AutoSuccess Jul08


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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 Jul08

  1. 1. Visit us online at July 2008
  2. 2. July 2008 HOW TO MULTIPLY TIME 8 TomHopkins Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. PLEASE STEP OUT OF THE LINE 10 D.J.Harrington address: 3834 Taylorsville Rd. WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BEST SALESPERSON 11 JohnBrentlinger Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 GET TANKED The #1 Direct Mail Campaign in the Automotive Industry 12 JimmyPeters phone / fax: 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 CHALLENGING THE CORE INVENTORY CONCEPT 14 DalePollak web: 15 ADOPT AN OPEN SERVICE DRIVEWAY AND GarySimmons GENERATE $200,000 MORE THIS YEAR team: 18 SERVICE: PROFIT CENTER OR ChuckPatton Susan Givens ADVERTISING INVESTMENT? Publisher & TriciaPatton TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST - TOUGH PEOPLE DO 20 PaulSnider Thomas Williams VP & Creative Director FIGHTING MURPHY’S LAW 21 SteveBrazill Dave Davis THE FORMULA FOR WINNING - FOUR FAIL SAFE STEPS 22 PaulD.Cummings Editor and Creative Strategist SEE SPOT RUN - SEEN SPOT LATELY? KEEP READING 26 MichaelYork Brian Ankney Sales-Improvement Strategist ONE TOOL = THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS 28 LauraNoonan Scott Schaeffer Sales-Improvement Strategist WHAT’S IN A TITLE 29 MarcSmith general information: PREPARATION TIME IS NEVER LOST TIME 32 JoeCala eNewsletter: ENEWSLETTERS Building a Stronger Relationship With Your Customers 34 DaymondDecker AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., ONLINE MEASUREMENT 36 Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. DennisGalbraith Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or What Your Lead Management System Won’t Tell You Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP VII 38 for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing SeanV.Bradley 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 TRAINING, NEGATIVITY AND ADVICE 40 FranTaylor 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 41 from time to time. Always confer with legal counsel before implementing EASIER ACCESS TO SERVICE CONTRACT MikeHoffey changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess INFORMATION Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent 42 from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names THIRD PARTY LEADS AND BDC BrianHall available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of Now More Than Ever 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. 1B12 Louisville, KY 40220. 20 38 helping to support...
  3. 3. STS TomHopkinssales&trainingsolution HOW TO MULTIPLY TIME Time is as precious workday world. I know it can be hard to Successful people in the automobile industry a commodity force yourself to do this, but believe me, always jump on the most important thing as money. I’ve written many articles the benefits are incredible. first. What is the most important thing that specifically about how to make sales you should do right now? Learning to answer (translated “making money”). Now, let’s When you are involved with opportunity that question quickly then acting on it will explore some ways you can get more sales time, you need to be tough about it. It’s increase your productivity ten-fold. If you productivity out of the time you have to amazing how much of our working life can have a weekly sales goal, start working on it invest in your automotive sales career. be eaten up by trivial interruptions unless as early in the day as your potential clients you make a conscious effort not to let that are available. Don’t wait until you take care Everyone knows you can make twice the happen. Successful people are tough about of other things before you start selling. The income by working twice the number the types of interruptions they allow during weight of that goal will crush you by day’s of hours, putting forth twice the amount productive business time. They’re always end. Start doing this every morning, keep on of effort. The secret to true success is in on the lookout for busy work and finding doing it, and you’ll soon discover that you’re making the time you currently invest in ways to eliminate it. not worrying anymore. You’re enjoying the our your business twice as productive. work, you’re feeling good about yourself, est in y and you know you’re winning. the se To begin with, you must understand that ntly inv there are two entirely different kinds of If a challenge arises that you don’t know cr time. The first is opportunity time, during what to do about, do your best to come et to t u curre which you achieve your goals such as up with an answer, but don’t dwell on it internalizing information on new vehicles, too long. If you’re not satisfied that what time yo rue su getting your hands, eyes and ears on those you’ve come up with