autosuccessMar09

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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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autosuccessMar09

  1. 1. Listen to Our Industry Experts at www.AutoSuccessPodcast.com March 2009
  2. 2. Does your current F&I provider offer a full deck of solutions? My family is known for innovation, and we know a winner when we see one. vAuto’s Market-Based Stocking is both. It’s changing the industry. And it has already changed our approach to used cars. We’re finding profits we didn’t know still existed, and pushing our gross up 17% this year — while other dealerships are struggling to stay afloat. You don’t have to keep — Bob Tasca III, Vice President (and professional NHRA racer) the hand you were dealt. Tasca Ford, Lincoln - Mercury Cranston, Rhode Island You can rely on your Protective representative to be more than a different voice on the phone every month. When we walk through your door, we’ll be holding more than donuts. Because whenDON’T JUST SURVIVE. THRIVE. your profits are on the line, we think a valuable relationship is the best thing you can have. Tasca Ford, Market-Based Stocking Gives You an Edge in ANY Market. Lincoln - Mercury Used Car Gross All across the country, dealers like you are doing more than just getting by. In fact, they’re putting up record numbers in these turbulent times. How is that even possible? From the Up 17% $ industry leaders who changed the game with Market-Based Pricing comes Market-Based $ Stocking. Know exactly what used vehicles are moving fastest in your market — up to the Vehicle Service Contracts I GAP Coverage I Credit Insurance second, and down to trim and equipment. Stock your lot with the most popular and profitable Dealer Participation Programs I F&I Training I Advanced F&I Technology vehicles, and it won’t matter what the market’s doing. You’ll be one step ahead of it. before with vAuto vAuto Stack the deck in your favor! Call us to find out how we canVisit vAutothrive.com/asuccess or call 888-536-4086 for the list of cars enhance your dealer profits and customer satisfaction. 866.927.2914 www.protective.com/dealerservicesfrom your live market that will immediately impact the traffic and profits Vehicle Service Contracts (VSCs) and GAP are backed by Lyndon Property Insurance Company in all states except NY. In NY, Old Republic Insurance Company backs VSCs, and GAP is not available there.in your showroom! Credit Insurance is backed by Protective Life Insurance Company in all states except NY, where it is backed by Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company.
  3. 3. March 2009 feature solution An Interview By SusanGivens EVEN IN THIS ECONOMY BILL DUBE address: HYUNDAI ATTRIBUTES MORE THAN 72 3834 Taylorsville Rd. Building A, Ste. 1B PERCENT OF ITS ENTIRE DEALERSHIP’S Louisville Kentucky 40220 BUSINESS FROM ITS INTERNET SALES phone / fax: DEPARTMENT... 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 AND NO CONVENTIONAL ADVERTISING web: AutoSuccessOnline.com AutoSuccessPodcast.com team: Susan Givens leadership solution Publisher sgivens1@autosuccessonline.com 08 FOCUS Translating Lofty Goals Into Action Thomas Williams StephenR.Covey VP & Creative Director design@autosuccessonline.com 26 DON’T LET FEAR DRIVE YOUR BUSINESS Dave Davis pg22 JesseBiter Editor and Creative Strategist ddavis@autosuccessonline.com THE POWER OF REMARKABLE SERVICE Brian Ankney Solutions That Work Quickly Sales-Improvement Strategist super6@autosuccessonline.com PaulCummings John Warner sales & training solution Sales-Improvement Strategist jwarner@autosuccessonline.com 10 KEEP YOUR BOAT AFLOAT general information: TomHopkins info@autosuccessonline.com eNewsletter: 30 DO’S AND DON’TS DalePollak enews@autosuccessonline.com pg24 33 SAY IT WITH CONVICTION 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 OLD SCHOOL - MarcSmith info@autosuccessonline.com. Subscription rate is $69 per year. NEW SCHOOL AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing Time To Upgrade Your Best Practices 34 SPECIALIZATION: The Key to Increased Service Absorption 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 PaulWebb LawsonOwen 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 marketing solution 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. 16 WHERE THERE’S URGENCY, THERE ARE Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’ names CUSTOMERS available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling MattBaker 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B 18 CASH SteveBrazill Louisville, KY 40220. pg37 GOING ONCE, 19 TACTICS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR WEB SITE ‘SING,’ PART 2 GOING TWICE ScottWeitzman AND SOLD! DrakeA.Baerresen 23 IS YOUR DEALERSHIP RELEVANT TO WOMEN CAR BUYERS? helping to support... JodyDeVere 32 BEYOND THE WEB AlexBravy 36 YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET? YOUR CUSTOMERS, OF COURSE SeanStapleton
