Automotive

How America’s New Car Dealers Can Prepare for the Coming Autonomous Vehicle Disruption






  As I wrote in 2015’s Self-Driving Cars: the Winners and the Losers, new car dealers will be among the “Obvious Losers” when, not if, self-driving vehicles become ubiquitous. However, I also predicted that this evolution wouldn’t likely begin impacting new car dealers before 2025.  My timeline has actually contracted a little in the last(…)






Shut Up About the Appointments Already!






  This may sound like strange advice since I teach dealers how to implement both an Appointment Culture and The Perfect Appointment in their dealerships… but, will you please shut up about the appointments already? You are failing to set real appointments that show and buy, precisely because you talk so much about appointments that(…)






Car Dealers: Stop Overthinking Your Website! It’s All About Conversion!






(This is an update of a 2011 article I wrote for Digital Dealer Magazine. For some reason, my byline is absent in the online version of that post.) As I’ve said (and written) for a decade, if you’re a for-profit business, your website has only two goals: Attract Visitors. Convert those Visitors into Customers. Attract.(…)






Appointments Are The Only Thing






One of the great things about what I do is that I get to speak to a lot of dealer groups. It’s something I really enjoy doing; but more than that, it’s something I feel needs to be done. I believe an educated dealer is a successful dealer; and there is just so much misinformation(…)






Your Website Has Only 2 Goals






  I hate to break it to you, but if you run a for-profit business – like a car dealership – then your website has just two important goals: Goal #1 – Attract Visitors Goal #2 – Convert Visitors Sorry, that’s it. Attracting and converting visitors are the only real value your website provides and(…)






Car Dealer Internet Sales: It Really Ain’t All That Hard






Stop Overthinking Internet Sales: 7 Simple Strategies for Closing More Deals Today! The perception of internet sales for many dealers and traditional sales managers is that it’s still a confusing area best left to those who are more “technologically proficient.” Moreover, industry vendors, other so-called experts and even some trainers continue to profit in keeping(…)






Car Dealers: Overcoming the Price Objection in a Price-Transparent World






The Best Way To Overcome Today’s Price Objections Whether training sales managers for an OEM or a call center for a single-point dealer, the concern posed more than any other recently is how to overcome price objections on the phone in today’s transparent environment. Most dealers, you see, do a decent job of managing objections(…)






The Best Be-Back Process: Getting a Be-Back to Be-Back






The three-minute Be-Back process that actually works… When dealers ask me to help their teams improve their be-back appointment percentage, the first thing I say is “call them.” By that, I mean, “Pick up the damn phone and actually call a be-back for once in your ever-loving life!” I’m not trying to be a jerk;(…)






What we learned from mystery shopping KBB, CarGurus and your dealership






I’ve often heard top process people say something like “The first step to process improvement is understanding what needs to be improved.” Knowing, they say, is half the battle. We mystery shop hundreds of dealers each year and like to think we learn something new with each shop. Certainly, the shop reports can be eye-opening(…)






ZMOT, Big Data, Micro-Moments and the Overthinking of Everything






  As my friend Jeff Kershner so eloquently Tweeted last week: “A few years ago everyone was going BONKERS over ZMOT and now going BONKERS over Micro-moments. It’s like breaking up a turd into pellets.”   A few years ago everyone was going BONKERS over ZMOT and now going BONKERS over Micro-moments. It’s like breaking(…)






Car Dealer Phone Skills 101: The 5 Sales Call Types and Why a BDC is Best






The 5 Car Dealer Sales Call Situations (and why a BDC is best) With today’s connected customer, there really are only a few types of phone calls your team will find themselves involved with. Gone are the days of a customer phoning and saying, “I need something good on gas for under $8,000; what do(…)






Is Duplicitous Pricing Good Business?






In a transparent, information-rich world where showrooming is commonplace, a pricing tactic used by many retailers seems strangely shortsighted. For lack of a better term, let’s call this shortsighted pricing practice “Duplicitous Pricing” or DP for short. Simply put, DP occurs when a retailer posts one price in their store while maintaining a different price(…)






Car Dealer Pay Plans: How Do You Structure a Pay Plan for a Hot Mess BDC?






  I recently received an email from a colleague asking about a pay plan for an automotive BDC that I describe as a “Hot Mess.” Why a Hot Mess, you ask?  Plainly stated, a dealership’s sales structure and associated process flows should be simple and straightforward. When these flows have multiple forks upon multiple forks(…)






Dear Car Dealer: Why your record year might be a bad thing






  Dear Car Dealer: Congratulations on a record 2015! Yippee! Now, get the slings, because you’ve likely broken your arm patting yourself on the back. If you’re an average dealership – whether privately-owned or publicly-held – you had a record year in 2015. Heck, if you’re a below average dealer you had a record 2015.(…)






Are Car Dealer Online Service Scheduling Applications Chasing Customers Away?






  Let me start this post by stating unequivocally that I am big fan of online service scheduling applications for car dealers. When set up correctly, these little tools can save you and your customers the headaches and hassles of numerous service phone calls. When set up correctly. Without getting into the weeds, suffice it(…)






Car Dealer BDCs: A Veritable Den of Thieves for Many Dealers






The Great BDC Robbery: How Reconciliation Allows Your Business Development Center to Steal from You Do you have any idea what your BDC is doing right now? A few weeks ago a general manager I’ve known for some time was bragging about the performance of his group’s Centralized BDC. He was almost gushing about how(…)






Self-Driving Cars: The Winners and The Losers






  Previously, I wrote about how I Will Never Own a Self-Driving Car (and Neither will You). In that post, I discussed why self-driving cars would not only become a reality, but how the leaders in this industry (folks like Google and Apple) will likely capitalize on this revolution. At the end of that article,(…)






I Will Never Own a Self-Driving Car (and Neither Will You)






Self-Driving Cars: Why you will NEVER buy one… There’s been a lot of talk and press lately about the coming revolution known as the autonomous drive vehicle (a.k.a. self-driving car). It’s coming. You cannot stop it. Despite your personal feelings, we will have more than a few self-driving cars on the road in the next(…)






Lead Response: What’s the Goal?






  (Here’s another quick, helpful excerpt from the free 2015 Car Dealer Mystery Shop Study of more than 400 dealers.) What is the Goal of Your Team’s Lead Response? What should be your dealership’s goal when responding to e-leads? If the prospect is inquiring about a specific vehicle, should your goal be to have them reconsider(…)






Email & Voicemail Best Practices






    (This is an excerpt from the 2015 Automotive Dealer Mystery Shop Study completed by pladoogle.com; and the best practices shared below relate to the email and voicemail messages that car dealers should be using when responding to an internet sales lead.) Voicemail & Email Responses – Best Practices It’s important to remember the goal of this(…)






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