The 2009 Synergy Sessions - Details on page 4                                                July 2009
In this economy you can’t  afford a cheap website                      Prov en SEO                      More    Visitors n...
recommend the Wolfington Group to any dealership                                                                 Group for ...
leadershipsolution                            StephenR.Covey                                              8TH HABIT LEADER...
marketingsolution                           SusanGivens                                                                   ...
7 Key Benefits of                                                       TotalControl DOMINATOR                             ...
marketingsolution                         MattBaker                                          ARE YOUR EMOTIONS            ...
AutoSuccess Jul09
AutoSuccess Jul09
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AutoSuccess Jul09
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AutoSuccess Jul09
AutoSuccess Jul09
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AutoSuccess Jul09
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AutoSuccess Jul09

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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

AutoSuccess, magazine, sales, new, used, selling, salespeople, vehicle, dealer, dealership, leadership, marketing

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AutoSuccess Jul09

  1. 1. The 2009 Synergy Sessions - Details on page 4 July 2009
  2. 2. In this economy you can’t afford a cheap website Prov en SEO More Visitors n etter Co snversio B Mo re Lead Sal es! More Call -564 -1875 800Your website has NEVER been more critical to your dealership’s success. So why settle for less than the BEST? TK Carsites has been voted “Best Website Provider” for 5 years in‐a‐row. Search to Sold www.tkcarsites.com ©2009 TK Carsites. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. recommend the Wolfington Group to any dealership Group for over 7 years. They become your partner How did they do it? “I have been doing business with the Wolfington EAGLE CHEVROLET CADILLAC “THE NEW CAR SALES EVENT COMPANY” in sales and create an environment that ensures UNITS SOLD 51 success without compromising CSI. I would Wolfington Group Call Center Fielded: for your FREE Marketing Plan! wanting to take it to the next level.” Call 1-800-958-0595 NOW and APPOINTMENTS James Provenzano, 71% Dealer Principal KEPT 518-848-4805 INCOMING CALLS 402 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 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 40220.3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 | 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 | AutoSuccessOnline.com / AutoSuccessPodcast.com | info@autosuccessonline.comSusan Givens, Publisher Thomas Williams, VP & Creative Director Dave Davis, Editor & Creative Strategist Brian Ankney, Sales-Improvement Strategist John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategistsgivens1@autosuccessonline.com design@autosuccessonline.com ddavis@autosuccessonline.com super6@autosuccessonline.com jwarner@autosuccessonline.com SAVVY MARKETING STRATEGIES FROM DEALERS IS THE AUTO INDUSTRY LISTENING ON HOW TO INSPIRATION WITHOUT INSTRUCTION SIMPLY WHAT IS OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT? HIGHER EMOTIONS = HIGHER PROFITS YOUR SERVICE DEPARTMENT - SUCCEEDING IN A DOWN ECONOMY WITH AN AXE OR A SCALPEL? CAR SALESMAN MAKES $200,000 IN ARE YOUR EMOTIONS PREVENTING HOW DO YOU OPERATE ON LEAD GENERATION IS STILL KING A SOLUTION FOR USED VEHICLE DEALER DOMINATES CASH FOR JUMP START SALES WITH CASH 8TH HABIT LEADERSHIP: MANAGING CHANGE STABILIZE YOUR BUSINESS SELLING IN TOUGH TIMES SOURCING TROUBLES MARKET TO WOMEN? Valuing the Differences THE GAME CHANGER CLUNKERS MARKET Internet Sales 20 Group XVIII YOUR SUCCESS? FOR CLUNKERS THIS ECONOMY FALLS SHORT 7 8 8 1 2 0 SteveBrazill Chuck&TriciaPatton StephenR.Covey By SusanGivens 10 16 24 27 32 34 36 22 25 33 37 18 26 14 SusanGivens TomHopkins KirkManzo JodyDeVere DrakeA.Baerresen DalePollak BrianEpro JasonOrlando RichardVanderport MattBaker GarryHouse GrantCardone SeanV.Bradley MarcSmith - Jason Orlando - Grant Cardone changed and you now order to advance your separate you from the tools. Its time dealers market utilizing these for ‘best practices’ at position. Do not look wake up and do the “The retail business impulsive American effective marketing practices that will this time; look for game you play in ‘game changing’ must change the capitalize on the “The game has July 2009 has learned to competition.” same.”
