AutoSuccess Presents the 2008 Synergy Sessions, Details Inside                                                            ...
Diagnosing Your Clients’ Needs                                                                                            ...
Is Your Ad Agency                                                              Or More Like                               ...
STS                                                 TomHopkinssales&trainingsolution                                      ...
MS                                            PeterMartinmarketingsolution                                            Make...
FSfeaturesolution                                                                                                         ...
STS                                                 JeffClarksales&trainingsolution                                       ...
The Best Staffed Events Start                              With The Best Teams.More Training. More Professionalism. More G...
MS                                             MarcSmithmarketingsolution                                             Pros...
MS                                            DougBurkertmarketingsolution                                            Mixi...
MS                                            DaymondDeckermarketingsolution                                            Br...
LS                                              JoeCalaleadershipsolution                                              Bad...
STS                                                  SeanV.Bradleysales&trainingsolution                                  ...
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AutoSuccess addresses the specific, researched needs of new car and light truck dealerships by providing entrepreneurial, cutting-edge, solution-based editorials to increase dealership profits and reduce expenses

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

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autosuccessMay08

  1. 1. AutoSuccess Presents the 2008 Synergy Sessions, Details Inside Volume 6 • Issue 10
  2. 2. Diagnosing Your Clients’ Needs 8 TomHopkins on the cover Make ‘Word of Mouth’ Marketing Your Friend 10 PeterMartin The Next Big Thing in Online Advertising Dealer.com’s Revolutionary New Approach 12 An Interview With Dealer.com to Search Engine Advertising Allowing the Customer to Negotiate Online 14 JeffClark Prospecting: The Three Little Things 16 MarcSmith Mixing Business and Pleasure 18 DougBurkert Branding Your Dealership With Banner Ads 19 DaymondDecker Bad Company Ruins Good Habits 22 JoeCala Internet Sales 20 Group V 24 SeanV.Bradley How to Motivate Your Salespeople 26 JohnBrentlinger Welcome to the All-Bad-News-All-The-Time Channel 28 MichaelYork W.I.I FM 30 D.J.Harrington An Investment in the Future Pays Off 31 TracyMyers Hiring the Right Ad Agency 32 HeidiMartincic Ten Tips for Winning in a Bad Economy 34 MarkTewart Four Letters That Will Sell More Vehicles This Month 35 JeffKershner helping to support... God is the source of all supplyProverbs 15:3 - The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.Susan Givens, Publisher Dave Davis, Creative Strategist & Editor Scott Schaeffer, Sales-improvement Strategistsgivens1@autosuccessonline.com ddavis@autosuccessonline.com sschaeffer@autosuccessonline.comThomas Williams, Vice President & Creative Director Brian Ankney, Sales-improvement Strategistdesign@autosuccessonline.com super6@autosuccessonline.com3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B | Louisville Kentucky 40220 | phone: 877.818.6620 | fax: 502.588.3170 | AutoSuccessOnline.comAutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or info@autosuccessonline.com. Subscription rate is $69 per year. AutoSuccesswelcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible for their return). All submitted editorials and graphics are subject to editing for grammar, content and page length. AutoSuccess provides its contributing writers latitude in expressing advice and solutions; views expressed are not necessarily thoseof AutoSuccess and by no means reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the content of any third party material appearing in this magazine or in respect of the content of any other magazine to which this magazine may be linked from time to time. Always confer with legalcounsel before implementing changes in procedures.© All contents copyrighted by AutoSuccess Magazine, a Division of Systems Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent from AutoSuccess. AutoSuccess may occasionally make readers’names available to other companies whose products and/or services may be of interest; readers may request that names be removed by calling 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220.
  3. 3. Is Your Ad Agency Or More Like Your Mother!Does your ad agency call you and say “what do you want to do this week?” Or like Larry John Wright, Inc. do they give you a bottomlesswell of creative ideas and promotions. Drive traffic. THEN doggedly work with your sales managers to funnel every unsold phone lead. Every unsold logged up. Every unsold internet lead back through our own BDC where we will: Absolutely, without a doubt, make sure you sell more vehicles…and eat your vegetables. NO MATTER WHAT! If you want this kind of dedication and results, call Heidi Martincic, Sales Director, TODAY! 800.821.5068. And call your mother! 800-821-5068 www.larryjohnwright.com Twice as Good. Twice as Fast. Half the Price. powered by the Selmor Group, LLC Larry John Wright, Inc. See our article on page 32
  4. 4. STS TomHopkinssales&trainingsolution Diagnosing Your Clients’ Needs When people think The reality is that most buying decisions are Rarely will you take a direct course from about making a based on past experiences, the experiences initial contact to the vehicle purchase, they aren’t likely to of others the client trusts, advertising, gut vehicle sale. More compare talking with you to going to the feelings and hundreds of other factors that often than not, you’ll doctor, but you should make that comparison when preparing to talk with clients. People you can’t do much about. So, you have to start with questions to get them talking find yourself zig- trust doctors. They usually accept the about their needs, wants and perceptions of zagging, but all the diagnosis and prescription for wellness with your product or service. These answers will while heading in the few questions asked. That’s because they help you put yourself in their shoes. Once general direction of recognize doctors as experts in their fields. you’re there, you’ll see what steps you need Your goal is to have your clients see you to help them take to make a sound buying the sale... the same way. When they have an ache or decision. pain related to their mode of transportation, the vehicle sale. More often than not, you’ll they