  4. 4. leadershipsolution StephenR.Covey FOCUS Translating Lofty Goals Into Action In prior columns, respond to this question: “Which statements intimidating place was driving away tourism I’ve talked about an are true about my organization’s direction?” and business. But how to translate that lofty “execution gap” in organizations, the gap goal into action? between setting a goal and achieving it. • My organization has a clear and To close the execution gap, leaders must compelling purpose Instead of doing the same things others had practice four disciplines of execution: • My organization has a clear strategic tried, the mayor’s team asked themselves direction what they could do differently that would 1. Focus on the Wildly Important Goal • I clearly understand the reasons for the realize the goal quickly and with relatively 2. Create a Compelling Scoreboard strategic direction little effort. 3. Translate Lofty Goals into Action • Our organizational goals are clearly 4. Hold Everyone Accountable All of the connected to my organization’s mission One of the first and last impressions of Time and strategy. New York for anyone visiting the city was • I clearly understand what I am supposed the “squeegee operators” who haunted the Once you have identified your “wildly to do to help achieve my organization’s tunnels and bridges of the city. They spit on important goals” and posted the scoreboard goals. car windows and wiped them with dirty rags, on those goals, you must translate them into then demanded payment for “cleaning the action. Only 23 percent of the respondents agreed windows.” Because this activity is not illegal, that all these statements were true for the city was helpless to stop it — until one For most workers, organizational and team them. This means that more than three of the mayor’s counselors pointed out that goals are somewhat lofty. It’s easy to lose fourths of U.S. workers are unclear about jaywalking is illegal. The mayor directed sight of the higher or strategic purpose. A organizational mission and goals — and that the police cite the squeegee operators clear goal and a scoreboard help a lot — but what they are individually supposed to do for jaywalking. The police soon found that people must also get help in deciding what about them. The water is not getting to the the squeegee people were usually wanted they are supposed to do about the goal. end of the row. for more serious violations. In no time, the entrances to New York City were much more Getting the Water to the The consequences? Firms fail to meet inviting. (Rudolph Giuliani, Leadership, End of the Row market expectations, leaders face frustration New York: Hyperion, 2002, 41-42.) I live in Utah, a beautiful but dry country in moving important initiatives forward and, where farmers must irrigate their crops in many cases, things get completely out of To identify the new or better behaviors because they cannot depend on rain. If you hand. needed to achieve key goals, meet with your walk along a sprinkler line on a farm, you team and explore these questions: might notice lush, green growth near the first Leadership is far more than the proclamation • Where in your organization or elsewhere sprinkler head—the one nearest the valve— of a lofty goal. It is also ensuring that each are people consistently achieving their but sparse and yellow growth toward the end person on the front line knows exactly what goals? What are the key behaviors these of the line. Unless the farmer regulates the he or she must do to achieve the goal. superior performers consistently engage water pressure in the pipes, there is little flow in? left for the plants furthest from the source. New Goals Require New Behaviors • How could we adopt these behaviors The answer to “what do I do about it?” is and make them general throughout the The same is true in an organization. So many in identifying the new or better behaviors organization? leaders proclaim lofty strategic goals from that will ensure execution of the goal. • Imagine — what might be the most their headquarters offices only to find that The principle is this: Goals we have never impactful thing we could do to achieve those goals are never implemented at the achieved before require that we do things we the key goal? front line where the work really gets done. have never done before. The water fails to get to the end of the row. Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder of Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New FranklinCovey, and is the author of The 7 So how big a problem is this? In a recent York City once set a lofty goal of making Habits of Highly Effective People. He can study, more than 12,000 U.S. workers in people feel safe in the Big Apple once again. be contacted at 866.892.6363, or by e- hundreds of organizations were asked to New York’s reputation as a dangerous and mail at scovey@autosuccessonline.com.08 www.autosuccessonline.com
  5. 5. sales&trainingsolution TomHopkins KEEP YOUR BOAT AFLOAT How do negative despair, depression and decline. income — but all those things count for thought patterns affect nothing if you don’t have enthusiasm your life? They give you the emotional You might be thinking, “Tom, I work all day and good feelings about it all. How many droops. Your drooping emotions bring on with people who are negative. They sit at famous and wealthy people can you think of a mental sag. Then your sagging mental desks all around me. I can’t get away from who’ve committed suicide when they lost powers cause a downturn in your job them.” their enthusiasm for life? Don’t give your performance. That downturn leads directly enthusiasm and good feelings away to any to a sharp decline in your income. The Yes, you can. You can get away from