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AutoSuccess Nov08


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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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AutoSuccess Nov08

  1. 1. It’s Coming — AutoSuccess Best of the Best NADA 2009 November 2008
  2. 2. NADA Booth #5247
  3. 3. November 2008 OBJECTIONS EQUAL DESIRE 8 TomHopkins address: 10 LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION! JoshuaMuller 3834 Taylorsville Rd. Vehicle Videos are Proven Sales Tools on Dealership Web Sites Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville Kentucky 40220 FORECASTING - NOW MORE THAN EVER 11 BrookeSamples phone / fax: 877.818.6620 / 502.588.3170 SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING 2.0 How the Next Generation of Search Delivers More Leads with Smart Bidding 12 SusanGivens web: and Inventory That Sells Itself IT IS TIME FOR A LEADER 14 JimAdams team: Susan Givens INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP XI 16 SeanV.Bradley Publisher BEYOND THE PERFORMANCE REVIEW 18 StephenR.Covey Thomas Williams VP & Creative Director MORE TIME FOR RED FLAG COMPLIANCE 19 JasonBlair Dave Davis Editor and Creative Strategist IT’S TIME FOR A DECISION 20 MarkProctor Brian Ankney CREATE THE BIG MO - USING THE BIG “O” APPROACH Six Powerful Sales Links 22 PaulCummings Sales-Improvement Strategist CHOOSING THE RIGHT SPECIAL FINANCE INTERNET LEAD GENERATION PARTNER 26 AlexBravy John Warner Sales-Improvement Strategist WHO SET THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS IN YOUR DEALERSHIP? 28 SteveBrazill general information: DOWN TIMES FAVOR THE BOLD ADVERTISERS 29 MattBaker eNewsletter: LEADING IN DIFFICULT TIMES 30 JohnBrentlinger AutoSuccess Magazine is published monthly at 3834 Taylorsville Rd., SEVEN LAST WORKS OF A DYING COMPANY 34 PaulSnider Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220; 502.588.3155, fax 502.588.3170. Direct all subscription and customer service inquiries to 877.818.6620 or Subscription rate is $69 per year. 36 AutoSuccess welcomes unsolicited editorials and graphics (not responsible MUDDY WATERS DalePollak 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; viewsSERVICE MANAGERS BOOST TRAFFIC, GENERATE $2,000 37 expressed are not necessarily those of AutoSuccess and by no means FrankFurgiuele reflect any guarantees. AutoSuccess accepts no liability in respect of the ROs WITH FOCUSED DIRECT MAIL STRATEGY 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 WALT MASSEY AUTOMOTIVE Bringing in Big-City Numbers in Rural Mississippi 38 LarryCochran 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. 40 Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without express written consent INCREASING THE BOTTOM LINE JeffJames 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 42 877.818.6620. Printed in the USA. Postmaster: Send address changes to FROM NO TO YES MarkTewart AutoSuccess Magazine, 3834 Taylorsville Rd., Building A, Ste. 1B Louisville, KY 40220. GET LEAN AND MEAN – CROSS-TRAIN YOUR MACHINE 43 MarcSmith12 34 16 helping to support...
  4. 4. STSsales&trainingsolution TomHopkins OBJECTIONS EQUAL DESIRE Early in my selling to feel absolutely confident that what we pressure, they’re killing the sale. career, I had this are replacing that money with will give dream. In it, I met a married couple to offer us all the benefits we want. I know that’s • DON’T attack when you address my product — and they were so wonderful. true about me, so why should I expect my concerns. Learn to develop a sensitivity They thoroughly enjoyed my presentation. prospective clients to be any different? as to how your prospects feel, and They agreed to everything I mentioned. show your own concern for helping They didn’t ask any questions or give My success rate in sales increased them, not a determination to prove any objections. The whole transaction tremendously when I came to expect to them wrong. If you fight their feelings, was completed and in record time. They hear concerns instead of fearing them. their negative emotions will take over. approved everything, gave me several When I began to listen for them, to Defense barriers go up and you have to qualified leads and thanked me as they left anticipate their arrival, I was amazed to work twice as hard for their business. my office. What a wonderful dream! learn that I was hearing basically the same • DO lead them to address their own three or four concerns in nearly every concerns. A true professional always Somehow, I don’t think I was alone in situation. That’s when I began doing tries to help prospects answer their having a dream of that sort. Most new some serious analysis. I spent a few hours own objections. Most prospects will salespeople think that’s what selling is like. thinking about each of those concerns. do just that given time and a little more Unfortunately, some veteran salespeople What could I do or say to help them get information. After all, deep down, keep looking for that dream to come comfortably past these points? they want to go ahead. They wouldn’t true, as well, and it holds them back waste their time objecting to something from achieving the level of success that’s I began by putting myself in their positions they didn’t want to own, would they? possible with a bit of education. and discovered most prospects were So, your job when you hear a concern objecting because of one basic emotion is to ask the client to elaborate on it. I begin every seminar by reminding my that was being triggered — FEAR. They Say something like this, “Mrs. Smith, students that there are seven steps in the were afraid to make an irreversible obviously you have a reason for saying selling process: decision. They were afraid to make a that. Would you mind sharing it with 1.Prospecting commitment with their money. They were me?” This will get her talking about 2.Original Contact afraid the product wouldn’t live up to what’s behind her concern. Once you 3.Qualification their expectations. They were afraid I was understand what’s really holding her 4.Presentation a “take-the-money-and-run” salesperson back, you’ll be able to address that issue. 