  4. 4. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey 8TH HABIT LEADERSHIP: Valuing the Differences Much of the talk about great wisdom in training the mind to respond each and to arrive at synergistic solutions. valuing diversity in to disagreement in entirely the opposite the world of business is just talk. way: to welcome it, to embrace a diversity “Generally speaking, my impression of viewpoints — even to jump at the chance is that Japanese people are naturally One of the most positive things business to hear from someone who sees the world process-oriented thinkers. French people leaders have done in the past few decades differently. are conceptual, ingenious and innovative. is to open the doors to people who were Americans are direct, get-to-the-point, traditionally excluded — particularly When faced with dissent, say, “Terrific! You bottom-line-driven. The mix of those traits women and members of minority groups. see things differently! I need to listen to can be a tremendous asset during problem- This progress, although not as fast or as you!” And mean it. And do it. solving or brainstorming sessions.” widespread as it should be, is heartening. This does not mean we have to agree or “I have no doubt that cultural influences can Still, the true treasures of diversity in the compromise in any fashion. But for our own affect the outcomes of discussions among marketplace have yet to be tapped. I’m good, we need to hear opposing views. Only multi-cultural teams, contributing much talking about divergent voices. a decision that has been tested in this way is richer solutions than those teams’ members robust enough to withstand reality. might have developed on their own.” Deliberately Seeking the Divergent Voices Leveraging Divergent Voices Synergy — The Product of Leaders are paid to be right. Therefore, they One of the most successful business leaders Divergent Voices have a big vested interest in making sure in the world today is Carlos Ghosn, head of Nissan’s success is due to these rich that their opinions prevail, in appearing Nissan and Renault motor companies. He synergies. Eight striking new car models confident and sure of themselves. They is himself the product of diverse cultures: were launched in record time by getting don’t relish being contradicted, especially born in Brazil of Lebanese parents, educated engineers together with people from the in our lockstep Industrial Age tradition. It’s in France, he has led companies effectively worlds of fashion, art, and architecture in six the rare leader who is excited to encounter on four continents. In 1999, when Ghosn new Design Centers around the globe. The disagreement or resistance. became CEO of Nissan, the unprofitable groundbreaking 350Z car became a sellout But to be successful in the new Information automaker was burdened with $22 billion in debt and faced its 27th straight year of in 2003, winning award after award for its remarkable design—a new look and feel for I love my old classics. Age, leaders need to adopt just the opposite mindset. They need to do more than just tolerate diverse views; they must actively market decline. Within four years, Nissan had zero debt and the highest profit margin in the mainstream auto business—all in the formerly staid Nissan product line. These are the wonderful fruits of valuing the differences—improved processes, surprising BUT I’VE CHANGED MY OLD HABITS seek them out. some of the most difficult years in history new products, synergies everywhere. The with vAuto—and transformed my dealerships. for carmakers. whole is greater than the sum of the parts. You have true creative cooperation that “There is Ghosn achieved this success by leveraging the vast cultural differences within his global produces things no one has achieved before. And, as at Nissan, perhaps the greatest great wisdom corporation. Instead of suppressing dissent, benefit of synergy is that it bonds people in training he welcomed divergent voices as an asset even though they differ. Any time you and I the mind to rather than a disadvantage. “I have always listen to each other deeply, and we produce — Gary Duncan, Dealer respond to believed that you can learn the most from something together that was not there before, (and Classic Car Collector) disagreement people who are not just like you,” Ghosn that memory is bonding. Duncan Automotive Network in entirely the said. “Seeing issues from someone else’s Roanoke, Virginia opposite way...” perspective can be very instructive.” If both of us think alike, one of us is unnecessary. Ghosn based Nissan’s recovery program on It’s only natural to react defensively when genuinely multicultural teams. Once he had Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of faced with someone who disagrees with you, communicated clearly the common purpose, FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 Duncan Other software is made to look like vAuto. But nothing else works like it. even when they mean well. But the identities to resurrect this great company, he set out Habits of Highly Effective People. He can Automotive Network of too many leaders are intertwined with deliberately to mix styles of thinking from be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e- % of used vehicles sold Forget 60 days. Dealerships using vAuto are regularly turning used cars in under 45. Proof positive their need to have all the answers. There is different nations in order to get the best of mail at scovey@autosuccessonline.com. 72% increase that vAuto empowers you to achieve new standards. Live market data becomes investment insight. #% Extreme turn drives record profits. This is the formula for used car success in today’s market. And vAuto — the software, the people and the vision — is the only solution that can deliver it. #% before with vAuto vAuto See for yourself. Sign up for a demo of the vAuto suite at0 vAuto.com/turn or call 888-536-4086.8 www.autosuccessonline.com
