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AutoSuccess Aug09

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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 Aug09

  1. 1. The 2009 Synergy Sessions - See Center Spread for Details August 2009
  2. 2. feature solution 3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | AutoSuccessOnline.com / AutoSuccessPodcast.com | info@autosuccessonline.com sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com Susan Givens, PublisherAugust 2009 By AlBabbington EMERGING FROM A POST- A Little Mistake Cost These RECESSION ECONOMY PUTS COMSUMERS IN THE Dealers $250,000 A Year DRIVERS SEAT Have you ever felt like you were making dealers nd hidden pro ts and correct- - HOW CAN DEALERS GET little mistakes that are costing you tons ing little mistakes that were costing design@autosuccessonline.com Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director of money at your dealership? Do you those dealers hundreds of thousands of ON BOARD? feel like there are hidden pro ts in your dollars. These almost-magical solutions dealership that are just waiting to be un- turn little mistakes into instant cash covered? If you are like most dealers, the machines of bottom-line pro t. leadership solution Ken honest answer is, YES, Absolutely! 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220. 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 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 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 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 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 info@autosuccessonline.com. Subscription rate is $69 HOW LONG DID YOU THINK IT WOULD LAST? Because I have not met you and do not JohnBrentlinger 18 It’s a shame for YOU not to make know anything about your dealership, I steve brazill more money, when these dealers do it can’t say how much money is being left GAME PLANS SteveBrazill 33 so easily… unrealized at your dealership. However, I can say FOR CERTAIN that the num- MARK TEWART THINK WHAT YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT “Just one thing that Mark showed TomHopkins 34 us made us over $200,000 in profits ber of dollars is substantial and would author of ddavis@autosuccessonline.com Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist shock you, if you knew. How To Be A Sales Superstar pg 3 pg3 in 90 days” – Franklin Greene, GM There are a few things that every dealer • Discover the one secret that will make sales & training solution Montgomery Ford LM should be doing to make money, espe- your dealership an additional million cially in this economy. LOWER VOLUME + LOWER “Our grosses went up 30% on the front dollars or more over the next ve years GrantCardone 09 PROFITS = DISASTER end, and we added almost 50% in the — We have several clients who have al- The Great News is that I have identi ed MarcSmith 17 TICKET TO RIDE back end. The best part of that is that ready experienced this and it will make those little mistakes and have big solu- scott norman our sales also increased over 25% and the hair stand up on your neck when tions for them. NO BS, just real measur- WHAT SHOULD MY CONTROLLER BE DOING? you hear this. ScottNorman 24 continue to increase.” able results that start happening immedi- – Gary Minneman Jr, GM super6@autosuccessonline.com Brian Ankney, Sales-Improvement Strategist ately and I guarantee those results. SeanV.Bradley 26 JIM ZIEGLER, AUTOMOTIVE SALES LEGEND Sunshine Toyota Call 888 2 Tewart (888 283-9278) or e-mail info@tewart.com to schedule a pg 4 pg2 FranTaylor 28 TRAINING YOUR WAY TO DEALERSHIP SUCCESS “Our sales have increased over 25% while our grosses went up over $800 • Sell more vehicles without spending $1 more on advertising private and con dential interview. per vehicle and we have experienced • Increase your gross pro ts anywhere from $300 to $800 a vehicle ***We will share candid and speci c over $105,000 in additional service information that will prove to you without profits from lost previous customers, • Make an extra $100,000 or more in a doubt what I am saying is true. You will marketing solution many of which had not been to our your service pro ts in 90 days or less • Double and even triple your sales and see real dealer examples that support these SIMPLE STEPS TO ENSURE VIDEO SUCCESS dealership in years.” TimJames 08 – Wayne Gregory, Dealer service customer retention results. Because of time constraints, there will only be a limited amount of dealers kirk manzo West Ashley Toyota • Double your appointments and sales HOW TO SOURCE USED VEHICLES FOR DalePollak 10 REASONABLE PRICES conversion from Internet leads, Web accepted into this program. jwarner@autosuccessonline.com John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategist My name is Mark Tewart and I am the site leads and third party leads KimOrr 14 BEYOND PPC AND SEO To Dominate in Search, Dealerships Must Tackle Online Customer Reviews President of Tewart Enterprises Inc. For • Increase your F&I Product penetra- P.S.: Please, only Dealers Or General almost two decades I have been helping tions by 25% immediately Managers may respond. HELPING SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS SO YOU pg 6 pg1 KirkManzo 16 CAN INCREASE SALES “In a market where opportunities for new ChuckPatton 22 KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE UIO sales are limited, finding creative ways to support local companies can be MattBaker 30 BUSTING STAFF EVENT MYTHS, PART 1 the key to unlocking additional unit sales.” - Kirk Manzo MarkTewart 32 BILLY MAYS VS. MICHAEL JACKSON
