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AutoSuccess Apr09


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AutoSuccess addresses the specific, researched needs of new car and light truck dealerships by providing entrepreneurial, cutting-edge, solution-based editorials to increase dealership profits and reduce expenses

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AutoSuccess Apr09

  1. 1. Listen to Our Industry Experts at April 2009
  2. 2. Are you looking forApril 2009 feature solution An Interview By SusanGivens FACE customers who aren’t OF THE address: 3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B DEALERSHIP Louisville Kentucky 40220 there? phone / fax: 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 web: Unlimited team: Updating leadership solution Susan Givens FOCUS Publisher Packages 08 Hold Everyone Accountable - All of the Time starting as low as $ 199 StephenR.Covey Thomas Williams VP & Creative Director 14 MAXIMIZE TODAY LawsonOwen per month pg24 28 DON’T LET YOUR STYLE GET IN THE WAY Dave Davis Editor and Creative Strategist THE GOOD NEWS OF YOUR SUCCESS ABOUT TODAY’S MattBaker Brian Ankney ECONOMIC Sales-Improvement Strategist ENVIRONMENT 30 DEALERITIS JoshWeaver KevinCunningham John Warner Sales-Improvement Strategist sales & training solution 18 BUILDING TRUST IN A MISTRUSTED INDUSTRY general information: A Front Line-Ready Technique For Building Trust Faster eNewsletter: PaulWebb 22 HOW TO MAKE TRAINING PAY OFF pg1 AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., 9 JohnBrentlinger Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. ARE YOU A 26 GO THE EXTRA MILE AND ENSURE AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible DINOSAUR? LOYALTY WITH WOMEN CUSTOMERS for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its MarkTewart JodyDeVere contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the 33 FIELD TRIP content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked SteveBrazill from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess 34 WINNING WORDS Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent Your customers are on the move. By having current data in your Four Powerful Phrases from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names PaulCummings available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of DMS system you will be reaching interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling Are you keeping up with them? 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to customers with every marketing marketing solution AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220. campaign you initiate... distancing 10 DEVELOPING THE THANK-YOU NOTE HABIT yourself from your competition. TomHopkins We provide the most current email addresses, phone numbers and 16 LEVERAGING POSITIVE REVIEWS That means more profit potential for ChipGrueter physical addresses on a monthly basis. every department in your dealership. pg27 17 THE KEY TO STOCKING YOUR USED CAR LOT DalePollak helping to support... THE POWER OF PERSONALIZED GRATITUDE 32 THOUGHTS ABOUT CRM - DO YOU NEED ONE? MarcSmith HowardLeavitt DMS Update automatically insures all of the information in your DMS UPDATE ‘BILL AND MARY AREN’T HERE RIGHT NOW...’ DMS system (such as ADP or R&R) is current, accurate, and in 36 The Hardest Part of a Sales Professionals’ Job is Handling Voicemail compliance with the latest government regulations. 1-866-702-1566 SeanV.Bradley
  3. 3. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey FOCUS Hold Everyone Accountable - All of the Time Figure 1 Which of the following statements best describes the accountability within your organization? Dear Dea ler: ments you have heard in your daily m eetings late ly? e com er e did Are these e st m i In prior columns, Organizations that execute with excellence rs. I’ve talked about an invariably have strong accountability 64% We NEED h gift see e “execution gap” in systems. h dn othing b t that 58% to bring in something omething organizations, the gap between setting a We NEED W e NEED s 41% th t e dif ferent. BUYERS. some tr f goal and achieving it. To close the execution The data indicate, however, that such gap, leaders must practice four disciplines systems are not very common. In a recent 31% ht i bring in n get bo g tened 26% of execution: study, more than 12,000 U.S. workers were 16% gh 1. Focus on the Wildly Important Goal asked to describe accountability within their n s h e ti 2. Create a Compelling Scoreboard organizations. Figure 1 shows the results. 3. Translate Lofty Goals into Action a. b. c. d. e. f. r: 4. Hold Everyone Accountable — All of known fo at we are once ts the Time a. We routinely report to each other on That’s why the fourth discipline of Here’s wh rotected c our progress toward goals. execution is to hold everyone accountable ith ou r uni ue — all of the time. Those who practice this lity tra c riving ua I’ve dealt with the first three disciplines in b. I meet at least monthly with my discipline do three things extremely well: D room your sho previous columns. Once you have identified manager to review progress on my scores into your “wildly important goals,” posted the goals. 