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Edmunds just announced their Hackomotive 2014 contest where folks come up with ideas on how to improve the car buying process etc., and as a former employee I was initially excited to see this but within 60 seconds something caught my eye that was disappointing.

Last year's #1 Winner - My Motive which paints the picture that up until now the Dealer has made the consumer their "Bitch" yes, that's in there, and that this new My Motive lets the consumer turn the tables and finally make the Dealer their "Bitch" (yes it really says that).

Why does this bother me so much? We'll frankly because I was with them and helped launch their direct to dealer program and when I went to work there I remember in my interview saying: "I've been a dealer and for years we really haven't had much love for Edmunds so how are you going to fix that because, as a dealer, I need to know you're there for me if I buy your program."

My boss at the time shared the vision of Edmunds still maintaining their integrity with consumers but not really being focused on creating more content like 'confessions of a car salesman' anymore.

I bought into the idea that they would finally respect the dealer community and helped enroll well over 100 dealerships in their program in my first year with them.

Apparently I was wrong about their true motives and if all of this doesn't tick you off as a dealer, you need to get your head examined.

You can see the award of $10,000 they paid for a 1st place idea in hackomotive 2013 right here http://www.hackomotive.com/presentations/06_my_motive/mymotive.pdf

If you don't want to click over to their site, here are actual screen shots (Note - I've added the arrows and comments on the side)


In my not so humble opinion, vendors should work to help Dealers do two things: Get and Keep Customers. Rewarding a "Make the dealer my bitch" idea only furthers what many already believe about Edmunds.

Simply put, they don't care about your dealership, they only want your money and behind the scenes they're all still high fiving each other when they disrespect the dealer.

In this case, the high-five had a $10,000 bonus.

What's the best idea for 2014 going to be: "F@€K Dealers, buy direct from Edmunds" ?!?!?

I'd love to hear your feedback and please everyone, share this with other dealers ASAP but really I have a question for everyone seeing this:

ARE YOU DONE BEING Edmunds"BIT¢H"?


Helping the best get better,
Mat Koenig
CEO & Founder
KonigCo & iCarMedia

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This Book is for You STUPID

Get a FREE Copy of this book 9/10/2013 & 9/11/2013

Get your copy here http://j.mp/stupidfreebook

As a 20 year car guy I've been given a LOT of bad advice over the years and I've made a TON of mistakes and I figure the best thing I can do is help others avoid some of those pitfalls. Plus, I love reading but the book has to be an easy read, a fast read, because I have work to do and so do you. 

I'm giving away my book FREE today and tomorrow and all I ask is that you give it an HONEST review. If you enjoy it, head back to the link and tell everyone what you liked. If you think it sucks, tell everyone it sucks! Honesty is the best policy :)

If you’re looking for a grammatically well-written book by someone with an MBA that will put you to sleep; this is the wrong book for you. However, if you’re looking for a book written by someone who has spent 20 years in the trenches of sales, succeeding AND failing over and over so that you can learn from their efforts and improve your career….READ THIS BOOK!

The late, great, Zig Ziglar once said: “You can get anything you want in life if you are just willing to help enough other people get what they want.”

Those words have been a constant inspiration in my sales career so I want to help you get what you want. That said, I believe that everyone who gets into sales really wants to be successful but most of them, like me, start out with little or no direction, knowledge or training on how to reach that goal of success.

This means that we start out “stupid” in our sales career. When we don’t know what we’re doing, we look for advice from our peers but unfortunately they have little more training than we do, they’ve just got the experience of ‘time served’ so technically, they’re “stupid” too.

I’m not saying it to be mean because it’s not totally their fault, their manager was probably “stupid” too and his manager probably was too. 

In sales, too many of us have learned from those who did their best but really didn’t have the knowledge, talent, or ability¬ to give us what we needed to be successful so the stupid cycle just keeps going.

This book will show you how to completely F*$K up your sales career. Hopefully this book will put a few smiles on your face while sharing real life examples of epic sales failures as well as solid practices for how to ‘Stop the Stupid’.

GET YOUR FREE COPY OF THE BOOK HERE Http://j.mp/stupidfreebook

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing - feel free to give this link to EVERYONE you know that wants a fun read!

Helping the best get better,

Mat Koenig
CEO & Founder

KonigCo & iCarMedia
www.konig.co | www.icarmedia.com

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Everyone knows that im a big advocate of all things Google.  Heck, I even rooted my brand new Galaxy s4 so I could get the Google edition ROM.