  3. 3. marketingsolution TimJames GrantCardone sales&trainingsolution SIMPLE STEPS TO LOWER VOLUME + LOWER ENSURE VIDEO SUCCESS PROFITS = DISASTER Unique inventory Video Strategies from a dealer, maximizing the use of their Price is always a 50 percent, you would have to sell twice as If you don’t know that the lower price/lower videos can increase • Actual Video —Taking an “actual video” existing content and time with same day very sensitive issue, much product to be even, which during a volume formula is a recipe for disaster, you conversion rates dramatically if used correctly. of a vehicle and providing consumers generation and distribution. especially during times of contraction when period of economic contraction replacing and your people will believe it (incorrectly) How many additional conversions can be with a high-quality walk around of a car money is tight; consumers are scared and loss volume would be more difficult than to be an option. Also, during periods of expected greatly depends on how many can provide some of the best emotional • Professional Voice Over — This option more selective with their money. The first just learning the skill of holding price. contraction, experience is worthless and consumers could potentially view a video “content,” but can take a large investment also allows a dealer to record a unique response (incorrectly) is to reduce price skills are everything. The ability to sell (reach), how often a video is available to be of “time.” You may want to use a stitched human voice layer for each unique video. in order to make up for less volume. It is A lower price will not solve your problems your product and justify the price by viewed by a consumer (frequency), and how photos option for your main videos and This option can produce a professional- a myth that a lower price will sell your and could actually reduce the perceived really building value, selling yourself, much “additional emotion” a video adds to reserve the actual video option for select sounding voice over and generate one of product and, in fact, a formula for disaster value in your product. Know that the public your company and creating a true value the vehicle display page. Many dealers have inventory pieces and inventory specials the highest levels of emotional response and guarantee of failure for most. is being conditioned to believe that things proposition is more valuable than experience. tried adding video with little or no additional for your Web site. If using actual video, with high-quality content. However, are tight and they will be more selective with conversions, while others have experienced control your environment to get the because the voice layer is generally Unless you are Wal-Mart or the Dollar their purchases. That means they will not just Get yourself and your staff thoroughly amazing results. What was the difference? best video quality. If you do not have a outsourced, this option can be quite Store, who have their entire business models be shopping you against similar products, handled on the fact that lower price and separate “video staging area,” then the expensive and can require an additional built around very small margins and high but also unlike products. “Do we buy a car lower volumes are a formula for disaster. The first rule of video is exceed staging area used to shoot your vehicle three to four days (at a minimum) for the volumes, the lowest-price model will fail or redo the kitchen?” In this case, lowering It costs less money to train people than it expectations. To exceed expectations, you photos may work. Be certain to zoom video to be generated and distributed. the individual and the company. Selling by your price will have nothing to do with their costs to give your product away, especially must focus on two basic fundamentals: in on each special and unique feature as price is an indication of a weak-minded and decision — only building value will. since lowering price doesn’t guarantee a • Data Driven Human Voice — This poorly trained individual or organization content and time. Many of the dealers who you talk about it. Most importantly, get sale and won’t make up for the reduction in option utilizes vehicle data to trigger that looks for squirrel-like solutions to their Rule: Money moves to value, never to the tried video with little or no success put emotional and sell the car. volume. So do the math, and avoid disaster a pre-recorded “human voice” script challenges. I can show you an almost endless lowest price. little or no effort into the “content” of their in your business. segment based off of select vehicle data. list of companies that have used the lowest videos; thus, their videos did not generate • Stitched Photos — Using “stitched The script segments are then stitched If not completely sold on the value much (if any) additional emotion, and/ photos” to generate a video file is one price model that have filed for bankruptcy or together to produce the audio segment proposition of your product or service, the or they did not maximize the reach and of the most popular video choices, closed their doors this year alone. Grant Cardone is an author and the of the video. The human voice option prospect will elect to do something else with CEO of The Cardone Group. He can be frequency of their videos. because you can utilize photos that have can produce a variety of scripts that can Do the math: Lower Volumes + Lower his/her money. Doing nothing, by the way, contacted at 866.865.3175, or by e-mail at already been generated for your vehicle sound similar to a custom voice over; Profits = DISASTER. If you reduce price is doing something else. gcardone@autosuccessonline.com. Content display pages to create your videos. The The power of visual marketing (video) is however, the content of the video can be stitched photo option comes with several limited as they do not offer the dealer the that it can turn a static, sight-based ad into a “audio” options that should be considered dynamic, visual ad, dramatically increasing ability to customize their message for a carefully, as the audio option can affect specific vehicle or to a specific customer. the emotional response of the ad and making both the content and time factors. it easier to build trust, value, reliability and This option can maximize time with same urgency, and inspire mental ownership. Audio Strategies for Videos day generation and distribution. Successful dealers work hard to create • Custom Voice Over — This popular • Data Driven Text to Speech — This emotional ads for their online media with option allows a dealer to record a unique option utilizes vehicle data to create “unique” photos and a “unique” emotional human voice layer for each unique pre-defined scripts based off of select vehicle descriptions that truly “sell” the car. vehicle video. This option can produce vehicle data. The scripts are then stitched a very professional-sounding voice together and processed through a TTS Time over and generate one of the highest editor to create the audio segment of the Dealers pay thousands upon thousands levels of emotional response with same video. The content of the video can be of dollars each month to market vehicles day generation and distribution, thus limited as they do not offer the dealer the online. Thousands upon thousands of maximizing both content and time. ability to customize their message for a consumers view their online ads each and specific vehicle or to a specific customer. every day. Successful dealers understand • Text to Speech — This option is popular This option can maximize time with same the importance of getting their ads in front because it utilizes the same customized day generation and distribution. of as many potential consumers as possible emotional vehicle descriptions used and work hard to get their ads created and to highlight the “unique” features that distributed to their online media the day a “sell” a car in a dealer’s online ads to Tim James is the director of sales with car is available to sell. To maximize reach automatically generate a TTS audio layer HomeNet, Inc. He can be contacted at 866.924.6573, or by e-mail at and frequency, many dealers even create and for their videos. TTS videos can generate tjames@autosuccessonline.com. distribute their ads to their online media three extremely high levels of emotional or four times per day when possible. response with zero additional involvement0 08 9 www.autosuccessonline.com the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  4. 4. marketingsolution DalePollak HOW TO SOURCE USED VEHICLES FOR REASONABLE PRICES I recently had them as well. The same can be said for many showed the dealer that there were currently two lengthy domestic models. six available for sale in a 150-mile radius of teleconferences, one with a dealer located his dealership with an average retail price in Pennsylvania; the other with a dealer Again, I believe the key to success is to be of $16,278. I further showed the dealer that in Rhode Island. On each call the dealer able to identify and source those cars that after an anticipated $500 reconditioning and expressed concern and anxiety over their are “hot” in your market and yet not known a $2,500 profit, he could purchase the vehicle inability to source vehicles for prices that by every other used car manager in town. for as much as $14,083 and have the third would allow for a reasonable profit. The pain For example, I demonstrated to the dealer best value out of six in the market at a retail of these dealers is without a doubt being in Pennsylvania that in the last 45 days, 17 asking price of $17,083. With an average shared by all. The solution, however, is percent of the vehicles being sold in his Black Book of $13,675, and an average understood by few. market were compact SUVs in the $15-$20k auction price of $13,362, the dealer agreed price range. Yet, compact SUVs only made that the vehicle could be easily purchased. I explained that the answer to their stocking up one percent of his inventory. And, when problem lies in what I call “inventory we drilled down to identify the hottest of Interestingly, when I had a similar discussion engineering.” What I mean is that you have these $15-$20k compact SUVs, you never with the dealer in Rhode Island, one of the to be able to find the hottest vehicles in the would have guessed what came up No. 1 on hottest vehicles in his market was an ‘08 market that are not understood by every other the list; how about a 2008 Suzuki XL-7? I Kia Sorento. Again, the dealer couldn’t used car manager in town. In the case of one showed the dealer that there are presently remember stocking one and would have of the dealers, 97 percent of their current 62 available in his market and in the last 45 never thought of doing so. The appraisal used car inventory was Toyota, Honda or days, 165 have sold. Wow! Triple wow! The exercise demonstrated a similar result in that Nissan. I asked, “How in the world would market days supply of this vehicle was an the Sorento could likely be easily purchased you expect to acquire vehicles of these astounding 17 days. because its supply and demand was not well makes for reasonable prices?” Every