Digression

Amazon to buy AutoNation in deal valued at $5.33 billion






BREAKING: Fort Lauderdale, FL, June 19, 2017 – Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) jolted the automotive retail industry this morning when it announced plans to buy giant AutoNation (NYSE: AN); introducing more uncertainty into a sector already faced with massive disruption on the horizon ranging from online car sales to autonomous vehicles. The $5.33 billion deal, a(…)






Sorry to Burst Your Bubble, But Netflix Did Kill Blockbuster






There’s a strangely popular and wholly inaccurate post going around LinkedIn and other social media that generates tons of likes and shares – this, despite the post’s complete break from reality. I suppose it’s liked so much because it attempts to equate the demise of every industry to bad customer service and not technology; even when(…)






How to be the Best DMV Clerk Ever!






  How to be the Best DMV Clerk Ever! Looking for advice on how to be a good person – one that others will want to do business with – despite dealing with the dumbest people on the planet all day? Hoping to garner some knowledge about treating others with dignity even when you hold(…)






Car Dealerships and Culture in a Flattening Market






  If you examine the average dealership’s sales from 2010 through 2016, you’ll notice that they steadily grew year-over-year. Of course, the average dealer grew because the market grew; and while everyone saw sales increases over that period, only a small percentage of dealers experienced an actual increase in their market share.   Interestingly, during this same period, most dealers(…)






The Worst Boss Ever, Yoda Would Be






The Worst Boss Ever, Yoda Would Be I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. People worship Yoda as some Svengali or Jedi Master or something; but in all honesty, a pretty crappy boss he’d make, if at your job, he was in charge. If you’re a Star Wars fanboy, you’re going to have(…)






The Leads Are Dead!






Haven’t you heard? The Leads Are Dead! According to those who struggle to generate consumer sales leads for businesses, “Sales leads are dead.” Furthermore, these (interestingly, mostly digital) marketers claim that today’s connected consumers are simply unwilling to trade their personal information online in exchange for some promise of pricing or other product data. What?(…)






That One Thing That Just Might Save Your Local Newspaper






  Attention All Digital Marketing Snobs: local newspapers are still doing a good job of driving value for local businesses looking to get their messages in front of local consumers. Yes, ad revenue is down, but so are ad rates. And it’s these lower rates that now make it attractive for everyone from car dealers(…)






How To Stop Turnover & Eliminate Staffing Issues Forever!






The Solution to the Never-Ending Car Dealer Staffing Problem So much has been written about the decades-long issues of turnover and staffing in automotive retail that I continue to be amazed when I read headlines like this one from Automotive News recently: Dealership turnover squeezing profits – NADA study spotlights struggles in recruitment and retention How(…)






Website Design “Experts” Are Killing Your Website’s Design!






How To Design Your Website to Convert More Visitors into Buyers! Little-known baseball great and minor league manager Rocky Bridges once said “There are three things the average man thinks he can do better than anybody else: build a fire, run a hotel and manage a baseball team.”  If Rocky were alive today he might(…)






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(…)






Bug-A-Salt Review – Does the Bug-A-Salt Gun Really Work?






  Forgive the digression, but when an invention comes along that literally changes the course of mankind, we believe it deserves mention here on AskTheManager.com. The wheel The automobile The personal computer The Internet Coke Zero, The iPhone … and now, Bug-A-Salt! Yes, Bug-A-Salt – or, more specifically, the Bug-A-Salt 2.0 Insect Eradication Gun –(…)






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(…)






Ask for Referrals? If I was the Dealer, I’d Prefer You Ask for a Little Yelp






Among the many activities I complete in advance of a dealer consulting visit is a thorough analysis of their online reputation, as this can often help define much of the visit’s focus. During one such analysis this week, I discovered the following for an upcoming dealer visit (numbers have been estimated to protect the dealer’s(…)






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(…)






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(…)






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,(…)






Can TrueCar be Fixed? Yep, and Here’s My 10-Point Plan!






  In case you haven’t heard the news, there’s a current job opening in automotive that none of my peers will even consider: CEO of TrueCar (NASDAQ: TRUE). Most everyone I’ve spoken with about the role calls it a sure career-ender; a poisonous position that will turn even the most respected leader into an industry(…)






Delta Comfort+ is not exactly First Class Lite






  Although presented as a sort of a “secondary first class” or a “first class lite,” Delta’s Comfort+ (nee Economy Comfort) is not as much of an upgrade as their marketing would have you believe: Sky Priority® Boarding? Okay, you might get on board quicker; that is, if you’re not already a frequent flier. Dedicated(…)






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