should immediately think of calling Be sure to ask, “What past experience find yourself zig-zagging, but all the while you. That’s because they’ll be confident you do you have with this type of vehicle?” It heading in the general direction of the sale have the right prescription for their ills. could be that they’re very well versed on the until you find just the right answer for each features of an SUV or luxury sedan, even and every client. To earn this level of respect and trust, you used it in the past, and are seeking a new need to start every relationship with the one of the same type. If they know little or Take a moment to think about the quality of right skills. These skills include a caring nothing about the vehicle they’ve come to the questions you are asking. How quickly manner, a confident air, and your diagnostic see, you’ll have to invest a bit more time in and accurately are they bringing you back tools. The tools you use in diagnosing the educating them as to the features and what the information you need to move forward automotive needs of your clients may be as they can expect. with a sale? If you continually get hung simple as a pad of paper and your product up with one aspect of your presentation, knowledge. They may include your past Ask very specifically what they hope to invest some non-client time writing out the client experiences, personal experiences or accomplish with an investment in this questions you’re using now. Then, think memories. particular type of vehicle. It could be that about how you could rephrase them to get one of your vehicle’s key benefits is sought better feedback. An even better strategy is The most powerful diagnostic tools used after by most clients. However, that feature to make a list of all the information you by all people in sales are questions. Like a does nothing for this particular client. You need to have before asking for a decision. doctor, your use of questions begins with won’t want to turn them off by talking about Then, work backwards, writing out the general areas of need. Then, based on the something that doesn’t matter to them. questions that will provide those answers. answers you are given, you narrow your Either way, you’ll soon find yourself with questions down to where you can readily I like to use the analogy of a torpedo when better questions to ask, and a shorter, more determine the right cure or solution for the talking about this subject. A torpedo leaves efficient sales process. clients’ needs. a ship in the general direction of its intended target. It bounces a signal off in the target SPECIAL OFFER for readers of Auto Average car salespeople have this fantasy direction. If the signal doesn’t come back, it Success: Hear Tom teach questioning in which they think they should be able to corrects its direction to get back on course, strategies this month at http://www. simply present the wonderful features of and sends another signal seeking feedback. tomhopkins.com/AS.htm. their vehicles and the customer, seeing the That’s what questioning does for you. You value, pulls out their checkbook or credit take off in a certain direction with your World-renowned master sales trainer card and says, “I’ll take it.” That might work questions. The answers you receive either Tom Hopkins is the chairman of Tom if customers made buying decisions based tell you that you’re on target or that you Hopkins International. He can be on features alone, but it’s a rare occasion need to take another tack. Rarely will you contacted at 866.347.6148, or by e-mail when it does. take a direct course from initial contact to at thopkins@autosuccessonline.com. • Do you want to capture your floor traffic in an easy and intuitive manner? IF THE ANSWER IS YES • Do you want to hold your sales staff accountable? Sign on to: WWW.AUTORAPTOR.com CRM, DESK TOOL, INVENTORY CONTROL • Do you want to close at a higher percentage? for a free 30-day trial or • Do you want to have a cost effective CRM that delivers? CALL 866-583-1434 WEB BASED TECHNOLOGY, TO SPEAK TO A REPRESENTATIVE ACCESS FROM ANY INTERNET CONNECTION • Do you want to deal with a company that is car driven? 8 www.autosuccessonline.com
  5. 5. MS PeterMartinmarketingsolution Make ‘Word of Mouth’ Marketing Your Friend In the movie “What knowledgeable than men when they come stressful event and women by nature need Women Want,” Mel to your dealership. to talk about it every step of the way. Blogs Gibson stars as a character named Nick provide an online community where women Marshall who is a real “Man’s Man.” He Men and women are different in other ways. can have two-way online communication garners the admiration of other men and just For example, women, more than men, place with other women. The blog is a type of loves women, but is slightly confused and a high value on a vehicle’s reliability and message board where women post their frightened by their mysterious nature, until durability, and rate car safety as their most thoughts, advice and tell the world about a fateful accident involving a hair dryer and important concern when shopping for new their automotive experiences. a bathtub zaps him into a state where he can vehicles. Men want performance and style hear what women think. It’s this ability that — women want a vehicle that’s safe. Until about 10 years ago, women would ultimately teaches him to treat women with typically talk to their friends and family kindness, respect and attentiveness. about their feelings and experiences. Then Research shows that those friends might re-tell it to other women. In today’s market, women buy up to 65 Thus, the experiences of an individual percent of new cars sold and influence the women spend about woman might be spread to a handful of purchase of more than 85 percent of all new 17 weeks exploring other women consumers. vehicles and half of all used cars. Wouldn’t and studying before you love to be Nick Marshall and be able to The Internet has changed everything. Today, hear exactly what a woman is thinking and making an automotive a person can tell dozens of friends their just how and when she is going to wield all purchase, and most experiences via e-mail. Then each e-mail that purchasing power to buy a car? of that time is spent recipient can forward it to dozens of other people so that several hundred consumers The fact is, women are starting to dominate online. In fact, 80 might hear about the car buying experiences many automotive segments. For example, percent of female car of a single woman. Many of these e-mail did you know that women represent 65 users probably live in the same community, percent of service customers? Women tend to shoppers get ALL their which could directly impact the amount of buy a higher percentage of extended service automotive information traffic coming to a single dealership. contracts. And guess who is filling out most on the Web. CSI surveys? That’s right — women return Think about the potential impact of a single 80 percent of them back to your manager. unhappy female shopper. If she comes Keep that in mind the next time you are Providing information like this is what into your dealership and feels she wasn’t selling a new car to a woman. the Web does best. The Internet provides treated right — the salesman wasn’t helpful, endless sources of data and information the environment wasn’t female-friendly, While more and more women are buying or to help women research reliability, price, or she has any negative experiences at all influencing the purchase of cars and related side-by-side feature comparisons, safety — then thousands of other female potential services, the process by which they do it is records, expert recommendations, and so customers may learn about it. Of course, the changing, as well. Namely, women turn to on. Another area where men and women blog can be your best friend if the woman the Internet to educate themselves about the differ is that men find the car buying process shopper has a positive experience. entire car buying process, to research their to be a fairly private event. We might talk vehicle choices and competitive pricing and, to our buddies about it a little, we might The point is, communication channels, most important, to share their experiences even ask for some advice about particular such as blogs, enable women to talk with with other women car shoppers. cars or dealerships. But by and large, we do countless other potential customers in our research and car shopping alone or only your neighborhood and across the country. Research shows that women spend about with our spouse. They share their good and bad car buying 17 weeks exploring and studying before experiences with the whole world. And they making an automotive purchase, and most Women, on the other hand, seek advice and name names. Keep that in mind every time of that time is spent online. In fact, 80 communication from other women from the you interact with female car shoppers, and percent of female car shoppers get ALL their time they first consider buying a new vehicle do everything you can to get them to walk automotive information on the Web. Because through the entire car buying process. But out, or better yet — drive out — of your most women feel intimidated by the car it doesn’t end there. After they purchase dealership happy. buying process they feel it is confrontational a vehicle they tell other women all about and unpleasant, they research vehicles their experiences. Almost 60 percent of longer and more extensively than men. They female buyers seek advice from automotive Peter Martin is the founder and CEO of also rely heavily on “word of mouth” for authorities before buying a new car. AskPatty.com. He can be contacted at 10 product and dealer recommendations. This 866.859.8052, or by e-mail at means women are often more prepared and The fact is, buying a car is a major and pmartin@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  6. 6. FSfeaturesolution This comes down to the right keyword buys Another reason a site should be customized at the right price. You want to work with for the dealership is that we’re seeing more a provider who is up on the latest trends, than 50 percent of the phone and form has deep industry expertise, and solid leads generated at our dealers’ sites are relationships with the top search engines. for fixed ops, not just sales. While many Also, you’ll get the most bang for your search providers say they’ll help dealers buck and the best conversion if your Web with keyword buys relevant to their parts site company is also running your search and service offerings —a larger investment program — providing they know what in keywords — it can mean an even bigger they’re doing. Search engine marketing and waste of money if it’s a program that isn’t Web site construction go hand in hand. run well. As Mike mentioned, designing and optimizing a Web site so that it offers AS: It seems that the OEMs are recognizing consumers content relative to what they’re this, and more are starting to offer paid interested in at that particular time needs search programs for their dealerships. What to be tied in perfectly with how the site is An Interview with Dealer.com do you think about that? optimized for search engines, and which keywords are bought. Evans: A cookie-cutter Web site and paid- search program provided by an OEM often AS: That’s an interesting fact about non- Dean Evans - CMO does not serve a dealership’s best interests. sales leads. We do keep hearing more and As dealers navigate the continually was running a dealership called Earth Cars Each dealership is unique, and they need more about the importance of conversion of the science. For instance, many want a shifting landscape of where to invest their in New England, and I was experiencing the the opportunity to compete in their own with dealerships’ paid search programs site that looks really cool, has a lot of Flash, advertising dollars to get the best return on same challenges that many dealers were at market. Let’s face it: Ford dealers are more and their Web site. Would you elaborate on and so on, but if you look at actually getting their investment, Dealer.com has focused the time — spending more than I wanted to shouldn’t have total oversight into how the program is being run, where their money this? more visitors to your site, and converting on showing them their next big opportunity. on advertising, not clearly knowing what is being spent and how it’s performing. those visitors into leads, it’s the sites that We spoke with company founder and CEO ad spend was the most effective, and all the Dealers should have total transparency in Gibbs: Conversion is the reason dealers are the most optimized, mainly with the Mark Bonfigli and his leadership team, co- while trying to lower my cost per vehicle how their investment is being spent, down should have a Web site in the first place. right content in the right place, that deliver founder and CTO Rick Gibbs, co-founder sold. It’s a common story. Meanwhile, I to which keywords are performing and And conversion is a combination of art the best results. We recognize that you need and COO Mike Lane, and CMO Dean was paying very close attention to what was which aren’t. and science. The art is that the dealer and compelling, engaging content on the site Evans, about how dealers can get the most happening on the Internet — and I saw a lot provider need to be creative — the Web — but it needs to be optimized for search out of using search engines to connect with of solutions and tons of opportunity. AS: It seems that most dealers today site and search ad copy need to engage engines. For example, we know videos online buyers. recognize the opportunities with paid consumers emotionally. When they’re keep customers on the site longer, which There were services