  5. 5. marketingsolution SusanGivens required documentation necessary to receive their funding from the government. To get the funding within 10 days of the application, DEALER DOMINATES CASH dealers must prove the vehicle was operable, has been owned, registered and insured in the buyer’s name for a minimum of one FOR CLUNKERS MARKET year, and was salvaged according to program guidelines that will be published on July 23, 2009 on www.Cars.gov. Paragon Honda and marketing, and that is exactly what Paragon search marketing, e-mail marketing, Acura of Queens, has done. banner ads, print, PR, radio, point of This thoughtful marketing campaign has NY had already collected over 1,000 leads sale merchandising and, of course, the given Paragon a head start in the New York before President Obama signed the “Cash National and Regional Strategy aforementioned Web sites. area. Paragon’s early success has already for Clunkers” bill into law, and they have Paragon positioned themselves as the go-to sold them more than 40 new vehicles and continued to collect thousands more through resource for “cash for clunkers” information Paragon’s Targeted Marketing Plan hopefully this article will help other dealers their targeted marketing strategy. in their market. Their Web site, www. On average, approximately 10 to 15 percent create a winning strategy to maximize this CashForClunkersNY.com, is an information of a particular market qualifies for the historic opportunity in their market. “These customers have a $4,500 advantage, portal that helps consumers learn about program. Paragon used www.ClunkerList. so they are a great customer to target,” the program and connects them with the com, a list of the top-200 markets that For More Information said Paragon GM and Vice President Brian dealership to get pricing information. The shows the numbers of vehicles that qualify • To view Paragons regional Web site, Benstock. “While other dealers are waiting Web site was built for free by their national for the program, along with another sub- visit www.CashForClunkersNY.com. for July 23, we have already contacted all the “cash for clunkers” network partner, list that shows customers who qualify for • To view a summary of Paragons qualified consumers in our market.” www.CashForClunkersInformation.org, the program and have a higher probability strategy, visit a consumer information site that educates of qualifying for financing. Paragon www.ClunkerCampaign.com. As is widely known by now, the federal consumers and helps them find licensed implemented a targeted campaign to all the • To view the government’s Web site, visit government is allocating between $1 to dealers in their markets. clunker prospects in their market before their program and to remind consumers who don’t information. After consumers learn about www.Cars.gov. 4 billion to provide consumers $4,500 competitors because they had the campaign qualify for the government’s program that the program, dealers will have to highlight vouchers towards the purchase of a new, By partnering with www. ready to go before the bill was passed. they can qualify for the manufacturer and the incremental incentives offer above and For more information about the Cash for more energy-efficient vehicle. The program CashForClunkersInformation.org, Paragon dealer incentive programs. beyond the $4,500 rebates. Clunkers program, visit is scheduled to run between July 1 and receives all the national leads from the site, Web Marketing www.CashForClunkersInformation.org. Nov. 1, 2009, or when the funds run out, and has benefited from their three celebrity To inform everyone who visits their Publicity Point of Sale Merchandising whichever comes first. spokespeople (Mexican actress, singer dealership Web site, Paragon added the If you Google www.CashForClunkersNY. Consumers who visited Paragon immediately Campaign Materials and comedienne Angelica Vale, “Dancing “Cash for Clunkers” logo on their home com you will see some of the press Paragon saw their in-store merchandising that If there are a lot of dealers like Paragon, the with the Stars” actor Cristian de la Fuente page, which leads consumers to www. and their Web site has received in the confirmed they were a participating funds will most definitely run out before the and former Chief of the U.S. Office of CashForClunkersNY.com. Paragon appears last few weeks. The national site, www. “cash for clunkers” dealer. The in- Nov. 1 deadline because of the aggressive Citizenship Alfonso Aguilar), who have first for people searching “Cash for Clunkers CashForClunkersInformation.org, generated store merchandising also clearly marketing campaigns aimed at getting more promoted the organization on the biggest NY” in their market (you can test this for all of the local press, and positioned explained the program. The than their fair share of the $1 billion in news outlets in English and Spanish. While yourself with Google). They are also in Benstock as the subject-matter expert with merchandising includes posters, rebate money. Paragon does not get all the leads from the many articles that appear first in the top the local media. As a result, he did both placemats, hang tags and a brochure. national and local TV (NY1), radio, print The official name of the