used understood by every used car manager in car manager in town thinks that these are Knowing things about your marketplace that town. By the way, the ‘08 Suzuki XL-7 was the right vehicles, and they are out chasing are not generally understood by everyone the seventh-hottest vehicle on the Rhode else is the key to Island dealers’ list. making money. When I asked the This thoughtful approach towards stocking dealer if he thought used vehicles stands in stark contrast to the this red-hot vehicle common practice of “happenstance” which was obvious to is employed by most used car operations every used car today. “Happenstance” stocking is when used manager in town, vehicle inventory is stocked with vehicles YOU HAVE CUSTOMERS he had to admit, that “happen” to be traded in or “happen” most likely not. I to be available at this week’s local auction. “Happenstance” stocking is a poor way of AND PROSPECTS. further asked him if he ever would creating conditions for success. Both dealers have thought completely agreed with the merits of a about stocking this different approach. vehicle, and he The inventory engineering approach to WE HELP YOU GET responded that he wasn’t even sure if stocking takes time and effort and requires doing and thinking in a way that is unfamiliar A LOT MORE MILEAGE he knew what the vehicle looked like. and unwelcome by most used car managers. However, the time required to identify these OUT OF THEM. The market’s vehicles is not time spent, but rather time invested. This is because the time invested in ignorance about inventory engineering is, in fact, engineering this vehicle makes Let’s roll. it an especially future success. The best and most successful used car operations today are embracing the easy vehicle to inventory engineering approach to stocking purchase. I took by providing their used car managers, and the dealer to his in some cases, stocking assistants, with new appraisal tool tools and training to do so effectively and where we booked efficiently. the Suzuki out in 866-964-6397 imnLoyaltyDriver.com Black Book for an Dale Pollak is an author and the founder average wholesale of vAuto. He can be contacted at value of $13,675, 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at and a national auction dpollak@autosuccessonline.com. value of $13,362. I then10 www.autosuccessonline.com
  5. 5. Expansion from simply ignoring direct mail Mobile Marketing want to speak with a sales person on the phone and want simple answers without a sales pitch. pieces to actively boycotting businesses Mobile subscriptions reached 3.3 billion Use live chat to engage them and build a relationship without being overly intrusive. This that are still employing it is almost certain. in 2008 — more than half the global media will provide you with an opportunity to build value in your vehicle and your dealership Business must embrace digital and other population. Leveraging this channel can and that will make the prospect far more likely to visit your dealership’s showroom. paperless new media channels for interactions significantly extend your reach and make that are already widely accepted and relied on it easier than ever for customers to access by consumers. In the post-recession economy, inventory details, service coupons or your In our post-recession economy, the rules of engagement have changed. Customers demand respecting the environment will equate to online service scheduler. Mobile marketing is new ways of communicating. No longer will a showroom and a toll-free number suffice. Your respecting consumer preference. always present and offers instant gratification customers are communicating in these new ways. If they are not communicating with you, you to your customers. With mobile marketing, can assume that your competition has already started the conversation. The consumer is in the “My Way” you can deliver an immediate call to action, driver’s seat, they will determine their level of loyalty. Dealerships can influence these levels Consumers will expect, and demand, that the instant alerts, coupons, sale information and get on board with the post-recession consumer by embracing these changes and leveraging companies they reward with their business and specials, as well as increased customer the technologies available to them. Identify ways that your dealership can simplify, “go green” know them personally, or at least create that service frequency and the speed of their and acknowledge “their way,” and it you’ll be well on the way to earning loyalty from your perception in their outreach. Knowing what new purchase sales cycle. Watch people in customers. communications consumers want to receive public walking around with cell phones in — and how they want to receive them — will hand. They are texting, chatting, Twittering, For a free post-recession readiness evaluation call or e-mail me with be critical to earning loyalty. visiting social networking sites, reading the information below. e-mails and more. The mobile channel is How can dealers act on these quickly becoming the most popular and Al Babbington is the chief executive officer of OneCommand. requirements to ensure loyal behavior? widespread communications channel in He can be contacted at 866.254.5043, or by e-mail at Below are a few tools that can not only help history. Be sure that your dealership is ababbington@autosuccessonline.com. you fulfill the three critical demands of the reaching out to your customers where they post-recession consumer, but are proven to are communicating most often. A fringe increase loyalty, profits and satisfaction. benefit of mobile marketing