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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 feb11 (1)

  1. 1. 2011FEBRUARY
  2. 2. The New PlatformEmpowering Connections “We connect to our customers using’s one platform.The less vendors you have, the less logins, the easier it is to operate. I need it to be easy, and I need it to work. It’s made a big difference.” Craig Belowski General Sales Manager, Acton Toyota of Littleton + 43 % Acton Toyota Increase in lead volume by 43% while using the platformTo learn more, visit or call us at 888.785.5418
  3. 3. Not all interenet sales reps have the time to work every lead until they buy... AVA does. Automated Virtual Assistant Meet AVA 866.476.7748 Los Angeles • San Antonio Cincinnati
  4. 4. What day does yourinventory go to work for you? Day 1 (while at auction) Day 3-4(vehicle arrives at dealership) Day 5-10 (after vehicle prep) Day 10-20(after Knucklehead gets to it) Why Wait? Same day posting with HomeNet’s Inventory Online helps thousands of dealers by automating the conversion of raw vehicle data into compelling, interactive, and engaging online ads. With real-time updates, live video, and unlimited photos and distribution, HomeNet gets your inventory working for you on Day One. When you’re ready to save time and sell more cars, call HomeNet. 877-738-3313
  5. 5. THE #1 SALES-IMPROVEMENT MAGAZINE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220. 2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Kentucky 40299 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | / | Susan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution growing crm use leads to growing dealership what is change and what does it mean to You? the onlY three waYs to grow Your dealership New Mercedes Store’s Intense ‘dealer of the Year’ Jessie armstead a proven sales opportunities in the customer lounge historY tells us to make the transition into 1 Review Sites Beats Recession Online” at Search Engines & video search engine optimization increases prospecting, selling gross and referrals becoming a ‘fifth-generation’ dealership the swell of promise is on the horizon: whY Your new Year’s resolutions fail internet sales 20 group review, part 3 easier than shooting fish in a barrel Focus on “Getting Found are You ready for the next wave of subrime profitability? want to sell more? eat more! part 2 are You using Your data integration how feature and benefit selling can cost You sales RBM of Atlanta-North: champion on and off the field do You have a game plan linked to all three? an interview with RBM of Atlanta-North selling cars is like popcorn “i want to shop around” customer pain = profit as a strategic weapon? sales bY 45 percent 38 39 08 14 10 26 36 42 30 32 24 28 16 22 34 18 20 susanGivens seanv.Bradley marshBuice howardLeavitt gregw.Coleman franTaylor markTewart tomHopkins mattBaker seanStapleton scottJoseph susanGivens erikStuttz JimCrouse bryanAnderson dalePollak marcSmith 2 28 10 30
  6. 6. SusanGivens leadership solution ‘dealer of the Year’ Jessie armstead a proven champion on and off the fieldJessie Armstead, a five-time Pro Bowl “It’s an honor to share this award with other Jeep Grand Cherokee was named “Truck oflinebacker for the NY Giants and Washington leaders in the industry who acknowledge the the Year” and the VW TDI Jetta was namedRedskins was recently recognized as “Dealer multicultural communities that support our “Green Car of the Year.”of the Year” at the 15th Annual Urban Wheel businesses,” Armstead said. “I can only hopeAwards in Detroit, MI. When a pre-season that the awards show will continue to inspire Hamilton Honda’s extraordinary growthinjury prompted Armstead to retire from the my colleagues in the industry to not only has been a result of their active communityleague, he would continue to win off the field consider, but to embrace the diversity that involvement, exceptional customer serviceand on the lot of Hamilton Honda in Hamilton, exists across the nation.” and their volume-pricing strategy, which givesNJ — the 65,000-square foot, state-of-the-art consumers guaranteed low prices, along withdealership he opened in May 2009 with partner Editors at Decisive Magazine and an free oil changes, loaner cars and car washesand automotive veteran Mike Saporito. Just independent panel of 15 professional for life. The dealership has become known forone year after opening the doors, Hamilton automotive journalists and business its customer-friendly team and its state-of-the-Honda skyrocketed into one of the top organizations selected all nominees, finalists art facility is equipped with an Internet café10-largest Honda dealerships in the nation. and winners. Armstead accepted this notable offering free refreshments and a mini-museum honor alongside other industry trailblazers who with Jessie Armstead artifacts from