5.Handling Objections whom they’d never be able to reach again 6.Closing when they had questions about the product In many cases, when clients do elaborate 7.Getting Referrals after they owned it. on what’s bothering them, they’ll talk themselves right through the concern and Please take note that handling objections You see, concerns are defense mechanisms. set it aside without you ever having to say is a step. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to They are ways for clients to tell you you’re anything. Oftentimes, addressing a concern any salesperson. moving too fast and that they need more only involves reviewing points you already information before they can feel confident covered in a summary of your presentation. Understanding how to handle objections is about going ahead with the vehicle. critical to your success. But, before we go The key is to stay calm and keep any further, let me help you change your I teach two “don’ts” and one “do” for questioning what’s holding them back in perspective about them. When you hear the handling every concern. a gentle, concerned manner until you find word “objection,” do you think of lawyers • DON’T argue. If this sounds silly to the real concern. Then, you address it and jumping out of their seats on television? you, good. You already know this. But, move on to closing the transaction. They’re effectively stopping the forward even though you know it, do you fight movement of a trial. It’s an interruption. with them in the back of your mind? World-renowned master sales trainer Tom If you do, eventually it will begin to Hopkins is the chairman of Tom Hopkins It’s human nature to object, hesitate, show. When potential buyers object, International. He can be contacted at stall or procrastinate when making any they’re asking for more information. If 866.347.6148, or by e-mail at decision that impacts our money. We have salespeople get upset, sarcastic or apply 8
  5. 5. MS MS JoshuaMuller BrookeSamplesmarketingsolution marketingsolution FORECASTING - LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION! NOW MORE Vehicle Videos are Proven Sales Tools on Dealership Web Sites THAN EVER The addition of no sign of abating. Yet, in the eyes of Videos are ‘Sticky’ What do you want you are looking for and how much they are vehicle videos as a many dealerships, these trends alone are Research shows that using video on a Web your business to individually expected to contribute. But, compelling component to dealership Web not enough to convince them to make the site increases the amount of time a consumer look like in 2009? Close your eyes and more importantly, show them how reaching sites continues to grow at a steady rate. investment in vehicle videos, and some still spends on the site – making it “sticky,” visualize. Lots of happy customers? The their numbers will impact their lives. The At the same time, the public’s interest question what investing in vehicle videos and increasing the likelihood the consumer right inventories? Fabulous bottom line? average technician turning just five more in video sites on the World Wide Web would bring to their business. will submit a sales lead that ultimately can Is your vision one your employees can hours a week can generate an additional overall continues to blossom and shows translate to the bottom line. And that’s the rally around and do whatever is necessary $5,000 more per year in personal earnings. point: Dealerships want their Web site to act to achieve? Then use a good forecasting Show your vehicle salespeople how just as one more calling card for the dealer and process and make your vision a reality. selling two more cars a month will add for doing business with them. Forecasting is about setting those big thousands of dollars to their paycheck by goals and then creating the passion in your the end of the year. Videos are Persuasive employees to embrace and implement the Recent studies by Burst Media also show steps necessary to reach those goals. But don’t settle for just numbers – demand that nearly 55 percent of online shoppers plans and evidence to support the forecast. indicated that a vehicle video made them We recommend starting at the bottom You can’t just say you’re going to sell 100 more likely to consider buying or leasing – how much does the dealership want to vehicles a month and expect it to happen. a model featured in a video. And, unlike make in 2009? Out of that, how much If that was the case, then why not say traditional marketing material, video has a will each department need to contribute? you’re going to sell 200 vehicles a month? very high pass rate from user-to-user. How will the departments achieve those Your final forecasting meeting is for your numbers? What has to be done differently managers to solidify their commitment to A Web site’s success is measured in part next year to achieve those numbers? departmental forecasts and action plans. by how long customers stay on the site Remember hope is not an action plan. and how many leads are generated from it. We suggest holding at least three meetings Adding vehicle videos provides dealerships with your managers. The first will be to Once you’ve settled on the 2009 forecast, with a tool through which to share vehicle explain the process and establish the goals make sure your managers are