is the best solution, new vehicles and providing follow up write down how you’d like to resolve it, service to existing clients. The second is even if what you write seems totally absurd. king the ccess replenishment time, during which you Then, set it aside and commit to returning rebuild your strength through exercise, to it later that day. Let your mind work is in ma recreation, relaxation and sleep. bus ine on other things for awhile. Then, when ss you come back to the challenge, you’ll twi ce If you can’t get the hang of switching from as pro likely have a fresh perspective on it and opportunity time to replenishment time, duc find a better solution. If it’s still not the tive you’ll soon face a period of burnout where . ideal solution, do your best in handling it you’re neither successful nor in sound today. The longer you let challenges lie physical condition. You’ll run out of fuel. unresolved, the more likely they are to grow Then your flame will go out, your power into something that will be very difficult will shut off and you’ll drop like a stone. to resolve. Just tell yourself, “I’m going to Busy work is usually pointless stuff that handle this to the best of my ability today People who appear to be highly productive you don’t mind doing because it’s easy, and will learn from this experience.” often suffer flameout. Many have lost and doing it makes a marvelous excuse several years as a result. Some have for not tackling the hard things you know Stay tough about your opportunity time. quenched their flames so thoroughly that you should do. The key is to figure out the Don’t fritter it away doing busy work or they never managed to get their engines best time of day each day for selling and to engaging in unnecessary activities. When it’s going again. They gave up on their dreams focus your efforts on sales activities during time to sell, sell! But when it’s time to kick of having a successful career. that time. Don’t do filing or clean your back and relax, do that with gusto as well. desk during sales time. Yes, it needs to be The dangerous part is that flameout sneaks done, but not during selling time. World-renowned master sales trainer Tom up on you. Don’t try to fly high when your Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins tanks are low. Touch down and refuel If you’re going to be a winner, you will International. He can be contacted at your spirits — spend a few days away in a always have time for the tough end of your 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at completely different atmosphere from your job because that’s what produces results. 8
  4. 4. IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW A BETTER WAY TO BRING IN CUSTOMERS,THEN YOU DON’T KNOW CHIT. CING…IN TRODU HEELER CHIT W IT IS THIS EASY! Some people say attracting customers to your service department isn’t easy. I say they don’t know Chit. I have discovered a patented way of actually scenting your dealership that causes customers to flock into your service departments. It also works for sales because we all know if we can get them to buy service then we can get them to buy a car. It truly is that easy and you don’t have to do anything but Spray and Pray. OUR PRODUCT IS GUARANTEED* * Guarantee includes shipping only. Long term effects may be questionable, may not work on all species of customers, or in every environment. May work worse in some parts of the country. VISIT WWW.CHITWHEELER.COM TO SEE A DEMONSTRATION OF THE JOIN OURChit Wheeler Customer Scent® “CHIT HITS THE PATENTED TECHNIQUE BY CHIT WHEELER FAN CLUB” AND GET A FREE BOTTLE OF THIS SOLUTION AS AN ADDED INCENTIVE FOR REGISTERING, Chit YOU WILL ALSO BE REGISTERED TO V Wheeler CHIT T Customer Scent® RECEIVE A $500.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THE HUNTING STORE OF YOUR CHOICE. ALL FOR JUST VISITING WWW.CHITWHEELER.COM
  5. 5. STS D.J.Harringtonsales&trainingsolution PLEASE STEP OUT OF THE LINE Processionary procession found himself nose to tail with flower pot for seven days and seven nights caterpillars travel in the last caterpillar in the procession, forming and until they died from starvation and long and wavy lines, one creature behind a circle without an end or a beginning. exhaustion. There was an ample supply of the other. A French entomologist once led food close at hand and very visible, but it a group of these caterpillars onto a rim of Through sheer force of habit and, of course, was outside the range of the circle, so the a large flower pot so that the leader of the instinct, the ring of caterpillars circled the caterpillars continued along the beaten path. A lot of us often behave in a similar way. Habit patterns and our ways of thinking GET MORE PHONE CALLS - become deeply established and it seems easier and more comfortable to follow them rather than accept change — even when SELL MORE CARS! food to live by is right there. I know if someone shouts “FIRE,” it is automatic to blindly follow the crowd, and many thousands have needlessly died because of it. How many stop to ask, “Is Custom 800® numbers are PROVEN to: this really the best way out of here?” So many people “miss the boat” because it’s Get higher recall rates from your radio & TV ads easier and less demanding to follow without questioning the qualifications of the people Improve consumer response to your print ads just ahead of us and just maybe do some independent checking and thinking. A hard thing for most of us is to fully understand is that people in such a We have dozens of powerful Custom 800 Numbers for automotive large number can be so wrong (like the sales and service departments. Numbers like: caterpillars going around and around the edge of a flower pot with food and life just a short distance away). It’s sad, but 1-800-NEW-CARS® 1-800-NEW-RIDE most people are living that way. If we do 1-800-NEW-CREDIT 1-800-NEW-WHEELS a little checking, you will discover that throughout all recorded history, the majority 1-800-NEW-DEAL 1-800-NEXT-CAR of mankind has an unbroken record of being 1-800-NEW-LEASE 1-800-PRE-OWNED wrong about most things — especially the important things. ...and many more. ® Custom 800 is a registered trademark of 800response. | ® 1-800-NEW-CARS is a registered trademark of an affiliate of 800response. It’s difficult for people to come to the understanding that only a small group of Call people ever really understand about life, about living abundantly and successfully. Some people wait passively for success to 1-800-NEW-SALES come to them, like our caterpillars going around and around, following nose to tail today and get the thinking that other people must know how to live successfully. perfect number for Please remember, it’s a good idea to step out of the line every once in a while and look up your dealership! ahead to see if the line is going where you want it to go. If it’s not, step out of the line. D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, More Calls, More Sales, More Profits and marketing consultant. He can be 10 contacted at 866.855.5781, or by e-mail at
  6. 6. MS JohnBrentlingermarketingsolution WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BEST SALESPERSON There are three get it yourself. If you want perfect general criteria computer records every day, hire a bunch for “best” salesperson: They do their own of computer nerds who love computers work, they have constant high margins but couldn’t sell water in the Sahara. and they have high volume. Those are Leave your best salesperson alone. They the standards. We’re not talking about the don’t need you to silly-small-talk their favorite child who skates others, who is customers, they don’t need you to call their fed by the manager and who sacrifices customers, check their figures, desk their margin for volume (volume is vanity; profit deals and close their sales. That’s why they is sanity). Your best salesperson meets the are the best. Leave them alone. They will standards and encourages other salespeople sell more and earn more, and so will you. by his or her work ethic and example. 3. Increase their commissions. The What you do with your best salesperson salesperson who does the most should be determines the vitality of your dealership. paid the best. This one thing will raise All of the other salespeople are watching the standard for all the other salespeople. your best salesperson. If you treat your Anyone who complains about how much best salesperson poorly, the others will not the best salesperson makes should be aspire to greatness, and they will remain fired immediately. If other salespeople mediocre for as long as they work for you. complain, fire them. If the person who If you want mediocre salespeople, the writes the checks complains, fire them. If formula is simple: Hire anyone, micro- a manager complains that best salesperson manage everyone and train no one. makes too much money, fire them. The salesperson who does the work and makes What To Do with Your Best the money should be treated like a rock Salesperson star. If you can’t, don’t or won’t treat your 1. Do not make them team players. All best salesperson as your best salesperson, salespeople are not equal. Conventional you won’t have to worry about how to treat nonsense about everyone doing everything your best salesperson, because you won’t the same way leads to mediocre madness, have one. ie: “We have a system and you will learn it and follow it or else.” Oh goody, let’s all be 4. Do not make them managers. There mediocre together. Think about a baseball is no commission on management. All team. Every player has different strengths commissions come from selling a product and abilities. They are not the same, they at a profit. Don’t take your best earners, are not equal, they are paid differently and your best workers, your best examples some are better than others. Imagine