1. Hold frequent accountability credit des your sales sessions — at least weekly scoreboard on them, and translated them c. We hold ourselves accountable for ringing itments to y comm into action, hold everyone accountable staying on budget. Frequency is crucial. Most knowledge — all of the time. d. We hold ourselves accountable for workers aren’t asked to account to their es ill uy toda oor Delivering sho room ls on your reaching our commitments on time. managers even monthly. It is so easy to g dea and closin How Could We Fail? e. We hold ourselves accountable for lose focus on key goals without intense Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan tell of a delivering quality results. and frequent focus. New York Mayor conversation they held with a CEO whose f. None of the above. Rudy Giuliani’s turn-around team met o u strategic initiative had failed. every day in a “morning meeting” to harging yo These are key symptoms of weak keep key goals in constant sight. 66 - 546-2820 ay at 1- 8 “This was the brightest team in the accountability for commitments: 2. Focus on the “wildly important Call us tod .impactdirec to w w w industry,” said the CEO. “No question. Haphazard reporting. Only about two in r log on no goals.” We had two off-site meetings, did five (41 percent) of respondents talk to each soon Many goals are important, but only g ith you to s ea in benchmarking, got the metrics. Everybody other routinely about progress toward their ard e loo or agreed with the plan. I empowered them goals. a few are “wildly important” — that — gave them the freedom to do what they Little if any accounting to management. is, crucial to the mission. Examine needed to do. Everybody knew what had to Only about one in four (26 percent) meets the scoreboard on those crucial goals. be done. . . . How could we fail? at least monthly with a manager to review Ensure that everyone agrees precisely progress on goals. and individually on what to do this week to move those goals forward. ver Josh Wea “Yet the year has come to an end, and Little budgetary discipline. About a third we missed the goals. They let me down; (31 percent) say they stay on budget. they didn’t deliver the results. . . . I don’t Deadlines met half the time. A few more 3. Clear the path for each other. know what to do, and I don’t know where than half the respondents (58 percent) The notion that the boss holds the the bottom is” (Larry Bossidy and Ram indicate that they keep commitments in a subordinates accountable, that Charan, Execution, Crown Business: 2002, timely fashion. accountability flows only one way, pp. 13-14). Quality results? One in three says that no is not characteristic of an execution one cares much if they deliver with quality. culture. On a real work team, everyone This CEO had a good plan, good metrics, accounts to everyone else. Everyone good markets and good people. So what If sharp execution requires precise has individual tasks, and everyone went wrong? accountability — and it does — then the encounters obstacles. If I’m the leader, R E C E N T I M P A C T typical organization is in trouble. “This I clear the path for you by getting The Bottom of the Execution Gap is a formula for failure,” say Charan and you resources or approvals or making reo ned Dea er So th Bend ndiana important contacts. In turn, you clear At the bottom of the Execution Gap is the Bossidy. “You need accountability for the path for me by giving me technical 329 Unique Calls lack of accountability. In the Industrial results — discussed openly and agreed to by Age, the theory was that people performed those responsible — to get things done.” assistance or research data. 200+ A ointments ith 165+ U s to expectation — or else. With the rise of knowledge work, the theory changed. The Fourth Discipline of Execution Only organizations that execute with 42 Deliveries in 3 days! Because of the nature of knowledge work, Teams known for excellent execution are excellence can sustain results over time. goals get blurry, workers have more also known for “mutual accountability.” Practicing the four disciplines of execution autonomy and they tend to choose their own They feel themselves accountable not is truly a key to superior performance. Light up your phones. work priorities. Most leaders are deeply only to owners, bosses and supervisors, conflicted about how to manage knowledge but to each other. They have clear roles Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of FranklinCovery, and is the author of The 7 Fill your showroom. workers: Do I spell out what’s expected and then crack down? Or do I let workers in executing a few core goals, and they regularly and often answer to one another in Habits of Highly Effective People. He can be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e- Sell Cars. choose their own way and hope for the best? keeping their commitments. mail at