emerging, such as third- engaged emotionally, they have a better equates to more leads being generated. But AutoSuccess: Using the Internet to boost party lead providers, but like any dealer, I search, but some have been burned a little bit — spending too much and not getting the experience, and they’ll then stick around we also know we need to tie in that video sales efficiencies is one of the most powerful wanted to run the show and not relinquish results they expected. longer. The longer the visitor is on the site, with content that is picked up by the search tools dealers have in today’s market. Give control. So, Dealer.com was created to the higher the likelihood they’ll take some engines, and will attract relevant traffic. All us some background on how you got started empower dealers to help themselves to Lane: Paid search is definitely becoming a action — set a service appointment, order this boosts conversion. And that’s the name in this field when it was still an emerging maximize the opportunities presented by larger part of dealers’ advertising spend, so a part, submit a new car lead, etc. — all of of the game in online automotive. technology. the Internet. it really needs to be done right. Typically, which equate to higher conversion. For more information on Dealer.com, Bonfigli: In 1997, when the auto industry AS: As the channel has matured, what have Internet sales managers are making the contact us at 866.859.6410, or by e-mail was just beginning to capitalize on the you seen lately that has not been in dealers’ call on the paid-search spend, but we see The science obviously involves having at dealer.com@autosuccessonline.com. opportunities presented by the Internet, I favor, and how have you addressed that? general managers increasingly taking the state-of-the-art technology that bids on the Mike Lane - Co-founder and COO lead because it’s an important line item right keywords at the right time, Bonfigli: One of the most on the dealership’s budget, and it can be competitive with other Ford dealers than monitors what’s working and surprising things has been that, pilfered if not done correctly. We see dealers they are with Chevy dealers. The OEM just what’s not in real-time, then makes despite the Internet offering the generating $9 leads from their own Web wants to sell more Fords. Dealers deserve appropriate, fast adjustments. perfect antidote to the utter lack sites with our program, and it’s industry more than the “government cheese” of Web Any dealer today who is not of accountability with traditional knowledge that leads generated at their own sites and paid-search programs. So, a good using an automated technology advertising — because the Net sites have a higher close rate over any third- Web site and paid-search service should to bid on keywords is wasting can be tracked and measured party site — so that’s where the opportunity be able to help the dealership differentiate precious resources and money. — the emergence of paid- is. If the Web site and paid-search program itself. For instance, it can provide unique It’s unbelievable to me that some search advertising on the scene are run effectively and in tandem, they can video content that displays the dealership’s search providers today actually has brought with it a lot of command those great results. best assets, including staff members; have people manually bidding on misinformation and distortion. specials and promotions for that particular keywords — it’s archaic. Just because dealers use a A good paid-search program is going to store; and key search terms that are relevant service to run their search engine deliver the most relevant, in-market traffic to that particular dealership’s offerings. The We see too many dealers who focus Mark Bonfigli - Founder and CEO Rick Gibbs - Co-founder and CTO 13 advertising program doesn’t mean they to the dealer’s site, which will convert better. key is customization. on the art of their Web sites at the expense12 All photographs, including cover, by John Sappo, Creative Lab at Dealer.com.
  7. 7. STS JeffClarksales&trainingsolution Allowing the Customer to Negotiate Online Today, car buyers the dealer vehicle inventory and the OCO utilize the Internet to compare published prices, trim packages technology. For the consumer, and features, and then use this information to The virtual storefront is customized to reflect the OCO technology negotiate purchases of new and used vehicles both within, but increasingly outside, dealer marketing objectives and tastes. OCO vendors usually host the storefronts offers a convenient traditional dealership sales channels. As a and charge the dealer a monthly fee. Pricing and secure way result, dealers are demanding new online standards are ordinarily based on the to negotiate applications and tools that will generate number of vehicles listed in the virtual store higher quality leads, drive customer traffic that are available for negotiated pricing by a guaranteed and generate more sales. customers. price similar to With newly available Offer/Counter-Offer The storefront contains application tools and a showroom (“OCO”) technology, dealers are now able the interactive customer interface that buyers experience, but to engage customers online. Customers can negotiate a price automatically on any vehicle use to view dealer inventories and negotiate prices on new and used vehicles. When a without the driving in the dealer’s inventory. OCO solutions customer successfully “locks-in” a price, around and from allow dealers to generate their own highly they typically place a refundable reserve on the comfort of their qualified leads and drive sales well beyond a credit card, similar to reserving a room at a current Web service offerings from third- hotel. After that, the customer must complete home or office. party lead generators, online auctions and the transaction within some specified period virtual showrooms. These new applications of time — typically one to three days. Upon variables controlled by the dealer. The new promise to shorten sales cycles and improve lock-in, the customer prints-out a “Dealers technology also allows dealers to price customer satisfaction — all of which should Guarantee” that appears when the customer vehicles, either en masse using bulk-pricing mean increased sales and higher profits for successfully places a reserve on their tools or individually. The whole OCO dealerships. vehicle. The customer then takes it to the process works automatically, thus saving dealer and picks up his or her car. the dealer time and money. Generally, legacy vehicle Web marketing sites require customers to do some or all of A nifty feature of OCO is that it allows Because this technology is typically hosted the following before they get a price: the dealer to review all pricing activity and managed by the vendor, additional 1. Find/configure the vehicle they want dynamically in real