them angry loser who passes by. Keep them. They decline in your income gives you more in the only way that matters — mentally. are the most precious things you own. negative thought patterns, and they add more If you’re surrounded by negativity, put a spin to your downward spiral. positive shell around yourself. Let me tell If you want to help Joe and Jane Negative, you about the positive shell I used when I set a positive example. Be enthusiastic and We all go into declines. We all start sliding was in sales. I worked at it, of course — my successful. Laugh hard and work hard. downhill now and then. Let me show positive shell didn’t grow all by itself. But Your example will radiate the message of you how to arrest your slide, get yourself after a short time, that shell was so thick that positive-minded success to the lesser folk turned around and start climbing again. negative people very rarely tried to break around you who are mired in moodiness and These are the general things you should be through it. mediocrity. continuously doing to keep from getting exposed to depression. Whenever somebody new joined the staff, Keep pumping. Pessimism is bilge water, I would greet them warmly and wish them and your life is like a ship. All ships leak a Talk to positive people more. Always be on well. Then I’d say, “Now, I have enough little, but that’s no problem as long as the the lookout for positive people. Actively problems to handle in my life already. If you crew keeps pumping the bilge water out. seek them out. Encourage their friendship. have anything negative to say, don’t come Positive people are gems. Treasure every near my desk.” That got it out in the open Your pumps are your self-instructions. If one you meet. Find ways to spend more time right away. I wasn’t there to win the “Good your self-instructions are nothing more than with them. Guy of the Year” Award. the mixed bag that you’ve picked up as you go along, you’ll be pumping a lot of bilge Talk to negative people less. You can’t do I stuck to my guns on this. Nobody was water in, not out. Some people pump so this passively. You can’t just stand there and allowed to pull a chair up to my desk unless much negative stuff into their lives that their let anyone who comes along monopolize they were qualified to make a purchase. ships sink. your ears with a flood of negativity. When When anybody came over to kill some time, someone is negative, you have to say to I’d reach in my drawer, take out a deposit Think about what you’re pumping into and yourself, “I can’t help people like this until receipt, and say, “All right, let’s see which out of your life with your constant thoughts they’re ready to be helped. In the meantime, one you want today.” that are negative or positive self-instructions I’m not going to let them hurt me. So I’m according to your choice. If changes are closing my ears to them — nicely if I can, Do not let these people slurp you. In this life, called for, make them now. There’ll never roughly if that’s the only way I can do it. you’re either a slurpee or slurper. A slurper be a better time. Make those changes and My contribution to the world is enormously is someone who steals your warm emotions, start cruising happily toward the rising sun more important than hearing this pointless absconds with your enthusiasm, swindles of success. negativity.” you out of your good feelings, and leaves nothing behind except bad news. World-renowned master sales trainer Tom At times, this means that you’ll be talking Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins to nobody but yourself around the office. If All you can ever really have in life is your International. He can be contacted at that’s the only way you can talk to someone enthusiasm and good feelings. Think about 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at who’s up, so be it! Talking to yourself is that and I believe you’ll agree with me. thopkins@autosuccessonline.com. always better than talking to a promoter of You can have honors, awards, property,10 www.autosuccessonline.com
  6. 6. featuresolution percent, so we thought the time presented a real opportunity for us in Carsites that improved search optimization for us and that along with the market. By maintaining a targeted focus and deciding that failure Todd’s efforts have really impressed me. I see us continuing to steadily wasn’t an option for us, we could pick up that difference between grow that department. We have a goal that’s targeted around vehicle what the industry was going to be down and what people were talking sales, and the BDC or the Internet department is there to support those themselves into. vehicle sales. As long as we can continue to meet those numbers and generate new opportunities, we’ll continue to add people to meet those For the last half of 2008, we just refused to participate in the opportunities. slowdown and we continued to improve our business. In 2009, it’s sort of the same thing, only the stakes have been raised a little bit. Even Todd’s been an integral part of building this thing and making it as positive as we wanted to be, the end of 2008 was hard for a lot of happen, and the daily discipline of actually seeing that the vision gets people. We essentially doubled our new car business in December and Even in This Economy Bill Dube Hyundai Attributes again in January. We weren’t