the brightestNow, as the dealership prepares to finish its distinguished themselves for their approach to moments of his career that makes every visit tosecond year in business with tremendous the multicultural consumer base. the dealership a top-notch experience.momentum, Armstead was recognized as“Automotive Dealer of the Year” at the 2011 Other awardees included Tony K. Brown, “On and off the field Jessie is a leader andAnnual Urban Wheel Awards. For 15 years Ford’s group vice president of purchasing, he inspires greatness from all those he worksrunning, the star-studded ceremony has who accepted the award for “Executive of the with,” said Sean Wolfington, owner of thehonored companies, executives and suppliers Year” from two distinguished presenters; his marketing company Hamilton uses.for recognizing the growing multicultural boss, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and U.S. Senator Armstead’s recognition as “Automotive Dealerconsumer and embracing diversity in Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). NASCAR’s Max of the Year” comes on the heels of otheroperations and missions. Armstead took Siegel, owner and CEO of Revolution Racing, notable achievements since his venturing intohome the Oscar-style statue that celebrates received the “Pioneer of the Year” award. the automotive world. Last year, AutoSuccessthe dealer’s creation of products and “Lifetime Achievement” awards went home recognized Armstead and Saporito asimplementation of services that keep the with Rodney O’Neal, president and CEO of “Automotive Pioneers” for their role indiversity of their consumers in mind. Delphi; Andra Rush, president of Dakkota growing Hamilton Honda into one of the top Integrated System; and Frank Venegas, 10 Honda dealerships in the nation. chairman and CEO of The Ideal Group, Inc. Although Armstead has received a lot of Held at the MotorCity Hotel and Casino national recognition, he is deeply committed in Detroit, the awards show drew in an to serving his local community and supports a impressive crowd of 1,500 automotive number of not-for-profit organizations including executives, supplier executives, politicians and YMCA, where he was honored as the recipient members of the public. Celebrities, awardees of the prestigious 2010 Community Enrichment and community leaders also graced the VIP Award. Armstead is also actively involved with “Green” carpet, hosted by Ed Foxworth III and DARE, Cystic Fibrosis, My Sisters Place, City Naomi Patton. Master of Ceremonies and CBS Meals on Wheels and Make-a-Wish Foundation. News Analyst Jamal Simmons kicked off the New Jersey Senator Tom Goodwin recognized award celebration that honored leaders in the that “Hamilton Honda has become an important automotive industry and showcased the Urban member of the New Jersey business community and Green Vehicles of the Year. since in its first year, employing more than 100 individuals and generating more than $90 The ceremony marked the start of the North million in sales revenue.”partners Jessie armstead and mike American International Auto Show, one ofsaporito skyrocket to become one of the the most prestigious auto shows in the world, Susan Givens is the publisher of honda dealers in the country in by recognizing the following vehicles: The She can be contacted at 877.818.6620, or byless than 12 months. Chevrolet Cruze was named “Car of the Year,” e-mail at
  7. 7. GregW.Coleman sales & training solution growing crm use leads to growing dealershipConventional wisdom says that keeping prior been creating monthly newsletters to keep our information and vehicle history records, alongcustomers and selling to them is far easier than brand both relevant and recognizable to our with their driver’s license, making paper andmaking cold calls to potential new customers, previous customers. even typing a thing of the past.and that is as true — if not more so — for theauto sales business as any other industry. as: how do you use your crm as: when looking for a crm provider, system in areas of your dealership what are the most important thing aThe CRM is a vital tool in creating a other than sales? dealership should look for?relationship with customers that turns into a gc: Other than the initial sale, we use it for gc: A dealership should first do an internalrewarding experience for both the customer birthdays, anniversaries and even service analysis. First of all, are we ready for a CRM?and the dealership. Many dealerships, campaigns. If you only think of a CRM as an Will it be a culture change, and do I have thehowever, only scratch the surface on utilizing initial sales tool, you are probably missing right personnel to embrace this technology?their CRM to its fullest. We recently spoke half of the potential benefit to your dealership. Are we ready to accommodate the customerwith Greg Coleman, director