prepared to information with online customers in an for the dealership and for each department. break down the numbers for each employee engaging way, and in a way that has been Due to the crossover between departments, weekly and that there is a plan in place proven to influence more than half of them we suggest the second meeting be used to review this information weekly with in the purchase decision they make. to exchange information and present the employees. If a tech is falling short any additional ideas relating to expense from his assigned goal of hours produced, When considering vehicle videos for your reduction. Departments will need to share determine what is stopping him from Web site, here are the basics to look for: their forecasts. For example, the service reaching that goal. It is better to find out • Vehicle videos should be short and department needs to know how many new early in the month what the problem is than contain concise, engaging content. and used vehicles the sales department to wait until the end of the month. Listen to • The videos should be refreshed expects to deliver so the service department your employees and they will provide you frequently, with new feature cars added can forecast how much gross profit new with solutions for reaching your forecast. in place of those that have been posted vehicle inspections and internal labor will the longest. generate. This shared information will Keep in mind your forecast is not set • Use actual video footage that shows the solidify your forecast. in stone; there are so many variables, vehicle in real-life motion, rather than including economic fluctuations or major pictures with a moving camera, to keep Your future depends on your employees changes introduced by your manufacturer your customers engaged in the video taking ownership of their role in the which could heavily influence your actual presentation. forecast; from the department managers performance. If it becomes necessary, you • Allow your customers to start the video to those people directly responsible for may need to re-evaluate your forecast and themselves; it shouldn’t begin the generating sales, controlling expenses or take whatever steps are necessary to put moment the page loads. maintaining assets at optimal levels. Every your dealership back on a winning path. one of your employees should play a role Videos can be a fantastic way to interact in the vision. All of your employees should Remember your vision. What better time to with your customers, allowing you to know how many vehicles you want to sell, make commitments to your employees and effectively convey messages to them what CSI score you want to reach, how to your business than today? Start planning without an over-the-top sales pitch. Video is many vehicles service can handle, etc. And your forecasting process, set big, heroic here to stay. Video is growing. Is your Web then the employees need to know how they goals and be ready for 2009. site ready for some action? can help reach those goals. Brooke Samples is the director of Dealer Start with your sales goals. Quantify Service Corporation, a division of NCM Joshua Muller is the product planning your expectations with your salespeople manager for Reynolds Web Solutions. He Associates. She can be contacted at 866.618.8377, or by e-mail at 11 — vehicle, finance, service, parts and 10 can be contacted at 866.386.0702, or by e-mail at collision center. They need to know what the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  6. 6. 2.0FS Search Engine provides full life-cycle tracking of Maximum ROI — More For Lessfeaturesolution every campaign, from the first The newest version released earlier this click-through to sales. It’s fully year has already yielded spectacular results. Marketing integrated into the system so a Dealers who have implemented it see, on dealer can see exactly how average, $8 leads from their own Web sites. much revenue every SEM That’s an average — in many cases lead ad generated. costs are even lower. Additionally, first- party leads close at a much higher rate than How the Next Generation of Search Automatic Refreshing other leads. Compare that to the $20 to $30 of Ad Content per lead costs and lower closing rates of Delivers More Leads with Smart Bidding — Keeping it Fresh Every week, the system third-party lead providers, and TCD truly does become a “no brainer.” and Inventory That Sells Itself monitors all updates made to a Web site; including content, For More information on inventory, specials, new models,, contact us new information on vehicles, etc. at 866.859.6410, or by SusanGivens Then, it automatically refreshes keywords e-mail at list with Google. For many Internet managers at dealerships, ads take the customer to the dealership’s keywords get the most click traffic, then connecting users directly to the inventory it’s the great experiment: search engine home page, rather than deep-linking directly provide tools to help dealers optimize the page will result in higher conversion rates. marketing (SEM) and search engine to a page that contains the information they number of clicks. The only problem is that Keeping SEM ads current with inventory, optimization (SEO). Some love it, others are looking for. search engines focus on click volume and however, is the problem. It’s challenging SEM Best Practices: Setting the Standard in are wary of it or don’t understand it, and not on return on investment (ROI). How enough for many Internet managers to • Spend money on advertising while the Search Expertise others avoid it altogether. Also troubling, many firms don’t tell many of those keywords convert? What is update inventory listings every day, let dealership is open. Statistics show that Never content with just “good enough,” dealers where their money is being spent. the ROI for each keyword? You can now alone having to notify an SEM vendor or nine out of 10 potential customers pick set a goal of becoming the The fact is, SEM works. Answer honestly: Dealerships have the right to know have the answers to these questions with spend time creating new SEM ads. up the phone when they see an ad, while automotive industry’s best SEO/SEM Do you think the vast majority of your where every dollar is being spent, what advanced performance analytics that dealers This is no longer a problem. TCD only one out of 10 customers send an provider. To back up this claim, the customers do some online research before percentage goes into the search engine can use to determine the exact value of automatically updates a dealer’s SEM e-mail or fill out a Web form. If the company became a Google AdWords stepping foot onto your lot? In today’s and what percentage the firm is taking, as each keyword in terms of dollars generated campaign strategy based on inventory feeds dealership is closed when that customer Authorized Reseller Partner. In addition, competitive market, dealerships need to well as how much is being spent on all the rather than simply the number of clicks. it receives from a dealership’s system. So calls, they may never get the lead. 45 percent of employees have be using every tool on the Internet to help different campaigns. if a dealer sells that 2006 Nissan Altima • If you see a competitor running a received one or more of the following these customers find them. If not, they get For example, say that “2008 Ford Mustang” and it’s taken out of the inventory, that special on a particular make/model, certifications: left behind. Fortunately, the next generation of SEM gets 50 clicks and “Ford Mustang night the SEM ad with those key words and you know you can beat the price or • Training Certified on Google has arrived. From this point on, dealerships windshield wiper” gets 1,000 clicks. Even will automatically be turned off. The special, here’s a tip: Create an instant AdWords It’s powerful, but SEM isn’t an easy tool for can easily set up and manage effective at equivalent conversion rates, the value dealership will not waste a single dollar on SEM ad promoting a special for the • Sales Certified on Google AdWords dealerships to pick up and use. The biggest campaigns that will not only increase the of selling a car is much higher than that a click-through from an outdated ad, which same and/or similar make/model. If • Account Management Certified on problem most Internet managers have with number of leads, but significantly lower of selling a wiper. But blind search engine translates into extremely efficient and a customer sees your competitor’s Google AdWords SEM is the time involved with setting the average cost-per-lead. Also, and just as optimizers don’t know that, and would bid targeted ad spending. ad and goes online to search for up their own campaigns. It’s not rocket importantly, these leads will close at a much up the term with “windshield wiper” in it. information about the dealer, your ad The advanced certifications require more science, but the volume of data that must higher rate than traditional third-party leads, However, the application’s Smart Bidding Call Tracking and Recording — Who will also appear promoting the same or than 15 weeks of intensive study and be sorted through, combined with updating because the SEM ads that generate the leads “brain” knows the difference, because Called, and For What Product? a similar special — and you may just rigorous testing. More than 90 Dealer. content, reacting to trends and metrics and are very targeted and specific. So what it connects the click expense directly to TCD provides a new level of phone get to capitalize on your competitor’s com employees in technical development, manually removing or adding keywords to exactly is this new generation of SEM? measurable revenue. Smart bidding is tracking so dealers can see detailed ROI advertising. engineering, Rapid Response support, campaigns, all add up to a labor-intensive return based, not click based. for every dollar spent. For each SEM • Know Your Invoice. A lot of solutions sales and marketing and the entire search job. Unless a dealership can allocate a TotalControl DOMINATORTM (TCD), created campaign, the system assigns unique come with hidden fees, which have and account management team have full-time, dedicated staff to running SEM by is an application created Deep Linking — Putting the phone numbers to every search engine for the potential to drive your cost-per- received the advanced certifications. campaigns, they will more than likely fail. to deal with the most common problems Customer Where They Want to Be the sales, service and parts departments. lead rates sky high. You should have Google trainers continue to work closely dealerships experience when implementing TCD creates ads that deep link to the That’s at least 15 unique phone numbers control over your spend and be able with to provide ongoing To avoid this, many dealerships have SEM programs. Unlike anything else on the correct areas of a dealership’s Web site for every campaign. This leads to a to track results, as in phone calls and training and ensure the team stays current hired third-party firms to create market, it incorporates a “big brain” of SEM or microsite. If a person is searching for better understanding of the value each e-mail submissions, so you can see the with the latest trends and changes. and manage their SEO/SEM data that has been gathered from dealerships “brake service Atlanta,” most SEM ads will search engine provider brings to different leads generated for every dollar spent. campaigns. The biggest problem