is that it’s much By Al Babbington more economical — texting an offer to Personal Web Pages customers costs almost nothing, especially It is important to maintain the relationship compared to a mailer. It’s also “greener”; you worked hard to establish at the time of no trees were cut down, and no carbon was your customers’ purchase. Providing a central released to deliver your message. In today’s automotive environment, customer loyalty may be rare, but it’s sought after location where your customers can indicate more fervently than ever before. Industry experts have been preaching for decades the their communication preferences, track Emerging Technologies importance of earning it; today, it is an absolutely critical element for success. vehicle maintenance, schedule service and Social networking is growing every day. access special offers and coupons not only Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, LinkedIn and Dealers should be recognizing that more than price matters in today’s rebounding market. simplifies the ownership experience, but also many other social networking sites provide Instead of fighting the price war, they should be seeking strategies and solutions that help keeps the owner connected to your dealership. the opportunity for your dealership to find to increase owner loyalty, in both sales and service. Unfortunately for consumers and This empowers your customer, and will new customers and keep the ones you retailers alike, this is actually a challenging adjustment to make, given that the recent increase both owner loyalty and service have. Your sales department will benefit recession brought about a period where consumers didn’t care about service or loyalty frequency. Your customer will feel connected from prospecting on these sites and your because they were being squeezed by the economy — they simply wanted the best price. to your dealership through their vehicle and dealership will also benefit by using them However, post-recession consumerism is showing a significant trend toward reversing this their personal site. When it’s time for service for customer service-focused interactions — approach completely. Consumers in the market today are looking for retailers who make it or time to trade, your customer will visit translating to increases in owner satisfaction simple to do business and who respect their time. Retailers meeting these expressed needs this site for vehicle information. This will and loyalty. People are spending more and will be the ones to gain customer and owner loyalty, something that will be increasingly ensure your dealership maintains top of mind more time every day visiting these sites. important as vehicle demand returns. awareness. They post pictures, play games, connect with old friends, make plans and more. Your How can dealers assure they are positioned to meet the needs of the Preference Management / dealership can become a part of this positive post-recession consumer? Permission Marketing experience. You can become “friends” with We have isolated what we believe to be the three critical demands of the post-recession Empowering your customers to tell you how your customers. You can share information consumer: simple, green and “my way.” Understanding these needs is the first step to they’d like to receive communications, and about events, fund-raisers, and even sales. fulfilling them in the dealership. for what purposes, will be invaluable. Not The challenge will be staying engaged only will it significantly increase response without overwhelming them; keep your Simplify rates, but it will help your dealership save communications relevant and interesting. Use The need for consumers to streamline will continue — not only in the form of fewer time and money by eliminating unnecessary these sites to share with your customer base extravagant purchases, but also in the number of companies they trust and reward with channels and communications. The process all the positive things in the community your business. Having multiple business relationships demands too many hours of the time- should be simple. Your customers should dealership is doing so that your dealership constrained post-recession consumer. Fewer, more-trusted relationships will be a theme be able to configure their communication becomes a part of your customer’s social in both their personal and professional life. The post-recession consumer will rely heavily preferences through a simple and secure network. This will be an increasingly on recommendations made by a select few trusted sources and use their advice to make interface indicating how they would like to essential element of effective customer choices on where to spend their money. Providing this advice simply — how and where be communicated with based on the type communication. the consumer wants it — will be key. Businesses must be prepared to communicate of message being sent. Once you have this through easily accessed channels, such as social networks. information, your dealership is ready to Interactive Media begin communicating in a convenient and Your Web site offers customers a unique, no- Embrace “Green” unobtrusive manner. Your customers will pay pressure shopping environment. Yet, often As embracing green becomes more and more of an sociological as well as an economic more attention to your communications with because of this, communicating to your online necessity, consumers will be even more vocal about not killing trees to send mail they’ll them because you will reaching out with the prospects can be a challenge. Make live-chat1 never look at, when their mobile phone is their complete connection to the world. method they requested. an available option. Often customers don’t2