of business Having the ability to e-mail campaigns to and sales personnel with computer terminals,development of the Oxmoor Automotive hundreds — sometimes potentially thousands driver license scanners and other technology?Group in Louisville, Kentucky, about how — of prospects and customers at no cost is an After this is answered, a request for proposalthey found a CRM provider that met their extremely valuable and powerful resource. should be sent to potential providers. Aneeds and how they are growing to use their cookie-cutter approach won’t work for everysystem to build their future. as: describe how your crm system dealer. Make a CRM provider partner with is used in the path to the sale. you, not sell to you. Also, consider initialautosuccess: describe how the place gc: Our CRM is utilized in the path to the training and support — these were the twoof the crm system has evolved within sale as a guide or road map. Once a prospect most important factors for us.your dealership in the last few years. is engaged, either on the lot or through thegreg coleman: The CRM has evolved in Internet or phone, a set of steps is initiated. We as: what would be your advice toour dealerships dramatically, and continues to don’t believe in templates as a crutch, but we other dealers on different methods ofbe more of an asset each month. As recently as do utilize templates to begin the conversation utilizing their crm that they might notthe spring of 2010, CRM was only utilized by so we have a consistent approach to all of our be using?our Internet departments. Traditional “paper prospects. We also utilize it as a daily guide gc: One piece of advice I would give wouldlogs” were used by closers for the sales floor, for our sales staff. Each has a plan for the day be to incorporate newsletters and e-mailand accountability was just a guess. The CRM to follow up on unsold customers as well as campaigns into their marketing. I have foundwas introduced to the dealership as a whole those previously sold. In the winter months, that to be time well spent. It can be usedand communication, as well as accountability, the “up bus” is not coming; it is important to for prospects, sold customers and non-soldhas improved dramatically. We follow up have a plan, and the program our provider has prospects, and is absolutely free. This iswith each customer, processes have been set up, helps give us that plan. obviously nothing new, but in the regularstreamlined and, with continued monitoring, mystery shops that I conduct, I find that maybewe look forward to an increase in ROI of our as: what would you like to see crm only five percent of dealers over a several-marketing dollars. systems grow to include in the next month time period will use a newsletter to few years? follow how do you use your existing gc: It is hard to fathom now what thecustomer database in your marketing need will be in a few years. It seems likeefforts, and how does the crm help technology is changing by the day, and in my For more information about Greg W. Coleman,with that? opinion, we could use a couple of years to MBA, director of business developmentgc: We utilize our existing database perfect all of the systems and processes we for the Oxmoor Automotive Group, visitfor several marketing campaigns. Lease have available to us now. I can only imagine, service reminders and data mining mobile capabilities though, and can envision For more information about eLEAD CRM,for customers in equity positions have been the time when a customer comes in and can contact director of marketing, Melissa Maxey.some examples of successfully using our scan their iPhone into a system that will She can be contacted at 866.922.0175, or bycurrent database. At a minimum, we have know their credit, and have all of their trade e-mail at OFFER A SERVICE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS THAT MOST OTHER DEALERS CAN’T PROVIDE! Give your customers an alternative to high interest rate financing and owning a liability. With RTO/LTO® your customers will own Freedom & Flexibility and have YOU to Thank! 1-800-879-3433 www.northlanddealers.com10
  8. 8. Providing the automotive industry with cutting edge digital sales solutions that utilize technology to stay ahead of the competition.Are you effectively advertising yourproducts and services? V-Active gives you the ability to change advertisements, promotions, and specials throughout your store. Let us design your custom campaign. $1,995 AutoSuccess promotional offer* Call today for details. Text VACTIVE To 41411 *$1,995 includes initial production, setup, and required hardware. A signed 24 month contract for $299 a month is also required. This monthly feeincludes hosting, repairs, maintenance, and one promotional update a month. Monitor not included. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice.