all over the country. More than just an take them to the dealership’s home page campaigns. Your dealership should be aware of the What does that mean to a dealer? The with this strategy is these interface, this “brain” tracks trends and rather than directly to the service page. profitability and effectiveness of your difference between hiring a certified companies are not fully a part metrics, and allows dealers to create effective Statistics show that when customers click Integrated Lead Management SEM strategies. professional vs. someone who does not of the dealership’s Web team. SEM campaigns in minutes. through to a Web site, 25 percent will leave — Tracking Your Campaign • Take advantage of Google. Google know how to design an effective SEM Without knowing the dealer’s after only two clicks. Ads that deep link to TCD’s lead management tracking system possesses 70 percent of the market campaign can cost dealers hundreds, if Web site structure or inventory SEM is now elevated to a new level with the relevant content will retain many more share, which means your SEM not thousands of dollars per month. feeds, third-party firms can’t the following features: users than traditional SEM ads. strategies must utilize the great immediately update campaigns Smart Bidding — Getting the advantage Google can offer your SEM, to reflect what the dealership is Right Words for the Right Price Automatic Inventory Ad Updates as well as your dealership. In addition, attempting to Google — Keeping Up to Date with Your you should submit your business to promote or and other Inventory the Google Local Business Center so sell. Another search Everyone agrees that having ads to target your dealership shows up on Google downside is engines specific inventory is a great idea. If Maps, and also in the “Local Business that most of keep track someone types in “2006 Nissan Altima” Results” section at the top of search 1312 the links from of which and a dealership has several on the lot, results pages.
  7. 7. LS JimAdamsleadershipsolution IT IS TIME FOR A LEADER Did you ever people that will find a way to prosper. He 3. Make a Plan wonder why a also said that no matter how good times Make sure you have a mapped-out daily, commercial airline pilot makes so much are, there are people that will mess things weekly and monthly plan to generate the money? I can tell you that it is not because up royally. Face the facts: Some dealers amount of opportunity that you must create they can take off in Tulsa and land in will not survive. Those dealers who do to be successful. Make sure that each Kansas City. It is not because they can show not focus on training and award-winning member of the team is completely bought up on time and they look good in a pilot’s customer service will be doing something in and accept zero slacking. Your people uniform. It is because when things get different next year. It is truly time for a are looking for a leader, and leaders have tough and something unexpected happens, leader. My question is: Are you that leader? a plan. They will follow you if you are they are up to the challenge. The true test competent and confident. of an airline pilot is not when the winds are 1. Stop Whining calm and the visibility is 20 miles. The test You are a leader. Leaders must be 4. Pay the Price is in the turbulence and the thunderstorm. optimists. You can be a realist and an No one promised you it was going to optimist at the same time. Your people are be easy. If you are looking for the easy This past year has created challenges for looking to you for direction. They do not work, you chose the wrong profession. us all. You cannot turn on the television need you telling them how bad things are. Leaders work smarter, leaders work harder without hearing some pretty bad news They are looking for you to show them the and leaders do whatever is necessary to about our industry. I have been in the way. Empathize with the present condition, succeed. retail automotive industry, on the front but give them hope that with the right plan lines for nearly 20 years and I have heard everything will come out in the end. You are in the position that you are in right bad news before. I have seen dealerships now because someone had the faith and fail. I have seen every single dealership in 2. Make a Decision confidence that, no matter how tough times Joplin, Missouri change hands in the past You must decide not to participate in the were, you would find a way to succeed. 10 years except one. I have a crystal clear current crisis. Remind your salespeople If you are a dealer reading this article, understanding of my job responsibility. I every day that sales is a numbers game. your employees and their families are am the leader. People mirror other people’s Each salesperson does not need to figure counting on you to lead them. If you are a behavior. Just as the airline pilot, my test out how to sell 20 cars. They just need to sales or service manager, every employee is in the turbulence and the thunderstorm. figure out how to talk to three people today. is counting on you for direction. They My test is in the calm assurance that if I Focus on the activity, not the result. With are looking to you for answers. Can you just follow my training and react to my the right activity, the results will follow. provide them? professional instincts, I will be able to put Remember — leaders are where they are my dealership in the position to prosper. because most people are not willing to Jim Adams is the general manager for Fletcher Auto Group in Joplin, MO. He can Zig Ziglar once said that no matter how make a decision. Make a decision to focus be contacted at 800.905.0627, or by e- bad times are economically, that there are on daily activities. mail at 14
