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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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  1. 1. AutoSuccess 2008 Synergy Sessions Recap, page 16 June 2008
  2. 2. June 2008 OVERCOMING “IT COSTS TOO MUCH” 8 TomHopkins Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. SELLING IS A PREREQUISITE FOR SUCCESS 10 GrantCardone address: 3834 Taylorsville Rd. SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN THE NEW EFFICIENT MARKETPLACE 12 DalePollak Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 Dale Pollak, Founder of vAuto, Talks About the New Used Car Market phone / fax: 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 ONE FANCY WORD 14 JimAdams web: INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP VI + 2008 SYNERGY SESSIONS 16 SeanV.Bradley & KarenUriarte team: Susan Givens BRINGING IN OUTSIDE HELP TO INCREASE YOUR BOTTOM LINE 18 DaymondDecker Publisher 19 BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE TODAY Thomas Williams JoeCala VP & Creative Director POISON IN LOW DOSES 22 SteveBrazill Dave Davis Editor and Creative Strategist VOICE MAIL - LIFE OR DEATH 23 D.J.Harrington Brian Ankney Sales-Imporvement Strategist RISE ABOVE THE COMPETITION Display Advertising Helps Your Store Stand Out Online 24 RalphEbersole Scott Schaeffer Sales-Imporvement Strategist LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS - FOUR FAIL-SAFE STEPS 26 PaulD.Cummings general information: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS How to Make a BDC Work for Your Dealership 28 PhilCalvert eNewsletter: 32 INTERNET FITNESS PLAN DRIVES CLOSING RalphPaglia RATIOS TO OVER 50 PERCENT AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Strong Web site and CRM Breaks Barriers for Mike Patton Auto Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible THREE QUESTIONS FOR LEADERS 34 JohnBrentlinger 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 STOP READING 36 HelmiFelfel 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 ADDRESSING THE NEEDS 37 changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess JodyDeVere Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. OF WOMEN WILL INCREASE PROFITABILITY 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. 1B12 Louisville, KY 40220. 16 26 helping to support...
  3. 3. STS TomHopkinssales&trainingsolution OVERCOMING “IT COSTS TOO MUCH” If you’ve been in discussing the vehicle. You should have how much a vehicle of that type would this business longer built some rapport, qualified and presented have cost. In that case, you will want to than a week, you’ve probably heard this the vehicle by the time they object. So, determine how much less they would want objection from at least one potential new you’re not discussing “a” vehicle anymore. to invest. When you hear, “It costs too client: “It just costs too much.” Or, you You’re discussing “their” automobile and much,” say, “Today, most things do. Can might have heard it in this way, “I’m really “their” benefits. you tell me about how much ‘too much’ interested, but I think I can get it cheaper you feel it is?” If the difference between somewhere else.” • “When you drive home with your new your price and what they want to pay is truck, the neighbors will be happy not only a few hundred dollars, build the value Everyone wants a bargain, but not everyone to hear you coming for a change, don’t once again. If the amount is larger, try the really believes they can get it somewhere you agree?” “reduction to the ridiculous” strategy. else for less. And, many who use this line • “Just picture the pride your child will will never invest the time required to shop display when the next time you pick It goes like this: Let’s say the challenge is around for a better price anyway. They’re them up after school, knowing you $3,000. Next, determine how long they’ll just playing the game they think is part have room for their friends and their keep or use the vehicle. “Mary, if you were of buying a new vehicle. So, how do you stuff.” to own this new minivan, how long do you handle this situation? • “Knowing that your wife won’t have think you would drive it? Do you typically to worry about fitting the kids and the keep a vehicle at least five years?” Get Begin by understanding that most people groceries in her vehicle will be a load them to give a number. Divide that number are afraid to part with their money. Money off your mind, won’t it?” into the dollar amount to get an annual equates to security. It doesn’t matter amount. If it’s five years, then that breaks whether you’re asking them to exchange If they’re still stuck on the money, say: “It down to only $600 per year or $50 per $9,995 or $79,995 for your vehicle. may very well be true that you can find a month. Walk them through the math. You similar vehicle for less money elsewhere. might even hand them a calculator to do People are happy to spend their money And, after all in today’s economy, we the division themselves. People believe the when they see that there’s more value in all want the most for our money. A truth numbers when they are the ones entering having what you’re offering than in having that I have learned over the years is that them. To break it down even further, divide their money. That’s where you need to the cheapest price is not always what we by 30 days in the month. That now brings take them in their thinking before they’ll really want. Most people look for three our $3,000 down to $1.66 per day. Then, consider making a buying decision. things when purchasing a new vehicle: 1. you would say, “Mary, do you really think The finest quality; 2. The best service; and you should keep yourself from enjoying the When a client objects to your price, the 3. The lowest price. I have never found safety and other benefits we’ve discussed first thing you should do is to feed it back a dealership that could provide the finest with this new van for the next five years to them. Warmly say, “You think the truck quality and best service for the lowest for $1.66 a day? That’s less than you would costs too much?” (Notice I said, “warmly,” price. I’m curious, for your long-term spend for a cup of coffee.” as if you’re asking for clarification — not happiness, which of those three would like you’re threatening them.) They’ll you be most willing to give up? Quality? This strategy puts the larger amount into a either agree or hesitate, re-thinking why Service? Or, low price?” daily perspective and makes it seem more they said that. If they agree, ask how much manageable. If they see it as manageable, they had expected to pay for it with all No one wants to own inferior products. their hesitation very often loses its strength, the quality and options it offers. List the And great service is always important. and they go ahead with the purchase. benefits they’ve mentioned they like about These words help minimize the price issue it briefly. What you’re doing is building and rationalize the decision to make the World-renowned master sales trainer Tom value in order to decrease their investment. Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins money resistance. International. He can be contacted at If they still hesitate, it could be that 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at Use ownership terms when they had unrealistic expectations about 8