necessarily able to maintain the same implemented. My management style is to design the vision and then find people to implement that vision. We have great people in our level of profitability as in boom times, but we were certainly better Internet department, but without the support of Dealer Synergy, it An Interview by SusanGivens More Than 72 Percent of Its Entire Dealership’s off than we would have been if we had participated in the 30 and 40 would be that much more difficult to measure, manage and maintain percent declines people were recognizing. that department. Business from Its Internet Sales Department... I credit a good deal of our success to Dealer Synergy. We got up I’ve got to credit our general sales manager, Said Bousbaa, with part And NO Conventional Advertising and running with them last September and at that time less than 20 percent of our business came from the Internet. By December, 72 of that success, too. The Internet department’s job is to get people to show up. Once they do, it’s really his job to make sure that we deliver percent came from online sources. We also incorporated a customer on our promise. All those things that people were informed about our AutoSuccess would like to congratulate Bill Dube Hyundai, located in Wilmington Massachusetts on their loyalty/rewards program using Visible Customer and that is showing tremendous success. This modest single-point Hyundai dealership in New England is delivering over 72 dealership have to come true, or else we are what they fear the most. great promise too. It’s his responsibility to ensure the customer experience is what we percent of the dealership’s entire business from its Internet Sales department with virtually no conventional advertising. AS: Was this the first time you tried to put a focus on said it would be. That’s a huge job and he does great. Internet sales? During normal times this achievement might not get much attention, but given the current state of the SD: No. We’d been down this road five times before, and in July, I AS: Where do you see this industry going in the next year, economy, this is an outstanding achievement. Then when you recognize this is not a Toyota or Honda store got really tired of that. We’d been through two people in a really short or the next five years? and it’s located in a tier-two market, the results become even more startling. As a matter of fact, this past period of time, and I knew I had to do something; I knew I was leaving SD: It’s clear that a lot of people are going to talk this industry down ScottDube December (2008) Bill Dube Hyundai delivered more units out of their Internet department than they did the deals on the table. We started looking around and I talked to several for a long time, and I’m not sure who wins in that equation. The previous December (2007) out of their entire dealership. different companies, and was most impressed with Dealer Synergy talking heads on TV and the politicians and some industry leaders mainly because of their aggressive follow-up and their willingness to really seem to be putting a negative spin on the industry. I guess it While our industry is seeing some difficult times, we believe it is important to show you that it isn’t really depends on how quickly the consumer regains confidence, both engage in conversation about what they’d do right away to help us. impossible to make progress in your sales growth. The results you achieve will depend a lot on your expectations. Are you a “glass-is-half-full” or a “glass-is-half-empty” person? Why are some dealers still AS: How did their relationship with you evolve? selling vehicles with a modest drop off and others taking major hits in their sales volume? SD: Dealer Synergy asked what my goals were and really talked to me about what I was trying to accomplish, and then crafted a game There are dealers buying up stores and expanding their dealer groups, and grabbing bargains from dealers plan to get me there. They were able to rough out a budget with me who see no future in auto retailing. This month we wanted to focus on a different kind of a dealership. A and get me an idea of what it was going to cost and what I could dealership that is proactive and willing to change traditional ways of thinking. Their perspective: “Failure is expect from it. I also asked them to help with the staffing portion of not an option.” It’s refreshing to see a dealership commit to a course of action, execute on a plan and see it building our Internet Department. They provided assistance in writing through to its success. Bill Dube Hyundai, a tier two product in a tier two market has literally defied all logic the employment ad and in interviewing the candidates. They also and reasoning and has outperformed many larger dealerships with more money and resources. oversaw the hiring and orientation of the people who were going to SeanV.Bradley work in our BDC. Bill Dube Hyundai is another Dealer Synergy success story. Dealer Synergy, an award-winning training, consulting and technology company has achieved international recognition for the profound effect they have AS: Describe the process of creating your Internet had on the automotive retailing community. They have taken dealership after dealership from just average or below-average results to a level of department. tremendous success. Many of their dealer clients have been