bill that was Summary of Cash for C.A.R.S. Program and online interviews. As a result of the Dedicated Team and Process passed is the Consumer Assistance New Vehicle Minimum Fuel Economy $3,500 Voucher $4,500 Voucher publicity, consumers who are learning about The above average response rates to Recycle and Save Program for New Vehicle the CARS program for the first time are have generated call volume that is (C.A.R.S.). You can visit www. All Passenger Cars 22 mpg Mileage improvement of Mileage improvement of only one click away from their information beyond Paragon’s BDC capacity, so (EPA Combined) at least 4 to 9 mpg at least 10 mpg portal, which sends leads directly to their all Paragon’s leads are being directed ConsumerAssistanceToRecycleAndSave. org to view legislation and a summary of the Light-Duty Truck (1) 18 mpg Mileage improvement of Mileage improvement of dealership. to the campaign call center. The call (EPA Combined) at least 2 to 5 mpg at least 5 mpg rules. The program is being implemented center schedules the appointments by the NHTSA, which will post the rules on Large Light-Duty 15 mpg Mileage improvement of Mileage improvement of Traditional Advertising and sends a confirmation e-mail Truck (2) (up to 8,500 Pounds) (EPA Combined) at least 1 mpg at least 2 mpg July 23rd at www.cars.gov, the only official Paragon used a half-page print ad and with instructions and directions. government Web site. Figure 1 shows a Work Truck (3) N/A Trade-in must be similar N/A limited radio. All of the ads had the same The dealership then confirms the (8,500 to 10,000 Pounds) in size or smaller summary of the program. credible message that positioned Paragon appointment and sells the car. Follow- and its consumer portal as the “cash up on no-shows and unsold prospects The dealerships reaching these consumers national site, they get the leads for their search phrases in New York. Paragon also for clunkers” resource for information. is done by their BDC and sales staff. first not only will take advantage of the particular market. In addition, Paragon has has banner ads that have remarkably high Paragon’s radio ads are short news updates dramatic increase in demand that this licensed the entire marketing campaign to click-through rates and lead conversions. that inform customers about the government Vehicle Disposal & Receivables bill is designed to create, but will also promote the program to qualified consumers Finally, they sent an e-mail campaign to rebate program and drive them to Paragon has set up processes that build a large local database for future through targeted mail to the clunker list, their customer base to inform them of the www.CashForClunkersNY.com for more start on the initial call to get the1 10 1 www.autosuccessonline.com the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  6. 6. 7 Key Benefits of TotalControl DOMINATOR TotalControl DOMINATOR: Automated Used Vehicle 1. Incredibly low cost per lead SEM Process: 2. Your used vehicles advertise 1. Used vehicle is added to the dealership themselves on Google, Web site Yahoo, and MSN/Bing 2. SEM campaigns are automatically generated, 3. Dynamic budget control, specific to the make and model in that Let’s imagine a The New Solution for Used Vehicle SEM Success giving you the power to particular market typical scenario: You For the first time in the automotive sales field, dealers can now turn your reach up and down are a Subaru dealer; efficiently advertise all pre-owned inventory online. As soon as 3. SEM campaign is monitored for maximum you have just sold a used vehicle is added to the Web site, technology like TCD can 4. Your advertisements can begin delivering results, based on which search terms are a new Forester and recognize the unit and create an SEM campaign specifically for results in seconds successful at generating click throughs now you have the that vehicle. The vehicle is then advertised through search engines, shopper’s trade-in, with the terms that shoppers are most likely to use. This includes 5. 100 percent transparent reporting, including 4. SEM campaigns for that vehicle are a 2005 Ford Focus campaigns for “long tail” searches, for example “2005 Ford Focus, every keyword and what you’re paying automatically removed once the vehicle is sold that you need to Orlando FL,” rather than merely generic campaigns. Furthermore, in 6. Full conversion tracking, including phone calls sell as quickly as the case of TCD, advertisements are created based on Dealer.com’s possible. Since 80 10 years of experience with SEO and SEM keywords for specific and form submissions percent or more of geographic regions and OEMs. This deep knowledge base helps 7. Target shoppers by region, town, and even consumers search ensure that your campaigns include the best search terms, specific to household income SusanGivens for vehicles online, your vehicles in your market. the obvious solution is to advertise online. But how? With so many pre-owned vehicles This technology also allows you to edit your used car advertising on your lot, how can you possibly set up and manage effective budget in real time. The gratification of real-time changes is a plus, campaigns for every used car in your inventory? Historically, but is nothing compared to the gratification of the resulting increase successful use of search engine marketing (SEM) for non- in your ROI. Options also exist to have in-house SEM experts much more specific. An exact make, model, year and location are also highly customizable, allowing control of campaigns by franchise, pre-owned inventory has been virtually impossible. Even