  4. 4. marketingsolution TomHopkins DEVELOPING THE THANK-YOU NOTE HABIT I learned the value telephone. In today’s business world, time 7. After They Buy From and power of thank- is precious. You can rest assured that I will Someone Else you notes early in life. When I was a young always be respectful of the time you invest “Thank you for taking your time to child, my parents occasionally went out as we discuss the possibility of serving your consider our vehicles and service. I regret with friends for dinner. Invariably, when automotive needs.” being unable, at this time, to prove to you my parents returned from an evening out, the benefits we have to offer. I will keep in I saw my mother sit down at her little desk 2. In Person Contact touch with the hope that in the years ahead in the hallway as soon as she got home “Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you, we will be able to do business.” and begin to write. One night I asked her and my thank you is for the time we shared. what she was doing. Her answer came We have been fortunate to serve many 8. After They Buy From Someone straight out of Emily Post: “We had such happy clients, and it is my wish to some Else, But Offer to Give You Referrals a wonderful time with our dear friends day be able to serve you. If you have any “Thank you for your gracious offer of this evening that I want to jot them a note questions, please don’t hesitate to call.” giving me referrals. As we discussed, I to thank them for their friendship and the am enclosing three of my business cards. wonderful dinner.” My mother’s simple 3. After Demonstration or I thank you in advance for placing them act of gratitude — expressed to people Presentation in the hands of three of your friends, who already knew that she and my father “Thank you for giving me the opportunity acquaintances, or relatives that I might appreciated and enjoyed their friendship to discuss your upcoming automotive needs serve. I will keep in touch and be willing to — helped to keep my parents’ friendships with you. We would be honored to serve your render my services as needed.” strong for their entire lifetimes. needs now and into the future. We believe that quality, blended with excellent service, is 9. To Anyone Who Gives Because I understood that building the foundation for a successful business.” You Service relationships is what selling is all about, “Thank you. It is gratifying to meet I began early in my career to send thank- 4. After Purchase someone dedicated to doing a good job. you notes to people. I set a goal to send “Thank you for giving me the opportunity Your efforts are sincerely appreciated. If 10 thank-you notes every day. That goal to offer you our finest service. We are my company or I can serve you in any way, meant that I had to meet and get the names confident that you will be happy with please don’t hesitate to call.” of at least 10 people every day. I sent your new vehicle. My goal is now to offer thank-you notes to people I met briefly, excellent follow-up service so you will 10. Anniversary Thank You people I showed properties to, people I have no reservations about referring others “Thank you. It is with warm regards that I talked with on the telephone, and people to me who have similar needs as yours.” send this note to say hello and again, thanks I actually helped to own new homes. I for your past patronage. Please call me with became a thank-you note fool. And guess 5. For a Referral any questions you have about your existing what happened? By the end of my third “Thank you for your kind referral of John vehicle or the latest advancements in our year in sales, my business was 98 percent and Mary Smith. You may rest assured newer models.” by referral. The people I had expressed that anyone you refer to me will receive gratitude to were happy to send me new the highest degree of professional service The power of expressed gratitude is clients as a reward for making them feel possible.” immense. Put this tool to work for you appreciated and important. today! 6. After Final Refusal I understand that you may not be “Thank you for taking your time to comfortable at first with starting the thank- consider letting me serve you. It is with you note habit, so I took the time to write sincere regrets that your immediate out 10 situations in which sending a thank- plans do not include purchasing from us. World-renowned master sales trainer Tom you note is appropriate. Then, to help you However, if you need further information Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins International. He can be contacted at even more, I’ve drafted the notes for you. or have any questions, please feel free to 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at call. I will be happy to keep you posted on 1. Telephone Contact new developments and changes that may “Thank you for talking with me on the benefit you.”10