  4. 4. STS GrantCardonesales&trainingsolution SELLING IS A PREREQUISITE FOR SUCCESS Selling impacts It is said that the No. 1 reason businesses salesperson and you’re one every single every person on fail is because they’re undercapitalized, day of your life. From the moment you this planet. Your ability or your inability but the truth is businesses fail first and wake up to the moment you go to sleep, I to sell, persuade, negotiate and convince foremost because their ideas weren’t assure you that you’re trying to get your others affects every area of your life and sold quickly enough and in great enough way. The fact that you don’t have the title will determine how well you’ll survive. quantities and the company ran out of of “salesperson” or that you aren’t being No matter your title or position in life, no money. NO business owner can build a paid a commission is only an oversight. matter what your role is in a company or business without understanding this critical Selling is the ultimate secret to any success on a team, you will at some point have element called selling. Think of any a person achieves in their life. to convince others of your position. Your action in life and I assure you that there’s ability to do so will impact you in a way someone at one end or the other trying to The Commission that will determine the very outcome of persuade the outcome. I find it comical when people tell me, “I your life. could never be a salesperson because I A golfer has a six-foot putt. He putts the could never work on commission.” I ask, Selling is employed, every day, by every ball and then does everything he can to “What do you mean? Your entire life is a single person on this planet — no one persuade that ball to go into the hole. He commission. There’s no salary guaranteed is excluded. Selling is not just a job or talks to it, he pleads with it, he makes in life. The whole world is on commission career. Selling is essential to the survival motions with his hands and he might even and the whole world is required to sell!” and well being of every living individual whisper a little prayer that the ball will on this planet. Your ability to do well in drop. All the while, his opponent stands life depends on your ability to sell others across from him doing the exact opposite. It’s been said that the best things in life are on those things you believe in. You need This example demonstrates that every free, but I don’t agree with that. The best to know how to negotiate and how to get one of us is always pulling for a certain things in life are those things that come as another’s agreement at some point in your outcome. a result of a commission for some extra, life in order to get what you want. The well-done effort. Happiness, security, ability to get others to like you, work with The degree to which you can influence the safety, a great home, a great family, you and please you determines how well outcome of things in life is the determining love, confidence, friends, your church, you will survive. Selling is not a just job factor of your success. For those who don’t your community, and on and on all are — selling is a way of life. want to trust the outcome of their fate commissions for someone’s hard work at to pleading, wishing, prayers and hope, selling others on a better way of life. Selling: (Merriam Webster dictionary) they must learn to persuade, convince and The action of persuading or influencing negotiate successfully. True love is purely a commission for another to a course of action or to the finding the right partner and taking care acceptance of something. No matter who you are or what you of them and continuing to create the do, you’re selling something. It doesn’t relationship and keep it growing. There’s Who does this not impact? matter whether or not you call yourself a no guarantee in life that you’ll be loved. When I say selling, I am talking salesperson because you’re either selling There’s no guarantee that a relationship about anything to do with convincing, something or someone is selling you. will get you love. First, you’ve got to persuading, negotiating or just getting your Either way, one of the parties is going to persuade the person to take interest in you. way. This could include debating, getting influence the outcome and it will either Then you have to find out what they want along with others, exchanging goods or be you getting your way or the other guy and what makes them happy. Then you services, convincing a girl to go out with getting his way. have to produce it and keep producing it. you, buying or selling a home, convincing But somewhere along the line you’ve got the bank to give you a loan, starting your A sale is made in every exchange of to sell the other person on the idea that own business, persuading others to support ideas or communication; every time and you’re the one that they can trust to create your ideas, getting a customer to buy a there’s no exception. Deny it if you will, a life with. And if you succeed, and exceed product from you and so on. but that won’t change the facts. You’re a the person’s expectations, guess what? You will get love. But you had to convince or sell the person first! Grant Cardone is an author and the CEO of The Cardone Group. He can be contacted at 866.865.3175, or by e-mail at “No matter who you are or what you do, you’re selling something. It doesn’t matter whether or not 10 you call yourself a salesperson because you’re either selling something or someone is selling you.”
