American Car Dealerships

November 21, 2013

Josh Vajda Video: Three Credit Trends To Help Your Dealership Sell More Cars

Three Credit Trends To Help Dealers Sell More Cars by Josh Vajda – Automotive Professional

USE LINK TO WATCH VIDEO – Josh Vajda has seriously effective tips and best practice recommendations for car dealers and automotive professionals in all his car biz Videos, and this one is no exception!

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

November 18, 2013

5 Keys to High Level Motivation for Car Dealers

5 Keys to High Level Motivation for Car Dealers

Al Mosher writes: “Motivational speakers can’t motivate you. Oh, they can get you all excited about a new idea or concept but that’s not motivation. Motivation is turning that excitement into action and only YOU can do that.”

“The good news is that means you can be motivated and/or have a positive attitude whenever you choose to. No one can make you have an unproductive day or a crappy attitude unless you let them.”

“In order to maintain a consistently high level of motivation, you need to have a plan to keep your motivation at that kind of level. This plan should include these 5 things:”

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

November 15, 2013

Lessons Car Dealers Can Learn From the Failure of Blockbuster

 Lessons Car Dealers Can Learn From the Failure of Blockbuster

Richard Holland writes: \”Video rental stores aren’t going out of business because people don’t want to rent movies. There is still a huge demand for entertainment. What’s happened is that companies have found less expensive ways to deliver this content to consumers, which has led to lower pricing and greater convenience. If the consumer begins to believe that the quality of service at a dealership is the same as that of an independent, pricing will begin to dictate consumer choices when it comes to deciding where to take their vehicle for service. Your fixed ops revenue is your bread and butter. Start making changes and plan how you’re going to protect it. Because there are plenty of challenges coming that seek to take it away.”

Read the entire article via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

via

November 8, 2013

How to Recruit Dealership Employees with Social Media

How to Recruit Dealership Employees with Social Media

Currently 92% of companies use social media as a recruiting tool.

So how do you differentiate your dealership to attract the best employees? There’s more to it than just posting your job opening on Facebook or LinkedIn. Engage the best applicants by considering the following points:

Culture

In the past, culture wasn’t always something that employers marketed or employees looked into prior to accepting a position. Today, culture is one of the major factors that applicants consider before applying for or accepting a position in industries nationwide.

When posting a job opportunity to a social media site, consider what applicants may be looking for. Post pictures demonstrating your company’s culture by showing company parties and excursions. Consider showing videos of interactions within your work place. Go above and beyond to show them the truly positive culture your dealership has to offer. The goal is to show them everything your dealership has to offer, which is more than just a position.

The Executive Team

The Executive Team makes the big decisions that affect the entire company. They set the culture, they set the job description, and they can make any job pleasant and rewarding or unfulfilling.

Consider showing how your team works from the top down using social media. Ask your management team to blog or create a video series. An executive’s quote posted with their picture and a link to the job posting can go a long way.

Demonstrate What You Do

What makes your dealership different? What makes your dealership meaningful? Job hunting goes both ways. You’re interviewing applicants while they’re interviewing you.

Show potential employees what kind of work that they will do for you. What is of interest and what carries significance? What opportunities will employees have to contribute to your dealership? Enhance the prospective employee’s view by demonstrating the positive roll they can have at your dealership.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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March 30, 2013

Chip Perry Leaves AutoTrader.com After 16 Years In Charge – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Chip Perry Leaves AutoTrader.com After 16 Years In Charge

 

Chip Perry leaves AutoTrader as of May 1, 2013.

Mr. Perry has been with AutoTrader.com since its inception has been admired by many Dealers and industry observers. The AutoTrader team announced he was leaving the Autotrader Group effective May 1.

Chip served as president and CEO of AutoTrader.com, and was the company’s first employee in 1997 when asked by Manheim to launch the corporation. Since then, AutoTrader.com has grown to become the world’s largest automotive marketplace and Chip Perry has become widely recognized as a pioneer of the online automotive industry.

 

Mr. Sandy Schwartz  will assume the role of President of AutoTrader Group.