time or at the end of the expenditures of IT equipment and customer 2. Provide their contact information, business day. If a customer has not locked-in Web site development by dealers is not including street address and phone a price for a particular vehicle, the platform required. number stores their e-mail address and, based on any 3. Frequently go through a financing number of factors, including site traffic, time Additional value drivers for the dealer quotation form in inventory and factory rebates, the dealer include extending online brand recognition 4. Sometimes fill out the obligatory can adjust inventory pricing to accommodate and a competitive advantage over those “quick survey” these changes. A key facet of the platform dealers who are not enabled with the OCO 5. Customers are then informed that a is that dealerships can actually drive their technology. local dealer will contact them in 24 to own Web traffic by making incremental 48 hours price adjustments in their inventory. This For the consumer, the OCO technology can occur because the application notifies offers a convenient and secure way to Customers often complain that the dealer, customers, who register by using the OCO, negotiate a guaranteed price similar to a in fact, has never contacted them, or that of price changes automatically by e-mail. showroom experience, but without the they are still being contacted months after Buyers are informed and provided with a driving around and from the comfort of their they have purchased a vehicle from another hyperlink to negotiate again for the same home or office. source. or a different vehicle. This encourages new Offer/Counter-Offers on vehicles covering These new OCO online technologies are OCO system architectures are typically the entire dealer inventory. becoming increasingly popular with dealers three-tier types that contain a database tier, because they sell more cars, and for car an application tier, and a virtual showroom/ The premise of the Web-enabled OCO buyers, who can finally negotiate and lock- storefront tier. First, the dealer inventory technology is to take the basic components in a new or used car price in minutes. is uploaded from the DMS to the OCO of the customer showroom experience database tier, and then is assimilated into the and allow a negotiated price to be agreed application tier. The dealership then installs upon online. Online prices can be decided Jeff Clark is the vice president of sales a “web object” in its homepage, which is a in minutes, rather than the hours it can at Skoots, Inc. He can be contacted at hyperlink that interconnects the application take at a dealership, because these OCO 866.860.8313, or by e-mail at 14 tier to the virtual storefront containing systems are based on a set of algorithmic jclark@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  8. 8. The Best Staffed Events Start With The Best Teams.More Training. More Professionalism. More Gross.More Energy.That’s our specialty.Frustrated by continual poor results from your advertising?Worn out from the lack of energy & enthusiasm at your store?Worried about your store’s future profitability?Need a strategy to increase revenue in a tough market?Since 1993, thousands of dealerships have relied onG&A Marketing to deliver winning solutions to these World Class Staffed Promotions and Direct Marketing for the Automotive Industryproblems and more. 1-800-688-1370 • info@gamarketing.comIf you’re serious about seeing what the best car guysin the industry can do for your store, call us. www.gamarketing.comContact Matt Baker anytime: 1-800-688-1370mbaker@gamarketing.com
  9. 9. MS MarcSmithmarketingsolution Prospecting: The Three Little Things So many times we Prospecting is simply telling people three shared with her the three little things. tend to overlook little things: the little things and make too much of 1. Who you are Once, while visiting a client in Charleston something — to the point where it appears 2. What you do S.C., I took the GM along with an associate to be difficult or uncomfortable. 3. And where you do it of mine to lunch. Upon leaving the restaurant, my associate, Tony, introduced If you are sitting on the point waiting for ups, When you think of it that way, it’s pretty himself to the cashier. He explained to her you’d better rethink your strategy. That’s simple. You’re not selling; you’re informing. that our client managed a local dealership, what I said to a group of sales professionals When I ask how many people like to make just a few blocks away from the restaurant, at a recent workshop for a large dealer group. sales calls, I rarely see a show of hands. and asked if she knew anyone who might You have to do more than that to make it. That’s because so many people don’t have be in the market for a new or pre-owned “Remember,” I told them, “nothing happens anything to say. I tell them to think of it as vehicle. She hesitated and said that she till you take action.” just a social call to let people know the three thought she overheard the owner say that he things — who, what and where. I tell sales was looking for a used SUV. Tony began to Every time I hear people talking about how people to make a list of 100 people they share with her that we had just taken in a bad the market is, how our customers are know. That sounds easy until you try to do late model SUV with low miles. He gave her different, and how the real estate industry is it. “Go deep,” I tell them. Begin with your the GMs card and asked to speak with him. down, I have to laugh. You see, even in a circle of influence, friends and family. Then After explaining the three little things and down market, the successful people are still branch out to people you do business with the possible opportunity of the pre-owned successful. and old acquaintances. SUV, the owner came in later that evening, looked at the vehicle, put down a deposit I often ask sales people and managers alike, Early in my career as an automobile sales and took delivery the next day, resulting in a “Ever wonder why the same people seem to professional, I can remember losing several $3,200 front gross. be at the top of the leader board, regardless of sales due to poor prospecting. In particular, the market?” A good friend of mine is a real I had been a patron of local dry cleaners Always remember: You’re not selling estate agent, and we recently spoke about for more than 10 years. Every week, I had anything the first time around. Simply share how the business is in a slump and what dropped off my laundry and said “hello” to the three little things, and the next time you the pros were doing to maintain their level the same people over and over. can ask for a referral. The next time you of production. I was not surprised to hear phone, e-mail or cold call someone, they that they are working smarter, not harder. During the second month of my new career will be more receptive