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Facebook Offers For Auto Dealers

As an auto dealer, you are probably used to hearing that you should be on Facebook. It gives your brand more visibility, it's an opportunity to connect with customers, and so on. But you might also be frequently reminded that, when it comes to selling cars, Facebook is anything but effective. Experts claim that only a small percentage of car shoppers use social media as part of the car buying process. But what if there was a way to change that?

There might be a real solution, and it's called Facebook Offers. Read on to find out more about this new tool, and how it can bring more sales to your dealership.

How Do Facebook Offers Work?

ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Facebook Offers is one of the ad tools offered by Facebook to owners of business pages. Currently, Facebook is lagging behind Google when it comes to online ads, so Facebook Offers is clearly a way to gain a bigger share of the market.

The way Facebook Offers work is very simple. Once your dealership's page has at least 50 likes, you can create an offer, which is exclusive to the people you choose to receive it. It's easy to think of it as a modern version of а direct mail pamphlet, which comes with a 20% discount coupon, for example. You upload a photo with a description of the offer, and you can either put a limit on how many people can claim it or you can make the offer limitless. Then you pick a budget, and depending on the dollar amount you enter, you can get an approximation of how many people will be reached by the ad.

Target the Right Audience for Best Results

sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But here is by far the best thing about Facebook Offers. What makes Facebook Offers especially suitable for your dealership is that you can be very specific not just about the number of people, but also the type of people who will receive your offer.

Facebook will give you a very specific set of criteria to fill out, with which you can target your specific buyer persona, so your money won't go waste. For example, you can make your offer available only to people with a particular make or model of car, people who have driven the same car for a certain number of years, people who tend to go to dealership with a certain frequency, or many other specifications. Because Facebook is partnering with data brokering companies, the available criteria reach far and wide and can get so specific, that you'd be surprised how useful the results will be! And you don't have to worry about your clients' privacy, because the algorithm works with anonymous data, without revealing their personal information.

How to Use Facebook Offers in Your Dealership: 3 Strategies

digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Once a Facebook user likes your offer, they can “claim” it, after which Facebook will send them an email containing instructions on how to redeem it at your dealership. In order to tempt the maximum number of people with your offers, make sure you come up with something creative. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Target people with cars older than 5 years, and make your discounted cars available only to them through a Facebook Offer. People buy a lot of new cars -- even though not all of them plan to, a tempting offer often makes them change their minds.
  • Offer to do a routine check for free, since your target buyers' vehicles probably have a high mileage by now. How about people who tend to visit service shops rarely? Send them an offer explaining the benefits of regularly changing a car's oil, along with a 25 percent discount if they come to your dealership for an oil change? Or the air filter? The possibilities are many, you just need to be creative.
  • Accompany each offer with a curious educational fact to make it more appealing. Or make a contest on your Facebook page, awarding a Facebook Offer to the winner. And this will have the added benefit of increasing engagement with your page.


Conclusion

Facebook Offers is definitely a good way to harness the power of social media for more than just brand-building. If you are not feeling confident about running ad campaigns, you can always use the services of a dealership consultant.

Have you used Facebook Offers yet? Was your campaign successful?

And what other ways are you using to keep your social media audience engaged? Share your experience by leaving us a comment below.

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Should You Care About Branding?

"I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man."- Jay-Z

What most people don't realize is that even a living person can become a brand. This is a basic staple of advertising and sometimes it needs to be asked: what exactly is a brand? In a nutshell, The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers."

You don't have to be a genius to realize that Jay-Z for example, can attach his likeness or endorsement to anything and it will sell. What if a Jay-Z created cereal comes to market right now...would you buy it? Someone absolutely will. Let's really explore the basics of a branding campaign. Smart people know that if you have a product or offer a service, you must advertise. This is essential to building a brand and honestly, it's hard selling something you have if no one knows it exists. There's a great line from Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross where he states that sales is about "A.B.C. - Always Be Closing." In this case, we can go with "A.R.A - Always Run Ads". The main DNA for running an ad is composed of two elements: Frequency and Reach.

Frequency is based on your advertising schedule. Ask yourself: Are you going to run this ad every day? Four times a week? Only on Thursdays? When you can answer that question, move on to Reach. For example, I can create the most amazing, awesome, astonishing ad of all time. You've never seen anything like it before and It will blow you away. If I only show it in a five mile radius, then it's not worth a lot. There's no substantial return on investment (ROI). You must have the ads run repeatedly and cover as much geographic area as financially allowable. That’s how advertising breathes and more importantly, how building your brand really works.

As a former advertising executive, the HARDEST part of my job was convincing business owners they still needed to advertise. You don’t want your customers thinking you’re going out of business if they don’t see the ads you used to run. Business owners feel that because they've been around a several decades that running ads are not necessary. That's not entirely true but telling them in a delicate way that they're wrong takes a certain amount of finesse. On the other hand, there are some situations where running an ad campaign sporadically makes sense. Think about that really popular annual football game with the extremely expensive commercials? Those are all about reach and because of the audience it draws in, frequency is not a huge factor. Your message has impacted the masses on a global scale and the cost definitely justifies the motive.

When it comes to building a brand, I would say that one important step is to create a logo. A symbol that when recognized will tell a prospective consumer or client exactly what your company, products and services are all about. That same logo will eventually lead the public to your brand's awareness on a social level. People see your logo and will always recognize your company under any circumstance. Does it mean they will always to buy in that moment? Of course not, but they will always know your company and when they need what you have, they will come. If it still remains whether you should care about branding then you're asking the wrong question.