nationally recognized for their success in Automotive Internet Sales and Business SD: Essentially, we built a new department from the ground up. We Development — more so than any other training company in the industry. had no employees for this department. From one point of view, it was perfect. There were no preconceived ideas or bad habits to break. We AutoSuccess recently had the opportunity to sit down with both Scott Dube, dealer principal of Bill Dube Hyundai and Sean V. Bradley, founder had five brand new people who were going to come in and do it the and CEO of Dealer Synergy. We wanted to find out why and how they have achieved a high level of success in their fields. way we wanted to do it. I made a commitment from the beginning AutoSuccess: Scott, tell us about your store and background. not to “Frankenstein” the process, that is take one piece of advice and Scott Dube: My father, Bill Dube, bought a Toyota dealership in New Hampshire in 1975, and bought a Ford dealership in the same town in ignore another. I was making a pretty substantial commitment, and 1981. Then in 2004, we acquired this underperforming Hyundai franchise in Wilmington, Mass. The store had some reputation issues and we my initial goal was to hold (Dealer Synergy CEO) Sean V. Bradley have jumped in with both feet to improve the store’s performance and image. accountable if it didn’t happen, and in order to do that, you have to do what the guy says. I had spent enough time and enough due diligence AS: What have you been doing to improve the dealership? to put my confidence in him and say “I’ll do what you say, and hire SD: We really focus on customer satisfaction and retention of every customer. We don’t shoot for a home run on every deal but rather focus on people to do what you say.” making a good profit and keeping the customer coming back again and again. I am very hands on and always in the dealership or easily available to customers and staff. All our dealerships have family members running them, so there’s always a Dube available to talk to if an issue arises. We AS: And how did all that turn out? put that extra special touch on all our deals. I have a good crew of people, but it takes a while to put that crew together and culturally bring them SD: I was very pleased. We had no way to know what to your point of view. the Internet department was going to do, and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with AS: How has the current slowdown in the industry affected your dealership? the effort Todd Cole, my Internet SD: Actually, it’s been a real positive for us; our volume is up, between 60 to 80 percent over last year. director, has put in, and the results he’s been AS: That’s impressive! How did you accomplish that? able to generate. SD: During the last quarter of 2008, everyone was talking themselves into a pretty deep hole. There was bad stuff going on, to be sure, but even We implemented a the worst-case scenarios being portrayed in the media were only business being off by 20 to 25 percent. We knew some dealers were off 30 to 50 website from TK1 12 3
  7. 7. in the economy and in their own personal lives. Hyundai is offering their goals and the status of their current situation. Also we recognize its Hyundai Assurance program, and that really helps build some that you need a holistic approach and that the Internet Department confidence with prospective buyers when they know they can give does not operate as a separate company, but a department within the back the vehicle if they lose their job. dealership and everything between departments must work smoothly. I read an article recently that compared a dealership to an “eco-system” Our industry is cyclical. We’re seeing some bad numbers now, but where things are interdependent. I think that is exactly what we have my family’s been in the business a long time. My father can attest to in dealerships. If you bring in a consultant and they make changes just the fact, and reminds us very often, that this isn’t as bad as it was in to the Internet department or BDC area and do not look at how they the early 1980s, when we had sales that dipped like this and we had interact with other processes in the dealership, the likelihood of long- interest rates in the 20 percent range. We’re not facing that kind of term success will be compromised. We provide a customized solution problem right now. In five years, we’re very optimistic. It will have that insures the entire eco-system works in a healthy fashion. turned around, and we will have gone through a process where we will have reduced the amount of competition we have. There will be fewer AS: What other services differentiate you from your dealers, and hopefully those of us who make it through this challenge competitors? are going to come out stronger on the other side. When times return to SVB: Coming back to the eco-system analogy, one of the major more a normal economy and lending environment, we will prosper. differentiators is our ongoing support. We are not backseat cheerleaders who say, “Here it is; go do it.” Dealer Synergy provides I’d like it to be over right away, but the reality is we probably needed ongoing support and mentoring to ensure they stay on track and focus a little bit of an adjustment. It’s going to cause us to run a much more on results. efficient operation, and the entire industry is going