  5. 5. FS Surviving and Thriving Check out Dale’s podcast entitledfeaturesolution ‘The Dynamics of the New Used Car Market’. visit in the New Efficient Marketplace Dale Pollak, Founder of vAuto, Talks About the New Used Car Market Most dealerships still operate from a principles. Whether it is the oil, grain, being advertised for over market money. an efficient market, dealers are either sailing decades-old playbook when managing their metal or automobile markets, if they’re on the seas with the wind at their back or in POPULAR used car business. To win, dealers need efficient, they’re governed by the forces of The single most important metric to their face, on a unit-by-unit basis, depending to adopt a more disciplined, investment- supply, demand and price sensitivity. These consider when deciding whether to purchase on the vehicle’s supply and demand. When I minded approach. The No. 1 reason are the important factors that are playing a vehicle, how much to pay, or how it say the vehicle’s supply and demand, I mean that dealers are not recognizing the full potential of their used car operation is the out in governing the success of your used vehicle operations. should be priced is the supply and demand of that vehicle in the market. Consider what its current availability (exact year, make, model and specific equipment) divided by GAS SIPPERS fact that they don’t understand what it happens when dealers receive a new hot its average daily retail sales rate over the last means to move from an inefficient to an The new car business has been efficient model from their manufacturer that has pent 45 days. There’s a direct correlation between efficient marketplace. for many years. Customers shopping for up demand and very little supply. Isn’t it equity, volume and gross. new vehicles have clear choices of where true that you can ask and get anything you An efficient market is any market where to go for identical vehicles and better want for yours, regardless of what your The good news is that the Internet offers location/make days supply available sold buyers and sellers have relatively equal deals. Because the new car business has competition is doing with theirs? That’s the same opportunities for dealers to Chicago knowledge of choices and alternatives. Was been efficient for some time, dealers well what efficient markets do for sellers when examine their market, and software the used car business efficient before the understand what it means to own new you offer an item for sale that has more packages and management and technology 2004 VW Beetle GLS Conv. 37 17 22 Internet? No — people regularly paid more inventory with a high day’s supply. They demand than supply — it rewards you with partners exist that allow dealers to examine 2005 Scion xB 50 40 35 money for their used cars than they would would never dream of purchasing new premium prices and profits. Conversely, live analysis of used vehicle markets, along 2007 Toyota Yaris S 54 19 17 have if they’d only known where other vehicle inventory with a high day’s supply when you offer vehicles for sale where with up-to-the-minute information about vehicles just like it were being sold for less. and then pricing it over the market. Yet, supply outstrips demand, you can’t price used vehicle supply, demand and pricing in 2004 Chevy Aveo 56 82 43 Is the used car business today efficient, that is exactly what car dealers across the those vehicles aggressively enough. It only their specific markets. 2006 Scion xA 60 32 24 and getting more efficient every day? Yes country are doing in their used vehicle makes sense. This principle is as time-tested — the Internet makes buyers aware of operations. as markets are themselves. In the efficient This information is the holy grail, and choices and alternatives for any vehicle in market, when considering what to buy, how can change a dealership’s destiny. Tell any market. What if you had to choose: you could either much to pay or how to price, you must know me a vehicle’s supply, demand and price Los Angeles pay attention to the age of the vehicle in the vehicle’s market supply and demand. sensitivity and I’ll give you a better answer 2007 Toyota Yaris 38 47 55 Thanks to the Internet, the used vehicle inventory or its day’s supply in the market, as to whether I want to own it, how much 2005 Chevy Aveo 45 94 95 market has become a commodities market. but not both? My professional opinion Here’s an example: With gasoline prices I’ll pay for it and how to price it. It takes Buyers have a multitude of choices, and is that you’d be way better off knowing soaring, we all intuitively understand that everything that I always knew about the 2004 Scion xB 45 92 91 prices are easy to find. Vehicles aren’t as the vehicle’s day’s supply in the market gas sipping cars are quickly becoming investment nature of the used-vehicle 2007 Honda Fit Sport 47 26 25 unique as they used to be, no matter what rather than how long you’ve had it in your the rage. I thought it would be interesting industry and brings it to life in a simple and 2004 Honda Civic LX Sedan 54 116 97 some dealers would like to believe. inventory. Think about it. If you knew from to take three markets — Los Angeles, non-threatening manner. If I’m talking to a the first day that you had a vehicle in stock Chicago and Tyson’s Corner, Virginia dealer, once they understand the concept of Consumers are no longer the losers when that it had a market day’s supply of over — and show you the top five gas sippers an efficient market, we can have a rational it comes to buying a used vehicle. The 100 days, how long would you be proud of in each market (See Table 1). Note that the and productive conversation about his Tyson’s Corner, VA new losers are dealers who have failed it? Answer this question: How long would ranking is based on lowest day’s supply, in inventory in terms of the vehicle’s supply, to understand the dynamics of today’s you be willing to advertise a new vehicle other words, the current available supply demand and price sensitivity. It makes 2007 Toyota Yaris Base 32 18 25 Internet-driven market. The days of for over market money if there was 100- divided by the average daily retail sales perfect sense to them, and it’s changing the 2004 Honda Civic LX Sedan 40 35 39 convincing people to pay more for a used day supply of identically equipped vehicles rate over the past 45 days. These are the way they think. 