  8. 8. STS SeanV.Bradleysales&trainingsolution INTERNET SALES 20 GROUP XI Seek first to knows what their prospects want, and that If the customer says “no” to your question understand, then to means low grosses. “Have you ever purchased a vehicle be understood. This eight word statement online?” then you would ask the “true” can mean the difference between a sale Let me give you an example. Let’s take qualifying question: “What were you and a blown opportunity. The No. 1 reason the most competitive market in the United looking to accomplish by going online?” why prospects don’t buy a car is because States — Detroit. One of my client’s, Dick they are landed on the wrong vehicle. And Genthe Chevrolet averages $1,800 a copy They will tell you exactly what they whose fault is this? The salesperson’s. The on the Internet. There are over 42 other were looking to accomplish and what salesperson didn’t take the time to do due Chevrolet dealerships within a 20-mile their expectations are. Remember the top diligence and properly qualify the prospect. radius of their store. If that wasn’t amazing five reasons why the customer is going We are taught as salespeople to take and enough, they make more gross on the online to begin with: price, availability, keep control of the conversation and lead Internet with their used car initiatives. They convenience, hate car salesman/looking for the customer, rather than listening. We broke the negative paradigm of assuming a different way to do business and research. prepare responses even before the customer all people were looking for was price. They is through speaking. We portray ourselves also stopped stressing the 40 + dealerships Think about it: If you ask someone to care about what the customer is saying around their store and what they were what they were looking to accomplish by nodding our heads, when, in reality, doing. They began focusing on their own by going online and they respond with we are waiting for the customer to stop prospects and the factors they actually have “convenience,” it really doesn’t make speaking so we can implement a closing control over — “circle of influence” versus much sense to jump to price (and with most statement (“Want to take it for a spin?”). “circle of concern.” They focused on taking dealers, that means invoice). It would make the appropriate steps to “qualify” their more sense to structure your presentation The main objective of any successful prospects. to sell all of the convenience you and your business is to exceed a prospect’s dealership can provide, such as filling out expectation(s). But how can anyone meet To be the best, it isn’t enough to just most of the qualification paperwork via or exceed the “unknown”? If a salesperson meet your customer’s expectations; you fax before the customer arrives or taking a does not take the time to first establish the must exceed them. You must supply demo over to them for a test drive during customer’s wants, wishes and expectations, them with some validity as to why they the customer’s lunch break and so on. how on earth are you ever going to exceed should buy a vehicle from you rather than them? your competitor. This is done with their Seek first to understand, then to be dealership’s value package proposition. understood. In sales, it makes no difference For the past 10 years, I have been building This means they sell the “sizzle” of why whether you are on the showroom floor Internet Departments and BDC’s all across the prospect should do business at their or in the Internet department. Salespeople the United States and have come across dealership. Specifically, what is their are too quick to splurge information to a the same misinformed assumption — “The differentiator from all of those other 40+ prospect and they do not spend enough time only thing people are looking for on the surrounding Chevrolet dealerships. qualifying them by trying to identify their Internet is price.” In fact, statistics show wants, wishes and expectations. In reality, that only 20 percent of people who shop Here is a simple qualifying question you a customer will sell themself if you listen online are solely price motivated. So what can ask your prospect: “Have you ever hard enough. I strongly suggest that if you are the other 80 percent looking for? purchased a vehicle online?” want to sell more cars, more profitably and • Availability, Convenience, Research, more often, you practice your listening Hate car salesman / Looking for a If they say “Yes,” follow with, “Great, and qualifying skills. Don’t just hear your different way to do business. where did you purchase that vehicle, and prospect; understand your prospect. what did you like about that experience?” Sean V. Bradley is the founder and CEO Dealers are consumed with the inaccurate Whatever they respond with, make sure of Dealer Synergy, a nationally recognized fact of price being the sole reason why your dealership does that too. training and consulting company in people are going online, and the result is the automotive industry. He can be that dealers don’t qualify their prospects Then you transition to your value package contacted at 866.648.7400, or by e-mail at properly. The dealer assumes he or she proposition. 16