because of your non- In other words, they were shifting with the in the business, I was walking across the lot threatening style. Don’t forget: They just market to take advantage of the foreclosures and happened to notice the owner of the dry might be in the market and ask you for more and auctions, and working from a position cleaners taking delivery of his new car. At information. I guarantee you by the time you of strength to appeal to their potential the time, I was upset with myself because work down your top 100 list, someone will clients. He also said these individuals never I had known him for so long and missed be in the market or know someone who is. hung around the water cooler or associated the opportunity. To add insult to injury, themselves with low producers or negative his manager came in two weeks later and Remember the three little things and keep people. purchased a new car. When I approached her it simple. in the showroom, she acted surprised and It’s pretty obvious that they are proactive responded that she didn’t know I worked about their business. They realized early in there. We both felt bad because she would their career they had to have an “if it is to be, have enjoyed giving me the business, and, Marc Smith is the senior vice president it’s up to me” attitude. I am often asked the of course, I would have enjoyed the $600 for The Cardone Group. He can be question, “What is prospecting?” I always commission the other salesperson received. contacted at 866.665.4479, or by e-mail respond with the same statement. That would have happened if only I had at msmith@autosuccessonline.com. 16 www.autosuccessonline.com
  10. 10. MS DougBurkertmarketingsolution Mixing Business and Pleasure Do you sometimes and support local causes, Allen has partnered These dealerships do find value in the struggle to find with a prize promotions company for more promotions. Their name creative ways to bolster your dealership’s than 10 years to offer top prizes—in his is in front of scores of brand? Do you grow weary trying to come case, a two-year SmartLease on a brand new up with new ideas to get in front of potential Cadillac CTS—for golf-based fundraising potential buyers — often customers? Some days, it would be much events. well-off, community- easier to pack it in and head out for 18 minded individuals. relaxing holes. The concept of hole-in-one prizes for golf tournaments originated in the early 1980s. When a golfer hits the There’s a way that dealerships looking to Dealerships can sponsor hole-in-one jackpot, the dealership boost awareness and exposure can accomplish tournaments and, because of the hole-in- garners considerable these tasks — and in a big way — right at one insurance provided by these promotions the local golf course. Allen Cadillac GMC, companies, not worry about the payout if publicity and a healthy a 61-year-old family-owned dealership in someone hits that perfect shot. amount of community Laguna Niguel, California, has been doing goodwill. that for years. “We’re in an area where there More Than Golf are golf tournaments 12 months a year,” said The golf course isn’t the only place where Scott Allen, who co-owns the business with businesses can increase publicity, build winning the U.S. presidency. Prediction his brother Mitch. Such charity events offer traffic and increase sales. A conditional contests have gained a strong following, too. opportunities for sponsorship. rebate can help boost sales by offering a These involve calling the weather, grand rebate or reward of some kind if a specific slams at baseball games, NASCAR winners, These play right into Allen’s business model, event occurs — the Cubs winning the World stock market movements and more. which includes a heavy dose of community Series, a certain amount of snowfall in involvement. To drive increased business Dallas on Christmas Day or an independent Dealerships often leverage their activities— or build standalone promotions—using direct mail, another area where a promotions company can help. Among the most popular You think this guy clips coupons? are direct mail invitations, where mass mailings deliver to residences what could Reach today’s consumers with be a lucky key, card or number. Dealerships can find these quite effective in bring Show Your Phone ™ prospective buyers into showrooms. Other direct-mail promotions include a drivers on-demand mobile coupons. license or license plate match, a “match and win” mailing of some other kind, and scratch IMN Loyalty Driver™ enables cards, which bring out the dreamer in most dealerships to optimize customer potential buyers. and prospect relationships via fully- managed e-newsletters. With Making Promotions Work Show Your Phone, now you can Scott Allen’s dealership takes part in between easily deliver coupons to cell phones. 40 and 50 tournaments a year—each one using a promotions company, and each one Show Your Phone allows customers and with a special twist. “A lot of dealerships prospects to have customized coupons participate in two or three events a year, sent to their cell phones, so they arrive ready where someone will drive a car out, put up to redeem them. signs, leave the course and come back to Show Your Phone is just one of the features pick it up at 5 p.m., when the tournament we’re adding to IMN Loyalty Driver to drive is over,” he said. These dealerships do find sales. Get the full story: call 866.964.6397, value in the promotions. Their name is in ext. 214 or email ASGsales@imninc.com. front of scores of potential buyers — often Drive customers in…For sales, for life. well-off, community-minded individuals. When a golfer hits the jackpot, the dealership garners considerable publicity and a healthy amount of community goodwill. Doug Burkert is the president of the 866-964-6397 imnLoyaltyDriver.com National Hole-In-One Association. He can 18 be contacted at 866.859.6407, or by e- mail at dburkert@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com
