AutoSuccess .oct10

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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 .oct10

  1. 1. 2010OCTOBER
  2. 2. THE #1 SALES-IMPROVEMENT MAGAZINE FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE PROFESSIONAL AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or 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 40220.2300 Hurstbourne Village Dr, Suite 1200 Louisville Kentucky 40299 | 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, Account Manager Susie Horne, Account Manager John Warner, Sales-Improvement Strategistsgivens1@autosuccessonline.com design@autosuccessonline.com ddavis@autosuccessonline.com super6@autosuccessonline.com shorne@autosuccessonline.com jwarner@autosuccessonline.comfeature solution leadership solution marketing solution sales & training solution INTERNET: A WIN-WIN FOR CAR BUYERS AND DEALERS KEEP TUNED THE ENGINE THAT DRIVES INTERNET SALES THE DEATH OF THE TRADITIONAL DEALERSHIP PART 4 HOW PHIL LONG FORD OF CHAPEL HILLS INCREASED Joe Trujillo about WHAT EXACTLY IS AN INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP? something so successful be AutoSuccess , MARKET SHARE IN A STRUGGLING ECONOMY How could bLinkedSM. interviews FIND YOUR VISION IN THE WORLD OF CRM so easy? FIXED OPS MARKETING 101 THROUGH CRM ALL OF THEIR GOOD REVIEWS ARE FAKE. YOUR BODY SHOP CANNOT WIN IF YOU GETTING CUSTOMERS ON THE LOT SOCIAL MEDIA - DON’T IGNORE IT CONTROLLING YOUR RESULTS WITHOUT CROSSING THE LINE Automotive Culture Versus CRMs DO NOT KEEP SCORE THIS PLACE SUCKS! An Interview With JoeTrujillo 18 24 30 32 16 11 14 20 26 10 22 08 JeffGrandstaff SeanV.Bradley JimRadogna HowardLeavitt BryanAnderson RichardWinch ChrisSaraceno DaveDunn MikeBaker SusanGivens MarkTewart BillPhillips pg 0 pg 0 pg 6 pg2 pg3 pg1 sean v bradley howard leavitt chris saraceno
  3. 3. SusanGivens marketing solution HOW PHIL LONG FORD OF CHAPEL HILLS INCREASED MARKET SHARE IN A STRUGGLING ECONOMYPhil Long Ford has increased its market share As a result, Phil Long has steadily increased different departments and our customersduring these challenging economic times in the loyalty of their customer base, their market received mailers, e-mails and calls promotingthe automotive industry by implementing share, and has even dramatically increased different services. Now our customersa conquest marketing strategy that targets their fixed-ops business by 190 percent. receive the right communications at thein-market consumers who drive the brands right time with the offers that fit their exactthey sell and who live in the ZIP codes that “We are up 45 percent in retail sales while situation,” White said. “It was a waste ofrepresent the majority of their business. Ford is up only 3 percent nationally in new money to send multiple mailers to the same vehicle sales, and our used car department customer at the same time. For example, if a“If they live in our market and they drive has never seen better trade-ins than the customer needs a major 30,000 mile servicethe vehicles we sell, then we want to service ones we are getting from this strategy,” and they are in-equity and qualify for ourtheir current vehicle and sell them their next said White. “Today, we trade from great vehicle upgrade program, we send them oneone,” said Jim White, general manager of one-owner, family-driven vehicles and it’s mailer and e-mail that gives them offers forthe Chapel Hills store. “We contact same- driving our used car business up. Plus, we both of these options. Some upgrade into abrand owners who live in our market with make more per used vehicle sold with these new vehicle while others keep and servicemore aggressive incentives to try our service great trades, rather than buying at auction their current vehicle, but we want all of themdepartment and to trade-in their vehicle when and bidding against 10 other dealers. My to do business with us.” By sending oneit is in-equity.” used car department loves this program and e-mail or mailer with multiple offers that are our fixed operations business has more than customized to their customers, Phil Long has doubled in size since we began this strategy reduced their marketing costs and increased in December of 2009. their returns per customer contact. “In the past we paid too many companies too “We take great pride in customer satisfaction much money to send too many campaigns,” and the number of satisfied repeat and White said. “Then, we consolidated our referral customers we see each year,” vendors and hired a team to send fewer White said. “Our ultimate goal is to create campaigns that promote all our profit centers: a ‘Customer for Life’ by delivering a New, Used, Finance, Service and Parts. The memorable experience throughout the entire customer receives less mail, we spend less ownership cycle, and it is working so far.” money and we have gotten much better results.” Phil Long has improved their profits by improving their customer loyalty and market Phil Long increased their customer share in sales and service. The Phil Long retention by implementing a comprehensive Family has become one of the leading communication strategy from point of sale automotive dealer groups in the country through point of resale. When a customer by exceeding customer expectations and buys a vehicle from Phil Long, the dealership providing the highest quality of service. contacts them throughout the ownership cycle with custom communications via e-mail and direct mail to thank them for their business, remind them when their vehicle is due for service, and inform them when they are in-equity and can upgrade to a new vehicle for a lower payment amongst many Susan Givens is the publisher of other customer-friendly communications. AutoSuccess. She can be contacted at 877.818.6620, or by e-mail at “We used to send different campaigns from sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com.08 autosuccessonline.com