  5. 5. featuresolution How Scott Robinson Honda Revamped Their Web Site to Compete With Some of the Nation’s Top Dealers to Win An Interview by EricBolstad CrystieLucero ChrisCarlson SusanGivens They compete against some of the highest-selling dealers in the AS: Prior to that, how were sales? country, in a time of economic downturn, when technology is EB: Two or three years ago, we were what you’d call a traditional changing the landscape faster than most dealers’ ability to keep up dealer. We didn’t really have a BDC. We had an Internet department, I know for a fact we’re one of the very few dealers who have the from that point, it just follows the normal sales process. with it. With all these reasons to “go along with” the recession, Scott which consisted of Chris, Crystie and another employee. They were guys dedicated to maintaining our Web site on a daily basis. We Robinson Honda is winning. The third-generation family owned responsible for handling their deals from start to finish. They’d work decided to make this move about two years ago, and it’s proven to be CL: We also have a digital appointment board that we put their dealership has more than doubled its sales from Internet leads, and the numbers, and they’d deliver the vehicles. Through the help of a huge success because there’s so much data, so much information names on. They come in and they can see themselves on the board. generating an incredible amount of appointments made from online Dealer Synergy, we put in a BDC, which Crystie has been in charge that you’re trying to share with the consumer when they come to It’s very personalized. customers. of, and hired a bunch of call center representatives to make as many your Web site that it has to be accurate, has to be up to date, it has to appointments as possible, and it’s proved to be a huge success. We have the latest and greatest specials and incentives that you have to AS: What about other departments? Has your new Web AutoSuccess recently talked with General Manager Eric Bolstad, are getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 to 80 percent of offer to your consumers to get them in, but at the same time, it also strategy helped your fixed operations? Marketing Director Chris Carlson and Internet Sales Director Crystie appointments shown to appointments made. It’s incredible. has to tell a story about who you are as a dealership and what you’re EB: What was really neat with TK’s “Power of Five” strategy is Lucero to see how they did it, and why they believe the best is yet to all about. What do you stand for? I think we’ve done an outstanding having a spot for service, body shop, and parts department. We have come for their dealership. CC: We went from selling 30 to 40 vehicles a month between the job of doing that and have had huge success because of it. videos of each department explaining where, when, why and how to three of us before to as many as 90 now, with six people making use us, along with current specials. AutoSuccess: Eric, describe your dealership’s phone calls and turning leads over to the showroom. CC: And we give a lot of credit to TK Carsites. I’ve already seen market area. a huge spike in lead generation for our Web site since we’ve been That was critical when we launched a customer rewards program. Eric Bolstad (general manager): We are a metro Los Angeles AS: Any surprises in that process? using them. The leads that the new Web site is generating for us That program has been huge for us. You have to think of it as, if you dealer, in an above-average affluent community (one of the nearby Crystie Lucero (Internet manager): In the beginning, it’s hard are almost double of what we were getting a couple of months ago. had a chance to talk to somebody who has never been to your store communities, Manhattan Beach, is one of the most expensive areas to have everybody on script, because we were used to doing things Dealer Synergy also helped us implement a strategy for optimizing before and ask them why they should do business with you, that’s to live in the state of California). There are seven or eight other one way, and then we changed everything, so it was a little tough our Web site with microsites and video search engine optimization. what we use our Web site for. Honda dealers within 30 miles, and two of those dealers are in getting my older employees to change how they were doing things. the top 15, if not the top 10, for overall sales in the entire country. But once they saw results from it, everyone was all for it. EB: I spend a lot of time looking at other dealership’s Web sites, CL: Using that value package is one of the things we go over in the We’re on a major thoroughfare, and currently, there are eight or nine especially my competitions’, and it’s amazing how, when you click BDC with every single customer we speak to — the value package, dealers still on the boulevard. Also, before, they didn’t have to make a certain number of phone on their specials, it says “come back soon” or “under construction.” what makes us