to have to clean it up a little, and tighten up things, and it’s probably healthy to do that. We coach, monitor phone calls, perform auditing functions of services Hopefully, it doesn’t have to be catastrophic for us to learn that lesson. and the Web site, provide analyst reports, make mystery shopper calls, provide ongoing phone training and a host of other services. This helps Interview with Sean V. Bradley to ensure that the dealership stays focused on the process and that the AutoSuccess: Sean, we have spoken to Scott Dube and team is held accountable for following their routine every day. We he has shared his experience about working with Dealer know of no other training organization that provides this complete Synergy. His results aren’t unique are they? service for their dealer clients. Sean V. Bradley: Over the last 10 years I have continually honed my craft, and every year more and more dealers are benefiting AS: Are you able to get your message home to the from the lessons I have learned. Dealer Synergy has achieved some managers during your in-store visits? incredible results with dealers over the years, and some of the ones SVB: While we are able to make a major impact during our on-site recognized for their achievement using our systems and procedures training we recognized early on that a more comprehensive solution are Nelson Mazda in Oklahoma, Willis Honda in New Jersey, and was required. After studying all the options and channels available Peruzzi Toyota in Pennsylvania. Every one of them was featured in a we developed our Internet Sales Director Immersion Program. cover story in either AutoSuccess Magazine, Digital Dealer or Auto These are held regularly throughout the year near our Philadelphia Dealer Monthly. location and incorporate a three- and/or five-day deep dive into the inner workings of an Internet and BDC department. Todd Cole from AS: How do you replicate these results at each Bill Dube Hyundai attended one of these events and he attributes dealership? much of his knowledge and success to information he learned about SVB: First off, we recognize that every dealership situation and during that week of training. What’s also very exciting about this market is different so we complete a needs analysis to clearly identify course is the information from FranklinCovey. Dealer Synergy is the only automotive training company certified by Franklin Covey Management and Organization Solutions Group. This means we bring all the dynamic principles of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to the participants in our Immersion Training. That along with our training information makes this incredibly valuable. General managers attending have found it very rewarding. AS: Any thoughts you want to share in closing? SVB: We have proven again and again that our system works and those dealers who commit to it really like the results. The key word here is commitment. We have spoken to some dealers interested in our program and we could tell by their comments they wanted a few pieces, but weren’t committed to the entire eco-system program. We chose to walk away from those opportunities because we knew they would not succeed in the long term. Dealer Synergy likes to focus on dealers who recognize that success is within reach if they are willing to jump in with both feet and stay the course. For more information about Dealer Synergy’s Immersion Training, visit www.InternetSales20Group.com, or www.dealersynergy.com. Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized training and consulting company in the automotive industry. He can be contacted at 888.814.0409, or by e-mail at sbradley@autosuccessonline.com. clockwise from the left: Sean V. Bradley, founder and CEO of Dealer Synergy; Scott Dube, Dealer Principal and Todd Cole, Internet Director at Bill Dube Hyundai; Sean V. Bradley and the Dealer Synergy team14
  8. 8. marketingsolution MattBaker WHERE THERE’S URGENCY, THERE ARE CUSTOMERS Effective brand expiration dates will only result in a loss of those special offer promotions that were advertising has an credibility and a lack of return. produced through careful and thoughtful appropriate time and place. Unfortunately, planning. given today’s economic conditions, this Making It Work for You brand-boosting initiative may not result in While there is a lot to be gained from For instance, consider developing a direct the drive of traffic that one might expect. urgency-driven advertising efforts, many mail campaign that includes both implied often aren’t sure of exactly how to use this and direct urgency. While direct urgency Today’s buyers aren’t just looking for a deal; theory to generate the highest return. Here gives the consumer a straight forward reason they are looking for the deal of a lifetime. are a few different options to consider when to act, such as through noting a deadline While advertising focused on brand building developing an urgency plan that works for for special savings, implied urgency uses is important, it is not what will get buyers your dealership. creative verbiage to help suggest that acting off their couch and into your dealership in now would be in the consumer’s best today’s tough times. Why not? It all comes Utilizing Promotional Events: interest, without expressing it directly. down to urgency, which is created through For many dealers, staffed events