  9. 9. LS STS StephenR.Covey JasonBlairleadershipsolution sales&trainingsolution BEYOND THE MORE TIME FOR RED PERFORMANCE REVIEW FLAG COMPLIANCE In my town, there’s machine. If you’re a business leader in the smart, you will understand as much as The FTC has tools, but will not make you compliant. look for potential Red Flags in your business. a lawn service that 21st century, you know that employees are you possibly can about that customer’s announced that the comes by three or four times a year to by far your most important asset to your idea of good value — about the “win” mandatory deadline for meeting the Red Flag Pay attention to what is out there and examine the grass for diseases, apply a dealership. You treat them as volunteers, for the customer. The same is true of Rule has been delayed until May 1, 2009 remember your dealership’s livelihood is at Jason Blair is the president of little fertilizer and some other treatments just as you treat customers as volunteers, salespeople. Intelligent leaders seek to (the deadline was to be Nov. 1, 2008). While stake. Do not ignore this mandate; start your Dealerspan LLC. He can be contacted at to keep things going, and after about 10 because they choose to volunteer the best deeply and accurately understand the this gives dealers some breathing room in identity theft prevention program now and do 866.618.8235, or by e-mail at minutes, head off to the next lawn. part of themselves — their hearts and “wins” for their sales staff. Instead of creating an identity theft prevention program, not forget to train your staff appropriately to minds — to your dealership. And they have reviewing performance, they sit down putting it off and gambling that the FTC will This also is how performance evaluations more choices than ever about where and with their salespeople and make “win-win never come to your dealership to check isn’t are generally done in most organizations. what they will volunteer. agreements.” The salesperson defines what a good idea. The odds may be on your side, Every year or so, the boss does a the win is for him or her, and the leader but know this: You are risking a great deal. performance review on the employees. I was in a group once where someone defines what the win is for the dealership. We get checked off on a 10-point scale or asked, “How do you shape up lazy and The fine that the FTC can levy on a business some other device. The boss drops a little incompetent employees?” One man A win-win agreement always contains that has violated this federally mandated encouragement on us — or some other responded, “Drop hand grenades!” Several the same basic elements. First, you define law is $2,500 per “knowing” incident. treatment — to keep things going. It takes others cheered that “shape up or ship together the goal of the agreement — the “That doesn’t sound that bad,” you might about 10 minutes, and then we can all get out” approach to supervision. But another desired result. Then you define, again be thinking to yourself. “I mean, it’s a back to work. person in the group asked, “Why don’t you together, the guidelines, resources and tremendous hassle to put this identity theft do that to your customers? Just say, ‘Listen, accountability mechanisms you will use prevention program in place — I’ll just The annual, semi-annual, quarterly or if you’re not interested in buying, you can — that is, how and when you will account pay the fine instead.” What you may not whatever performance review is universally just ship out of this place?” for progress on the goal. Finally, you define understand is that what the FTC is defining a disliked. Employees are confused, because the wins for both of you if you achieve the “knowing” violation as every finance or lease they don’t understand what they’re being He said, “You can’t do that to customers.” goal — and the consequences if you don’t. deal that takes place after the deadline. So, evaluated on. Bosses hate doing it, because say you sell 100 cars a month and you finance they don’t believe in the process, and they “Well, how come you can do it to your Developing win-win agreements is 50 percent of them. That’s 50 “knowing” fear the confrontations that sometimes arise. employees?” the central activity of good leadership. violations. Multiply that by $2,500, and you Employees manage themselves within know why this is a bad risk idea. The old notion is that the leaders evaluate “Because they work for you.” the framework of the agreement. Leaders Now you may be asking yourself, “I need people’s performance, sometimes using keep the resources flowing and the a Red Flag solution for my dealership, but a set of subjective criteria that is sprung He answered, “Are you kidding? You can’t pathway clear. And when it comes time I don’t have the resources to put it together. on them at the end of the reporting find good people these days. There’s too to do the performance review, there’s no Where do I start and what do I look for?” period. This, of course, is absolutely much turnover, disloyalty, absenteeism, longer a visit from the lawn inspector. The insulting, which is why so many managers moonlighting — people just don’t care employees evaluate themselves. When looking for a Red Flag solution, themselves don’t get good performance anymore.” dealers should look to address some of the scores from their people. Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D., is co-founder tougher and more time-consuming aspects The top leaders of the 21st century realize of FranklinCovey, and is the author of of compliance, such as: The old-time performance review has that the implied contract between supplier the best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly • the process and time involved in become a meaningless ritual, a holdover and customer also is in force between the Effective People. He can be contacted at developing the required identity theft from the Industrial Age mindset of treating leaders and the led. A customer comes to 866.892.6363, or by e-mail at prevention program. people, like interchangeable parts in a you to buy a vehicle, for value. If you’re • assessing your business risk level when it comes to identity theft (in all locations) • the training of all necessary staff • improving overall dealership knowledge with informative data to assist the staff in detecting Red Flags in their dealership When all is said and done, a careful approach should be used when choosing an outside vendor to service your Red Flag needs. A company may tell you that they have a Red Flag solution for you, but if they do not offer you a turn-key solution or means of building your identity theft prevention program, then you will not be compliant with the Rule. There are systems 1918 out there that assist you in identifying potential Red Flags, some of which are great the #1 sales-improvement magazine for the automotive professional