Sources report that Mr.Schwartz will continue reporting to Mr. Jim Hayes the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cox Enterprises. Sandy Schwartz became President of Manheim in mid 2011. Before Manheim, Mr. Schwartz served as President of Cox Media Group.

In researching Mr. Schwartz’s business history we believe he joined Cox in 1985 and served in many functions including President of Cox Arizona Publishing, Executive Vice President of the Austin American-Statesman, Vice President and General Manager of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Executive Vice President of Cox Newspapers and Vice President of business development for Cox Enterprises.

Mr. Schwartz’s automotive experience has been limited other then working with AutoTrader. He served as President of Cox AutoTrader, comprised of both AutoTrader.com and AutoTrader Publishing. He also has been on the board of AutoTrader.com for several years.

Chip Perry has done a wonderful job growing dealer relationships, sales, marketing, product development, information technology,customer service efforts and AutoTrader team member development.

On an optimistic note, we are sure that the ADM Professional Community members and AutoTrader team will welcome Sandy with an open mind towards new innovations and a perfecting of AutoTrader’s proven advertising solutions.

Sadly, we will also miss Chip’s presence at AutoTrader and wish him all the best.

 

via Chip Perry Leaves AutoTrader.com After 16 Years In Charge – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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March 15, 2013

Consultant Directory – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Consultant Directory – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Consultant Directory

The Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community is proud to include amongst its membership base many of the most experienced, well known and most importantly, highest rated on the basis of effectiveness, Automotive Consultants available for hire by dealers. These consultants specialize in many different areas, such as:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Internet Sales Management
  • Business Development Centers
  • Telephone Skills and Marketing
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Advertising and Promotions
  • Reputation Management
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing;
    including Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Advertising (PPC)
  • Fixed Operations
  • Service Marketing
  • Accessory Marketing and Sales
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Lead Management Process
  • Organization Design and Strategy
  • Recruiting and Hiring
  • Used Vehicle Sales and Marketing
  • Plus many more areas of specialty…

We will continue adding to this list on an opt-in basis by professional automotive consultants who would like to be listed, and have a verifiable track record of serving their clients in an effective and ethical manner.

Please send your listing information, as seen below, and the link to your ADM Professional Community profile to Ralph Paglia using the ADM Message system. You can message Ralph from his profile page at www.RalphPaglia.com.

The following Automotive Consultants are available for providing a variety of services to New and Used Vehicle Dealerships throughout North America, and they have been vetted through the ADM Professional Community based on their articles and guidance as knowledgeable and skilled at their respective areas of specialization… Plus, unless I (Ralph Paglia) have personal first-hand knowledge of a consultant’s skills and capabilities that are adequate to merit calling yourself an “Automotive Consultant, you do not get listed here!

Each consultant’s name is linked to their ADM Professional Community Profile where their references, blog article listings, photos, videos, links and contact information are available to prospective and current clients. The list is in no particular order, except a few of my personal favorites closer to the top:

  • PLEASE NOTE: If you have experience working with any of the Automotive Consultants listed in this ADM Professional Consulting Services Directory, please post a comment about your experience with them, pro or con!

How to Choose the Right Internet Sales Trainer or Digital Marketing Consultant…

Characteristics of Top Performing Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultants

written by Ralph Paglia

Since 1998 I have personally delivered Internet Sales Training and Digital Marketing Consulting services to over 1,000 car dealers and at least 6 car companies.  Between 2001 and 2010 I recruited, hired, trained or supervised over 200 Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultants… While managing the services they delivered to dealers and car companies.  As I am sure you can imagine, along the way I have acquired some very developed criteria for the background and skills that can be directly associated with the people who will do a good job assisting dealers in their Internet Sales Management and Digital Marketing strategy, tactics and operational management development.  So what are these criteria that I personally associate with the people most likely to make a positive difference at a dealership when it comes to selling cars and service using the web?  Joe Webb asked me to list them in a manner that he can include in a document designed to help car dealers make better decisions on who to hire as an Internet Sales Trainer or Consultant, so let me itemize what I consider to be the Top 5 ways to select an Internet/Digital trainer or consultant in a prioritized list based on each item’s rank in order of importance:

1. Experience – How many dealership Internet Sales Departments has the trainer or consultant set up, built, managed, designed and monitored? In many ways, when a dealer hires a trainer or consultant what is actually purchased is that person’s previous experience in both success and failure in the various aspects of creating and operating Internet Sales Teams, Digital Marketing Strategies and related operational aspects of making these people, processes and technologies work for dealers in regards to selling cars, parts and service business.  Les experience should cost less and more experience is worth more to the dealer hiring an outside trainer/consultant. Also, as important as it is to hire trainers/consultants who have had BOTH sales and management experience in dealerships prior to becoming a trainer/consultant, it is important to point out that 48 weeks on the road as a consultant installing Internet Sales and Digital Marketing strategies and tactics in 24 different dealerships is probably equivalent to 6 years of experience working as a manger in a car dealership.  As a dealer, when you hire a trainer/consultant who has done similar work in dozens of different dealerships you are acquiring a broad base of experience that increases the likelihood of success in your dealership.  Let me describe a graphic and personal example… I have personally installed over 100 Business Development Centers in Ford dealerships.  I know which of my first 100 dealerships subsequently either disbanded those BDC’s or simply let them decline into non-existence.  Of the 60 that are still in operation 7 years later, there are common element in their design and implementation that can be associated with their long term success and profitable contributions to the dealership’s they serve.  Likewise, of the 40 BDC’s from those original 100 I installed that no longer exist, there are common elements to the way they were designed, set up, staffed, physically located and managed.  It is safe to say that I know what make a BDC more likely to be successful.  Likewise, broad based experience working with many dealerships and in different parts of the country is more likely to result in a better trainer/consultant for any dealership considering who to hire. Lastly in regards to experience, this is the essential ingredient for success with “Situational Management”… As opposed to implementing robotic, one way to do something processes in any dealership, the implementation of results based processes is far more effective when it comes to sales, customer retention and efficiency.  There are very few tasks that can only be executed in one specific way in order to experience the most success for your dealership.  The sign of a truly experienced and wise trainer or consultant is that they know how to achieve the dealership’s objectives in a variety of ways and are not dependent on one way to get something done… If that one way doesn’t work, the experienced trainer/consultant will know how to get it done using another method.

2. Work Ethic and Productivity – Since hiring a trainer/consultant usually involves the dealer paying for units of time, how much actual in-dealership face-to-face training and consulting time will you get for the money being spent and how many dealership employees and their ability to implement and execute processes will be positively impacted? What are the “deliverables” that the consultant will produce and deliver within those same units of time?  Will they deliver a documented Action Plan each time they visit the dealership?  Will the trainer/consultant follow up on whether the assigned dealership resources have completed those tasks prior to the next visit to the dealership?  Will the trainer/consultant prepare performance reports and assessments for management and dealer review?  All of these tasks are certainly in the realm of capability for every trainer/consultant worth considering, but how much is done within a billable time period is a sound basis to use in evaluating their productivity.  How much output in high value deliverables is also a function of basic work ethics inherent in the trainer/consultant personal profile.

3. Passion, Persuasion and Communication Skills – I debated whether to list this as #2 or #3, but let’s just say that these are VERY, VERY important skills (character traits?) for any trainer or consultant a dealership is considering… How effectively can that person express themselves to a variety of different people in your dealership?  How well will their message resonate with your team? Is the trainer/consultant passionate enough about the work they do to have their enthusiasm become contagious and infect your dealership’s employees? The ability to both communicate what needs to be done on a daily basis and persuade your team that they will each be more successful by doing these things is paramount to whether or not a dealer gets the most bang for the buck when hiring a, Internet Sales Trainer or Digital Marketing Consultant.  There are several ways to evaluate these types of skills… Watch the trainer/consultant on video, read the articles he/she has written and published.  Look at the quality of training materials they use, speak to them by phone and ask the trainer/consultant to convince you to do something an Internet Sales Manager, BDC Rep, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager or Salesperson should be doing each day as part of their work flow process.  After all, if the trainer/consultant cannot convince you as the dealer or GM that something should be done, how the heck are they going to convince your employees?  

4. Dealer and/or OEM References – Before you sign any contracts or pay any money, speak to at least two people who have hired and used the trainer or consultant you are considering… As they say on Wall Street, “Past Performance may not be an effective indicator of future performance” but checking references is certainly a prudent step to execute in evaluation a trainer or consultant and falls under the category of Due Diligence.  What are some of the things to ask about a trainer/consultant?  You should ask if whatever they did effected the behavior of the dealership’s employees after the trainer/consultant left the facility.  How long did their visit to the dealership, or the remote work they did for that dealer continue to have a positive effect on the dealership’s operations?  What should you watch out for?  I have heard dealers describe many horror stories, such as paying a trainer/consultant in advance and then having difficulty getting them to visit the dealership on a date that worked for both parties.  Or, having paid for one trainer/consultant only to have somebody the dealer never met or heard of show up to deliver the services.  However, there is one issue I have noticed over the years that may sound bad, but is actually indicative of the very best trainers and consultants I have worked with… Have they ever been kicked out of a dealership? Some of the best and most effective Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultant have been asked to leave a few dealerships over the years.  This is what happens when a passionate, highly skilled change agent works in a dealership that is determined NOT to change; almost like an unhealthy body rejecting a healthy organ transplant! Bottom line, always contact 2 or more dealer references when considering hiring any trainer or consultant. 

5. Do They Walk The Talk? – Whenever considering a trainer or consultant who specializes in any aspect of web based marketing, sales and communications, you should check on how much they practice what they preach.  So, for example if an Internet Sales Trainer tells you he or she believes in prompt responses to Internet Sales Leads and customer emails… Send them an email message and ask for their phone number; then take note of how long it took them to respond.  If a consultant professes to being able to help you improve your dealership’s various website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) implementations, do a Google search for their name or the name of their business and take note of how well they show up and how many listings are sites or accounts they are in control of.  If a trainer/consultant tells you they will help your team send better emails to your dealership’s customers, ask them to send you examples using your name as if you were the prospective car buyer or service customer.  The trainer/consultant claims to be able to make sense out of using social media to enhance your dealership’s sales and marketing? Then, get their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Ning and WordPress site or profile addresses and go check them out online… How do they look? Are they practicing what they preach? 

I hope these five evaluation recommendations help you make a better decision when considering brining in an outside Internet Sales Trainer or Digital Marketing Consultant, but let me include a final bit of very important advice… If you are not prepared to implement that vast majority of a trainer or consultant’s recommendations and operational processes, then your dealership is not an ideal candidate for these types of services. Having assisted many dealerships over the past 13 years, after managing dealerships and departments for many years before that, it is always a little surprising to me when a dealership embraces all that I give them and actually does it! I love it when this happens, but more often than not, dealership management teams will pick and choose the items a trainer or consultant gives them and only implement those items… This does not always provide the best results.  However, every dealer I have ever worked with that reinforced the implementation of the vast majority of what i recommended, then enforced the discipline to make sure the dealership employees executed these processes every day, has been VERY successful in achieving the Internet Sales and Digital Marketing objectives.  So, the lesson learned is that if you do what the trainer or consultant you hire tells you and your team to do, your dealership will experience success… But, if you choose partial implementation by picking and choosing which items to implement, you will get only partial success, and maybe none at all.

Ralph Paglia

via Consultant Directory – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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March 13, 2013

To Pre-Qualify or Not to Pre-Qualify Customers? Automotive Marketing

To Pre-Qualify or Not to Pre-Qualify Customers?

Automotive Digital Marketing Professionals

I appreciate it when Josh Vajda challenges long standing auto industry beliefs that drive our sales process… He is right on target about the age old question about “Qualifying Customers”. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is always a risk of “Over-Qualifying” prospective new and used vehicle buyers, but as Josh describes, a “just right” amount of prospect qualifying is not only in the customer’s best interest, it is what they expect and will respond to in a more positive manner than if you do no qualifying investigation.

via To Pre-Qualify or Not to Pre-Qualify Customers? – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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February 28, 2013

Map and Directions to Power Ford in Albuquerque, NM – Power Ford

PowerFordNM.com 2

via Map and Directions to Power Ford in Albuquerque, NM – Power Ford.

