sales management

Selling Cars Online or Offline: DIY F&I? WTH?






  Today’s old car dogs will surely react with utter disdain and perhaps even great vengeance and furious anger when they read that I not only believe Do-It-Yourself F&I is the future, but that dealers who fail to embrace this trend will find themselves struggling to create a buying experience that customers love (and are(…)






Selling Cars Online or Offline: Let’s Remove (Not Reduce) The Friction






  Newsflash: Regardless of what you and your team believe, customers perceive multiple points of friction in the car buying process. Friction, by the way, that has today’s buyer seeking ways to avoid the dealership experience while working overtime to ensure you make no money on their deal. Given this, how your customers view your(…)






Selling Cars Online or Offline: What Does an Efficient Road-to-the-Sale Look Like?






  Before we look at an efficient road-to-the-sale (RTTS), let’s talk about what’s wrong with the traditional variety: It takes too long. It repeats steps. It lacks transparency. Your Road-to-the-Sale Takes Too Long Even dealers who feel like they’ve squeezed out all of the unnecessary steps in their RTTS, still spend more than three hours(…)






Solve Dealership Turnover Issues and Everything Else is a Cakewalk






  Quick… make a list of the top five issues that are negatively impacting your dealership’s profitability that also have little to do with sales team turnover. If you’re like many of the dealers I’ve spoken with over the last year, your list probably contains items like these: Mediocre Online Reputation/CSI Higher Discounting/Lower Grosses Flattening(…)






Selling Cars Online or Offline: The “Traditional” Up






  The buyer we’re most familiar with is often called the “Traditional” Up. I put “Traditional” in quotes because today’s Up is anything but traditional. As we see in the data, today’s Up (unlike the Up from just a few years ago) absolutely knows what they and they have a really good idea what they’re(…)






Selling Cars Online or Offline: Not Everyone Wants to Buy Their Next Car Online






  Be prepared to be shocked, but not everyone wants to buy their next car online. Not even close. While there are certainly consumers who will fully buy new and used vehicles online today, they likely represent no more than five to seven percent of total buyers. This means they’re still an important group to(…)






Selling Cars Online or Offline: It’s All About A Great Experience!






  (This is the first article in a multi-post series.) Throughout this series we’re going to explore how top dealers are successfully selling cars today: the way their customers want to buy. In the process, they’re creating great buying experiences that lead to higher grosses and real market share growth. Moreover, they’re leveraging these great(…)






United Breaks Humans






Lots of you, whether you are a frequent flier or involved somehow in digital marketing and reputation management, are aware that United Breaks Guitars. That is, you’ve viewed the nearly 8-year old music video written, performed and produced by a band that claims they watched as United Airlines’ employees carelessly flung their guitars around the(…)






Why Carvana Will Fail (and How They Might Succeed)






  (This is an updated and edited version of my two-part series originally posted on the 3 Birds Marketing blog.) Before we dive into why Carvana will fail (and how it might succeed), I want to make sure we’re all up to speed on the used car market, in general. Unless you just don’t pay(…)






Hey Car Dealer: Stop Letting Carvana (and Everyone Else) Define You!






Hey Car Dealer: Stop Letting Carvana (and Everyone Else) Define You!  If you believe the corporate manifestos and marketing pitches of every automotive retail-related startup for the last twenty years, then you’d think America’s car dealerships are staffed by a bunch of puppy-kicking thieves providing zero value as they work overtime to deliver the absolute(…)






The Customer Experience Series: The 7 Traits of a Great CSR






  Wait, what’s a CSR again? CSR stands for Customer Service Representative. For some of you this might mean anyone who answers your phones. It might also mean everyone on your sales team. You see, any employee or manager on your frontlines should be solving customer service issues; and anyone who should be solving customer(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Ditch the Antiquated Call-Center Metrics!






  Okay, you’ve got an empowered customer service team, but their average call times are still too high! What the heck? Average call times? You’re measuring average call times for a customer service team that’s supposed to be solving issues? Is this 2017 or 1967? If you’re like a lot of the call centers that(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Empower the Frontlines Dammit!






  It’s time to stop escalating the customer service issues in your business. While good leaders allow their subordinates to escalate customer issues, great leaders don’t see many escalated issues at all. This is because great leaders not only allow those on the frontline to solve issues; they expect it. Would you like to solve(…)






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 Customer Experience Series: Kill ‘em with Kindness






  In the last post from this series, we learned to picture the customer with the issue as someone’s slightly confused, 95-year-old great grandmother. We do this primarily so that we’re always on our best behavior; but this exercise will also help us handle the nastiest of irate customers by teaching us to kill them(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Reactive Customer Service






  Resolving customer issues is not actual customer service, it’s reactive customer service. Businesses that assume this is actual customer service completely miss the point of managing the customer experience. The goal, of course, is to eliminate issues before they occur. When you’re faced with resolving an issue – that is, practicing reactive customer service(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Oops, We Screwed The Pooch. Now What?






  I think readers of this series are fairly clear on my feeling that great customer means never having an issue in the first place, right? Well, okay, but what happens when we mess up? What happens when we screw the pooch? Responding to and solving a customer service issue is required whenever your team(…)






The Customer Experience Series: But They’re Just After Dinner Mints!






  There’s a great 2002 study on manipulating the customer experience that was published in The Journal of Applied Social Psychology detailing how something as small as an after dinner mint can be used to dramatically increase a waiter’s tips. For those of you not wanting to read the entire study (I don’t blame you),(…)






Car Dealer Email Best Practices: Processes That Work






  Stop Overthinking Your Emails! Between prepping for 20-Group presentations to serving our regular clients, we mystery shop scores of dealers each month – reading their emails and texts, and listening to their voicemails – and while we’ve seen definite overall improvement over the years, one aspect of the internet sales process that is beginning(…)






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