  10. 10. LS MarkProctorleadershipsolution IT’S TIME FOR A DECISION Are you in or out? In 1975, the dollar amount estimated to Toyota, any manufacturer or dealership. The decisions you train a new sales person was $7,500. A Our competition is the salesman down the make now will determine your future or large portion was the amount of business road with his hands in his pocket spouting create a self-fulfilling prophecy. You, and lost due to rookie mistakes of not properly the infamous greeting “Can I help you?” only you, will decide to stay and fight the qualifying, taking short cuts, etc. I believe good fight with the tools needed in a down the amount was actually higher then, and it During a downturn, the best dealers market, or throw in the towel and walk is hard to comprehend the cost today with survive, capitalize on what they have and away. many dealerships’ staggering turnover. prepare for better times with the help of the best consultants, trainers and information Every previous downturn from the 70’s oil Many consultants blow in, blow off and available. However; tough times also embargo, to the 80’s interest rates to the blow out with your hard-earned dollars generate a deluge of snake oil salesmen — 90’s over-saturated market has produced providing a few minutes of motivation who have never run a successful dealership stronger dealers. Now is the time to invest followed by a “let down” when measurable or managed a department — offering the in your people and your future. results are not achieved. We then ask latest and greatest gimmick, promotion or ourselves if the money could have been idea or offer a team of unknowns to do it You do not build a business. You build an utilized more effectively. Whether you for you. There is too much at stake not to organization of like-minded people who sell 50 a month or 500 a month, the only know who your partners are or who is in builds your business and customer base that question is how much do you keep at the your store. supports you through the toughest times. end of the day. There will be 13 million vehicles sold this We can never be better than the people year. The question is: How much of your A few years ago, someone thought you with whom we surround ourselves. If you “unfair share” of the market are you going could and should sell cars like stereos. are considering a consultant, marketing to capture or give to the competition? That did not work out quite as expected or sales training group, be sure to ask and business plans were modified. Great “What qualifies you to tell me how to run For years, most dealerships have had one ideas are a dime a dozen. Implementation my store?” Pick your partners carefully. common complaint: “I can’t hire good is everything. Why do we keep trying to Working with someone who actually salespeople.” How many times do we reinvent the wheel? Cars are sold one at a understands the car business and needs of hear that and other misconceptions in our time. This business is built on relationships. the dealer will pay huge dividends in the business? There has never been a better time end without headaches and surprises later. to recruit and train quality people looking We are blessed to be in the greatest for an opportunity. There were 159,000 business in the world. Most of the people You will never save yourself into a people who lost their jobs last month? I we know will be in the market for a new profit. You have to sell yourself into one. think that was just in the car business. All or used vehicle. There is also a pent-up Surround yourself with the right people kidding aside, it is tougher now than it’s demand from people waiting for the next and you will be able to survive market ever been and might get worse before it gets big thing. News flash: There is no next downturns and the occasional bump in the better. The good news is that you are sitting big thing. What they have not found is a road. There is an old saying: If you always on a gold mine. You have to sow the seeds “transportation specialist” and “dealer for do what you’ve always done, you will now to reap tomorrow’s benefits. life.” You will never have customers for always get what you’ve always got. Not life without salespeople for life. today. You will not get a fraction of what Hire the right candidates; train and pay you did in the past. It is time for a change. them. Sound too simple? It’s not. If a The most important thing we have to Make a decision. Are you in or out? salesperson does not succeed in our change now is how we recruit, train, business, it is not their fault. It is our fault. motivate and pay our people to create We hired the wrong person to begin with, the buying experience we require for our did not provide the proper training or did customers. They go hand in hand. The not pay them fairly. If we do not pay a buying experience is what separates us Mark Proctor is the president of Preferred person worth keeping, someone else will from the competition. Dealer Services, Inc. He can be and capitalize on your generosity to train contacted at 866.922.3541, or by e-mail salespeople for them. Our competition is not between Honda or at