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http://www.dealersynergy.com 856-546-2440 

Sean V. Bradley Wins The Auto Dealer Live Debate Against Alan Ram, Thanks The Dealers That Voted For Him & Elaborates On His Philosophy

** If you missed the Auto Dealer Live "Thrilla With Villa" Debate with Sean V. Bradley & Alan Ram, then watch the video below:

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http://www.ustream.tv/channel/imperial-press-direct ;

Sean V. Bradley Set To Debate Alan Ram Thursday May, 8th at 3:30pm Eastern On "BDC" (I'm going to CRUSH Him)

Awesome That Coach Tony Dungy Gives A Shout Out To Me & Alan :) 

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The new business layout that Facebook will be rolling out is very important to pay attention to. There are a few alterations that will really help manage and stand out on your Facebook page.

The new streamlined look will make it easier for viewers to find the information they want. The right side of the page will have your wall posts, which means at all times on your page the viewer will be able to see your posts. The left side of the page is where the business information will be located.  

The best addition to the new layout will be the addition of 'Pages to Watch' which will allow you to watch other Facebook pages to monitor how and what they are doing. This is a great way to monitor what other dealers do on Facebook and to make sure you are doing enough to stay ahead of your competition.

To read more about this click the link below!

Facebook's New Business Layout Link: ---> Click Here

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2013 GMC 2500 Denali. $45,000. Below Blue Book!!!! Why you ask? This truck may be more loaded than an Irishman in a whiskey-drinking contest, but it is no Sunday driver. It is a ¾ ton, 4-wheel drive, luxury work horse and it was cast from smelted bullet casings and stealth fighters by God’s own iron fist to be rode hard and put away wet. It may have a couple of scratches on it but that is ok. And do you know why? Because it’s a truck. And you’re a man. And together you are Maximus Meridius from Gladiator. And while women may swoon at your kind hard heart and gentile touch, underneath it all you are a BAMF who doesn’t back down from a fight and you have the scars to prove it. Because you sweat pure gasoline, and bleed oil and all you need is your 360hp Vortec chariot to get you to the promise land.

Your boats and snow machines are nothing but a light snack for this 6-speed auto, HD, demon-powered towing machine. With its Z71 Off-road package, you can enter dirt track races while towing your 17,800-lb life-size robot collection and a hot tub full of topless super models, and still win. All while outrunning the cops and mowing down zombies with your Mack truck-resembling chrome front bumper.

More technologically advanced than the Starship Enterprise, this truck will transport you in style while trusting you with all of its secrets. Wondering what your oil pressure is but don’t want go outside to check? Simply consult your smartphone and unveil everything you desire to know. Tire pressure, engine temperature, gas level, oil pressure, can all be summoned and accessible to you alone at the touch of your fingertip. Your friends will start to wonder how you became so wise and the Oracle from the Matrix will be calling to ask you for advice.

With its 6.0 liter V8, this truck will transport you to your destination faster than you can say Bad Mother Fu@#er and will arrive with about the subtlety of a tectonic plate shifting during the 1964 earthquake. Yes people will stare, my friend. Because you are always the winner in the reaux sham beaux that is your life; because rock trumps scissors, paper trumps rock, but a swift kick to the balls trumps paper, every time.

The rear automatic sliding glass window allows you to make sure that the grizzly you killed with your bare hands hasn’t come back to life. Or the sled you loaded up to high mark Mt McKinley hasn’t budged an inch. Since your 6 1/2′ bed is Rhino Lined with ¼” of near bullet-proof rubber, your big boy toys will be safely transported to the fiery inferno’s of hell and back, because that is where you go to play.

But what about the interior you ask? Hundreds of lambs died an honorable death to effectuate leather soft enough to make-up this hulk’s supple interior. The climate can be controlled to subliminal perfection by the shear omnipotent power in your callused right hand. The perpetually-complaining-about-the-cold woman in your life will be happy to know that heat can be generated at the touch of a button that will literally light a fire under her ass. In addition to heated (and cooled) seats, it’s power can be summoned from anywhere on the planet; it’s 8 powerful pistons coaxed into roaring to life for you alone, because you are the Lone Ranger, but Silver has nothing on this faithful steed. Sitting in the command center of this 2013 batmobile black, panty-dropping stallion, you will have more features at your fingertips than that kid David in “Flight of the Navigator,” but you will look like a lot less of a douche, because you aren’t flying a talking space ship 3 yards from the ground. You’re Han Solo, flying the Millennium Falcon, and The Force is for pussies.

Yes, this truck may have more options than a menu at Village Inn, but don’t let its Babylonian luxury fool you. It may have you feeling richer than a Russian Czar but it is about as tameable as a rogue wave and will chew you up and spit you out if you do not give it the respect it commands. But command it you will, and respect you will have because this truck is intimidating. Corvettes, Challengers and other gutless vehicles scurry out of its way, even when it’s in the slow lane. The pilot car in construction sites escorts it through immediately, even when it’s the only vehicle in line. It can out run the cops in 2nd gear, and does. It will park in a handicap space, then tow the tow-truck away. It will be the best man at your wedding, sleep with your bride, and never call her again. Yeah, it’s that bad.

If you like the looks of this truck but don’t think that is worth every bit of $45,000, then do not bother calling. Because this truck is the lovechild of Optimus Prime and Kit from knight Rider and if you don’t recognize its true potential, than you do not deserve to be at the helm of such an almighty machine.

Skip the dealership, all you will get there is a long-winded sales pitch. . …

For more information email, call, or text Caitlin xxx.xxx.xxxx

Who's Your Danny?

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http://www.automotivedigitaltraining.com 856-546-2440

http://www.automotivedigitaltraining.com 856-546-2440

http://www.automotivedigitaltraining.com 856-546-2440

** I was asked by the President of the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association (MSADA) to Speak at the New England Auto Show yesterday. I had no idea that Grant Cardone was going to be speaking there as well. Even though I have been in the industry for 15 years it was the first time I have ever heard Grant Cardone speak. I went on right after Grant did-

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http://www.dealersynergy.com 856-546-2440

Autobytel ACQUIRES AutoUSA - Automotive Internet Sales - 3rd Party Lead Source Provider

- Transaction Significantly Expands Autobytel's Dealer Network;
Expected to Deliver Meaningful Increases in Revenue and Cash Flow -

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers and manufacturers, today announced it has acquired Ft. Lauderdale-based AutoUSA, a longstanding, premier Web-based auto leads and services provider, from AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE: AN).