  11. 11. MS DaymondDeckermarketingsolution Branding Your Dealership With Banner Ads When a potential they come to remember your brand and auto buyer is surfing know your dealership as one they can trust. the Web, he or she is bombarded with banner ads. While consumers may or may not be One of the key elements to branding – on- and reading every ad that comes their way, they offline – is the overall customer experience. are likely processing that information for Offline, that includes how that customer feels future use. when he or she is on your property, talking to your employees. But online, you have to If your dealership’s name is on that ad, that approach things a little differently. You can’t potential customer will remember your name talk to customers face to face, so you have the next time he or she is looking for a car. to grab them with Internet marketing and banner ads and make sure they know you’re Banner ads are just what they sound like: out to help them, not attack them. You’re a They are ads that look like banners across friendly virtual face that they’ve seen over the screen, and you can’t help but see them and over. Visiting your dealership is like a when surfing the Web. homecoming – even if they’ve never been there before. “Hey, what was that one car dealership I used to see online all the time?” If the branding is And for your customers who have bought done properly, the name of your dealership cars from you their whole lives, seeing your and your memorable logo will come to mind banner ad on the Web sites they frequent instantly. That’s where branding comes in. reinforces that feeling of homecoming, strengthening your dealership’s brand, Your brand is what makes you different keeping it fresh in their minds and even from every other auto dealership. It’s what making them consider heading to your sets you apart from – and above – the rest. showroom for a trade-in. You have to do what you can to protect it and keep your reputation in the hearts and minds Keep in mind that a branding banner ad of your local car-buying community. campaign won’t show many quick results, because that’s not what it’s designed to do. If the regularity of seeing a banner ad You dealership’s brand is permanent. You from your dealership can create a positive want people to know your name for years to experience for your customers, then you come, so just getting your name and basic are likely to capture their loyalty and their info out there through a banner ad is very business. good for your auto dealership’s long-term success. You want people to know your Studies show that emotion plays an company so well that visiting your Web site important role in consumers’ decisions is almost second-nature. when making an automotive purchase. According to statistics published by The Therefore, it pays to find a marketing partner Nielsen Company, familiarity is the leading who has automotive marketing expertise factor in the online shopper’s decision on and advanced technological platforms. It’s where to buy, with 60 percent of the buyers a great way to keep your dealership’s name saying they tend to buy mostly from sites ahead of the competition and in front of the with which they are familiar. This shows the customers. importance of branding your dealership, its staff and its products. Daymond Decker is the product marketing manager for ADP Digital Banner advertising is a good way to start. Marketing. He can be contacted at If your name is out there, in the faces of 19 866.860.6287, or by e-mail at everyone searching the Web in your town, ddecker@autosuccessonline.com. the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  12. 12. LS JoeCalaleadershipsolution Bad Company Ruins Good Habits Aristotle said, it anymore. The thing that was not natural is look at the good and achieve good results. If “You are what you now a natural response. someone can get you to ruin your reputation, repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an they can effectively ruin your life. act; it is a habit.” Just because the habit is formed, enforced and is a natural response in the child’s life, 2. Hate What is Bad A habit is something you form in your life however, doesn’t mean the habit is there to We are to detest with horror the results and due to a continued daily practice. Depending stay for life; the good habit can be influenced consequences of living a life that exhibits bad on what you are continually practicing, to change. Remember that, “Bad company habits. We need to be like Teflon. Teflon is a habits can be either good or bad. The time corrupts and ruins good habits.” This is why material used on cookware for the purpose of and effort you invest into them determine it is so important to be careful with whom keeping the food from sticking to the pan. We their development. If you focus more time you’re hanging out. Who you associate need to be Teflon to the bad ways and bad and effort on some habits over others, those with will begin to rub off on you and affect habits that try to stick to us. They should slide habits will grow stronger, have a larger your manners, character and speech. Your right off of us. appetite and desire more attention. The larger company will influence your habits. Your the appetite, the more it wants to be fed. The habits will influence your character. Your 3. Hold Onto What is Good more it craves, the more it gains control to character will influence your reputation. Your This is admonishing us to push away the bad rule your life. The more it rules your life, the reputation will influence your life. Your life ways and habits of life and to embrace the more you’ve lost having a habit, and have will influence your world. good ways and habits of life. When it comes allowed a habit to have you. to the good habits and ways of living this life, Good company promotes good habits, good we should be like glue. We should let them We can learn about habits through the character, good reputation, a good life and stick to us like crazy glue. Don’t switch them parent-child relationship. Good manners ultimately makes a good world. In the same around either. Don’t slip away from doing are developed through the continued daily way, bad company promotes bad habits, good. Instead, you should overcome the bad investment of example, time, consistency bad character, bad reputation, a bad life and habits and intentions with the good habits and energy from parents to their children. ultimately creates a bad world. and intentions you live. The parents enforce the habit through influence. When a child receives a gift, the As professionals in the dealership — and Don’t be overcome by bad habits; rather, parent says, “Say ‘thank you’.” The child life in general — you have worked hard on overcome bad habits with good ones. It’s in than says, “Thank you.” When the child developing good habits. You have invested our power to make a difference in our lives. gives something to the parent, the parent your time, energy, money and efforts We have the influence to change our world. says, “Thank you,” and then tells the child to into building good character and a solid It falls on us. We are to never hold back the say, “You’re welcome.” reputation. Here’s how you can protect good that is in our hands. Good people who yourself from “bad company” destroying have good habits need to step out and stand What is taking place here? The parent is your “good habits”: up for what is good. What good is it? It is so enforcing a continued practice of response good that it will change your life and the lives through influencing the child to say certain 1. Don’t Hang Around the of others. things. These are practices done with the Wrong People hopes of developing good manners in the Don’t associate with people who are always Joe Cala is an author, seminar leader, child’s character. The parent continues this complaining and negative. These people will and Internet/Fleet sales manager of for days, weeks and even months until it ruin what you worked so hard on building. Gateway Toyota. He can be contacted at becomes a habit. When it is a habit, the It’s always easier to look at the bad side of 866.859.6402, or by e-mail at parent no longer has to remind the child to do things. It takes discipline to train yourself to jcala@autosuccessonline.com. 22 www.autosuccessonline.com