different and why you should do business with us. We calls; now we have 100 calls a day minimum, and they can see the do that every single phone call. AS: Sounds like pretty stiff competition. What have you results from that. They can see people come in and buy cars from We’re a little “mom and pop” dealership, third generation, so for done to increase your share of the market? that. Everyone is on board now and doing a great job. us to compete in a market that’s dominated by corporate chains and AS: What have you found that works best to Chris Carlson (marketing manager): We spend at least 85 multi-franchise type operations, it’s not easy. It’s like David going generate leads? percent of our marketing budget on the Internet. We don’t do much, AS: What role has your revamped Web strategy played up against Goliath. But we’ve found a way to knock the big guys EB: Specials, specials and more specials. On our home page, we if any, print. We don’t do radio or TV. We’ve done a ton of video in the dealership’s success? down a little bit, and that’s the Internet, maximizing our Web site treat it as our billboard, featuring whatever it is we’re promoting, search using TK Carsites, and a lot of little things like press releases EB: Everything, if you ask me. The problem is that third-party lead and bringing as many people to that Web site as possible. We get we’re definitely noticing phone calls from that, with people coming on relevant things about what we’re doing with the store. We’ve providers are so expensive, and your closing percentages on them it. We’ve seen how the Internet has changed the car business, and to the store saying “I saw this particular special on your Web site, revamped the BDC for a more thorough process on handling leads are very, very low — if you can get 10 percent you’re considered we’ve decided to roll with it instead of fight it. and that’s what I’m interested in.” We make sure that everything is that come in. a god in the industry, but face it; most of us can’t get that. So we up to date on the Web site and it’s plentiful. spend a ton of money trying AS: Describe your sales process. to recruit customers into our EB: When a customer has an appointment scheduled through the AS: What do you think is the main thing that lets you dealerships from other Web BDC, the BDC representative will set the appointment with a stand out from your competition? sites and a lot of dealers specific sales manager on duty. When the customer comes on the EB: The traditional dealer I don’t think is this deep into the game. don’t spend the time or the lot and they’re greeted by a sales associate, the customer will say I think they’re still five years behind the technological curve. I necessary energy to invest they have an appointment to see one or our sales managers (they remember going to NADA last year and being in a meeting where into their own Web site ask by name), and right then and there the sales associate knows the the speaker was talking about the use of video on your Web site, and and make that your biggest customer had an appointment made through the BDC. out of 150 dealers in the room, I was the only person in the room marketing tool. who raised their hand when he asked who was using video. At that point, the sales associate will walk the customer in and To me, the Web site is the introduce them to the sales manager, and the manager will come out A lot of traditional dealers are still going to fight the Web. They still face of the dealership. The and basically say, “Hi, welcome to the dealership, what is it you’re think that things are going to go back to the way they were in the stronger your Web site, the interested in?” At that point, they’ll turn it back over to the sales 1980s, and that’s not ever going to happen. I think it’s only going to stronger your Web presence, associate and say “he/she will go out and show you the vehicle, get more Internet driven as time goes on. the stronger you appear in and answer any and all of your questions, and when you’re ready to search engine optimization, come back down and get serious, that’s where I’ll come back into For more information about the progress of Scott Robinson key word search, videos, etc., play and work all the numbers for you.” It’s very non-invasive, very Honda, contact Joe Turner, the executive vice president for I think the more successful inviting, very welcoming. The customers seem to like it because they TK Carsites. He can be contacted at 866.432.8618, or by you’re going to be. always like to know there’s a manager working on their behalf, and e-mail at 12 3