The purchase price included $10.0 million in cash, a $1.0 million, 6% convertible note payable in one lump sum in five years and convertible to Autobytel common stock at a conversion price reflecting a 20% premium over the price of Autobytel's common stock on the date of closing, and warrants giving AutoNation the right to purchase approximately $1.0 million of Autobytel's common stock at an exercise price reflecting a 5% premium over the price of the stock on the date of closing. The transaction was financed by Union Bank, N.A. through a newly established $9.0 million senior secured term loan, and by drawing on Autobytel's existing secured working capital revolver. Both the term loan and the revolver carry interest at a rate of LIBOR plus 2.5%. The term loan is amortized over a period of four years. AutoUSA generated 2013 revenues of approximately $30.0 million, with positive operating income and cash flow. The company believes that the transaction will be accretive to Autobytel's 2014 results.

Autobytel said the acquisition expands its reach and influence in the industry by increasing its national new and used car dealer network to more than 5,200 from approximately 3,800, while boosting its business with auto manufacturers. It also enables the company to offer its new mobile and SaleMove products to a larger customer base, while continuing to build on relationships with OEMs and large dealer groups, including the AutoNation family of dealers.

Autobytel, which was founded in 1995 by former Southern California car dealer Pete Ellis, has again grown to become one of the most influential automotive services organizations, providing high quality leads and innovative marketing and mobile services to dealers and OEMs. The company serves a critical role in the industry in helping car buyers find the right vehicle while delivering highly relevant consumer purchasing information to its industry partners.

Phil DuPree, President of AutoUSA, has joined Autobytel as Executive Vice President, President of Dealer Services. As an inducement for joining the company, DuPree was granted an option to acquire 40,000 shares of Autobytel common stock at an exercise price equal to the closing price of Autobytel's common stock on the acquisition closing date. The option will initially vest based on certain financial performance criteria related to Autobytel's dealer services group and then on DuPree's time of service with Autobytel.

"AutoUSA brings a new, high quality client base to the Autobytel family and strengthens our existing relationship with AutoNation, which is the largest U.S. automotive retailer," said Jeff Coats, Autobytel's president and CEO. "The transaction solidifies our leadership role in the industry, enabling us to offer an even larger base of dealers and automakers top quality products, including leads that convert to sales at nearly three times an estimated industry average, and a wide range of mobile products designed to sell more cars.

"AutoUSA represents an outstanding fit with Autobytel. In addition to its core leads business, AutoUSA's suite of complementary third-party, Web-based services includes payment-based pre-qualification tools, incentive programs and other products and services designed to help dealer customers and manufacturers increase their sales," Coats added.

"Since 2000, AutoUSA has developed very strong relationships with dealers across the country. The combination of Autobytel and AutoUSA adds strength to both organizations and represents an opportunity for consolidation in an industry segment that remains fragmented," said Mike Maroone, president and chief operating officer of AutoNation, Inc. "This combination benefits automotive consumers, dealers and manufacturers, alike."

As previously announced, in addition to AutoUSA, Autobytel also recently acquired Advanced Mobile, LLC, now known as Autobytel Mobile, which provides a full lineup of auto industry mobile products and services such as mobile apps, mobile websites, Send2Phone capabilities and text message marketing, and TextShield, a web-based portal that allows dealers to centrally manage text communications. Also as previously announced, the company recently made a strategic investment in SaleMove, which enables auto dealers and manufacturers to enhance the online shopping experience by interacting with consumers in real-time. These new services will be available to Autobytel's expanded network of automotive dealers and manufacturers.

About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website www.autobytel.com and has since helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online.

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AutoUSA recently completed its 2013 auto dealer Internet Marketing survey, in which we asked "What is the most common sales objection you are hearing from customers?" We summarized results from 147 respondents, including Internet sales managers, sales managers, BDC managers, marketing managers and senior management.

According to our survey, these are the most common sales objections:

  • Our price not in line with customer expectations (28%)
  • Customer can't get financing (19%)
  • Consumer confidence with economy (14%)
  • Customer can't afford a new vehicle (12%)
  • Customer doesn't have time/too busy (10%)
  • Dealership didn't have desired model available (5%)
  • Customer didn't like dealership sales process (1%)

When we include other answers such as "customer wanted price before coming in," "need to talk to husband/wife," "not offering enough money for trade-in," it’s evident that affordability and pricing are key to the decision-making process. So how can we deal with affordability objections?

It starts with understanding the customer’s process. Thanks to increased transparency on the Internet, and to the numerous e-commerce sites out there, today's consumer is used to being in control of the purchasing process. If we want to buy something, we use the Internet to conduct research, read product or service reviews, do some comparative price shopping and then finally, click a button. Purchase complete.

When it comes to buying a vehicle, the consumer attempts to follow this same path. For the most part, they can. There are sites that provide information in abundance, reviews of both vehicles and local dealers, and pricing guidance. When it comes to detailed affordability options, like finance or lease payments, those sites often fall short and customers either target the wrong car or seek out the dealer for answers.

You can help the consumer by giving information they can’t reliably get anywhere else. As dealers, we understand that many factors go into giving a price quote - it's not always an easy, cut-and-dry number to give. It’s OK to educate your customers on this, but you also have to give them information, and proactively at that.

On your website, include real payments using payment-quoting tools such as Payment ProSM. When you receive phone calls, answer questions about pricing directly and be prepared to follow up with key questions that will help you shape the conversation and identify if the customer is on the right vehicle. In the showroom and on the lot, don’t be afraid to have conversations about payment ranges or even post them on cars.