2005 Chevy Aveo 42 32 34 vehicle than they should are long behind in your market? I think the answer is that ones that people will beat your door down us. Rather, the used vehicle is going to you probably wouldn’t do it at all. So why for, more than any others. If you know this, 2005 Honda Civic LX Sedan 54 93 77 Dale Pollak is an author and the chairman 2003 VW Beetle GLS Conv. 58 27 21 bring in only what the market will bear are you doing it in your used car operations that’s valuable information. and founder of vAuto. He can be in the new efficient marketplace. All today? I can show any dealer that they contacted at 866.867.9620, or by e-mail efficient markets are governed by the same have vehicles with 100+ market day supply Now that the used car business has become at 1312
  6. 6. STS JimAdamssales&trainingsolution ONE FANCY WORD Liquidity — That is and is shuffled upstairs to accounting that the customer is the judge and jury of one fancy word before someone has time to send it in. our inventory. If they don’t like it, they will for what should be on every general not buy it. If they do not buy it, it gets old. manager’s mind, night and day. One of Require finance managers to get contracts When it gets old, we lose money. Period. the most important job responsibilities in at least on a daily basis (I prefer hourly). of a general manager is to watch cash Require them to collect stipulations up Take a snap shot of your inventory. flow and make sure that the dealership front and get the clean contract to the Compare your current new and pre- has enough operating capital to maintain office. Make sure the office knows that the owned inventory to your past 60-days its health. Many general managers forget contract must go out immediately. Nothing sales history by make, model, year, that watching cash flow is more important can come before converting contracts back mileage and actual cash value. You in the summer selling season than it is in to cash. may be amazed at how your current the fourth quarter. Yet, most of us start inventory looks compared to what you searching for money when sales slow in the Money saving tip: Put more than one are actually selling. You also may find late fall and winter months. contract in your DHS or UPS next-day out that certain vehicles sell well at envelope. You can cut your next-day certain price points. You may find out The truth is it takes money to make money. delivery bill in half by sending them you need to fire your used car manager. During the summer selling season, we together and using one tracking number. Think about it. We have hundreds of must stock more inventories (new, used checks and balances in place for our and parts), pay off more trade-ins and have • Get the Trade Title at the Point of Sale parts inventories, and very little for our more contracts in transit. All of this takes — Make it a point to send the salesperson new and used car inventory. cash. Here are a few tips to free up some with the customer to get the title. If there is of that frozen capital. If you get good at it a payoff, and the State holds the title, make Keep no more than a 45- to 60-day in the summer selling season, you will be sure finance gets a secure power of attorney supply of pre-owned inventory. great at it in the late fall and winter. so you can endorse the title when you get There is nothing more volatile than the lien release. A trade title lets you cash pre-owned vehicles. It is more work Pretend Like You are Broke a wholesale unit or put a retail unit on the to replace what you sell as you sell • Contracts in the Office are not floor. Quick solution — Get the title. it; however, it is exponentially more Contracts in Transit — A contract in profitable. Buying vehicles on today’s transit is the time between when the Money saving tip: Send a certified check market makes more money and makes contract leaves your dealership until to the lender that holds your title until more sense. the deal is funded by the lender. It is your check clears when you are paying not measured from the time the car is off a trade in. Include a note that says, Money saving tip: We sell cars one at delivered, sits in finance for a few days, “Attached is a certified check. Please mail a time — why not buy them that way? lien release today and fax a copy to the There are more outlets than the auction “Here are a few tips to following number.” to buy inventory. Street purchase, rental free up some of that companies and cyber auctions can help you • Avoid Employee Accounts Receivable fill voids without going to the auction and frozen capital. If you get at All Cost — I am a tender-hearted devil buying units just to fill a truck load. good at it in the summer too. If you must loan them money, open up your wallet. This is a business and not selling season, you will be • Sign every check: Look at the bill. In a not-for-profit corporation. I know that a Dealer 20 Group exercise, I sent a bill great at it in the late fall sounds harsh, but you can open yourself for $20 to every dealer in my group. At and winter.” up to litigation if you loan one employee money and not another. our meeting, I handed out 13 checks to dealers that remitted payment on my bogus invoice. Ask some questions. Why do we Money saving tip: If you allow your need it? Do we still use it? You will be employee to charge service or parts, cap it amazed at the amount of things you can to an amount that you could collect from discontinue without anyone noticing. their final check Here are just a few tips on ways that we • Take a Long, Hard Look at Your can free up frozen capital and make our Inventories — It does not matter what dealership healthy, happy and prosperous. we like. It only matters what the customer likes. Run your vehicle inventory like the parts department. In parts, we have phase- in/phase-out criteria. In parts, we have a Jim Adams is the general manager at way to identify our top-moving inventory Fletcher Auto Group in Joplin, MO. He can 14 and obsolescence. In the sales department, be contacted at 800.905.0627, or by e- we buy or keep what we like. Remember mail at