  6. 6. marketingsolution KimOrr BEYOND PPC AND SEO To Dominate in Search, Dealerships Must Tackle Online Customer Reviews Dealers may think need to be devoting resources to online Undertake a Storewide Campaign To that because they’re reputation management as a core part of Generate Positive Reviews: spending on pay-per-click or SEO, they’ve their marketing — period. • Campaigns to generate positive reviews got “search” covered. But while effective are a new mindset for dealerships. Go to SEO is still an absolute must, it’s only one The facts speak for themselves: Roughly the top and get total management buy-in bite of a much larger search apple. Just doing three out of four shoppers now read online to make it a formal, new priority. PPC or SEO alone isn’t just incomplete — dealership reviews — and more than one in • Consider mandating that salespeople frankly, it’s yesterday’s news. five change their dealership selection based generate reviews. Recognition is key to on something negative they read. Online success: When a great review comes in, This is because of profound, recent changes reviews now trump both dealer loyalty and send it to the entire store. on the Internet. Two years ago, a great SEO location in the shopper’s decision. • Consider blocking review sites at your campaign meant your dealership got far more dealership computers. If a bad review on visibility and traffic than your competitors’ Sure, this new customer-centric world seems a competitor; a fake, positive review; or campaigns. But that “early adoption” edge is scary, and managing it seems confusing. even real customer reviews come from gone for two reasons: But dealers who’ve become aggressive with your internal IP address, you can suffer 1. Search vendors have really turned up the a proven “online reputation management” serious blacklisting consequences. heat. The honeymoon is over, because process are generating hundreds of positive your competitors are also focusing on reviews, dominating first-page results at Get Customers Writing: SEO, creating even more competition for Google and other search engines, and getting • Every team member who has a happy the first page of search results. a ton of incremental calls into their stores customer needs to tactfully ask them 2. The Internet landscape has radically every month. to share their experiences when they evolved — consumers now search (and get home, explaining how much their quickly find) new online outlets like How to Turn the “Bad and Ugly” Around and Generate a High Volume opinion is valued. Don’t try to bribe a consumer review and dealer rating sites customer - it never works. and directories, from Yelp to CitySearch. of Positive Reviews: Monitor/Get Organized: • When you receive a satisfied response to Think about how search results overall • Consistently monitor the major review your “thank you for purchasing” e-mails, have changed, with everyone getting more sites (CitySearch, Yahoo!, Yelp, respond, requesting an online review. competitive, from your direct competitors Google Local, Edmunds, InsiderPages, • When you get a great manufacturer to third-party lead providers. Plus, your DealerRater, etc.). survey, contact that customer, asking for Web site and positive image are now also • Gather your reviews, and organize them an online review. competing with an explosion of consumer into: “Good,” “Pretty Bad,” and “Ugly.” • Mandate that your service department review sites that often show up on the first generate reviews and implements page of Google. If you haven’t Googled your Address The Ugly: analogous processes. dealership’s name, you should; it’s a sobering • If you have bad reviews, call the eye-opener. Most likely, you’ll find the many customer and try to make it right. You Dealers who’ve unleashed this review places your dealership’s been reviewed. And may not know them by their online name strategy are realizing this is one of the most with 45 percent of all dealer-related searches “Mary123,” but often searching your powerful marketing opportunities ever. And directly involving the dealership’s name, a CRM tool you’ll find an e-mail match. while generating a high volume of positive big percentage of your customers are now The goal is to satisfy your customer, so reviews can change the whole “personality” just one click away from reviews that could they will revise their review. of the store (salespeople become vastly more cost you big business. • Respond online — Most sites allow motivated to provide great service, owners businesses to respond to reviews directly, are proud, your CSI ratings go up, etc.), this Because so many dealer-related searches and if not, simply post a response. It isn’t just a “feel good” campaign — it’s a involve the dealership name (and with shows people you care about customer serious driver of new and long-term business. those results increasingly dominated by service. customer reviews), a total super-powerful • Educate your team on how respond. search strategy today must combine great Even with the worst review, the tone Kim Orr is the vice president of SEO with an aggressive customer review needs to be neutral, fair and transparent. eXtÈresAUTO. She can be contacted at strategy. That’s today’s 1-2 search knockout Never amp it up with a reviewer, because 866.231.6135, or by e-mail at punch. And GMs and dealer principals the customer is always right. korr@autosuccessonline.com.14 www.autosuccessonline.com

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