personally manage all campaigns. more likely as the consumer gets closer to making a purchase. region, town, income level and more. The combination of highly with dedicated resources to manage these campaigns, creating, Specific keywords return specific results. When a user clicks on an targeted marketing with deep links and conversion tracking enables monitoring and evaluating results for all used cars could be a full- Leads generated from search marketing campaigns are among ad for a “2005 Ford Focus, Orlando FL,” they should be taken to dealers to reach a level of optimization that was simply impossible time job for a team of staff members. In addition, outsourcing this the most cost-effective of all lead sources. These first-party leads, an inventory listing page for that specific vehicle in-stock, on the before the latest iteration of TCD. Imagine marketing that literally job can be prohibitively expensive. Meanwhile, there are shoppers generated from the dealership’s own Web site, have the highest dealership Web site and available for immediate purchase. This steps into the consumer’s door, addresses their exact needs (their online, every day, searching for pre-owned vehicles that you have closing rates of all leads sources. With the ease and automation of is often referred to as “deep linking.” SEM campaigns that link location, their income, their preferred vehicle) and takes them to a on your lot. It is impossible to calculate the full value of these platforms such as TCD, it’s now possible to market all pre-owned directly to specific vehicle inventory pages have a much higher lead page that provides them with a detailed look at a real car, ready for missed opportunities, but the value is obviously high. inventory through SEM and increase these valuable leads. generation rate than those that merely link to the home page or other purchase at your dealership. generic dealership or vehicle information page. Advanced software The Problem with Used Vehicle SEM in the Past Advanced software such as TCD is also more effective than other, packages such as TotalControl DOMINATOR deep links your used This specificity allows you to maintain relevance with search The problem in the past was that adverting used vehicles through older SEM applications because this new class is specifically vehicle campaigns to provide the most direct connection between engines, without necessarily being supported by a franchise name. SEM was a labor-intensive manual process. For example, a designed for online automotive retail, enabling the fastest, easiest shoppers and your pre-owned inventory. These keywords and deep For example, used inventory is typically composed of a number of used vehicle arrives at the dealership and is added to the Web to use campaigns and relevant reporting. Further, this technology links are the most likely to convert to leads and sales. brands. Without SEM, marketing a brand that isn’t on your sign is site. Someone must then enter the vehicle’s details into an SEM automatically removes keywords that are not working and shows all next to impossible. Further, this same targeting can be applied to campaign management tool and manually select search terms to phone, form and e-mail leads. Another important feature of this type of marketing is conversion parts, service, new inventory and any dealership profit center. bid on. Then, someone must monitor the campaign continuously to tracking. When done correctly, dealers can track leads through the see which search terms are effective and which are not. After that, Though making changes is relatively simple, it is necessary to sales process from the initial keyword searched, to a phone call or Next generation software solutions such as TotalControl the search terms should be regularly altered, based on results. Once actually view campaign details; transparency is truly the key to form submission and finally to a sale. It’s clear that the measurability DOMINATOR also allow dealers to generate ads based on days on the vehicle is sold, the campaign would then need to be removed running successful campaigns. Knowing your budget, keywords of SEM far outweighs the measurability of any previous advertising the lot and pricing criteria, enabling enhanced campaign fine tuning, from the system. And, after all that work, depending on available and cost per click means owning the campaign and making method. Conversion tracking coupled with true transparency means based on the criteria that are most important to your sales. And after reporting and ties to your Web site, you may not even know if changes when you see fit. Technology such as TotalControl more control for the dealer. Not only are dealers able to see what vehicles are sold and removed from the dealership Web site, any the sale resulted from one of your campaigns. And this is just an DOMINATOR’s reporting transparency means detailed knowledge keywords they’re using and how much they’re paying for each, but campaigns for those vehicles automatically end, eliminating any example of one vehicle. The same work is required for every single of all keywords, their cost, their performance, ad language, etc. also how keywords are performing comparatively. This allows for wasteful spending. TCD offers your dealership the power of full used vehicle on the lot. A new technology, however, does exist to And, in TCD’s case, these data points are filtered through Dealer. future campaign tailoring and ultimately an even stronger ROI. integration between your Web site inventory and your used-vehicle streamline this process. com’s knowledge of users’ historic search