  9. 9. their situation? beyond “challenging”When RBM of Atlanta-North’s location was selected in 2006 for a brand-new Mercedes store, the stars looked aligned for sure success for theAlpharetta, GA dealership. Atlanta was the fastest-growing city in the U.S.— Forsyth County ranked among the fastest-growing, highest-incomesuburbs in the nation — and car dealers were basking in five straight yearsof more than 16.5 million new vehicles sold. As hard as it is to replay therecent recession, we know the next dark chapter: RBM North opened itsdoors in late 2007, precisely when the economy sank into recession. Theirgrand-opening balloons deflated fast as housing prices, jobs and car salesbegan their downward spiral. “Our location, Forsyth County, took some ofthe most severe blows in the entire country,” said GM Randy Powell.To make matters worse, not only were they the youngest Mercedesdealership in a market with four established players, they were a near-rural, “destination” store with severely limited natural traffic. Internetmanager Bethany Johnson joked, “Most of our drive-bys are cows.”forging the strategyPowell had to take a hard look at their situation: the harsh economicrealities, their near-remote location and the fact that, in a brutallycompetitive market, no one knew who or where they were. “We needed acost-efficient strategy that would get us found, and fast,” he said. Powell,who serves on MBUSA’s Regional Dealer Advisory Board, said thatwhile he has 35 years of experience in the car business, the strategy hedevised didn’t come from him being a “car guy,” but by taking a clear-headed look at what actual consumers did when they bought anything.Powell used his wife as his “strategy muse.” “No matter what she wasafter, she was online, all over the search engines and review sites, andshe always managed to nail the right choice, even if she had to go outof her way,” he said. “I knew we needed to think like her, and focusaggressively on our search presence/SEO and our online reviews. About90 percent of car buyers use search engines, so first they have to findyou, and then you need to answer their main question: ‘Do I want todo business with you?’” While RBM North’s “online visibility” questevolved over the next three years, they flew out of the gate with an 85percent digital strategy (which has now grown to 90 percent). Theirstrategy revolves around two core pillars: have a powerful, first-pageorganic search presence, and stand out as the No. 1 consumer choice,with great online reviews.getting seo rightPowell had a freshly minted URL, but it was, as he puts it, “on the 400thpage at Google.” He initially bought his way onto the first page throughPPC, and then in 2008 hired one SEO company (and then another), butmet with mediocre results, only achieving 30 percent first-page placementrates. He ultimately chose eXtéresAUTO to try a more collaborativeSEO approach — and one that cast a far wider geographical optimization“net,” given that Atlanta metro is more spread out than Massachusetts.And, given the state of new-vehicle sales, they decided to intenselyoptimize pre-owned inventory, service and wholesale parts, with tens ofthousands of make-, model- and city-specific optimizations establishedaround keywords such as “certified,” “used,” “parts,” “service” and“repair” across Google, Yahoo! and Bing.seo impactPowell reports that their subsequent organic results “reveal why dealersshould never give up on SEO, and why they (who know the market trendsbest) should collaborate with providers.” Johnson said that within justthree months they saw “a massive impact on new, used, service and partssales, and a huge jump in out-of-state parts and pre-owned business.”• First-page search engine placement rates skyrocketed from 32 percent in early 2009 to 85 percent today.• The dealership has had nearly 700 percent growth in Website traffic: 765 unique visitors monthly before the campaign (Feb. 2009) to 1,215 by Nov. 2009 to 5,905 by Dec. 2010. Search engines now drive the lion’s share of their Web traffic (49 percent), followed by direct-to-site (43 percent) and third-party lead sources (six percent).tackling online reviewsBy early 2009, Powell and Johnson realized that the impact of onlinereviews had reached a tipping-point. And they also saw the major
  10. 10. competitive opportunity, given the striking disconnect between the instance, when Google Places rolled out in October (a major change ingood customer experience luxury dealers actually provide, and their the way local search results are displayed, giving far more visibility tooften far less positive online reputations. “It had become a far bigger a business’ reviews) Johnson said, “Our dealership’s 220-plus, near-5-animal,” Johnson said, “and while we were committed to keeping our star reviews now really leap out in local dealer searches at Google, asonline reputation management totally authentic and organically-driven, does our competitors’ complacency. Reviews are all stacked up againstwe needed help with the heavy lifting.” They again partnered with each other on the first page, and it’s pretty obvious who I would call.”eXtéresAUTO, setting in place processes and tools to systematically The upshot: RBM North saw an immediate 30 percent increase intrack, manage and gather reviews. calls from Google/the review sites across the last two months of 2010 (traditionally rotten traffic months for dealers), compared with theirtheir process summer numbers.