  7. 7. STS SPECIAL EDITION • SPECIAL EDITION • SPECIAL EDITION • SPECIAL EDITION • SPECIAL EDITION • SPECIAL EDITION • SPECIAL EDITION • SPECIAL EDITION SeanV.Bradley KarenUriartesales&trainingsolution INTERNET SALES 2008 20 GROUP VI SYNERGY SESSIONS This month is going in the automotive industry for Internet sales, for JD Power and Associates, presented the will assure the organic SEO domination over 15 million copies in print in several Kaizen is hard at to be a special BDC and technology. We received a lot of most up-to-date statistics and information they proclaim. Others have said that Ken different languages. Then, to top it off, we work editing the more edition, combining the Internet Sales 20 feedback and a lot of great ideas. as it relates to automotive Internet sales. Potter from Carsdirect had a truly refreshing threw in a straight-up rock star VIP party than 40 hours of content, testimonials, Group and the Synergy Sessions columns. Charlie also moderated a panel with D.J. perspective and appreciated his speaking that was hailed as better than most VIP presentations and the VIP party and will I want to thank all the dealers who attended Jeff picked a winner of the contest — Brian Harrington. The panel had some incredible style. Everyone seemed to love the stats parties at NADA. soon have a lot of video to post on our Web the event, which was held on May 13-14, Tucker, Internet Sales Director of Swope dealer experts on the front lines: from JD Power and Cobalt. There were sites and on the Internet for your viewing and all the sponsors, exhibitors and speakers Toyota in Kentucky. Brian won a VIP trip • Ed Naczi of Herb Chambers “oohs” and “ahhs” when Skoots and vAuto I had a blast presenting, too! On the first pleasure. for their participation, passion and expertise. to New Orleans, registration for the event, a • Jeff Kershner of DealerRefresh / presented some seriously unique technology. day I presented on Video Search Engine This was an awesome event, and I’m proud complimentary hotel room at the W for the MileOne Optimization (VSEO), elaborating on the We have decided to do the 2009 Synergy to say that, based on the feedback, we entire event, flights to and from the event, • Lindsey Toscano of Nelson Mazda Franklin Covey got a lot of respect from interview I did for AutoSuccess a few issues Sessions in March in Atlantic City New exceeded everyone’s expectations. a digital video camera, and VIP rock star • Joe Cala of Gateway Toyota the audience. When we asked attendees ago. I seemed to blow people’s minds Jersey. We are planning something huge treatment. Brian just posted his experience • Eric Painter of Peruzzi Toyota what some of the favorite parts of the with some of the most up-to-date statistics and special for Atlantic City. Please let us This was one of the first major events in and insights on Dealer Refresh. Feel free to Synergy Session were, the Franklin Covey in regards to videos and the Internet. On know if you have any ideas on what you New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, and, check it out. All of these dealer experts and their presentation and the interpretation of The 7 the second day, I gave my interpretation would like to see for the event. We are rest assured, New Orleans is definitely a dealerships have achieved national Habits of Highly Effective People as it relates of Dr. Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of going to start mapping this out in the next All I can say is that the speakers really did recognition for their success in automotive to Internet Sales departments scored highly. Highly Effective People. That was awesome great place to attend a show. The W Hotel is 30-60 days. Our goal at Dealer Synergy and their thing! We had an all-star line-up of the Internet sales and BDC. The audience was to do, and to get such positive feedback a nice, modern hotel and they did a great job AutoSuccess is to blow all of your minds automotive industry’s Who’s Who — the fully engaged with the panel, which was I love training and speaking in front of from the Franklin Covey organization on putting the event showroom together. and outdo the 2008 Synergy Sessions in Elite of the Elite. D.J. Harrington kicked off one of the many highlights of the Synergy large crowds, but this event wasn’t a Dealer my interpretation just made the whole New Orleans. the 2008 Synergy Session. D.J. is a certified Sessions. Synergy Bootcamp. This event was about experience that much more special for me. There is so much to go over, I am smiling as public speaker, a veteran of the car business, getting the best of the best in the entire Karen Uriarte is the vice president of I am typing out this article. I had so much a motivational speaker and a truly gifted TK Carsites, Dealix,, HomeNet, industry, including gurus, technology In next month’s Internet Sales 20 Group business development for Dealer Synergy. fun there! Let’s start with a special thanks speaker who got everyone going at 8 a.m. vAuto,, Carsdirect, experts and more. We got the most respected column, I will be going into detail about She can be contacted at to Jeff Kershner from Dealer Refresh. Jeff He was hysterical — very inspiring, very Carfolks, Franklin Covey — these research and data companies in the industry, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Internet 866.698.8719, or by e-mail at allowed Dealer Synergy and AutoSuccess motivating and very fun. If you haven’t seen companies were all on point, and they all like JD Power and Associates and Dealix. Sales Departments.” I look forward to all of to post a contest on his Blog (http://www. D.J. speak before, you’ve got to see him, came with their “A” game. I don’t have We got the most passionate and talented your feedback on that upcoming article. Sean V. Bradley is the CEO and founder of or at the very least hear him. He is truly a enough pages to break each and every speakers in the entire industry like D.J. a-free-trip.html). The contest was to get I could go on