a team to the rest of the salespeople and make where everyone hit like the pitcher, squatted them work longer hours for less pay, less like the catcher and scratched like the satisfaction and less incentive. Great manager. That is your mediocre sales force salespeople are great because they love to when you try to make them all do all of the produce, to sell and to meet the goals they same things in the same way. That has not set for themselves. Don’t ruin your sales worked, is not working and will not work. force by showing them that if they be the Be brave enough, be smart enough, be best they can be, they will be rewarded by secure enough and control yourself enough being made a manager. Let them sell, let to let your best salesperson think differently, them grow, let them earn. work differently, sell differently and while doing differently, produce great profit for Let your best salesperson be as great themselves and the dealership. Your greatest as they want to be. Don’t make them test as a manager is this: Do you have the team players, don’t micro-manage them, ability to lead great salespeople? pay them more and just let them sell. Treat them like rock stars, and the entire 2. Leave them alone. Don’t micro-manage dealership will benefit. them. Don’t make them follow all the silly rules that the six-car-a-month people John Brentlinger is a sales and follow. Silly rules make mediocre teams management trainer, executive coach who can follow silly rules but can’t sell and author. He can be contacted 11 anything. If you want the name, address at 866.859.6504, or by e-mail at and phone number of every prospect, the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  7. 7. FSfeaturesolution GET TANKED The #1 Direct Mail Cam paign in the Automotive Indust ry JimmyPeters The current economic clim With gas prices over ate, with banks $4 a gallon regardles Why do gas mailers work? customers. Using a gas ma my marketing efforts s of what I was doing tightening stipulations for The gas mailer iler will get were losing their cat ch and my ROI was loans and mail campaign hits a nerve. the downturn so I tur ned on gas prices soaring, has ma Everyone in your customers emotiona weeks ago to see if the to a longtime marketing partner a few de effective lly motivated and y could help turn thin marketing more importan the United States is feelin create a strong call to act have they! Jimmy sug gs around and boy t than ever. Every g the pinch from ion. A great way gested I try out their marketing dollar must hav high gas prices in one wa to stand out is with a follow that offers my custom new Get Tanked mailer e maximum y or another. -up postcard ers a $50 gas vouche impact. Banks have becom Everyone opens a gas ma to remind them that they one of our vehicles (wi r just for test driving e very tight iler simply need to visit to have been seeing clo th no extra expense because it offers some rel get their $50 in gas. Use to us) and so far I lending to those with the ief at a time when se to a 4% response 480 to 559 credit a message such reps an opportunity which gives my sales scores. These deals are not gas has hit $4 or more per as, “This is your last notice to do their job and sel getting bought gallon. Who to stop by and pumped and our ma l product. My staff is wouldn’t open it? rketing ROI has skyroc without $2,000 to $3,000 take a test drive to receiv keted with us seeing down. The hedge e your $50 gas deals make as much as 5 or 6 grand a cop fees of 15 to 20 percent ma certificate.” This will inv y! ke these deals oke the fear of very difficult — if not im The motivation is the me loss and push many potent possible — to ssage. Fifty ial customers Clint Rainer structure. Dealerships are dollars in free gas motivate over the edge and drive the General Sales Manag looking for ways s people. m to your er to increase sales from the Imagine if you put a bunch dealership. Bill Heard Chevrolet ir marketing of big dollars and drive in more billboards up that said, “C Union City, GA high-score traffic ome Test Drive that can be more easily fi Any of Our New or Pre-O Compound the effect of you nanced. One great wned Vehicles r gas mailer “WOW!!! Get Tanked way to do this is to increa and We Will Give You $50 and last-chance postcard mailer has delivered se response rates Worth of Free with a voice significantly better-th great and target your desired cus Gas!” How many people broadcast. Use a voice ma an-ever GROSSES to success and tomer type. would respond to il broadcast My market is a tough one, but GET TANK our dealership. New ideas in direct mail, this message and be on you while your sale is going on in quality traffic that ED MAILER brings like gas mailer r lot to get that the possibilities? Well, the to remind them gets SOLD. I recom campaigns, are helping inn free $50 of fuel? Your lot chances are not to miss out. Use a sim mend it for your next ovative dealers would