• Let the whole store know how serious this campaign was — and they “funded the party,” replacing CSI survey bonuses with rewards-per- RBM’s North’s strategy was 100 percent-based on what auto shoppers positive-review. actually do most (search online) — and what they seek most (the right• Implement a back-office tool to track all reviews/posts about their dealership, with a great reputation). Despite the nearly absurd challenges dealership to immediately respond to any unhappy customers. they faced, their SEO and online reputation management campaigns• Top management personally calls to make it right, following up with ensured they not only survived the recession, but they prospered. And e-mails linking to sites where posts were made, making it easy for they’ve really put themselves in the pole position today, as search evolves customers to retract reviews or post new reviews. and online review activity ramps up across the Web and the big auto sites.• For each new, positive CSI survey and with every visibly satisfied “At the time, the decisions we made weren’t ‘safe,’ but they turned out to customer (sold/unsold), they politely request a review, following be right,” Powell said. “No marketing strategies have a higher impact, are up via e-mail templates that make it easy for customers to post by more cost-efficient or deliver a greater ROI.” including links to targeted review sites.• Templates are loaded on every sales/service reps’ computer and can For a free, step-by-step playbook on how to implement this proven be customized and deployed with three clicks. reputation management process at your dealership – and/or a free,• Rotate review site links to saturate reviews across targeted sites. customized report on whether your dealership is ready for the new• Don’t aim for all 5-stars or try to remove/rebut negative reviews Google, e-mail or call us at the information below. publicly online. If negative reviews appear, use templates to gather positive reviews at those sites to “surround them with love.” For more info on RBM of Atlanta-North, visit• Establish online pages for salespeople to showcase their reviews, and then train them to use positive reviews to convert prospects. For more information about eXtéresAUTO, contact the director of• Include reviews in outgoing e-mail signatures, at the Website and dealer training, Merla Turner. She can be contacted at 866.462.6914, or by e-mail at in marketing.• Insist on great customer service. Identify anyone less than happy before they leave the dealership.reputation management impact“Our 20-month review push has led to an ever-escalating increase inphone, Website and e-mail inquiries; walk-in traffic; and closing ratios,as we’ve blanketed reviews across many sites,” said Peter Leavy, thedealership’s GSM. The numbers bear this out:• The number of reviews has grown from 13 before campaign started to 296 (near-5-star) reviews by Dec. 2010.• There has been 1,000 percent-plus growth in review-site-generated calls.• Review-driven customers close 15 points higher than all other leads.• One-third of review-generated customers specifically ask for salespeople by name.• Overall new, used and service business was boosted by 10 to 15 percent.combined roi:SEO and reputation management combined have had a dramatic impacton their bottom-line. “We are by far the newest, most remote store, withthe leanest budget among our competitors,” Powell said, “but becausewe’ve established the best search and review presence, we’ve quicklycornered 10 percent more market share.”search engines + review sites now drive:• 500-plus, tracked calls each month.• 70 percent-plus of their digital business, and 60 percent-plus of total store business, at only 6 percent of their total digital places and developments on the online review frontRBM North’s online visibility campaign helped them thrive over severalof the toughest years the auto business has ever seen. And, in just the lastfew months of 2010, there have been a host of rapid-fire developmentson the online review front, from Google Places to Google’s HotPot(their new location-based review platform) to Edmunds’ new site puttinga huge emphasis on dealer reviews to’s announcement thatthey’ll unveil dealer reviews this March (putting the muscle of two SuperBowl commercials behind the launch).All this means that RBM North’s past, present — and future — hardwork in the review trenches has — and will — pay off even more. For
  11. 11. SeanV.Bradley leadership solution what three qualities do you look for when hiring a new salesperson? internet sales • Personality, drive and communication skills PART 3 • Good communication skills, good 20 group personality (reflects on phone calls) and organization skills review • Appearance, aggressive in work ethic and very personableThis month, we’ll finish our look at the and sheriff deputies with their motorcycles, • Personality, appearance and hungerresponses we gathered from our recent, K-9 units and a helicopter. We also had a (willingness/wanting to work/wanting thesuccessful Internet Sales 20 Group three-day trick or trunk contest where children could sale)event. 