  6. 6. leadershipsolution LawsonOwen MAXIMIZE TODAY Today. Now. That’s all be able to quantify the following metrics: we have. Floor Ups Phone Ups Internet Leads In today’s market, we’ve got to “love the one you’re with.” After all, it could be the # Of Opportunities # Of Opportunities # Of Opportunities last “up” you get. Demo % % Name and Numbers % Contacted Write Up % % Appointments % Appointments These difficult times could be a blessing Sold % % Show % Show in disguise, though. For entirely too long, % Sold % Sold we’ve been able to get by in our business with very little, if any, real management. It’s time to get back to basics, the “blocking and If you can’t, that’s a problem. “I don’t • Management Sign Off — Just as tackling” of management. know” is too expensive in today’s market. we do a “Manager TO” for floor traffic, we should also have a manager sign off We have got to learn to maximize today. Here’s a few management techniques, per on all incoming sales calls. If we feel Maximize every sales opportunity available lead source, that enable a management team management involvement is important, to us, beginning now. That means every to be more involved. then we must incorporate that step into floor up, every phone up and every Internet our internal processes. We want to force inquiry. This begins with a sound process Floor Ups or make managers aware of each and for every lead source. A sound process has • Manager “Meet and Greet” every sales opportunity. “early and often” managerial involvement. — Managers get involved immediately Remember, managers “trigger” deals and during the initial interview process. Internet a manager can’t trigger a deal if they’re This aids in proper qualification, vehicle • Response Time — Our goal for unaware the opportunity exists. This selection, increase demos and early responding to Internet inquires should awareness is critical to effective opportunity rapport building. be now. But realistically, it needs to be management. • Multiple Contact Numbers/E-mail less than 30 minutes. As an industry, our — If we can increase our accessibility to average response time is around 6 1/2 Forget about business development the customer, our follow up will become hours, and 30 percent of all inquires go centers; every dealership needs a business more effective and more productive. unanswered. We can do much better. development initiative. By “initiative,” I Concentrate on cell and work numbers. • Quality of Response — How mean, “what is our plan, our process, to • 100 Percent Managerial TO effectively we communicate with the maximize every lead source we have? What — Most stores talk a good game, but few consumer is really where the rubber is our plan to maximize every lead we’ll get actually have a TO policy in place which meets the road. Currently, about 75 today?” is expected and followed. Many allow percent of customer questions go customers to visit the showroom, spend unanswered, we very rarely sell the An effective initiative consists of three time with sales reps, and sometimes benefits of choosing our product or critical components: even drive vehicles, then leave without dealership and we almost never offer • Education — Managers and sales speaking with management. alternative vehicles. How well are you reps alike should have a complete • Management Closes Every Deal communicating with your inquiries? understanding as to what the process – Let’s not leave it to chance; managers • 90+ Day Internet Process is, what their role and responsibility is go down on every deal. Remember: — You’ve got to have a 90+ day follow- within the process, what’s expected from Managers “trigger” deals. up process, which incorporates e-mail, a production and performance standpoint phone and direct mail (when possible). and how to execute the process. Phone Ups This process must be very specific, • Process Implementation — This • Receptionist Phone Log — Even meaning it tells you by day which e-mail is where most organizations fail. Every if your organization has digitally to send, which phone call to make and dealership has a closet full of great recorded calls, you should still have your which script to use. ideas or things “we used to do.” Process receptionist track incoming sales calls. implementation is about doing the things • Go For the Appointment — Now, more than ever, we as managers must we know we should be doing. We must Regardless of what sort of vehicle the manage. Lead management should be at implement and maintain our processes consumer is looking for, regardless of the top of everyone’s “things to do” list. every day. It’s never “set it and forget it.” whether we have the specific vehicle on Remember: Managers trigger deals. You That’s not management. our premises or not, everyone calling have more opportunities on a daily basis • Performance Management — in should be encouraged to schedule an than you are probably aware of. Make it We’re either getting the results we want appointment or to visit the store. happen. or we’re getting excuses. Performance • Track Incoming Call Performance management is about tracking our — Knowing how many calls, who Lawson Owen is the managing partner results, both as a group and individually. handled them and what the end result of Proactive Dealer Solutions. He can be was is as critical as tracking our floor contacted at 866.900.8945, or by e-mail at At a minimum, a management staff should traffic.