patterns. search engine marketing, leading to more pre-owned vehicle sales. Technology such as TCD also balances your spend according to With Dealer.com’s latest version of TotalControl DOMINATOR Specificity Leads to Sales: your inventory, its data points and audience, to reach the optimal (TCD), for example, you can now automatically and cost-effectively Keywords, Deep Links and Transparent Reporting position. In the case of TotalControl DOMINATOR, it benefits For more information about Dealer.com contact us advertise all pre-owned inventory, regardless of make and model, At the beginning of the sales funnel, keywords are general. As from the knowledge of Dealer.com’s extensive SEO and SEM at 866.898.4617, or by e-mail at through SEM. consumers reach a deeper point in the funnel, keywords become experience, in all markets, specific to geography and OEMs. It’s dealer.com@autosuccessonline.com.1 12 3
  7. 7. marketingsolution MattBaker ARE YOUR EMOTIONS PREVENTING YOUR SUCCESS? Remember the good like the safest way out. Without advertising, season at 12-4. What would you do? old days when the however, we lose the ability to effectively automotive industry would sell 16 million or attract new or even repeat customers, In reality, this situation is not any different more new units in a single year? Sure you do. ultimately allowing our competition to gain than what we currently face. Much like the The thrill, the excitement, the busy showroom market share and our valued employees to football team, we have been stricken with buying frenzy — it’s hard to forget. jump ship. an injured economy that has made playing to win tough. As a result, we now have to Yet as our economy continues to slowly chug I have to believe that managers and sales make a decision. We can choose to blame along, the thrill and excitement we remember reps are watching more than ever before the circumstances, take the loss and close may now seem impossible to come by. at whether or not their dealers continue the dealership. We can continue on the same For many, the fear of loss now outweighs to invest in advertising. Good managers path, watch our competition gain market the thrill of gain. As a number of dealers, and sales reps understand that a dealer’s share, and hope we end the season break managers and sales staff face the pressures investment in advertising is also an even. Or we can decide to make a change, brought by a lack of sales, possible job loss investment in their people. If these valued gain market share with the home field or franchise failure, the ambition they once employees don’t see efforts being made to advantage, and end this season better than had has now become clouded with feelings help secure their future, chances are they will we began it. of doubt. In the end, these dealers, managers, move on to another dealer in the market who and sales people are left with little drive to is willing to invest in them. Some say the best way to stabilize one’s initiate the change necessary to help their self in rough waters is to look towards the dealerships succeed, or even survive. Lately, I have noticed an increasing trend horizon. Given the ups and downs of today’s among many of the dealers I speak with. economy, this couldn’t be truer. This shift from optimism to doubt is what While these dealers hope for a light at has largely contributed to the stagnant state the end of the tunnel, they have become of today’s automotive industry. If we want We will always encounter issues that will be paralyzed by fear of the unknown. Without beyond our control. However whether we to bring back the momentum of the good being willing to take a chance we become old days, we need to shift our focus from sink or float is mostly determined by how we unable to make conscious decisions to help perceive the situation. “why things won’t work” to “how will we move ourselves closer to the light. Yes, in make it work?” tough times every penny counts, causing If we allow fear and uncertainty to decisions to become more difficult to make. overshadow ambition we will continue In the good old days, I remember calling Indecision, however, is not an option that to stay stagnant, making the thrill and on dealers and managers who exuded will get you from where you are to where excitement of the good old days nothing confidence and excitement about the future. you want to be. more than a distant memory. Believe it or Today, however, many have changed their mentality to believe “that will never work.” Think of it like this: Let’s say you are the not, recreating the energy and enthusiasm coach of a football team that is half way many in the auto industry long for isn’t You’re right. Times are tough. But that does impossible. It just takes a different frame of not mean we should all stop trying. As I talk through a 16 game season. At this point your team has been hit with a number of mind these days to get there. to dealers across the nation, I am constantly amazed by the growing number who believe injuries and your record is 4-4. You have a decision to make. You can give up on the Matt Baker is the vice president of sales they will survive this recession without for G&A Marketing. He can be contacted advertising. situation and end the year at 4-12. You can at 866.618.8248, or by e-mail at just keep doing what you had been doing mbaker@autosuccessonline.com. Sure, budgets are tight, which can make and hope for 8-8. Or you can make the “going dark” with advertising dollars seem decision to work for the win and end your14 www.autosuccessonline.com

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