20 Groups are great because they show trick or treat and vote on each vehicle.real-world situations and real-world solutions.There are few unique problems; odds are, • Willingness to learn, creativity, and a person if you had to pick one area for your who follows through and completes projectssomeone out there has faced what you’re facing, salespeople to work on for professionaland has figured it out. Reinventing the wheel is on time with the brand in mind development, what would that be?a waste; learn from the experience of others. • Phone skills and training • Desire (the will to do what it takes to steadily perform), professionalism (someonewhat are some unusual ways that • Work ethic and self motivation who customers will feel comfortableyou’ve been able to build an identity for • Listen, listen, listen! with) and attitude (positive attitude lead toyour dealership to separate it from the positive results; negative attitude can be acompetition? • Customer e-mail follow-up, texting and cancer to your team and dealership)• We engage in a lot of community involvement. social media We sponsor local sports teams, host annual • Self motivated, coachable and good listener flu shots through the Red Cross and sponsor a • Learn to drive traffic for themselves, and scholarship at the local high school. create their own book of business • Personality, good attitude and self- confidence• We hosted a child safety and trick or trunk • Willingness to accept the Internet event with 40 other co-sponsors, which department and the ideas/changes that we Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO brought more than 2,000 people to our would like to implement of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the dealership. We had our local fire department • Time management automotive industry. He can be contacted at and Northstar ambulance display the “jaws 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at of life” in action, plus we had local police • Confidence, confidence, confidence AutoRaptor CRM • • • 14
  12. 12. MarshBuice leadership solution want to sell PART 2 more? eat more! In hopes of improving our sales career, we one table to the next as if they were on ice — Clients like to work with people who do not recently peered into the world of fine dining making it seem effortless. look like they are standing on a corner waiting in order to gain an insight of what great for a cab. When negotiating with your clients, servers do so well to enhance their guest’s Lesson learned: “Deception” in the world of a great consultant should follow the 3 P’s: evening and to improve their paycheck. We sales can be interpreted as a nasty, negative Prepare, Present and Patience. Preparation now know that great servers make themselves word, unless put in its proper perspective. is critical when working with a client. An approachable to their guests, are attentive to Sales is infested with rejection, missed quotas, unprepared sales consultant can be snuffed their needs and have extensive knowledge product failures and disgruntled clients. A out within seconds. Uninterested clients make about the foods they are serving. Here are a masterful sales consultant deceives the fact comments like, “We will think about it and few more lessons sales consultants can learn that, although calamity may be happening all get back to you.” They then take a “three-year from great servers: around, it must be put in its proper perspective business trip” – always away on business each by dealing with one issue at a time. If sales time you call to follow up. A made-to-order be deceptive were easy, you would have never replaced the presentation is presented showing what the Great servers are masterful deceivers. They person who jumped ship in hopes of finding an client will benefit from your product. If the make their guests feel exclusive. At their last easier gig. Be grateful that you have the rare first two have been done correctly, a sales table, no tip was given and the guests left the quality of being able to handle rejections, fight consultant can then display patience by asking charred remains of crackers and foods strewn through missed quotas, give superior service for the order and silently waiting for an answer. about by three children who apparently when a product fails and be empathetic toward Great consultants are wave makers; they strike have never had the privilege of feeling the your frustrated clients. Sales consultants the water (preparation) causing ripples of leathery, disciplining power of a belt. Great wear many hats. It is not your client’s more waves to reverberate (presentation) and servers deceive their anger and do not carry responsibility to deal with your personal continue to sell even when nothing is being their frustrations from one table to the problems, but it is your responsibility to care said at all. next. Servers act like a host of the Emmy’s, for their needs. Do not let all of the hard work keeping the atmosphere light, festive and you have worked for hours, days, even months servers are artists moving. Servers have the ability to glide from get flushed away because you are having a A great server is an artist who uses his unique bad day. Solutions creativity to show sensitivity and imagination to problems are to his guests in hopes of making the evening the mortar in the as unique as a thumbprint. A magical, building blocks memorable evening creates a relationship and Phone? of your character and you must never take things has guests coming back for more. My wife and I have a restaurant we frequent on very special occasions, but if our favorite server Smart! personally. be alive, is not there, neither are we — she makes the evening that special. What a great server is to a restaurant is what a three-wine reduction sauce not a corpse is to a steak: the missing link. Loyalty Driver Waiting in a state of repose is not Lesson learned: You are the award-winning E-newsletters are what great servers artist of “” Market yourself in such now available on do. Servers do not a way that, through selling a superior product believe in hovering