Today's consumer feels entitled to information. If you can help the customer find the information they are looking for instead of stonewalling them, you build trust. And trust is the key to overcoming objections and gaining the sale.

I'd like to hear from Internet sales managers and sales managers. What are the most common objections you are hearing, and how do you overcome these objections? What has worked and what hasn't?

 

Come visit us at booth # 3514 at NADA and ask for a demo of Payment Pro!

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As I was talking strategy with a good friend of mine who is a GM of two rooftops we got into a discussion about which strategy is most effective in the automotive internet sales world i.e. coordinators vs. floor sales people making the calls. 

We all know that the hardest part in the Internet Dept. is getting people on the phone.  As you know you have what is called connection percentage or ratios that prove that less that 20% of the calls that are made on a daily basis actually result in getting the customer on the phone.  The day-to-day mission turns into e-mails and phone calls and some really progressive departments have implemented video e-mail. 

As I discussed into detail with the GM it really takes a dedicated person to be on the floor taking ups and having the opportunity to have Internet leads sent to him/her.  What happens unless this person is very dedicated is that he/she makes 10 phone calls in the morning if you're lucky and then an up walks through the door.  Now doing fact finding with the customer, caring the customer up, building value, presentation/demonstration, silent trade appraisal and my favorite working numbers, F&i then a through delivery and hours have passed by.  Equally relevant, while all this is going on Internet leads aren't waiting for him to get finished they're coming in while all this is happening and by the time the sales person gets back in front of the computer after taking lunch when the deal was complete his/her response time is around three hours!!  Now I haven't even mentioned the follow up month to date that should be going on during this time. 

My friend's response was the cost of having coordinators which I understand affects the bottom line.  What is interesting to me is that we'll spend $150K on advertising for the month now when the sales person sells that customer we don't split the deal or put an additional pack on the deal to help recoup the cost of advertising.  And even better yet we all know the customers that we don't sell that most of these customers are never logged into the CRM or they leave without a T.O. and if they are logged the notes read "showroom up" not detailed notes of why we couldn't put the deal together.

Having people who's job is to pound the phones all day with a experienced director there for a T.O. and/or to work numbers for the customer that want's the "best price" is the most effective strategy I have seen unless the sales people that get leads aren't allowed to take ups.  I would rather have 5 coordinators making a total of 500 calls a day versus 5 sales people barely making 100 calls per day.  The numbers don't lie the more calls you make the more people you're going to get on the phone, the more people you get on the phone the more appointments you're going to make, the more appointments you make the more people are going to show, the more people that show the more cars you're going to sell!!  Appointments sell cars....

This is Internet sales 101 however, unless there is leadership in place that understands the dynamics of a E-Commerce Dept. there will be a struggle between the owners and those that understand the basics of Internet Sales.  What's even more funny is when I asked how many appointments his sales people set per day he was angry and tells me that they don't set enough appointments and that's why they aren't selling more cars.  Duh, how can they set more appointments they're selling cars, waiting for an up and making 10-20 calls a day.  Sounds like a oxymoron to me. 

Good luck and good selling!!  

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Win the Customer Now to Maximize Your Year-End Sales

It's been a great year for car sales, and if you're like most dealers, you want to close out the year strong. What is your Internet marketing department doing to ensure that ready-to-buy customers will choose to visit your dealership?

 

By now most of us have read or heard the statistic from J.D. Powers and Associates, that customers visit an average of 1.8 dealerships in person before purchasing a vehicle. I believe this one statistic is the most transformative statistic in terms of its impact on Internet marketing and the sales process. Quite simply, it means that you win the customer before they set foot in your showroom.

 

Ideally you want to accomplish this by outshining your competition along every step of the customer's purchasing journey. You want to have presence where consumers are conducting research on various makes and models; you want to have useful information and conversion tools on your website; you want to give great customer service and prompt communications if they call or e-mail your dealership to gather information; you want to be able to give them accurate pricing and payment information, and you want to have great online reviews when the customer researches dealership reputations.

 

But at crunch time, giving customers an extra incentive to visit you before the end of the year may be just the thing that gives your dealership the edge. Incentive offers like ShowProSM offer a small financial incentive to a customer if they come in and take a test drive.

 

For customers who are seriously in the market and in the process of narrowing down which dealership to buy from, visit or test drive incentives have been proven to increase the show rate for appointments. Almost every dealership we work with reports closing rates over 50% for Internet appointments that show, so we know: if you get them in, you make the sale.

 

While most dealerships will see a spike in lead volume the last week of December, they’ve also seen a drop-off in sales from leads over the last 3 months. See that as an opportunity to recapture customers right now. I recommend using incentive cards as a tool to re-engage "dead" leads and target customers who may be interested in key vehicles. Here are two campaigns you can put together right now:

 

1) Create a list of prospects from the last six months who did not purchase a vehicle. Send them a holiday message with an incentive card of $25-50 to come in and take a test drive.

 

2) Is your manufacturer offering any incentives for particular models, or do you have any models that are overstocked right now? Some manufacturers are offering bonuses to dealerships that sell a particular number of a certain model. Offering a financial incentive to come in and test drive that particular model is a very cost-effective method for helping your dealership to reach this goal. At an average price of less than $50 per show, and an average close rate on appointment shows of nearly fifty percent, this more than pays for itself.

 

This time of year many people are grateful for every extra dollar they can get; and $50 is a tank of gas, a dinner out, or an extra gift for a loved one. Incentive marketing works best when the reward is time-sensitive, so end-of-the-year sales offer a great opportunity to draw new customers who might have otherwise chosen a different dealership to visit. 

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Rubber. Meets. Road. Sean V. Does it AGAIN!