or an immediate call to action, fear of loss and “SuperSales” can help to create an ongoing As Marketing Experiments came to find, the deal of a lifetime. training program or provide a shot in the the combination of these two approaches in arm during a good economy. Yet when times one special offer lead to an increase in sales The Power of Urgency turn tough, these events often become an conversion rates by 508 percent. People in general are excellent at the art integral part of a dealer’s business plan. of procrastination. For many, the easiest As the dealership staff stops believing Additionally, consider steadily building upon decision to make is no decision at all. The they can move markets, these promotional the urgency your copy creates by staggering stresses brought on by a gloomy economy events become even more effective as they direct mail send dates to the same customers. makes buyers feel increasingly paralyzed, “stir up the pot.” This opens the dealership This method will not only repeatedly remind which contributes greatly to consumer employees’ eyes to develop effective ways those consumers why they should buy procrastination. As Michael Fortin, to create their own market, even when and where they should buy from, it also President and CEO of SuccessDoctor. everyone else doesn’t believe one exists. motivates these buyers to make the move out com expressed in a recent blog post, the of the house and onto your showroom floor, key isn’t in pressuring people to make the These staffed events sales offer an excellent before it’s too late. purchase. Instead, it’s using pressure to opportunity to create genuine consumer give your consumers a compelling reason urgency with an effective time-sensitive In The End… to stop procrastinating. By supplying your offer. Whether your staffed event ad plan No, unfortunately not every prospect will customers with a logical reason for why includes direct mail, newspaper, TV, radio choose to buy from you now. However, they should buy now, you are replacing their or all four, promotional sales offer a unique by capitalizing on the power of urgency purchasing objections with a need to act on opportunity to communicate a logical reason advertising, you are putting your dealership your proposed offer. why consumers in your market should buy at better odds to see that influx of traffic. now and most importantly, why they should So just how successful can this approach buy from you. Remember that creating effective urgency is be? Marketing Experiments Journal took it not a one-step process. Instead, it’s a series upon itself to test the effects of urgency on Direct Mail: of well-planned steps from a number of sales conversion rates. By offering special Whether you handle your own direct mail angles. Your goal is to give your consumers event savings for consumers who purchased campaigns or rely on a marketing agency a compelling reason to stop procrastinating between the dates of May 8 through June to help you get your message across, make and make the purchase. Provide your 15, 2006 Marketing Experiments noted a sure your approach is geared towards driving customers with a logical reason why they 992.68 percent average increase in sales over home that much-needed urgency factor. should buy now and chances are that more the course of the offer period. Long story will do as you say. short – limited time offers create urgency As the Marketing Experiments study went and urgency drives sales. However, as the on to show, simply adding an “offer expires Matt Baker is the vice president of sales Marketing Experiments study is quick to on this date” starburst to your advertising for G&A Marketing. He can be contacted at 866.618.8248, or by e-mail at point out, the urgency you create must be may seem like the easiest way to increase mbaker@autosuccessonline.com. genuine in order to be effective. Promotional your sales return. However as they came gimmicks like continuously extending offer to discover, better results were received by16 www.autosuccessonline.com
  9. 9. marketingsolution SteveBrazill ScottWeitzman marketingsolution CASH Successful dealership years and the boom years — the ability next month. A dealership that runs out of TACTICS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR WEB SITE ‘SING,’ PART 2 Thanks to the Internet, Then focus on Search Engine Optimization managers are, by to maximize profit is a “money” skill set. cash is out of business. Game over. today’s car buyers (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing nature, profit-focused. We learn, generally But when business gets ugly, the ability to shop in an environment that serves up instant (SEM). SEO and SEM are the sciences through experience, how to mix customers, manage cash can become more important Let’s examine a couple myths about cash: information gratification alongside a healthy of generating traffic in both free and paid products and people in the right combination than the ability to manage profit. dose of online distractions. This issue, we’ll ways, through user searches at Google, to maximize profit. We hone those skills “I can sell my way out of a cash problem.” look at some other ways that you can make Yahoo and other major search engines. Your month after month. Through most of the A dealership that fails to earn a profit in a — Generally not. To understand why