  13. 13. STS SeanV.Bradleysales&trainingsolution Internet Sales 20 Group V Spring is here and it’s Brandy, your situation is not unfamiliar to four coordinators who meet the criteria time to plant some hundreds, if not thousands, of dealerships I indicated above, but rather than feed flowers, mow the lawn and sell some cars. By across the country. Depending on your those appointments to only two Internet the time you read this, our Synergy Sessions management team, there are a few possible sales people, they would feed those leads Event in New Orleans might be over, but I solutions to your challenges. As a disciple to the sales team on the floor in a rotating assure you plans are already being made for of Stephen Covey and his “Seven Habits basis and keep feeding leads to the best the next event. I will keep you updated, so if of Highly Effective People” book, I would closers who handle the Internet customers you missed our New Orleans event, you can first say to you, “start with the end result in in a professional fashion. This model pre- book early and attend our next one. mind.” disposes that all the folks on the floor are well versed on the differences between Our letter this month is from the eCommerce This means you need to figure out what Internet prospects and folks just coming in Manager at LaFontaine Buick Pontiac your volume or unit goal is to sell per month the door who have heard your commercial GMC Cadillac in Highland, Michigan and from there, you can work backwards on the radio. to calculate how many leads need to be Sean, generated, how they need to be worked and The team in your store might need some We are 250 new-car a month dealer, struggling what productivity you can expect and build remedial training to get up to speed with to expand our Internet department. We into your model. this process, so you might be better off with have made valiant efforts in trying different Option A to begin your task. scenarios to improve our volume. First, we Let’s say you want to sell 40 vehicles a had two salespeople on the floor who only month through your Internet sales efforts. In Now let’s get back to the numbers to see handled Internet leads from beginning to the average store, that means you need 400 how this will work. It’s May and your team end. The best they could manage was 20 leads to work with each month. You indicate will have 400 leads coming in throughout units a month and that was from a funnel you already have that many, but because of the month. You are really cranking and you of 400 leads. Even though our fancy CRM/ your inefficient process you can only deliver sell 10 percent, or 40 units. That leaves a ILM tool calculated follow-up action plans at a 5 percent closing ratio. balance of 360 leads unsold. Of those, about with auto responses, phone calls prompts, 160, or 45 percent, are bogus, dead or have electronic brochures and more, it seemed Let’s put the number aside for right now and bought elsewhere. That still leaves you with the team focused primarily on their previous address setting up the right infrastructure 200 leads that are still live. Remember: J.D. customer base. to manage and control the process. In your Power research says 49 percent will shop letter, you mention hiring an appointment one month or less, and the other customers We then hired two Internet managers (myself setter, and that is the right path. You need, can take up to six months to purchase, with included) who were working all the leads, however, to take it to the next level. most buying with a 90-day window. scheduling appointments, maintaining all of our Web sites, third-party sites and training Here are two options: This is called the residual flow factor, and our sales staff. Needless to say, it became Option A: Hire two coordinators who are it’s critical to address this in your process. overwhelming and we found the sales floor absolute wizards on the phone. I am talking So, instead of going into June expecting to cherry picking all of the work we had done to “super sales ninjas” who are versed on phone work only 400 leads, you will be working get the customer in the store. skills, handling objections, offering rebuttals 600 leads. That’s 400 new and 200 leftover and continuing to follow up until they get from the previous month. No way will We are now considering hiring an Internet the customer to agree to come in for an your team be able to keep up, so you will appointment setter that would work all new appointment. They would handle e-mails, need to either build your team members to incoming Internet leads with the goal of inbound and outbound phone calls and be handle these, or adjust the number of new setting the appointment and handing it off very polite but persistent and sell the value of leads coming in each month. So plan for to a salesperson. This person would ideally doing business with your organization. These growth and keep focused every day on your not be a long-term sales professional, but folks are not telemarketer types reading from tasks at hand to keep on track and hit your someone fairly new to the business who is a script, but true phone sales professionals. numbers. Internet savvy, and we could establish certain habits beneficial to Internet sales follow up. Then you have another team of at least two or Brandy has won two free registrations to the three Internet sales professionals who handle Synergy Sessions Event, and I look forward I don’t want to set up another Internet system the actual customers when they show up at the to speaking with her there. Please keep your for failure. Should I look into correcting dealership. Their only job is to greet, present comments and questions coming. faults of the old processes, or would this new the product — including the demo ride — and idea be a better way for our dealership to go? then sell the prospects. They are not taking Thank you for your time and consideration. other floor ups but working exclusively and closely with the coordinators. Sean V. Bradley is the CEO and founder Brandy Barber, eCommerce Manager of Dealer Synergy. He can be contacted LaFontaine Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac Option B: In this option, known as the at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at 24 Highland, MI 48357 integrated model, you would hire three to sbradley@autosuccessonline.com. www.autosuccessonline.com

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