  4. 4. When your work speaks for itself... Don’t interrupt. “G&A has the best advertising. We have used other staffed event companies and no one has even come close.” “The experiences we’ve had with G&A have Frank S., Subaru Dealerbeen amazing. But what sets their teams apart from other staffed event companies is they are really, really good to our customers.” Scott C., General Manager, GMC Buick Dealer Great traffic, great teams, great results. These guys are winners.” “After more than 25 hosted events with Pat A., Ford Dealer G&A through our companies, I am still convinced they are the best choice in marketing event companies.” “Thanks again for G&A’s continued professionalism and contribution to our Lionel R., Mazda Dealer bottom line. We were able to turn a challenging time in the business to one of our best months ever. That would not have happened without G&A.” Mark P., General Manager, Ford“The best staffed event team I’ve seen. Pleasure doing business with these “G&A’s event teams bring enthusiasm to our store. They excite our guys. Very professional.” managers and our salespeople, and they are very professional in Janet P., Ad Director, how they handle our customers” .” Independent Pre-Owned Mike T., VW/Nissan Dealer Email “TOP 10” to info@gamarketing.com for your FREE COPY of The Top 10 Reasons Your Peers Choose G&A Marketing. An informative look at G&A Marketing services straight from dealers’ mouths. October is SOLD OUT! THANK YOU! November events are selling fast. Book yours now before the holiday rush! Contact Matt Baker 1-800-688-1370 or mbaker@autosuccessonline.com for info. (800) 688-1370 www.gamarketing.comOUR MISSION: To be the industry’s best at leading dealerships to achieve maximum performance through marketing, training, consulting and motivation.
  5. 5. BillPhillips sales & training solution CONTROLLING YOUR RESULTS“Managerial database control” is my things they can be. The manager has been tech-savvy management team who just lovesterminology for your managers having involved with and has knowledge of this to spend time digging through lots of places tocontrol over your dealership’s incoming communication, or he hasn’t. You have find data on leads, I suggest you make fewerleads database. In more detail, it would an appointment or a time for a future places to look. Every place that leads areinvolve the management staff having control communication, or you haven’t and you just stored should deal with what has happened toover the database in the same way it would blew it. I know that, as you read this, you can the lead or what’s going to happen. Lookinghave in a properly controlled retail selling think of a few other things, and a few others at these storage spots and making someoneenvironment. For those of you who this might not be bad, but it’s the out-of-control accountable for their content is correctstatement scares to death, you might want to nature of what is happening in the database managerial control of the database.stop reading now. of most stores that this article is about. As I have stated in previous articles, theIf you are still reading, you have to understand It’s always amazes me when I open a store should own the process and it shouldthat having control of your sales staff means new client’s CRM or LMT tool and see be given to an incoming manager. “If youknowing who’s on the lot, who’s on a test drive, the number of places some well-meaning work for us, you will follow this provenwho’s being written up, etc. is paramount to individual has put in client information. For XYZ process or you can work someplacegetting results. Likewise, having control of your a test, at one client’s dealership I actually else” — that’s the store owning the process.database of incoming leads for potential new placed a status for “consumers who ate What I have found interesting is that bothclients is equally important. Just as having a pickles on Tuesday”; to my and the owner’s good and bad processes deal with similarproperly set up retail environment allows you amazement, within two weeks the sales staff characteristics very differently. Goodto know where the test drives are pulling up, had placed nine client records there. I did this processes have limited space to put things,who’s negotiating and who’s in F&I, having to illustrate a point that if you create a place and bad ones have an abundance of places. Ayour database properly categorized creates the for it, they will put something there. good process will have built-in, easy-to-findsame control and results. accountability, and a bad one doesn’t. Most LMT/CRM databases allow you to create your own storage spots called a “status,”Ecommerce leads only have a few limited I have included some simple rules to follow “stage,” “result” when constructing your process: or some form of 1. Separate leads that are under four days terminology to old and have had no two-way contact with indicate a storage anyone at your store. Phone? file area. These areas can often be restricted, and 2. Separate set appointments that are just that; not calls, and not e-mails. They have agreed to a store visit with a sales person. Smart! can cause auto- triggered processes or actions to occur. 3. Separate leads that have not responded and are more than four days old (they need Good tools make special effort now). Loyalty Driver this easy to do and 4. Separate leads that have had two-way allow you to call it contact and should have had managerial input E-newsletters are what you want and on what’s next. now available on build the actions — automated or not With these and a few other places as limited all smartphones — to be triggered spots to store, you will have better control and as you desire. Poor get more results of that control because you tools make you use know what’s going on. You will have control their terminology over your leads, rather than the “hide and and limit what you seek” games that usually exist as the staff cries can do with leads for more leads or about the quality of them. that are placed in Just another way to reach customers on the go. them. Database separation and control is only one aspect of what needs to happen to have a great Now that’s smart. Really smart. Limiting the places process. It’s a great place to start and a good your sales staff can foundation to place automated activities and put information required activities. You can’t manage what you is a good thing, can’t see, and we all know this. The more places For more information, visit our website, or give us a call: but is something there are to look, the more you won’t see. AutoSuccess.LoyaltyDriver.com | 866-964-6397 I assure you they Bill Phillips is the president and CEO of won’t like. Just Automotive Internet Management, Inc. He can remember: Chiefs be contacted at 866.593.7212, or by e-mail lead the tribe and at bphillips@autosuccessonline.com. the tribe follows. Unless you have a10 autosuccessonline.com