be a mad that, even with the marke ple pre-recorded direct sales event.” achieve up to a 5 to 10 per house. The message would t in its current phone message asking the cent response. motivate tons of condition and gas prices m to come to people. The problem with sky high, you your dealership and take the billboard is could very likely have a rec a test drive and Michael Mancano that you cannot target the ord month at pick up their $50 gas certifi General Manager individuals you your dealership — just lik cate and tells want to visit your dealershi e many other them of the specials you Honda City p. You simply dealerships have been abl have going on. cannot target the exact dem e to do by using There is no way for you to Chicago, IL ographic you gas mailer program campai lose with a want to have visit your dea gns. properly planned and imple The get tanked mailer lership with mented gas I did with Jimmy gave any form of mass media mailer campaign. response as well as gre me a tremendous advertising such With this mailer, you sho at gross per copy. I ran as a billboard, newspaper uld target people $4218 a copy , television or with a 580 to 679 credit sco and had a 2% show rati o. Thank You” radio. It is important to rem re who have The bottom line is you hav ember that you 70 to 99 percent of their aut e to make sure can generate tons of floor o loan paid that you get ups on your traffic to your off. These are the people lot who can buy, Barney Lopez dealership in any market whom the banks and that is why you need General Sales Manag with the right are willing to finance. Th to make sure Cloverleaf Chrysler Do er message and call to action ey have had their your lists are less than 24 dge Jeep . vehicles for awhile, and the hours old and y’re ready to go are targeted to the criteria Decatur, AL home in one of yours. Th you can sell. Now, think if you take thi ese motivated and When the market is hard, s highly effective able buyers are the ones wh we must be more call to action that solicits om you want aggressive to make sure we an emotional to visit your store. You wo get our share; “With the economy response and desire from n’t be struggling ask yourself if you are doi the way it is to be ho your target to hang these deals on Mo ng what you anything was going to work the same as nest I wasn’t sure if customer and condense it nday morning need to do, or are you jus I was wrong as Jim it did in days past bu into a form of or calling people to unwind t standing by? my Peters has prove t advertising such as direct deals you with the Get Tanke n to me once again mail. With direct can’t get done. You will jus d piece I did that I can always depend mail, you can specifically t have happy my advertising comp target your any to give a boos on desired customer, a custom customers driving in you t to my monthly sa er the banks will r cars. Jimmy Peters is the pre les.” still buy. Imagine the sales sident of Big Time numbers from Promotions. He can be Robert S. Cook co a showroom full of emoti With any campaign, it is important to stand 866.850.6926, or by e-m ntacted at General Sales Mana onally motivated out and use emotion to mo ail at ger customers who can buy a tivate your jpeters@autosuccesson Brewbaker Motors car. What are Montgomery, AL 1312
  8. 8. STS DalePollaksales&trainingsolution CHALLENGING THE CORE INVENTORY CONCEPT OK, I’m going to However, the truth is that the used car do what my friend has done at his Infiniti go out on a limb market place, by definition, is anything store? I think that the answer lies in the fact to challenge a conventional dealership but steady and, in fact, is extremely that we are all more comfortable operating notion. I’m really troubled by the concept unpredictable. There are hundreds of in a zone of comfort and familiarity. Think of “core inventory.” I’m not saying that factors that are at play in our environment about how hard it would be for someone each store doesn’t have a certain natural that influence consumer’s purchase very knowledgeable and familiar with the traffic profile based on its brand, location preferences and they are anything but Infiniti to say, “there might be something and community, but I am suggesting that steady and predictable. Fluctuating gas better out there, and I’m gonna give it the notion of a “core inventory,” while prices, interest rates and weather patterns a try.” It’s a lot easier for us to go with appealing and comforting, is fool’s gold. are just a few causes that constantly the inventory that we know, rather than befuddle those that attempt to stock venturing out and taking the risk associated The idea of “core inventory” suggests inventory today, based on what has worked with buying something different. that there is a fixed profile of used vehicle in the past. inventory that produces optimal results. The good news for the industry is that there In other words, if you stock certain types For