For every one on this board that didn't get to make it to Internet Sales 20 Group in LA.....Shame on you! Once again, Sean V. and his band of industry phenoms blew it out of the water! Every once in a while I will catch my wife off guard and I'll say, "I can't wait until tomorrow." She always responds, "Why, what's happening tomorrow?" to which I respond, "I get better looking every day!" Then she punches me and moves on. This is kind of like thinking about what these people could possibly do to trump this trump of the last trump! No matter how good it gets, the next one always seems to get better. In this digital world that we live in, information changes dramatically between these events. The speakers at the IS20G are the people who are right in the middle of these changes...whether they are writing about them or making the changes themselves! I don't care how many conferences that you have been to...I guarantee you have never been to one like this. The interaction is a game-changer.

I will say that Sean V. Bradley is the finest moderator in the country, in ANY industry. Whether he agrees with the speaker or not, he will explore EVERY angle of the conversation. He encourages...no, he INSISTS on participation from everyone. Attendees will tell you that they get as much from other dealers as they do from the speakers. First, a presenter will speak to a point, then a dealer will chime in on the effectiveness of the method. Then another attendee will ask THAT dealer specific questions. It's awesome to be a part of these discussions. Then, as if that is not enough, at the end, you get a chance to get together with accountability partners to formulate a plan to execute what you have learned. IS20G was over less than a week ago and I have already had communication with MY accountability partner...and I'm a General Manager!

Now, to my friends who DID attend...

Rubber. Meets. Road.

Ideas are easy, execution is hard. Why don't we lift weights? Because they're frickin' heavy, that's why!

 

 

From the book "The Greatest Salesman in the World".  A book, second only to the Bible, in shaping my life.

I will leave you in the capable hands of Og Mandino...

My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible.

All are of no value unless they are followed by action.

I will act now. Never has there been a map, however carefully executed to detail and scale, which carried its owner over even one inch of ground. Never has there been a parchment of law, however fair, which prevented one crime. Never has there been a scroll, even such as the one I hold, which earned so much as a penny or produced a single word of acclamation. Action, alone, is the tinder which ignites the map, the parchment, this scroll, my dreams, my plans, my goals, into a living force. Action is the food and drink which will nourish my success.

I will act now. My procrastination which has held me back was born of fear and now I recognize this secret mined from the depths of all courageous hearts. Now I know that to conquer fear I must always act without hesitation and the flutters in my heart will vanish. Now I know that action reduces the lion of terror to an act of equanimity.

I will act now. Henceforth, I will remember the lesson of the firefly who gives of its light only when it is on the wing, only when it is in action. I will become a firefly and even in the day my glow will be seen in spite of the sun. Let others be as butterflies who preen their wings yet depend on the charity of a flower for life. I will be as the firefly and my light will brighten the world.

I will act now. I will not avoid the tasks of today and charge them to tomorrow for I know that tomorrow never comes. Let me act now even though my actions may not bring happiness or success for it is better to act and fail than not to act and flounder. Happiness, in truth, may not be the fruit plucked by my action yet without action all fruit will die on the vine.

I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. I will act now. Henceforth, I will repeat these words again and again, each hour, each day, every day, until the words become as much a habit as my breathing and the actions which follow become as instinctive as the blinking of my eyelids. With these words I can condition my mind to perform every act necessary for my success. With these words I can condition my mind to meet every challenge which the failure avoids.

I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. When I awake I will say them and leap from my cot while the failure sleeps yet another hour.

I will act now. When I enter the market place I will say them and immediately confront my first prospect while the failure ponders yet his possibility of rebuff.

I will act now. When I face a closed door I will say them and knock while the failure waits outside with fear and trepidation.

I will act now. When I face temptation I will say them and immediately act to remove myself from evil.

I will act now. When I am tempted to quit and begin again tomorrow I will say them and immediately act to consummate another sale.

I will act now. Only action determines my value in the market place and to multiply my value I will multiply my actions. I will walk where the failure fears to walk. I will work when the failure seeks rest. I will talk when the failure remains silent. I will call on ten who can buy my goods while the failure makes grand plans to call on one. I will say it is done before the failure says it is too late.

I will act now. For now is all I have. Tomorrow is the day reserved for the labor of the lazy. I am not lazy. Tomorrow is the day when the evil become good. I am not evil. Tomorrow is the day when the weak become strong. I am not weak. Tomorrow is the day when the failure will succeed. I am not a failure.

I will act now. When the lion is hungry he eats. When the eagle has thirst he drinks. Lest they act, both will perish.

I hunger for success. I thirst for happiness and peace of mind. Lest I act I will perish in a life of lure, misery, and sleepless nights. I will command, and I will obey mine own command.

I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay she will become betrothed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the one.

I will act now.

Who's your Danny?

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The Most Important Decision of Your Life

On November 19, 2005, a day after having surgery, I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma cancer. I would compare receiving the news to going to the dentist and being numbed. However, this numbed my whole body. For 20 minutes I rushed through all kinds of thoughts and emotions – shock, anger, “why me?” questions, sadness.

 

After the 20 minutes, I made a big decision. I decided to live. I decided that all of the emotions and thoughts I was experiencing were not supporting me. I decided right then and there to switch my mind and all actions to that of support and complete cure. At that moment, I was cured.

 

On January 31, 2006 I received my 33rd and final daily radiation treatment. I am now cancer free. I did not need the doctor to declare that for me; I had already made that decision from the day of diagnosis. I had even told my doctor that at my first appointment.

 

My whole life I have believed in the power of the mind. The ability to create your outer life from thoughts and emotions from within are undeniable. Nothing is as powerful as your personal philosophy in life. The good news is that your personal philosophy is simply decided by you and your own free will.

 

In my lifetime, I have been both poor and rich. I have had both sad and happy times. I have lived through tragedies and triumphs. One thing that has never wavered has been my mental approach to whatever has come towards me. Nothing can create wealth and abundance in any segment of a person’s life more than their attitudes and thoughts.