  6. 6. BryanAnderson marketing solution How? Start out small, and ramp up where you see the FIXED OPS best results. Service marketing shouldn’t be its own entity. Remember “who” is involved. It has to be the entire dealership. A dealership’s MARKETING 101 marketing efforts should flow from a single database — namely the CRM — and should be THROUGH CRM part of the overall marketing plan. Only through the CRM can a dealer market to every person who has ever touched the dealership, usingI have had the privilege of consulting literally What? compelling media to drive fixed op business.thousands of dealers over the years. In recent An oil change coupon or simple service Secondly, your CRM should deliver top-shelf,years, many of these discussions surround reminder is a great starting point. Build up to permission-based digital marketing. Customereffective marketing for their fixed operations. more robust offers. Also, offering customers behavior is tracked, allowing you to investThe great news? Service marketing doesn’t a variety of communication options is never where you’re seeing the best results, saving youhave to be expensive, difficult, complex or time a bad thing. There are so many options big dollars in the meantime.consuming. In fact, most dealers have the secret available (eNewsletters, Web ads, videoweapon right under their nose — their CRM. e-mails, text messaging, etc.), but ultimately, Answering these simple questions for yourThe CRM customer database can be three times the media selection is dependent on the dealership, large or small, will provide a startinglarger than that of the DMS, holding real power message. Take video for example. Video point for every campaign. Think it through, andfor fixed ops marketing. With the right data offers a more personal touch, helping your be confident in the media selection, message,in hand, the answers to a few basic questions clients associate a face with your service branding, and delivery method. And sometimesprovide a simple, fundamental approach to department in a “Why Service Here?” or a it’s helpful to get the input from those who havegetting started. “Meet our Team” video. Let the customer see done it before, time and again. Try reaching out everything you have to offer. to your CRM partner for a marketing consult onWho? what campaigns work, as well as how to build,Simply put — everyone! The owner, GM, When? execute, and track the results. Whatever you do,sales manager, service manager and sales Timing had everything to do with your ability dive in. The only thing to lose is the businessrepresentatives all need to be involved to create to send the right message, at the right time, to from customers who are about to spend theirand speak to unified brand messaging. This the right people. Once you are able to establish service dollars somewhere else.also creates clarity among each department, a baseline from responses, begin branching outallowing customers to receive a single message to more targeted campaigns to smaller groupsthat clearly incorporates the entire business’s of customers. Take care not to overwhelm Bryan Anderson is the founder ofpoint of view. No more mixed messages. customers by spamming the database. Believe Autobase. He can be contacted atRemove any and all confusion from the it or not, this approach will yield much larger 866.667.9659, or by e-mail atmessaging to your customers. returns than that of a mass e-mail. banderson@autosuccessonline.com. Ship Cars Port-to-Port New International Service from ShipCarsNow.com or Call 1-866-207-3360 Call 1-866-207-3360 International or register online Door-to-Door for our lowest rates Online BUILDING AMERICA® ShipCarsNow.com Easy the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional 11
  7. 7. AutoSuccess is always on the search for effective products and services available to the automotive industry that provide value and profit, while making dealership life easier. Joe Trujillo, general manager and owner of Johnson City Honda in Johnson City, Tennessee, is a dealer who, despite the dire economic forecasts that were so popular on the evening news, refused to give up and kept looking for advantages that would allow him to outlast his competition, grow his business and be in a position to take advantage of the economic landscape once things improved. We recently spoke with Joe to find out how he refused to participate in the recession, and what tools he used to come out on top.AutoSuccess: Joe, you’ve been successful in an economythat swallowed many dealerships across the country.What’s one of your secrets? Let’s get straight to it -how did your bLinkedSM deals work out last month?Joe Trujillo: One of the advantages we had was that we looked for tools thatcould give us the edge over our competition and help us serve our customersbetter. One of the tools we found was bLinkedSM, from JL Marketing. It’s adata analytic service that combines our databases, our vehicle inventory, themanufacturer incentives for the month, and the profit level we want for everyvehicle, and shows us which of our customers can easily get into an upgradedvehicle on our lot for no money down and, in most cases, a lower monthlypayment. The numbers are working out really well. We’ve had a lot of customerscontact us — just call the store and want to see the vehicles that they werematched up with. It doesn’t happen often that you are cold-called by a customer.AS: Well then, let’s talk big picture: What about the results?JT: The results are incredible. We average selling one vehicle a day through thissystem. People enjoy this program because it is painless.AS: Do you mean that customers are excited?JT: Yes — our customers are thrilled about this program because it makeseverything negotiation-free. All of the numbers are worked out ahead of time, andsent right to the customer’s mailbox or e-mail inbox. We can give them so manyoptions of vehicles that are right at their price point. These are all vehicles that weknow that they can afford, so it is great for the dealership because we know thatwe can get this deal done, and it is great for the customer because they know thatthey can get into these