This morning though, I received an email with a title that I feel may be intentionally misleading.

The email linked to a blog post by Google AdWords Titled:

New research shows that 88% of ad clicks from mobile search are incremental to organic clicks
Posted by +Mark Burke, Google Engage Ireland
(Link is below)

http://adwords.blogspot.ie/2013/07/new-research-shows-that-88-of-ad-clicks.html?m=1

This article basically says that when companoes paused their pay per click campaigns the clicls were not replaced by clicks in the organic search, so basically if you stop your adwords campaign you are in effect losing all those clicks.

It even showed a pretty infographic with Automotive being one of the biggest areas of loss with 86% of adwords clicks not being replaced by organic.

image

Here's why the post is BS

If you have an adwords campaign that gets 100 click per month [random number for easy math] you are usually buying that campaign because you want to be visible on Page One of Google and usually you resort to ppc because you're not on page 1 in the organic results right?

Everyone's research,  including Google research, shows that above the fold page 1 organic results get more clicks than any ppc adwords ad which is why this latest blog post by Google is so offensive.  It shows that even the great Google is willing to mislead us good old automotive industry folks if it will help keep the revenue flowing.

The problem that car dealers have is that companies lile Cars.com amd Edmunds and AutoTrader have millions of dealership vehicles they are using to optimize search for each market, plus they have your dealership name amd address in those listings too [obviously they should so a consumer knows it is your car and that they need to contact you to buy it] but what is happening by listing your cars on these sites is that  organically their links are competing with yours and in many cases you lose.

Well,  you dont necessarily 'lose'because the consumer may go through the third party to contact you but let's face it,  the third party wouldn't be in existence without your inventory and if they didn't exist you're more likely to be visible on page one because you would be a more likely relevant search result. ..I digress.

The other challenge with AdWords is that you are competing with 3rd party sites like Cars.com AutoTrader and Edmunds there too.

When I worked at Cars.com, I was told internally that we were spending as much as $20,000 per day on AdWords / pay per click to make sure we were visible when people searched for cars in local dealer markets.

Of course this was in the dealership's best interest because the more shoppers on Cars.com means more opportunity foror dealers right?

Sort of, except for the fact that they bid to grab the brand names, models and in some cases the dealership names which means dealers have to pay MORE to Google to compete with the 3rd parties that theyre already paying too much for as it is.

I say F that!

Be smart, organize, optimize, visualize and work on conquering organic results and see if you really need that adwords campaign after all.

If you're going to invest inan adwords campaign, Ask your local cars, autotrader and esmunds and CarGurus rep to get you a list of keywords they buy in your market (they have it in their adwords dashboard so their boss can get that list easy enough) and see if they are edging you out by bidding on your own name so b yiure not spending a pile of cash bidding against a company you're paying to advertise with. Heck,  if you're already paying cars.com it doesnt make sense to pay more money to compete with them via ppc.

Obviously If you are visible above the fold on page one in the organic search as it is, with relevant results of course, the chance of consumers clicking someone else's adwords ad over you is greatly reduced anywaybso let the other guys spend their money on PPC while you sneak in and crush them all using organic search. Heck, go click their ads a bunch of times so they waste budget, that'll teach them not to compete against their own dealer customers. [Just kidding, they never learn]

While I spend zero on ppc amd organically dominate my soace, I do believe at the end of the day there are great ways to use adwords as a dealer but I recommend partnering with a company that does more than just spin out an ad for you. The guys at AdSmart Online do a good job and actually create inventory level ads and my clients who use them are happy so you can see their info at www.adsmartonline.com

I would love to hear other thoughts and comments.

Helping the best get better,
Mat Koenig

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Sales People Need to be Hunters and Farmers

Are you a hunter or farmer For so many years, we have struggled as an industry when it comes to follow up. Then, companies like Clients for Life and came along and started sending our follow up letters for us. All we had to do was sign it and mail it. This gave us more time to focus on working with the customers who were on the lot and calling in.

Basically, it gave us the ability to focus more time on hunting for new business and the farming was something we were able to relax on, just a little bit, but it was a much needed break right? Then, with the invention of email we are able to reach more customers faster than ever before and thanks to tools like CRMs we don't have to sign letters or even look at what is being sent because 90% of it is templated. The idea behind all of this awesome technology is to free up the time consuming tasks so we can focus all of our attention on generating new business...basically....HUNTING.

