls Build confidence and they will do great things M indless managerial duties formula as to how they became success- article was created because I witnessed and conformity are major ful without adjustments for varying the management (notice I did not say traps for mediocre managers economic climates. And, they are not the leadership) of several stores and the and the casualties are our sales person- shy about beating their chests in front way they treated their sales teams nel. The time has come to shed the of the employees and making them feel recently. In one instance, a manager was old-school bureaucratic manager and small. This mentality shifts their busi- promoted and hired his replacement. move this business into the 21st cen- ness from a growth to maintenance Every day he told the newly placed tury people development arena, to not mindset. manager that he was not as good a only stay in business, but to grow the Here is one simple formula: attrition manager or salesman as he had been. In business. For way too long the auto- equals managers not developing people! fact, he gloatsed by letting everyone mobile industry has accepted as a Now is the perfect time to focus on the know he was the best sales manager norm underestimating the outcome of new measures and performance indica- anywhere. Of course, he won’t add that tomorrow by the choices managers tors that reflect the importance of the the team was rocking when things were make today. I was just looking at a new people rules of the game. What got quite different economically and he had number of automobile job descrip- not had much to do but desk deals. He tions written by various dealers and certainly did not develop his team. His organizations. Not one of these job “You can’t expand your team developed him. Yet he remains descriptions for general manager, gen- staunch on the fabricated notion that eral sales manager and sales manager market share when the success was totally attributed to contained the single most critical ele- him, leaving one with the notion that ment of any of these powerful jobs: everyone else is doing he was the only person showing up for growing people! Sure, they all con- work. Meanwhile, let the record reflect tained numbers and job functions and well – but you’ve got a that under his most recent direction the the assorted requirements, but not one dealership had massive attrition, units spoke about the number one task of a chance when everyone were down, gross was down and every leader is to grow people. Maybe that is day the employees walked in wonder- why they don’t call it general leader or is struggling.” ing if they were going to be fired or general sales leader or sales leader. —Chuck Barker subjected to the continuous harassment Because we have forgotten that this and belittling by this idiot. He was industry, in order to sustain itself, has you to this point will not keep you here. living in the past and hanging his “past” to develop and grow talented and pro- When your team is motivated because success hat on his new position. Instead fessional individuals in order to turn you encourage them, continually train of recognizing that past successes are things around to being the profes- them, support them, acknowledge their merely stepping stones for improve- sional occupation it once was. accomplishments, respect them, ment, he was using them as his soap There is a vast difference between provide them with tools, assist them box for his “hey look at me” speeches. knowledge and wisdom. You have with their shortcomings, tell them they This guy’s ego was the size of Alaska heard me say this many times: the are important and then reward them, and was proud of it. This style of enemy of great is good. The primary you will be presented with a galaxy of management is dead! reason so few managers or organiza- intriguing growth possibilities. Among Meanwhile the new manager is tions for that matter ever become great these are fostering better customer rela- developing individuals and the team is because they get good and they stop tions, enhancement of your sales like never before. He has tripled unit improving. They stop personally processes, morale of the store and a sales and gross profits, the team’s growing, learning, risking, changing strongly woven team fabric that is morale is at an all time high and this and growing their people. They use unshakable in any climate. Then, guess store is getting recognized by the manu- their track record or prior successes as what happens? Business as usual turns facturer as a dealership on the move. evidence that they are king. Believing into unusual business gains. Yet, as well as this new manager is their own headlines, the leaders in these Ask yourself this question: would I dramatically improving things, the dealerships are ready to write it down, want to work for me? Ego may lie to build the manual and document the you but others will not. This entire continued on P-DD24 September 2009 DD 23