and on about how awesome Dealer Synergy. He can be contacted at legend in the game. speaker’s presentation down. All I will say Harrington, Jeff Clark, Dean Evans and managers and dealers to post ideas to Dealer the 2008 Synergy Sessions were. If you 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at is that the massive amount of feedback Mike DeCecco, James Bradford, Ken Potter, Refresh on what they thought would make had the polish, energy and were there, you know exactly what I’m we have gotten about the speakers and Tom Azbill, Tim James — just to name a the Synergy Sessions the best possible event content with a powerful presentation talking about. If you weren’t, don’t worry; the content was powerful and positive. few. Then we got all nationally recognized about search engine optimization (SEO) Everyone seemed to get something from all dealership frontline experts to present. Kaizen Multimedia, who has clients like and secrets for a very successful Web site of the speakers. Sony and Walt Disney, provided a state- campaign. We also decided to kick it into a completely of-the-art mobile video production team to Some I spoke to were really enthralled new stratosphere — we brought in Franklin archive the entire Synergy Sessions and its Charlie Volgelheim, the VP of automotive about the TK Carsites presentation about Covey. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective incredible line-up of expert speakers, along the “Power of 5” — the concept of having People is officially the most successful and with the thoughts of those who attended. multiple Web sites within the main site. influential business book of all time, with Creating a multi-level Web site platform 17 16 photos from left to right; Brian Tucker of Swope Toyota, Sean V. Bradler Mike DeCecco of; Audience participant Brian Tucker; D.J. Harrington; Charles of Dealer Synergy and Jeff Kershner of DealerRefresh; 2008 Synergy Volgelheim of JD Power and Associates; Mark Dubis of the Dubis Group and Carfolks; House of Sessions audience; Susan Givens, publisher of AutoSuccess; Blues VIP Party Band; VIP Party audience; Sean V. Bradley of Dealer Synergy
  8. 8. MS DaymondDeckermarketingsolution BRINGING IN OUTSIDE HELP TO INCREASE YOUR BOTTOM LINE Your team is the A good consulting company will start by blueprint for implementing a successful most important assessing your strengths and opportunities digital marketing strategy within your part of your dealership. If the team isn’t in order to help your dealership determine dealership. They’ll help you analyze where firing on all cylinders, you’ll have missed where you can grow your business. They’ll you are, where you want to be and how opportunities, which means lower revenues analyze the dealership’s facility, people, you want to get there. A good Internet and high turnover. processes, pay plans, inventory, advertising workshop gives your people the knowledge and more. Their consultants will share the and skills needed to get the results you If your sales people are selling more, latest industry best practices to help you want to achieve, utilizing the Internet to its they’ll make more money for themselves, customize a strategy to increase revenue, fullest, most profitable extent. which makes more money for your profits and market share. dealership, and a boost can always help A good training consultant will evaluate jump-start them into becoming happy, Then they roll up their sleeves and help your entire sales process, including wealthy selling machines. Sometimes, you your team learn the best way to sell more the pre-sale, sale, post-sale and resale. need a little extra help from the outside cars. They’ll walk you through the process Consultants will be able to perform to make sure your dealership is operating and make sure your people are selling services such as training your managers, at a high level of performance in all the best way possible. Some even have customizing sales-process training, setting departments. workshops for learning about and planning up a complete strategy for customer service your strategies to use the Internet to your on incoming calls, setting up a profitable There are many businesses out there that best advantage. Internet strategy, implementing a complete offer training and consulting that can help follow-up system for unsold customers, you hire, train and work with the best A quality consultant can prepare you helping you set up a complete customer people to deliver the best results. with a custom business plan and strategic relationship center, setting up an in-house training program with tools and training of your in-house trainer, and helping you make ongoing continuous improvement and evaluate your progress. Wish your coupons could hook more customers? No matter whom you hire, make sure they are staffed with fully qualified consultants with years of experience in Reel ’em in with the automotive sales industry. The team ith Now w Phone our Show Y delivery! Real Coupons ™ members should be Google AdWords certified, knowledgeable about emerging mobile customizable, trackable coupons. technologies and have experience and IMN Loyalty Driver™ is a fully managed expertise in dealership consulting. e-newsletter service that helps dealerships get the most out of their customer relationships. A good training and Internet sales Real Coupons works with IMN Loyalty consultant will help you stay ahead of your Driver allowing dealerships to easily competition and take your dealership to the customize, deliver and track professionally- designed coupons electronically. You can next level. It will help you close more deals even send Real Coupons to customers’ and generate incremental profits while cell phones with Show Your Phone.™ building a loyal base of satisfied customers. Using Real Coupons is easy, fast, and— When hiring a consultant, don’t expect most importantly—delivers results. anything less. Use IMN Loyalty Driver with Real Coupons to improve response and drive sales. To catch more business, call 866.964.6397, ext. 214 or email Drive customers in…For sales, for life. Daymond Decker is the product marketing manager for ADP Digital Marketing. He can be contacted at 866-964-6397 866.860.6287, or by e-mail at 18