and creating a memorable experience, a all smartphones over their guests, relationship will be formed. People do not buy as if working for great products; they buy quality products from the Secret Service. a great consultant. Relationships trump price Great servers are every time. experts of running a covert operation Congratulations, you have rekindled your making the guests relationship, brought your pallet out of Just another way to reach customers on the go. feel alone, but hibernation tasting five-star delicacies, as well never further than a as put your sales career back on the right tracks Now that’s smart. Really smart. glance away. toward your quest of being a superior sales consultant. Eat from the tree of success, be Lesson Learned: fruitful in your relationships, and multiply your Innovative E-newsletter Solutions Great consultants sales exponentially. For more information, visit our website, or give us a call: should be in a | 866-964-6397 constant state of motion. I teach my consultants to Marsh Buice is the sales manager of Mark appear to be busy, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep. He can be contacted even if they have at 866.535.5006, or by e-mail at nothing to do. 16 autosuccessonline.comIMN-3.6875x4.875-v4.indd 1 9/17/2010 9:47:58 AM
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  14. 14. DalePollak marketing solution selling cars is like popcorn “In other words, if you have the wrong cars andMany dealers are familiar with the phrase vehicle is on page four and the shopper only“popcorn cars.” This refers to cars that sell or looks at vehicles on pages one, two and three. poor marketing, bargain basement“pop” quickly off the lot. The analogy between In this case, your dealership does not get credit pricing will never be and popcorn, however, may have more for an SRP until and unless the shopper looks Similarly, you can have the mostrelevance today than ever in the past. at page four, the one that contains your vehicle. desired vehicles and tremendous If the shopper who looks at page four drills marketing skills, but if the vehiclesThe essential ingredients of popcorn are down on your vehicle to see all the photos and p p.”kernels, oil and fire. Anyone that has cooked description, then you get credit for a VDP. are overpriced it just won’tpopcorn knows that some kernels pop quickly Keep in mind that on a third-party classifiedwhile others more slowly. When most of the advertising site, nothing of any value occurskernels are popped, there are always some left for a dealer until and unless the dealership getsover that never popped. a VDP view on their vehicle.Assume that your used vehicles are the Now, consider an example of two vehicles in VDP performance of their inventory. Ironically,kernels, the oil is your photos and descriptions stock. After 15 days in inventory, the first car SRP and VDP information for every car hasand the fire is your pricing. It’s obvious that has 50 SRP hits and 15 VDP hits. The second been available for a long time on the back endno matter how hot the flame, you can’t make car has six SRP hits and 0 VDP hits. What does of well-known sites like andpopcorn with feed corn or without oil. In this information tell the dealer that wants to Typically however, most used carother words, if you have the wrong cars and pop these two vehicles off their lot? managers are unaware that this informationpoor marketing, bargain basement pricing exists or its relevance to the desired outcomewill never be enough. Similarly, you can have The first vehicle that received 50 SRPs is of moving cars quickly. Such informationthe most desired vehicles and tremendous one that is much more sought after than the has traditionally been viewed as merelymarketing skills, but if the vehicles are second vehicle that received only six SRPs. Internet metrics without much relevance tooverpriced it just won’t pop. The reality is, Essentially, the first vehicle is gourmet corn, used vehicle production. In fact, the trackinglike popcorn, you have to have the right cars, while the second vehicle is feed corn. The fact of SRPs and VDPs on a per-vehicle basisgreat marketing and proper pricing. that the first vehicle converted SRPs to VDPs is probably the most important used car at the rate of 30 percent suggests that its photos management metric in the car dealership today.Today, dealers have access to information that and description are superb and the price is Knowing whether the vehicles in stock arecan help them pop every car perfectly every proper. The fact that the second vehicle didn’t ones that people are searching for, whethertime. This new information is the number of convert any of the SRPs into VDPs suggests the photos and descriptions are differentiatingsearch result page (SRP) hits and vehicle detail that the marketing and/or pricing is not and whether the current price is right are thepage (VDP) conversions. So what is an SRP right. Put another way, all the ingredients for essential ingredients for used car success.and a VDP? If an online shopper searches for popping this car off the lot are missing.a 2009 F150 truck, they may get five pages of Dale Pollak is the founder of vAuto and aF150 trucks returned. Depending on the site, The question is whether the individual in your best-selling author. He can be contactedthere are usually between 25 and 50 vehicles dealership who is responsible for popping cars at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail aton a page. Assume that your dealership’s off the lot has any awareness as to the SRP and