 

I have seen materially rich people with great poverty of mind and I have seen people in great struggles with an attitude of abundance. Wealth and possessions can flee in an instant, but nothing or nobody can take away your mind and your choice of thought.

 

Whenever friends or relatives would begin to discuss my disease, they would focus on how it was so unfair, especially since I am a lifetime non-smoker. Ninety-nine percent of the particular cancer that I had occurs in heavy smokers. I had to make a decision not to focus on whether it was fair or not and focus on what could be done to move forward.

 

I made a decision to research my disease. I wanted to be empowered in my decisions. I created a regimented approach that included traditional treatment along with nutrition, supplements, whole body detoxification, exercise, proper rest, mental imaging and prayer. Some of these approaches were never mentioned by traditional medicine practitioners. However, I made the decision to be in charge of my knowledge and my actions.

 

After witnessing many people going through treatment for cancer and experiencing both my parents passing from the disease as well, I am more convinced than ever that your attitude and power of your mind makes a difference in everything you do in life. Your decision about your attitude in life is the most important choice of your life.

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Fort Lauderdale, FL – November 11th, 2013 — AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions (www.AutoUSADealers.com) today announced the results of its 2013 annual auto dealer Internet Marketing survey. Financing tools such as online credit applications and trade-in calculators deliver the most valuable website leads, according to respondents. Other significant results from the survey identify pricing and affordability as the most commonly heard sales objection from consumers, while Internet departments' biggest challenges include lead volume and staffing issues.

"We believe the most successful dealerships have effective Internet marketing strategies, and this annual survey helps to identify how well some of those strategies are performing in current market conditions," said Phil DuPree, President of AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions.

The survey was conducted during September and October and summarizes results from 147 respondents, including Internet sales managers, sales managers, BDC marketing and senior management.

Customer Sales Objections

When asked what the most common sales objection is from customers, the top response was "our price not in line with customer expectations" (28 percent). Other responses were "customer can't get financing" (19 percent), "customer confidence with the economy" (14 percent) and "customer can't afford a new vehicle" (12 percent).

By contrast, in AutoUSA's 2011 Internet marketing survey, not meeting the customers' price expectations was the least-common objection (10 percent). Also in 2011 "didn't have desired model available" was the most common sales objection (25 percent), followed by "can't afford a new vehicle" (14 percent).

"The difference in sales objections compared with two years ago is consistent with what we see in the marketplace; consumers are finding ways to work themselves through the process and further down-funnel," said DuPree. "And while the economy may have improved somewhat, pricing and affordability are still major hurdles for many consumers."

Internet Department Challenges

Survey results indicate that dealership Internet departments are facing a new challenge in 2013. "Not enough leads" (26 percent) is the most cited challenge for Internet departments, which is quite a turnaround from two years ago, when "keeping up with lead volume" (31 percent) was the number one challenge.

According to this year's survey, Internet departments' biggest challenges behind lead volume are related to staffing. Twenty-one percent of respondents cited "not enough staff" as the biggest challenge, while 19 percent stated "quality of staff," and another 18 percent chose "staff does not adhere to processes." Additionally, 18 percent complained their "marketing budget is not large enough to meet objectives," and only 17 percent cited "keeping up with lead volume" as their number one challenge.

"It's interesting that while Internet departments appear to be spending more than ever on search optimization for their websites, they are not getting their desired lead volume compared with two years ago," said DuPree.

Lead Volume and Quality

When asked, "which website conversion tools or add-ons results in the most leads (including phone calls) from your website?" respondents ranked the following: online credit applications (52 percent); chat applications (50 percent); trade-in calculator (37 percent); coupons (20 percent); online service appointment scheduler (19 percent).

Survey participants were also asked to rate the value of leads that they received from their websites. The most valuable are "VIN-specific used vehicle leads" (76% rate as "the best" or "pretty good"); credit application leads (73% rate as "the best" or "pretty good"); new vehicle leads (66% rate as "the best" or "pretty good")chat leads (51% rate as "the best" or "pretty good")trade-in leads (45% rate as "the best" or "pretty good") and lastly, general contact info (27% rate as "the best" or "pretty good")

"Inventory leads and leads from financing tools appear to be the most valuable to dealers, which makes sense because once customers start engaging with a website conversion tool they are probably serious shoppers," said DuPree.

Internet Marketing Budgets

In spite of the commonly cited statistic that more than 90 percent of consumers begin their search for a vehicle on the Internet, the survey found that most dealers do not allocate a majority of their budgets to Internet marketing. In response to the question, "What percentage of your overall advertising & marketing budget is spent on Internet marketing?" survey participants shared the following:

Ÿ -50 percent of dealers spend less than 30% of budget on Internet marketing

Ÿ -37 percent spend between 30-60% of budget on Internet marketing

Ÿ -13 percent spend more than 60% of budget on Internet marketing

On the extreme ends of the scale, 10 percent of dealers spend less than 10% of their budget on Internet marketing, while only one percent of dealers spend 90-100% of their budget on Internet marketing.

However, in response to the question "do you plan to increase your Internet marketing budgets in 2014?" 59 percent of respondents responded "yes."

Survey respondents were also asked, "In which areas do you plan to allocate the majority of your Internet marketing budget in 2014?" The responses were:

Ÿ -Website SEO/SEM (54%)

Ÿ -Leads from inventory sites, i.e. Cars.com, Autotrader.com, etc. (51%)

Ÿ -Independent leads from AutoUSA, Dealix, Autobytel (33%)

Ÿ -Social Media (23%)

Ÿ -E-Mail Marketing (22%)

Ÿ -Video production and marketing (17%)

Ÿ -Reputation Management (14%)

Ÿ -Online ads (14%)

Finally, the majority of dealerships are optimistic for a profitable 2014. When asked if they believed they would sell more vehicles in the coming year, 85 percent of respondents claimed "yes, my dealership will sell more vehicles in 2014 than in 2013."