February 18, 2013

Top 100 Auto Blogs Infographic Ranks by Quality of Content

The Infographic shown below illustrates an independently produced list that ranks the Top 100 Automotive Blogs recommended for you to visit, subscribe, join and follow in 2013…

When the author (Ron Mays) who assembled and created the infographic that shows this ranking of the “Top 100 Automotive Blogs and Networks for 2013” first contacted Ralph Paglia, we did not know what to expect. Ralph provided Ron Mays with the information he requested. When the list was announced by CouponAudit and the below Infographic published, all of us associated with the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community were pleasantly surprised to see that the ADM Professional Community came in at number 10 out of 100 sites that were selected and ranked.

Immediately below is the infographic that Ron Mays and the CouponAudit team created to display this ranking of auto industry and car business networking UGC sites:

Top 100 Fashion blogs to follow

An infographic by the team at CouponAudit

In above infographic, you can view top 100 Auto Blogs to follow in 2013, which CouponAudit ranked according to quality of posts.

Visit and join the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community at www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com

January 18, 2013

Farmers Make More Money – Automotive Professional Community

Farmers Make More Money than Hunters in a Car Dealership Sales Department

Farmers Make More Money

Men and women who consistently put big numbers on the sales board are farmers.

No, they don’t grow organic vegetables, but they do know the value of the law of the harvest.

This law says that what you sow you reap.

With 100% certainty, if you plant tomato seeds the end result will be tomatoes.   

In other words, if you sow or plant future sales opportunities by working your customer database you’re certain to convert many of those opportunities into sales.

These sales will happen, not always in the same season, of course, but because you plant seeds – plant future sales opportunities — every day. Because you do, you reap a harvest every day as well.

 

Unfortunately, most sales associates are not farmers

They’re waiters… waiting on a fresh showroom up, a phone up or an internet lead. Statistically, their sales tend to carry low grosses, their customer CSI is lower, and their deals earn them only mini commissions.

 

Break up your fallow ground

In agriculture terms, acreage not used for crop production for a season or two is called fallow ground.  In car sales terms, this acreage is the customer database. The farmers in the dealership know that it’s by breaking up their fallow ground – working the database – that bountiful harvests are secured for the months and years ahead.

 

Farmers make great car sales professionals

They take control of their future. They don’t complain, don’t waste time in huddles, and they show up on time to work, not read the newspaper and get themselves “settled.”

 

Farmers work their ground regularly by calling customers and asking them for referrals, to obtain names of other members in the household who own or drive vehicles and they routinely promote themselves through community networking and personal public relations efforts.

 

Farmers in the dealership, compared to hunters:

  • Plant seeds with the 30 percent of everyone in the associate’s database who has someone in their family or among their friends and associates who will buy a car within 90 days, according to Joe Verde.
  • Go after the 33 percent of customers who leave a dealership unsold and who would return if prospected. Research shows that 67 percent of these deals will close!
  • Work the odds that just 15 percent of customers are pursued after the sale – this is fertile soil for farmers.
  • Capitalize on the fact that 2 percent of customers in a database are always in market. Only those who work this soil, farming for harvests, will prospect them.
  • Pursue the three other drivers, on average, in each customer’s household.
  • Take the long view, recognizing and working the advantage that each seed harvested has the potential to buy 12 vehicles in their lifetime.
  • Seeds planted consistently over time help farmers harvest 15 to 20 or more units a month, often at higher grosses because they’re selling to existing customers. This is real money, folks; money an individual really needs to have success selling cars today.

 

Farmers fall into a sales category I like to call unconsciously competent: They innately possess the kind of sales attitude that drives them to create their own opportunities. Farmers instinctively do what is right, consistently.

 

Farmers know that selling cars is like raising crops – a process, not an event. 

They embrace the truth that their success is theirs to achieve, no one else’s.

They manage their time, they work hard, they understand the statistics are on their side, and they make great money.

By Patrick Kelly

CAR-Research XRM 

http://www.carxrm.com

pkelly@carxrm.com

713-275-3500

via Farmers Make More Money – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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