  7. 7. marketingsolution ChipGrueter DalePollak marketingsolution LEVERAGING POSITIVE THE KEY TO STOCKING YOUR REVIEWS USED CAR LOT It’s no secret that Traditional Advertising pages — such as Facebook, MySpace or I think it is safe to say or a particular piece of equipment (such as consumers value Dealers have a visual advantage to show the Linkedin — to the dealership Web site’s that if you checked navigation or rear entertainment), and that the opinion of other customers. The buzz third-party review Web site in a television biography pages, or to blog postings. most dealers’ used car inventories, more was a deal breaker. Gotcha. However, the generated from other satisfied customers spot and emphasize their current rating than 70 percent of their vehicles match “gotcha” experience is no longer a good often carries more persuasion than score. In a radio spot, dealers may direct Electronic newsletters and direct e-mails are their franchise brand. Nevertheless, I am reason to work only in the zone of your advertising messages direct from the dealer. listeners to see what customers had to say forms of communication the customer has going to make the bold assertion that in franchise brand’s comfort and familiarity. for themselves by visiting a specific Web requested to participate in. Because these the vast majority of cases, no more than Dealers are doing the work to direct site. In print ads and direct mail pieces, the mediums provide direct communication 50 percent of a dealer’s used inventory Today, tools exist that will identify the customers to write positive reviews about dealer may highlight their rating or quote with the customer, dealers may add a should represent their franchise brand. A hottest selling vehicles in your market in their experience online. The next step for customer testimonials from the review site. permanent link directing customers to see dealer absolutely needs to have some brand the past 45 days. And, unlike products dealers is to take advantage of their unique the latest reviews. vehicles, because potential buyers may that report registrations after they’ve been opportunity to leverage reviews written by New Media still show up looking for these vehicles. through the state DMV, this new technology customers on third-party review Web sites More dealers are adding videos to their own New media forums offer dealers a great way Web sites, have posted them on YouTube However, I don’t believe this is reason identifies the supply and retail demand of and share them with potential customers. to connect the user to their own Web site enough to allow these vehicles to represent every vehicle in every market. Moreover, and have them running in their showrooms. Gather Positive Reviews and to the positive reviews on a third-party Unlike other ads, there is no time limit on a the vast majority of your used inventory. it identifies the hottest vehicles down to Third-party review Web sites provide site. In every instance below, the dealer may dealer video. This medium is a great place the level of year, make, model, trim and information such as detailed customer provide a link to direct the reader. to incorporate third-party reviews and the The basis for my assertion begins with equipment configuration that virtually quotes, rating scores and the total number of dealer’s rating. The dealer can also walk the recognition that no brand holds the eliminates the “gotcha” risk. positive reviews. Dealers may also look at Dealers should promote positive reviews customers through the process of searching monopoly on “hot used cars” in the market. these sites to see how they stack up against on their own business’ Web site. They for reviews or adding their own. In addition, the Internet makes it extremely So, if your franchise brand doesn’t hold their competition. may share quotes, ratings or stats on their efficient for buyers to find used vehicles the monopoly on the hot used cars in your homepage or even add a testimonial page to Chip Grueter is the president of that are located anywhere — not just at their market, the Internet makes it entirely The information gathered from this new the navigation bar. Dealers may encourage He may be contacted at new car franchise brand locations. efficient for you to find a buyer for that medium can help dealers promote their their sales team to add testimonials and the 866.618.8572, or by e-mail at off-brand car as well as for that buyer to reputation in all their advertising. review page link to their social networking For example, if you are a Ford dealer who find you. And if technology allows you stocks a hot vehicle like a Subaru Impreza, to identify the hot vehicles at a level of prior to the Internet, no shopper would think specificity to reduce the “gotcha” risk, to stop at your lot to find shouldn’t you agree to the Impreza. But as we stock other fast moving have come to understand, vehicles? today’s buyers shop differently. They are I say the resounding more likely to go to the answer is that “you Internet, type in their must.” In fact, I would ZIP code and the words suggest that not doing “Subaru” and “Impreza” so keeps your dealership than drive to the local locked to the fortune Subaru dealer. And, it’s or misfortune of your important to acknowledge new car franchise brand. that the Internet’s search Moreover, you are engines have no regard ignoring the benefit that for dealership franchise technology has created. brand when returning Every dealer would search results. In other love to have the ability words, the Subaru to order and stock the Impreza on the Ford hottest new models from dealer’s lot will show up each manufacturer, but right along side the other this is not possible. But, Subaru Imprezas. you can stock any used vehicle that you want and this is absolutely One reason that had prevented dealers from under your control; you should capitalize on stocking non-franchise used vehicles in the the opportunity. past is what I call the “gotcha” experience. We’ve all had the misfortune of buying a vehicle, not of our brand, that we thought was hot. Once we showed the vehicle to a Dale Pollak is an author and the founder few customers, we came to the realization of vAuto. He can be contacted at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at that because we didn’t really understand the nuances of the brand, our vehicle lacked a critical attribute (such as a certain trim),1 16 7 the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional