Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Social Networking for Sales Day #3

Be Present

1. Log on at least 3-4 times per week.

2. Get involved in the conversation! Add interesting links or articles that you think others would find interesting.

3. Comment on what others are doing.

4. Be a positive force in your network! Sure, misery loves company, but no one wants to buy from misery either. Keep your messages upbeat.

5. Add friends! Continue to add friends as you meet them, and remember once you meet someone on one site, search for them on your other Social Networking sites as well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Social Networking for Sales Day #2

Engage with Others
1. Look for groups that interest you, personally & professionally. Social Networking has to be fun for you or it will become a chore. Begin by interacting with those you have something in common with.
  • Automotive Sales Related
  • Hobbies and interest-fishing, dogs, racing, bikes, car fan clubs
  • Alumni or Professional groups-Colleges, Sales Associations, Dealer Groups
  • Geographical-Local Networking, Business Associations

2. Follow the groups and add content when ideas or questions are posted, or post some of your own. Interacting within the groups will encourage getting to know new users.

3. Add people to your network. If you're interacting with someone on message boards or via the group chat board add them to your friend list or network.

The "technical stuff"

  • On LinkedIn access the groups link in your left sidebar on your home page. It's the second option down below "home." Search group by keyword, or start your own.
  • On Facebook access the group info on your home page. It's at the very bottom on the "applications" tool bar three icons over is a little people picture. Clicking here will take you to the "groups" page.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Social Networking for Sales Day #1

The next couple weeks I'll be writing on utilizing Social Networking to gain sales. This could be for individual sales reps or the Dealership marketing as a whole. We'll start simple and build up to the more detailed stuff. This is the future of marketing and those that get on board now will be far ahead of the rest when everything becomes more mainstream.
Getting started-
1. Set up an email devoted to all your social networking. Google, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. all offer free email accounts with a lot of memory. You'll use this email as a user name for all your social networking sites so you are easily search able for people, and you can keep everything in one place.
2. Have someone take a good digital head shot photo of you. Save the photo as your "bio photo" to your desktop so it's always handy.
3. Sign up! Start here: Facebook & LinkedIn. Others would add MySpace to the list too but it seems to be less effective than the other two. We'll cover others later but these need to be a priority.
4. Fill out your profiles. Create and fill out the info on both sites, don't forget to add a picture! Remember to be careful about how personal you get on your info, things like religion, politics & weekend drinking parties are things to consider before posting.
5. Add friends! Search your email contacts for others you know that are already members. Connect with those you know!
Feel free to contact me if you have questions over any of these steps, I'm happy to walk you through them!
PS: If you are already a member of both of these sites, take a minute today or tomorrow to "clean house." Remove any pictures or content you believe could be counter productive to gaining business, or any that present an image of you that isn't what you want presented.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How do you know what Automotive Marketing is Working?

We are in the midst of launching our Dealer ADvantage program this month. I'll start a series of posts on it after I've had a little more experience with it. Here's the basic foundation though: How do you know what automotive marketing is working...and what isn't? If dealers knew the answer to that--they could start cutting what isn't working, increasing what is, causing a better response for less money. Is it possible? IT IS! We're doing it with mail right now using MarketVision, and I can now start helping you track your other marketing as well.

Contact me if you want a more scientific approach to the following:

  • Tracking all foot traffic-capture their contact info, find out what message brought them in and add them to your CRM
  • Tracking all phone traffic-know your call volume, what marketing produces them and what doesn't and use recordings for future sales training opportunities
  • Tracking hits to your website-you can probably already see how many hits you are getting-but how do you know what's driving traffic? Figure out what is sending people to your website AND capture

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Automotive Sales Person #2,

A follow up from Monday's post. This dealership wasn't cheaper or convenient, however, they helped me which was more important than either of the other things. Dear Automotive Sales Person #2, Thank you! Thank you for making my car experience easy and fun. I really appreciated your friendly demeanor and desire to work on a plan that was best for me and my husband. Here are just a few things you did that really stood out to me... You did what you said you would! Thank you for always calling me back promptly and having the information you promised. You were honest. No, I don't want to pay to have new tires put on my old car, but at least you let me know that was part of the deal up front. You realized my time was important to me. Instead of several trips up to your dealership to look at my car, test drive, etc. You got my financing finalized before hand and all we had to do was drive up and sign on the dotted line. You gave me options I didn't know about! I couldn't have asked the first sales person about "select financing" because I'd never heard of it. You then brought to the table a demo you had available--the combination of your suggestions became our best option. And in conclusion, you were a nice guy that acted like you cared and wanted to help me. Anytime I'm making a major purchase I'm looking for an expert to help me make the best decision. After driving away in our new car last week I felt that we had. Sincerely, One of your newest customers PS: Thanks for offering to come get my vehicle so I could use your service department when it needs something. I'd feel weird going in to my old dealership.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dear Automotive Sales Person #1,

Disclaimer: I do not sell cars, and I've never worked in a dealership. I was just recently a car shopper and have some advice for the salesperson I spoke with at the first place I attempted my purchase. Later I'll write my letter to the person that sold me a car. Thought I'd share :) Dear Automotive Sales Person, It's me, your customer. After leasing my car with your dealership and using your service department for every service over the past three years, I thought to call you first when determining what to do for my lease turn in. Here are a couple of things that would have kept me from driving 45 minutes out of my way to purchase a vehicle from a dealership in a different market--just to keep from dealing with you. When I tell you I'm not sure what I want to do, please share with me your expertise on the different options. I look to you to be the expert. Don't make me have to ask for every idea specifically--I don't know what to ask for! Be nice. Just because I've purchased at your dealership before & you are the only local option it doesn't mean I'll stick with your brand or your dealership. Be understanding & caring. On the heels of the last one, at least act like you'd like to sell me a car. Make me feel like my business is important to you, after all you've already had it the last 3 years. Be honest, up front. Please don't tell me what I want to hear, only to negate it later. I'm a big girl, and I'm cool with the truth--I'd just prefer it first instead of when we're getting ready to make a deal. Here's a seemingly easy one...if I call you--why not call me back sometime that day, instead of three days later? And finally, as a first time lease customer if I have questions about "disposition fees" and what constitutes "excessive wear and tear" please just explain it to me. There is no need to constantly reference a document I signed three years ago that I certainly don't have at my office. Sincerely, Your ex-customer

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Phone Tips for Event Sales

One of the other Marketing Consultants here put together this document to help her dealers when they are preparing their sales staff for an event. It may seem like common sense, but depending on how the calls go that you listen in on--you may need it!
Phone Tips for Event Sales Most people who call will start the conversation by saying, “I got this flyer in the mail, and my numbers match.” You should say, “Great, come on in and we’ll check to see what you’ve won.” They may ask what they have won…. And this is very important You say, “Well, if your numbers match you have won something in the prizes listed on the flyer---It could be the car! We won’t know until you bring your flyer in and scan it here at the dealership.” They may ask if this is a gimmick. You say, “No someone has the winning # for the car—just like someone has the winning number for each of the other listed prizes. If your numbers match, you have definitely won something!!” Do not say—they have to scratch the sticker at the dealership. Scratching it at home is what gets them excited about coming in. Do not say—everyone is a winner or everyone wins something. How special will they feel if they think winning means nothing? AND they truly may have won the car!!! Do not say—“Are you interested in buying a car?” They may get in the car buying mood when they get on your lot, but they most likely will not be on your lot if you ask this question! Just tell them your name and offer to help them scan their flyer when they come in. Think of yourself as a fisherman. You have a baited hook, but if you move to fast, you’ll scare off the fish and never have the chance to set the hook. Good luck and happy selling!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Event Sale Call Ins--the good, the bad & the SO ugly

Last time you did a mailer with me, or with some other marketing firms we have may have thrown in a "toll free call tracking phone number." Raise your hand if you know what that means for your business...that's what I thought. Here's the deal: -You have an unknown (to you) toll free phone number on your piece -People that receive your mailer call this number -Like magic it rings in to your mail dealer line like usual -Your phone pro answers and passes off the call to a sales person (let's hope)
What happens next?
Why not find out!
Here's what most dealers don't do and I don't always do a great job of explaining. -Call me or Katy and ask for a user name & password to the call tracking website -Log on to the website and LISTEN to the calls -Print out the lead list of everyone who called in and FOLLOW UP with them What a HUGE training opportunity! You can play back calls for your sales team at a meeting, or work with individuals one on one. Just taking the time to listen to a couple calls a sale when ensure not only people walking in, but also those that call are treated in the right way.
One of the many call tracking reports:

Friday, April 3, 2009

How to use MarketVision Part 3-Improving Future Events

How to use MarketVision Part 3-Improving Future Events
Early this year I did a post on how to use MarketVision to lower your cost & increase response, this is the way MarketVision can best impact your ROI and the total value of your mailers. Below is a Cliff's Notes version of a few things to make sure you take a look at before your next event. 1. Log on to the Tri-Auto website to access your total MarketVision report from your last sale or sales. 2. Take a look at how your traffic was spread out. Were you slammed the first 2 days and it slowed down later, or vice versa? We suggest certain things when it comes to mail drops, but every market is different. On the next sale we could look at dropping a little differently to get more even traffic throughout. 3. Check out how much traffic each salesperson handled. There tend to be a lot of variations on this part of the report. Dig in a little on closing ratio & days worked. This is a great opportunity to give positive recognition to those that took full advantage of the traffic and coach those that did not. 4. Take a look at your zip codes. Katy will put together a full Zip Code Analysis for you after a couple of sales, but just get familiar for what areas did well and which did not. This can help tremendously on increasing response for the next sale. 5. Add the lead list to your CRM. If you need help converting it to a specific file just let us know. 6. Reference your vehicles sold to the lead list from MarketVision to determine your true ROI on the sale. 7. Take the time for a 15-20 minute conversation with me to go over what you found and let's discuss ways to make your next event even more successful!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How to use MarketVision Part 2-Increasing Closing Ratio

How to Use MarketVision Part 2-Increasing Closing Ratio

A lot of dealers have started to shy away from the events with a gift for coming in recently. However, with times like they are, consumers need more incentive now than ever to take action. This post will discuss ways using MarketVision can help increase closing ratio and turn some of those "gift getters" into buyers.

Salesperson Interaction

1. The MarketVision kiosk has replaced the prize banner! This will avoid the common occurrence of people coming in and checking what they've won without ever talking to anyone.

2. To use the MarketVision kiosk every customer must be accompanied by a salesperson. This is ensured by the kiosk requesting a salesperson ID before allowing anyone to scan.

3. Salespeople must use this initial interaction to the fullest extent! Use the time in line for the kiosk or filling out the information to get to know the customer. This is the perfect time for quality bonding and rapport.

4. Don't rush the customers! If there is a line for the kiosk that is okay! People are used to standing in lines for everything from groceries to ATM's this is YOUR time to get to know them.

5. The last question the kiosk will ask is what vehicle they are currently driving--you now know a potential trade-in. When the customer receives their voucher from the kiosk it will offer them an additional $250-$750 for their trade (depending on the year). GET EXCITED for them! "Wow, this is the first time I've seen a $500 voucher, that could really help out with getting you a newer car for a similar or cheaper payment than you have now! Let's take a look at your current situation and see if we could help."

6. After the kiosk interaction you can request them to fill out any additional info you might want on a registration form (soc # for credit reasons for example).

7. Give them their prize and THANK THEM for coming in. They may not be in the market right now, but if they know there are friendly, helpful salespeople at their dealership they are more likely to start the next car search with you.

Follow Up

1. Log on at the close of business every night and print out lead reports from the day by salesperson. These reports will have all the contact information entered in the kiosk.

2. Pass them out the next morning before the sale begins to the respective salesperson.

3. Set the expectation that these people need to be called or emailed sometime during the day during any downtime. Many dealers call to "check on their experience at the store" or have a quick 2-3 question survey to ask. Be sure to double check there is no way you could help them with finding a new vehicle.

4. After the sale every person who registered on the kiosk will be receiving a First Class follow up letter with a Buy-Back message. Be on the look out for these. If they've been in twice in two weeks, odds are they are an excellent prospect.

5. Continue to follow up. Add these lead lists to your CRM and get them on your email campaigns and future database mailers.


1. All sales people have strengths and weaknesses. During or after the sale take a moment to see what each person's individual closing ratio was. Some sales team members may need a little extra coaching on how to handle this type of traffic.

2. Consider having your best closer do a training session before the next sale on how he or she handles traffic.

3. Apply any "best practices" to the actual process across the board. MarketVision helps ensure everyone follows the same process so every customer gets the best experience they can at your dealership.