vehicles. With bLinkedSM, we can show the customer all ofthe options that they have available, and it doesn’t take hours of our time and theirtime. I don’t even know how much time it would take for a sales manager to takeevery car on our lot and run the numbers for a customer. This system does this forevery customer on our list. So, the customer knows walking in the door that theycan get into this car that they are interested in at $50 below their current payment,or that they can move up to the next model for $6 more. Customers love this. And,I think that right now is the perfect time for this program, because with the badeconomy, people are being a lot more careful and more restrained in buying a car.A lot of people won’t even walk on the lot, because they don’t want to spend a dayand maybe walk away with nothing. There are a lot of customers out there who justhad a baby, and would like to be in an SUV, or would like to trade in their old carfor a new one, but they don’t know if they can, so they don’t. A lot of customersdon’t even really know what they can afford. This program tells them flat out —here are your vehicle matches, and here is your new payment. It saves them anenormous amount of time, and it is so much less stressful, that they are runninginto the dealership. This system has turned us into a one-price dealership — all thecustomers are walking in with their deals already done.AS: Did you have any customers who were surprisedthat they could get into an upgraded vehicle?JT: We sure did. As a matter of fact, there was an older lady who got a letter saying
  8. 8. that she could get into a Honda Pilot for a smaller monthly payment all of the numbers every morning that it was a massive amount of workthan she currently had. She was so excited about getting into that car, on the sales managers. And, the dealership is real life; if somethingshe made us put the keys to the Pilot on the desk in front of her while comes up that the sales managers have to deal with in the morning,we went over all the numbers, so that nobody else could buy it. the numbers didn’t get run. But, with this, every day the service appointments that are coming up are matched with any vehicles thatAS: Tell us about the different components of the program. they can get into, and we have that information right in front of us. ItJT: After you sign up, you get together with your business growth is a huge time-saver. Now, I can go into my sales managers’ offices atstrategist at JL Marketing, and they walk you through setting up your any time, and they have the dealer portal open on their computers withdealer profile. This lets them know exactly how you want them to run the next appointment’s information up. It is so simple now. We used tothe numbers on every deal — whether you want them to include dealer do it manually, but it was killing us. What we used to spend two hoursfees, how to value the trade-ins, what kind of financing you want to doing, now it is five minutes.work with, and what profit level you want on every vehicle on your lot.You can be general and just give profit for new and used and maybe a AS: Is it beneficial to have all the marketingfew models, or you can list every car by stock number or time on lot for the program automatic?for the used ones if you want to. It is really flexible, but it also doesn’t JT: Yes, absolutely. Having all the marketing included gives ustake an afternoon to finish. I knocked mine out in 15 minutes and I am consistency. Our message is all the same, between the e-mail, thegetting great deals out of it. And, the good thing is that you can change microsite and the direct mail invitations. When you are dealing withit every month. That is so important, because your lot is going to look advertising and marketing, a lot of dealerships look for the needle todifferent every month, and the manufacturers are going to throw you move in 20 minutes. In marketing, you need to see the needle movecurve-balls every month, too. Being able to update your dealer profile six months down the road, and to keep moving and be consistent. Youlets you guarantee that the deals are going to be up-to-date every time. shouldn’t expect to have instant results when you turn on the faucet —It is really nice to be able to go through model by model to set up what although with this, we did!profit you want, and what you want included in the deal workups. Asdealers, we know what we need to push for the month. There is no sense AS: What kind of instant results?in giving away a car when you only get five a month anyway. Your JT: We had 50 microsite hits the first week of the program. The dayvolume cars, those are the ones that are shopped all over the Internet, the e-mails went out, we sold two cars off of bLinkedSM. The programand you can work those deals to your advantage. If you work this system was paid for within two hours of having the leads go out. We have soldwith your factory programs to make sure that you are putting the best a car a day on it since then.price point available out there, you will get buyers in the door. AS: The industry has been seeing a lot of equity programsAS: What happens next with the program? in the market recently. Is this program different?JT: JL Marketing goes in and downloads your data from your DMS, JT: Absolutely. Just because someone has equity in their vehicleand mixes it up with the dealer profile that you just did, and comes up doesn’t mean that they are the best person for me to market to. A lotwith your bLinkedSM list for the month. Then, they have custom direct of times, someone who doesn’t have as much equity as the guy nextmail pieces and targeted e-mails that all are connected with their own to him, I can move him into a car at a payment that is a much bettercustom microsite. So, the customer on the list will get a print invitation deal for him. Or, I can move him into a nicer car, maybe get him thator an e-mail, and it will tell them about these deals, and give them a SUV he wanted, for the same price. Just because he wasn’t finishedlink to a microsite that they can go to and see every car that they are paying for his last car, that is no reason that he can’t move out of it.matched up with, along with their new payments. And, this system gives us a fresh list every month for four months, so you aren’t going to be getting repeats, and you aren’t going to beAS: And you can see the customers’ microsites, to see bothering the same guy again and again just because he has equity inwhat vehicles they are linked to? his vehicle. And, you know, there are a lot of programs out there, butJT: It’s better than that — the dealer has what is called a dealer portal it all goes back to the marketing of the program. With this program, itthat shows us every customer and, with one click, we can look and ties in perfectly with the marketing strategy that we have used for sixsee what cars they are matched with, and print it out, sort it all kinds years. We aren’t just leaving everything else behind and going with theof ways, or download it into an Excel spreadsheet. Between my newest thing that comes down the road. We just attach this program; itBDC and my sales managers, that dealer portal is open all the time is embedded in our marketing strategy.at the dealership. We are scrolling down and calling people, and mysalespeople call 10 customers on the list a day. Or, we have it open AS: Did you have to change anything about thewaiting for the service appointments to come in. way that you do business to incorporate bLinkedSM? JT: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It gave us more opportunities andAS: Is the dealer portal easy to use? more leads with less manual work. Any time you can get your peopleJT: So simple. Some of our salespeople are not technical or computer out from behind the desk with their calculator, and in front of moresavvy. But they can jump on the portal and breeze through it. Within customers, you are going to do better. This program does all the workfive minutes, they are clicking back and forth and they look like they for us, and we just show the customers their cars and wave as theyhave been using it for years. It is up all day long. drive away in one of them!AS: How are the service appointments working out?JT: We love it. We have been working service into sales deals for the To receive a free information kit about bLinkedSM,past year and a half, but we were doing it manually, with some success, contact JL Marketing, Inc. at 866.856.6782,but it was like everything else; it just becomes so cumbersome to do or by e-mail at jandlsales@autosuccessonline.com.
  9. 9. RichardWinch marketing solution ALL OF THEIR GOOD REVIEWS ARE FAKE. THIS PLACE SUCKS!How does that headline grab you? I think it’s be, “How fast can I run in the opposite asked. They need to fully understand what allfair to say that while everyone loves getting direction?” Because, although there are of their vendors actually do, and have theira new car, most people don’t typically enjoy great tools to help manage a dealer’s online review-gathering processes explained clearly.the process of buying one. I think it’s also reputation, there are no radical shortcuts, no Because this world is so new, there’s a lot ofequally fair to say that more people will take magic wands — and authenticity is absolutely confusion and “too-good-to-be-true” promisesthe time to write a negative online review key. The story goes on: You sign up, and out there. When the dust settles, I thinkabout a dealership experience before they within weeks you get 50 new “5-star” reviews dealers will find that there are amazing toolswill take the time to write a complimentary and they’re showing up on Google Places — great “wands,” but no “magic wands.”review based on their positive experience. and your dealership is suddenly the best thingThe Internet and review sites have changed since sliced bread. Then the backlash hits, and Magic wands aren’t even necessary. Thethe game — like it or not. it’s a massive smack down: “All these 5-star cornerstones of a great review strategy are reviews are obviously fake,” “Fake Reviews: • Get total management buy-inToday’s Online Shopper Is No Dummy Yes, There is Something Wrong,” or how • Get set up right at the review sites andFirst and foremost, today’s online shopper about my obvious favorite: “All of their good directoriesis no dummy, and they have unprecedented reviews are fake. This place sucks!” • Monitor and organize reviews dailyaccess (right from the privacy of their own • Create the right review-gathering teamhome) to a universe of other consumers’ “Now what?” you ask yourself. Well, now accountability and incentivesopinions and a worldwide audience of their you have to undo this huge mess, if you can • Deal with the negative reviewsown, empowering them as never before. — and even if you are successful, it takes • Get real, happy sales and service customersIn addition, because online review forums considerable time. posting.emerged as a consumer-controlled alternativeto centuries of top-down, company-driven Authenticity This is the path to sustainable, believable,marketing —where real people can air their It’s not the dealer’s fault; when they bought organically generated customer feedback.real opinions about products and services in they were thinking: “Post our clients’ Dealers who embrace these cornerstones— review-site users simply don’t like when comments; that make sense.” Here’s the are generating hundreds of positive reviews,businesses game the ratings. It’s kind of a problem: What does not make sense is that leading to hundreds of high-closing new“new generation, new culture” thing. They the person who posted that glowing review customers a month — all because consumersrely on peer feedback more than ever, so they about his car purchase at your dealership also trust their reviews.demand that this information be authentic posted 30 other reviews that same day aboutand reliable. Once a consumer senses or his other 5-star dealership experiences, in all Never internally game the review system.uncovers that reviews have been gamed, they different cities throughout the United States The risks are potentially catastrophic. Beyondtake enormous pleasure in figuring out how it and Canada. “Oops! How does that work?” the viral backlashes, sites can completelywas done and then broadcasting to the whole says the savvy consumer who just figured it ban businesses, suspending their reviewworld the shady practices of the business. out, and now wants to share with the world privileges. Be authentic: there is nothing butTo make things worse, once “outed,” more how smart he or she is. That’s how it starts — upside and the dividends are tremendous.consumers jump on the bandwagon and viral on the Internet. You must first create a new review-aware andcomment, and before you know it things have review-centric culture within your dealership,gone viral. Can you really afford to put your There’s no doubt that online reputation and this is a top-down process.dealership in such a vulnerable position? management campaigns take some work. Some of our clients have used the phrase: “It For more information on how to implementShortcutting the Process became a bigger animal than I could handle.” a great customer review process, distilled“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably That’s why Online Reputation Management from what hundreds of successful dealersis” — that’s a tried-and-true statement. solutions are rushing in, and it’s great news are doing, while keeping it 100 percent real,Recently, dealers have been approached with for dealers. But now that more dealerships e-mail me at the address below and I’ll bea proposition, which, in short, goes something are “outsourcing” much of the heavy lifting, happy to send them to you.like this: “For a low, low monthly fee, we will a serious industry issue is emerging. How dopoll your customers and post their reviews you strike the right balance between havingto your benefit on the various review sites.” great support and not losing your authenticity Richard Winch is CEO of eXtéresAUTO. HeWow, that’s a no-brainer, where do I sign up? and control of the process? Dealers should can be contacted at 866.476.4389, or by e-mail at rwinch@autosuccessonline.com. not outsource their precious “reputation” toUnfortunately, your response should another company, wholesale, no questions14 autosuccessonline.com
  10. 10. Air-Traffic Control for our dealership...I know where every customer is andwhat every team member is doing. Thisis a huge competitive advantage and abig reason why we continue to sellmore cars.” Manuel “Manny” Souza Internet Sales Pioneer Director of Sales Anderson Honda SuperstoreSee for yourself why so many topperformers choose iMagicLab.Visit iMagicLab.com or call 877.373.4991. by
  11. 11. HowardLeavitt sales and training solution FIND YOUR VISION IN THE WORLD OF CRM Automotive Culture Versus CRMs“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible” of managing customer data and how it leads I got back to the dealership and asked my – Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) to an increase in sales. Not just collecting, DMS provider what systems they had for but working the data, truly retains customers, sales. A long silence was the answer. It wasHow many times have you read articles about increases profits and increases your volume. very basic, so like a lot of sales managers, Ihow CRM applications will improve your developed a home-grown system and keptprofit and sales volume? What is a CRM? Do you need to be digital to accomplish the looking for a better solution. Today, there areAsk 10 dealers and I think you will get 10 above? No, you can remain in the past and many in the marketplace and the confusion ofdifferent answers, depending on the way they continue to have some success, but the dealers what meets your needs can be daunting. First,run their businesses. It is a catch-all phrase to who have gone digital will eat your lunch. understand the vision. Ask what the culture inexplain a variety of processes that facilitate Learn how to manage data today. Do not wait. your dealership is? Will you have the strengththe collection of data. Understanding data to be a champion and make the next step tomanagement is as important as understanding In 1996, I had the fortune of being sent to a the digital world?the definition of the term “CRM.” week-long training program that Ford Motor Company was sponsoring for its franchised I hear the following objections all the time:Here is Wikipedia definition of CRM: dealers’ management. Facilitators ran the • My sales reps won’t use it.“Customer relationship management program and exposed us to major retailers • My manager thinks it is a waste of time.(CRM) is a broadly recognized, widely- outside the automotive world. Executives • Computers for all of my salespeople; areimplemented strategy for managing a from Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and you crazy?company’s interactions with customers, Burberry presented the way they interacted • We do not sell enough to warrant the cost.clients and sales prospects. It involves with their clientele. By the third day, I hadusing technology to organize, automate and enough and was not getting what they were There are more objections, but the biggestsynchronize business processes — principally preaching to us. What did selling clothes stumbling block is, no vision! How can CRMsales activities, but also those for marketing, have to do with selling automobiles? companies explain and show that goingcustomer service, and technical support. digital will increase and grow your business? On the fourth day, we watched a film about Dealers can relate to Website costs, lead“The overall goals are to find, attract and a clothing store in Dallas that catered to a providers and DMS systems because they arewin new clients, nurture and retain those the worldwide audience. Customers would call tangible programs and applications.company already has, entice former clients from all over and order a variety of items byback into the fold and reduce the costs of phone or mail. The store’s employees would CRM applications are about a process ofmarketing and client service. collect detailed information from first-time manipulating data that can help you retain buyers and then enter all the data into the a customer and sell a car. As a dealer or“Customer relationship management store’s database of clients. To complete future manager, you need every tool that is availabledenotes a company-wide business strategy orders from these clients was simple; it only to succeed in the current and future economyembracing all client-facing departments and required that the original information was of this country. Take charge and get educatedeven beyond. When an implementation is valid. Just look up the client’s name and there, on the digital world or data management, calleffective, people, processes and technology in one place, all the history and stats about it a CRM or whatever you like, but realizework together to increase profitability and that client was at your fingertips. The process that it is the future of how you will conductreduce operational costs.” was so simple compared to what we were your business with the generations to come. doing to see the basic data of our clients. Small shop or big shop, it does not matter;I did not always have the vision of data see the process and join the CRM club.management and CRM. I used to think there Digital was the answer, and my search towas always the next “up” to sell, so why replace paperwork with a digital solutioncollect names? Besides, I never had time to started that day. No more pulling dealfollow up daily. My second job as a sales jackets and looking for clues. All the timemanager was a disaster. I thought running wasted looking for deal jackets that were Howard Leavitt is the president andfast and working the floor was all that was misfiled or in someone’s desk drawers was founder of AutoRaptor CRM. He can berequired to succeed; pushing for the sale by over. I gained a vision: sharing data that contacted at 866.618.9053, or by e-mail at hleavitt@autosuccessonline.com.closing hard, not in collecting data. A few can be accessed on the fly, anywhere in theyears later, I started to realize the importance world. What an original idea.16 autosuccessonline.com
  12. 12. MarkTewart leadership solution THE DEATH OF PART 4 THE TRADITIONAL DEALERSHIPEveryone talks about change, but few people pricing structure and, therefore, part of the define a person’s dominant mode of learningembrace it. Change is growth, and growth negotiations and a potential objection. In and weave in the other modalities to put theis positive and unavoidable. If you don’t the modern sales process, you recognize the customers buying experience on steroids.change, the world will change without you trade-in as being a major comfort zone of the Utilize video, audio and experiential steps in theand leave you behind. In business today, customer and a great tool to build rapport and buying process and your customers will beginchange is occurring at a rapid pace and is find out the customers patterns of buying. to feel what I call the “Disneyland Effect.”causing the death of traditional salespeople as You will now address the trade-in willingly Create sensory amazement with your customer.we know them. up front in the process. People repeat buying behavior whether it’s in person or on the Your customer should never be able toIn the age-old process of selling, the Internet. The Internet is just another medium walk away from the buying experience theyemphasis has been on a linear “road to the used in the process and customers emulate have with you and compare it to any othersale” process. Step One leads to Step Two offline and online behaviors and patterns. salesperson. The traditional salesperson triedand so on. The Internet information age has to find the right car, information and pricemade the traditional road to the sale obsolete. In the traditional road to the sale, customers for the customer and hoped he got the sale.Your customer today may be on Step Three are asked to make a buying commitment Today, the customer can get those thingsor Four from the beginning, instead of the before they are given figures. Imagine scaring anywhere and never leave the house to gettraditional Step One. Traditional salespeople your customers so much before you gave it. Your marketplace demands more. Start totry to force the customer through a funnel them figures that you created a fear about reevaluate your sales process by thinking ofno matter what the customer says or feels. buying. That’s exactly what often happens the following questions:Today, flexibility and understanding in the in a traditional sales process. If you want to • What are other salespeople not doing?sales process is the key. commit a customer, do so throughout the sales • What would be the opposite of what other process in small commitments, based upon salespeople do?The traditional sales process talked about • What do customers want, and in what way the process and the value of the product andfeatures and benefits. If you are selling do they want it? their satisfaction. Get continual agreementsjust features and benefits today, you are • What would make you stand out from about the two things all customers care aboutat a strong disadvantage. It’s simply not anyone else? today — time and money. All people wantenough. You must communicate features, • What parts of traditional selling should to save time and money. Use these keywordsbenefits and value wrapped up in a story be tweaked, changed or removed throughout the whole sales process andand shared through an experience. People altogether to create an easier, better buying get agreement about how everything youwant to be involved and, when they are, it experience? are sharing with them, everything they arestrengthens their commitment. Traditional • What is the customer’s biggest fear and experiencing and the manner in which youselling is something that is done to someone how do I remove it? are doing it is creating opportunities for themand modern selling is something that is • What do I have the most fear about to save time and money. Perception becomesexperienced with the help of a communicator/ eliminating or changing in my sales reality. Frame the perceptions and thoughtsfacilitator/problem solver. process and why? and you will frame the basis of the customer’sIn the traditional sales process, price is decision all without making them commit to Usually the biggest rewards are in attackingnever mentioned until the feature-benefit a buying decision too early in the sale process the areas we fear the most. The things we tendpresentation has been made. Price is avoided when they don’t have enough information. to hold as the strongest foundations and thatand evaded. In today’s market, you cannot This old school form of commitment is just “If would absolutely be unthinkable to change areignore the issue of price; instead, you must I could would you…” run amok. the very things that tend to lead to the biggestaddress it up front to eliminate the fear and breakthroughs. Traditional selling is dead andestablish trust. By addressing price, you will Utilize as many modalities of learning as possible with your customer. Allow people that is a good thing. Ten years from now, themove the customer past price apprehension breakthroughs of today will be obsolete. Theand eliminate the fight caused by avoiding to see, hear, feel and experience. Old school selling was dominated by telling things to question for you is, will you be obsolete?and evading. This does not mean you have tobe a quote machine, but it does mean that you customers and making verbally dominated presentations. The problem is that many of Mark Tewart is the president of Tewartcannot be afraid to discuss the issue of price Enterprises, and the author of the best seller,to move past it. your customers are not auditory learners. The popular method of selling in the past has not How To Be A Sales Superstar. He can be contacted at 866.429.6844, or by e-mail atIn the traditional road to the sale, you would matched the way a customer tends to learn mtewart@autosuccessonline.com.address the customer’s trade-in at the time and absorb information in a comfortable way.of the appraisal because it’s part of the Through proper questioning, you can easily18 autosuccessonline.com li
  13. 13. 888.396.5911 www.autobase.net www.facebook.com/autobase www.twitter.com/autobasecrm
  14. 14. ChrisSaraceno marketing solution SOCIAL MEDIA - DON’T IGNORE ITImagine that you had an advertising forum that and support this ongoing facet of thecould provide you with a 1.9 billion potential business. This involvement is particularlyopportunities to market yourself to consumers. important during the first year of a newTo put it in perspective, that’s like advertising online marketing plan as everyone getsin a major newspaper 900 times during the adjusted to this new digital world and theyear, and each time it would be a completely potential it presents.different group of readers. Experts predict theInternet will have around 1.9 billion unique Have a “launch meeting” where all members “What everyvisitors in 2010 with more than 4 billion of middle and upper management collaborate to find the direction that makes the most dealership needsunique Internet addresses. These staggeringfacts present dealerships with enormous sense for your group. Work out who is the rightopportunities that cannot be ignored. will report to whom, what each person’s social media responsibilities will be, and how everyone leader with theDeveloping and maintaining an Internet will get paid. There needs to be a clear and passion, enthusiasmpresence through social media is a huge well-thought-out process for execution. As and work ethic toundertaking for a dealership, but the rewards the effort continues, monthly structure update get the job done.can prove to be very profitable. There is meetings must be done with the dealer, GM, This individual mustmuch more to the process than building a GSM, service director, and all key leaders to have a grasp on theWebsite and hiring an IT person to work continue to tweak the very elastic process of technological sideyour social marketing. What every dealership social marketing. As a relatively new field, of social media,needs is the right social media leader with the it sometimes seems like once you get onepassion, enthusiasm and work ethic to get the concept down, a new idea comes along to but must also bejob done. This individual must have a grasp enhance or replace it. Be prepared to be as creative andon the technological side of social media, but flexible as the technology. engaging with amust also be creative and engaging with a customer.”customer. Although you need to understand There are a few things to keep in mindhow the technology works, good social media as you build your social media empire. substance in a marketing plan.marketing, like any marketing, focuses on This isn’t an instant fix. You can’t put up athe people. A person lacking people skills or Web page and open Twitter and Facebook As you delve into the world of social media,business know-how won’t do for this job. accounts and expect to miraculously double remember that the return on investment your sales. It takes a long-term consistent isn’t as glaringly obvious as most traditionalMastering social media takes months of trial effort to build your following and allow it marketing tactics. There are no fancyand error. Going to seminars and meeting to flourish. Having an inactive account with postcards that customers bring in or couponswith social media experts is just part of a Twitter or Facebook is worse than having to be clipped from a newspaper. It can belong equation that will eventually teach all of no page. It would be like putting up a giant challenging to figure exactly what the returnthe jargon, decorum and unwritten rules of advertisement on a billboard, then allowing on investment is of this new media. Thethe Web. Just like you can not learn to be an it to fade over time until it is barely visible. inability to measure in exact dollars and centselite athlete at summer camp, you will never As the image fades, so would the perceived doesn’t mean it isn’t doing its job of keepingcreate a dominate presence on the Internet by reputation of your dealership. your business in the public eye. So, is socialsimply hiring a “social media expert” to visit media worth all the time, effort and money?your dealership once, even when followed Becoming active on the Internet doesn’t You be the judge.by quarterly visits. It is essential to have that mean that real-world strategies are nowconsistent presence of an on-hand and active null and void. Traditional marketing issocial media leader on staff. still a necessity, and social media simply supplements these activities. Think of it Chris Saraceno is vice president and partnerA fanatic and well-versed employee alone as the telemarketing of the 70s and 80s, of the Kelly Auto Group and foundingisn’t enough. Upper management must be but beefed up by some steroids. There is member of dealerELITE.net. He can beactively involved in attending some of the more meat behind the activities and more contacted at 866.449.0488, or by e-mail at csaraceno@autosuccessonline.com.seminars and meetings with social media relationship building than those cannedconsultants so that they can fully understand phone calls, but it still can’t be the only20 autosuccessonline.com

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