example, every day, we are all watching is now technology that can analyze any of vehicles, you’ll be well on your way to gas prices skyrocket. There couldn’t be market and tell a manager, at the level of success. This notion makes the assumption any environment that more dramatically year, make, model and specific equipment, that the automobile market place is steady highlights the fact that the theory of dealers which are the hottest vehicles at the and predictable. Without the assumption stocking based on their “core inventory” moment, based on volume and/or gross. of steadiness and predictability, one could is just plain wrong. If any dealer today This takes much of the risk and uncertainty not legitimately suggest that dealers should stocked their lot based on their past core out of the equation. So if you haven’t seen stick to a defined core of inventory mix. inventory, they’d be purchasing gas this, you need to. In my opinion, it’s the guzzlers and, quite possibly, avoiding the only way to stay in tune with the market. purchase of today’s hot selling, gas-sipping vehicles. It seems insane to keep doing the As uncomfortable as it is, we need to let same things and expect different results. go of our security blanket or, in the words of Thomas Friedman, our “olive tree” Today, I spoke to a highly successful used and accept the fact that, in the words of car director of a large multi-franchise Bob Dylan, “times, they are a’ changing.” organization. His comments made We must embrace uncertainty and accept me realize that the absurdity of “core the fact that what worked last year, last inventory” goes well beyond the issue of quarter or last month may not work today. gas prices. He said that, as an experiment, This means that we must keep our finger they stopped stocking used Infiniti’s at on the pulse of the market place and take their Infiniti dealership. They experimented our cues from it in “real time” rather than with high volume, off-brand vehicles, such from history. Our present inventory must as Impalas and Malibus. I asked him if always reflect the market at the moment. he was sure he knew what he was doing, If gas prices are way up, we have to dump and he told me that they were selling like gas guzzlers in favor of compacts. If “hotcakes.” we’re experiencing unusual amounts of snowfall, we must quickly respond with He said that we all get hung up on the more 4-wheel drives. If silver cars lose notion that we should stock according their appeal, we must quickly respond to our past sales and/or in accordance by changing our preference of color with our franchise brand. Yes, it may be choices. We simply can no longer afford true, he told me, that there is some natural the convenient comforting thought that traffic for these vehicles, but that does not what worked in the past will work today or necessarily mean that they are the most tomorrow. The only things that are constant demanded products in the market. Properly and predictable are death, taxes and used, the Internet allows dealers to be change. Let’s wake up, smell the coffee and successful with products that are hot, but realize that the notion of “core” is rotten. not necessarily their brand or part of their past core. “Remember,” he said, “no used car manager ever got fired for selling the Dale Pollak is the chairman and founder right mix of used makes and models.” of vAuto. He can be contacted at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail at 14 So why is it hard for many dealerships to
  9. 9. STS GarySimmonssales&trainingsolution ADOPT AN OPEN SERVICE DRIVEWAY AND GENERATE $200,000 MORE THIS YEAR In today’s tight entire day, including Friday. Currently many “Your service market, most service advisers stop scheduling same-day dealerships are losing money on both new appointments at 10 or 11 a.m. because they and parts and used vehicles. Staying out of the red get overwhelmed with numerous open departments is possible, though: Look to your service repair orders. An overwhelmed adviser will are your and parts departments. These departments schedule appointments for 24 to 48 hours should be your revenue-generating stars, but after the customer calls, causing your no- revenue- if they’re not, you’re not alone. The service show percentage to jump to more than 30 generating department, primed to run at maximum percent as customers turn to another shop. efficiency, often is stymied by overwhelmed No only are you losing revenue, you’re stars, as long service advisors who prematurely shut off alienating customers. The hardest part to as they are the daily flow of customers, “closing” the swallow is that many service technicians structured and department and costing you as much as will be finished with their work before the $200,000 in revenue each year. The good day is over, meaning customers were turned run by an news, however, is that you can reap those away only because the number of