Unfortunately, the information age also came with some interesting side effects.

#1 - Less folks walking on the lot because they can shop online and narrow their choices before spending $4.80 a gallon in gas

#2 - Less folks answering their phone because they can just email...or ignore your email

#3 - Our sales people have spent so much time learning how to use all this technology that many of them have forgotten how to HUNT.

Farming and Hunting are equally important but much of our farming has been automated and it's nearly impossible to automate the hunting process so let's talk about why we've forgotten how to hunt and what we can do to get back on track.

Sales Leadership Team: Before you spaz out, don't blame your sales person. The reason they forgot how to hunt is because many of us, as their leaders, have forgotten how important it is to teach them the fundamentals of being a Hunter.

We know how to do it and it was part of our upbringing so it's easy for us to assume that our team should just 'get it' but...well...they don't. And we didn't 'get it' either, somebody taught us so let's pass it on :)

Hunting 101

1. Hunters prepare. Before going out into the wild, they make sure they have the gear they need to provide for their family. For a sales person that consists of the following NECESSARY tools.

A. Skills - LOT SKILLS: We need to make sure our team can walk us through the entire sales process from start to finish. Greeting to close. If they can't, don't verbally beat them up! If they can't do it it's your fault as their leader because you're responsible for training them how to do it the right way so use this as a teachable moment. PHONE SKILLS: They need to be able to handle a phone up, as well as an outbound follow up call. They need to be able to handle objections, concerns and roadblocks to gain the appointment or to bring someone back in if they didn't buy. NEGOTIATION SKILLS: They need to be able to handle objections like a pro. Cardone, Verde and a Million others have great info on this. Heck, for 99¢ you can download the AutoCloses app from the app store and it has the 25 most common auto objections at http://j.mp/autoclosesapp

B. Daily plan - Your sales people don't want to sit on their ass staring out the window, they just don't know what else they are supposed to do. Help them get in the habit of planning their day. We all used to have to spend 1 hour each day on improving our SKILLS, HABITS & ATTITUDE and it made us better. Why don't we help our folks do the same? Sample day: Set aside 20 minutes on your calendar for each of your sales people to have a quick 1 on 1 meeting with you to talk about what they did yesterday, what they're doing today and what they need from you in order to be successful. Have them set aside 20 minutes to role play with another team member. Have them set aside 20 minutes to listen to something motivational or read something motivational. Have them set aside 20 minutes every day for product knowledge. Have them set aside 1 hour each day to make all of their follow up calls to hot, warm and cold prospects. Have them spend 40 minutes each day making true prospecting calls to lease lists, customers over 90 days old and orphan owners. How many, how many, who's next? That's 3 hours of their day planned out with a purpose.

C. Attitude - Your sales people NEED a positive attitude in order to make A and B work properly. This tool is CRITICAL for them to be effective hunters. Let's face it, everyone has a bad day, we have personal things that come up that are unpleasant, stressful and sometimes overwhelming. As their leader, we need to help remind them of why we brought them on our team, why we keep them on our team. We need to remind them that they are valuable, they are important to us, they are great people. Without our sales people we don't have any chance of success so we need to treat them with the respect and value that they deserve. Without our sales people performing at their best, we cannot support our families.

Farming 101 Don't rely on your CRM alone.

The CRM may automate follow up but it's still not human. We're in the people business and relying on your CRM is telling yourself that the automated computer message is just as powerful as you are.

Nothing is more powerful than human interaction. A warm phone call every few months can work wonders in being a great farmer for years to come. Try something like: "Hey Bob & Sue this is Mat at (Dealership). I just wanted to say hello to keep in touch. I hope you're still enjoying that Honda Accord as much as you did on the day you picked it up. Call me at (number) if you need anything at all and I'll be here to help."

Farming is a process, one that often feels thankless but it sets the stage for long term relationships. Hunting can be scary but exciting and it is what helps you eat today, and gives you the means to farm another field for years to come.

I'd like to encourage you to set aside 20 minutes or so to write down all of your strengths and put them in one of two buckets: Farming or Hunting. Look it over and see where you need to focus your attention in order to improve.

Once you do it yourself, ask your sales people to do the same exercise so you can learn which areas they feel like they need your help.

Thanks for reading, make today amazing!

Would you like to have the mobile number of online shoppers on Cars.com, Edmunds, AutoTrader and other sites? Of course you would! Check out AutoCapture today and learn how you can stop the shop and increase sales overnight at www.konig.co/autocapture

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