not, your Web site “sing” to your customers and Web development company may already business cycle — certainly the normal month often gets a chance to try again in the think of the process of starting a dealership. stand out from the crowd. offer SEO and SEM services. If not, solicit Before I can sell anything, I invest cash, then the help of an outside organization or convert that cash to inventories. As I sell Stand Apart From the Crowd specialist, or research information online those inventories I get some cash back but Guess what? Your competitors have Web and do it yourself. SEO and SEM are critical I also create receivables (customer, rebates, sites, too. And with the increasing use of components to driving traffic to your Web warranty claims) and new inventories (trade- templates in Web development today, there’s site, so take the time and do it right. ins). Those receivables and inventories will a good chance they may have a site that (should) eventually convert back to cash as I looks very similar to yours. Let the Leads Come to You complete the sales cycle and, if my sales are Don’t fall into the trap of driving every stable, I eventually recapture my initial cash So how do you stand apart from the visitor to your lead generation page. While plus my gross profit (and less my expenses). crowd? If you have the resources, invest this tactic might work for third-party lead But growing my sales rate means growing in a premium Web site template versus a generation companies that monetize each my investment in the non-cash part of the standard version from your developer. High- customer inquiry, it’s not the best way to cycle. More inventory. More receivables. end premium Web sites communicate to generate quality prospects at your Web Growing my sales rate does not produce cash your customers that you take your business site. Allow visitors to browse and research — it eats cash. Slowing my sales rate allows seriously. They also convey a higher level without overwhelming them with annoying me to unwind my investment in inventory of presentation quality by putting the pop-ups for quote submissions and coupons. and receivables, recapture cash and keep it in dealership on equal footing Instead, create pages of the bank. with manufacturer and your Web site that follow automotive portal sites, to a natural “research to “I can’t make money if I don’t make a which online car buyers are purchase” pathway by profit.” — Not necessarily. Operating profit already accustomed. providing lead generation is the difference between gross profit and forms at reasonable stages expense. If my total gross profit last month Check out the latest throughout the research was $190,000 and my total expenses were automotive Web site content process, or at the end $200,000, my accountant will record that being offered, and don’t of the research process. I lost $10,000. But my expenses likely be afraid to incorporate When leads come to you include some depreciation, which is a this content into your site. in a natural way, you gain non-cash expense. The assets I depreciate For example, a new video your customer’s trust in today were generally purchased and paid product that showcases the process. for in the past — I don’t write a check to the sexy aspects of a car’s pay for this month’s depreciation. If my styling, down to the trim The Internet provides total depreciation (and amortization) in this level, can be used to create a great opportunity for example was $25,000, the remaining cash a “mini-commercial” at the OEMs, lead-generators, expenses of $175,000 would have been home page of your Web and dealers to leverage covered by the $190,000 gross profit. Some site, for maximum impact content to drive success. managers use this analysis to get a rough at minimal expense. There’s When you keep your assessment of cash flow and you can see it’s plenty of cutting-edge, off- Web site simple, focus possible for that measure of cash flow to be the-shelf content available on content that captures positive even when profit is negative. on the market today that can attention, distance leave your competition in yourself from the Running a dealership is challenging under the digital dust. competition, strategically any circumstances, but it becomes more market your site as often so when a depleted checkbook is forcing Be Marketing-Minded as you can, and take a your decisions. Managing for cash can be Having an organized more natural approach to every bit as important as managing for profit content-rich Web site that lead generation, your Web site will “sing” — sometimes more so. looks great is one matter, driving traffic to while your customers sing your praises. that site is something else. For starters, promote your Web site every Steve Brazill is the chair of automotive Scott Weitzman is vice president of chance you get — in traditional advertising, business development for eVox Images. marketing for Northwood University, Texas Campus. He can be contacted at by word of mouth, on signage and in He can be contacted at 866.861.1515, or by e-mail at collateral materials such as letterhead and 866.618.9004, or by e-mail at1 sbrazill@autosuccessonline.com. business cards. sweitzman@autosuccessonline.com. 18 9 www.autosuccessonline.com the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional

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