  9. 9. LS JoeCalaleadershipsolution BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE TODAY “Success means until tomorrow. Matthew 6:34 (New Living can change them. I don’t worry about the doing the best we Translation Bible) says, “So don’t worry things I can’t change, because I can’t change can with what we have. Success is doing, about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring them. Therefore, I just don’t worry.” This not getting; in the trying, not the triumph. its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough is probably the most liberating statement I Success is a personal standard, reaching for for today.” Tomorrow has enough worries, have ever heard. Stop and think about the the highest that is in us, becoming all that problems and situations of it’s own. Why add truth of that statement. How many times we can be.” - Zig Ziglar more on top of it to make things even more have you changed the situations you were difficult to deal with? Deal with it today. I going through by worrying about them day Do Your Best once heard someone say that today is a gift, and night? And if they did change from When we do the best we can — where we and that’s why it’s called “the present.” We you worrying about them, they probably are, with what we have now — we will need to open up our today with the same changed for the worse. Someone once said, live in success. So many people hold back excitement, attitude and efforts as if it really “Worry is like a rocking chair—it gives and save their best for later. They wait for is a present. We are alive today. Today, we you something to do but it doesn’t get you a reunion, an occasion, an event, a specific can make a change. Today is always the best anywhere.” job, an important person with a special time to deal with ourselves. Today! title or even a stranger before they show Share your best with the world today, don’t off everything they know and can do. The Don’t Worry About it worry about tomorrow, and no matter what difference between “The Average Joes” One of the biggest problems that face our happens, you will be an Ultimate Success. and “The Pros” in sports, business, the today is our worry about tomorrow. Worry automotive industry and in every area of is one of the greatest issues that paralyze Joe Cala is an author, seminar leader, life is the discipline to do your best in your people, keeping them from moving into the and Internet/Fleet sales manager of field everyday. greatness for which they have been created. Gateway Toyota. He can be contacted at I once heard someone say, “I don’t worry 866.859.6402, or by e-mail at So many times we can get hung up on about the things I can change, because I focusing on the things we don’t have, rather than the things we do have. We think we need more equipment, more programs, more FOR SALE incentives, more people, more training, and more money to be our best. Don’t Revenue Generator misunderstand me; more equipment, more programs, more incentives, more training Approximate and more money is good and will add value Investment: $2,000 to our lives, helping us become and release our best. However, if we are not maximizing what we have in our ability, in the areas of influence and equipment we have now, we won’t when we get more, either. Use what you have now. Sharpen your skills you have now. Master your craft. Practice doing your best and when it comes time for “Game Approximate Day” you’ll perform your best. Monthly Return: “Don’t be afraid to give your best to what $50,000 !! seemingly are hard jobs. Every time you ■ Integrated Email Powerful, proven revenue generator. conquer one it makes you that much stronger. Excellent service history. Used by ■ Email Collection If you do the little jobs well, the bigger ones dealerships across the U.S. Perfect ■ Direct Mail tend to take care of themselves.” - Dale for sales, customer satisfaction and ■ Voice Messaging Carnegie bottom line. Runs like a dream. ■ eNewsletters ■ Online Appointment Give your best in every matter, both small Call Now Scheduling and large, and you will experience the best 866.628.6245 each matter has to offer. Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow Give your best now. Don’t wait until later or tomorrow. Start where you are now. Don’t let circumstances, people or excuses We do all the work... SM You make all the money! hold you back from giving your best. If 19 it’s in your power to do it now, don’t wait the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  10. 10. STS SteveBrazillsales&trainingsolution POISON IN LOW DOSES We live large in Consider a service department in which many consider a founding father of Japan’s the car business. every technician wastes one minute postwar culture of quality, taught that 85 Almost everything we do is big. The every hour. We’ll assume 10 techs in the percent of a worker’s effectiveness is due vehicles we sell are expensive. Our capital department, each working an eight-hour to the system he works within, while only investments are huge. The checks we write day. (see figure below) 15 percent is the result of his own skill. (or electronic equivalents we authorize) are In a dealership, who designs the systems routinely for amounts with five or six digits It’s clear that losing just one minute and processes? Who hires employees? to the left of the decimal point. Every fall per hour per tech will cost this sample Who trains them? Who is responsible we think nothing of ordering millions of dealership more than $27,000 in lost gross for assuring that established processes dollars of products we have not yet seen. profit every year. Across a 30-year career are followed? Where does the buck It’s no wonder the little things in life get in the business, that equates to more than stop? Before dealers blame their staff of lost in the traffic. $800,000 of profit lost — one minute employees, they need to take a hard look at at a time. Regardless of position in the their own role in the dealership. But little things can matter — especially dealership — dealer, service manager, those that are repetitive. Consider the value service