 

About AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions

 

AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions brings the best-in-class tools to increase Internet sales and lower costs for automotive dealerships. Leading products include Payment ProSM, a payment-based pre-qualification tool for dealer websites; ShowProSM incentive program, proven to turn more leads into shows; Leads&ListingsSM, providing the highest quality, new and used car email and phone leads from 100+ sites; PowerListingsSM 2.0, helping dealers increase traffic to—and leads from—their social media sites; and AVA Virtual Sales Assistant, helping dealerships manage more leads at a reduced cost. AutoUSA products are currently benefiting thousands of active dealers all across the U.S.

 

For more information, visit AutoUSA’s web site, subscribe to our blog at http://blog.autousadealers.com, follow us on Twitter @AutoUSALeads and “Like” us on Facebook at /AutoUSADealers

 

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Words Are Cheap

Words are cheap. What matters is the true belief system behind your words and the actions you take because of those belief systems. Economies don’t improve, people improve. Waiting for something to happen is for losers. The most important economy is the one created between your ears.

 

During down markets you have to get creative to make things happen. Although you may not be able to push a new car market if it’s not there, you can niche market, create affiliations, utilize your customer base better and push a used car market. In other words, there are options for success. Standing and waiting for the world to create your economy is not a good option.

 

There is an old quote that says, “When you go to work on yourself and get better it’s amazing how much better your customer’s get.” The one activity that can always pay off during a down economy is individual and organizational development.

 

Everything boils down to the four P’s of business - people, process, product and positioning. Do you work daily on your personal development? Do you work daily to increase your knowledge and ability to sell your product? Do you work daily to increase the effectiveness of your process? Do you work daily to increase your positioning through better marketing? If you work on these things daily you will determine your sales success in good times or bad. Good times will now become the norm.

 

Thoreau said it best: “Things don’t change; people change.” Make a commitment to figure out why you want to do something. When the why gets strong, the how gets easy. When you know why you want something, ideas of how will flow to you. Concentrate on the solution, not the problem. When you dwell on the idea of a prosperous market you create the reality of a prosperous market.

 

When you open the door to your belief system, you close the door of scarcity. When you are suffering from a lack of something it’s because you have a mental condition of lack. Everything apparent in your outside world of today is a direct reflection of your inside world from yesterday.

 

As you improve yourself you begin to think and act on another level of energy. Imagine the analogy of playing a video game and having to get a good enough score at one level to go to the next level. Once you improve enough you enter a whole other level that creates another opportunity for improvement.

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Negotiate Like a Professional

Negotiating can be done in a professional manner that can increase customer satisfaction while helping to protect both parties’ interests.

 

Let’s first look at some of the problems that give negotiating a bad name and then look at the solutions. A lack of training in negotiating in the automotive industry has put sales people at a disadvantage. Usually, a sales person is taught how to negotiate in a learn-as-you-go method. Although all learning must be accomplished by doing, some preparation has to be done to make the learning experience more effective. All sales people and managers should go through a course on basic and advanced negotiating. Assuming that sales managers can automatically teach your sales people to negotiate professionally is asking for trouble. How did the managers learn to negotiate?

 

Sales people should be taught the expected procedures. I like to call these routing procedures. Routing procedures will define everyone’s responsibilities, from the moment a customer is greeted until they are delivered, including the necessary paperwork and who initiates what. Included in the routing procedures are items known as, black and white items. Black and white items are the things that should never vary at your dealership. These items are to be defined by your top management and can include such things as not quoting discounted prices on the lot or never low-balling on price.

 

Another source of problems in negotiating is the misuse of traditional negotiating techniques. The “higher authority technique” is a technique of always deferring to a higher authority for a decision. The technique is a solid negotiation tactic that has been run into the ground by automotive people. Having your sales people run to the manager more than once or twice in negotiations is a crime. Not giving the sales person any latitude or decision-making capability in negotiations leads to the yo-yo effect that creates mistrust in the sales person and customer.

 

When is the last time a sales person in your dealership was taught what to do when a customer asks for a lower down payment, lower payment, higher trade values or a reduction of the sales price. Most veteran sales people in dealerships all over the country could not verbally and written give you at least three or four steps to each one of the above objections without having to think or blink. How many objections in negotiation are there? Most objections fall into only a few categories. Have your sales people role played recently on those objections and the potential answer to them? Example: “Mr. Customer, we would be happy to lower your monthly budget $50 a month. Did you want to go 60 months instead of 48, or put $1,500 more cash investment, or look at the car with about $50 a month less in equipment, or look at a lease/Smart Buy program? Which would be best for you?” Whether you like my words or there are some others you prefer is not as important as having a way to handle the objections and practicing them over and over until the sales people know their negotiating skills.

 

“He or she who prepares the most, wins the most.” A large part of negotiating is knowing when and how to negotiate, as well as being prepared for all situations. The tragic death of John Kennedy Jr. might have been prevented with more preparation. Although negotiating may not be life or death for a sales person, it can feel like life or death to a sales person that wants to help his or her customer and doesn’t know how.

 

The following are few simple negotiating techniques:

 

1. Flinch - always fl inch at any proposal or counter proposal.

 

2. Split the Split - When customers offer to split the difference, offer back to split their proposal again. Example: $3,000 apart $1,500 split offered $ 2,250 your counter

 

3. Bracket proposals - If your desired gross profit is $3,000 and the customer offers you $1,500, propose back as much above your desired profit as they proposed below, example: $4,500 gross would be the same $1,500 amount above your desired gross, as they had offered below. Most likely they will offer to split the difference and it also lends credence to your offer.

 

4. Give/get - Try always to get something in return for giving something. This will stop the customer from nibbling and eroding your gross. If you don’t use give/get, you will not only give away all your gross but will also create a shopper.

 

Everyone negotiates everyday. Whether it’s on vehicles, houses, relationships or pay plans etc., everyone negotiates on things we sometimes didn’t even realize we had negotiated on. Somehow people walk away from negotiating things other than  automobiles feeling extremely positive about the process. Why? I invite you to ask how you would feel negotiating at your dealership and what you could do to make it better for the customer, sales person, manager and dealership.

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Can I Trust You?

When you have a first encounter with a customer, they are usually wondering one simple question. Can I trust you?

 

There are three stages of buying:

1. Character and Trust

2. Emotion

3. Logic

 

I don’t know that one stage is more important than the other but I do know that the trust stage usually happens first. When you build a house and the foundation is weak, no matter how nice a house you build it comes crumbling down eventually. A sale is the same way. You can sell all you want. You can create an emotional frenzy. You can justify emotions with logic and reasoning but at the end if the customer has a twinge of doubt about you they will pause and hesitate to complete the sale.

 

Usually when the customer stalls after showing all the right buying signs, we blame the customer and create some unflattering names for him or her. Here’s a news fl ash: Most of the time it’s your fault. It’s not the customer’s job to trust you. It’s not the customer’s job to create a rapport and a bond. It’s not the customer’s job.

 

Often, the customer comes in sold on your product and has a need and desire for it. They want to buy it. But when it gets to the end, one thing keeps them from buying – fear. Fear of making a mistake. Your customers are human. Customer’s have fears of making a mistake in buying the wrong vehicle, getting the wrong price, getting the wrong information or having a bad experience.

 

To sell more, you must allow the customer to buy. To buy a customer needs a path without obstacles and doubt. To remove the customer’s doubts and fear you must practice risk aversion and reversal.

 

Sales training has focused primarily on handling objections and other reactive selling approaches. Practicing risk aversion is a proactive approach to selling that addresses common fears up front and removes them before the become an obstacle. Fifteen minutes spent on proactive risk aversion can eliminate two hours of reactive objection handling.

 

Take a pencil and paper and write down all the common fears of your customers and common objections you receive. Write down the silent objections you don’t get but you know are really there. No matter what you sell, it’s the same objections over and over. It doesn’t take that much to be aware of the objections, to be prepared to proactively eliminate them and even answer them if they still come up.

 

Listen to what customers say and what they are trying to say. Listen to what customers really mean. And, listen to what customers aren’t saying but intuitively you know they are thinking. Increasing your intuitive ability is a major step in becoming a master sales person. Watch your customer’s body language. You don’t need a course to teach you what people are thinking by their body language. You simply need to observe, think and feel as they do. TLC – Think Like a Customer.

 

Remember, that trust comes before money.

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The Five Keys to Success

Do you want to be more successful? You can achieve greater success if you begin to follow certain secrets that blow open the doors that are closed for you now. I am comfortable in saying that all people have some closed doors that limit their achievement. What are the doors that I am talking about and how can you open them?

 

The doors are a metaphor for the gateways to successful achievement. The keys are the secrets that unlock them and allow you move forward faster and with less conflict toward your dreams than ever before.

 

Key #1 - Energy

Everyone needs physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy to propel them toward their goals. It’s often been said that “fatigue makes cowards of us all.” What do you do that gives or robs you of energy? Make a list of 10 common actions in your day. Next to each, put a plus or a minus according to whether it gives or depletes energy. The mind, body and spirit go hand in hand. If one source is constantly drawing energy it will affect the energy in the other area. Do you ever feel so depleted mentally that physically you are just going through the motions?

 

Create an action plan to eliminate or greatly reduce all things that deplete your energy. Decide what your tolerance is. Successful and satisfied people create levels of tolerance for themselves and others who come in contact with them.

 

Key #2 - Enthusiasm

Ethos loosely translated means, “The Breath of God.” This means enthusiasm is contagious. It’s hard to get others excited unless you are excited. Nobody is excited all the time. We all have our ups and downs. What anchor do you have that will immediately connect you to the enthusiasm that you need to achieve the successful level of living that you want? Just by having a built-in and pre-arranged filter that detects when you are not at your peak level of enthusiasm will enable you to make corrections quickly. Without the filters you can become a zombie simply going through the motions until you or someone else makes you aware of your lack of enthusiasm.

Key #3 - Emotion

Do you live with emotion? You don’t have to be drama queen to live emotionally. Emotions are about feelings. Successful people tend to live in the moment. Stress, fatigue and worry detract from the joy of living in the moment. “Worry is paying interest on a debt not yet due.” Everyone experiences levels of depleting emotions that create a false and overwhelming sense of reality. How many times have you heard of people with near death experiences who now live with a greater sense of awareness and emotion?

 

Colors become brighter, jokes become funnier and experiences become richer. Your level of attainment in emotional living will increase your connection to others. To enrich your chances of success, you have to enrich others.

 

Key #4 - Humor

Nothing can bond people quicker than humor. Nothing can change your attitude, emotions, enthusiasm and outlook more than humor. Humor releases endorphins in the brain and creates a feeling of euphoria. Humor is an instant-on switch for changing your actions and outlook toward everything you face in your day. Experiencing humor is powerful. Being a conduit of humor for others is power multiplied exponentially.

 

Key #5 - Persistence

Persistent = consistent. Persistence is perhaps the most common denominator of successful living. Successful people keep moving when others quit. It’s been said that most of success is just showing up. Persistence is the key to showing up when other have quit. History is full of examples and testimonials to the power of persistence. Failure only occurs at the time when you quit. Those who live successfully know the power of persistent pursuit.

 

Persistent pursuit of goals and dreams creates a powerful sense of living unmatched by anything else. Persistence becomes a life force that creates self confidence for those who execute the power of persistence on a daily basis. In a world where the strong survive, persistence equals the playing field and gives the edge to those who apply its power.

 

Combining all the keys to success will create a sense of urgency needed for success. Examine the current level of each of the five keys to success in your life and create a personal game plan for successful living.

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