open ‘open’ profits by cultivating an “open” service repairs orders seemed too daunting. Tell your driveway, increasing efficiency, profitability advisers to keep the driveway open for just policy.” and customer satisfaction, without costing four additional repair orders per day, and you undue time and money. can collect that missing $200,000 per year. service Web page is also “open.” Open Your Service Driveway Accommodate Your Customers, If a customer goes to your appointment for the Entire Day Not Your Dealership page and is denied the appointment time slot Your first step in generating more service If you’re thinking, “If I tell a customer to they want, they’ll simply jump to the site revenue is to open your driveway for the bring in their vehicle but we cannot repair of another shop. Make it clear that you are it today, they will be there to accommodate your customers by just as disgruntled as ensuring that your online appointment menu FOR SALE if I made them wait tells customers to call if they cannot get for an appointment.” their requested time slot. Again, it is about Revenue Generator Not necessarily. Your proving to the customer that they come first. customers need to Approximate Train Your Service Advisors to know that their needs Investment: $2,000 come first. By taking be a Part of the Team immediate action The changes above will obviously affect and telling them to your service advisers, so put in the time come in right away, upfront to get them on-board with your you are proving that. new strategy. Make sure they know they The key is clear are an integral part of building a successful communication: tell dealership. Outline for them the structure of them you want to your dealership, where the greatest amount Approximate determine the problem of revenue is coming from, your dealership immediately, that you goals, and how they can make these goals Monthly Return: a reality. Invested employees are your $50,000 !! may not be able to repair the problem that best weapon against a down market and ■ Integrated Email attrition. Also consider that you may need Powerful, proven revenue generator. same day, but once Excellent service history. Used by ■ Email Collection to hire additional service advisers to reach you know the nature dealerships across the U.S. Perfect ■ Direct Mail maximum department efficiency. of the problem you can for sales, customer satisfaction and ■ Voice Messaging bottom line. Runs like a dream. give them an excellent Your service and parts departments are your ■ eNewsletters estimate of the time revenue-generating stars, as long as they ■ Online Appointment and labor involved. are structured and run by an “open” policy. Call Now Scheduling 866.628.6245 The principle of When your department is open, you’ll gain increased efficiency and customer accommodating your customers first satisfaction. Most importantly, your revenue also applies to your may just increase to more than $200,000. service department Gary Simmons is the founder of We do all the work... SM Web page. With so Management Consulting Services, Inc. You make all the money! many consumers He can be contacted at 15 turning to the Internet 866.491.3806, or by e-mail at first, ensure that your the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  10. 10. Call Today for your Complete Registration Packet 888.490.0909 Preliminary Agenda 2008 Special Finance Convention August 17th – 19th, 2008Sunday – Day One Monday – Day Two Tuesday – Day ThreeRegistration Breakfast in Exhibit Hall Breakfast in Exhibit Hall1:00 pm – 8:30 pm 7:00 am – 8:45 am 7:00 am – 8:45 amExhibit Hall Booth Setup General Session Educational Sessions1:30 pm – 5:30 pm 9:00 am – 10:15 am 9:00 am – 12:00 noonReception in Exhibit Hall Beverage Break Beverage Break6:00 pm – 9:00 pm 10:15 am – 10:30 am 10:15 am – 10:30 am Legal Jeopardy Lunch in Exhibit Hall 10:30 am – 12:00 noon 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm Lunch in Exhibit Hall Roundtable Discussions 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm Educational Sessions Conference Adjourns 1:45 pm – 5:00 pm 3:00 pm Beverage Break 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Reception in Exhibit Hall 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Moderators and Speakers Emily Beck Kevin Day Greg Goebel Tom Herald Tom Hudson Kris Wright
  11. 11. MS ChuckPatton & TriciaPattonmarketingsolution SERVICE: PROFIT CENTER OR ADVERTISING INVESTMENT? Is your percent of total dealership operating known as “your brand.” Remember, service profits, and that number is rising. if the customer is making a purchase department a profit center or advertising decision, they will start by listening to investment? The answer is “both.” Chances 5. If you consider any of the forecasting someone they like and trust. are, the manufacturer you represent was about the economy and how that will down for the month of June. These market effect your retail department, it makes 6. Be careful about which advertising conditions are unprecedented for many sense to concentrate your advertising experts you listen to. Service of us, and we are trying to re-adjust our investment in the area that makes marketing doesn’t work like the one- strategies in order to adapt and keep our you the most money — the service event wonders that may have been numbers up. One trend remains, however: department. proposed to you. We all depend on our service department to level off the front-end sales loss during 6. Your service department is definitely a 7. How many customers bought from a down sales cycle. The good news is profit center. you but are not servicing? If you use service can still be there for you. Challenge direct mail and they are dialing into yourself to look at things in a new light and Now, here are a few ideas HOW to expand your database, they should be able to start assessing the importance of reinvesting your service department vision from just a tell you who you are retaining and who in your service department just as you profit center to an advertising investment: you are not. would your personal financial profile. 1. Take control of your service advertising and make sure you are 8. Monitor everything, such as the Most dealers set a goal for their service marketing YOUR dealership, not number of loyal customers, number department to achieve the highest the manufacturer. Service marketing of customers who service between absorption rate possible. If you have the is typically a communication that 0-24 months, and number of defecting right perspective, your service department occurs four or more times a year, and customers. Send a message according can achieve this and double as a prospect some programs you might be using to known behavior, not just the year base to build strong sales. This is because spend more time talking about what and model. the larger your customer base is in service, the manufacturer offers and less about the stronger your prospect base is to sales. what your dealership offers. Depending on what statistic you follow, a So, is your service department a profit loyal client to the service department will center or is it actually an advertising 2. Don’t cut the budget. Most give you a chance to sell them their next investment? Increased loyalty in your dealerships invest less than 10 percent vehicle about 75 to 85 percent of the time. service department will eventually lead to of their total advertising budget in This means if you have a loyal customer a larger customer base to mine for sales. the very department that produces 77 base of 3,000 customers, you will have But, first you must set it as a priority, and percent of the profit. That might be 2,550 ups or 850 per year over the next second you must mine it for potential. So, too low. Typically the only soft sale, three years. if you are thinking of cutting back on your customer relations branding you will service advertising, think again. do is in service. So, is your service department a profit center or an investment in advertising? Here is a clear argument for making your 3. The key customers for prospecting This example shows that there are at service department an investment — go are those who have serviced their least 70 quality ups per month from through the most current financial numbers vehicle within the past 12 months your dealership customer base of 3,000 and trends at and read between and have a three- to four-year-old customers, and your closing ratios should the lines: vehicle. Don’t be surprised if that be high. 1. The following numbers were down number stretches to five or six years, two years ago: total dealership sales, given the down economy. We are always looking for a magic pill or net profit before taxes and new vehicle the next new idea for advertising that will sales. 4. Look to make your less loyal clients sell more cars. However, the largest profit more loyal and build your primary center is under our nose and is easy to 2. The largest increases in income came purchase base. Try marketing to market to. Expenses will become more of from the used car department and the service customers who have not been an issue for 2008 and into 2009. Service service department. to your dealership in 12 to 36 months is looking to be a pretty good investment in a completely different way than within your portfolio! 3. The average dealership achieves loyal clients. Get aggressive about around $31 million in sales. Just under your offers and approach the marketing $4 million of that comes from service conversation differently. department. Chuck and Tricia Patton are the founders 5. Sell yourself. Keep a consistent of Traffic Builders Inc. They can be 4. In 2006, the service and parts message of quality and talk about contacted at 866.859.8520, or by e-mail 18 department profits accounted for 77 what you have to offer, or, what is at