advisor, technician, parts manager, The good news is that most dealerships of a minute of time. By most standards, a parts countersales, etc. — everyone eats off have many opportunities to recapture minute is not a big deal. It’s about half the the same plate. When that kind of money minutes currently being wasted. Every time needed to rehash last night’s football is taken out of the compensation pool, improvement you make will help reverse game, a third the time needed to drink a everyone pays a price. the profit drain and put money back into cup of coffee, and a small fraction of the the compensation pool for the benefit of time needed to find a misplaced set of This example has discussed minutes wasted the house, the managers and everyone customer keys. Dealerships leak minutes by technicians, but that’s not meant to else. While this article has focused on all day long. We know it happens and, in imply that technicians alone are to blame the service department, we can poison a perfect world, we would do something for wasted minutes. Certainly, every minute ourselves in other ways in all corners of the about it. But, with so many big things to spent smoking a cigarette, drinking coffee, store. Take a careful look at everything you tend to, we can’t let ourselves be distracted or replaying football games carries a cost. do repetitively and chances are good you’ll by something as little as one minute. Right? But those minutes cost no more and no less find a variety of low-dose poisons pulling than minutes squandered while waiting for you down. Dealerships are full of repetitive Maybe, but the accumulation of leaked parts, finding lost keys, clarifying poorly activities. Think about vehicle sales, parts one-minute time intervals can add up in written repair orders, locating misplaced sales, F&I, accounting and payroll. a hurry. A simple arithmetic exercise can special tools, or countless other events demonstrate how valuable one minute that routinely sabotage effectiveness. W. How can dealers best identify areas for actually is to a dealership. Edwards Deming, the American consultant improvement? Step back and observe the operational aspects of the dealership. a. Technicians 10* Solicit information from dealership b. X (times) Minutes wasted by each tech every hour 1 employees. Bring in an outsider who isn’t c. X Hours per day 8* part of the internal politics and can offer d. = (equals) Minutes wasted per day 80 an objective assessment. (Consultants e. X Working days per month 21* are objective and contribute best f. = Minutes wasted per month 1,680 practices from other experience in similar g. X Months per year 12 dealerships.) The important step is to begin h. = Minutes wasted per year 20,160 — then make it a process of continuous i. Minutes per hour 60 j. = Hours wasted per year 336 improvement. Don’t let the cumulative k. X Dealership’s effective labor charge per hour $85** impact of little events poison the payoffs of l. = Lost labor sales per year $28,560 big decisions. m. X Profit margin on labor sales 67.5%** n. = Lost gross profit on labor sales per year $19,278 o. X Average parts sales per dollar of labor sold $0.90** p. = Lost parts sales due to missed labor sales $25.704 ( = line l x line o) q. X Average profit margin on parts sales 33%** r. = Lost gross profit on parts sales per year $8,482 Steve Brazill is the chair of automotive s. Total lost profit labor + parts per year $27,760 marketing at Northwood University, Texas ( = line n x line r) Campus. He can be contacted at 22 * Insert your numbers ** Insert your averages 866.861.1515, or by e-mail at
  11. 11. STS D.J.Harringtonsales&trainingsolution VOICE MAIL - LIFE OR DEATH I knew a man who was a retired Army Ideally, voice mail was invented to give D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, colonel. Known to me only as Colonel Huff, everyone time to catch up on paperwork, seminar leader, international trainer, he took a job at a very large firm in Florida. but you’ll have plenty of time for that if and marketing consultant. He can be I called for at least 10 days in a row and customers stop doing business with you contacted at 866.855.5781, or by e-mail reached voice mail every time. “Hi, this is because they can’t reach you. at Colonel Huff. I’m sorry I’m away from my desk. Just leave your name, number and a brief message and I will get back with you as soon as possible.” Finally, in desperation, I dialed the next extension number and told the sales rep who answered that I had been trying to reach Colonel Huff. The woman at the other end of the phone gasped and reluctantly replied that Colonel Huff had been dead for two months. Apparently, he was one of several victims of a fatal small airplane crash. His passing was sad enough, but I thought that the lack of courtesy, human decency and not to mention the corporate miscommunication with the voice mail message was inexcusable. Why didn’t someone disconnect the Colonel’s voice mail, or at least tape another message for his extension? Leaving the customer in the lurch was not professional, and I felt bad that I hadn’t known earlier. The next time you are unable to connect with someone after leaving a voice mail message, tell them that you read this column, relay the story of Colonel Huff, and leave a message saying “I just want to know if everyone is alive and well.” Keep in mind these techniques when using voice mail. Return calls promptly. Don’t save voice mail with hopes of calling them later. Write down pertinent information, hang up and start making your call backs. Apologize in your voice mail message. Let callers know you’re sorry that you aren’t available to take their calls. More importantly, keep your message up to date. I called an association in late January and heard Christmas music in the background, and a familiar voice wished me “Merry Christmas.” Let callers know why you can’t take their calls — something like, “I’m in a meeting all day on Friday, June 20th” is appropriate. Tell them how they can reach another party. “I will return your call on 23 Monday; if you want to speak with someone else, please press zero.” the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional